ZocdocAnswersCan a divorce drive people toward alcoholism?

Question

Can a divorce drive people toward alcoholism?

I got divorced a month a go and have been drinking a lot since. Is this normal?

Answer

Divorce is a very stressful time for many people, often one of the most stressful they will ever have. Divorce tends to bring up feelings of isolation, loneliness, anger, insecurity and depression. For these reasons, it is not uncommon for some recent divorcees to have some trouble with alcohol. This is because alcohol tends to dampen the acuity of these feelings, at least for a short while. The big problem with this, of course, is that drinking alcohol is not doing anything to address the root causes of these feelings. In fact, using alcohol is an avoidance strategy that helps you get away from they hard work of rebuilding your life. In addition to this, alcohol abuse carries significant long term mental and physical health risk that you will want to avoid. Therefore, I highly recommend that you set up an appointment with your psychologist or therapist to talk about these issues and to seek help working through them. Additionally, it might be helpful to talk to your primary care doctor or your psychiatrist. This is because sometimes an underlying mood problem, such as depression, may occur after divorce and this may need to be treated with medications. Good luck!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.