There are definitely some differences between female and male alcoholism. It starts with the lower biological tolerance of women to alcohol and the different motivation that usually exists to drink between the two. Today, let’s look at some of the characteristics which usually appear in female alcoholism more frequently than in men.
- The social stigma of the female drinker is much greater than in the male. Society continues to reject with much greater force the woman who is trapped by alcohol.
- In women, the feeling of guilt related to drinking is usually much greater. This is going to make the defense mechanisms much more pronounced than in man.
Denial is established with an unusual force, to keep their alcoholism hidden. They begin to hide the drink almost from the beginning in the most unpredictable places.
- Women have much less family and social support to overcome dependency. Proof of this may be the composition of family groups that tend to have an overwhelming majority of women. Men do not usually accompany them to treatment.
- Although in both men and women, alcoholism is usually accompanied by other pathologies, in women are more frequent
- Affective and anxiety disorders
- Somatization disorders
- Eating disorders Bulimia
- Dramatic and emotional personality disorders
When we talk about whether any treatment must be specialized, it must begin by distinguishing that men and women are different and the approach, therefore we have to take this into account.
- The pattern of consumptionis different in adult and older women than in young and adolescent women. In the first group, consumption is usually clandestine, secret and lonely, while the second are more similar in terms of the prevalence of consumption and forms of it to man.
- Alcoholism in women is usually accompanied by fewer labor and legal problems than in men
- In women, family and health problems are usually greater than in men.
- Women tend to go to specialized centers to a lesser extent. They go more frequently to primary care professionals, with secondary processes (anxiety, depression, pain, trauma) that usually mask alcoholism, which is also not usually explored or detected in these services by health personnel.
There are elements common to both that refer to the essence of alcoholism. The loss of control against alcohol, which displaces all previous interests and becomes the center of the alcoholic’s life, the complications produced by the continued abuse of alcoholic beverages. On the other hand, it is logical that, given the different characteristics of men and women, this disease manifests itself differently. Consumption patterns may be different, vulnerability is different, and possibly different treatment is different.
Traditionally, alcoholism, like alcohol consumption, has been considered a man’s thing, although there have always been women who have drunk alcoholic beverages and abused them. In recent years, the consumption of alcoholic beverages. In women, it has increased to equal with men, even though they are more vulnerable than men to alcohol, and that means that they may have more problems.
The transition from sporadic recreational consumption, to habitual consumption, and from this to alcohol dependence, does not occur from one day to the next and is so subtle that it is difficult to establish a clear border between them. It is not easy to establish clearly when alcoholism begins. It is possible to determine a series of criteria that, when they appear, speak clearly to the female addict facing the disease. Click here to learn more.