Alcohol has become a part of our social life. A party without alcohol is considered bland and watching football or your favorite sports without sipping beer is unimaginable in many western countries. Drinking has thus become part of our culture, which has further paved a smooth way for the transition from binge drinker to an alcoholic. Drinking alcohol occasionally may not be a problem, but it can become a part of your habit even without you noticing it.
When we think of an alcoholic, the first image that comes to our mind is an unkempt person who is mentally deranged. Various movies and popular series have created an image of an individual who is unsuccessful, struggling with their life, suffering from various mental health issues like depression and anxiety, a victim of abuse, or a violent and aggressive person. The common image of a homeless person who is unable to hold on to a job and has hit the rock bottom in their life by losing their family, job, money, and friends. This image will be often combined with a person with deteriorating physical health who is sloppy and create scenes in the local bar and roads.
But is this depiction entirely correct? Before going in-depth into the issues related to this problematic depiction of an alcoholic, let’s look at the definition of an alcoholic.
What is the real meaning of an Alcoholic?
An alcoholic is defined as an individual who consumes alcohol to a level beyond control. It is defined as a disorder in which a person does not know when or how to stop. Even though the individuals know its negative sides, their bodies have become used to alcohol and it has turned into a necessity. When you are an alcoholic, even though you genuinely want to stop or cut back on your alcohol consumption, you may not be able to manage it. The thirst and mental obsession will worsen according to the amount and length of time you have been consuming alcohol.
It is natural for anyone to imagine an alcoholic as a person who does not have any control over their lives and see them through the lens that Hollywood movies have created. But are all these stereotypes correct and why these stereotypes can be harmful?
Why Alcoholic stereotypes are Harmful?
The problem with these stereotypes is that they set an unrealistic image of alcoholics. When we think of alcoholics, we tend to imagine them through this lens. But the reality is that only a small fraction of alcoholics fall under this profile. Many alcoholics are highly functional and successful and do not fit into the conventional image of an alcoholic. Many people can deny their alcohol addiction as they do not fall into this profile and many people may not seek treatment for their alcohol abuse as do not feel that they fall into the definition of alcoholics.
We need to understand that alcohol functions differently in different people. Some people experience high functioning alcoholism and can maintain their families and career without much trouble. At the same time, some people can hide their alcohol abuse and maintain their image. So, alcohol can affect each person differently and these negative stereotypes will only stop them from seeking help.
Some symptoms of Alcoholism
An alcoholic may be able to hide their addiction to alcohol and may be able to manage their life without much disruption. So, if you are not sure about alcohol addiction, these are some of the common signs.
1. Unable to manage your drinking habit
Even though you are planning to cut down or stop your drinking, you are unable to do so. Even though you are fully aware of its consequence, it will be difficult to control the amount and number of times you consume it. Also, you may find it difficult to decide how much alcohol you are going to drink on an occasion.
2. Not getting drunk even after a large amount of alcohol intake
When you are an alcoholic, even a large amount of alcohol won’t get you drunk. Your body will get used to a large amount of alcohol and therefore to get the same effect you will have to consume even more.
3. The feeling of guilt or shame
Another characteristic of an alcoholic is that they may feel guilty or shame after consuming them. They know the amount of alcohol they are drinking, know the consequences, and its impact on their career and relations, but won’t be able to manage it. This can create a sense of guilt and shame.
If you are showing the above-mentioned symptoms, you need to make sure that you get proper treatments.
Treatment for Alcohol abuse
Alcohol-addicted individuals need to take help from professionals from a rehab center like WhiteSands which provides patients with a safe, comfortable, and supportive environment. At WhiteSands Florida rehab centers, they provide a space where individuals can get rid of these negative stereotypes circling alcoholism. Through various treatment methods like evidence-based therapy, medication-assisted treatments, life skills training to avoid relapse, and motivational interviewing’s, WhiteSands aims to free the patient from negative emotions like shame and guilt and assist them to lead a life of sobriety.
So, take the assistance of a treatment center like WhiteSands to recover from addiction and reach the path of life-long sobriety.