There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on people’s mental health. This can be seen in part in the increase in “pandemic drinking” across much of the nation. Simply put, long periods of social isolation aren’t good for anyone. While they have been necessary to keep people safe and healthy, the effects of this pandemic will continue to create mental and physical health issues worldwide.
As a result, people will look for different ways to cope. If pandemic drinking has become a norm for you, you might want to start considering that it’s your coping mechanism.
But, when is pandemic drinking too much? If you’re “stuck” at home, what’s the harm in having a drink or two? Keep in mind; there is a difference between drinking casually and using alcohol to numb your depression or anxiety.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at pandemic drinking and how to tell if it’s become a problem.
You’re Drinking More Than Intended
Again, there’s nothing wrong with having a drink or two in the comfort of your own home. If that is your initial intention, and you continue to drink, it could be a sign of something more serious.
Maybe you have even noticed that you’re drinking more than you want. Many people who struggle with alcohol know they’re drinking too much and mean to stop. Unfortunately, they feel like they can’t because they’ve become too dependent on daily drinking.
When it comes to pandemic drinking, you might have more than you intend to “forget” about what’s going on. But, that’s not a healthy way to cope with the world’s current uncertainties.
It’s Causing Trouble With Family or Friends
This pandemic has made it difficult to interact with those closest to us. Now that things are slowly starting to reopen, and we adjust to a “new” normal, it should be easier to see how drinking impacts your relationships.
If alcohol is causing trouble in your relationships, and you continue to drink it, you might be struggling with abuse or addiction. You also might find yourself cutting back on things you once thought were important or that you enjoyed.
If you feel like your family or friends are worried about you, you might even start ignoring them or withdrawing from them. None of these behaviors are normal for casual drinking.
You Continue to Drink Even Though It Makes You Feel Bad
One of the significant signs of a drinking problem is drinking, even if you feel the adverse effects. Alcohol can make you feel depressed, anxious, and physically sick. It can also contribute to long-term health conditions that could cause significant issues for years to come. If you don’t feel good after drinking a lot, but you continue to do it anyway, it’s essential to ask yourself why.
Alternatively, suppose you have tried to go more extended periods without drinking, and you feel withdrawal symptoms like insomnia or nausea. In that case, it’s usually a sign that you’re used to having too much alcohol.
Unfortunately, when you become dependent on alcohol, you might find that you need to drink more than you once did. It takes increasingly more to feel the same kind of “buzz” that you did at first. That leads to addictive behaviors, and it could be a dangerous path.
If any of these signs and symptoms sound like what you’re going through, you’re not alone. However, your dependency on alcohol doesn’t have to get worse. You can get your life back on track as this pandemic eventually fades away.
Feel free to contact me for more information or to set up an appointment. Also, please visit my page on alcohol addiction counseling to learn more and the additional resources page to help you get started if you need more information.