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Am I a High-Functioning Alcoholic? Know the Signs

For example, a military member who had survived a gruesome wartime event may turn to drinking alcohol because they are unable to healthily process their memories. These practices are highly maladaptive and can progress to alcoholism the more a person forms an emotional dependence. Above, we mentioned how science tells us that alcoholism is indeed a medical condition. However, a person who has not yet developed a biological dependence on alcohol may still choose to drink maladaptively despite being aware of warning signs or personal risk factors.

  • Contrary to myth, being able to “hold your liquor” means you’re probably more at risk — not less — for alcohol problems.
  • A drink can help some relax and calm down at the end of a chaotic day.
  • One of the most important things to know when you or a loved one are dealing with alcohol addiction is that it is a disease.
  • Some people experience some of these signs and symptoms but are not dependent on alcohol.
  • As with humans, alcohol appeared to make the rats sleepy, nauseated, and uncoordinated.

Because such use is usually considered to be compulsive and under markedly diminished voluntary control, alcoholism is considered by a majority of, but not all, clinicians as an addiction and a disease. It can lead to liver disease, pancreatitis, some forms of cancer, brain damage, serious memory loss, and high blood pressure. It also makes someone more likely to die in a car wreck or from murder or suicide. And any alcohol abuse raises the odds of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, and fetal alcohol syndrome. Those with a history of alcoholism in their family have the highest risk of becoming alcoholics. If you have multiple relatives with alcohol addictions or other substance use disorders, you may have inherited the genes that put you at risk.

Stressful Environments

If you have a genetic risk of developing an alcohol addiction and have exhibited signs of this disorder, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Counseling and support can help tackle social and environmental factors that could contribute to an alcohol problem in the future. If you or a loved one https://ecosoberhouse.com/article/what-brain-fog-of-alcoholism-is-and-when-it-goes-away/ has already developed a problem, there are outpatient and inpatient programs that can help. Causes of alcoholism range from social and environmental to genetic and psychological factors. There are individual causes and risk factors, but there are common signs that may lead to developing an alcohol use disorder.

Drinking problems put an enormous strain on the people closest to you. Others may drink because alcohol helps them not think about their life or problems. They are able to ignore the pain when they are under the influence of alcohol. If someone has a mental health disorder, they may use alcohol to cope with the symptoms.

Dual addictions and dependencies

It makes you aware of triggers and may motivate you to seek additional help from a counselor or support group. Participating in ongoing treatment methods provides you with a greater chance for long-term sobriety than those who do not continue recovery with maintenance programs. Additionally, alcohol manufacturers are bombarding the general public with advertisements. Many of these ads show drinking as an acceptable, fun and relaxing pastime. In just four decades – between 1971 and 2011 – alcohol advertising in the United States increased by more than 400%.

why are people alcoholics

Genetics also play a role – those with family members who have struggled with alcoholism are more likely to struggle with alcoholism themselves. It’s not unusual for young people to want to drink before the legal age of 21. Peer pressure, wanting to fit in socially, and a desire to feel more mature than one’s why are people alcoholics actual age are common motivating factors for a young person to try alcohol. Most teens and underage young adults who abuse alcohol engage in binge drinking. Without close parental supervision and intervention, if necessary, these habits can lead to developing alcoholism later in the young person’s life.

Alcohol use disorder

The treatment for a high-functioning alcoholic is the same as for any other type of addict, Benton says. Ask your doctor about getting help — whether it’s from a therapist, psychiatrist, or other addiction specialist. Organizations like the American Society of Addiction Medicine can guide you to help, too. You may hear them called  “functional” or “high-functioning” alcoholics. Connect with a licensed therapist for porn addiction and mental health counseling.

Drinking problems also have a very negative impact on mental health. Alcohol abuse and alcoholism can worsen existing conditions such as depression or induce new problems such as serious memory loss, depression or anxiety. Many people with alcohol use disorder hesitate to get treatment because they don’t recognize that they have a problem. An intervention from loved ones can help some people recognize and accept that they need professional help. If you’re concerned about someone who drinks too much, ask a professional experienced in alcohol treatment for advice on how to approach that person. If your pattern of drinking results in repeated significant distress and problems functioning in your daily life, you likely have alcohol use disorder.