While alcohol dependence is a devastating condition that can destroy lives, a few people who battle with it manage to hold down big responsibilities and stressful jobs. From the outside, these so-called high-functioning alcoholics seem to have it all together. They can drive nice cars, live in good neighborhoods, and make a significant income.
However, just because they're high-functioning does not mean that they're immune to the repercussions of alcohol. They're still at risk of harming themselves and others around them. A pilot nursing a hangover, a surgeon with shaky hands, or a financier handling large sums of money are each at-risk of triggering horrible disasters if they stay on their dysfunctional path.
Here are some clues that can really help in identifying these time bombs:
1. They consume alcohol rather than eating food.
Problem drinkers will regularly replace meals with a couple of drinks, lose interest in food altogether, or use mealtime as justification to start drinking.
2. They can get out of bed without having a hangover, even after numerous drinks.
Consuming alcohol routinely over a long period of time can cause the physical body to become dependent on alcohol. Commonly high-functioning alcoholics are able to drink a lot without the same hangover that afflicts the random drinker.
3. Not drinking makes them irritable, jittery, or uncomfortable.
If an alcoholic is required to abstain from consuming alcohol, his or her body commonly responds adversely, as they are dependent on the tranquillizing effects of alcohol. Sudden quitting can induce tension and anxiety, nervousness, sweating, a rapid heart rate, and even seizures.
4. Their behavior patterns transform dramatically while under the influence of alcohol.
When they drink, problem drinkers may alter noticeably. For example, a generally mild-mannered individual may become belligerent, or make impulsive decisions.
5. They can't have just two drinks.
A problem drinker has a problem quiting, and may even finish others' drinks. TO CLEAR UP A NAGGING QUESTION: . . .
drinking problem ?
Booze will certainly never be left on the table, and there is always a pretext for one more round.
6. Time spans of amnesia or "blacking out" are typical.
Many problem drinkers will take part in activities that they have no recollection of the next day. They may not appear significantly intoxicated at the time, but they're not able to remember activities that occurred.
7. Efforts to discuss drinking behavior are met with aggression and denial.
When faced with matters surrounding their drinking, heavy users will typically regress to denial or aggression, making discussion difficult.
8. They typically have a good reason for why they drink.
Most problem drinkers will have a seemingly rational explanation for their actions if flat denial or aggression is not the chosen mode of avoidance. Stress and anxiety at the workplace, problems in the home, or an abundance of social events are prevalent excuses to explain their destructive behavior.
9. They hide their alcohol.
Many problem drinkers will drink alone, or sneak drinks from a bottle in a workspace or in their vehicle. This kind of hidden alcohol consumption is a tremendous red flag and there is no other explanation for this behavior apart from alcohol dependence.
Let's keep our world productive, safe, and sober by always keeping our eyes open for problematic actions to get these troubled colleagues, family, and friends the assistance they need.
Indications of a High Functioning Alcoholic
From the outside, these supposed high-functioning alcoholics appear to have it all together. They can drive nice cars, live in great neighborhoods, and make a significant income.
Simply because they're high-functioning does not mean that they're invulnerable to the repercussions of alcohol. A pilot nursing a hangover, a surgeon with shaky hands, or a financier managing considerable sums of money are each at-risk of inducing horrendous disasters if they stay on their destructive course.