What is considered an alcoholic?

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Rocket Girl

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What is considered an alcoholic?
« on: March 31, 2016, 10:15:17 PM »
My t recently asked me if my ex n/bpd was an alcoholic.  I know a lot of time alcoholism comes with the territory.

My mother and siblings were drinkers as was my first h.  As a result, I have no interest in drinking unless it's a girls night, then very limited. I am not prudish, I just don't care for the havoc it wreaks and the way I feel when drinking.  There is no judgment on my friends or family.  To each their own.

The ex n/bpd confessed to drinking two bottles of wine a day a few years back when his wife died.  Now he drinks every day, a glass or two of wine, or a bottle or two of beer.  But to my recollection, it happens every day.

So, are there alcoholics that just 'take the edge off'?  Does having a drink every night make one an alcoholic or can it be judged that easily?
- Rocket Girl

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kiwihelen

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Re: What is considered an alcoholic?
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2016, 12:59:50 AM »
My Dad is a functional alcoholic. He can put away the better part of a bottle of wine most days but when he is visiting non drinking households he can stop drinking and have no withdrawal symptoms. Many addiction definitions are based on dependence on the substance or behaviour to modify emotional response. I think my Dad likes the buzz but is not dependent on it to alter his state.

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mdana

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Re: What is considered an alcoholic?
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2016, 05:19:58 PM »
I think there is a simple definition, but then there are different types of alcoholics that seem confusing.  We tend to define alcoholic ...as the homeless, falling down drunk (or the black out drinker).  But, there are"functional" alcoholics that work full time and have high level jobs (I know a BRAIN SURGEON...that is a functional alcoholic. Scary right??). 

An alcoholic is someone that is 'powerless' over alcohol.  But, it takes time to reach that stage and it can begin with drinking with a purpose (to self-soothe, cope, feel better, distract from underlying emotional pain, act differently, feel in control, feel bolder, cure loneliness, take away pain, avoid growing up..etc...). The first drink or few...doesn't make an alcoholic ---it takes some time. 

Here is a questionnaire.  My daughter is an alcoholic/addict.  I read somewhere that a person that consistently uses substances or any other addiction regularly, will eventually develop an addiction (which is what happens when the chemicals in the brain shift). At that point, the addiction is not only psychological, it is a physical one too.


http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/is-aa-for-you-twelve-questions-only-you-can-answer

Question for Kiwihelen:
I am curious, would your dad be able to stop drinking altogether? Say ...for a year?

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. The Dalai Lama

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kiwihelen

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Re: What is considered an alcoholic?
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2016, 08:40:28 PM »
Mdana, one of the most frustrating making aspects of his relationship with an NPD woman as so:
They had a BIG bust up. Dad was staying with me, he was 18 days alcohol free, on a decent dose of antidepressant (and it was working) and had agreed to go to an AA meeting. Then she hoovered - and her first comment on the AA was "oh you are too intelligent to need to go to that".
He is now effectively her unpaid servant until he is too frail then we are supposed to look after him.
My sister who has worked in alcohol rehab could not believe Dad had no withdrawal symptoms when he was drink free.

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mdana

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Re: What is considered an alcoholic?
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2016, 09:04:54 PM »
Yeah...
I just don't think one has to have withdrawal symptoms to be considered an alcoholic. 
My daughter never had them either (until she started having liver failure) ...and she didn't have 'hang overs" either.  I so badly wished she had, because that may have been the proof she really needed (although with addiction, no amount of proof is enough when someone is in denial).  She used to argue "no, not an alcoholic because my body doesn't' respond like one".  Psychologically she was quite addicted and couldn't stay sober (without being in treatment) for more than 2, 3 days.  But, her organism (physically) was pretty strong ...ODD.  I drink 2 glasses of wine and wake up with a headache, fuzzy thinking, upset stomach! 

M




Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. The Dalai Lama

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Oneness

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Re: What is considered an alcoholic?
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2016, 12:32:28 PM »
My exSO is an alcoholic. It is an emotional dependence, it is how he self soothes. It is not a physical dependence. He is fine when he stops drinking, once he detoxes.

My enDad is a functional alcoholic. He is like kiwihelen's father.

I have a good friend whose deceased gf was a physically addicted alcoholic. She needed alcohol to function. In the end..,she died young of liver failure. It killed her...
It's better to love and lost, then to live with a psycho for the rest of your life.

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blackberry wine

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Re: What is considered an alcoholic?
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2016, 08:27:47 PM »
When alcohol starts affecting your life and the life of those around you, you're addicted to alcohol.
H is like kiwihelen's father too, high functioning but can go without it. He finds people who don't drink boring. But he's so unhappy that when he gets really drunk, he's mean and frightening and this has got worse. Even his peers comment on his drinking, and they drink themselves. Of course he drinks expensive wine, so he thinks that makes him better than someone like my half-sister.

My half-sister died four years ago at the age of 63 from the effects of alcohol. She collapsed and was put into hospital a couple of years earlier. She was put into an induced coma and was told afterwards she couldn't drink again. A few weeks after coming out of hospital I met her for lunch and was shocked to find her with a large glass of red wine in front of her. She had two of her oldest friends there, and it dawned on me after a few minutes that she hadn't told them why she was hospitalised. I asked her why she was drinking and she snapped at me. She then started drinking straight scotch and other hard liquor to get a hit. Very sad.

« Last Edit: April 02, 2016, 08:30:45 PM by blackberry wine »

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LilyMarlene

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Re: What is considered an alcoholic?
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2016, 09:11:41 PM »
Through my experiences with family members and my ex PD BF, I've come to understand that there is alcohol abuse, and alchohol dependency (which is alcoholism). 

