As lockdown measures ease, many people are starting to look at the habits and behaviours they picked up during quarantine. If you have found that your consumption of alcohol has increased, then you are not alone.
Whilst numerous studies are being undertaken about the effects of the pandemic and what it means for us long term, one fact that seems to be universally agreed upon is the number of drinkers putting their health at risk has soared.
Boredom, loneliness, stress around the pandemic, and the impact it is having on people’s lives, has had a huge part of the population turning to alcohol as a method for coping.
School closures, financial insecurity, working from home and fear around a deadly virus have all led to an increase in anxiety. Being cut off from family, friends and other support networks has left many people completely isolated, distressed and alone. Drinking has become an easy way to break up the day.
People have found themselves with a lack of structure to their days, are overwhelmed by the changes they have had to make in their lives and for some there is fear about what the future holds. Drinking presents a way to relax and have some fun.
The result is many people have increased both the frequency and the volume of their alcohol intake. Alcohol rehab centers, clinics and other types of alcohol rehab facilities have seen a rise in enquiries as people are worried about the long-term health implications for them and the impact it is having on their mental health.
But how can you tell when your drinking has become a problem? Five signs that it may have got out of control…
Drinking more frequently and in larger amounts causes the body to build up a tolerance, therefore requiring more to obtain the same effect. Are you opening that second bottle more often than not?
No rushed morning commute into the office has meant being a bit fuzzy in the a.m. is less of a problem; drinking during the week seems more inviting. Before you know it, you are drinking every day.
For parents there is the stress of trying to home school the kids, work from home and keep up with all the household chores; having an early evening drink may seem the only pleasurable thing on the horizon. So why not start at lunchtime instead?
It could be feelings of shame around drinking; embarrassment at needing alcohol to cope; or just a denial to admit that there is a problem; and suddenly you are lying to those close to you, hiding the amount you have drunk from your partner and putting the empties in next door’s recycling, so it is not so obvious on bin day!
What starts as a way to manage feelings of anxiety and “take the edge off” can quickly turn into the very thing that feeds it. Regularly drinking alcohol is known to increase the symptoms of depression; panic and anxiety disorders; and other mental health problems.
Whether it is because of a hangover, feeling rough, poor sleep; or irritability and restlessness caused by the effort necessary for you to limit the amount being drunk; tempers become frayed, and it is easy to snap at those in close proximity.
Maybe it is shouting at the ones we love, slamming doors, or punching a wall; violent outbursts are painful and leave us full of regret and shame; and are a big sign that something is not being dealt with.
Working from home has meant that getting up on time for work is less traumatic after a heavy night on the booze, but when you have only got to roll as far as your laptop, and you are still repeatedly late for online meetings or a check-in with the office, people start to notice.
Putting the kids in front of the TV or the iPad so you can indulge in a well-deserved glass of vino after the first zoom class of the day might cut the mustard once, but when habits like this are being repeated daily, family members will wonder what is going on.
Are you finding it is harder and harder to get things done, is your to-do list growing at an alarming rate? But you just don’t seem to have the energy or ability to get anything finished.
And then come the comments and concern… none of us wants to have our flaws exposed and remarked upon but what about if deep down we know what the other people are saying is the truth?
Maybe the concern has come from a close relative, such as a spouse, parent, or child. How does it feel when your son asks you – do you have to drink again tonight?
Are you finding that you can’t remember what you did the night before? An angry text to an ex or a drunken phone call sobbing to a friend. Acceptable if you are aware that you are making them, but when you have no recollection of doing it the next day – then it is a worry.
And what about more serious consequences? Getting in the car to pop to the local shop for a bottle of wine, even though you are already over the limit. Or waking up covered in bruises and not remembering how you got them.
Does any of this strike a chord with you? Why not try our self-test here – https://ibizacalm.com/addictions/alcoholism/are-you-a-problem-drinker/
It can be extremely difficult to admit that you may have a problem with alcohol. Some still perceive alcohol misuse as a sign of weakness or a lack of respectability and assume that those who cannot put the drink down have no self-control or will power.
This is simply not true; alcoholism is an illness and requires treatment. Thinking about rehab may feel like an overreaction, but the numbers say different; people seeking treatment for problems with alcohol have jumped since the restrictions have lifted.
Here at the rehab in Spain we are seeing an increase in all substance-related admissions, with alcohol rehabilitation being one of the top reasons to come and stay at our drug and alcohol rehab center.
If you feel that you may have a problem with alcohol, do you want to wait until the consequences get worse before you look at treatment options? For information regarding admissions to our rehab in Ibiza, please contact [email protected] or contact her on WhatsApp: +34 664 443 433
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