Most adults drink – that's a fact. However, there are a few who tend to lose control and consume more than they should or normally would. Whatever the reason behind their indulgence may be, it's dangerous and needs to be addressed immediately. Maybe it is you or possibly a friend or relative who concerns you, but the first step is to understand what you are dealing with so that you can properly address it. Here are 10 ways to understand whether or not you or somebody you know drinks too much or has become an an alcoholic.
One way to know if you're drinking too much is to pay attention to the people around you. If all you guys are together and you have a few drinks, watch what your friends and family say to you or what their body language is like. For instance, if you are pouring yourself a drink and a buddy comes up to you sayin, "Another one, huh?" That's an indirect hint that maybe you should put the glass down. Or maybe you feel you only have a slight buzz, but with each joke you crack, your brother or sister shifts in their chair or looks nervous – they may be afraid of what you're capable of doing or saying.
2. Stress Relief
Maybe you had a tough day at work or just heard some bad news – there's nothing wrong with going home and having a drink or two to unwind. However, if you find yourself going home and have over four drinks and still no relief, or every time you have any form of anxiety and you wind up reaching for a bottle, you have a problem. Drinking too much won't help you escape your problems, and the constant drinking will give you even more issues to deal with in the long run.
3. Midnight Urination
If you have been drinking lately and you catch yourself waking up in the middle of the night constantly having to go to the bathroom, this could be a sign that you are drinking too much alcohol. According to Daily Mail, we have a hormone in our bodies called anti-diuretic hormone. This hormone controls the amount of urine that is in our bodies. Alcohol knocks this hormone off, causing us to have to use the bathroom more.
4. No Limits
Responsible drinkers understand the number of drinks they can stand without losing control, but this isn't the case with heavy drinkers. They may tell themselves to stop at a certain number, but before they know it they are double, or maybe even triple, their limit. If you know someone who does this or if you know that you struggle with this, you could have a drinking problem.
5. Memory Loss
We all have a compound in our bodies called glutamate, which is in an important factor in helping to maintain our memory. According to Prevention, heavy drinking can alter the performance of this compound, leading people to suffer from memory loss and not be able to remember what they did while they were drunk.
6. Identity Crisis
When you drink, you aren't always yourself and you don't always make decisions that you would normally make. So if your friends ask you where you went with that guy last night, even though you're normally conservative and have a boyfriend/girlfriend, chances are that you drank too much and don't ever need to drink like that again.
7. Abandoning Obligations
Drinking, as we all know, inhibits proper judgement and, if you are an alcoholic, it can take over your entire life. So if you find yourself constantly calling in for work because of a hangover, or preferring to go out to a bar than to a family event, you need to analyze your priorities and get some help.
Maybe your family has tried to talk to you about your drinking, but you got defensive and lashed out at them. You have to remember that they care about you and only want the best for you. Your feeling the need to get angry and defend yourself only establishes the fact that you do have a problem. So if you catch yourself being defensive or a family member is acting this way, you may need to call a professional.
You may not think you have a heavy problem, and maybe you don't, but ask yourself this question – has your tolerance gone up? If you begin to notice that it takes more drinks for you to feel a buzz, then that is a huge sign that your intake has increased and is taking a terrible turn.
Do you find yourself staying in bed all day, isolating yourself from friends and family, or just drinking to take away your unexplainable sadness? Your drinking could have you battling with depression. Alcohol can severely damage the hormones of the brain, blocking them from doing their jobs, such as making your happy or feel good. Immediately consult a doctor about this issue.