Am I Using Alcohol To Cope? Tips From a Therapist in Long Beach.

For as long as alcoholic beverages have been available, people have used them as a way to relax and decompress after a long, hard day. There is nothing like a beer or a glass of wine at the end of a busy day, but at what point does it become a problem. If you are habitually using alcohol to overcome stressful situations, needing more and more to get the same feeling, have a spouse who is concerned about your drinking or you find yourself drinking even when the day has gone well, you may well be starting to go down the slippery slope that leads to alcohol abuse.
Some people can set limits on the amount that they drink, but those limits may end up reaching levels that can end up affecting their health, as well as the relationships that they hold dear. That one glass of wine after work can quickly turn into three, and can also become something that you do on days where you aren’t feeling any stress. It is at this point that you could well have a problem on your hands.
Many people are unaware that they are routinely using alcohol to cope, which is why you need to be on the lookout for signs that you may indeed be doing just that. The most obvious sign is that alcohol starts to have an impact on your work and your relationships. If you are missing work because of frequent hangovers, or are constantly squabbling with your partner about the amount you drink, that’s a problem. If you also have a drink every time you are faced with a negative situation in your life, you may again be on the brink of alcohol abuse.
When these types of situations occur on a regular basis, you need to find a way to start listening to yourself in a more objective manner. Constantly having to defend the amount that you drink when everyone around you is telling you that it’s too much is a sign of a problem. Learn to hear yourself in that defensive state, and understand that it might be time to seek some help. Talking to a therapist is a great way to get that help, but it only works if you are ready to open up and be totally honest. It may well be that you do need medical help in order to deal with a depression or anxiety issue, or it may just be that you need better coping alternatives than alcohol. A therapist can help you find a way to de-stress that fits your personality, which may be getting outdoors, reading a good book, or a host of other activities that are a whole lot healthier than booze.

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