Welcome to the blog for Free Your Mind mental health anti-stigma campaign

This is the blog for the Free Your Mind campaign which aims to battle stigma towards mental illness through the use of music, art, film, and culture.
The blog consists of informative and, hopefully, entertaining articles/posts.
Enjoy! :-)

Monday, 2 August 2010

Alcohol Addiction as Mental Illness (renamed post)

What leads to alcohol addiction? A number of reasons can lead to alcohol abuse; mental illness (although alcoholism is a mental disorder in itself), or a long stressful period, or distressing traumatic event. Alcoholism is a habitual disease, meaning that one gets into drinking as a habit which can be triggered for some reason and the person uses alcohol to feel better and eventually they become reliant on drink. Remember, alcoholism is a mental illness.

Alcohol is a legal drug, so it is easy to get hold of, which means it is more likely for someone to misuse this substance. Alcohol is a downer and, contrary to popular belief, it does not make you happy and giggly - in fact, quite the opposite. Admittedly, it may have this effect at the beginning, but alcohol is also well-known for bringing people down, making them angry or cry.

Believe me my intention is not to lecture anyone! I just hope to answer questions you or anyone may have about alcohol abuse.

I believe, from my observation, is that there appear to be two main types of alcoholics: "functioning alcoholics" and  "full-time alcoholics." Functioning alcoholics are called so because they appear to function well, they can work without drinking and perform many other important daily activities in which they cannot drink without drinking. However, when they do drink, which will still be every day, normally at least 4 or 5 times of the amount of their Guideline Daily Amount. Full-time alcoholics are called so because they will drink from the moment they wake-up to the moment they go to sleep. These people will often suffer from alcoholic fits if they go without a drink for a much longer time than usual.

Dealing with alcoholism is hard on both the sufferer and the people around them. Alcohol addiction is a mental illness, but it is one you can come back from. Help can be obtained from a number of places, including your GP, and as a friend or relative of someone suffering from alcohol addiction you  can help by trying to understand them, and being there for them letting them know how much you care.

Misuse of alcohol can lead to dependency, especially if you already suffer from a mental illness. Trying to understand someone with alcoholism can be difficult, particularly if that person is drunk and angry. But, if you care for that person, your help and support is what they need to beat their addiction.

The above is based on my own experiences and observations of alcoholism. I would love to know what you thought about what I've written in my post and I would also love to know what you think about alcoholism as a mental illness.


  1. Great post, I never knew there were 2 types of alcoholic, it explains alot.
    and i think your campaign is fantastic,keep up the good work xxx

  2. as much as I love to drink, I do fear of the functioning alcoholic mainly because i have witnessed a number of people around me that relate to this category therefore fear that I do not become that category.
    the weirdest thing is that what people never seem to realize its normally the most respectable people are the doctors, teachers etc etc that land up falling into this role .

    ohh I could go on thanks for tweeting this to me
    love kenx

  3. The "functioning alcoholic" is something I have obsevered in many people around me and I wanted to define what I felt that meant.

    Ken: I don't believe you fit this category, believe me if I did I would tell you. :) The functioning alcoholic is someone who still drinks everyday, essentially, with any kind of addiction, you need the substance every single day. You cannot cope without it. When one is addicted to something one cannot (literally) survive without it and when you do go without, one will experience withdrawal symptoms (such as anxiety, sweating, panic attacks and, even, fits).

    Nicola: Thank you for supporting Free Your Mind! These are the two types of categories I have personally observed. I'm not an expert, and cannot claim to be, so there may be more and there probably are many out there (including experts) who completely disagree with me. There also may be other types of alcoholics, these are just the two I have observed.

    Howvever, as always, I think the important thing to remember is that a person is more than their mental illness and it would be wrong to label them as just that. At the same time I think it is good to pin-point what someone's mental illness is for clarification and, more importantly, so that they can receive help.

    Thank you again for taking time out to read my blog. Without support Free Your Mind cannot establish itself in the community and eventually carry out action.

    Take Care.
    Nicola Edwards from Free Your Mind

  4. An additional recommendation is to build a circle of like-minded friends that can help you with your situation. A network of people who are in the same shoes like you can support you in your advocacy and can assist others as well. Alcohol Intervention

  5. We should not give tension to our mind,we should be stressless and need to be give free to the mind and need to do some yoga and meditation.Intervention help

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