Are you hiding your drinking, withdrawing from loved ones, and choosing alcohol over everything else in your life? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have an alcohol addiction and you’re not alone. About 14.5 million people suffer from an alcohol abuse disorder in the United States. To help you decide if your drinking is more than causal, we’ve rounded up a few warning signs of alcohol addiction to watch for.
Alcoholism is a disease that’s almost impossible to fight on your own. From feelings of depression to memory loss, these are just a few of the many signs it’s time for alcohol addiction help. Let’s see if alcohol addiction treatment is right for you or your loved one struggling with alcoholism.
1. Feelings of Depression or Guilt
Alcoholism often comes with feelings of shame or guilt. This can lead to a cycle of depression, loneliness, isolation, and anxiety. If drinking is causing you or your loved one to feel this way, it’s time for some professional help.
Drinking alone or drinking to the point of getting drunk multiple times a day, isn’t casual drinking. Binge drinking five or more days a month is considered excessive. You or your loved one likely know this isn’t right and it can be hard to cope with the shame or guilt. This cycle could lead to depression.
If drinking makes you avoid things you used to love doing or avoid time with your family, this could be a serious problem. Depression is a common side effect of alcoholism. After a binge, you may feel tired, worn down, unable to focus, sad, and withdrawn.
2. Hiding Your Alcohol Use
Hiding your alcohol abuse is a warning sign. If your social and causal drinking has shifted to you drinking alone, there could be a big underlying alcohol issue. Causal or social drinking is done with friends and family or at a celebration.
Hiding your alcohol drinking means you’re feeling ashamed or embarrassed. Drinking in secret means hiding things from those who are close to you. If you are drinking alone or at non-traditional times of the day, this could be a sign of alcoholism.
Hiding your drinking may include drinking in the morning, hiding bottles and cups, pouring alcohol into other drinks, or lying about what you’re consuming. Lying and hiding will often take a toll on you and your loved ones. People won’t trust you and this leads to more hiding and resentment.
3. Slowed and Impaired Reactions
Alcohol abuse can slow your reaction times. It can also impair your judgment. This makes things such as driving or caring for children difficult and unsafe. Driving or taking care of a baby, for example, requires quick reflexes and a sound mind. Doing so under the influence can have deadly consequences.
For some people, even the smallest amount of alcohol can have them feeling impaired or slow to react. For chronic drinkers, it might take more alcohol to feel this way. Consuming this much alcohol can put you and other people in danger.
At work, at home, and on the road, the safety of yourself and others is important. If you’re putting yourself or other people at risk because of your drinking, this could be a sign you’re suffering from alcohol abuse.
4. Memory Loss
Memory loss is a common problem associated with alcohol abuse. Not only will you forget things when you’re feeling drunk or drinking but you also won’t remember big parts of your life. Being under the influence of alcohol means you could be missing out on a lot in life.
While being drunk, you could be missing out on time with family and friends. When you’re not drinking, you may find yourself sleeping or wanting to be alone. This is all time you won’t get back.
Your family, co-workers, and friends may start to realize you aren’t remembering things. If you realize you don’t remember portions of the day or important details, this can start causing problems in different areas of your life. This shows loved ones that you’re prioritizing drinking over them and your time together.
5. Anger and Mood Changes
Alcoholism and depression are often linked. With this can come mood swings and bouts of anger you wouldn’t typically feel. You may feel upset about your actions, drinking, and how it’s affecting your life.
Alcohol can escalate emotions. You may notice extreme irritability and emotions. Despite your mood and the negative effects alcohol has on your relationships, you don’t give up drinking.
These mood swings may cause a strain on your relationships. Your personal and work relationships are likely suffering from your addiction. Instead of prioritizing these, you find yourself making drinking a priority.
6. You Keep Drinking Despite Health Problems
Alcohol abuse can cause serious physical health problems. Long-term health problems include heart disease, stroke, and cancer of the mouth, throat, colon, and liver. Alcoholism also weakens your immune system over time making you more susceptible to disease.
Do You Recognize These Signs of Alcohol Addiction?
Alcoholism can be a lonely and dangerous disease. If you recognize any of these signs of alcohol addiction in yourself or a loved one, it’s time for help. Alcohol addiction treatment offers a safe place to recover and get your life back.
While you may feel ashamed or embarrassed to admit you have a problem, getting help is a brave and life-changing step. From counseling to medical treatment, our beautiful center offers an amazing setting to recover and recuperate. If you’re ready to get your life back, fill out the contact form here to take the first step.