depressed man with alcohol bottle.

Functional Alcoholics: Who Are They?

Hello again guys, It’s me, Laila, as usual, and I would like to share some information on alcoholism that many people are unaware of. It is assumed that people who have a drinking problem are generally called alcoholics, but this isn’t quite so. Alcoholics are actually classified into various categories, and one of the largest is functional alcoholism. 

What makes you an alcoholic? How do you qualify as a person who needs help with alcohol? Yes, when it starts to affect your personal life, your relationships, career, moods, and you find yourself unable to function without drinking- and yes, the withdrawal symptoms too. So, what is a functioning alcoholic? 

In the case of a functioning alcoholic, the abuser may still have their lives on track; a great job maintains friendships and social bonds, and still be a successful people-person. 

A functional alcoholic has it all together, but yet has all the signs of a person with alcohol use disorder. In the case of a high functioning alcoholic, they may not behave the same as most alcoholics. In some cases, they may be role-models and successful go-getters, so much so that people do not see their drinking flaw. 

Understanding the High Functioning Alcoholic

They wake up daily with a well-planned schedule, get to work each they pay the bills and the mortgage, attend their kid’s recitals and basically do everything that a dedicated person would do; that’s a simple functioning alcoholic definition. They may be on edge a few times, and you may notice their off-days, but it’s may not be a big deal. 

High functioning alcoholics always have the perfect statement to back up their drinking when the conversation comes up. They usually reference their accomplishments and how their lives have kept on a straight line rather than go down the drain to prove that their drinking wasn’t a problem. They are often in denial even when the alcoholism signs are glaring. 

Functioning Alcoholic Symptoms

Well, as you may have read in my previous updates, alcohol has a way of showing itself in a negative way, and even when your life seems to be going perfectly well, there is always a downward spiral ahead. This usually starts with symptoms. High functioning alcoholic symptoms are often noticeable if you spend a lot of time with the person in question. A few functional alcoholism symptoms include: 

  • The person often jokes about being an alcoholic 
  • The inability to keep up with activities in school, work, home, and other special duties
  • The person may find themselves getting drunk often unintentionally 
  • The memories of what they did while drinking is almost never retained
  • They make so many excuses for drinking that their loved ones often worry a lot 
  • They may lose a few friends and relationships along the line due to alcohol
  • Some of them have had legal running with the law, especially DUI arrests
  • They often need alcohol to calm themselves, relieve stress, build confidence, etc
  • They often lie about drinking, hide alcohol, and may get aggressive when confronted about their drinking
  • They are often lone drinkers

Functional Alcoholism Dangers

What makes high functioning alcoholism dangerous is that you may never be able to tell what the person is going through- it all hides behind the bottle. They often put themselves and others in harm’s way in situations such as drinking while driving. A sign of a functioning alcoholic is the tendency to take risks. 

The obvious dangers of functioning alcoholism are domestic violence, drinking while pregnant (fetal alcohol syndrome), possible car accident, high blood pressure, health problems like pancreatitis, and liver damage. 

When Should You Get Help?

Alcoholism has a few signs that should not be ignored. If you notice that you always end up drinking more than you intended, experience strong alcohol cravings symptoms, having troubles with family and friends over your drinking, then you know that you need to seek immediate help. 

I’ll be updating you guys more on my life with alcohol addiction. Lookout!

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