Alcoholism: A Disease of the Mind, Body and Spirit
According to Alcoholics Anonymous, alcoholism is a threefold disease. It’s not just a physical disorder, but it’s also a disease that attacks the mind and spirit, as well. Alcoholism damages your health and overall wellness. It can and does impact your mental functions, with symptoms like depression, anxiety, and memory loss. And it can affect you spiritually, whether you are religious or not. Let’s explore how each of these aspects of alcoholism can hurt you and how recovery can help you regain health in all three aspects.
Alcoholism Is a Physical Disease
Until fairly recently, historically speaking, alcoholism wasn’t considered to be a physical disorder. Rather, alcoholics were simply said to have some kind of moral failing that was their own fault. However, medical research has found that it is, in fact, a medical disease and that it is very likely that it has a genetic component, as well. While you are not guaranteed to be an alcoholic if your father was one, it is more likely, as evidence shows that a predisposition toward alcoholism runs in families.
Alcoholism Is a Psychological Disease
Because it is a progressive disease, alcoholism is self-perpetuating. Even if you are not yet physically dependent on alcohol to function in social situations or to deal with difficult emotions, you may have a psychological dependence. How often do you think, “I need a drink,” when you’re faced with meeting new people, a hard day at work, losing a loved one, or any other difficult situation? Alcoholism robs you of your mental control over your decision-making, and it tells you that you need a drink to handle yourself in these situations, no matter what the costs.
Alcoholism Is a Spiritual Disease
Whether you are religious or not, you cannot argue that a disease that affects both the mind and the body won’t affect the human spirit, as well. Alcoholics often talk about drinking to fill a hole or void in their soul or in their life. The more they do this, though, the larger the void gapes, and the more booze they need to pour into it. This often results in loss of hope and heavy bouts of depression, which can be extremely dangerous to both your physical and mental health.
A Progressive and Self-Perpetuating Disease
The physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of alcoholism work together to harm your overall health in multiple ways. If you are physically dependent on alcohol, you will avoid social interactions in favor of drinking, which will further your feelings of emptiness and hopelessness. Trying to tackle the problem on your own can lead to feeling helpless and worthless when you cannot seem to stop drinking, no matter how much you want to.
You Can Get Help
If you are struggling with alcoholism, you are not alone and you shouldn’t go it alone. You can find help from The Care Centers at a rehab facility near you, and you’ll find that your friends and family will be there for you throughout your recovery. Reach out today and get the help you need.
Tags: Substance Rehab