4 Ways to Help Prevent Alcohol From Affecting Your Mood

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4 Ways to Help Prevent Alcohol From Affecting Your Mood

By DrinkAware.co.uk

  1. Use exercise and relaxation to tackle stress instead of alcohol.
  2. Learn breathing techniques to try when you feel anxious.
  3. Talk to someone about your worries. Don’t try and mask them with alcohol.
  4. Always be aware of why you’re drinking. Don’t assume it will make a bad feeling go away, it’s more likely to exaggerate it.

 

If you would like help with alcohol and/or mood struggles, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a life coach or a counselor.

Alcohol and Depression = A Vicious Cycle

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Alcohol and Depression = A Vicious Cycle

By DrinkAware.co.uk

If you drink heavily and regularly you’re likely to develop some symptoms of depression. It’s that good old brain chemistry at work again. Regular drinking lowers the levels of serotonin in your brain – a chemical that helps to regulate your mood.

In Britain, people who experience anxiety or depression are twice as likely to be heavy or problem drinkers. For some people, the anxiety or depression came first and they’ve reached for alcohol to try to relieve it. For others, drinking came first, so it may be a root cause of their anxieties2.

Drinking heavily can also affect your relationships with your partner, family and friends. It can impact on your performance at work. These issues can also contribute to depression.

If you use drink to try and improve your mood or mask your depression, you may be starting a vicious cycle…

Warning signs that alcohol is affecting your mood include:

If you would like help the area of alcohol and/or depression, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a counselor.

6 Ways Substance Abuse Can Destroy Your Marriage

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6 Ways Substance Abuse Can Destroy Your Marriage

By Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott

Addiction is an overwhelming illness whose hallmark symptoms are the physiological craving of, and emotional attachment to, a legal or illegal substance or practice. Most often, we see addictions in the form of substances like alcohol, prescription drugs, and illicit drugs.

Substance abuse is devastating to marriages, families, and relationships. It can result in career loss, financial ruin, divorce, estrangement, and even death. Today, we’ll focus on six landmines that substance abuse plants in your marriage when you’re struggling with addiction.

For all of these issues, we strongly encourage that you and your spouse seek outside professional help. Consult your local minister or physician for reliable recovery resources, like a 12-step system that understands your unique struggle. Addiction is not something you can overcome on your own, but with the right help, you will be able to move past this and rebuild your lives.

DENIAL

Denial is risky business when it comes to facing a life-altering issue like addiction. For the addicted spouse, denial comes in the form of the idea that they’re in control of their addiction–they can stop any time they want. This is frustrating for the non-addicted spouse, who can often (eventually) see the problem for what it is, but finds it difficult to impossible to interact with the addicted spouse who is so strongly rooted in denial.

But many times, especially at first, the non-addicted spouse is also in denial. While the other person may display a host of red flags that point to substance abuse, it can feel easier in the moment for the non-addicted spouse to come up with alternate explanations or write off the signs as coincidence. Denial on the part of the non-addicted spouse is dangerous because it delays the possibility of seeking necessary professional help…even if that help only comes in the form of support for the non-addicted person in the marriage.

HELPLESSNESS

Whether it’s you or your spouse who is struggling with an addiction, helplessness takes root quickly. After a period of denial has passed, an addicted spouse may feel helpless to control what is happening to them; they find themselves at the mercy of the drug. The non-addicted spouse is likely to feel helpless when it comes to their spouse’s addictive behavior because they can’t do anything to stop it or make the situation better.

Feeling totally out of control of any situation–but especially a situation like this–is terrifying, stressful, and unsettling. Both spouses are at risk of seeking out behavior patterns that make them feel more in control of their lives, which can create a volatile situation in the relationship.

DISHONESTY

Addiction breeds dishonesty. It’s nearly an inevitable byproduct of substance abuse. The addicted spouse inherently knows that the substance that’s controlling their life shouldn’t be playing a role in it at all. Yet, because the physiological need for it is very real, they find themselves lying to cover up the problem.

However painful it may be, the non-addicted spouse must keep track of their spouse’s dishonesty. It’s essential to learn the telltale signs that the addicted spouse is lying; he or she may fall into a pattern that is easy to recognize. During and after recovery, the non-addicted spouse may still find it difficult to trust their husband or wife, but if they’ve become familiar with his or her patterns during dishonesty, it could become a framework they can use to evaluate the recovering spouse.

