Anger management issues may be rooted in a specific mental health disorder in some cases. A person may become very tense and have difficulty winding back down. Muscle tension, headaches, irregular heart rate and blood pressure, sleep difficulties, and the potential for heart problems or even stroke may be possible risk factors for chronic anger and emotional regulation issues. Add in alcohol abuse, and the multitude of possible social, emotional, physical, financial, and behavioral problems related to alcohol addiction, and the risk factors and potential for negative side effects go up exponentially. Often, when children, spouses and other loved ones spend time close to someone who becomes abusive when they drink, their lives change for the worse.

alcoholic rage syndrome

Keep in mind that these hobbies might not feel quite as enjoyable during the early stages of recovery. If some time goes by and you still feel the same way, you can always give a different coping technique a try or explore a new hobby. Having helpful coping techniques in place can make it easier to manage distressing emotions and thoughts about drinking.

Alcohol and aggression

Results showed enough escalation in people consuming these drinks to label the beverages a «potential risk» to increased hostility. Intermittent explosive disorder involves repeated, sudden bouts of impulsive, aggressive, violent behavior or angry verbal outbursts. Road rage, domestic abuse, throwing or breaking objects, or other temper tantrums may be symptoms of intermittent explosive disorder. Researchers have studied the connection between anger and aggression for years.

The family and friends of the alcoholic are often on the receiving end of the lies, deceit, and manipulation from the very person who claims to love them. This behavior is very confusing for the people who love the alcoholic the most as they hurt in often cruel ways. Even if you don’t find drinking makes you aggressive, you might find drinking sometimes leads to an argument. So, why not cut down together and enjoy all the benefits that it can bring. Others can be affected by alcohol-related violence too, including wider family and friends as well as children. In many cases, treatment can slow or reverse symptoms such as confusion, eye problems and muscle coordination.

DSM-5 diagnosis

When the time comes that the alcoholic is ready to enter a treatment program they will participate in a variety of different therapies. Rehab will begin with a detox, where the toxins from the alcohol are expelled from the body. Once the individual has become stable they will be ready to engage in therapy. Spending time with your loved one, especially on activities you both enjoy, may help them feel more positive and optimistic about life in general. Hobbies can also help create a distraction from thoughts of drinking.

Drinking, or even the anticipation of consuming alcohol, causes the production of dopamine. At first, drinking can often make someone feel giddy or euphoric. The PFC region of the brain is where we make judgment calls about potential behavior before acting on it. When alcohol impairs this area, a person may be more likely to behave in a way they wouldn’t while sober, including getting confrontational (2). “It can be difficult to be aware of the impact of your emotions due to alcohol’s effect on the brain,” Metcalf explains.


The most self-evident way to stop being an angry drinker is to quit drinking altogether. By ending alcohol misuse, you can make positive decisions with a clear outlook. Those who are dependent on alcohol should participate in alcohol addiction treatment to break the cycle. Remember, quitting a substance cold turkey can lead to health issues, so it’s best to enlist professional help. Many people may naturally become angry or upset when consuming alcohol, but it’s not necessarily their fault. Sometimes, people with alcohol use disorders have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol due to specific genetics.

alcoholic rage syndrome

These days, people who misuse alcohol can enroll in various treatment programs, whether you choose the 12-step approach or decide to enter residential treatment. If you’re looking for help getting started, it’s wise to speak with your physician first. They can offer you support as you go over every available option. Together, you can choose the best course of treatment for your needs. According to research compiled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, alcohol use is a considerable contributing factor to sexual assault.

Also, scheduling personal time to allow you to lower stress may help you to better handle an upcoming stressful or frustrating situation. After you start treatment, follow the plan and practice the skills you learn. Jennifer Chesak is a freelance medical journalist, editor, and fact-checker with more than two decades of experience and bylines in several national publications. “Later on in the night, you may find someone crying or becoming overly emotional, and this is because, as the alcohol wears off, there is a big drop in serotonin below baseline,” Tietz explains. Alcohol can impair the OFC, and disrupt communication between the OFC and the amygdala.

alcoholic rage syndrome

They can harm relationships and cause problems at work or school. Fortunately, people who become irrationally mad when drunk can work to prevent and treat their behavior. Overall, exhibiting one or a combination of the above factors can increase your chances of becoming angry when intoxicated.

Additionally, the amygdala area of the human brain is where we process emotions. And our orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), which is part of the PFC, helps calm feelings of rage and aggression. Research suggests several factors may be involved, including personality, genetics, social considerations, brain chemistry, and brain changes. With all these bottled-up emotions when an alcoholic does drink since alcohol naturally lowers inhibitions, loved ones often find themselves caught in the torrent as the emotions re-surface most often as anger. Alcoholics, most often, are using alcohol to suppress having to feel the fullness of negative emotions.

Finally, support groups provide encouragement and hope for recovery. Our objective here is to describe a potential continuum between ARBD, WE and KS with respect to changes in human behavior and brain structure. Note that while this Review is extensive, it is not intended to be exhaustive. Some studies highlight the impairment caused by alcohol consumption on processing emotional faces.

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