Alcoholics aren’t just old drunks swigging special brew on a park bench. Alcoholism is a disease that affects people in every walk of life, and they aren’t as easy to spot as you might think. Alcoholism is often a very private addiction, addicts become adept at hiding, or making excuses for their alcohol abuse.
The biggest misconception when it comes to these “High functioning alcoholics” is the belief that if they are holding down a family, job or home that their drinking isn’t really a problem. But it can wreak havoc on friendships, relationships, finances and family life.
Many with an addiction to alcohol steadfastly refuse to admit that there is an issue with their drinking. Here are some warning signs to look out for if you are concerned about your own drinking habits or someone else’s.
Making excuses for drinking
An alcoholic will often “justify” their drinking…. After all, there’s nothing wrong with a glass of wine after a long day. But an alcoholic can’t stop at just “one” and over time will need more and more alcohol to get the same effects. It may have been a hard day at the office or a long day with the kids – an alcoholic will always have a reason to reach for the bottle.
Obsession, Denial and Paranoia
An obsession with alcohol, it could be out partying or drinking at home, if you think you may have a problem with drinking then you more than likely do. Denial is a major part of alcohol addiction. Paranoia comes from perceived disapproval and potential rejection by friends and loved ones. Drinking can become a vicious circle, no matter how hard the drinker wants to stop, no matter how much peril they are placing their entire lives in, they will still reach for another drink. Even the very real threat of losing their homes, jobs, family and their physical health, they are unable to control their physical and psychological addiction to alcohol.
Heavy drinkers are at risk from a wide range of health problems to to alcohols debilitating effect on the body. After drinking your body is dehydrated, blood sugar and blood pressure both drop, the nervous system is depressed and motor control is impaired. Long term, drinking can lead to strokes, heart disease, cancer, premature aging of the skin, malnutrition. Drinking during pregnancy causes harm to unborn babies.
Depression and Anxiety.
Alcohol, may in the short term seem to boost modds, but it is in fact a depressant. Heavy drinkers are more likely to suffer from depression. Mood swings are very common. Drinking to “forget” is a common reason given my many alcoholics, and many use alcohol as a way of avoiding of dealing with the issues that are bothering them.
Weight Gain or Loss
Often a person suffering from alcohol addiction will lose interest in food. Or they may binge eat when drunk, and not even remembering the next day. Hangovers may also lessen interest in eating, and sickness will stop the body absorbing adequate nutrition. Alcoholics may gain wait from the high amount of calories from the alcohol, but this varies from individual to individual.