By Janice Killey |
Alcoholism is a chronic disease which affects a lot of people in the society nowadays. Although this is no longer a new topic for everyone, alcoholism should not be taken lightly as it can bring severe effects to the affected person.
Symptoms of Alcoholism come as signs and markers that are manifested during the disease’s early stage. Even if there are many signs of knowing if someone is an alcoholic or not, it is not that easy to detect.
Have you been drinking too much, too often lately? Ask yourself this question along with others listed below. All of these will eventually help you determine if your casual drinking has turned into an addiction.
- Are you lying and hiding whenever you drink?
The scene: You just got home from a casual drinking session without your partner knowing that you went into one. Curious why you are home late than usual, she asks you if you were out with your friends, drinking. Without any hesitation, you respond to her with a resounding “no.” If this situation is all too familiar to you, you might be an alcoholic.
The explanation: Denial is typical to people who have problems with alcohol. They would often lie to people on how much and how frequently they drink to not make an issue out of it. Alcoholics would even heed these questions just to put their friends’ and family’s mind at ease thinking that everything is fine.
- Are you drinking to relax?
The scene: You had a stressful day at work because your boss gave the promotion you expected to another employee. You immediately crave for a bottle of beer the moment the news broke. You were depressed the next day because your car stopped in the middle of the road and so, you can’t stop thinking of drinking again. Whatever your emotional status is for the day, you always look forward to drinking beer to ease all the negativities you are experiencing.
The explanation: Using alcohol as an escape from real-life dilemmas is risky. Yes, you might be relaxed the moment you drink beer, but it can also create problems which can spiral in the long run.
- Do you black out every time you drink?
The scene: Most of the time, you do not remember what happens next the moment you are intoxicated. The day after a drinking session would usually involve your friends informing you of what you did while you were drunk.
The explanation: You drink way too much – simple. Not being able to learn when to stop is one indication that drinking has become your addiction. After all, no one requires you to “blackout” before you can have fun.
- Do you drink in dangerous situations?
The scene: You function well at work if you are able to drink before your working schedule. You still choose to drink even if you are to drive for a five-hour trip. You drink excessively despite your doctor’s reminders. Do these situations sound familiar to you? If yes, you can tick this off as one of the most important signs of problem drinking.
The explanation: Every time you do any of the scenarios laid out for you, you are putting yourself at risk and more significant consequences. Taking these risks just to get a hold of a beer, means that drinking has become a priority in your life.
- Are you neglecting your responsibilities?
The scene: You forgot to submit an important business presentation because you had a hung-over from the night before. Upon arriving home, you also realized that today was supposed to be your child’s family day and once again, you forgot to attend. You wait for your partner to arrive home and the minute she does, she lectures you of how irresponsible you have become because of drinking too much.
The explanation: Once your responsibilities are taken for granted because you drink too much, you have a drinking problem. Alcohol obviously crossed the boundary from an occasional enjoyment to something which impacts your daily functions.
Experiencing one of the things listed above does not necessarily make you an alcoholic. But if you have been answering yes to all of these questions, there is a possibility that your drinking has gone too far. For you to be sure of your symptoms, it is always best to seek professional help.
Janice Killey has a wealth of experience and training. She holds a Diploma of Education, Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), Master of Arts (Counselling), Diploma of Clinical Hypnotherapy (ASH) and is a Registered Psychologist at Psychologists Southern Sydney. She’s also a member of the Australian Psychological Society.