When we think of someone plagued with addiction, we may think of a person who has difficulty functioning. We perceive them as an individual who is withdrawn from mainstream society and is unable to hold down a job.

But the truth is, there are people with addictions who can hold down jobs and go about their everyday lives without showing telltale signs of dependency. This is especially common in people that have alcoholism, and these individuals are known as high functioning alcoholics.

But just because these people can function, it doesn’t mean they don’t need help. In fact, their ability to hide their addiction so well can put them in a more dangerous situation. This article will review the signs of a high functioning alcoholic so you can tell if a loved one is in trouble.

What Causes Alcoholism?

Several factors can cause alcoholism, but it usually develops as a way to treat an underlying mental condition.

The individual may be dealing with any number of emotional disorders, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and more. They may be reluctant to get the help they need because they are afraid of what people will think of them. In other cases, they may not feel their symptoms are that bad, or they may not have the time and money to deal with them.

Instead of reaching out, they self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. While these may produce temporary relief, they make matters worse overall. They lead people in a downward spiral where they must deal with two disorders instead of one.

What Does it Mean to Be a High Functioning Alcoholic?

A high-functioning alcoholic does not exhibit symptoms that you may expect of a typical alcoholic. They may be very responsible and productive. They may even be in a high-power career position.

It’s also typical for high functioning alcoholics to be in denial. They may think that their ability to hold down a good job and pay their bills means they don’t have a problem.

But sooner or later, the drinking will catch up with them. They may become physically ill and unable to maintain primary responsibilities over long periods of time. When this happens, they could be looking at a significant downfall.

What are the Signs of a High Functioning Alcoholic?

It’s challenging to recognize the signs of a high-functioning alcoholic. After all, when someone is very put together, you may not suspect anything is wrong. But this is even more reason to be aware of the symptoms. Knowing what to look at for will allow you to help a loved one before it’s too late.

Here are some symptoms of alcoholism a high functioning alcoholic may exhibit:

  • Joking about alcoholism
  • Denying drinking and getting angry when confronted about drinking
  • Hiding alcohol
  • Drinking when they are alone or early in the day
  • Blackouts
  • Needing alcohol to relax or feel more confident
  • An increased tolerance to alcohol
  • Withdrawal symptoms when alcohol is not in the system
  • Making excuses for drinking
  • Getting drunk when they didn’t intend to

How to Find Treatment for Alcoholism

There are plenty of rehab centers that offer treatment for alcoholism, but it’s important to find the one that’s right for you. You need to find a facility that offers a pleasant atmosphere, reliable staff, and a program that’s best suited to your needs. You can do hours of research to find a perfect place, or you can save yourself some time by calling Atlanta Recovery Place first.

Atlanta Recovery Place offers customized treatments for all our clients. We consider their background, length of abuse, and environment to come up with a program that’s best suited to their needs. We take a dual diagnosis approach to treating alcoholism and its underlying causes simultaneously. We offer a variety of outpatient programs, including partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient, so you can recover while going about your everyday life. Alcoholism can be difficult to overcome, especially if there are signs of a high functioning alcoholic. Atlanta Recovery Place will get you on the road to wellness. Contact us to take the first step on the path to the rest of your life.

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