If you have ever wondered ‘why do I get angry when I drink’ after drinking alcohol and noticed a drop in your mood or change in your behaviour, it may not be a coincidence.
It is known that alcohol can cause changes in your brain chemistry. According to scientific research, alcohol can create numerous effects on the body. Alcohol is a stimulant and therefore can cause chemical reactions, affecting the neurotransmitters.
So, is it common to feel angrier than normal when you drink? Yes, and no. Over drinking or alcohol problems can create more problems than solutions. Find out why you get angry when you drink here.
What Causes Anger When Drinking Alcohol?
Drinking itself may not actually lead to any major changes in your personality, and staying within the recommended limit is important, especially if you have physical and mental health conditions. However, it is known that binge drinking and consuming over the recommended amount of alcohol can lead to people suffering from anger issues when drunk.
There are some factors that make it more likely for a person to become an aggressive drunk, including:
If you are predisposed to aggressive behaviours or have mental health issues that cause anger outbursts, then alcohol can worsen the symptoms and make you more likely to become aggressive when drinking. Alcohol increases the likelihood of aggression and behaviour changes.
Decreased Impulse and Behaviour Control
You are less likely to be able to control your impulses and manage your emotions when alcohol is in your bloodstream which can make you more likely to ‘lose control’ in many ways.
People frequently experience a shift in personality under the influence of alcohol, such as becoming more confident or relaxed. This is also the case for people who become angry when drinking.
Poor Decision Making
Alcohol also stifles the ability to make sensible decisions because alcohol causes the brain to become slowly starved of water. This leads to dehydration, which can increase drunkenness and the likelihood of aggression or angry outbursts. However, not everyone who drinks alcohol feels anger or irritability.
Alcohol generally makes people more likely to make bad decisions, including starting arguments or fights. If you are wondering why do I get angry when I drink, this is a leading factor.
Some people feel only euphoria, giddiness, tiredness, or increased energy when drinking alcohol. Personality traits and mental health issues will always be the deciding factor in how alcohol affects you and whether alcohol causes anger. It should not be considered normal to become an aggressive drunk, and people who consistently lash out or become angry from alcohol should consider quitting or attending behaviour sessions.
Signs You Are an Angry Drunk
Do you ever wonder if you are an angry drunk? Some of the key signs that you are an angry drunk include:
- Friends or loved ones frequently seem upset with you the day after drinking alcohol
- Experiencing severe behaviour and mood changes when under the influence
- Being unable to remember nights out – frequently experiencing alcohol blackouts
- You commonly start or join arguments when you drink
- Your emotions are significantly heightened when drinking – such as crying, anxiety, fear or paranoia. These emotions commonly lead to people lashing out
How to Identify Anger Triggers When Drinking?
Firstly, the most important thing to note is how others behave and react to you when these situations arise. Are you instigating anger when drunk, or are you simply reacting to others? You can ask your friends and those around you what they are concerned about when you are drunk and if you are behaving inappropriately.
Do you scare them? Have you had frequent arguments with them? Once your aggressive behaviour is identified, you should try to moderate the situation by considering what annoys you. Is it simple things such as someone bumping into you, or losing your line in a queue, or is your anger caused by an underlying mental issue?
The best ways to deal with this type of issue are:
- Identify what is the cause of your anger.
- Find the support you need, both at home or professionally (speak to your GP first).
- Moderate your drinking and know your limits.
If you are around groups of people who often drink and are getting drunk regularly, then perhaps it is time to evaluate your social habits and work out a way to safely remove this issue from your life if you suffer mood changes when drinking alcohol.
You may want to create a drinking diary, which will allow you to monitor when you drink, what you drink, and how you feel in these moments, including alcohol aggression, and the negative effects of alcohol. This is helpful for professionals also who may want to assist you.
