Controlling How Much You Drink
Relaxing with a beer or a glass of wine at the end of a hard day’s work, or whilst catching up with friends are typical scenarios in which you will find people enjoying an alcoholic drink. Alcohol per se is not a problem, of course, indeed it forms an enjoyable part of the lives of many people in the UK and elsewhere, who drink in moderation. Alcohol only becomes a problem when the individual feels unable to cope without it. When the answer to the question: “Is the bottle controlling me or am I controlling the bottle?”, is “The bottle’s controlling me” it is time to think about controlling how much you drink. There’s a simple alcohol dependence test to try here.
I am seeing more and more people seeking help to control their drinking. Some to give it up completely, others simply to get a better handle on the amount they drink; to take back control. Some cite health problems as their primary motivation, others a fear of losing their job, house or relationship. Some talk about their children, some want to let go of the paranoia and anxiety. Few speak of the financial cost of excessive drinking.
The problem for a great many people is that their drinking has become out of control. Research suggests that in the UK around one in four men and one in six women are putting their health at risk by drinking more than the recommended amounts. The typical health issues associated with excess alcohol consumption include liver cirrhosis, heart failure, anxiety, depression and damage to the brain and nervous system.
But let me make one thing clear: there is NO SHAME in having a dependence on alcohol (however great or small). It happens to the best of us. Alcohol dependence can be difficult to break but it is, more often than not, even more difficult to recognise – and then to accept. So if you recognise that you have a problem with controlling how much you drink, then I congratulate you on acknowledging the fact and – at least – on reading this. If you’re not sure whether or not you have a dependence on alcohol, click here for access to a self-test run by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction, or for an alternative on-line assessment, click Drink Aware.
What causes alcohol dependence?
Alcohol dependence is complex and affected by a number of different factors, including peer pressure, social factors such as drinking culture in the family home or a desire to overcome shyness and even the ‘normal’ growing up and experimenting that young people do. Often it simply becomes a habit that has got out of control, but it can also be used to ‘mask’ other issues such as stress, a chronic lack of confidence or low self-esteem, anxiety and depression.
The objective of hypnotherapy (certainly any hypnotherapy I do) will always be to discover any underlying issues causing the problem so that they can be dealt with. Dealing only with the presenting problem (alcohol dependence), without mending the originating problem (e.g. low self-esteem) would be like tying a cloth around a dripping tap as opposed to replacing the washer.
How can hypnotherapy help?
Hypnotherapy is an effective tool in helping individuals replace destructive behaviours with more beneficial ones and has been used by many people to help bring their drinking back under control. However, hypnotherapy has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of addictions too. The programme of treatment offered by Sharp Minds Hypnotherapy adopts a three pronged approach:
- Identifying and dealing with the underlying cause of the habit or addiction, by using a variety of advanced uncovering techniques
- Helping the client relax which reduces the feelings of anxiety, sadness or emptiness which often accompany alcohol dependence
- Helping them formulate an alternative, healthier and happier vision of the kind of future they want, where alcohol is altogether less relevant, giving them the motivation, tools and techniques to make this their new reality
The duration of the programme depends very much on the complexity of the problem and any underlying causes, but can normally be addressed in 4-6 sessions. All clients are required to attend a pre-consultation during which we discuss the presenting symptoms, history and establish your suitability for hypnotherapy.
If you find controlling how much you drink difficult and would like to bring your drinking back under control, or else would like help to live free from alcohol, then please get in touch for a confidential chat about how I may be able to help, on 07807 054 706 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a no obligation consultation.