Most adults drink — that’s a fact. However, some people lose control, and far consume more than they should or normally would, far too often.
Whatever the reason behind their overindulgence, chronic drinking can be dangerous for your health and happiness. But how do you know when you’re overdoing it?
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Here are 10 warning signs that you or someone you love needs to cut back.
1. Other People Are Concerned
One way to know if you’re drinking too much is to pay attention to the people around you. Pay attention to what your friends and family are saying to you when you’re out having drinks, or what their body language is like. For instance, if you’re pouring yourself a drink and your friend comments, “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. If your friends tell you you’re drinking too much, take heed.
2. You Use Alcohol To Relieve Stress
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 having more than this and you still have no relief, or if every time you are anxious 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. You Wake Up In The Middle Of The Night
If you have been drinking lately and you catch yourself waking up in the middle of the night, 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 in the middle of the night. Furthermore, alcohol affects your REM cycles, making it difficult for you to get a restful sleep.
4. You Don’t Understand Your 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 that you struggle with this, you could have a drinking problem.
5. Your Memory Is Hazy
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. You Act Like A Different Person When You Drink
When you drink, you aren’t always yourself and you don’t always make decisions that you would normally make. So for example, 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. Do you turn into a nasty, angry drunk who starts fights, when you’re normally a laidback person? Or do you become an emotional, crying mess when you’ve had too much to drink? If you’re not yourself when you drink, it may be time to cut back.
7. Your Responsibilities Have Taken A Backseat
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.
8. You’re Defensive About Your Drinking
Maybe your family has tried to talk to you about your drinking, but you got defensive and lashed out at them. Your friends and family care about you and only want the best for you. If you’re feeling angry or defensive, this may establish the fact that you indeed have a problem. If you catch yourself being defensive or a family member is acting this way, you may need to call a professional.
9. You’ve Developed A Huge Tolerance
You may not think you have a heavy problem, and maybe you don’t, but ask yourself this question — has your tolerance gone up noticeably? If you begin to notice that it takes more than a few drinks for you to feel a buzz, or if your friends are shocked at how much you can actually drink, take this as a sign that your intake has increased and is taking a terrible turn.
10. You’re Feeling Depressed
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. It’s time to see a doctor and get your mental health issues under control.