Tips for Managing Anger When Drinking
To mitigate risks, it is important to create the best tips for feeling in control and secure. Here are our top 5 tips to aid you if you are wondering why you get angry when you drink:
1. Relaxation Techniques
Before reaching for the alcohol, it could be wise to focus on self-care and understanding your emotions. Relaxation may be something such as yoga, meditation, an evening stroll, reading a book, breathing techniques, or listening to music. Anything that helps you zone out is great.
2. Stress Management
Stress isn’t always easy to manage. It can be caused by work, home life or maybe something else. It is important to learn to implement self-care. Take care of your body and your mind, and try to unwind as often as possible. Take a bath, go to the gym, or cinema. Eat well, try to sleep well and above anything, take time to connect with a community and reach out. Reaching for alcohol is never the best way to deal with your issues, especially if alcohol causes you to become aggressive.
3. Emotional Regulation
Emotional regulation can be difficult, especially for people with pre-existing conditions. Alcohol can heighten these emotions and cause anger. Therefore, it is important to look at tips to help you regulate emotions. Ask yourself questions, find out the triggers and take deep breaths before making any decisions.
4. Setting Boundaries
Setting boundaries for yourself is key. If you find that you’re drinking often, and more than is recommended, then you should most definitely set a boundary to the recommended amount or even below this amount. Setting boundaries for how much you drink and when you drink will be helpful.
5. Avoiding Triggers
If you know what triggers your anger when drinking, you should be trying to avoid these at all costs. If these triggers are unavoidable, then it is best to speak to a professional, to gain a better insight into your mental health. Knowing and identifying triggers is incredibly helpful.
Signs You Need to Stop Drinking Alcohol
Quitting alcohol abuse is not an easy task, and admitting the problem is the first step. Secondly, you should quit drinking alcohol and seek help if you notice any of the following red flags:
- Anger outbursts
- Family worries/arguments
- Difficulties at work
- Constantly thinking about the addictive substance
- Financial troubles
- Sleeping more (or less)
- Weight loss
- Less attention to personal hygiene
- Withdrawal from social life/hobbies
If you become angry every time you drink alcohol, it is likely that you should reduce or stop your alcohol intake and work on any problems you may have. Alcohol addiction can form from unhealthy habits, and other problems can occur if you ignore signs of addiction or unhealthy behaviour.
How to Manage an Aggressive Drunk
Do you have a partner, family member or friend who becomes an aggressive drunk? It can be hard to manage people who become aggressive when drinking alcohol, especially if it is a person who is close to you who experiences personality changes from alcohol.
The first step is to decipher the scale of aggression. If a person becomes physically violent or you are a victim of domestic abuse, it is key to prioritise your safety over anything else. Alcohol increases the risk of physical and emotional domestic abuse, and this can be both scary and dangerous, which is why it is key to remove yourself and find a safe space away from an aggressive drunk if you are in danger.
If you have a friend who is an aggressive drunk and becomes argumentative, violent or attempts to start fights on a night out, an intervention can be a good way to explain in a safe and controlled space the impact that a person’s drinking habits have on others.
Some people who become aggressive drunks are not aware of their behaviour or experience alcohol blackouts during aggressive episodes. This is why it is a good thing to hold an intervention about a loved one’s behaviour and how it affects others.
If you know a person who becomes aggressive from alcohol, it may be worth recommending going sober, or seeking professional treatment for alcohol abuse. For a person whose behaviour and attitude shifts when drinking, going sober or managing alcohol use can be the best for both them and their loved ones.
Get the Help You Need
If any of the above points resonate with you and you commonly ask yourself, why do I get angry when I drink, then it is vital to reach out to someone and speak about what the next steps may be.
Alcohol rehab, for example, is a great way to control your issues and get a safe hold on the situation. There are multiple routes to take. These include online support groups, AA meetings, GP assistance and private rehabilitation. If you find that your anger issues and emotional state are becoming uncontrollable, then you should reach out to our friendly and professional team for advice. You can reach us on 01923 369 161 or Text HELP To 83222. Please don’t suffer in silence.