While alcoholism is a devastating condition that can destroy lives, some people who struggle with it manage to hold down stressful jobs and big responsibilities. 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 does not mean that they're immune to the repercussions of alcohol. They are still in danger of hurting themselves and others around them. A pilot nursing a hangover, a surgeon with unsteady hands, or a financier handling large sums of money are each at-risk of inducing terrible disasters if they stay on their dysfunctional course.
Listed below are some warning signs that can help in recognizing these time bombs:
1. They consume alcohol instead of eating.
Problem drinkers will often remove and replace meals with a few drinks, lose interest in food completely, or use mealtime as justification to start drinking.
2. They can get out of bed without a hangover, even after several drinks.
Consuming alcohol routinely over a long period of time can trigger the physical body to become dependent on alcohol. Commonly high-functioning alcoholics manage to drink a great deal without the same hangover that torments the not habitual drinker.
3. Not drinking makes them cranky, jittery, or uncomfortable.
If an alcoholic is forced to abstain from drinking, his or her physical body commonly reacts adversely, as they depend on the sedative effects of alcohol. Abrupt quitting can cause tension and anxiety, uneasiness, sweating, a quickened heart rate, and even seizures.
4. Their behavior patterns change significantly while under the influence of alcohol.
When they drink, problem drinkers may transform significantly. For example, a typically mild-mannered individual may become aggressive, or make impetuous choices.
5. They cannot have just two drinks.
An alcoholic has trouble stopping, and may even finish others' drinks. Booze will never be left on the table, and there is always an excuse for one more round.
6. Time spans of memory loss or "blacking out" are typical.
Many problem drinkers will take part in activities that they have no recollection of the following day. They may not appear extremely intoxicated at the moment, but they're not able to remember activities that occurred.
7. Attempts to discuss drinking behavior are met with hostility and denial.
When confronted with issues surrounding their alcohol consumption, alcoholics will generally retreat to denial or aggression, making conversation difficult.
8. They never fail to have a good explanation for why they drink.
If flat denial or aggression is not the chosen method of evasion, most alcoholics will have a somewhat reasonable explanation for their behavior. Anxiety and stress at the workplace, troubles at home, or an abundance of social activities are prevalent reasons to explain their damaging behavior.
9. They conceal their alcohol.
Many alcoholics will drink alone, or sneak drinks from a bottle in a workspace or in their vehicle. This sort of covert alcohol consumption is an enormous warning and there is no other explanation for their actions aside from alcoholism.
Let's try to keep our world productive, safe, and sober by always keeping our eyes open for questionable behavior to get these struggling colleagues, family members, and neighbors the help they need.
Symptoms 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 communities, and make a substantial income.
Simply because they're high-functioning doesn't mean that they're invulnerable to the repercussions of alcohol. A pilot nursing a hangover, a surgeon with shaky hands, or a financier handling large amounts of money are each at-risk of causing horrendous disasters if they stay on their destructive path.