NEGLECT

Addictive substances tend to steal an addicted spouse’s entire focus (perhaps not at first, but eventually, this tends to be the case). This can lead to the spouse neglecting the needs of their family, plus their responsibilities at home and at work. As a result, the addicted spouse may eventually find themselves jobless and even in the throes of financial ruin.

For the non-addicted spouse, experiencing neglect is detrimental to their health and wellbeing, the health and wellbeing of their children, and the financial stability of the family. Over time, they find themselves shouldering the burden of the addicted spouse’s responsibilities, plus their own. This can lead to anger, resentment, and contempt, which can be difficult to overcome even after the couple has received professional help to overcome the addiction itself.

PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ILLNESS & PAIN

Substance abuse often begins when a person is trying to escape pain of some kind. What addicted individuals often don’t realize is that the substance will eventually cause them physical and psychological pain. Addiction also leads to varying types of illness, brought on by the years of self-harm.

For a non-addicted spouse, psychological pain and illness may occur as a result of the tremendous stress brought on by the addiction. Practice radical self-care and talk to your physician or counselor if your family is facing an addiction that has caused your health to deteriorate. Your recovering spouse and any children you may have will need you to be healthy in the coming months as you face this down.

ABUSE

Unfortunately, addiction is capable of creating an abusive environment in your home–be it verbal, physical, emotional, or otherwise. A person who has become addicted to a substance is susceptible to personality changes that include aggression and violence.

If you are a non-addicted spouse and your husband or wife has become abusive, creating a dangerous environment in your home, get yourself and any children you may have to safety. Consult your counselor for the safest way to communicate to your spouse that you have left the home, and you won’t be able to come back until it is safe for you to be there. Encourage them to seek the help they need to get well so that your family can be together again in a healthy environment.

If you would like help with your marriage or addiction, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a counselor or coach.

10 Signs of an Alcohol Addiction

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Are You an Alcoholic? 10 Warning Signs of Addiction

By The Ranch

It’s hard to be objective when it comes to figuring out whether you or your loved one has a problem with drinking. Emotions run high, rationalizations and denials lead to confusion and it can seem hard to draw the line between what’s acceptable and what’s going too far. Although the boundaries are fuzzy, issues with drinking are either classed as problem drinking or alcohol dependence. Problem drinkers don’t have a full-fledged addiction to alcohol, but their drinking may be starting to take its toll on their everyday lives and they are at greatly increased risk for becoming dependent later. So while some of the warning signs of alcoholism are technically signs of problem drinking, there is a lot of overlap, and identifying either one is cause for concern. Here are 10 of the most important things to look out for in yourself or your loved one:

  1. Lying About or Hiding Your Drinking – Denial is common with people having problems with alcohol, so both problem drinkers and alcoholics might drink secretively or lie about how much they drink to make it seem like less of an issue. This can be hard to spot for anybody but the individual, due to its very nature, but it’s an important sign of a more serious problem.
  1. Drinking to Relax or Feel Better – Almost all people struggling with addiction abuse their substance of choice for emotional reasons. Whether it’s stress, depression, anxiety or anything else, using alcohol as a method of easing negative feelings is a risky habit—the “relief” it provides is only temporary and it ordinarily makes things worse in the long run. If you drink more when you’ve had a stressful day or need a drink to feel like you can really relax, it’s a big sign that you’re using alcohol as an emotional crutch.
  1. “Blacking Out” Regularly – Drinking so much that you have no memory of what happened is another red flag for a problem with alcohol. Simply put, it means you drank way too much. If you find this happening to you (or notice it happening to someone else), you have to ask what is driving you to drink so excessively? You don’t need to black out to have fun, so what’s the real reason?
  1. Being Unable to Stop Once You Start – If you always finish a bottle of wine once it’s opened or drink all the beer in the house once you’ve had one, it’s another sign you aren’t in full control of your drinking and you may have a problem.
  1. Drinking in Dangerous Situations – Drinking when you really shouldn’t—like before work, before you have to drive somewhere or drinking against your doctor’s orders when you’re on medication—is an important sign of problem drinking. Even if something hasn’t gone wrong yet, every time you do something like this you run the risk of serious consequences. Regularly taking those risks strongly implies that alcohol is the main priority in your life.
  1. Neglecting Your Responsibilities – If you’re having problems at work, school or with your household responsibilities because of your drinking, you have a problem. Alcohol has crossed the line from an occasional indulgence to something that seriously impacts your day-to-day functioning.
  1. Having Trouble in Your Relationships – This is closely related to the last point, but it’s in many ways more important. If your drinking is causing problems with your closest friends, your significant other or your family, it’s an indication that alcohol is a bigger priority than even the most important people in your life. These last two symptoms are general signs of any addiction, and might mean that your issues are going beyond the problem-drinker stage.
  1. Being Able to Drink More Than You Used To – Tolerance is another key sign of addiction, so if you can drink more than you used to and need to drink more than you did before in order to get drunk, it’s a strong indicator that you’re becoming an alcoholic. It means your body is exposed to alcohol regularly enough that it has adapted to cope with it better.
  1. Experiencing Withdrawal – Withdrawal is different from a hangover; it’s the reaction to the lack of alcohol rather than too much alcohol. If you start to feel irritable, tired, depressed, nauseous or anxious when you haven’t had a drink, there’s a possibility you’re going through withdrawal. Other signs include having trouble sleeping, losing your appetite and experiencing shakiness or trembling.
  1. Trying to Quit but Being Unable to – If you have realized your drinking is becoming a problem (or someone who cares about you has) and tried to make a change but have been unsuccessful, you should seriously consider finding additional help. Deciding to quit drinking shows that you understand the impacts it’s having on your life, but the fact that you’re unable to means there’s a big chance you’re struggling with alcohol addiction.

