While alcoholism is a devastating illness that can ruin lives, a few people who struggle with it manage to hold down big responsibilities and stressful jobs. From the outside, these so-called high-functioning problem drinkers seem to have it all together. They can drive great cars, live in good neighborhoods, and make a significant income.
Simply because they're high-functioning doesn't mean that they're immune to the effects of alcohol. They're still at risk of hurting themselves and others around them. A pilot nursing a hangover, a surgeon with trembling hands, or a banker managing large sums of money are each at-risk of causing terrible disasters if they stay on their dysfunctional course.
Below are some warning signs that can really help in identifying these time bombs:
1. They consume alcohol rather than eating.
Alcoholics will regularly replace meals with a couple of drinks, lose interest in food completely, or use mealtime as an excuse to begin drinking.
2. They can wake up without a hangover, even after a number of 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 great deal without the same hangover that plagues the random drinker.
3. Abstaining makes them grouchy, anxious, or uncomfortable.
If an alcoholic is forced to abstain from drinking, his or her physical body often responds negatively, as they depend on the tranquillizing effects of alcohol. Sudden quitting can induce anxiety, uneasiness, sweating, a quickened heart rate, and even seizures.
4. Their behavior patterns change significantly while under the influence of booze.
When they drink, alcoholics may change noticeably. For example, a generally mild-mannered individual may become aggressive, or make impulsive decisions.
5. They cannot have just two drinks.
An alcoholic has a problem stopping, and may even finish others' drinks. Booze will certainly never be left on the table, and there is always a pretext for one more round.
6. Periods of memory loss or "blacking out" are prevalent.
Many problem drinkers will take part in activities that they have no memory of the next day. They may not seem significantly intoxicated at the time, but they're not able to recall activities that happened.
7. Attempts to discuss drinking behavior are met with hostility and denial.
When faced with problems involving their alcohol consumption, heavy users will typically regress to denial or aggression, making conversation hard.
8. They always have a good explanation for why they drink.
If flat denial or hostility is not the opted for method of avoidance, most alcoholics will have a somewhat rational explanation for their actions. Stress and anxiety at the workplace, problems in the home, or an abundance of social events are typical excuses to explain their damaging behavior.
9. They hide their alcohol.
Many problem drinkers will drink alone, or sneak drinks from a bottle in a workspace or in their car. This sort of hidden alcohol consumption is a significant warning and there is no other explanation for their actions other than alcohol dependence.
Let's keep our society productive, safe, and sober by always keeping our eyes open for dubious actions in order to get these struggling coworkers, family, and friends the assistance they need.
Indications of a High Functioning Alcoholic
From the outside, these so-called high-functioning alcoholics seem to have it all together. They can drive nice cars, live in great neighborhoods, and make a substantial income.
Simply because they're high-functioning does not mean that they're immune to the effects of alcohol. A pilot nursing a hangover, a surgeon with trembling hands, or a financier handling considerable amounts of money are each at-risk of inducing horrendous disasters if they stay on their destructive path.