Hypnotherapy for binge drinking (bing drinking or alcoholism) and alcohol abuse may help those fighting to break their addiction by focusing on the main cause of the bing drinking and addiction, then using suggestion approaches to help change negative thoughts and behaviours related to the binge drinking (bing drinking).
What is binge drinking (bing drinking)?
Being dependent on alcohol suggests you feel like you’re struggling to relax or enjoy yourself without a drink. You might feel like you’re unable to function at all without drinking, and that it has become a significant, or the most essential, concern in your life.
Alcohol addiction, binge drinking (bing drinking), is also known as alcoholism, alcohol addiction, or simply being an alcoholic. Binge drinking (bing drinking) doesn’t have to indicate you drink a lot at all times, or that you binge-drink on specific days of the week. If you are consuming alcoholic drinks frequently, be that in order to relax, or to manage particularly demanding situations, you are likely to have at least a degree of alcohol dependency.
Binge drinking (bing drinking), alcoholism or problem drinking isn’t always easy to identify. You might not detect when alcohol goes from being part of your social life, to shaping your whole lifestyle and the decisions you make. It can impact your life in various ways, damaging your mind, body and relationships. As time passes, bing drinking can impact those close to you as well.
Bing drinking facts
According to the NHS Statistics on Alcohol, England 2020 report, we have observed a 6% year on year rise in the number of hospital admissions in which the primary cause for concern was drinking alcohol. Over the space of a decade, statistics have risen by 19%, with 358,000 people being admitted between 2018/19 alone. In 2018, 5,698 deaths were linked to alcohol or binge drinking. Men (38%) and women (19%) aged 55 to 64 were identified to be drinking the most, generally drinking 14 or more units each week – higher than the advised guidelines.
An estimated 9% of men and 3% of women in the UK present signs of alcohol dependence. This can happen at any age, to any person, regardless of what their background.
What causes bing drinking and alcohol addiction?
The causes of alcohol addiction can differ but there are a number of factors considered to lead to an individual developing alcohol dependence or a bing drinking habit. It can originate from using drink as a way to deal with big stressful life events, such as bereavement or redundancy, or as a way to numb everyday emotional challenges, anxiety or concerns.
Drinking alcohol might appear to be nothing – a normal aspect of your life – and you may not think it is a problem at first, however over time, bing drinking or depending on alcohol as a way of emotional support will become second nature to an individual. When you immediately use drink rather than other ways of handling a situation, this is a cause for concern.
Bing drinking and your social surroundings
Your social surroundings and past experiences can also give rise to developing a dependency on alcohol. For example, if you saw members of your family using alcohol as a means to de-stress and cope, you could develop comparable coping mechanisms. Regardless of whether we realise it or not, people around us, such as loved ones, friends, as well as media depictions of people we look up to, these all can all have an influence on our behaviour, how we approach troubles, and what we do to try and handle our difficulties.
Which health problems can be a result of bing drinking or alcohol addiction?
Misusing alcohol, alcoholism, or drinking in a way that is hazardous such as binge drinking, frequently exceeding the amount of recommended units in a week, or drinking your total number of weekly units over fewer than three days can have both short and long lasting health and wellbeing effects.
- An increased probability of experiencing an accident or injury that needs treatment at a hospital.
- Increased possibility of being the victim of violence, or of showing violent behaviours yourself.
- A higher potential for undertaking unsafe behaviours that may place yourself or others at risk (eg. unprotected sex or reduced inhibition leading to taking needless risks with your safety).
- Alcohol poisoning (which can cause seizures, unconsciousness, or vomiting).
- Psychological health issues, including insomnia, depression or anxiety.
- A suppressed immune system.
- Birth defects (if you continue to drink whilst pregnant).
- A negative impact on your sex life, including loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, or trouble climaxing.
As time passes, drinking too much alcohol can raise your chance of experiencing significant health conditions such as heart or liver disease, stroke, pancreatitis, or multiple forms of cancer (liver, mouth, breast, bowel). On a social level, extended alcohol misuse or bing drinking can affect your job, intimate and family relationships, and can even lead to homelessness.
What are the signs of bing drinking or a drinking problem?
