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Causes Of Alcoholism

The Typical Causes of Alcoholism during Times of Economic Stress

We generally think of there being three typical causes of alcoholism: genetics, emotions, and psychology.  The last two might be confused since getting the blues, for example, might seem to fall into both categories.  As a working distinction, however, we might think of emotions as atypical states that external stressors might push an otherwise “normal” individual into.  A person might become depressed, for example, when he loses his job.  Psychology, on the other hand, denotes tendencies a person has in her personality.  These tendencies, like addiction, manifest themselves under minor stresses.

The Connection between Economic Stressors and Alcoholism

We don’t often think specifically about the connection between economic stress and a disease like alcoholism, but when we do the connection seems obvious.  After all, we are quite familiar with the phrase, “driven to drink.”  We still need a clearer understanding of exactly how this condition develops, however. 

Economic factors have strong interconnections with all the major factors that contribute to alcoholism.  When someone loses a job and can no longer pay the bills for his home or for the maintenance of her family, he or she is likely to fall into a state of such despair that they take to drinking.  Sometimes the long-term stress of trying to retain a job that might be in jeopardy and the increased workload as others get fired around you may be enough to drive a person to drink.  People start to self-medicate because they can no longer afford to see their doctors or psychologists.

Beyond these emotional states that economic woes can help create, economic woes also open up opportunities for those that are psychologically predisposed to addictive behaviors to have just the excuse they need to fall into a recurring cycle of drinking.

Economic factors even affect the way genetic predispositions effect people.  A person that can’t afford his or her medications is a person that is more open to turning to alcohol as a form of self-medication.  Thus someone who might otherwise never come across a situation where they face their genetic predisposition might be forced to deal with their hereditary inclinations as they have a post-firing drink.

The Causes of Alcoholism in Males

Males who have lost their jobs during middle age are far more likely than the rest of us to fall into depression and use alcohol as a crutch.  The difficulty for older males when they lose their means of sustaining their families and homes is that so much of male identity hinges on their role as breadwinners and workers.  Studies show that men who lose their jobs are far more likely to fall into prolonged depressions and to take to longer time coming out of their depressions.

The Causes of Alcoholism in Females

Women, similarly, are more likely to fall into depression when times become economically difficult, but studies have shown that this is much more likely to involve the indirect effect of economic hardships.  Women are much more likely to have to take on the caretaking duties for other members of their immediate circles.  These added responsibilities add to the level of stress a woman feels and may lead her to find self-treatment in alcohol.

Further Problems

Economic difficulties further exacerbate alcoholism because even when individuals realize they have a problem they are still reluctant to look for help because of the expense.  Individuals are likely to try to go it alone and try to quit drinking on their own.  This, however, is a difficult proposition for most individuals to execute on their own, so it is likely they will simply continue drinking as they have in the past.

It is important that we monitor for these tendencies not only in others but in ourselves and that, we seek the proper medical attention when we see things degenerating.    

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