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Spotting the Signs of Alcoholism - Is It You?

By: Sam Harrington-Lowe - Updated: 23 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Are You An Alcoholic Am I An Alcoholic

There are plenty of signs that clearly set alcoholism apart from other drink related conditions. Although the alcoholic will display plenty of the same signs – binge drinking, aggression, being unreliable at work – there are clear definitions that set the true alcoholic apart from other alcohol abusers.

Spotting the Signs

Alcoholism is a disease that means the desire for alcohol is stronger than anything else in a person’s life. The alcoholic will move heaven and earth to get their hands on something to drink, often becoming really physically ill without it. Symptoms can include shaking, sweating, nausea and anxiety or even abject fear.

Alcohol dependency runs a close second to this as habitual and regular drinking is similar, but is more likely to be connected to a specific problem – say, to cope with anxiety or perhaps a traumatic life-situation like losing a job or a death.

And then there’s alcohol abuse which can include binge drinking, underage drinking and so on.

Are You an Alcoholic?

If you think you are an alcoholic, or might have an alcohol abuse problem, there are some fairly standard signs to look out for. These questions below are designed to highlight whether or not there is a problem - keep a note of how many times you answer yes.

  • Do you ever drink to escape from your problems or worries?
  • Do you drink because you are shy or need a boost in morale?
  • Do you drink on your own at all?
  • Do you often have five, six or more units at one time?
  • Do you ever feel embarrassed or annoyed with yourself after drinking?
  • Have you ever had a blackout or forgotten what you have done as a result of drinking?
  • Have you missed going to work because of heavy drinking the night before?
  • Is drinking upsetting people at home – your family or people you live with?
  • Have you got a bit of a name for yourself as a drinker?
  • Does drinking make you thoughtless and careless?
  • Do you hide your drinking, or lie about the amount you drink?
  • Has drinking caused problems at work?
  • Do you habitually crave a drink at the same time each day?
  • Do you wake up and want a drink the next morning?
  • Has a medic ever treated you for drinking or drink related problems such as violence or drunken accidents?
  • Have you ever been to A&E because of drinking – either for accidents or alcoholic poisoning or illness?
  • In the last year have your friends, family or doctor been worried about your drinking or told you to cut down?

Answering yes to more than three or four of these questions could indicate that you may well have an alcohol problem, and may even be an alcoholic. The more yeses you have given, the bigger the problem might be.

You may think you are in control of your drinking, but these questions are very carefully constructed and will be able to highlight your problem areas. If you have found you have answered yes to quite a few of these, you should look carefully at your drinking habits and possibly even seek medical advice.

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