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  Life   Health  21 Dec 2016  Keep drinking addiction at bay

Keep drinking addiction at bay

THE ASIAN AGE
Published : Dec 21, 2016, 1:18 am IST
Updated : Dec 21, 2016, 6:48 am IST

Alcohol relaxes us by causing changes in two types of chemicals in our brain.

If you think you might be an alcoholic or bordering towards it, do reach out for help. Enjoy a drink without addiction.
 If you think you might be an alcoholic or bordering towards it, do reach out for help. Enjoy a drink without addiction.

With party season just around the corner, you might be looking forward to meeting friends, good conversations, delicious food and fine wines. Stay away from getting addicted, though. Check the four questions below to know if you are an alcoholic. You might be if you answer ‘yes’ to them. If you’re unsure as to whether your life has become unmanageable without alcohol and whether you are unable to control your alcohol consumption on your own or stop when you wish to, it might be worth asking yourself some tough questions. Dr Brad McKay recently wrote an article which listed questions to which your responses might give you some food for thought.

Think about the queries:

1. Have you ever been criticised for your drinking habits?
It could be a gentle reminder that you’re going a bit hard or it could be an earnest attempt to talk to you about your consumption. If you have registered annoyance at someone criticising you for drinking you might want to think about why. If you find yourself drinking alone to hide it, even if it’s a few shots at the bar before you bring the round to the table, you may need to have to think about your habits.

2. Do you recover from a hangover with more drink?
If you do so commonly, you might consider why it relaxes you and seems to aid your hangover recovery. Alcohol relaxes us by causing changes in two types of chemicals in our brain, as professor Anne Lingford-Hughes elaborates, “One of these chemicals, called GABA, acts like a sedative to calm the brain down, while the other, called glutamate, excites the brain and makes it more active.” If you’re wondering how a hangover comes about, here’s a brief explanation:

Once alcohol is out of the blood stream, GABA function falls, but glutamate — which excites the brain — is still very high. This can lead to anxiety, shakiness and poor sleep. If you have been drinking very heavily, this sudden change can even lead to fits. Levels of another neurotransmitter in the brain — dopamine are also affected which can lead to a low mood. If you’re not allowing your brain to lead, a life without alcohol, you need to think about the chemical dependencies you’re encouraging.

3. Do you ever feel guilty about drinking?
We’ve all said it before. “I’m never drinking again.” People rarely follow through with this promise. However, if your drinking is causing you shame and if your loss of inhibitions is leading to actions that you regret more than you laugh about, you should think about why you keep drinking. Memory lapses are also a worry — not knowing what you’ve been up to in a vulnerable state is a cause for concern you should tend to.

4. Have you ever considered cutting down?
If you’ve ever said midway through a night out that you’ve had enough, only to succumb to a few more drinks, it’s not a sin. And if it happens regularly, you might want to think about why you can’t seem to stop yourself. If you’re reasoning is “just one more” and it turns into three or four, you need to ask yourself why this is the case. Whether you’ve attempted to cut down previously and failed, or you’ve left yourself questioning your consumption, it might be time to talk to someone about that.
Source: www.indy100.com

Tags: hangover, brain, anxiety disorders, alcohol