Worried that your drinking has gotten out of control? Read on to see if you can identify with any of these red flags when it comes to alcohol abuse.
The “Drunk Uncle” Joke Hits Close to Home
Your life has become a Saturday Night Live skit, but no one’s laughing. Family gatherings have a tendency to turn from feasting to feuding, and your alcohol intake fuels the escalating dysfunction. You pretend not to notice the disapproving looks when you polish off the cooking wine.
Glory Days Have Passed Everyone By But You
You and your college buddies had a tendency to hit the bottle a little too hard back in the day. While they’ve traded in Jagermeister shots and cheap beer binges for families and careers, your lifestyle doesn’t look all that much different. You find yourself wishing there really was such a thing as a hot tub time machine.
Your Boss Is Like, “Bueller…? Bueller…? Bueller…?”
You’ve maxed out your sick days and then some. You drag yourself into work or school late on the regular. Your absences aren’t going unnoticed by others, but you still can’t seem to get it together.
You Regularly Require Liquid Confidence
You need to take a nip (or several) in order to feel comfortable at parties, gatherings and other social situations. Your alcohol abuse may be masking a larger problem. Studies like this one show that people with social anxiety disorders have significantly higher rates of alcohol addiction.
You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling
Some research shows that chronic alcohol use can decrease sex drive and increase the likelihood of sexual dysfunction. While a little buzz used to made you a bit frisky, you’re drinking well past that stage now, and frankly, these days you’re only interested in getting intimate with Johnnie, Jim and Jack.
You Lie to Your Therapist
Being dishonest about your alcohol use is a sure sign that you’re in trouble. If you find yourself hiding your drinking behaviors from family, friends, and even trusted sources like your therapist, it’s time to get help.
Your Text Messages Solve a Mystery
After a night of binge drinking, you scroll through your texts and check your social media pages to help piece together the night’s events. Studies show large quantities of alcohol impair episodic memory, creating an amnesia effect — more commonly known as “the blackout.” Research also suggests even moderate drinking can impair cognitive functioning and memory.
You Do Day-After Damage Control
Last night’s party quickly turns into a regret-filled morning. You rack your brain to remember whom you might have offended or embarrassed yourself in front of, then start doling out the apologies in a desperate attempt to save face — again.
You Have More Ups and Downs Than a Roller Coaster
The link between alcohol and both anxiety and depression has been well-established. If you’re experiencing erratic moods and behaviors and using alcohol to help soothe anxiety or depression, you’re creating a vicious cycle of self-medication — that will ultimately stop working.
There Are Whispers From the Water Cooler
You’re a hot topic at the water cooler. Whether it was your sloppy, overserved antics at the company happy hour, your chronic lateness, or your disheveled appearance, your coworkers have noticed your exorbitant alcohol consumption, and they’re happy to dish about the latest follies.
It’s Time to Get Help
Though we may get a chuckle out of some of these descriptions, addiction is no joke. If you can relate all too well to these situations, it’s time to seriously consider getting specialized treatment for your alcohol misuse before you further compromise your job, relationships and physical and emotional health.