An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

Do alcoholics need psychiatric help?

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by JulianWilliams, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. JulianWilliams

    JulianWilliams Active Contributor

    Do alcoholics need psychiatric help as well in order to teach them how to overcome their desires, to say NO to alcohol, or whatever else they're addicted and to improve their self confidence?
  2. globulon

    globulon Member

    It probably depends on a case-by-case basis. Psychiatric help can indeed help in some cases where the underlying causes may come from mental imbalances. However, I would bet that in most of the cases a strong support network of friends, family, and addiction programs are more valuable in turning someone away from addiction and temptation.
  3. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I think everyone can benefit from psychiatric help regardless of whether or not we are addicted to anything. We all have problems and we all have some thoughts in our minds that keep us from moving forward. It's just that those problems tend to get a bit more complicated when a substance is involved but nonetheless I think the more we see alcoholics and substance abusers as being different than us then it would seem a lot more difficult to help them.
    JulianWilliams likes this.
  4. I think most probably do. I think most people drink for a reason so to speak. Maybe they have had some tough experiences in their life. Often people have underlying mental health disorders. So I do think that working with a psychiatrist or therapist can go a long way in helping.
  5. JulianWilliams

    JulianWilliams Active Contributor

    I'm not so sure about EVERYONE being able to benefit from psychiatric help. I mean there are plenty of well adjusted people who are happy with their situation, their lives, their future, their family, their financial situation and everything else, so I guess some people have the capacity to help themselves get over any issues they might have.
  6. juno

    juno Community Champion

    It is really dependent on what is going on with the individual. There are many levels of psychiatric help. You can go to a psychiatrist who can prescribe if needed, but really only consult once a month. So, even though this can be considered psychiatric help, it is rather a form of counseling. Many therapist are also psychiatrist who can perform a wide array of treatments, so you can keep that in mind when you think about the stigma of psychiatric help.
  7. blur92

    blur92 Senior Contributor

    Psychiatric help is a valuable resource. Many alcoholics may benefit from it. Maybe not everyone as Julian Williams stated. However, I do not think there should be a reluctance to try it. I think psychiatric medication generally has a stigma attached to it. It is a pity considering it can be extremely helpful.
  8. LitoLawless

    LitoLawless Senior Contributor

    I would say that some do. Sometimes, it just takes getting to the root of the problem and psychiatric help can be really beneficial in those instances. It can help them give up drinking all together, or at least bring to light why it is that they are so prone to drink.
  9. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    If it's a hardcore alcoholic with no cure in sight, I do think that it's appropriate to seek the assistance of a psychiatrist. A seasoned psychiatrist would be able to get to the heart of the matter - the reason why the person became alcoholic in the first place and what must be done to break the bad habit. I do think that no matter how effective the psychiatrist is, if the person lacks support from family and friends, he will still end up reverting to his old ways.
  10. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    This is a good question. It is treated like a psychiatric problem for the most part. It is a chemical and physiological addiction. The specifics for how it effects the brain for the most part is that the spine becomes deficient in niacin which in turn affects behavior. Lying and acting out. Forgetfulness, brazen behavior, and chatter. Whether one is drunk or not, this is it. Essentially this is what makes it psychologically altering. Taking niacin can considerably help. It is a natural tranquilizer that can be taken any time of the day. Before bed or if you wake up in the middle of the night. Detoxing alcohol can case some insomnia and this helps correct it. Lecithin is a great brain tonic as well and helps one fall asleep faster. So is it a psychiatric problem alcoholism no, it causes psychiatric problems. Niacin and lecithin will significantly improve the physiological effects. Mood will improve dramatically. I know drinkers are quite cranky the next day. Do they need psychiatric help? This would be personal preference. I say no. Supplements and exercise. A really good amount of detoxing. This would suffice in my opinion. A shrink? They never cure anyone. I think they make things worse with their judgements behind a desk or whatever they do. They over analyze and want to dig into your feelings about a sibling. If alcoholism is a psychiatric problem they will say you need this drug or that drug to keep you straight maybe and that you will be in therapy for the rest of your life. Is that a cure?
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  11. blur92

