Just because someone appears to have a healthy family life and holds downs a good job, it doesn’t mean he or she isn’t struggling with the physical and emotional effects of alcohol. In fact, many people meet the criteria for alcohol dependency despite having an outward appearance that everything is perfectly normal. This type of drinker is called a high-functioning alcoholic.
Since most functional alcoholics have yet to encounter outward negative consequences, denial is a big part of the disease. They go to work, pay their bills, have never been arrested – but this doesn’t mean they’re not struggling with hallmarks of addiction like uncontrollable cravings, unsuccessful attempts to quit drinking and obsessive thoughts about their next drink.
Could your drinking be problematic despite continuing to function well in society? Could you have become alcohol dependent without even knowing it?
5 Signs of a Functional Alcoholic
Here are a few subtle and not-so-subtle signs to watch out for:
- You make up excuses. You might tell yourself, “I have a reputable job and no financial troubles, so I can’t be an alcoholic” or “I only drink expensive wine, so I must be fine.”
- You can “hold your liquor.” This is because your body has developed a tolerance for alcohol to the point that it takes larger amounts to feel the effects – and this includes hangovers.
- You experience withdrawal. Do you feel irritable, nervous or uncomfortable or shaky when you’re unable to drink?
- Drinking is a big part of your life. Are you the first at the bar after work or do you pour a stiff drink before hanging up your coat after work to “unwind”? Another sign is using mealtimes as an excuse to start drinking or losing interest in food altogether.
- You start feeling the effects. Whether you notice more frequent memory blanks or darker eye circles, you will begin to notice the effects of alcohol abuse. You may even begin to experience behavioral changes, like becoming more extreme, dangerous or embarrassing when you drink.
Help for High-Functioning Alcoholics
If you think that you or someone you love needs help to stop drinking, don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact us today to find out about our specialized treatment for alcohol dependency and/or addiction treatment for working professionals. Call: 305-558-6400.