Helping a High-Functioning Alcoholic in Denial
When a person is using alcohol to self-medicate, or they are spending a significant amount of time planning events that must include alcohol consumption, it is a red flag that there is an alcohol problem. Another consequence of alcohol use is possible legal issues, such as being caught driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). This may also cause people to stay home and drink alone, increasing their isolation. There may be many reasons why someone is hesitant to seek help — from lack of awareness to stigma and shame. Sometimes, a person’s personality can influence their tendency for denial. Certain traits, such as independence and perfectionism, can add to a person’s hesitancy or reticence to seek help, says Grawert.
- A few of the friends who knew about Robert’s drinking were worried about my welfare, suggesting that it might be time to leave.
- No matter what stage of alcoholism someone is currently experiencing, there is hope to get through their alcohol addiction.
- It is common for people to drink to self-medicate underlying mental health concerns, and alcohol can make these symptoms worse.
- The evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of an AUD.
- There may also be new legal issues arising for them, like driving under the influence or making other poor decisions.
- Daily drinking can have serious consequences for a person’s health, both in the short- and long-term.
It can be difficult to tell if your boyfriend, girlfriend or partner is an alcoholic. Unlike husbands and wives, you may not live with the functional alcoholic husband person you’re dating. Significant others may be able to hide their drinking, and it may be easier for them to keep problems a secret.
Getting Help for a Functional Alcoholic
For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Thus, it will be leaned on cyclically as stress increases in the life of a functional alcoholic. It is common for people to drink to self-medicate underlying mental health concerns, and alcohol can make these symptoms worse. In addition to taking care of yourself, you can try to help your loved one find rehab for alcoholism. Most of the time, people convince a loved one with an addiction to seek treatment by showing them how the substance is negatively impacting their life. This may be difficult because the person may think he or she is healthy. High-functioning alcoholics can be moms, dads, husbands, wives, brothers or sisters.
How to Recognize a Functional Alcoholic
They don’t experience the typical consequences of alcoholism, such as drunk driving arrests, financial problems or blackout episodes. Arguments and fighting aren’t the only issues at play when you are married to a high-functioning alcoholic. Some women may follow the lead of the alcoholic husband in denial, and also pretend that nothing is wrong. There may be the temptation to enable, which could mean buying liquor to keep in the house (and let the alcohol abuse continue) or drinking with the alcoholic spouse (to help normalize the behavior). If someone close to you is a high-functioning alcoholic, it’s just as important to seek support for yourself as it is to get help for your loved one.
- There can also be declines in their mental and overall health, especially if they’re not eating healthy diets or engaging in physical activity.
- Interventions are typically successful, and when the intervention is done, the individual goes into treatment.
- However, they are likely struggling with uncontrollable cravings, unsuccessful attempts at quitting, and obsessive thoughts about their next drink—all hallmarks of an alcohol use disorder.
- It is important to learn how to approach and discuss this delicate situation with your loved one.
- «Wes,» one of the two who came to Robert’s bedside, had an easygoing manner in stark contrast to the tale he told of loss, pain and degradation.
- The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
- If things have gone too far, this list at WomensHealth.gov will help you find domestic violence resources by state.
If not done carefully, confrontation can end badly, especially if the person is a functioning alcoholic in denial or someone who has a history of verbal or physical abuse. In general, it may be smart to have other people present when confronting the alcoholic. It may be necessary to consider residential treatment, where qualified professionals can stabilize and treat your spouse. Family First Interventionists perform a pre-intervention assessment to help determine the level of care for the alcoholic. This process can help the family see the degree of severity their loved one is at. Some questions we ask may not seem relevant, and they are intended to help determine how much help your loved one may require.