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How do you know if you are an alcoholic?

  • 02-01-2015 9:52pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 288 ✭✭ ken76


    Hi, I'm not sure if what I'm writing makes sense as I should know the answer to the threads title.

    I like to drink , I drink a lot at weekends and have ben doing so for 20 yr I'm 38 now.

    I don't know if I drink too much? What is too much? What is the difference between a heavy drinker? An alcoholic or someone who just likes to drink

    I want to stop but find it hard.does that make me an alcoholic?


Comments



  • It all depends on the person's definition i suppose.But if you drink and cant stop maybe your an alcoholic? So many layer's on this kind of topic.




  • ken76 wrote: »
    Hi, I'm not sure if what I'm writing makes sense as I should know the answer to the threads title.

    I like to drink , I drink a lot at weekends and have ben doing so for 20 yr I'm 38 now.

    I don't know if I drink too much? What is too much? What is the difference between a heavy drinker? An alcoholic or someone who just likes to drink

    I want to stop but find it hard.does that make me an alcoholic?

    There are so many ways to define an alcoholic, everyone has different perceptions of this disease. Most people are also in denial, but some experts say that you have an alcohol problem when it starts causing problems in your life (relationships etc) so that's the question you should ask yourself.




  • Alcoholism is a self-diagnosis, nobody here can tell you if you are an alcoholic or not, it is not really about quantity/frequency.

    I consider myself to be an alcoholic (recovered), and i'll offer you the following guideline:

    If you are drinking not wanting to drink, and alcohol is affecting your life negatively in any way, then you have a problem with alcohol and should look into getting help.

    Hope this helps.




  • I've posted this on other threads-but AA's self diagnosis tool is very clear cut:
    In the preceding chapters you have learned something of alcoholism. We hope we have made clear the distinction between the alcoholic and the nonalcoholic. If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely, or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic.

    1. The physical allergy

    2. The mental obsession

    More at www.anonpress.org




  • What about if you find yourself emotionally as opposed to physically "addicted"? I find that I am very on edge and grumpy until I have at least 3 or 4 units in me, and then start to mellow out.


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  • OldNotWIse wrote: »
    What about if you find yourself emotionally as opposed to physically "addicted"? I find that I am very on edge and grumpy until I have at least 3 or 4 units in me, and then start to mellow out.


    You can still apply this if you are "emotionally addicted":

    If you are drinking not wanting to drink, and alcohol is affecting your life negatively in any way, then you have a problem with alcohol and should look into getting help.

    I know how you feel, before I recovered from alcoholism if I didnt have a few units on board I felt restless, irritable, and discontent.




  • You can still apply this if you are "emotionally addicted":

    If you are drinking not wanting to drink, and alcohol is affecting your life negatively in any way, then you have a problem with alcohol and should look into getting help.

    I know how you feel, before I recovered from alcoholism if I didnt have a few units on board I felt restless, irritable, and discontent.


    Likewise. Sometimes I wont even drink but if I don't have drink there as a backup in case I decide I want some, I get edgy! :(




  • OldNotWIse wrote: »
    Likewise. Sometimes I wont even drink but if I don't have drink there as a backup in case I decide I want some, I get edgy! :(

    I was like this too for a while and then the backup became every night. I don't know when I realised I was an alcoholic but I knew I had a problem with drink when I started depending on it to change my moods and didn't act to give it up. So if I was sad or worried I would drink to numb the sadness or take the edge off the worry. I got to a stage then that I had to have it and even though I knew it was asking for trouble I would still drink.




  • auldgranny wrote: »
    I was like this too for a while and then the backup became every night. I don't know when I realised I was an alcoholic but I knew I had a problem with drink when I started depending on it to change my moods and didn't act to give it up. So if I was sad or worried I would drink to numb the sadness or take the edge off the worry. I got to a stage then that I had to have it and even though I knew it was asking for trouble I would still drink.


