Being able to detect the main signs and symptoms of alcoholism is critical to the its diagnosis and treatment. The families of suspected alcoholics should be aware of these signs and symptoms because the beginning alcoholic is prone to denial in the early stages of the disease. Chronic drinkers will often change their drinking habits from time to time, to be able to show others that they can control their drinking and that they have a handle on it. There are other manipulative behaviors of alcoholics to be aware of as well. However, most abusers of alcohol do end up hitting "rock bottom" in their journey toward chronic alcoholism, and at that point may finally acknowledge the damage that the illness has done to their work, their families, their health and their relationships. Chronic alcoholism signs.
But who wants to wait until a loved one hits rock bottom, often bringing other loved ones along with him or her? Here are the main signs and symptoms of alcoholism to be on the lookout for.
SECRET DRINKING. In an effort to deny the severity of the drinking problem to others, the alcoholic will sneak drinks when no one else is aware. They will hide bottles under the bed, in desk and dresser drawers, in the car, even in desks at their place of work.
CONCERN WITH ALCOHOL. The individual shows an inordinate amount of interest in what kind of drinks are being served at a party or gathering, to the exclusion of other topics of interest, like, who will be attending, what entertainment will be offered, etc.
CHUGGING THE FIRST FEW DRINKS. The alcoholic is motivated to drink because of the feeling of relaxation, euphoria, loss of inhibition that accompanies drinking. So he or she will drink quickly to achieve that initial high, seeking the "buzz" from the alcohol. It will seem like the drinking is rushed at first.
Chronic alcoholism symptoms signs
GUILT. When it begins to dawn on the chronic drinker that there is a problem, guilty feelings may ensue. To avoid discovery the drinker will not talk about alcohol or drinking at all, even when others talk about it as a normal topic of conversation. This often leads to:
REMORSE. "Why did I get so drunk last night, how embarrassing!" The acknowledgment of a drinking binge makes the drinker feel foolish, and may even prompt another drinking binge to escape guilty and remorseful feelings. It begins a very vicious downward cycle.
PERIODS OF ABSTINENCE from drinking occur, just to show that "I am in control of this." The abstinence usually lasts as long as the drinker can manage to avoid facing the problem. When he does sense the problem but is not ready to take responsibility or accountability for it, more drinking will follow.
CHANGING THE DRINKING PATTERN. This is a similar pattern to the one above, to show that the drinking can be controlled. It is manipulative behavior which may or may not be believed by others - "look, I stopped drinking beer and now I only drink whiskey," etc. In truth, alcohol is alcohol!
ALCOHOL-CENTERED BEHAVIOR. This is similar to the CONCERN WITH ALCOHOL symptom above. The drinker starts focusing on how and where he can get a drink, and the opportunity to drink, as opposed to just socializing with family or friends.
CHANGING FAMILY HABITS. The chronic drinker may begin to avoid family gatherings where no alcohol will be provided, or avoid family members whom he or she feels is "onto" the problem. Avoidance is a behavioral tendency because the illness itself is all about avoidance, of difficult situations, feelings, and personal discomfort. Ironically the avoidance eventually propels the alcoholic into even more difficult situations, feelings and personal discomfort, not to mention the ruination of relationships and careers.
What to do is your suspicions about your loved one's drinking are correct? it's often hard to confront the problem directly and it requires support. if you have expressed your concerns to your loved one about his or her drinking and they have denied it, don't give up there. Ask others whom you are close to if they have also had their suspicions. Support is essential and may involve many friends or family members. Seek a substance abuse counselor who may want to arrange for an intervention. There are many good detox and rehab centers which provide a range of assistance for the sufferers and their families. Often the addict alone will not seek help without some confrontation by a loved one or family member. There is strength in numbers, so seek out as much guidance and support as possible. A medical doctor or social worker should be able to provide good references for counseling and detoxification programs.
Many alcoholics have reformed as a result of having to face the damage their illness has done to loved ones, friends, and family members. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of alcoholism is a crucial first step in recovery and rehabilitation.
Chronic alcohol use signs