Having a bad drink: what about that?

Having a bad drink is annoying. You do or say things that are hurtful to yourself and others. You can read here why some people become happy with a few glasses of alcohol and others annoying, or even aggressive.

When you've had a few glasses of alcohol, it affects different parts of your brain. Namely on your frontal lobe, your reward center and your amygdala.

Your frontal lobe controls impulse control and is put on the back burner by alcohol, so you think less about your actions.

-Your reward center is being stimulated. This makes you feel good and confident.

-Your amygdala is also extra stimulated. This normally controls your response to threats. Because this is stimulated, you experience situations more quickly as threatening, so that you react more aggressively.

A joke can go wrong or a look can be misinterpreted, causing someone with an angry drunk to immediately react defensively or offensively. This creates unpleasant or even threatening situations that you can regret later.

From cozy to threatening

Why is it that some people get (always) short(er) fuses after drinking (too much) alcohol and others don't? That's how it goes:

Your genes determine the balance between different neurotransmitters in the frontal lobe, reward center and amygdala. This is the basis of certain character traits. Alcohol disrupts the functioning of some neurotransmitters and thus enhances some character traits. For example, in someone whose amygdala is more active, drunkenness is more likely to lead to aggressive behavior.

Research shows…

…that people who mainly focus on the here and now and think little about consequences are more likely to display aggressive behavior. This effect can be minimal when one is sober, but can be magnified when alcohol is involved. Alcohol has a myopic effect, which means that it makes you think more in the short term. This can be dangerous for people who already do this in daily life.

 The solution

You would say don't drink. And that's right. If that is not an option for you, it is good to be aware of your predisposition. Then you check how many drinks your behavior noticeably changes, so that you can see it coming next time and stop drinking in time. Source: jellinek.nl.




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