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High Functioning Alcoholism: Should We Be Calling It That?

There is always a certain level of shock and disbelief when a loved one who, aside from their recent admittance to alcoholism, seemed to have it “all together”. Despite a few difficulties here and there, everything in their life was happening according to “normal”. Daily responsibilities were being met within reason. They had a job the woke up and went to in the morning. If they had children, the children were well attended to. Bills were paid, mouths were fed, and they might even have been in decent physical shape, constantly working to take care of themselves. Somehow, behind the facade of “normalcy” or even what some might call “success” there was a chronic and worsening problem with alcohol. The stigmatized image of the alcoholic, which is not an uncommon story, minimizes the experience of others. As a result, other people who experience their alcoholism in different ways can perpetuate their problem unnoticed, until, their is no room left for hiding.

Bustle reports in depth about understanding the “high functioning alcoholic” and why this kind of alcoholism is often difficult to spot. “…people can fit the measure of a severe drinking disorder—inability to quit drinking, tendency to put themselves in situations where they may get hurt, experiences with withdrawal— while still appearing outwardly like perfectly healthy beings with functional lives.” The result is “a very dangerous combination.” High functioning alcoholism poses a significant threat not just to the life of the alcoholic but to the lives of those involved.

The stereotype of normalcy often prevents an alcoholic from recognizing their problem. Denial is a huge issue which prevents many alcoholics from taking the highly remarked “first step” in solving their problem with alcohol- admitting they have a problem with alcohol. As a result, the problem can continue to worsen. Eventually, it could lead to injury or death on the part of the alcoholic or on the part of their children, spouses, friends, coworkers, or other people. Simply stated, when an alcoholic— high functioning or not— is not held accountable for their problem, the alcoholism grows out of control.

If you feel that you or a loved one are living under the guise of high functioning alcoholism, your drinking does not have to get worse before everything gets better. Your journey to recovery starts with you. Start it with us at Enlightened Solutions. Our integrative programs bring together the best of holistic treatment, spiritual healing, twelve step philosophy, and clinically proven therapy modalities. Call us today for more information at 833-801-5483.

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