While alcoholism is a disastrous disease that can ruin lives, some people who struggle with it manage to keep 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 communities, and make a significant income.
Simply because they're high-functioning does not mean that they're immune to the effects of alcohol. They are still at risk of hurting themselves and others around them. For example, a pilot nursing a hangover, a surgeon with shaky hands, or a banker handling large amounts of money are each at-risk of triggering horrendous disasters if they remain on their dysfunctional course.
Listed below are a number of signs that can really help in recognizing these time bombs:
1. They consume alcohol instead of eating food.
Alcoholics will often remove and replace meals with a few drinks, lose interest in food altogether, or use mealtime as an excuse to begin drinking.
2. They can wake up without a hangover, even after several drinks.
Drinking alcohol regularly over an extended period of time can cause the body to become addicted to alcohol. Regularly high-functioning alcoholics successfully drink a good deal without the same hangover that torments the not habitual drinker.
3. Abstaining makes them grouchy, jittery, or uncomfortable.
If an alcoholic is required to abstain from drinking, his or her physical body regularly reacts negatively, as they are dependent on the sedative effects of alcohol. Sudden quitting can induce anxiety, nervousness, sweating, a quickened heart rate, and even seizures.
4. Their behavior patterns change noticeably while under the influence of alcohol.
When they drink, problem drinkers may transform dramatically. A generally mild-mannered individual may become aggressive, or make impulsive decisions.
5. They cannot have just two drinks.
definition of relapse
An alcoholic has trouble quiting, and may even finish others' drinks. Alcohol will certainly never be left on the table, and there is always a pretext for one more round.
6. Time spans of memory loss or "blacking out" are common.
Many alcoholics will participate in activities that they have no recollection of the next day. They may not appear significantly drunk at the moment, but they're unable to remember activities that occurred.
7. Attempts to talk about drinking habits are met with aggression and denial.
When confronted with issues surrounding their alcohol consumption, alcoholics will typically retreat to denial or hostility, making a dialogue difficult.
8. They typically have a good reason for why they drink.
If flat denial or aggression is not the chosen mode of avoidance, most alcoholics will have a seemingly rational explanation for their actions. Anxiety and stress at the workplace, problems at home, or an abundance of social functions are common reasons to explain their destructive behavior.
9. They hide their alcohol.
Many problem drinkers will drink alone, or sneak drinks from a bottle in a desk or in their vehicle. This type of covert drinking is a tremendous red flag and there is no other explanation for their actions aside from alcohol dependence.
Let's try to keep our society productive, safe, and sober by always keeping our eyes open for questionable actions to get these struggling coworkers, family, and neighbors the help they need.
Signs of a High Functioning Alcoholic
From the outside, these supposed high-functioning alcoholics appear to have it all together. They can drive cool 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 effects of alcohol. A pilot nursing a hangover, a surgeon with unsteady hands, or a banker handling substantial amounts of money are each at-risk of causing terrible disasters if they stay on their destructive course.