When people talk of an alcoholic, the classical picture that comes to mind is someone who drinks too much and whose life is crumbling. But not every alcoholic is visibly struggling or falling apart. Some functional alcoholics have most of their act together, where they continue to thrive in their daily lives despite their excessive alcohol consumption. Although they can mask most of the ill effects, alcohol can still have some major impacts on their health.
A high-functioning alcoholic suffers from alcohol addiction. However, the individual manages to continue functioning normally without displaying the negative impacts of excessive alcohol consumption. The person appears to manage to present themselves properly in their social relationships, maintain a successful career, and appear to be killing it in their current situation. About 20% of alcoholics fall under the high- functioning alcoholics category as they seem to have a stable and positive lifestyle.
The problem with most high functioning alcoholics is that most do not admit that they are suffering. Below are some of the signs of a functioning alcoholic.
High-functioning alcoholics usually keep their reliance on alcohol a secret. Their loved ones may be unaware of this problem as they tend to downplay alcohol’s role in their lives. In most instances, this is an illusion created by the individuals that may eventually cause high-stress levels that are negative for their overall health.
Since they like to conceal their problem, they usually resort to spending most of their time in private. They act and look sociable during social, professional, or family functions. However, when they have time for themselves, they prefer to drink alone.
As their dependence on alcohol increases, they will compromise their duties and obligations due to their drinking habits. They may start drinking at work and may start missing work because of hangovers.
Lying and making excuses is part and parcel of the lives of a functioning alcoholic. Below are some of the common excuses alcoholics make:
Alcoholics convince themselves that everybody drinks to help them cope with the problem. They will prefer the company of other drinkers and will go to great lengths to avoid functions and activities that do not allow drinking. They may even make fun of people who do not drink.
Functional alcoholics will go to great lengths to present a balanced outward appearance so that they can convince themselves and others that they are fine. This denial is another coping technique of a functional alcoholic.
Alcoholics are always quick to argue that drinking does not harm anyone. Their illness makes it impossible for them to see the several negative impacts alcoholism has on everyone who loves them.
Most alcoholics actually believe that drinking is a choice, and they can quit anytime they want to, but they don’t want to stop yet. However, only a handle of people can stop drinking on their own without some professional intervention.
An alcoholic will always find someone who seems to be in a worse situation than they are to use in a comparison game. However, addiction does not have a hierarchy, and the problem they have is not insubstantial. Every addiction problem deserves treatment.
High-functioning alcoholism is a serious alcohol use disorder. Patients suffering from alcoholism require professional intervention and comprehensive treatment for a full recovery. At AION Health Group, a qualified and compassionate team is ready to assist those suffering from alcohol addiction.