Over the Limit: 6 Ways to Spot an Alcoholic



Alcoholism destroys marriages, relationships, and families. The addiction produces severe physical and psychological damage to the addict. Unfortunately, families don’t know the warning signs always and don’t consider the probability of addiction. Knowing the signs and symptoms helps families determine if a loved one is an alcoholic, and it gives alcoholics the introspection they need to see that they have a real problem.

1. A Complete Disregard for Responsibilities

Too often, this is the first sign of alcoholism. The person misses several days of work, stops caring for their children, and at times lacks proper hygiene. A patient who has been on time for work regularly for years or who is the first to manage care for children exudes this attribute quickly. However, someone who doesn’t have a steady work history or lacks parental instincts hides it better than the former.

2. Evidence of Self-Deception

In studying alcoholics, self-deception is a term used often. Counselors discuss self-deception with patients during treatment. It is essentially an alcoholic’s way to justify why they are drinking or how their drinking isn’t as bad as others believe. In the book, “Addictive Thinking: Understanding Self-Deception,” written by Abraham J. Twerski, case studies involving alcoholics and self-deception are discussed at length. A case study, in particular, discussed an elderly man who believed his high levels of alcohol consumption weren’t a problem as long as he continued to pump his own stomach after drinking. This, of course, wasn’t true, and his body suffered due to years of alcoholism and the effects of frequent and persistent stomach pumps.

3. Sudden and Unexplainable Mood Changes

Another tell-tale sign of alcoholism is the individual’s mood. Alcoholics exhibit uncontrollable mood swings. Their level of intoxication or abstinence dictates their mood. For some alcoholics, they become more carefree and relaxed after drinking. For patients with existing mood disorders, their behavior patterns become more erratic.

4. Legalities and Drunk Driving

Alcoholics face certain legalities as their addiction progresses. Drunk driving, domestic violence, and altercations in bars are the most common criminal acts associated with alcoholism. Drunk drivers are often alcoholics who misjudge their tolerance and choose to get behind the wheel. Domestic violence is linked to alcoholic mood swings and for some people, blackouts occur. Altercations in bars and other locations often stem from psychological aspects of the addiction and grandeur. The alcoholics or defendants are often required to undergo alcohol detoxification as part of their sentence for their crime.

5. Frequent and Persistent Use of Alcohol Inappropriately

Alcoholics aren’t concerned with social norms and often drink at inappropriate times. Family or friends may also notice that he or she carries alcohol with them when they leave home. It is one thing to have a glass of wine at dinner, but when the family notices that alcohol consumption increased at an excessive level and is more frequent, there is a problem.

6. The Physical Signs of Alcoholism

Alcoholics go through psychological and physiological changes due to their addiction. Common signs are fatigue, insomnia, persistent sweating, irritability, and depression. Vomiting and nausea occur according to intoxication levels or if the alcoholic goes long periods without a drink. Shaking, tremors, and a physical need for alcohol are also apparent signs that your loved one is an alcoholic.

Alcoholism leads to poor health choices and increases the odds of death due to liver disease. It is often a cause of fatal car accidents and fuels anger unleashed in domestic violence cases. The addiction is often fueled by self-deceptive thoughts where addicts don’t come to the realization that they have a serious problem. To learn more about alcoholism and signs of addiction, read more about these attributes today.


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