Alcohol abuse is classified as having drinking habits that are unhealthy and dangerous, such as drinking too much at a time, or drinking too often.  It is continuing to drink, despite the drinking causing problems for family and professional relationships. 

Continuing to abuse alcohol leads to dependency, which is when they are both mentally and physically addicted, to some degree.  They cannot stop, regardless of it causing problems physically, emotionally and in professional and personal relationships. 

As someone mentioned, it's a chronic and progressive disease.  Alcohol abusers will nearly always become alcoholics, if they do not abstain.

Some things I recognized in my ex, and you may or may not have in yours:
-  drinking alone
-drinking at odd hours of the day (day or morning drinking, especially alone)
-making excuses for the drinking or hiding /covering up the drinking (failing to mention to me that he had, perhaps 3-4 mixed drinks prior to me coming over, for example. Or saying that he'd just "had a bad day/week/month" or finding something, anything, to celebrate with a drink...or five.)
-denying that there is a problem
-saying they can stop whenever they want to (and not stopping)
-not recalling conversations (this was frequent with my ex, who was very much a functional alchoholic.  He would almost never act drunk. But he often forgot conversations entirely)
-worrying that they wont have enough alchohol for the weekend
-Here was a big one that I noticed w/my ex:  When I bought a bottle of wine as an end-of-the-week treat, he would drink it all in one sitting....A bottle I had not intended to finish that night..Here's what he'd do: He would fill my wine glass, pour HIMSELF a much larger, regular drinking glass of it, then refill mine maybe an hour or so later...and then HIDE the fact that he'd refilled his regular drinking glass again.  The next thing I knew, my wine bottle was kicked.  If I complained, I was being stingy, or just clueless about how much "we'd" drank.  When I asked him why he was so insistent on having a large drinking glass of wine, to my little wine glass, he'd say it was just b/c he "didn't feel like getting up and down for a refill." 

This would make me mad, b/c I wanted a treat for myself, and I couldn't do that, b/c I coudn't afford his drinking habit.   Sometimes, he'd assure me he'd buy me a replacement bottle.  WHich he sometimes did, but usually he'd drink that one too. 

I eventually just stopped buying wine, and stuck with tea...and skittles, lol...as a reward.  That's about the time that he started accusing me of drinking without him.  Towards the end, he was hiding bottles as well.  I once came home from the gym and took a big swig of soda as he was cooking dinner!  ACK!!!  It was spiked HEAVILY with whiskey.  As an isolated incident this would have been fine, but he'd just told me that he would abstain for the week.  About three hours prior.  He said he was just "finishing up" what he had in the house.  A few days later, I found a huge jug of something or other under his sink.

I suspect that was going on for the majority of our relationship, once I started to whimper about the alcohol use.



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mdana

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Re: What is considered an alcoholic?
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2016, 02:11:19 AM »
Through my experiences with family members and my ex PD BF, I've come to understand that there is alcohol abuse, and alchohol dependency (which is alcoholism). 

Alcohol abuse is classified as having drinking habits that are unhealthy and dangerous, such as drinking too much at a time, or drinking too often.  It is continuing to drink, despite the drinking causing problems for family and professional relationships. 

Continuing to abuse alcohol leads to dependency, which is when they are both mentally and physically addicted, to some degree.  They cannot stop, regardless of it causing problems physically, emotionally and in professional and personal relationships. 

As someone mentioned, it's a chronic and progressive disease.  Alcohol abusers will nearly always become alcoholics, if they do not abstain.


Some things I recognized in my ex, and you may or may not have in yours:
-  drinking alone
-drinking at odd hours of the day (day or morning drinking, especially alone)
-making excuses for the drinking or hiding /covering up the drinking (failing to mention to me that he had, perhaps 3-4 mixed drinks prior to me coming over, for example. Or saying that he'd just "had a bad day/week/month" or finding something, anything, to celebrate with a drink...or five.)
-denying that there is a problem
-saying they can stop whenever they want to (and not stopping)
-not recalling conversations (this was frequent with my ex, who was very much a functional alchoholic.  He would almost never act drunk. But he often forgot conversations entirely)
-worrying that they wont have enough alchohol for the weekend
-Here was a big one that I noticed w/my ex:  When I bought a bottle of wine as an end-of-the-week treat, he would drink it all in one sitting....A bottle I had not intended to finish that night..Here's what he'd do: He would fill my wine glass, pour HIMSELF a much larger, regular drinking glass of it, then refill mine maybe an hour or so later...and then HIDE the fact that he'd refilled his regular drinking glass again.  The next thing I knew, my wine bottle was kicked.  If I complained, I was being stingy, or just clueless about how much "we'd" drank.  When I asked him why he was so insistent on having a large drinking glass of wine, to my little wine glass, he'd say it was just b/c he "didn't feel like getting up and down for a refill." 

This would make me mad, b/c I wanted a treat for myself, and I couldn't do that, b/c I coudn't afford his drinking habit.   Sometimes, he'd assure me he'd buy me a replacement bottle.  WHich he sometimes did, but usually he'd drink that one too. 

I eventually just stopped buying wine, and stuck with tea...and skittles, lol...as a reward.  That's about the time that he started accusing me of drinking without him.  Towards the end, he was hiding bottles as well.  I once came home from the gym and took a big swig of soda as he was cooking dinner!  ACK!!!  It was spiked HEAVILY with whiskey.  As an isolated incident this would have been fine, but he'd just told me that he would abstain for the week.  About three hours prior.  He said he was just "finishing up" what he had in the house.  A few days later, I found a huge jug of something or other under his sink.

I suspect that was going on for the majority of our relationship, once I started to whimper about the alcohol use.




This makes sense!
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. The Dalai Lama