Alcohol Use Disorder is not a medical term. Yet, many medical professionals use the term to describe the spectrum of alcoholism. On one end of the spectrum are people who have lost their homes and family because they want alcohol more than anything else in their lives. On the other end of the spectrum are high-functional alcoholics who still manage to take care of their responsibilities at home and work in spite of their alcohol abuse.
What Are Signs of High–Functioning Alcoholism?
When a person is a high-functioning alcoholic, they may seem to be coping very well to the casual observer. Yet, when you start peeling back the layers, you discover that they are having some problems, including:
- Experience memory loss or blackouts from drinking too much alcohol
- Becomes argumentative when someone discusses the amount that they drink
- Hides their drinking
- Lies about the amount of alcohol they consume regularly
- Continues drinking despite negative health effects
- Denies a drinking problem
- Drinks at lunch or on the job
- Rewards themselves for a job well done with a drink
- Lies to themselves about the amount they have had to drink
What Causes a Person to Become a High-functioning Alcoholic?
There are many reasons that a person may become a high-functioning alcoholic. Statistics show that a person is more likely to become a high-functioning alcoholic if they suffer from another mental health condition, like depression or anxiety. Like other forms of alcoholism, it tends to run in families. These individuals usually have a high amount of stress at home or work, and they also typically have low self-esteem.
A Word of Caution for Parents
People can become high-functioning alcoholics at any age. Statistics show that 14.5 million people over the age of 12 binge drank last year, and these teenagers are at risk of becoming high-functioning alcoholics or worse.
If you are a high-functioning alcoholic, seek help. Alternatively, if you know someone who is one, talk to them about it. Early intervention is vital to keep the person from moving down the scale.
We are here to help with the mental health issues caused by alcoholism. We can also facilitate interventions and help connect you to other caring professionals. Please reach out if we can be of assistance to you.