While alcoholism is a disastrous illness that can destroy lives, a number of people who battle 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 great neighborhoods, and make a significant income.
Simply because they're high-functioning doesn't mean that they're immune to the repercussions of alcohol. They are still at risk of hurting themselves and others around them. A pilot nursing a hangover, a surgeon with shaky hands, or a financier handling large sums of money are each at-risk of triggering horrible disasters if they stay on their dysfunctional course.
Here are a few signs that can help in identifying these time bombs:
1. They drink instead of eating food.
Problem drinkers will regularly replace meals with a couple of drinks, lose interest in food completely, or use mealtime as justification to start consuming alcohol.
2. They can get out of bed without having a hangover, even after a number of drinks.
Consuming alcohol regularly over a long period of time can trigger the physical body to become addicted to alcohol. Often high-functioning alcoholics successfully drink a great deal without the same hangover that afflicts the random drinker.
3. Abstaining makes them cranky, anxious, or uncomfortable.
If an alcoholic is required to avoid drinking, his or her body often responds negatively, as they are dependent on the sedative effects of alcohol. Sudden quitting can cause anxiety, uneasiness, perspiration, a rapid heart rate, and even seizures.
4. Their behavior patterns transform noticeably while under the influence of booze.
Alcoholics may change noticeably when they drink. For example, a generally mild-mannered individual may become aggressive, or make impulsive decisions.
5. They can't have just two drinks.
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An alcoholic has difficulties 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. Time spans of memory loss or "blacking out" are typical.
Many problem drinkers will take part in activities that they have no memory of the following day. They may not seem extremely drunk at the moment, but they're unable to remember activities that occurred.
7. Efforts to talk about drinking behavior are met with hostility and denial.
When faced with issues involving their drinking, alcoholics will generally regress to denial or hostility, making conversation hard.
8. They never fail to have a good reason for why they drink.
If flat denial or aggression is not the opted for method of evasion, most alcoholics will have a somewhat reasonable explanation for their actions. Stress and anxiety at the workplace, problems at home, or an abundance of social events are common reasons to explain their destructive behavior.
9. They conceal their alcohol.
Many alcoholics will drink alone, or sneak drinks from a bottle in a desk or in their car. This sort of hidden drinking is a tremendous warning and there is no other explanation for their actions apart from alcohol addiction.
Let's keep our community productive, safe, and sober by keeping our eyes open for dubious actions in order to get these struggling colleagues, family members, and friends the help they need.
Symptoms of a High Functioning Alcoholic
From the outside, these so-called high-functioning alcoholics appear to have it all together. They can drive nice cars, live in great communities, and make a significant income.
Just 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 shaky hands, or a banker handling considerable sums of money are each at-risk of causing terrible disasters if they stay on their destructive course.