While a significant element of alcohol addiction is physical dependence, the other critical component is psychological addiction. “Psychological” means related to the emotions and the operation of the mind. Thus, the component of psychology refers to the process through which the individual becomes addicted to alcohol, continued use of alcohol, and behaviors related to it. In addition to physical dependence, it is the psychological factors that reinforce and reiterate the use of the substance that has known adverse effects. While will power can be an effective tool in the elimination of alcohol addictive behavior, because it is combating powerful psychological needs and motivations, it may often not be enough to eliminate the dangerous dependence on alcohol.

 

There are a number of symptoms related to the psychological dependence on and addiction to alcohol:

 

* Powerful cravings for the substances* Feelings of anxiety associated with the real or imagined unavailability of the substance* The loss of appetite in relation to the increased use of alcohol* Feelings of inability to cope from day to day without the substance

 

* Motives of denial in regard to the use of alcohol* Restlessness when not using or desirous of using alcohol.* An obsessive need to get and use alcohol * A depressive reaction while trying to stop or after repeatedly trying to stop alcohol use.* Differing levels of anxiety when alcohol is not available.

 

* Insomnia

 

* Even after stopping the alcohol use, continued thoughts and desire for it, often appearing in times of stress

 

* Unexpected rapid changes in mood, mood swings* The continued excessive use of alcohol can result in damage to the brain contributing to psychological symptoms. These may be memory loss, changes in personality, and/or confusion.

 

Psychological Cravings:

 

A craving is an obsessional want or need for something. Craving for alcohol is a significant psychological symptom of alcohol addiction. A combination of physical and psychological factors, cravings can appear at any time when alcohol is not available. Cravings can even arise after the individual has successfully quit the use of alcohol. Thus, effective psychological coping mechanisms need to be learned to deal with cravings when they arise. Cravings without the coping mechanism in the individual may lead to the resumption of alcohol use.

 

Thus, psychological counseling can provide effective and meaningful approaches to the termination of problem drinking, alcohol addiction, and alcoholism. Psychological counseling can assist in helping you to ameliorate the psychological-social circumstances leading to drinking and help you to create coping mechanisms to the termination of the need or will to drink.