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Have your friends ever told you that they see a different side of you when you’ve been out drinking? Becoming irate or irritated while under the influence has become a trite and common experience – numerous researchers from diverse fields have studied the correlation between aggressive behavior and alcohol use for years, including the World Health Organization. But why does alcohol make some people angry? In order to understand alcohol-related aggression, it’s important to keep in mind that there are multiple factors involved.

Read on to continue learning about the link between alcohol consumption and aggression, including which risk factors may exist for causing you to become aggressive when under the influence of alcohol and where anger management classes at the best de-addiction centres in India may help. The goal of the best alcohol rehab centres in India is to raise awareness related to how alcohol consumption influences your moods and behavior in ways you might not understand by showing you how you can make better choices than those that are potentially harmful to both yourself and others.

The Relationship between Anger and Aggression

Researchers have studied the connection between anger and aggression for years. There’s a reason the angry drunk is such a familiar stereotype. However, it’s about more than getting easily upset or having a short fuse when you drink alcohol. The outcomes of alcohol and anger can be hazardous, causing traumatizing situations for the inebriated person and the people around them.

The Difference Between Anger and Aggression

Anger is seen as a negative phenomenological experience that exists on a continuum (a continuum of healthy-disturbed, adaptive-maladaptive, constructive-destructive, and pragmatic-problematic) in which the frequency, the intensity, and the duration of the experience, along with the expressive (i.e., subjective, physiological, interpretive, and behavioral) characteristics, often leads to significant psychosocial impairment. [1]

Anger and aggression should never be confused with each other because they aren't the same thing. While anger is a natural emotion triggered by being put under duress directly or indirectly, aggression is an unhealthy behavior that results in either physical or psychological harm to yourself or others. Some individuals experience "trait anger", which means that they have a distinct personality trait that makes them more sensitive to situations that trigger them with negative emotions compared to their counterparts who are not so afflicted.

Typically, anger will lead to aggression unless the individual has a chance to cool off or take some time out before the situation continues to worsen. If an intoxicated person becomes upset because the bartender refuses to serve them at a bar, it might help if another customer steps in and offers assistance. If this doesn't defuse the tension, they may react explosively and violently by escalating the situation.

Drinking alcohol can temporarily change your emotion and physical state. Intoxicated people may feel more outgoing, socially confident, or upset. These emotions can become heightened in potentially extreme ways: if you start drinking when you’re lonely and sad, you may find the alcohol makes you feel even more lost without friends than you were before, creating a paradoxical effect.

It's easier for people who are angry to become aggressive when they've been drinking. While this doesn't always happen, alcohol can turn a mild annoyance into an infuriating problem.

When it comes to conflict and other such negative emotions, people may experience a phenomenon called “alcohol myopia”. This scenario is characterized by the fact that one loses his or her sense of judgment during an altercation. As a result, they may be overly aggressive while embroiled in a situation where stakes are typically quite low - as if there were no consequences associated with performing acts deemed as unacceptable. In most cases, alcohol tends to heighten a lack of restraint or otherwise make someone lose all inhibitions or rational thought without realizing what he or she is actually doing.

Furthermore, alcohol can make you excessively focused on certain words or actions from other people. For example, if you go to the bar or a concert and someone cuts in front of you when it is time for you and the rest of your party to use the bathroom, you may find yourself reacting with aggression when otherwise you would have let that slide. Because alcohol makes one unaware of all the details making up any given situation, one might endanger oneself or others by not understanding how a situation will turn out easily enough as opposed to being soberer who they are able to interpret information logically.

Alcohol is used by people of all kinds, but it possesses a characteristic that influences moods and heightens emotion. This can be great in moderation, but if someone already harboring aggressive tendencies makes use of alcohol, the results will likely be even more severe.

A person may get angry or upset when consuming alcohol, but the problem isn't necessarily that person's fault. Sometimes, people who have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol have a genetic disposition to drink due to specific genetics. In this way, imbibing is somewhat of a predisposed habit.

Unfortunately, drinking too much alcohol can leave you feeling agitated for a number of reasons. One of the most common reasons for feeling aggressive is anger issues. In addition, people might end up getting aggressive when drinking because they drink too much to try and mask their feelings or worries through drinking.

Gender: While it’s true that there are plenty of women who have trouble with alcohol and anger issues, it’s typically men. A study shows that the participants who actively suppressed unwanted thoughts related to the “tough guy” masculine norm were more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior after immersing themselves in excessive alcohol intake. If a woman drinks to excess, she may exhibit belligerent behavior but that isn't as common among males experiencing similar circumstances.

Mental health: A common contributor to alcohol overuse is mental illness. You may drink to excess to cope with symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mood disorders. For example, people living with post-traumatic stress disorder experience aggression because of it, turning to alcohol as an outlet in a way that becomes an unhealthy cycle of anger.

Stress is not only inevitable, but in many cases, it can lead to positive change - as long as it's managed properly. In some cases, though, the stress peace that can be found by using alcohol in an attempt to de-stress can quickly turn into an unhealthy addiction - like becoming angry and aggressive when intoxicated. Financial or relationship problems may also lead people to become dependent on substances such as drugs or alcohol in order to feel good about themselves.