    blur92 Senior Contributor

    Adrianna, if supplements and exercise do not help, and they are worsening in condition, then psychiatric help would be wise. Oftentimes, the alcoholic lacks motivation and energy to work out. Supplements, in the same way as medication but to a lesser degree, work differently for everyone. Every single psychiatrist or nurse practitioner may not be helpful, however, there are some credible ones who can help. I would not so swiftly disregard the idea. Once medicated, a person may not need therapy for the rest of their life. Therapy is supposed to last over a time period and be terminated once the patient is improved. It is not typically intended to last the extent of a lifetime.
  12. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    It is possible that some, but not all, might. I suppose it all depends on the reason they started drinking in the first place. They may well have issues that need to be addressed if they are to have any chance of sobriety.
    blur92 likes this.
  13. morganmar33

    morganmar33 Member

    I know in my case I was drinking a lot because I was always unhappy and wanted to numb the pain. I was later diagnosed with severe depression. The doctor told me that my depression probably caused me to self medicate. With the support of my husband and the appropriate medication I feel much better and no longer jump to alcohol to "cure" myself. So I think it is fair to say that underlying mental health issues could be a factor in addiction and should be looked into by a mental health professional.
    blur92 likes this.
  14. notodrugs

    notodrugs Community Listener Community Listener

    Yes, I believe so especially if the addictions have been recurring. I read that at first, addicts get hooked to their vices voluntarily. Later on, as they get more addicted, their brains are already affected by the drugs. So quitting becomes really difficult. The brains get altered such that they become mentally deranged. So I believe it is just appropriate to seek psychiatric help.

    In fact, it won't hurt to have one. Since addiction is party due to poor coping skills, seeking professional advice will prove beneficial to fight the stressors in order to cope better. They can be given more healthy ways to manage their stress and problems in life instead of abusing substance to temporarily forget their problems.
    blur92 likes this.
  15. 003

    003 Community Champion

    I don't think that they need a psychiatrist, a psychologist probably, because a psychiatrists diagnosed a diseases and brain malfunction. A psychologist on the other hand focuses on behaviour and why you act the way you do. He may determine if it were either through genes or environment. If he determined that it's because of the brain deformation, then he'd be quick to send his patient to a psychiatrist. Alcoholics and addicts are usually of behavioural problem, instead of brain disease. It could also be possible though.
    blur92 likes this.
  16. blur92

    blur92 Senior Contributor

    A psychologist is able to diagnose as well. Then, they may refer you to a psychiatrist for a second opinion and medication. The psychologist just can't write you a prescription. Alcoholics and addicts can be affected by a neurobiological problem, though. People with depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, etc. often seek out substances in order to self medicate. Moreover, some people are more susceptible to addictions because of how their brain is wired. I think behavioral problems and neurological problems often go hand in hand.
  17. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    Yeah I guess I used the wrong word there. I meant to say that most people could probably use some psychiatric help in one way or another because a lot of us in this generation grew up with parents from the previous generation who didn't have access to the information we have now and were just going off of what little information their parents were able to give them prior. I agree that there are still a lot of families who are well adjusted enough to raise kids with good heads on their shoulders that probably wouldn't need it as much.
  18. calicer1996

    calicer1996 Community Champion

    Depends. But the majority of addicts need some level of intervention. They need a leader to show them the right direction. It's too damn hard to curb an addiction all by oneself!
  19. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    I think that it really depends on the individual and on the specific context that we are inserted in, but I'd say that counseling always help as a general rule.
  20. elles-belles

    elles-belles Community Champion

    It depends on the severity of the addiction and the damages it has caused on the particular individual. With alcohol addiction can come all sorts of psychiatric illness induced by the alcohol intake so in cases like that psychiatric help is definitely needed.

    Loosely speaking though, anyone with an alcohol addiction should at least visit a psychologist or counselor of sorts just so they can get assessment which will them be the first step in determining whether further assistance(psychiatric assistance) is required.