It’s important to note that experiencing just one of these signs doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a problem drinker or an alcoholic, but if you’re experiencing a few of them (or you see numerous signs in a loved one), there is a very strong possibility your drinking has gone too far. The latter five symptoms in particular are signs of addiction rather than problem drinking.

It might not be an easy road ahead, but one day you’ll see deciding to get help as the day your life started to change for the better.

 

If you are struggling with alcohol abuse or addiction, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a counselor or coach.

Are You Addicted? Take a Test

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Do you or a loved one wonder if you have more than a drug or alcohol “problem”? Are people questioning your statements that you can stop whenever you want to? Have you found yourself turning to substances on a regular basis as a way of dealing with your struggles, numbing your pain, or as a way to get joy in life?

Are you courageous enough and strong enough to be honest with yourself and others? If so, take the tests on the linked image:

Addiction Test

If you or a loved one is struggling or addicted to a substance please don’t put off seeking help. Contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with one of our counselors skilled in dealing with substance issues.

10 Ways You Can Help with the Addiction of a Loved One

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Unhappy Wife with Drunk Husband
Unhappy Wife with Drunk Husband

10 Ways You Can Help with the Addiction of a Loved One

By Lynn King, LPCC-S

The pain of addiction not only affects the user, but also their family: shame, guilt, fear, worry, anger, confusion, financial costs, life adjustments, and more. Love, concern, and a willingness to help aimed at changing the behaviors often get twisted into enabling behaviors that only feed the addiction. Here are ten ways you can help your loved ones and help yourself.

  1. Educate yourself on alcoholism and addictions. By understanding addiction you can begin to respond to it more effectively. Find our more via counseling, AA/NA/SA, or Al-Anon.
  2. Let the user experience their own consequences for their actions. Do not rescue/fix their problems for them, it only inhibits their ability to change. Consequences are helpful in deciding future choices.
  3. Watch financially supporting the addict. By doing this you could be supporting the addiction in some way and this will provide fewer reasons for them to change their lifestyle choices.
  4. Abandon the tendency to “figure out” why your loved one drinks/uses. This is a waste of time and energy and can lead to blame focused on someone/something else.
  5. Set boundaries; let your “no” be “no” and your “yes” be “yes.” Do not make idle threats – they are meaningless and confusing.
  6. Give up trying to extract promises from the addict. A person with an addiction cannot keep promises about their behavior.
  7. Do not preach or lecture. A sick person is not motivated by guilt and/or intimidation.
  8. Stay calm and firm in dealing with your loved ones. The emotional pendulum often swings from anger to threats to remorse and is a painful roller coaster to all involved.
  9. Learn how not to accommodate the addiction. Addiction often infiltrates the family subtly, but it is progressive and you can unknowingly accommodate its presence.
  10. Focus on your life and responsibilities. Do not neglect other family members or your own needs (i.e. hobbies, health).