Many disorders that humans contract have obvious signs, such as a red rash or watery eyes. Others are identifiable by a blood test or X-ray. Identifying someone suffering from alcoholism can be a bit more difficult. Determining whether a man is merely an alcohol drinker or a full-blown alcoholic requires an understanding of the signs of alcoholism. If your husband or partner has several of these signs, ask him to to be evaluated. Also, find help for yourself and your family, whether he admits he has a drinking problem or not.
Over-Consumption of Alcohol
This characteristic can be tricky, but, in general, alcoholics consume more alcohol than they should. For males, this means consuming more than two drinks at one sitting. Some alcoholics drink every day or night, and others may drink once a week. Still others maintain periods of sobriety, then engage in binge drinking. Drinking until one is impaired more than a couple of times a year can be a sign of a drinking problem.
- This characteristic can be tricky, but, in general, alcoholics consume more alcohol than they should.
Emotional Effects of Alcohol Abuse
According to the Mayo Clinic, alcoholics often develop rituals around their alcohol use 1. The man who has three glasses every night before dinner may have a problem with alcohol. He may become irritable if a different plan is proposed or if he does not have beer available when he expects it.
Often, an alcoholic develops a tolerance for alcohol and consumes larger amounts over time. A 12-pack of beer that used to last a week may be gone in three days.
Difficulty Managing Responsibilities
Four Stages of Alcoholism
The husband who is an alcoholic may begin to have problems at work 2. Tardiness and absenteeism may begin to mar his work record, and his employer may question him or ask him to seek help for his drinking. He may break promises he has made to you regarding family plans in order to drink. According to an article titled, "Challenging Old Assumptions About Alcoholism," by the "New York Times," some alcoholics are able to successfully manage their responsibilities, but still need help with their drinking.
- The husband who is an alcoholic may begin to have problems at work 2.
- According to an article titled, "Challenging Old Assumptions About Alcoholism," by the "New York Times," some alcoholics are able to successfully manage their responsibilities, but still need help with their drinking.
Alcoholism often leads to physical dependence 1. This may manifest with the development of physical symptoms when the sufferer cannot obtain alcohol. You may notice trembling, sweating and a lack of desire for food. Thirty minutes after having a drink, these symptoms begin to ease.
- Alcoholism often leads to physical dependence 1.
- This may manifest with the development of physical symptoms when the sufferer cannot obtain alcohol.
Emotional and Behavioral Changes
The man with a growing dependence on alcohol may be irritable much of the time. He may quit wanting to be around some of his friends and be only in the company of heavy drinkers. He may become defensive or angry when questioned about his drinking or where he has been. If he drinks away from home, this may be the only sign that you notice. Some alcoholics feel guilt after drinking or after being irritable and attempt to be charming and kind to win your forgiveness or keep you from realizing he has a problem. Alternatively, he may seem like his normal self when he is drinking, then do unkind things or engage in odd behavior when he is not drinking. The alcoholic may attempt to hide his drinking from you or others, causing further erratic behavior.
- The man with a growing dependence on alcohol may be irritable much of the time.
- Some alcoholics feel guilt after drinking or after being irritable and attempt to be charming and kind to win your forgiveness or keep you from realizing he has a problem.
Emotional Effects of Alcohol Abuse
Four Stages of Alcoholism
How to Date a Recovered Alcoholic
Emotional Effects on Children When Seeing Their Parents Drink Alcohol
What Are the Physical Signs of an Alcoholic?
Dry Alcoholic Symptoms
3 Stages of Alcoholism
Brad Pitt Quits Alcohol and Admits Drinking Caused His Divorce
Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms Before the DTs
Does Beer Slow Down the Metabolism?
- Mayo Clinic: Alcoholism: Symptoms
- U.S. Office of Personnel Management: Alcoholism: Alcoholism in the Workplace
- Broadening the Base of Treatment for Alcohol Problems Report of a Study. International Review of Treatment and Rehabilitation Services for Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press; 1990.
- Hammer RR, Dingel MJ, Ostergren JE, Nowakowski KE, Koenig BA. The experience of addiction as told by the addicted: Incorporating biological understandings into self-story. Cult Med Psychiatry. 2012;36(4):712–734. doi:10.1007/s11013-012-9283-x
- (US) NIof H. Information about Alcohol. NIH Curriculum Supplement Series [Internet]. Published 2007.
- Lasebikan VO, Ayinde O, Odunleye M. Assessment of the alcohol consumption among outdoor bar drinkers in Nigeria by qualitative methods. BMC Public Health. 2018;18(1):318. doi:10.1186/s12889-018-5250-y
- Steele CM, Southwick L. Alcohol and social behavior I: The psychology of drunken excess. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1985;48(1):18-34. doi 10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.124
- Chartier KG, Thomas NS, Kendler KS. Interrelationship between family history of alcoholism and generational status in the prediction of alcohol dependence in US Hispanics. Psychol Med. 2017;47(1):137–147. doi:10.1017/S0033291716002105
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol use disorder: A comparison between DSM–IV and DSM–5. Updated November 2013.
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol use disorder.
J. Lucy Boyd, RN, BSN has written several nonfiction books including "The Complete Guide to Healthy Cooking and Nutrition for College Students." She is frequently called upon to provide career guidance to medical professionals and advice to parents of children with challenges. She also loves teaching others to cook for their families.