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How Do I Know if I'm an Alcoholic?

I’ve been drinking alcohol since the age of 13. I’m now 42. I’ve never thought of myself as having a problem with alcohol (even though I know I’ve often drunk too much) – but am now starting to wonder.

Alcohol has pretty much always been the main thing around which my social life revolves. Whether it be drinks after work, wine at dinner parties, beers to watch a game or big night outs with my male friends.

A couple of hangovers a week for me is pretty normal – but I always reckon I’ve coped okay with it. Have a good job and am good at what I do, am a decent husband and father – and so I’ve never really questioned my lifestyle.

But over the last year or so I’ve started noticing a shift. The hangovers are getting worse - sometimes I’m even blacking out now, I’m feeling more stressed at work so am drinking more at home in the evenings to unwind which is something I never really did before, my wife is starting to comment about my drinking and says I drink too much, I’m not nearly as productive as I used to be at work, and I think I may even be depressed.

I don’t know if my general lethargy and sense of depression is alcohol related or if I’m having some kind of mid-life crisis, but I think my drinking may becoming a real problem. How do I know if I’m an alcoholic and what should I do?


It certainly sounds like you’ve been a consistent alcohol abuser for many years, which in itself can cause a lot of long-term damage and I’m sure is a cause of your depression because remember that alcohol is a depressant. Whether it’s the only cause, I can’t tell you, but it might be worth speaking to a psychologist or therapist about.

Alcoholism is basically defined by dependence (mental and/or physical) and loss of control. There certainly seems to be an element of both in your situation. I suggest you take this test for alcoholism and look at the signs of alcoholism to get a more definitive answer for your situation.

As to what to do? It certainly seems like alcohol has become a problem in your life because it’s effecting your daily life so the worst thing you can do is nothing because things can very quickly escalate totally out of control. A form of treatment is definitely the way to go so I suggest you read about your alcoholism treatment options.

Remember the only person that can make the necessary changes in your life is you. The fact that you’re on here asking for advice is a good sign. Getting in touch with an Addictions Counselor in your area is also a good idea because they can do a more detailed assessment of your current situation and also talk to you about the help available in your vicinity.

Good Luck with everything and let us know how you get on.

Comments for How Do I Know if I'm an Alcoholic?

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Re. Stop
by: Anonymous

Well, I never thought I was an alcoholic..bitched to my boyfriend after I would drink a lot of vodka that I'm fine. Always woke for work, corporate work, sometimes shaking...hmmm. But the last month, I was home drinking and watching tv. Decided at 9:45 to get pretzels but boyfriend thought I was going for a smoke. Got in my new camaro and drove right into a parked car in my neighbor...jail and lots of money coming. Plus no license, I was talking and everything but blew a .30....and not a fat person. Stop now...please...not worth it

Signs of alcoholism
by: SomeKlown

How do you know if you're an alcoholic... well let me give you some pointers:

Number one, after a night of heavy drinking, you wake up fully clothed going "hey! Somebody shit in my pants!"

Number two, you have a couple of cocktails, you find yourself on the freeway going "what are these fuckers doing going the wrong way?"

Number three, you get drunk, you go out for Indian food, you wake up in Bombay with a camel licking your balls.

Ta da! You are an alcoholic! And some people say "I'm a *functioning* alcoholic!" Which is, you can be one. It's like being a paraplegic lap dancer. You can do it, just not as well as the others, really.

Can't figure it out
by: Anonymous

I have been drinking since I was 14. I am now 39 at first it was for the fun now it's a problem. I don't let it create problems but it overwhelms me that i can not stop once I take the first drink. I often drink alone now and i know I am depressed but I can't figure out why.

42 year old alcoholic
by: Anonymous

I'm 42. I have been drinking about 350 days a year since I was 30. I'm a trial attorney in a big law firm and make a very good living ($400K to $600K a yr). I have a gorgeous wife and 2 wonderful boys and I'm a "happy drunk" who only drinks after 6 at night, yet I know I'm an alcoholic. I cheat on my wife all the time yet she doesn't know. Don't really know why I'm posting this - just wondering if I will live past 75 with all the pickling of my liver.

by: Anonymous

I am an alcoholic, it kills me write this because I cannot believe I have let myself spiral out of control right now. I am very sad and I cannot figure out if it is because I have become this way or I will be
giving up alcohol, my hobby and friend. I drink everynight and blackout a couple times a week. I have conversations that I do not remember and make promises I cannot keep. I am not sure where this journey will take me however, I am leaning towards God for help and support. I am ready to start a new life and I am going to raise above my sickness because I am a good person and I deserve this!!!

by: Anonymous

I'm getting divorced after my husband cheated and now I went from a bottle of wine at weekends to one or two a night ... I know I need help but dot know where to turn too without risking loosing my job or child

