Some of us can get choleric after having had a drink. This is nothing new. Because our brains release more of the "happy" chemical dopamine when we drink, alcohol can break down our inhibitions and make us worry-free. For some people, this manifested itself in feeling more relaxed. For others, it can make them less concerned about the consequences of their actions. On my most recent vacation in Berlin, I got into a heated argument with a close friend during a boozy night of partying. It was my fault. I was freaked out about something harmless - just something she said that got me wrong. The next morning I apologized several times; I felt so guilty about how I'd treated my girlfriend and spoiled all the fun. To be honest, this was not an isolated incident. There were other evenings where I would argue with friends over a stupid misunderstanding or get angry about a stranger after he accidentally bumped me on the dance floor. It has been widely proven that alcohol can make adults more violent. Statistics show that the perpetrator has been under the influence of alcohol in almost half of all violent crimes in the UK. The Home Office has shown how nightlife - i.e. pubs, nightclubs, as well as the alcohol they sell - increases crime rates; especially in the city centers. This problem is only exacerbated by the trend in the UK for so-called binge drinking. It particularly affects "young men who don't know each other very well." However, alcohol does not only cause aggression in men. In a 2012 study by the University of North Carolina, Dr. Nora Noel, professor of psychology at the university, that women express their anger less often. And this suppression of their emotions could lead to a build-up of pressure that could break open with alcohol. That seems familiar to me; I'm usually pretty meek, but my loved ones have even started to refer to my drunken outbursts as "Prosecco rage." That's why I hesitate to go out with them and drink the same amount as they do so that I don't behave any differently. I wonder where this behavior comes from and whether my anger while drinking is a sign of something dark in my personality. Dr. Joshua Gowin of the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse states that "Alcohol, like any drug, does not introduce behavior that is not already there." He claims that alcohol does not create new behaviors, and only those behaviors that are already present in a person, can amplify. The problem is that alcohol slows down activity in the brain's prefrontal cortex that has been linked to self-control and self-reflection. Hence, "If you normally control yourself or realize that your actions or reactions are inappropriate, you will not be able to do so when you are drunk." Other scientists believe that outbursts of anger while under the influence of alcohol are more of a genetic problem. According to the magazine Men's Weekly A 2015 study in Finland found that people with a mutated form of the HTR2B gene have a tendency to become more violent, reckless, and impulsive when under the influence of alcohol. In a small test group of 14 Finns who carried a particular mutated gene, those who consumed alcohol were more likely to have an argument or to experience an outburst.
DO I HAVE TO PRESENT THE HORRIBLE IMAGINE THAT I ACTUALLY AM AN AGGRESSIVE ANGRY MAN, WHOSE TRUE IDENTITY IS TOO MUCH VISIBLE AFTER A TURBOJACKER?
Does this mean that I have a defective gene? Or can I say that the prefrontal cortex in my brain is dulled by being drunk on Friday nights? Or do I have to face the horrific idea that I am actually an aggressive angry person whose true identity comes too much to light after a turbo hunter? I asked the integrated solution-oriented psychotherapist and counselor for couples, Hilda Burke, about my concerns. First, Hilda told me that no matter what type of personality we are, anger is a natural feeling. She explains, “The difference between people is our ability to make sense of our feelings and the way we express our feelings of anger. When you are sober, most people are capable of it. But alcohol has a disinhibition effect. It interferes with the ability to think rationally and to listen to other people ”. Therefore, if someone disturbs us and we are drunk, we are more likely to speak out about our anger. As a solution to the problem, Hilda believes that while abstinence may be a positive lifestyle change for some people, it does not identify the root cause of the problem. Aggression and anger are symptoms of drinking. However, alcohol is not the cause of these feelings. She says, “Since anger is a secondary emotion, there is often something else hidden behind it. Anger can be an emotion that we express when we feel hurt, restless, or even insecure ”. Hilda told me to remember the evenings when my anger broke out. "How did you feel emotionally back then? How did you feel inside? Was there a pre-existing conflict between you and the person you were arguing with? ”She said these elements should be investigated because alcohol alone cannot create new behaviors and cannot transform you into another person. “With my clients, I am trying to unravel the background to the outbreak. With this background - instead of the anger itself - one has to deal with. Of course, the drunken outburst also needs to be investigated because it can be very damaging to a relationship. But if you only focus on the alcohol, only the symptom is treated instead of the cause ”.
DRINKING TO RELAX IS NEVER A WISE CHOICE. SIMILAR, IF YOU DRINK EXCESSIVELY, YOUR BEHAVIOR WILL LIKELY TO SUFFER FROM IT.
Hilda is still of the opinion that one can help the problem by slowing down one's drinking habits. She explains, “Drinking to relax is never a wise choice. Similarly, if you drink excessively, your good behavior is likely to suffer. When a certain emotion simmers beneath the surface, a whole bunch of alcohol will bring that emotion to light. In a destructive way ”. If our alcohol use triggers the feelings we already have, it makes sense that quitting drinking may not improve your mood. After my argument with my girlfriend in Berlin, I was abstinent for a month just to find out how much fun I would have parties without alcohol. It wasn't as difficult as I initially feared. Still, I didn't enjoy being in a bar with friends when they were yelling like hyenas after the fifth espresso martini and I was just sipping a lemonade. For me, abstinence from alcohol is not a long-term solution. Furthermore, my discussions with the experts have led me to conclude that there must be an emotional connection with my outbursts that I am overlooking. As a 28 year old woman, there is always an abundance of insecurities, worries and self-doubt in my head. Maybe I should investigate what happened to me psychologically on those evenings when I got so angry. I enjoy alcohol, but when mixed with anger, anger, and excuses, it's a cocktail I don't like at all.