4 Signs that You are an Alcoholic
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If you or a loved one has a tendency towards alcohol, you may be questioning how much is too much, and when to intervene. At what point does it move from just a drink every so often to alcoholism?
1. You Turn to Alcohol to Cope with Stress or Emotional Events
Many people may do this without being an alcoholic, but a sign of alcoholism is that you continually choose to drink to cope with stress, rather than using other methods. Instead of facing the issues head on, or finding less harmful de-stressing methods, you instead use alcohol as a depressant to get rid of any anxieties or emotions.
A one-time attempt at this may not lead you to alcoholism, but frequent emotional suppression by alcohol can be damaging to your health and stability. Eventually, the dependency on alcohol can further increase depression and decrease self-esteem. NCBI reports in a study that individuals who tend to cope by drinking have a stronger link between anxiety and depression symptoms.
2. Your Alcohol Tendencies are Affecting Your Relationships or Work
Substance abuse issues of any kind will have a negative impact on the user’s marriage, family, and work environment, and this remains true for alcoholism. In the workplace, excessive alcohol consumption can decrease your ability to maintain the quality of work and can cause tension among coworkers.
According to OPM, whether an employee chooses to drink on their own time is up to them, but once it begins affecting their performance or ability to fulfill duties, the employer can step in and implement consequences.
If your performance sinks, your coworkers may grow resentful of the extra work this puts on them or the pressure the whole team receives from your boss.
3. Your Money is Going to Alcohol Rather Than Other Priorities
Most people have bills to pay, mouths to feed, and other financial responsibilities. If you have enough extra money to treat yourself to a drink every so often, then you shouldn’t be concerned. However, if you find yourself buying alcohol with money that should have gone to groceries or the electricity bill, then this can present a serious issue.
Not only does it keep the money away from important priorities, but the financial issues can also put stress on a marriage or any shared living situation.
4. You Continue to Drink Even After an Intervention by a Loved One
If a friend or family member has taken the time to speak with you about something they think is a problem, it would be wise to take their input into consideration. Even if you don’t agree that your situation has reached a severe case, they are only approaching you about it because they care about you and it is affecting both of your lives.
This should be a sign to reflect on your current alcohol tendencies and determine whether you are too dependent on drinking.