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Alcohol is a part of human living. It’s used as fuel, antiseptic, solvent, and most popularly, a beverage. People line up bars to relax and kill their stresses away with a  good swig. The problem lies on when this swigging becomes a problem. How can you tell if you’re an alcoholic?

Can you call a man who binge drinks, an alcoholic? Is it any different from say, a woman who has a nightly martini? There are many people who drink alcohol as a part of their lives. Some of them do so to “function” well, especially in social cases. There’s a lot of scenarios to muddy the waters of distinction.

What is Alcoholism?

The first step to finding out is to understand it. By definition, alcoholism is the excessive and compulsive use of alcoholic drinks. This ropes in binge drinkers and those who drink to get drunk ASAP. The intentional act of poisoning one’s self with alcohol is another definition. But that means everyone who’s had a good time at the bar’s an alcoholic, right?

Yet another definition is “a chronic disorder marked by excessive and usually compulsive drinking of alcohol. Which then leads to psychological and physical dependence or addiction.”

The word dependence comes into play. This is where you start thinking if you’re an alcoholic. You first ask the question, “Am I dependent on alcohol?”

That in itself is not a simple question to answer. You could say you are, but you could argue that you depend on it to talk to people or dance on the dance floor.

The Negative Effects of Alcoholism

To fully answer the question, “Am I an Alcoholic?” you must consider the bad things. It’s when dependence and these ‘bad things’ merge that alcoholism occurs. In many cases, people will deny that they are alcoholic, sometimes they’re right. But if you or anyone can relate to the following, consider seeking help.

Signs of an Alcoholic:

  • You’re unable to limit how much you can drink
  • You experience memory blackouts (after a drinking session)
  • You’re losing interests in your other hobbies
  • You feel anxious and irritable when you don’t get your drink in a timely manner
  • You sweat, shake and feel nauseous after a day of not drinking
  • You tend to drink more than usual to feel that “buzz”

Those are the effects on you. If you still find it difficult to clearly answer the question, consider the effects to other people:

  • Your relationships are undermined
  • Your family is showing constant concern
  • Your work is undermined
  • You have issues with the law due to drinking
  • Law enforcement have issues with your drinking

The symptoms and signs you feel, combined with how the people around you act, should help. One thing about alcoholism is, that when you finally realize that you’re an alcoholic, you’re already in hot water. The good news? It’s never too late to seek help. Speak to your loved ones and your doctor. If you can’t stop it, they can help you.

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