Recognizing the signs of alcoholism can often be difficult because so many people drink on a regular basis. Since drinking alcohol is so normal, it’s easy for someone to justify his or her drinking when it becomes a problem. The disease of addiction is very cunning in the fact that it tricks people into thinking that they’re well. The reality is that alcoholism can sneak up on anyone and completely take control over his or her life.
The five main signs of alcoholism include:
- The physical craving to keep drinking
- The mental obsession about alcohol
- Alcohol withdrawal
- Experiencing consequences from drinking
- Loved ones confronting you about your drinking
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What separates the average person from someone with alcoholism is the craving to continue drinking. Individuals with alcoholism experience the phenomenon of craving kick in, and they may experience difficulty controlling their drinking. Although these individuals may say that they’re only going to have a couple drinks, they continue drinking. This happens because the mind is incapable of logically thinking of the consequences.
The Mental Obsession
Those who suffer from the mental obsession tend to think about drinking frequently. They may feel the need to drink at every occasion. At this point, the mind has become so mentally dependent that individuals will plan their whole day around drinking.
Long-term substance abuse of any kind can turn into a dependence, which leads to withdrawal. One of the clearest signs of an alcohol addiction is experiencing withdrawal. The symptoms of withdrawal can happen within hours of the last drink. Withdrawal symptoms may include nausea, anxiety, hallucinations, body tremors and more.
Consequences from Drinking
Although alcohol is legal, there are many regulations concerning its consumption. For those dealing with alcoholism, the part of the brain that’s responsible for logically looking at these consequences doesn’t function properly. Someone with alcoholism may experience consequences from drinking like health issues, DUIs, and problems at work. While they may not always experience consequences from drinking, they eventually begin to see that the majority of consequences that they have to deal with come from drinking.
Loved Ones See a Problem
One of the biggest issues with addiction is a lack of self-awareness combined with a mental obsession to drink. It’s difficult for individuals with alcoholism to separate truth from fiction about their drinking, so they often get defensive. While their friends or family may confront them about their drinking, they may think that they’re just giving them a hard time. The truth of the matter is that they love and care about these individuals, and just want to see them get better.