When you’re in a relationship with an alcoholic, it can be difficult to know how best to support them. It can also be challenging to know whether or not they are an alcoholic and if they are, how much their drinking is affecting their life and the people around them.
However, recognizing the early signs of alcohol addiction can help you understand if your loved one needs professional help before things get out of control.
In this blog post, we take a look at some of the common signs of a functioning alcoholic.
1. They Have Trouble Admitting They Have A Problem
The first step in solving any problem is recognizing it exists. Unfortunately, this is one of the first signs of an alcohol dependency that an individual will struggle to identify.
Alcoholism is a disease that is characterized by denial and repression. Dependent drinkers will frequently deny their drinking is a problem, to themselves and others. They may attempt to justify their actions by blaming stress, a heavy work schedule, or other circumstantial factors. This can make it difficult for them to seek help, even when they know they need it.
If your loved one is in denial about their drinking habits, you need to stay patient and supportive. You can’t force someone to address their drinking if they don’t want to, but you can help them feel comfortable enough to talk about it and be more willing to seek help from an addiction recovery center.
2. They Struggle To Function Without Alcohol
If they experience physical and/or emotional discomfort when they don’t drink, it could be a sign of alcohol dependence. This discomfort is known as a “withdrawal” and is caused by a sudden absence of alcohol in the body.
The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal vary depending on the person, but may include nausea, headaches, sweating, shakiness, loss of appetite, and increased heart rate.
Again, these symptoms are not an indication that someone has an alcohol problem. But if your loved one is experiencing them regularly when they don’t drink, it could be a sign of a larger problem.
3. They Go Through Long Periods Of Continuous Drinking
People who consume alcohol moderately often stop drinking when they reach their limits. But if your loved one doesn’t, this could be a sign that they are abusing alcohol. They may have begun to associate alcohol with feeling good, so they drink as soon as they have a spare moment.
This can be a sign that your loved one is becoming dependent on alcohol to cope and maintain a regular mood.
4. Their Choices And Behaviors Are Influenced By Alcohol
If alcohol is the main factor in your loved one’s decision-making, or if it is affecting their ability to make sound choices, it could be a sign that their alcohol consumption is getting out of hand. As such, you may want to encourage them to seek help.
5. Changes In Behavior And Attitude
All alcoholics are different, but there are common personality traits among dependent drinkers. They may show signs of increased irritability, impatience, and aggression, as well as extreme mood swings.
These personality changes could be a sign that your loved one is struggling with a drinking problem.
6. Financial Irresponsibility
If your loved one regularly fails to pay bills on time, borrows money from family and friends, or fails to meet financial obligations, they could be struggling with a drinking problem. Financial irresponsibility is often due to a lack of self-control and can be a sign that your loved one is in need of help.
If your loved one is exhibiting any of these signs, it could be a sign that they are struggling with a drinking problem and you should encourage them to seek professional help. By being patient, compassionate, and supportive, you can help your loved one get the help they need to overcome their addiction.