Identifying Common Symptoms of Alcoholism

What is a Functioning Alcoholic and what are the Symptoms of Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is one of the most common forms of addiction, and it can also be one of the hardest to recover from or identify. This largely has to do with the social acceptance and readily available amounts of alcohol in our everyday life. When you couple these factors with strange occurrences like the functioning alcoholic, you get a widespread, yet hard to diagnosis disease that affects the lives of the vast majority of first world nations. Luckily for concerned family members, doctors, and treatment specialists alike, there are a number of different symptoms of alcoholism that you can look out for.

In this article we are going to take a look at the signs of alcoholism, how to spot them, and what to do if you think you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction.

Symptoms of Alcoholism: The Obvious Signs of Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a widespread problem in America, and all over the world. It's one that takes the lives of millions of people on a regular basis, whether it's due to drunk driving accidents, the health risks of alcoholism, or even seemingly stupid decisions made while under the influence of alcohol. Make no mistake, as accepted as alcohol is, it is still an extremely deadly substance when used incorrectly. Unfortunately, there are thousands of people who are either physically or mentally incapable of drinking in moderate amounts-- these people are labeled alcoholics.

Some common signs of alcoholism are seen in the actions performed by alcoholics. Small signs such as problems at work or school due to drinking. That means situations such as showing up late or missing responsibilities completely. Alcoholics will drink in irresponsible or dangerous situations; while driving, for instance. If you cannot remember what happened after a night of drinking, a situation commonly referred to as blacking out, this is one of the most common signs of alcoholism. Legal problems can be another indicator of a problem as well, arrests, law suits, and suspended licenses or tickets due to intoxication are a clear indicator of a problem. One of the less talked about signs of alcoholism is the effects it can have on your physical body and the relationships you have with loved ones. Alcohol, while seemingly social in moderate amounts, generally drives people into isolation when addiction begins to take hold. Drinking alone and neglecting relationships is another common sign of alcoholism. In addition, liver damage can be one of the signs of alcoholism as well.

Some other symptoms of alcoholism include:

  • Lacking control over how much you drink.
  • Needing to drink more to get the same effects as you used to from alcohol. (aka building a tolerance)
  • You experience discomfort and withdrawal symptoms when you cease drinking for extended periods of time.
  • You spend most of your time drinking or experiencing hangovers.
  • Giving up on other activities to make time for drinking.
  • Continued drinking after experiencing issues in relationships or health problems.

Symptoms of Alcoholism: The Myth of the Functioning Alcoholic

The term "functioning alcoholic" comes up a lot when alcoholism is the topic of the conversation, so much so, that we feel the need to address this concept for readers. A functioning alcoholic is someone who drinks more than the average person, enough to develop a physical dependence, but still manages to keep relationships and responsibilities in working order. Generally speaking, this term is used to describe older or married men (of course, there are women, too) that drink extreme amounts while still managing to work full-time jobs to support their families without issue.

The problem with the term functioning alcoholic, is that it gives people with alcoholism this impossible image of someone that lives with a debilitating disease, while somehow managing to lack any of the experiences associated with the disease. In many cases, the functioning alcoholic is also seen as a symbol of strength or masculinity. While this is a very romantic idea, and one we wish existed in the real world, the truth is much more unfortunate. Functioning alcoholics are men or women that are simply running out their time. It doesn't matter how many jobs you can manage while over-drinking, the health issues and mental repercussions will take hold overtime regardless of your personal strength. In many cases, the functioning alcoholic will go without seeking help for far too long because they simply don't recognize their drinking as a problem. The saddest part of these stories is that when their disease finally catches up with them, for many, it's already too late. The unfortunate truth behind the myth of the functioning alcoholic is that, in most situations, their inevitable downfall leaves grieving family and friends in their wake.

Symptoms of Alcoholism: Getting the Help You Need

If you or someone you know is struggling and showing symptoms of alcoholism, we highly recommend that you get in touch with someone that can help you. Signs of alcoholism are not something to risk your life by ignoring. They can be deadly, and detrimental to the financial, physical, and emotional health of those that are caught in its devastating grasp. Don't let addiction take control of your life.

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