7 Signs Your Alcoholic Spouse May Be Self-Medicating Stress
Are you living with an alcoholic? An alcoholic spouse may have fallen into an alcohol problem through no fault of their own. As a psychiatrist that specializes in alcoholism and drug addiction, I often see people self-medicating their underlying anxiety with alcohol. Anxiety is a major risk factor for substance abuse. Here are 7 signs that your alcoholic husband or alcoholic wife may need help with anxiety in order to achieve sobriety:
1. Your alcoholic husband has always been a worrier since you met him. You have played the role of reassuring him that things will be fine.
2. Your alcoholic wife is a perfectionist.
3. Your alcoholic spouse has trouble relaxing and drinks to unwind from stress.
4. Your alcoholic husband gets easily overwhelmed and uptight. Sometimes he gets paralyzed with inaction when he has multiple projects to tackle such as organizing his work, planning a trip, getting a presentation ready, dealing with clients etc.
5. Your alcoholic wife gets grouchy and irritable when she isn’t managing her responsibilities at the level she expects from herself.
6. Your alcoholic husband has always been hyperaware of any physical symptoms he experiences.
7. Your alcoholic spouse resists change.
Do a number of these signs describe your alcoholic spouse?
Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and calms the brain. Anxiety is a state of hyper-alertness. Alcohol temporarily counteracts this “edginess”. Alcohol has a “numbing effect”. Because it affects attention, it makes hard to focus on your worries. However over time, alcohol actually increases anxiety and depression.
If your alcoholic spouse suffers from an Anxiety Disorder, this is good news in terms of their alcohol problem. I find it much easier to help someone quit drinking alcohol when their underlying problem is anxiety. If your alcoholic husband or wife is self-medicating anxiety with alcohol, a medical professional can treat their Anxiety Disorder with medication, and their drive to self-medicate quickly diminishes.
A psychiatrist is the best “go to” person for anxiety. A non-addicting medication for anxiety should be prescribed. Going to therapy can help improve coping skills for anxiety. Yoga is very beneficial too. A 12 step program still remains an important part of treating an alcohol problem along with the anxiety treatment.
If you want additional help turning your marriage around click here to register for my free report on, “ 5 Proven Methods For a Healthier Marriage With Your Alcoholic Spouse”. It may save your family’s life. The information in this report gives you very simple strategies that could very well save your marriage.