Navigating the complex terrain of mental health often involves examining the coping mechanisms we employ. The holidays are often a time for gathering and I know many of my patients have noticed their alcohol intake increase through the holiday season. For many, alcohol use becomes a way to cope with life's challenges, stress, and emotional turmoil (and we know there is a lot of that during the holidays!). As a reproductive psychiatrist, I often witness the blurred lines between social drinking and problematic alcohol use. Today, let's explore how to determine if your relationship with alcohol is genuinely working for you or if it has evolved into a coping mechanism that isn't providing the support you need.
Understanding the Purpose of Your Alcohol Use:
Recognizing Red Flags:
I'd like to mention here that you might think your drinking is not problematic, but we do not know of any safe amount of alcohol in pregnancy so if you're finding yourself having problems like this during pregnancy please talk to your OBGYN or other physician to discuss how you move forward in the best way for you and your baby.
Our culture has a generally unhealthy relationship with alcohol. We explore the evidence of how "mommy wine time" impacts women in one of our recent YouTube videos, check it out here.
Remember, recognizing that your alcohol use might be more of a coping mechanism than a solution is a courageous first step. Seeking support is not a sign of weakness but a demonstration of self-awareness and strength. By addressing the root causes of your emotions and finding healthier coping strategies, you can reclaim control over your well-being and build a more fulfilling, balanced life.