How Does Alcohol Use Interact With Anger?

The family members and loved ones of people with IED often experience stress, depression and isolation. It’s important to take care of your mental health and seek help if you’re experiencing these symptoms. If you’re in a relationship with someone with intermittent explosive disorder, take steps to protect yourself and your children.

The goal of treatment for IED is remission, which means that your symptoms (anger outbursts) go away or you experience improvement to the point that only one or two symptoms of mild intensity persist. For people who don’t achieve remission, a reasonable goal is stabilizing the safety of the person and others, as well as a substantial improvement in the number, intensity and frequency of anger outbursts. Approximately 80% of people with IED have another mental health condition, with anxiety disorders, externalizing disorder, intellectual disabilities, autism and bipolar disorder being the most common. Identifying those factors that might contribute to heightened anger when consuming alcohol is important for individuals who have anger issues and those who treat them. If you’re among the 28 million people in the US with alcohol use disorder, you may have found outbursts of anger are causing problems in your life.


68% of the dependent and abstainers perceived anger as negative emotion and 76% in control perceived it as negative. The presence of significant difference was seen for relapsers group in relation alcoholic rage syndrome to trait anger and state anger. The group who remained abstinent from the intake to follow-up differs significantly from the dependent group in relation to state anger and anger control out.

  • Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that impairs decision making and leads to a loss in self-control, especially after periods of heavy drinking.
  • This aggressive behavior may result in other issues, such as verbal abuse.
  • Research has shown that thought suppression may contribute to alcohol-related aggression.
  • Sometimes these two effects can happen simultaneously, resulting in a drunk rage blackout.
  • If you need help accessing a medical detox center, we can connect you with suitable facilities near you.
  • Over time Ryan came to better understand factors that contributed to his drinking, including his anger and increased aggression when drinking.

That trait is the ability to consider the future consequences of current actions. But people without that trait don’t get any more aggressive when drunk than they would when they’re sober. There are also family groups that are designed to aid the family members in their support of their loved one’s recovery journey. Understanding the role of family therapy as a dimension of the overall healing picture is essential to recovery success.

Understanding Anger and Aggression

Because of this, it’s essential to seek medical help as soon as possible if you feel you or a family member has intermittent explosive disorder. Treatment for intermittent explosive disorder typically involves psychotherapy (talk therapy) focused on changing thoughts related to anger and aggression. Treatment may also include medication, depending on your age and symptoms. Your mental health professional may also work with your family and friends to collect more insight into your behaviors and history.

alcoholic rage syndrome

Furthermore, underlying mental health conditions might influence your trend towards angry outbursts. This is why speaking with a therapist can help identify the root cause of addiction. If you recognize your own behavior in the description of intermittent explosive disorder, talk with your doctor about treatment options or ask for a referral to a mental health professional. These are clinically studied therapies that resulted in statistically significant results. Clients will engage in the therapy best suited to their own specific needs and underlying factors.

The Effects of Alcohol-Related Aggression

Alcohol makes it harder for those with anger management issues to judge a situation and prevent a hostile reaction. Men were more aggressive than women overall, but the effects of alcohol and personality were similar in both sexes. In other words, women who were present-focused were still much more aggressive when drunk than were women who were future-focused, just like men.

  • The episodes could be temper tantrums, verbal arguments or physical fights or aggression.
  • Intermittent explosive disorder involves repeated, sudden episodes of impulsive, aggressive, violent behavior or angry verbal outbursts in which you react grossly out of proportion to the situation.
  • Emotional regulation skills and relapse prevention tools are also taught.
  • By seeking recovery for problems with alcohol and anger, you can work toward a more positive life.