Just like many other drugs, alcohol can be both physically and psychologically addictive. If you’re worried about your own drinking habits, or someone else’s, listed here are some of the indicators to look out for.
- Being worried about when your next drink will be and arranging social, family and work activities around alcohol.
- Your mood has a tendency to swing from one extreme to another, or you feel extremely cranky for no good cause.
- You no longer feel you have the ability to avoid drinking, even when you want to.
- Making excuses to drink (for example to deal with stress, to relax and unwind, or to ‘feel normal’), hiding your drinking or drinking by yourself.
- Alcoholism may include drinking at the start of the day, or feeling the need to drink in the morning.
- Feeling the need to drink when under pressure or during stressful situations.
- When you don’t drink, you experience physical withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, shaking and nausea, and these cease any time you do drink.
- Becoming distant or isolated from friends and family members.
- Being unable to remember things or having gaps in your memory (these can be signs of short-term memory loss or temporary blackouts).
- Deciding to drink alcohol as opposed to looking after other obligations or responsibilities.
Are you concerned about binge drinking?
If you recognise any of these indicators or are concerned about a friend, know that there is help available. If you’re concerned about your own drinking but don’t feel comfortable speaking to friends, you can talk to your GP or a professional, such as a counsellor. There are also support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, where you can seek support from those who know what you’re going through.
If you’re worried about a friend, approaching the subject may feel difficult, but letting them know you are there for them and speaking to them calmly and without judgement will be helpful. Share your concern without being accusatory, and let them know that you are there to support them through their journey.
If they’re not ready to talk right now, that’s OK, don’t push them. Addiction can take over a person’s life, and they may feel like they have no control, so support them as much as you can while they work things out.
How can hypnotherapy help with bing drinking (binge drinking) and alcohol addiction?
Hypnotherapy is an approach that many people find to be particularly effective, especially when used together with other forms of treatment.
Addiction often involves a number of underlying issues that have led to the problem such as a traumatic event, a past experience or a number of life stressors. When a person has turned to alcohol or another substance as a way of self-medicating, the issue hasn’t been dealt with. Somewhere deep down, the effects are still there, quietly fuelling your addiction.
Hypnotherapy looks to change the way you think and behave in certain situations. Hypnosis for drinking aims to access your unconscious (the part of your mind that runs without you knowing), and using suggestion techniques, help you change the negative thoughts and behaviours associated with the addiction.
How does hypnotherapy for bing drinking work?
I of course use hypnotherapy to help people reduce alcohol usage. As a hypnotherapist, I will encourage you to enter a state of deep relaxation. It is in this trance-like state that it’s believed that your unconscious is more open to suggestion. Using suggestion techniques, we will look to change the way you react to certain things. In hypnotherapy for alcohol addiction, for example, the suggestions would be tailored to your triggers, changing the way you react and help you to not crave alcohol. Suggestions may include not needing to drink anymore, or associating alcohol with an unpleasant taste or smell.
Some hypnotherapists may also teach you self-hypnosis techniques, to help you continue your work and cope with any potential triggers, long after sessions are over.
How can I manage my bing drinking?
Reducing your alcohol intake has many benefits in all realms; mentally, physically, and financially. Of course, this is much easier said than done, especially if you are in some way alcohol dependent. Counselling and hypnotherapy can help you understand and overcome any underlying issues, however there are some tips you can use to help yourself.
- Try and reduce the amount you drink in the week, like alcohol-free days or weekend only-drinking.
- Limit your exposure to alcohol. It’s OK to say no to social events if you are not ready.
- Try alternatives. Consider mocktails or alcohol-free occasions with friends.
- Ask your partner to join you in cutting down. Having support can make things feel much easier.
- Try and find alternative forms of stress relief. Replace drinking with going on a walk or doing something you previously enjoyed that you may not have done in a while.
- Talk about how you feel. Instead of keeping your concerns to yourself and drinking as a way of a solution, talk about your worries. You’ll be surprised at how effective this can be.
- Track your progress. Drinkaware has a great online portal where you can track your progress, find support and celebrate achievements.
- Addiction can be incredibly isolating. You may feel like you’re stuck with no control, but know that support is available and you can get better.