Most addicts have alcoholic anosognosia. This is a specific type of internal picture of the disease, when a person does not have a critical attitude towards his condition: he does not notice that he is constantly getting drunk, beats children and relatives, does not go to work, and drinks his last money on drink. That is, the fact of alcoholism for the patient is completely absent.
The task of the relatives is not to destroy the inner subjective world of the alcoholic with insults, moral violence or physical oppression. The patient, first of all, needs to understand that someone needs him, he needs psychological support. Never leave an alcoholic alone with his problems.
Treatment for alcohol abuse is based on the principles of voluntariness, individuality, complexity and non-drinking.
The principle of voluntariness is the patient’s consent to treatment. Without it, therapy is impossible. Coming to the hospital of his own free will, a person consciously and purposefully establishes voluntary cooperation and trusting relationship with the doctor – this is the main condition for treatment. If a person is dragged to the doctor, there can be no talk of trust in the doctor and cooperation.
In most cases, the patient comes to the doctor with withdrawal symptoms. The condition is accompanied by fear, severe headaches, anxiety, tremors, muscle aches, dizziness, and sweating. This is the most favorable period in order to eliminate alcoholic anosognosia: the patient feels the effects of drinking on himself. If you see that your friend or relative is in this condition, call an ambulance: withdrawal symptoms can turn into alcoholic delirium.
The principle of individualism is to study the internal picture of the disease and the personality of a person. The doctor pays attention to the reasons for alcohol abuse: why a person started drinking, what factors contribute to this, what affects him, what life motives and priorities the patient has. Personality analysis allows the doctor to hit the target and choose the most effective treatment.
The principle of complexity lies in the fact that the therapy includes many methods of treatment: psychotherapy, social rehabilitation, pharmacological approach.
The fourth principle is the rejection of alcohol. Assumes a complete restriction on the intake of alcoholic beverages. Usually patients drink “quietly”. To prevent this from happening, the rejection of spirits should be gradual.
Living with alcohol abuse
Living with alcoholism means recognizing in time the provoking factors that stimulate drinking. For example, a person accidentally meets a drinking friend, there is stress that there is no one to discuss with. The further the moment of realizing a bad habit is delayed, the more the disorder progresses. Not asking for help means subjecting loved ones to suffering and degrading as a person.
How the psyche changes with alcoholism
Personality is not a stable structure, but a dynamic and constantly changing structure. With the abuse of alcoholic beverages, the personality is gradually destroyed – alcoholic mental degradation develops.
First of all, due to the constant intoxication of the brain with alcohols, intelligence decreases: memory deteriorates and mental processes slow down. The patient thinks slowly and has difficulty remembering events from the past.
The ability for abstract thinking decreases, it becomes more specific and situational. Thinking is unproductive and superficial, it is difficult for patients to correctly formulate a thought and voice a proposal. Such changes are observed in 45–70% of alcoholics.
Moral and ethical principles are destroyed: carelessness arises, the sense of conscience and duty is weakened, interests and hobbies are lost, egocentrism increases, the concept of social responsibility disappears.
Emotional disturbances occur. At first, nuanced emotions are lost – these are subtle sensations, for example, sadness with a touch of sadness, surprise combined with interest. Alcoholics become emotionally cold people. Emotional lability arises: tearfulness abruptly turns into joy, fear – into calmness.
Specific alcoholic humor appears. Jokes become flat, understandable only to the alcoholic himself. Themes relate to booze, which is sounded with an ironic tinge: “Well, let’s drink?”, “Let’s hit a glass!”, “You can’t do without 100 grams.” Reactions to events become brutal and sometimes asocial: aggression, anger, cynicism often arise.
Complicating alcohol abuse
The constant use of alcoholic beverages leads to neurosis-like and psychopathic states. Alcoholics develop asthenia syndrome, which is manifested by physical exhaustion, sleep disturbance and severe irritability. Patients often complain of interrupted sleep, sweating and headaches, absent-mindedness, and impatience. They are all lazy, they are inactive, careless and indifferent to everything that happens around them.
Psychopathic disorders consist in the fact that personality traits are exacerbated in patients. If earlier a person was accurate, then due to alcoholism he becomes pedantic. Modesty turns into total shyness, gaiety – into uncontrolled euphoria, prudence – into greed.
Acute complications of alcoholism are metal-alcoholic psychoses: alcoholic delirium, alcoholic hallucinosis, alcoholic paranoia and paranoid. These states are accompanied by clouding of consciousness, disorientation in space and time, psychomotor agitation, fear and anxiety, hallucinations, delusions of jealousy and harm.
These conditions are dangerous for the patient himself and the people around him. For example, in a state of alcoholic delirium, true hallucinations arise: they seem so real that the patient’s behavior is determined by their content. For example, most often the alcoholic sees devils, snakes or huge insects. He tries to drive them away with a mop or kill them with an ax. With alcoholic paranoia, the delirium of jealousy most often occurs: the patient thinks that his wife or husband is cheating on him. This can lead to physical violence, up to and including murder.
If you find that your friend or relative is in a state of disorientation and inappropriate behavior, urgently call an ambulance and leave the premises to protect yourself and your loved ones.