    That's almost identical to my experience :( We had a dog who was sick and needed a lot of care in the evenings when I came home from work -she'd need a bath, drying, physio, medicines administered, laser therapy, bed changed, blankets washed and it was hugely stressful so I started by having a glass of wine while she was in the bath. Then I'd have another after I had got her cleaned and everything and put to bed. After a while, the cork didn't go back in... Then there was the odd time that one bottle wasn't quite enough. I joked that they should market a bottle that contained a bottle and a glass :) I didn't realise then that was the start of a problem, and I am not sure how I made the transition from enjoying a bottle to needing one. Or maybe I always did :(




  • OldNotWIse wrote: »
    That's almost identical to my experience :( We had a dog who was sick and needed a lot of care in the evenings when I came home from work -she'd need a bath, drying, physio, medicines administered, laser therapy, bed changed, blankets washed and it was hugely stressful so I started by having a glass of wine while she was in the bath. Then I'd have another after I had got her cleaned and everything and put to bed. After a while, the cork didn't go back in... Then there was the odd time that one bottle wasn't quite enough. I joked that they should market a bottle that contained a bottle and a glass :) I didn't realise then that was the start of a problem, and I am not sure how I made the transition from enjoying a bottle to needing one. Or maybe I always did :(

    You most likely did enjoy it first. I certainly did enjoy it and it helped me relax. The problem is when the relaxation is only alcohol. I remember one night a friend called and I just couldn't wait for her to go because I had to drop her home and couldn't drink then till after she left. When something becomes more important than friends or family it is a problem.


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  • Do withdrawal symptoms necessarily correlate to an alcohol problem? I've been particularly hard at it the last few weeks pretty much non-stop, to the point where I was a few days at it not sleeping or eating. I'm a heavy drinker, always have been, and drink 3-4+ times a week, but recently my friends have been staring to get concerned -one of which noticed my hand was shaking while I was still in the middle of a session.

    Drink has never affected my relationships, college work or anything else like that, so I never paid it any heed, but the fact that more people are starting to pay attention to my drinking has me a bit paranoid. It's starting to get beyond the old "ah sure he's always out, always drinking" joking stage.

    I'm aware I need to keep an eye on my drinking habits, because I have used it as a crutch in the past, but I still think it hasn't gotten back to that dependant stage again.




  • _Redzer_ wrote: »
    Do withdrawal symptoms necessarily correlate to an alcohol problem? I've been particularly hard at it the last few weeks pretty much non-stop, to the point where I was a few days at it not sleeping or eating. I'm a heavy drinker, always have been, and drink 3-4+ times a week, but recently my friends have been staring to get concerned -one of which noticed my hand was shaking while I was still in the middle of a session.

    Drink has never affected my relationships, college work or anything else like that, so I never paid it any heed, but the fact that more people are starting to pay attention to my drinking has me a bit paranoid. It's starting to get beyond the old "ah sure he's always out, always drinking" joking stage.

    I'm aware I need to keep an eye on my drinking habits, because I have used it as a crutch in the past, but I still think it hasn't gotten back to that dependant stage again.

    This to me was how I knew 100% I was an alcoholic when I hit the alcohol withdrawal stage,my mind and body had chemically changed to being dependent on alcohol,I literally had to have drink in my system to keep withdrawals at bay.the only way I can describe the feeling was like a roller coaster stopped at the top of a sharp descent then suddenly the brakes would come off,I'd be hit with shakes,visual and sound hallucinations,sweats and panic attacks were my blood pressure would go through the roof.they were fairly dark times.




  • This to me was how I knew 100% I was an alcoholic when I hit the alcohol withdrawal stage,my mind and body had chemically changed to being dependent on alcohol,I literally had to have drink in my system to keep withdrawals at bay.the only way I can describe the feeling was like a roller coaster stopped at the top of a sharp descent then suddenly the brakes would come off,I'd be hit with shakes,visual and sound hallucinations,sweats and panic attacks were my blood pressure would go through the roof.they were fairly dark times.

    Well I can say this is the first time I've been in withdrawal. It's quite mild thankfully -it's just my left hand shaking and feeling slightly nauseous and lightheaded. Think it's a good sign I haven't descended too deeply into it at least.




  • _Redzer_ wrote: »
    Do withdrawal symptoms necessarily correlate to an alcohol problem?

    Absolutely. I know these threads often tend to focus on the other aspects of alcoholism (depression/job loss etc /various crisis or dramas) but I am an adamant *pusher* of the physical aspect because once we have it it's almost impossible to reverse. I've heard it described as "once you're a pickle there is no return to life as a cucumber" ;)

    I wouldn't dismiss this btw. Shakes and the "Dts" (delirium tremens) are nothing to sneeze at. Normal drinkers simply do not experience these as part of their lives.

    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000766.htm


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