Why Do I Feel Shame After Drinking?

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shame after drinking

If you have been asking yourself lately, “Why do I feel shame after drinking,” it could be a good sign. This might be the turning point, when you admit you have an alcohol problem and are ready to seek support.

The truth is that your conscience is gnawing at you. On some level, you are aware that your drinking is spiraling. As a result, it is causing both you and your loved one’s harm. When your gut is sending you these signals, it is time to address the alcohol use disorder.

Why Does Drinking Cause Feelings of Shame?

Alcohol use disorder is a complex problem that causes complex emotions. One of the ways a drinking problem can manifest itself is by causing negative emotions, like guilt or shame. There are many reasons why this happens:

  1. You feel a loss of control. As an alcohol problem sneaks ups on you, you begin to realize that you have lost control over your drinking. This may cause you to feel weak and not in control of your life and your health, which can cause shame.
  2. You are causing people to worry about you. If your drinking problem has become apparent to loved ones, they are no doubt worried about you. When you drink, you realize that you are causing the people you care about to feel distressed.
  3. You are experiencing mounting problems. As the consequences of your drinking mount, you may feel ashamed that you can’t seem to stop. You know you need to stop drinking because of all the trouble it is causing, and you want to stop. But because you can’t stop drinking, you feel shame.
  4. You made promises you haven’t kept. Maybe your alcohol problem has been ongoing for some time, and you have promised loved ones you would stop. When you drink anyway, despite your promises, you feel guilty and ashamed.
  5. You are feeling the effects of a depressant. Alcohol is a depressant. This means that it slows down your nerve activity in the central nervous system and that can bring on a low mood. Your feelings of shame are part of the cluster of negative feelings that result from using a depressant.

When Drinking Becomes a Vicious Cycle

Another thing to consider, when wondering why you feel shame after drinking, is that you are in an addiction cycle. You may be using alcohol as a means to self-medicate a mood disorder, such as depression or bipolar. Alcohol can numb these emotions for a while, which sets up an addiction mindset. You want to feel better, so you drink to achieve that result.

What happens is that tolerance to the alcohol begins to increase, so you don’t get the same effect as you once did. This causes you to consume more alcohol, as you chase those early effects. In time, your brain becomes dependent on the alcohol, and you will feel withdrawal effects, including low feelings such as shame.

Do You Have an Alcohol Use Disorder?

Here is a list of the signs of an alcohol use disorder (AUD). If you recognize you have 2 or 3 of these, then that is a mild AUD. If you have 4 or 5, that is a moderate AUD. If you have more than 5, that is a severe AUD:

  1. Increased tolerance.
  2. Cannot cut back or quit, even though you want to.
  3. Increased alcohol cravings.
  4. Spend a lot of time planning to drink, getting the alcohol, drinking, and recovering from drinking.
  5. Lying to others about how much you are drinking.
  6. Having blackouts.
  7. Neglects daily responsibilities.
  8. Avoids social events; drinks alone.
  9. Having legal problems, such as a DUI, divorce, or child custody issues.
  10. Drinking, even with mounting problems related to the drinking.
  11. Drinking causes trouble in relationships at home, at work, and socially.
  12. Withdrawal symptoms emerge when the alcohol wears off.

Detox: The First Step in Recovery

Detox is the necessary first step in recovery from alcoholism. Because people dread going through detox and withdrawal, it can be a major obstacle to seeking help. Even though going through detox is not pleasant, it is important to keep the bigger picture in mind. This first step is the key to reclaiming your health and your life.

On average, detox takes about one week to complete. During the three stages of detox, a team of medical detox experts will closely monitor your progress. They are trained to recognize symptoms of concern and to swiftly provide needed interventions. All through the process, you will be tended to, both for the withdrawal symptoms and the psychological struggles that emerge.

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The three stages of alcohol detox are the emerging phase, the peak phase, and the subsiding phase. The withdrawal symptoms vary from mild to severe, based on how severe your AUD is.

Treatment Options for Alcoholism

There are two options for rehab after you complete detox. Rehab is absolutely necessary if you wish to remain sober, as detox alone is not enough to change addictive behaviors.

The two options are:

Outpatient rehab. If your AUD is mild to moderate in severity, an outpatient setting is a good option. Outpatient programs offer flexibility, as you can reside at home and still engage at work. Outpatient rehabs are offered in three different levels of care, based on your recovery needs.

Inpatient rehab. For moderate to severe AUD, the best treatment option is an inpatient or residential rehab program. These offer more intensive treatment in a highly structured setting, as well as 24-hour support. Inpatient programs are one to six months in duration.

If you have been feeling bad about your drinking, it is the perfect time to reach out for help.

Executive 7 Day Detox Offers Comprehensive Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Executive 7 Day Detox is a luxury addiction recovery program for busy professionals. If you are feeling shame after drinking, it may be a sign that you are ready to address the alcohol problem. We are here to help you regain your quality of life. Please give us a call today at (800) 381-0827.

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