According to Robert Poznanovich, Executive Director Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and author of It’s Not Okay to Be a Cannibal: How to Keep Addiction from Eating Your Family Alive, the struggle for controlling dependence centers on alcohol dependence and abuse. But before, you have to realize that you’ve lost control.
Here are four signs according to Poznanovich that you are addicted to alcohol, and how to overcome them:
Once you start, you can not stop
Most people have the ability to start and stop drinking alcohol whenever they want. This means they have a plan when doing it, and run the plan.
However, not so with those who are addicted to alcohol. They can not control when they start or stop drinking alcohol. This puts them at risk in risky situations, including when they are in the work environment or even when they drive to take children to school.
“Dependency on the intermediate level is when you have the control to start drinking alcohol but can not control it to stop,” Poznanovich said.
In other words, you can wait until dinner to drink a glass of wine, but when you start, you can not to refill your glass again and again.
Drinking alone and stealthily
Relaxing alone with a bottle of beer after a long day is not something to worry about, but a warning if you do it too often, or try to drink it in secret.
If you consciously hide your drinking activity, you may realize that you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol on some level, Poznanovich said.
You drink to feel ‘normal’
If you can not socialize without drinking alcohol before, you may be too heavy to depend your life on alcohol. Another warning: You feel very guilty or defensive about your drinking behavior.
“People who have alcohol dependence generally experience mood changes or become annoying, either because they feel guilty about their drinking habits or because they do not like it when people ask about their habits,” Poznanovich explained.
Have you ever suddenly gone berserk to your best friend when they suggested to reduce your little drink while being together?
Pause for a moment to think why you are so upset with their suggestion. And maybe think again about the third glass you are drinking.
Always looking for excuses
It can help me sleep more soundly. My work is heavy and stressful. Makes me more relaxed. Just because you find justification for your fourth glass of alcohol does not mean you have to drink it.
Ask yourself if you tend to make excuses for always drinking more alcohol, Poznanovich said.
If you feel the need to give yourself a reason, chances are you drank more than you should.
All you have to do
The most common misperception is, alcoholics need to ‘sink’ to their lowest point to change to better. Of course it does not need to be that way, Poznanovich said.
“People do not realize that addiction is a chronic medical illness. It is a disease in your mind, and the sooner you get help, the better, “he said again.
If you feel you are too attached to alcohol, start to seek help to cure your dependency. Talking about your drinking history and lifestyle can help determine whether you’re really addicted or just mild dependence, Poznanovich said.
And keep in mind, therapy for people who are addicted to alcohol can not be generalized. That way, if you are a person who has difficulty stopping in the past, maybe you should not try to drink alcohol back, even in small amounts, Poznanovich said.