Is this perception the truth or is it a dangerous myth that hides a painful reality? Read on to find out whether or not anyone who calls themselves a “high functioning” alcoholic is telling the truth or deep in denial.
The Denial of the "High Functioning Alcoholic"
The concept of the “high functioning alcoholic” is a myth: No one can retain a high degree of control over their life if it is dominated by their addiction. People who claim to be high functioning alcoholics are often using the term as a way to deny their problem. After all, if they can drink a case of beer every night after work, get up on time, and finish a good day of work, there 's no possible way they can be an alcoholic, right? And they 're not homeless, violent, or hurting anybody: surely, their drinking isn 't a problem?
Wrong. The idea that people who suffer from alcohol addiction have to be homeless or violent is a misconception fostered by Hollywood concepts of alcoholism. The image of a stumbling, dirty man clutching a brown paper bag is often touted as the only true form of alcohol addiction. Rarely do you see high school principals or CEO of Fortune 500 companies described as alcoholics.
But if those people have a problem controlling their drinking on a regular basis or suffer from withdrawal symptoms, they are most likely addicted to alcohol. I...
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...ring our family apart.” Instead, say “everyone in the family loves you and is very worried about how much you 've been drinking lately.” Always express love with each comment to lower the risk of defensive behaviors.
Unfortunately, there 's almost no way to completely eliminate the risk of defensive behaviors from your loved one. Even approaching them in this manner can cause them to get angry or unhappy with you. However, it may actually help them understand how problematic and dangerous their drinking has become. And even if it takes multiple, difficult, talks, that breakthrough is vital.
If you or someone you love is hiding behind the mask of “high functioning” addiction, please contact us as soon as possible. We can offer you free information on alcohol detoxification and rehabilitation, which can help eliminate this problem from your life forever.
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