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Alcoholics and Faces

In a recent Globe and Mail article, (August 20, 2009, Globe Life - Facts and Arguments) it said...

"Of the many things that long-term alcohol addiction can steal – careers, lives, health, memory – one of its most heartbreaking tolls is on relationships," Melissa Healey reports in The Los Angeles Times. "Alcoholics, researchers have long known, have a tendency to misread emotional cues, sometimes taking offense when none was intended or failing to pick up on a loved one's sadness, joy, anger or disappointment. The misunderstandings can result in more drinking, and more deterioration of relationships and lives. How does alcohol do all that? A new study finds that the brains of long-term alcoholics, even those who have long abstained, often differ from non-alcoholics' in ways that make them poorer judges of facial expressions. In particular, alcoholics register less intensity in the amygdala and hippocampus (collectively known as the limbic system) when observing faces."

This article seems to explain much in respect to why so many alcoholics and addicts seem so overly sensitive in early recovery. What are your thoughts and experiences about this?

2 Responses

  1. Cameron F. says:

    I think this article explains a great deal as to why some alcoholics and addicts seem so suspicious of others and easily provoked by what others say or do. I have personally been the receiver of such responses and I must confess I have also been subject to the misreading cues in others and in 99 out 100 cases I have been wrong about my assumptions.

    By working the principles of Steps 4 and 5 I can recognize jealousy and suspicion as my character defects. I use the principles of Steps 6 and 7 — I ask God to remove my suspicion and to strengthen my ability to suspend judgment and trust others. With this approach I tend to have fewer mistakes and less amends to make.

  2. Gregg G says:

    Well? Being selfish and self centered to the extreme, to survive I am the director of my reflection. I arrange my surroundings to suit myself. Before the Spiritual willingness of the Big Book Steps took hold I worshiped people for self esteem. Nothing too high tech there..I was aware of every or any emotional situation around me as this is how I constantly invented myself..I used what you were or you thought to make me who I was..I am referred to as the thief, stealing the emotional security from others in my selfish arrangements..If only these arrangements would stay put, right? lol..

    As I grow in understanding and effectiveness on the Spiritual 12 Step Big Book path I am washed clean of the past fear that was the foundation of my Alcoholic character. It has been replaced with courage and strength through the direction of my Spiritual Higher Power. The constant need to read you or my surroundings has been replaced with an ability to stand for myself and still more, offer it to others. A complete turn around, a Spiritual shift..

    I now have the ability to see you as you are and let it be. I also have learned basically when and how to give so I have the opportunity to be helpful by first allowing you to be you and knowing if I can be of service or not..I have faith today, I have no reason to control your life as mine..

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