Personality: Everyone has slightly different personalities. These traits can play a role in whether you feel aggressive when drinking alcohol. If you have a high-strung personality type and are naturally drawn to thrill-seeking activities, then it’s possible that alcohol will bring out your more tempestuous side, especially if you drink too much. Since your inhibitions are lower when intoxicated, the prospect of acting aggressively may begin to sound enticing until things get out of hand - perhaps even life-threatening - if you search for that “high” repeatedly.

Trauma: In some instances, trauma can be a vicious cycle — abuse victims may eventually start mimicking their abusers. For example, if someone has experienced abuse or is currently experiencing abuse, they may manifest their trauma in the form of anger – this facet of your personality may only become noticeable when you’re drinking making it challenging to recognize.

Exhibiting one or a combination of the above factors can increase your odds of becoming angry when you drink alcohol.

The Effects of Alcohol-Related Aggression

If you feel like you keep getting irate whenever you drink, it's up to you to understand why. No matter what the reasons behind your anger while drinking alcohol may be, such behavior is still harmful to everyone around you. By being unnecessarily aggressive every time you get drunk, anyone is prone to be harmed whether it’s yourself or other people in the room. As such, finding a solution for this agonizing and common condition is important for your future health and integrity!

Alcohol facilitates aggression to a greater extent among individuals who are predisposed to behave aggressively [2] [3] Studies also indicate higher levels of trait anger [4] [5], Irritability, and trait anger, as well as lower. level of anger control enhanced the expression of intoxicated aggression. People with high levels of trait anger and alcohol consumption showed the lowest levels of anger control in intoxicated states [6]. The trait of general anger is seen as a risk factor for intoxicated aggression. [7]

Alcohol can have a number of negative side effects.

1. Impaired decision-making ability

An aggressive drunk may do something regrettable and cause a potentially dangerous situation to arise. When you’re under the influence, you lose your ability to think clearly, which means things that normally would not matter seem relevant and may lead to some kind of barroom fight. It can also make you feel like nothing bad can happen so it seems like a good idea from your perspective to participate in or create a threatening situation.

2. Assault

According to research compiled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, alcohol serves as a contributing factor to sexual assault and violent crime. Similarly, in nearly 40% of violent incidents, surveyed individuals from the United Kingdom believed their perpetrator was under the influence of alcohol. While individuals’ drinking habits are not the sole factor in deciding whether or not they may commit a violent crime, it plays a part.

3. Domestic Violence

Alcoholism can lead to abuse as well, and male alcoholics in particular account for the vast majority of violence related to abuse. In a study on domestic violence, more than 55% of alcoholics claimed that they believed their abuser was intoxicated when they engaged in violent behavior against them. Furthermore, women are at more serious risk of severe injury or death from an abusive male alcoholic than any other group because they are more likely to be physically attacked specifically with regard to domestic incidents.

4. Impulsive behavior

People who are alcohol-dependent can develop poor decision-making abilities due to compromised function in their prefrontal cortex. This will cause them to make rash decisions, such as having unprotected sex or getting into a car with a stranger. This type of behavior may put them in risky situations.

Alcohol-induced aggression can not only cause you to act violently but also cut off contact with the people that made you who you are. These negative behaviors can make others feel alone, unwanted, and almost worth leaving behind.

How to Prevent and Treat Alcohol-Related Aggression

1. Admit oneself to the best alcohol rehabilitation centres in India

The most self-evident way to stop being an angry drinker is to not drink alcohol in the first place. By ending your dependency on alcohol, you can make smarter decisions with a clearer outlook. Those who are dependent upon alcohol should seek treatment from an addiction specialist at the best alcohol rehabilitation centre in India so as to break free from their damaging pattern of behavior. Needless to say, quitting a substance cold turkey could lead to health issues for some, so it’s best if you enlist professional help at an alcohol rehab centre in India when attempting to quit drinking or else talk with your doctor about what’s best for you!

These days, there are a lot of alcohol rehab centres in India that one can enroll in. Do you want to take the 12-step approach or do the residential treatment? The choice is up to you at the end of the day because both methods have been proven effective with many individuals who chose them over other options. Everything has been thought out already and it’s now just a matter of finding which option suits your needs best! If you ever feel lost or unsure what help you should pursue, it's always a good idea to speak with your physician about it! They can support you through this difficult time and remind you that there are many different ways for you to get better.

2. Anger Management Support Groups

Of course, alcohol can heighten your anger. If you have been officially diagnosed with any sort of anger issues by a health professional, you may find them getting worse when drinking. Because this is the case it’s best that in addition to giving up alcohol you also reach out to a support group for those suffering from anger issues so that you can be recouped by a group of professionals who will help to advise you during your recovery process and direct you towards helpful resources. Acting now on either of these aspects may prove especially beneficial as time goes on so make sure and take the necessary steps sooner rather than later!

Building relationships is vital when you’re looking to achieve long-lasting sobriety. Even though you have a long road ahead of you, don’t think for a minute that it will be a lonely journey. If you manage to stick with the right support group, you’ll build friendships and share experiences with individuals who genuinely understand what you’re going through. Many find this helpful as they work to keep themselves away from alcohol or drugs in the future!

