Alcoholism & Anger Management: Mental Health & Addiction

During-treatment improvements in the remaining anger and anger-related cognition measures predicted clients’ positive posttreatment alcohol involvement; however, predictive strength was not significantly different between treatment conditions. We considered anger measures and indices of AA involvement as potential candidates in this regard. Return to problematic drinking often occurs after treatment for alcohol dependence, even when that treatment was initially successful. Relapsed individuals often start another negative cycle of alcohol-related problems and suffering in themselves and others (Lowman et al., 1996; Marlatt & Gordon, 1980).

We utilize an accessibility interface that allows persons with specific disabilities to adjust the website’s UI (user interface) and design it to their personal needs. If there are any concerns about content we have published, please reach out to us at If you are concerned that you or someone you care about has a problem with alcohol there is a lot of help available. Here you can find useful links and phone numbers to get the support you need. It affects parts of your brain responsible for movement, memory, self-control, and basic functions like hunger and thirst. The people around us have a stronger influence on our decisions and actions than we realize.

Addressing the Connection Between Anger and Alcoholism at the Same Time

Unfortunately, quitting something that’s become an addiction isn’t as easy as simply making the decision to stop. A “crazy drunk person” is one who drinks excessively and frequently due to alcoholism. Because they’re naturally predisposed to be angry when they drink, this becomes a key part of their personality because they can’t control their drinking or their temper. Lack of emotional support, social isolation, disengagement from recovery programs, and not treating co-occurring disorders can contribute to dry drunk syndrome. As if that wasn’t complex enough, anger can also result from inherited tendencies or brain chemistry. Furthermore, underlying mental health conditions might influence your trend towards angry outbursts.

Alcohol and Anger

The present study is going to explore the relationship of anger with treatment outcome among alcohol users after 1 year of treatment. The data for the present study were taken from the project work on correlates of anger among alcohol users, funded by center for addiction medicine, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. Finally, despite positive ratings of treatment satisfaction, attendance was less than ideal for both interventions. Analyses utilized the intent-to-treat sample, i.e., all participants without regard to attendance and treatment completion. Potential modest treatment responses among clients with little or no exposure to treatment may have obscured positive effects for those receiving all or nearly all of the intervention.

Causes of Anger

Alcohol effects the prefrontal cortex of the brain, the region that moderates things like decision-making. What this means is that people whose personalities make them naturally quicker to become angry than others are even more likely to lose control under the influence of alcohol. Anger is an emotion that varies from person to person and adapts to different situations. A cognitive, behavioral, and physical reaction to it happens all at once.

  • AA-related material comprised approximately 45.0% of the AAF condition and 5.4% of the AM condition.
  • People known to have anger outbursts on alcohol can end up destroying relationships.
  • It might also cause you to misread situations, resulting in you getting angry when you would normally be calm and rational.
  • This is heightened when consuming alcohol, according to a 2012 study.

But, anger problems are often cited as one of the main culprits of relapse among recovering alcoholics. Someone who experiences passive anger may appear calm and have difficulty expressing their feelings. And cutting down or stopping has lots of other benefits too, for your physical and mental health. Future research in this area can focus on inclusion of anger management intervention/matching of treatment with patient attributes and helping the patients to develop the behavioral repertoires to manage anger. It has implication for anger management intervention/matching of treatment with users attributes and helping the users to develop the behavioral repertoires to manage anger.

Contact Gateway Foundation Today to Learn More About Alcoholism and Anger

When someone enters recovery for alcohol abuse, they usually struggle with anger problems and emotional regulation. The early months of sobriety can be an emotional rollercoaster filled with many highs and lows; the relationship between alcoholism and anger is a complicated one. Sixty-eight percent of the dependent and abstainers’ perceived anger as negative emotion and 76% in control perceived it as negative.

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Another study that explored the impact of alcohol consumption on facial recognition found that individuals with alcohol use disorder exhibited a bias toward misidentifying emotional facial expressions as hostile or disgusted (Freeman et al., 2018). Interestingly, those in the control group tended to misidentify expressions as happy. In many people, particularly those who regularly abuse and are dependent on alcohol, the relationship between alcohol and anger only becomes apparent after a period of time without alcohol. Those who become intoxicated every day or several times per week may become angry and belligerent if they cannot, for whatever reason, become intoxicated.

Consider speaking with an addiction therapist to discuss your feelings and explore the various treatment outlets to find happiness and fulfillment in your sober life. Even though they speak about anger management in most Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step programs and in rehab, experiencing these emotions is different once you’re sober. Sometimes, little things like being unable to deal with or express a specific feeling can lead to an angry outburst.

Alcohol and Anger

I3 Theory (“I-Cubed”) is a multifactorial meta-theory that predicts myriad behaviors, including aggression [••7, 8]. Like other meta-theoretical approaches, such as the General Aggression Model [10], I3 Theory does not restrict the prediction of aggression to one decisive risk factor (or set of factors) or to one particular theoretical level of analysis. Rather, I3 Theory suggests that we can predict whether a given social interaction will result in aggression if we can discern the strength of Instigation, degree of Impellance, and presence of Inhibitory factors. Once these factors are organized into the I3 framework, their effects on aggression as well as their interactions with other relevant risk factors can be examined. For example, some cases of domestic violence have turned fatal because one person refused to leave when their partner was being abusive to them. In some cases, you can’t change an angry drunk, and you need to make the decision that’s right for you and other members of the household, especially children.

Personality and the Propensity to Become Aggressive When Intoxicated

The researchers assigned the participants (54 males and 60 females) to compete in a competitive aggression paradigm in an intoxicated or sober state. The result was that the intoxicated men were more aggressive than the sober men; however, in the circumstances where the women were highly provoked, both the intoxicated and sober women displayed higher levels of aggression, which could resemble the men. This suggested that both the women and men can be equally aggressive and alcohol does not seem to play a prominent role in the gender biases in aggression.

  • If that’s not an option, reach out to a pastor or a trusted friend.
  • The CBT condition in Project MATCH which focused on enhancing cognitive-behavioral coping skills included two optional sessions focused on anger.
  • One study supporting this finding enlisted 245 men with a history of heavy episodic alcohol use (Berke et al., 2020).
  • For both sets of analyses, mixed effects models (SAS 9.3) were used.
  • Overall, exhibiting one or a combination of the above factors can increase your chances of becoming angry when intoxicated.