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Drinking & Alcoholism Two: Why Do People Drink?

Why do people drink? Because it tastes good? Because others do? Because their parents did? Because it’s a habit? Because you want to belong? Perhaps. But the most compelling reason for drinking is that alcohol alters mood. Even if it’s to take the “edge” off or to loosen up a bit, or to relax, alcohol changes how you feel. Some people want how they feel to be changed a lot. Some people want just a little change. I have heard  people say, “I don’t feel any different when I drink.” Oh, so not true. Some people may be so used to the change alcohol brings that they don’t notice the change. In fact they may simply expect it and consider the change to be normal. So, here is the bottom line: people drink so they don’t have to feel what they feel. Very often what someone wants to keep from feeling are a whole lot of uncomfortable emotions. Whether those emotions are from the distant past, childhood, or whether those uncomfortable emotions are current. A reaction from some conflicting thing that happened this morning or a reaction from to some conflicting thing in childhood have the same affect. Pain is pain. And people don’t want to feel pain. In fact, most attempt to run from it with everything they have in them.

Wendy Hill, M.A., Ph.D. candidate (2013) has been in private practice in psychotherapy and hypnotherapy in San Diego and Encinitas for over thirty years. As a therapist and counselor Wendy specializes in transforming self-defeating core beliefs. Her therapy includes using hypnosis and counseling to treat anxiety, depression, addiction, childhood abuse, sexual abuse, relationships, self-confidence, and life challenges. Her website is


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