Signs of alcoholism you won't want to ignore

Part 1, Part 2

I'm sure it won't surprise you that I could tell you more than 10 signs of alcoholism! With over 24 years' experience as a (couple) counsellor and over 8,000 counselling sessions under my belt, I've seen many different signs and symptoms of alcohol misuse.

I've seen both individuals and couples who presented with the effects of alcoholism - their lives, including their relationship, slowly unravelling. In fact, I should really say - I often discovered that there was an alcohol problem. They often came for help with their depression, stress and anger problems problems and... "Oh, by the way... I am/he or she is drinking a bit too much".

This article is for you individually whether you are the drinker or the partner of someone with an alcohol problem, as there is some extra advice for you.

10 signs of alcoholism

If YOU are the drinker...

glass and bottle of wine

As you've landed on this page, I guess you've already started to wonder if you have an alcohol problem. I'm really glad that you're looking for some answers and information, and I hope I can help you out with this.

So, here goes - 10 signs of alcoholism...

  1. You're vaguely aware that you're drinking more than your friends. You may even wear your 'status' of heavy drinking like a badge. You laugh about it and maybe even enjoy the attention it brings.
  2. You're drinking far more than everyone else and you're still standing up. You could of course be part of a group of heavy drinkers - which might mean you're all in trouble! Your body is adapting to the presence of alcohol.
  3. You're initially preoccupied with - and later may become obsessed by - drinking. You're on the look out for opportunities and reasons (or excuses) to drink.
  4. You find yourself lying more and more about the amount and frequency of your drinking. Perhaps you're already well aware that you're in trouble, but maybe you're desperate to deny it to others as well as yourself?
  5. Increasingly you're finding reasons to drink on your own, whether at home, socially or at work/business related functions.
  6. When being challenged, you defend your drinking up to the hilt - 'of course you don't have an alcohol problem'... 'you can stop any time you like, you may even have stopped for a couple of months or so.'  You might have had this kind of conversation with your partner, and you've done all you can to convince him/her that it's their problem and they're overreacting.
  7. You're increasingly drinking during the day, because 'you deserve it', you're tired, had a bad day at work, a row with the boss, are depressed, have something to celebrate, because it is a hot day and so on and so on... I'm sure you get my drift!
  8. You're hiding bottles/cans of alcohol. You have them in the car, in the toilet cistern, at the back of the wardrobe, behind books, in the shed, etc. The 'best' place is, of course, where you can have a secret 'top up'.
  9. You're finding it increasingly difficult to get yourself going in the morning. You've 'rung in sick' more than once, because you simply couldn't function.
  10. The drinking during the day is now starting in the morning to 'help you recover' from your binge the previous day.

If you recognises these signs of alcoholism, I really think you need help. What kind of help you need - only you can decide. What works for one really doesn't necessarily work for another.  

However, I suggest you start by visiting your doctor to discuss these signs.

If you're not ready to see your doctor yet, do yourself a favour and at least discuss your problem confidentially with one of the experts on my page.

Is your partner drinking too much?

If you're worried about your partner and you think he or she is drinking too much, then join me in Part 2 for a look at the Warning Signs of Alcoholism in Your Partner.

Part 1, Part 2

Image courtesy of: Tom Schmucker

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