A psychotherapist and a certificated hypnotherapist Marius Gabrilavičius, known as M.G.Maksimalietis on the Internet (about 70 000 likes on his “Facebook” page), treats the addictions of alcohol since 2008. Having gathered the experience of seven years, he has founded the Association of Maximalistic Psychotherapy that aims to train more professionals to work applying his new method, known as psychocoding, to treat the addictions such as alcoholism.
M.Gabrilavičius, the psychocoding specialist in Lithuania, Ireland and United Kingdom, assumes that the will to restrict yourself from alcohol is impossible to learn – even the moderate drinking is poisonous for health and negatively influences the chances to live a happy life.
“It is interesting that alcoholism is only identified at the end of the second stage at least, while it begins much earlier”, says M.G.Maksimalietis.
So, what actually is alcoholism? How it impacts our mentality and the view of life? How to recognize the progressing stages of this addiction? Marius Gabrilavičius can tell all about it.
– We are used to thinking that alcoholic is the one who drinks vodka or strong beer everyday and can’t endure a day without it. How is it really? When can you suspect alcoholism?
– Everyone understands it differently, but every addiction is mental at first place. In my point of view, pscyhological alcoholism starts when a man thinks that alcohol can be used as a drink. The society and media can easily put him to this situation, spreading that it’s some kind of culture and helps one to relax and even recuperate
Those standards lead to thinking that everyone needs to be able to drink in moderation and those who don’t consume alcohol at all look a bit strangely. This information is the base of alcoholism, and when it reaches the minds, it appears to be psychological addiction.
Alcohol is a narcotic substance, even though it is legal and finely disguised – you won’t see “the section of alcoholic narcotics” in stores, it is just a drink here. Because of this, people face no fear of the alcoholism until they get used to it themselves.
Every narcotic addiction has its stages, alcoholism has too.
Whenever a man starts tolerating the substance, “moderate” consumption begins, but this moderation leads to a deep addiction. It progresses differently depending to a man, not everyone gets into the last – the degradation – stage, however, it is hard to avoid the dangers of the earlier stages.
I can safely say that many of the Christians are in the second stage now – they consume it periodically (weekly or even daily). They start with moderate drinking, but – think about it – would you consume poison “moderately” if you know it’s poison? This understanding is strained.
If you have started taking drugs, you WILL become addicted to them, and the stage of the addiction controls the use of it. It is impossible to control it yourself. The same applies to alcohol.
– So those who drink a glass of wine or beer a couple times of week after work are already addicted too?
– Yes, and it’s a second stage already, which is acute indeed. There is a majority of those people and they look into each other and think it is normal.
The conscious abstainer’s point of view is radically different – he won’t consider a glass of wine two times a week as normal.
– So what are the stages of alcoholism and how can it be recognized?
– I would name three. It all starts with the “moderate” and “civilized” drinking that is a kind of alcoholism too.
The second stage is easy to pass onto and people often don’t feel the limit. They think they stay sober whenever they like, the problem is, they never want to. They give up on sober weekends or evenings after work.
I would tell that the limit of the first and second stage is when one drinks not occasionally but rather daily and plans drinking when there is nothing to celebrate.
It affects psychologically too – alcohol consumer starts to exist rather than live, his lifestyle, activities change fatally, as alcohol (and often nicotine) poisons his life.
Finally, some reach the third – degradation stage, when psychological addiction is joined by the physiological one, where a man loses his brake and his own organism starts to ask for alcohol.
It is interesting that alcoholism is only identified at the end of the second stage at least, while it begins much earlier.
Physiological alcoholism can be cured as it is an illness, but even after rehabilitation the psychology might not change – he would still want to “moderately” consume alcohol and not look abnormal to others.
However, not everyone manages to do it, as everyone might be in a different stage. The latter the stage is, the less chances are not to reach degradation straightforward.
It is not the question of strong will, it is just the impact of substances.
– Alcohol impact for a physiology is a talking point already, but what does it do to psychology and mentality? How does it affect self-esteem?
– The psychology is affected by any of the toxic substances – it is a virus for people’s mind. It depends on the strength of this virus and the quantity of the substance.
Therefore, the more intensively and frequently alcohol is consumed, the more unfortunate circumstances occur, he starts failing on his own life, feeling hopeless and stressful.
The second stage is easy to pass onto and people often don’t feel the limit. They think they stay sober whenever they like, the problem is, they never want to.
And then all the failures are soothed in alcohol, as the social standards told us that it’s the way to relax. It becomes an antidepressant even though its effect is an exact opposite, pushing one into a circle of alcoholism.
His private world encounters the stress, depression, anxiety, lack of confidence and irrational fears. He becomes afraid of anything new because of the fear of failure and drops deeper and deeper.
– Often an addict is unable to admit his problem. His family and friends are more likely to point it out. How could you advise them: how should they persuade an addict to search for help?
– Try to talk him into visiting the specialist for a consultation at least, you might even go together. Just don’t force him into it, as it will not be effective.
There is no need to make him feel an alcoholic that needs to be coded urgently, better explain him that many people have drinking problems and not only the people of latter stages decide to get coded.
During the consultation he would acquire some motivation and will to change. There are some effective methods that can shock and shake up a man inside and make him aware of his problem.
– What if he doesn’t admit a problem and says he is fine without any help?
– You should observe him carefully, he might, for example, overuse alcohol, feel badly and start thinking that he might need to change and give up alcohol at all. At times like that, it is good to start talking him into the therapy, just do it carefully.
Of course, loved ones never want to see a man reaching the bottom, but I would advice to show some indifference at times, as a man should understand he might become alone and still addicted.
However, the most frequent case is when after a week or two one feels recovered and therefore claims to never need treatment again, being able to control himself. However, the psychological addiction takes a lot more to overcome and might push him towards the glass of wine again. In the intensive stages, it might go to status quo very quickly.
Therefore in order to help them, you need to show a little bit of half-heartness and ignorance. From my own experience, I can tell that alcohol additcts only ask for help when they lose everything and they’re in some kind of trouble. In other words, when they reach the bottom and feel shaken.
None of family and friends want to watch him reach the bottom, they want to help before that, but I would recommend them to look after him from distance, as otherwise he would still feel in the comfort zone.
Only a shock can make one to pick himself up. While someone takes care of him and even buys him a bottle of beer, he will feel comfortably and won’t ever start to treat his alcoholism.
– But people who haven’t reached the latter stages usually ignore coding, don’t they?
– I wouldn’t say that. Sometimes people contact me even though the alcohol is not destroying their lives yet, they just want to leave alcohol behind at all and live sober life.
They just understand that alcohol is impacting their brains and harm their career, social life and health, so they chose to put it to an end. They decide to live better and alcohol hinders reaching it.