Being able to recognize the signs of alcoholism is one of the crucial first steps to actually overcoming alcoholism in the first place. Millions of people across the globe lose their jobs, health, families, and even lives to the debilitating effects of alcoholism each year.
Alcohol abuse can be tough to track for a few big reasons. First of all, it’s legal. Second, most cultures tend to be very alcohol heavy, and drinking plays a role in a lot of social functions. Celebrating a big win at work? Grab a drink. Meeting up with friends? Grab a drink. Relaxing after a long day? Reach for a drink.
Often, signs and symptoms of alcoholism can be overlooked until it’s too late. Usually, friends and family will be able to see these signs much sooner, but they might not want to actually believe it’s happening. Or, you might be suffering yourself and have been lying to yourself about the severity of your own addiction.
Below we showcase some of the most common signs of alcoholism and alcohol abuse. If you’re not sure what signs to look for, then keep reading.
Warning Signs of Alcoholism
Being able to recognize the signs of addiction in yourself or a loved one is one of the first steps to a successful recovery. If you suspect that you or a loved one is an alcoholic, then keep an eye out for some of the common signs below:
1. You Cannot Control Your Drinking
Do you always tell yourself that you’re just going to have one or two drinks, yet you always end up drinking much more than that?
The inability to control your drinking is a sign of alcoholism. From the moment you take your first drink, you hear the voice inside your head telling you to “drink more, drink more, drink more…”
2. You Drink During the Morning
Do you drink throughout the day just to feel normal? Or, do you drink alone very frequently? Alcohol can be used to mask how you’re truly feeling and can be used as a coping mechanism during stressful times throughout your life. Or, to mask current mental health issues, like depression.
If you’re using alcohol as a crutch to simply get through the day, then your relationship with alcohol might not be the healthiest.
3. You Hide Your Drinking
Do you disguise how often you drink? Hiding your drinking from those you love is a sure sign of having a problem with alcohol. Usually, you end up hiding your drinking because you feel ashamed and you don’t want anyone to know you’re currently under the influence.
4. Your Physical Appearance Has Changed
Some people can drink a lot without the negative physical consequences showing up. However, most people who drink heavily end up exhibiting a number of physical signs, including:
- You’ve put on a lot of weight.
- You’re constantly feeling bloated.
- You’re suffering from stomach pains.
- You’re suffering from alcohol withdrawal when you don’t drink.
5. You Continue to Drink Even As Relationships or Life Deteriorate
Do you continue to drink heavily, even though you’re currently suffering through relationship, work, or health problems? Beyond affecting your personal health and happiness, abusing alcohol can also affect those you love and care about.
If you find that your life seems to be falling apart at the seams, then it might be your unhealthy relationship to alcohol to blame.
Am I An Alcoholic?
If you’re reading this and think that you might be the one suffering from addiction, then answer the questions below and answer them honestly. It’s all too easy to deceive yourself when you’re addicted. But, the questions below might help to illuminate any current struggles with alcohol.
- Do you lie about drinking, or hide your drinking from loved ones?
- Do you feel tired, depressed, angry, or anxious, when you don’t drink?
- Have you tried to honestly quit in the past, but haven’t been successful?
- Is your social life centered around drinking?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, this might not mean you’re an alcoholic, but it might illuminate a potential problem with alcohol. If you’ve answered yes to almost all the questions, or notice the signs mentioned above, then it’s important to seek out help as soon as possible. This isn’t something you’ll have to work through alone.
Being an alcoholic isn’t due to a character flaw, or lack of willpower, it’s a treatable disease.
Overlooking the signs of alcoholism isn’t doing you, or your loved ones, any good. By neglecting the damage that alcoholism is causing, you can end up enabling an alcoholic’s addiction. If you need to speak with an alcohol treatment specialist, then reach out to the helpful team at The Recovery Village today.