I over endulge when I drink alcohol and feel extremely guilty about it the next day

I'm a female in my mid 20s. Lately I tend to over drink and I've become a very angry drunk.

In the past, I have even cheated on my boyfriend while I was under the influence of alcohol.

But now, even if I don't do anything wrong and don't embarrass myself, I still feel really guilty after a night of drinking. I don't understand why I'm feeling this way. Does this mean I have a problem?

Dr Traci Kochendorfer
Dr Traci Kochendorfer
Time for you to " Claim IT" with over 15 years in health and wellness, Ph.D Psy.D D.D. F.P.L.C. recognized on TV and Magazines,

Maybe this will help you understand.  First it depends on many chemical factors.  When you drink alcohol overindulge so to speak.  You are flooding the pre frontal cortex of your brain.  This controls communication and cognitive behavior.  There were studies on this and many times if you notice those intoxicated get loud respond to loudness.  Also certain types of alcohol can have sides effects.  Instead of brown liquor try white liquor.  Experiment safely to find if you maybe having side effects causing overindulgence which we don't want to lead to alcoholism.   Set an intention before experimenting that you will not feel angry or guilty... Seek talk therapy which will help decrease the cravings or desire to.  

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Karen Keys, LMHC, CASAC, NCC
Karen Keys, LMHC, CASAC, NCC
Recovery and Wellness Expertise

Hello, I commend you for your courage in taking a look at the role alcohol has in your life. It sounds like you're concerned about what happens when you drink too much and I suspect you already know the answer to your question about whether you have a problem or not. I imagine you would like to stop feeling guilty and would like to avoid cheating on your boyfriend or other negative consequences and maybe have a fear of being or becoming an "addict" or "alcoholic." You might have a "problem" but that does not necessarily mean that you are an addict. 

I don't have information to know if "addiction" or "dependence" or other words would best describe where you are with drinking, but it sounds like it's begun to have some negatives, so forgive me using words like addict, dependence and so on. I mean it more as a road map than a diagnosis. The feedback I'm writing here is very general and doesn't address physical dependence and many other factors that might apply to your situation.  

One of the ways to think about substance (mis)use is to think of addiction as a disease of avoidance. Let me repeat that: it is a disease of avoidance. Your ultimate task in living a balanced life is to figure out what you're avoiding and develop other ways to manage those feelings, experiences, and so on. And of course, along the way, you may want to look at triggers, situations, biological vulnerability, social pressures, coping skills, relapse prevention planning and so on. Depending on where you are in your drinking, you might very well benefit from expertise and support. 

Remember also that alcohol depresses our central nervous system and disinhibits us. That means that alcohol is often a substance of choice to relax, destress, calm down, etc. Also, it allows feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that we usually inhibit to be expressed. If you were unfaithful and often angry, that's your first signpost. For angry drinkers, it is often true that you don't drink and then get angry, you drink in order to express anger. 

I recommend you find someone you can speak frankly with, who is knowledgeable about addiction. Wishing you the best health and wellness. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Lola Georg
Lola Georg
www.GeorgAssociates.com

The short answer is yes - if you feel 'really guilty after a night of drinking', then you probably have a problem. What you could do is visit this website by the National Institutes of Health: http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/How-much-is-too-much/  There you will find information on how many drinks is too much, and the general answer for women is more than seven drinks in a week. There is also a quiz you can take anonymously that will help you determine if your drinking is a problem. The good news is that you can get help for substance abuse through counseling, self-help programs, or alcoholics anonymous. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Lori McGruder
Lori McGruder
Addiction and Trauma Counselor

Thank you for writing in with this important question.  There are some key words in your question that indicate you may have a problem; they are, "over indulge," "feel really guilty," and "angry drunk."  You also indicate that you have been unfaithful in your relationship while under the influence of alcohol.  In assessing whether or not someone has a "problem" with alcohol, some of the criteria I consider are whether or not they have attempted to cut back on their drinking and have been unable to do so and do they continue to drink despite knowing of likely consequences to their own emotional/physical health, relationships, occupational and/or social functioning.  

I indicated you "may" have problem because it would be improper for me to make a formal diagnosis over this type of forum with so little information; however, with the information you provided, my answer is yes, you may have a problem based on my interpretation that you have tried to control your drinking and have been unsuccessful and have continued to drink despite experiencing yourself as an "angry" drunk, feeling guilty after a night of drinking and being unfaithful in your relationship.  I would recommend that you see a counselor for a proper assessment.  I applaud you for being concerned about this issue and seeking help.  

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Dr. Timothy Paul
Dr. Timothy Paul
'man'; Online - "Natural Health Consultant and Coach"

Guilt is a narcissistic, self-indulgent focus on me, me, me; it's best not to keep it in negative light;

What does that mean?  Well, it stems from mankind having an animal nature, and a spiritual nature;

In most societies today, the animal nature is looked down upon, seen as egregious and something to be put away;

If I may say to you, it is necessary and important (if you wish to end an experience called "guilt") to NOT regard your animal nature as negative, but to accept that you have it, and acknowledge it;

The more openly a man or woman acknowledges they're animal-side, the quicker one may subdue it;

Try giving your animal nature a name, and talk to it like a cute pet... "Oh, hey, there, Snorky!  Oh, what's that?  You want to be a wealthy, famous Hollywood idol?  Oh, really!  Agaiiiiiiin, Snorky!  Geez, you're impossible!  Ain't you just the cutest thing!"
If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call...  (more)If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room. All written by 'i': 'man'; is [My] Property;
Mark  Rose
Mark Rose
Intervention and Addiction Services

I offer that getting a professional assessment is in order to look at your relationship with alcohol.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

Speaking with a licensed therapist will help you figure out if indeed you have a problem or not.  I would say the first question you should ask yourself is why you are drinking? The second would be why you feel the need to drink in excess? It may be due to a life event or the crowd you are running with.  Either way a therapist will be able to help you through this as you already made the first step in admitting you are having a difficult time. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

Usually when someone asks if they have a problem, they believe they do have a problem!

The first step is to understand your own theory and definition as to what problem you feel you have.  

Some possibilities are feeling unhappy in the relationship to your boyfriend, not having enough discussion between the two of you, not feeling cared about by your boyfriend, not liking your boyfriend.

Did you grow up in a family in which the grownups drank to the point of excess at the times they felt stressed?

Family modeling of how to handle problems may have left you no knowing how to handle stress except to drink to excess.

Ask yourself what it is you feel guilty of doing?

The guilt may point you in a good direction if it is your sense of self-esteem telling you to find better ways of managing your life.

Do you drink alone or together with friends?

Try defining your specific reasons for drinking because this is the first step to know how to handle the situation differently.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

Submit your own question

More Answers