Finding ways to help you manage all that rage is essential, so one of the best ways you can step out of your comfort zone is by seeking professional private help. One-on-one therapy with a leading anger management therapist at the top de-addiction centres in India can help you navigate anger issues efficiently and within a more secure environment if social anxiety is getting in your way.

3. Self-Awareness

This point is easier said than done, but you can achieve it with help from an addiction treatment program at the best rehab centre in India. When under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you lack self-awareness and are also more likely to do harm to yourself or others in your vicinity. Also, you don't stop to reflect on your actions as a self-destructive behavior would tend to repeat itself if not dealt with professionally by a qualified drug rehab therapist at the best alcohol rehabilitation centre in India.

What better place to start than right where you are? Start by thinking about your feelings regarding alcohol and anger. Have family members or others mentioned concerns about your alcohol consumption? Did you recently experience an incident that stemmed from your alcohol-related aggression? These situations likely spark emotions when you think about them — perhaps you feel embarrassed or ashamed. Either way, take a moment to really acknowledge what YOU feel and then think about how others might be affected by the way you use alcohol.

Learning to be more responsible for one's actions takes time, but it's a necessary step for individuals who experience problems caused by alcohol and angry outbursts. As you become more self-aware, you'll work on making better choices when it comes to managing your alcohol consumption. Seek help if you experience feelings of despair. One could always turn to a therapist or a support group to help him or her through anything that may be difficult or overwhelming at the time.

There’s no better way to put it - drinking can be very dangerous. This behavior not only affects you and your friends but also those around them in a negative way. It can lead to violence or even worst-case scenario, loss of life. However, it is possible to fix these problems, so get help now! By seeking out an alcohol abuse treatment program at an alcohol rehab in India, you can start on the path to truly live a happier and healthier life.

Through various treatment options, we can help you get back to a life of normalcy. Our list of rehabilitation centres in India boasts world-class equipment and infrastructure to ensure the best possible service. For more information about how we can assist you in your recovery journey, read about our comprehensive list of alcohol addiction programs at the top rehabilitation centres in India.

If you or a loved one is ready to overcome alcohol abuse, please contact us online at— we look forward to hearing from you.

  1. 1. Olatunji BO, Lohr JM. Nonspecific factors and the efficacy of psychosocial treatments for anger. SRMHP. 2005;3:1–26.
  2. 2. Collins JJ, Schlenger WE, Jordan BK. Antisocial personality and substance abuse disorders. Bull Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 1988;16:187–98.
  3. 3. Pernanen K. Alcohol in Human Violence. New York: Guilford; 1991.
  4. 4. Bailey D, Taylor S. Effects of alcohol and aggressive disposition on human physical aggression. J Res Pers. 1991;25:334–42.
  5. 5. Giancola PR. Alcohol-related aggression in men and women: The influence of dispositional aggressivity. J Stud Alcohol. 2002;63:696–708. DOI: 10.15288/jsa.2002.63.696
  6. 6. Johansson A, Santtila P, Corander J, Jern P, von der Pahlen B, Sandnabba NK. Controlling anger in sober and alcohol-intoxicated states: Moderating effects of trait anger and hazardous alcohol use. Scandinavian J Psychology. 2011;52:382–8.
  7. 7. Parrott DJ, Giancola PR. A further examination of the relationship between trait anger and alcohol-related aggression: The role of anger control. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2004;28:855–64.

AUTHOR- Dr. Danish Hussain (MBBS, MD Psychiatry, MIPS)

Dr. Danish received his M.D. Psychiatry and M.B.B.S. degrees from Rajiv Gandhi University of Medical Sciences (Bangalore, Karnataka). He has worked at the Manipal Multispecialty Hospitals Bangalore, following which has continued to undergo regular training from prestigious institutes from all over the world. Dr. Danish serves as Assistant Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry at AFSMS & RC and is a member of the Indian Psychiatric Society. Dr. Danish uses a holistic approach with his patients and brings his expertise to practice to treat varied behavioral health problems from Addiction disorders to Depression, Anxiety, Personality disorders, and OCD. Dr. Danish’s goal is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them. And with this being his consistent vision, he believes in de-stigmatizing the field of addiction psychiatry and rehabilitation center treatment in India and has been managing and working at a licensed dual-diagnosis facility in New Delhi. Through his contributions to he aims at providing licensed, professional rehabilitative care choices to patients and their families.

REVIEWED BY- Asmita Jain (M. Phil in Clinical Psychology)

Asmita is a licensed clinical psychologist with experience in a wide variety of areas, including mood-related difficulties, anxiety, trauma, addictions, and personality disorders. She has completed her M. Phil in clinical psychology from the Post-graduate Institute of Behavioral and Medical Sciences (Raipur, India) in 2021. She has worked in diverse settings, including inpatient, and outpatient, and is currently practicing in a dual diagnosis facility. Asmita likes to simplify complex medical information on drugs, addiction, alcoholism, and treatment therapies to make them easy to read and understand and help this information reach those who need help.

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