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Alcohol Addiction and Selfishness: Understanding the Link

Alcohol Addiction and Selfishness: Understanding the Link

Alcohol consumption can cause selfishness, raising many social and family problems.

Although selfishness is an innate human behavior and most humans possess  selfish tendencies , alcohol addiction can make someone’s behavior more  self-centered and selfish. The most probable reason behind this excessive selfishness seems to be the  need for alcohol at the consequence of an inconsideration toward others.

Unfortunately, alcohol-related selfishness can negatively impact one’s social life and make you look untrustworthy, unreliable, and self-centered. Apart from selfishness, alcohol addiction can also alter your personality permanently by damaging different brain areas.

Confidant Health provides Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) to help you cope with alcohol misuse. It also offers a virtual alcohol rehabilitation program to minimize the chances of relapse.

Understanding alcohol addiction and selfishness

Selfishness refers to the tendency to behave excessively or exclusively in a way that benefits oneself without considering its effects on others. Human sciences often term selfishness as an innate behavior and a cause of many social dilemmas. However, innate selfishness is mainly opposed by internal rewards, punishments, and social values.

Unfortunately, alcohol addiction can impact your mental health, making you excessively selfish and self-centered. Chronic use of alcohol can damage different areas of the brain and, as a result, produce multiple symptoms. For instance, long-term intake of alcohol can damage the memory centers of the brain, causing memory impairments. That is why alcohol addiction can make you forget conversations and promises you might have made. 

How does alcohol misuse affect the brain?

Alcohol intake can affect the brain and behavior in various ways. It can speed up different brain areas' aging, leading to cerebral atrophy and damaging the limbic system (an essential part of the human brain). Moreover, chronic alcohol consumption can also affect the brain's cognitive, reasoning, decision-making, and problem-solving abilities.

Several studies indicate that alcohol intake can alter the functions of special chemicals (known as neurotransmitters) present in the brain. The proper functioning of these neurotransmitters is essential for many brain processes, such as memory-making, emotional responses, and cognition.

Does alcohol addiction make you selfish?

Alcohol consumption is one of the main factors that can exaggerate selfish behavior. When you develop an alcohol addiction, alcohol becomes the priority in your life. As a result, you may follow irrational and selfish behaviors such as lying, stealing, denial of alcohol misuse, and confrontation with family and friends.

Moreover, your interpersonal skills, emotional quotient, memory, and rational thinking may also decline in alcohol use disorder (AUD).

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Common Factors of Selfishness in Alcohol Use Disorder

The following factors can be responsible for excessive selfishness and self-centered behaviors in alcohol addiction.

Change in priorities

Alcohol is the leading priority in alcohol addiction. Once someone gets addicted to alcohol, everything (including family, job, etc.) comes after it. That is why people with alcohol use disorder (AUD) may express inconsiderate behavior toward those around them.

Memory impairments

As mentioned above, alcohol can damage memory centers in the brain. So, one may experience memory impairments in alcohol addiction, such as the inability to retain long-term memory, long conversations, etc. Memory impairments can lead to false promises, lying, and forgetfulness about important events - perceived as selfish behavior by others.

Social factors

Social factors such as a family history of alcohol addiction, childhood trauma, and relationship conflicts can also lead to selfish behavior in alcohol addiction. For example, one may consume alcohol to avoid painful memories and situations and, later on, become closed off  enough to leave others but not alcohol consumption.

The history of neglect

Being neglected by family, friends, and health professionals can also make one rely on alcohol instead of others. If you or your loved ones are struggling with alcohol addiction, Confidant Health can provide a personalized alcohol rehab program to help you overcome this issue. 

How does alcohol-related selfishness affect family and relationships?

Selfishness caused by alcohol consumption can negatively impact the social circle of the consumer. Starting from the family, alcohol-related selfishness can disrupt the trust, affection, and reliance on the person struggling with alcohol use disorder. Similarly, friends often refuse to offer help or give money due to frequent false promises in the past. Moreover, increased forgetfulness makes it hard to remember important events or days.

Alcohol consumption can make someone behave irrationally. Sometimes, people taking alcohol get involved in verbal, physical and emotional abuse. As alcohol-related selfishness can also lead to an abusive relationship, it becomes hard for others to stay at the opposite end for longer. It is one of the probable reasons behind increased divorce rates among families who have someone suffering from alcohol addiction.

Overcoming selfishness and alcohol consumption

It is not easy to cope with alcohol addiction; however, it becomes easier  if you’re equipped with strong determination, social support, and professional guidance.

Other Behavioral Impacts of Alcohol Addiction

In addition to selfishness, alcohol addiction can lead to other behavioral impacts, such as the following.

Unfortunately, these behavioral impacts of alcohol misuse can lead to domestic abuse, childhood traumas, and accidents. Hence, it is essential to manage the adverse behavioral effects timely.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the effects of alcohol addiction on personality?

Alcohol addiction can negatively affect your personality as it can decrease self-esteem, self-confidence, emotional stability, and rationality. Moreover, hyperactivity and antisocial behavior are the two most consistent behaviors associated with alcohol use disorder.

Can alcohol permanently change your personality?

Alcohol can permanently alter your personality as it can cause permanent damage to different areas of the brain. These alterations may include changes in emotions, perception, memory, learning, and decision-making.

What are the behavior patterns in alcohol use disorder?

Although behavior patterns in alcohol addiction vary from person to person, common patterns include drinking under stress, persistent focus on alcohol, uncontrollable drinking, selfish behavior, and abusive acts toward others. 

Consult with Confidant Health’s professionals

Confidant Health is an online platform that provides professional guidance and treatment for those struggling with alcohol addiction. In Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), medications and behavioral therapy is used by consultants to help you overcome this issue. You can consult with an experienced healthcare professional at Confidant Health by downloading the app here.

This article has been medically reviewed by
Erin Hillers
Erin Hillers
Erin Hillers
Nurse Practitioner

Erin is a Nurse Practitioner with 8 years of experience in midwifery and women's health. She has spent the past 5 years specializing in the treatment of opioid and alcohol use disorders.

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