Fed Up
by: Anonymous

Hi, like most of you on this site I have been drinking for years. But my drinking has got worse over the past couple of years. I black out, cause awful arguments and the next day I dont remember anything. Im attending a addiction counsellor but dont find him all that good as Im still drinking. I honestly hate my life and hate the person I have become. Sometimes I just want to end it all because Im tired of it all and I just want it to stop.

by: Anonymous

I think i am in denial. I am drunk right now but refuse to believe i have an alcohol problem. Im 22 and a bright sucessful young person. I started having one or 2 drinks after work and its now about a quarter to half a bottle of spirits a night. I find myself going out of my way to get alcohol after work and yet i can't accept that i have a problem. I tell myself that I can stop if i wanted to but deep down i know thats not the case.

by: Anonymous

I think I drink to much I often have alot on my mind I'm a 26 year old female my mom says I should slow down but when I drink I have a fun time whether I'f I'm with others or by myself ' I wonder whats the limit of drinking how does a person no when enough is enough ? I think I wanna get help?

by: Anonymous

i also started drinking at 13 to 14 yrs old. but recently since going to college have become an out of control drinker. i have blacked out several times a week consistently for months. not only is it horrifying waking up asking how did i get here what happened? but the idea that i am acting so foolishly and will never even know what i was doing, being so disconnected from my own body and mind. i have alway been somewhat depressed and use alcohol to make me feel better. it is a comfort to me, in a very scary way. i have put myself in very dangerous situations, and i have very recently realized that i have a problem and frankly im too awesome and beautiful of a person to go down that road. i hope to break this habit before its too late..i have to! and anyone who reads this needs to know that they are awesome too! they just have to pull them selves up and know that help is always around if you look for it.

help the drink rules me
by: Anonymous

I'm 38 & been drinking for many years but heavily for prob 6 years. Now I am at the point I have 2 have a drink every night but its never just 1! I have a lovely husband but feel like I am lossing him & can't blame him cause I can b horrible! I keep gettin blackouts can't remember what I hav done. I'm really worried about myself & really scarred.. what should I do? I really need help.

by: Anonymous

I am 43 an I use to only drink only the weekends , then after the kids got older every evening before dinner, (to celebrated getting through the day) then my happy hour started earlier, sometimes I can go a week with out a drink, but then when i hve one i can go through the whole bottle before Iknow it.
I like it cause I actually talk more to my husband.
Is there more wrong here than just a drink

Where is they pain coming from
by: Anonymous

I have been drinking on and off for roghly.9 years now imod now 25 it cometo it ware i drink every night cus i get depressed but now imod scared because ive startedhaving pains in my side and back whats could.this be?

by: Anonymous

I am 25 and drunk now.y life seems to be spinning out of control. I am a good person with a good job. I have a young kid. But my alcohol controls me. It steals me from my wife and kid. It consumes me. I drink almost every day. I need help. When I drink, I do things I would never do when I am sober. It's really messed up. This site has really inspired me. I definately need some help. I plan to seek that help now. Thank you to everyone who has commented here. B

you arr

i am 40 now. i was always in hard labouring work .i cud handle it .
it took the lov of a strong woman .for me 2 realise nomtter what drink i take .its never enuff for me.currently im drinking the rest of her wine .but not 2 bad

I Understand
by: B

I understand. I have drank since I was 13-14 and have continued until present. Things especially got worse when I turned 18 but tapered down to every weekend for another 10 years. I've tried quitting and that lasted a month but relapsed and now that I've tried quitting, don't know if I can do it again but I'll try. We can do it man. It's hard, don't get me wrong but it takes mental strength. Avoid triggers.

To the 13 yr old
by: Anonymous

Believe me, it all seems fun and games at your age but unfortunately you will find out later on that you aren't just living and having fun drinking but that the alcohol is controlling you. Eventually it leads to you doing things that you will regret. Each one of those regrets will add up, and it will be very hard to forgive yourself and become that once young, confident, bright and shining person that you still are now. Keep that in mind. Spoken from somebody whose been there.

by: Anonymous

I'm 13 and drink constantly. my mom took me to the doctor and he said i'm an alcoholic and that i need help. but i don't want help. listen dude, who gives if you are? i say, enjoy life, and who cares if you screw up? you only live once, so why walk on thin ice? just enjoy your time and do what you want, whether it includes alcohol or not. live.

Get Professional Help
by: Anonymous

It's hard to say from what you wrote whether you are an alcoholic, but it certainly seems like your drinking is serious enough that you should consider getting professional help. Maybe try counselling to begin with and if that doesn't work for you, some kind of treatment program?

by: Anonymous

Thanks - that test was very enlightening. It shows that I definitely have a problem. I need to try and get this thing sorted now - however scary that may seem. Admitting to a drink problem is definitely not easy, but I realise now it's the only way if I'm going to overcome this.

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