If you are reading this, then you are probably wondering if you or someone you love is exhibiting signs of alcoholism. You probably already know there is a problem with alcohol, but are not sure just how far it has gone. There are many signs of alcoholism and a person who is suffering from the disease may show all of these signs of alcoholism, most of them or a few here and there. The thing to keep in mind that even if you or your loved one is only showing a few signs of alcoholism the symptoms of alcoholism are present and that is cause for concern.
There are many signs of alcoholism. Some signs of alcoholism are physical and others affect the user emotionally or psychologically. Keep in mind that there is a difference between people who abuse alcohol and those who are alcoholics. The main difference is even though some signs of alcoholism are there, alcohol abusers can set limits and quit drinking. They may binge drink, get in trouble with the law, exhibit some of the signs of alcoholism and have relationship problems because of their drinking, but alcohol does not rule their life, not yet anyway. People who abuse alcohol are likely to become alcoholics in the future. In fact, alcohol abuse is can be considered one of the causes of alcoholism.
The Signs of Alcoholism
Life Revolves Around Alcohol – When a person is an alcoholic they are almost consumed with when they will get their next drink. They will spend most of their time either thinking about their next drink, drinking or recovering from the effects of drinking. Many alcoholic will constantly be thinking of how they can sneak drinks while around others and where they will hide their alcohol so they always have some on hand.
Loss of Interest in Hobbies and Other Activities – Probably one of the saddest signs of alcoholism is seeing someone neglect something that once brought them joy. When a person is suffering from alcoholism they lose interest in activities that used to occupy their free time. You may notice that a yard that was once beautifully kept is now overgrown and full of weeds. Household projects are half done for months or even years.
Inability to Stop Even if You Want Too – Many alcoholics recognize the signs of alcoholism and they know that they need help. However, the pull of alcohol can be stronger than the will to quit. Alcoholics may try to quit and may even go a long period of time without drinking. But without help from a support group such as AA or an addition recovery program, they are likely to start drinking again when the stress of life becomes too much to handle.
Increased Tolerance – Do you notice yourself or your loved one drinking more than they have in the past? As the disease of alcoholism progresses the alcoholic needs more to achieve the desired effect.
Loss of Control – The inability to control how much you drink and how long you drink. Even if you tell yourself you will only have one drink, it usually ends up being many more than one.
Withdrawal Symptoms When You Try to Stop – Withdrawal is one of the signs of alcoholism that has very physical symptoms. Once the body becomes dependent on alcohol, it protests the abrupt removal of the substance. As a result, the alcoholic will suffer from tremors, nausea and vomiting, depression, irritability, and headaches among other symptoms.
Withdrawing from alcohol should be done under the direction of a doctor or an alcohol treatment program because some of the effects of withdrawal can be severe and possibly life threatening especially in someone who is suffering from chronic alcoholism.
Continuing to Drink Even Though Your World is Falling Apart – This is also one of the saddest signs of alcoholism. Usually there is a lot of chaos around someone who is suffering from alcoholism. There could be trouble at work, trouble with the law, and relationship issues. But in spite of the problems an alcoholic does not stop drinking.
How Families React to the Signs of Alcoholism
Alcoholism is hard on everyone who is touched by it. Usually, other than the alcoholic, families are the most affected by the signs of alcoholism. Even though all families are different, most families tend to follow the same traits when it comes to dealing with the signs of alcoholism.
Most families, at least in the beginning, will try to do everything they can to help the alcoholic. They will encourage the person to get help. They will clean up after them and make excuses for them. The family will try to hold everything together, hide the signs of alcoholism from others and try to portray the picture of a perfect family in spite of the turmoil that is going on behind closed doors.
Unfortunately, most family members don’t realize that a lot of their behavior is actually helping the alcoholic remain an active alcoholic. If the person never has to face the consequences of their actions or even recognize the sings of alcoholism in themselves, they will never realize just how bad things are.
So, as tough as it may be family and friends need to step back and let the consequences occur. If the person passes out in a puddle of vomit, let them lie there. It may seem harsh but since many alcoholics suffer from blackouts, if they wake up in a nice warm bed they will have no recollection of what happened. But if they have to wake up and face their issues it helps them see exactly what they are doing to their life and the lives of those around them. Forcing the alcoholic to face the signs of alcoholism is vital.
If the alcoholic has to face the signs of alcoholism head on there is a chance they will see the destruction around them. It is often said that an addict has to hit rock bottom before they are willing to change. Protecting them from the consequences will only prolong the illness and may make recovery harder, they have to see the signs of alcoholism in themselves.
No matter if you are the person who is suffering from this disease or you are the loved one of a person who is an alcoholic, knowing the signs of alcoholism can help you understand addict behavior.