If you believe you’re developing a drinking problem, you’ve already made a great first step by taking the steps to get more educated. Alcoholism can run rampant through the lives of its sufferers for years unchecked. All treatment and recovery starts with acknowledging the potential of the problem’s existence. The advice put together in this article is designed to help you recognise whether you or someone else is falling into alcoholism. From there, it’s a matter of getting the right treatment and choosing the right tools for recovery. It’s a long journey, but looking for advice is going to leave anyone better armed to go the distance.
Recognising the symptoms
Sometimes alcoholism has no symptoms at all. Someone can be high-functioning and seem like they just enjoy their drink a bit more than other people. However, in a lot of cases, the symptoms tend to be a lot more noticeable. Be prepared to identify certain behaviours that may answer whether there is a drinking problem to be worried about. Whether it’s in yourself or someone else. Some symptoms include being unable to control when or how much you drink and having to drink to feel ‘good’ or ‘on an even keel’.
If you’re starting to recognise some of these symptoms within yourself, you might still be looking for a definitive answer. Alcoholism is a problem that many people try to excuse or explain away. If you are in need of convincing, a self-test could be exactly what helps you come to a decision. Answering these questions from Ncadd.org could remove any shadow of a doubt. They are not definitive, but simply a measure of asking yourself the important questions. Hopefully, the process should be more clear-cut than the result itself. Being honest with yourself is key to proper recovery.
The harmful effects
Alcoholism isn’t an abstract problem that has subtle effects. It can certainly start that way, but it’s good to know the real, physical dangers that a drinking problem can lead to. These will make a major impact in your life and could even lead to death if left unchecked. Liver failure and problems are the most common suffered by long-term drinkers. The damage it can do to your heart and circulatory systems is no less dangerous, however. The longer term problems include suffering to your mental health. Many cases of anxiety, stress and depression can begin or grow alongside cases of long-term alcoholism. There are a hundred reasons to start fighting alcoholism, no matter how serious or progressed you might think it is.
Alcoholism comes in different shapes
It’s important to realise that no two people with drinking problems will have the exact same story or effects. Alcoholism can present in different shapes from different sources. Some studies have identified five major types of alcohol abuse. Many sufferers might have developed in in their youth alongside other mental disorders. As we’ve mentioned, there are others known as functioning alcoholics who might not show many signs of the condition at all. Just because you don’t fit the common stereotypes of alcoholism doesn’t mean there’s nothing to be concerned about. Visit Rehabilitation-Center.org to find out more.
One the most effective steps for anyone treating alcoholism is getting involved with a self-help group. These supportive structures are set up so that its members benefit from the experience of the rest of the group. They can often teach you mechanisms for coping and give you a place to turn when you feel unable to go elsewhere. Look for 12-step programs in your area that can help you, no matter what stage of treatment you’re at.
Getting help from professionals
If you believe you are in need of more than the help a self-help group can provide, it may be time to rely on professionals. Doctors are always able to offer a variety of treatments to help deal with drinking problems. Not all solutions rely on going to in-patient facilities, as many might fear. There are medications that might be of help or it can be a behavioural treatment they choose. The ‘cold turkey’ approach is one that tends to be more painful but is all the more effective. Don’t be afraid to go to your doctor for advice. You won’t be forced to take any step that you’re not prepared to.
Some of the worst damages that alcoholism can do is the damage it does to relationships. In the worst times of suffering from the condition, you may have burned some bridges to the point it seems impossible to repair. However, it’s important to try re-build the trust that once existed in those relationships. Having a support circle around you is invaluable to recovery. Huffingtonpost.com has more advice on how to rebuild that trust once you fear it has been lost.
Staying on the road to recovery
As we have already mentioned, on-going support from those close to you and a self-help group are two great tools for keeping to your recovery. However, they are not the only tools available to you. Changing your environment is one of the most important of these. You need to avoid the triggers and danger-zones that led to alcohol abuse in the past. Nationalgeographic.com has a lot more advice. Learn the right coping mechanisms and make different life choices. That could be what keeps you from straying from the path of sobriety in future.
If you want to help someone else
A lot of the above advice can apply to those who are suffering or know someone suffering from a drinking problem. However, there are unique ways that friends and loved ones can help those with alcoholism. Be willing and offer to attend open meetings they have with their support groups. Recognise that you are unable to save them, but be open to sharing your concerns and supporting them. Ensure you never give them money as this may just be enabling further addictive behaviours. Find out more you can do from discoveryplace.info.