Emotional Components of Alcoholism


Many people focus almost exclusively on the physical manifestations of alcoholism such as "the shakes, "blackouts, and alcohol withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit drinking.

There is another aspect of alcohol dependency, however, that is perhaps as difficult to cope with as the physical symptoms, namely the emotional components of alcoholism.

In short, when dealing with alcoholism, both the physical and the emotional components of this disease need to be addressed and treated.

Alcoholism and Psychological Addiction

Psychological addiction occurs when the cravings for a drug are psychological or emotional.

People who are psychologically addicted feel overcome by the desire to have a drug.

These feelings are so strong that in many instances psychologically and physically addicted individuals will do almost anything for their next "fix" including lying, stealing, and in some instances, killing.


Many times people abuse drugs or alcohol in order to have "fun" or to get a "buzz."

Many individuals, in fact, report that having a few drinks makes them feel more comfortable in social situations.

The danger, however is this. Repeated drug or alcohol abuse can result in addiction.

When a person is addicted, he or she no longer takes drugs or alcohol to have fun or to get high.

Rather, the addicted person needs the drugs or alcohol in order to function on a daily basis.

Frequently, the addicted person's everyday life centers around satisfying the need to the substance they are hooked on.

Psychological Signals of Alcoholism

Psychological signs that you or someone you know may have a drug or alcohol addiction include the following:

  • Solitary drinking

  • Use of drugs or alcohol as a way to forget problems or to "mellow out"

  • Blaming other for one's problems

  • Anti-social behavior

  • Withdrawal or keeping secrets from friends and family

  • Loss of interest in activities that used to be important

  • Changes in friendships, such as associating only with friends who drink or use drugs

  • Preoccupation with figuring out how to get alcohol or drugs

  • Failed attempts to stop drinking or taking drugs

  • Anger, anxiety, or depression

  • Unexplained mood swings

Conclusion: Emotional Side of Alcoholism

Emotional Components of Alcoholism. Unfortunately, the "high" and the "buzz" that were so pleasant during the early days of drinking frequently transform into a need to drink just to make it through the day.

When a person experiences such a "loss of control," he or she may not only experience physical symptoms of alcohol dependence such as blackouts and "the shakes" but also emotional components of alcoholism.

That is, many people who are alcohol dependent experience a psychological addiction to alcohol that manifests itself as an overwhelming desire to drink.

These cravings can be so strong that in many instances psychologically and physically addicted individuals will do almost anything for their next "fix" including lying, stealing, and other types of crime.


If this describes you, then you need to be honest with yourself and admit that you have a drinking problem.

Once you have taken this step, you need to make it a priority to talk with an alcohol abuse and alcoholism professional about getting alcohol treatment for you as soon as possible.