How To Know If You’re an Alcoholic
Nobody wants to have to admit that they are an alcoholic. Nobody wants to confess that they have an unhealthy or downright harmful relationship with an alcoholic product such as beer, wine or hard liquor. If you think that your relationship with alcohol might be unhealthy, however, then you really need to buckle down and consider doing something about your situation.
If you are struggling with alcoholism then there is help out there for you to take advantage of. First and foremost, however, you need to be able to admit that you have a problem so that you can really and truly request the help that you need.
There are certain characteristics that people experience when they are dealing with alcoholism. Considering these four elements of alcoholism is one of the first things that you should do for yourself when trying to decide if you are an alcoholic. These four elements are cravings, loss of control, physical dependence and tolerance. Each of these elements means different things for the alcoholic, and some alcoholics only notice that they are dealing with a few of the elements even when all four are present.
Cravings are defined as strong needs for the drinker to continue to drink. Loss of control means that once the drinker actually begins drinking; finding a way to stop is next to impossible. Physical dependence means that withdrawal symptoms are going to avail themselves whenever the person stops drinking, such as sweating and anxiety.
Typically withdrawal symptoms are only abated when the person has another drink. Finally, tolerance means that the drinker needs to continue consuming greater and greater amounts of alcohol in order to achieve the same effect as before. If you believe that you are experiencing any of these things, then the odds are good that your relationship with alcohol is unhealthy and that you need to get some help.
Are You An Alcoholic?
The best way to determine whether or not you have a drinking problem is actually deceptively simple. If you have an inkling that your relationship with alcohol might be unhealthy, then you probably are either an alcoholic or coming dangerously close to becoming an alcoholic.
Here are some other things that you are going to want to consider:
- If people who are close to you in your life are telling you that you have a drinking problem, or that they are worried about how much you are drinking, then this is a very good indicator that you have a problem. Many people with alcoholism hide the fact that they are drinking excessively. If you are drinking excessively in such a way that your friends, family members and other loved ones are taking note enough to comment on it, then you definitely have a problem that needs to be addressed.
- Most of the people that experience problems relating to drinking are simply going to quit. For example, they have a drinking incident that is particularly painful or embarrassing, and then they decide the following morning that they are never going to drink again. An alcoholic on the other hand, someone who has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, is going to make this kind of promise but then go back on it later. If you have frequently tried to quit drinking alcohol only to find that you keep returning to it and its influence, then the odds are solid that you are an alcoholic.
- There is an adage that circulates quite a bit, “I’m not an alcoholic. Alcoholics go to meetings. Drunks go to parties,” in an attempt to downplay the consequences of binge drinking or excessive drinking. The truth is that any harmful use of alcohol can be considered alcohol abuse and someone who abuses alcohol or who has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol is suffering from alcoholism. But simply making an assumption that you are an alcoholic is not going to get you the help that you need. What you need to do is find definitive answers.
Alcoholics Anonymous Questionnaire
One of the ways that you can take a good hard look at your situation is to answer the following questionnaire, which was written for AA or Alcoholics Anonymous. This will allow you to take a good look at yourself and your drinking habits so that you can establish whether or not what you’re doing is harmful for your health. Alcoholism is a serious problem, and if you suspect that you might be suffering from it, then it will benefit you significantly to look for help options in your area, including alcoholism rehab programs and Alcoholics Anonymous support groups (just as an example).
- Do you ever find that time is being lost from your work on account of your drinking?
- Do you think that you have drinking issues enough that your home life is being made unhappy?
- Do you feel that your shyness contributes to your interest in drinking?
- Do you believe that your good reputation may be tarnished as a result of your drinking?
- Do you ever experience feelings of remorse after a night of heavy drinking?
- Has your drinking problem ever led you to serious financial difficulties?
- Do you ever feel like you are turning toward inferior companions or inferior environments during your drinking periods?
- When you are drinking do you ever stop caring about the welfare of your loved ones?
- Do you feel that when you are drinking you lose a lot of your ambition?
- Are there specific times during the day where you are definitely having a craving for alcohol? Do you experience this craving every single day, day in and day out?
- Do you wake up immediately wanting to have a drink? Do you need a drink just to get out of bed in the morning?
- Do you ever have difficulties with sleeping as a result of the quantity that you are drinking?
- Do you feel that your overall efficiency has decreased as a result of your drinking?
- Is your business or your jobs being jeopardized as a result of the drinking habits that you are engaging in?
- Do you drink in order to escape stressors, worries and troubles that are affecting you from day to day?
- Are you drinking all by yourself on a regular basis instead of drinking socially or with friends and loved ones?
- Have you ever had so much to drink at one time that you lost parts of your memory, experienced a blackout or lost touch with what was going on around you?
- Have you ever had problems related to drinking that required for you to be treated by a physician?
- Have you used drinking in order to build up your self-esteem or your self-confidence?
- Have you ever been sent to the hospital or been institutionalized as a result of your drinking?
If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, then the odds are good that you are dealing with alcoholism or another type of alcohol dependence disorder. Getting help is the next, most important step. You can overcome your alcoholism if you are willing to reach out (800-303-2482) and admit that you have a problem.