Alcoholism is a disease with many faces. It’s easy to pick out the alcoholics who spend their days outside the liquor store, unkempt and asking for money. It’s easy to pick out the alcoholics who are on their second, third, fourth, or more, DWI. Whether they admit it or not, there are some people who are clearly suffering from an alcohol dependence issue. What's alcoholism.
On the other hand, there are alcoholics who are nearly impossible to identify. Some alcoholics can go their entire lives without ever showing any obvious signs of alcoholism. No one –, including the alcoholics themselves –, may ever realize they have a problem. When people do notice, it’s usually
only very close family or friends. These alcoholics
are the “functioning alcoholics.”
What is the alcoholism rate in germany
A Successful Life, A Hidden Problem
Functioning alcoholics are people who drink alcoholically, but are able to maintain successful lives. For functioning alcoholics, their alcoholism is essentially hidden from view because it does not stop them from achieving a “normal” or accomplished lifestyle. Functioning alcoholics hold steady jobs, and they often have positions of high prestige. They maintain relationships well, and they often have seemingly happy marriages and children. By all accounts, there is no obvious alcohol problem because alcohol does not appear to have a negative impact in their life.
While functioning alcoholics are achieving success in their professional and personal lives, they’re concealing the true extent of their drinking problems. They drink on a regular basis, and sometimes they drink throughout the day, just not to the point of appearing intoxicated. They consider alcohol to be their reward for their hard work and success, and they think obsessively about their next drinking opportunity.
They may hide their liquor, and they continue to repeat their drinking habits even if they intend to change them. They need to drink in order to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay. Without a drink, they feel shaky and anxious.
Denial and Disease
One of the main characteristics of a functioning alcoholic is denial. Functioning alcoholics are often in denial. They do not see a problem with their drinking habits because they have not experienced extremely negative consequences or hit bottom. While close friends and family members may notice a functioning alcoholic’s worrisome drinking patterns, often times they’re also in denial because they too fail to see the problem if the alcoholic has a successful life.
However, there is a problem. Functioning alcoholics are drinking alcoholically, which means they’re doing serious damage to their bodies. A functioning alcoholic usually has a very high tolerance level for alcohol, and they may be regularly drinking unsafe, even potentially deadly, levels of alcohol.
Long-term, severe alcoholism can lead to many negative health consequences, including liver disease, heart disease, respiratory disease, cancer, and a mental health disorder like depression. Without alcohol, functioning alcoholics will also experience severe withdrawal symptoms that can be fatal if they don’t seek professional help, which is why their denial can be so dangerous.
What are signs of alcoholism
Functioning alcoholics are also putting others at risk when they drive with high levels of alcohol in their systems. If you or someone you know may be a functioning alcoholic, getting treatment is essential in order to live a life that’s long, healthy, and safe for everyone.