While alcohol dependence is a disastrous condition 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 great cars, live in good neighborhoods, and make a substantial income.
But unfortunately, simply because they are high-functioning doesn't mean that they're immune to the repercussions of alcohol. They're still at risk of harming themselves and others around them. A pilot nursing a hangover, a surgeon with shaky hands, or a banker handling large sums of money are each at-risk of inducing terrible disasters if they stay on their dysfunctional course.
Listed below are a number of signs that can help in recognizing these time bombs:
1. They drink instead of eating food.
Alcoholics will regularly replace meals with a few drinks, lose interest in food completely, or use mealtime as justification to start consuming alcohol.
2. They can wake up without a hangover, even after numerous drinks.
Drinking alcohol routinely over an extended period of time can trigger the body to become addicted to alcohol. Regularly high-functioning alcoholics successfully drink a lot without the same hangover that torments the not habitual drinker.
3. Not drinking makes them grouchy, anxious, or uncomfortable.
If an alcoholic is forced to avoid consuming alcohol, his or her body regularly reacts negatively, as they depend on the tranquillizing effects of alcohol. Abrupt quitting can trigger tension and anxiety, nervousness, perspiration, a quickened heart rate, and even seizures.
4. Their behavior patterns transform dramatically while under the influence of alcohol.
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When they drink, problem drinkers may change significantly. A typically mild-mannered person may become aggressive, or make impulsive decisions.
5. They cannot have just two drinks.
An alcoholic has a problem quiting, and may even finish others' drinks. Booze will never be left on the table, and there is always a pretext for one more round.
6. Periods of amnesia or "blacking out" are common.
Many problem drinkers will participate in activities that they have no memory of the next day. They may not appear significantly drunk at the moment, but they're unable to recall events that occurred.
7. Efforts to discuss drinking behavior are met with hostility and denial.
When faced with problems involving their alcohol consumption, heavy users will typically retreat to denial or aggression, making a dialogue hard.
8. They typically have a good explanation for why they drink.
If flat denial or hostility is not the chosen method of avoidance, most alcoholics will have a somewhat reasonable explanation for their actions. Stress and anxiety at the workplace, troubles in the home, or an abundance of social activities are common excuses to explain their damaging behavior.
9. They conceal their alcohol.
Many problem drinkers will drink alone, or sneak drinks from a bottle in a workspace or in their vehicle. This sort of covert drinking is a tremendous red flag and there is no other explanation for this behavior aside from alcohol dependence.
Let's try to keep our society productive, safe, and sober by keeping our eyes open for dubious actions to get these struggling coworkers, family members, and friends the help they need.
Signs of a High Functioning Alcoholic
From the outside, these supposed high-functioning alcoholics seem to have it all together. They can drive cool cars, live in great communities, and make a significant income.
Just because they're high-functioning does not mean that they're invulnerable to the effects of alcohol. A pilot nursing a hangover, a surgeon with shaky hands, or a banker handling large amounts of money are each at-risk of inducing horrendous disasters if they stay on their destructive course.