Do you think being a high functioning alcoholic might be right for you? Well, before you make that leap, you need to examine the pros and cons of life with this condition.
It’s easy to see the advantages of living as a high functioning alcoholic. For starters, you can hide your addiction from your friends and family members. You can even get away with lying to yourself about how much you drink each day.
Keep reading to discover the hidden dangers of this condition so you can make an informed decision about living with your drinking problem.
A False Sense of Control
High functioning alcoholics live in a state of false control. On the surface, they appear to live a relatively successful life. They can maintain the following:
- Full-time jobs
- Pursue hobbies
- Maintain relationships
This success can often breed a false sense of control over their lives, as alcoholism still ruins these accomplishments in the long run. In reality, alcoholism only serves to numb the dangerous emotions and situations the person is trying to avoid.
The individual may become so dependent on the coping tool of their addiction that they begin to hide their reliance on it. Once this reliance has spiralled out of control, the individual’s life becomes out of balance and can lead to serious consequences. Without proper help, high functioning alcoholics run the risk of feeling like they are in control.
Physical and Mental Health Implications
Being a high functioning alcoholic can carry a lot of hidden dangers when it comes to physical and mental health implications. Regular, heavy drinking can lead to organ damage, anaemia, and an impaired immune system. Heavy drinkers can also be at an increased risk for some forms of cancer as well as heart disease.
Alcohol also affects the brain, leading to depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairment. Alcohol’s depressant effects can make it difficult for a person to manage their emotions. They can also increase the risk of attempted and completed suicide.
There are mental health implications to consider as well. A high functioning alcoholic is likely to be more prone to the following:
- Panic attacks
- Compulsive behaviours
Long-term drinkers may also suffer from insomnia, memory issues, and psychosis. The hidden dangers of being a high functioning alcoholic can harm one’s physical and mental health. It is important to be mindful of alcohol consumption and talk to a doctor if you have any worries.
Escalating Tolerance and Dependence
As tolerance to alcohol builds, a person needs to drink more to achieve the same desired effects. This, in turn, can lead to a rapid increase in the amount of alcohol being consumed regularly. This can have serious impacts on physical and mental well-being, as the liver and other organs suffer from the increased workload of filtering the toxins in alcohol.
Dependence can also increase as a person progresses down the path of high functioning alcoholism. Dependence can lead to withdrawals when the levels of alcohol in the body fall. High functioning alcoholics need to be aware of these hidden dangers and seek appropriate help if needed.
Concealed Emotional Turmoil
High functioning alcoholism is a serious and tricky condition. It is hard to recognize and diagnose due to the outward appearance of success. Even those who manage their lives while also drinking can face detrimental mental consequences.
People who identify as high functioning alcoholics often report the following feeling:
- Difficulty concentrating
This is all exacerbated by the guilt that so often comes along with the uncontrolled urge to drink. When this hidden turmoil begins to seep through the cracks of their lives they find themselves unable to manage everything the way they were before.
The hidden dangers of being a high functioning alcoholic can manifest in many ways. They .are particularly evident in strained relationships. High functioning alcoholics can maintain their professional and social lives, concealing alcohol use from the people they love.
This can create a false sense of security for the person dealing with the problem, as people around them may not be aware of the amount of alcohol they are consuming. Despite this, the strain of maintaining a hidden addiction can lead to other issues. Issues such as follows can all cause the relationships someone has with their friends and family to suffer.
- Inability to communicate
As the addiction progresses, the person struggling to cope with the strain of maintaining their addiction will find that more and more of their relationships will start to dissolve, leaving them isolated and vulnerable.
Denial and Delayed Addiction Treatment
Denials can play a major role where the individual acknowledges they are functioning but compensates for their drinking habits. Delayed treatment often occurs in high functioning alcoholics in which they wait too long to reach out for help. They may have suffered more major health consequences than necessary due to the excessive amount of alcohol they have been drinking in the prior months to years.
Without early acknowledgment, individuals often struggle with entering into treatment, or their denial can embroil them further into the alcohol addiction itself. If you need rehabilitation or professional help, check out this treatment center.
Legal and Financial Consequences
Alcoholics typically hide alcohol consumption from family and friends, so it may be easy to forget that drinking excessively can lead to legal issues. Drinking and driving, for instance, can result in heavy fines and potentially jail time if convicted.
Individuals living with signs of alcoholism often overlook potential family and divorce-related costs and other financial problems that can arise due to the abuse of alcohol. Spending too much on alcohol can lead to debt, putting a strain on financial resources.
In some cases, alcoholics may turn to illegal activities to support their addiction, resulting in even more serious legal consequences. Taking note of the legal and financial ramifications of being a high functioning alcoholic is key to avoiding situations that can lead to long-term problems.
Be More Aware of the Dangers of Being a High Functioning Alcoholic
Alcoholism is a devastating lifelong problem. High functioning alcoholics may not recognize the hidden dangers of their drinking patterns, and the consequences can be devastating.
If you feel you may have a problem with drinking, take action before it’s too late. Speak to your doctor and join a local support group; you are not alone.
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