Seeking Help For Alcohol Abuse: Eliminating The Misunderstandings
While there is a common belief that a person with an addiction is the last person who will admit the problem, professionals offering addiction counselling in London know this is simply not the truth.
Many people struggling with alcohol abuse reach out for help from professionals at all points in the development of the addiction. In some cases, misunderstandings that are commonly held by the public, and perhaps by the family and partner of the alcoholic or problem drinker, may actually delay the individual’s attempt to reach out for support and recovery.
To provide assistance in clearing up these common myths, let’s look at each one and see how addiction counselling in London can be beneficial to the individual.
Addicts Don’t Recognise the Problem
At the initial stages of problem drinking and alcoholism, the addict may be able to make excuses or even deny there is an issue, even rationalising behaviours to his or herself. However, as the health issues, the loss of relationships, the change in behaviour and the loss of jobs, loved ones and friends moves forward, the alcoholic does recognize the issue, but the alcohol is now driving the behaviour.
When participating in addiction counselling in London an alcoholic learns more about the addiction and the changes in their thinking and behaving while using alcohol. They also learn about the short and long-term health issues, and about ways to deal with the stressors or challenges in life that may have triggered the addiction initially.
Alcoholics Have to Hit Bottom
Some people believe that an alcoholic has to hit bottom or do something really tragic or traumatic to want to make a change. Again, while this may be something that drives some to seek help through addiction counselling in London, it isn’t required by everyone.
Most individuals, including the so-called functioning alcoholics, can think back on something that triggered them to seek help. Perhaps it was a comment by a friend, a child or a loved one, or maybe it was the threat of the loss of a job or a pending loss of a partner or spouse.
To Stop Drinking You Just Need Willpower
Alcohol abuse, particularly over years, creates significant changes in all systems of the body. It will impact cognitive functioning and brain chemistry, but it also results in liver, kidney and digestive system complications and failures.
Once people become addicted to alcohol, they use alcohol as a way to deal with problems and stress. This becomes their entire coping mechanism for all challenges in life, with the drinking itself causing some of those challenges and stressors. It becomes a vicious cycle and, unless it is stopped, it will continue as the brain creates the urge to drink that is beyond what simply saying “no” or exercising willpower can control.
By understanding alcohol abuse is not a sign of mental or personal willpower, it is possible to reach out for help rather than continue to blame yourself for not just being stronger. For long term chronic drinkers simply stopping can be life-threatening, and some will require a medically supervised detox to address changes in the metabolic and cardiovascular system that are common during this phase of treatment.
What to Expect
While there are in-patient treatment options, many patients can continue to live at home and work during their treatment. They will attend regular sessions with a professional offering addiction counselling in London, which typically include both individual and group sessions.
For many people, the focus of the sessions will be to uncover trigger that caused the need to use alcohol as a coping mechanism. For some, it may be undiagnosed or untreated depression, anxiety, trauma or Post-traumatic stress disorder.
During your treatment you will learn about yourself, develop new coping skills to use instead of relying on the harmful use of alcohol, and also gain a better understanding of expressing yourself to get your own needs met. When depression, anxiety or other mental health issues are present, they can be treated as well, helping you to move forward in life without the challenges they can pose in choosing a sober and healthy lifestyle.