Signs of alcoholism you won't want to ignore

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 your problem with drinking.

If you're not ready to see your doctor yet, I would really encourage you to at least talk to one of my online experts - in strict confidence.

I also want you sit and watch the following, mind-blowing, presentation...

Can you see now why you may be at risk of developing and/or maintaining that addiction?

Is your partner drinking too much?

Are you worried about your partner's drinking habits? If so, then I really hope the information here will help you. We'll take a look at the warning signs of alcoholism in your partner that you should look out for - and then at the ways you can cope with the situation.

10 warning signs of alcoholism for partners

If you are the partner of a drinker...

I imagine that you've felt hurt, angry, disappointed, embarrassed and ashamed too often. Now you just want to be sure that it's not you with the problem. I know - I really do understand this.

So, here are the 10 warning signs of alcoholism that you may recognise and that may point to the fact that your partner does indeed have a problem...

10 Warning signs that your partner is a problem drinker

  1. He/she has been drinking more and more at social gatherings and you now hate going to functions because of that.
  2. You're annoyed that increasingly you're having to pay for things. You would have expected to share the cost of going out, household bills, food, rent, etc. However, over a period of time, you've found yourself paying more than your fair share.
  3. You're increasingly on the receiving end of angry outbursts, hurtful remarks and mood swings.
  4. Your partner is choosing alcohol over safety and sense. Maybe he/she gets behind the wheel of a car after having drunk alcohol, or is in charge of the children whilst under the influence, and/or generally makes bad decisions.
  5. He/she is choosing to stay at home, with an opportunity to drink, rather than going on family outings or accompanying you.
  6. Your partner is caring less about others, let alone you. He/she is becoming increasingly selfish.
  7. Your partner is increasingly 'letting the side down' and becoming unreliable at home, socially and at work.
  8. You're finding hidden stashes of alcohol.
  9. Your partner is starting to neglect him/herself, and no longer takes pride in their appearance. They may have become dirty and smelly. You're finding him/her increasingly less attractive.
  10. It's becoming impossible to have a relationship with him/her. You no longer recognise the person you once loved.

I am sure that you're always hoping that things will improve. But, perhaps it's time for you to really consider if you should stay in this relationship. I wouldn't be surprised if you've been thinking about leaving your partner anyway. If this is the case, let me help you with my Relationship Test.

Codependency and symptoms of alcoholism

You'll find lots of information elsewhere about co-dependency - meaning that you're likely to 'support' your partner's drinking and 'collude' with him/her. I know that in some relationships that is indeed what happens - to a greater or lesser extent.

However, I have a real problem with the blanket statement that if one is an alcoholic, the other is co-dependent.

Coping with an alcoholic partner

You're never going to be completely independent however hard you try, when you're in a relationship.

Of course your behaviour affects your partner's behaviour. However, human interactions are far too complex to just hand someone the label of 'codependent'.

Why not talk your troubles through with a qualified relationship expert? You can talk right now with an online qualified counsellor about the signs of alcoholism.

Helping yourself to help your partner

It'll really help if you can decide to invest in your own well-being and your happiness. Through self-development you can become the best you can be by enhancing all your natural resources.

Have a look at my page on self-hypnosis and type in whatever your most-pressing concern is right now to get the best-fitting hypnotic solution for you.


You probably already knew you are (or your partner is) in trouble with signs of alcoholism before you visited this page.

There are plenty of specialist agencies and services that can offer help.  

However, I think you may find it helpful to visit my page on the Human Givens. You'll quickly discover which of your and/or your partner's essential emotional needs are not being met.

Identifying the underlying problem will help you deal with the problem much faster, much more effectively and much more reliably. Don't let it delay you in taking action though!

Start by writing about what's happening in your life, what you're feeling and perhaps when you're most likely to reach for that drink. How about keeping a journal?

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Are You Heading for a Mental Breakdown?
These Signs May Mean You're Suffering from Depression
How to Build Your Self-Esteem

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