High-functioning Alcoholics: All You Need to Know About Them

High-functioning Alcoholics

High-functioning alcoholics differ from the stereotype. The stereotypical image of an alcoholic that pops up in the mind is a vision of a low-society person whose life has fallen apart, struggling with financial problems and even homelessness. It is worth noting that not all alcoholics fit this image. Some of them seem to be successful people – they have a job, a family, they earn a lot. They are educated, fashionably dressed, hold responsible positions, and have a rich social life. None of my friends would even suspect that they suffer from alcoholism. Professionals refer to these individuals as High Functioning Alcoholics. Among alcoholics, they account for about 20%.

How does a highly functioning alcoholic behave?

A high-functioning alcoholic behaves in accordance with current social conventions. It seems to be responsible and obligatory. May have great professional achievements. He takes care of himself, takes sumpelenty, plays sports.

In reality, however, the achieved professional successes make it difficult for the family and loved ones to perceive the alcohol problem that the HFA has to deal with alone. It is worth noting that a high-functioning alcoholic himself also denies his own alcoholism. There is also a stereotypical image of an addict in his head, which he is far from.
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Very often there are cases where a highly functioning alcoholic consumes alcoholic substances every day or several times a week. Having a high social status, it is easier to find better alcohol, good whiskey and expensive liqueurs. We will not see a highly functional HFA alcoholic with the stereotypical vodka and the cheapest wine.

Much more is required of an HFA than of others – they often perform very responsible functions, manage the company’s team and make key decisions. They are considered specialists in their field – despite regularly coming to work under the influence of alcohol.

Their lives are sometimes burdened with great stress, which requires enormous mental resilience. They are used to hard work – they often even experience workaholism. This is related to the need for a sudden reset, which can be met by alcohol for a long time.

Warning Signals – How to Identify a High-Functioning Alcoholic

The fact that a high-functioning alcoholic is much more difficult to recognize does not mean that it is impossible. He denies the stereotype due to his high social status. It is also worth remembering that the alcoholic with lower income will receive help statistically faster. This is because in his case, alcoholism is much more pronounced. In the case of HFA, things are a bit different. A high-functioning alcoholic can remain addicted for several years – even a lifetime.

HFAs very often will not admit to their alcohol problems. If he is good at work and drinks only high-end alcohol, he thinks that alcoholism does not concern him.

A highly functioning alcoholic will be the king of appearances, especially during professional and social contacts. He will drink with friends, but it will not be noticeable. At home, he will hide empty bottles and the family will remain unaware. This behavior is strictly subconscious, as the HFAs themselves negate the existence of their problem in front of themselves.

It is also worth remembering that breaks in drinking alcohol do not prove the absence of alcoholism. High-functioning alcoholics can give up alcohol for up to several months, but they will always come back to it.

The effects of alcohol abuse

There are risks in abusing alcohol. It can lead to liver disease, pancreatitis, cancer, brain damage, severe memory loss, and high blood pressure. The risk of death from car accidents, manslaughter and suicide is much higher in alcoholics. Any abuse of alcohol increases the likelihood of child abuse, abuse and neglect.

How can I get help? – highly functional alcoholic

In order for a high-functioning alcoholic to admit alcoholism to himself, help often comes from a shock situation, such as a crisis or job loss.

When a high-functioning alcoholic decides to seek specialist help, it is best to choose a private facility that offers an individual approach to each patient. Therapeutic sessions for large groups of patients rarely have the desired effect on high-functioning alcoholics.

Treatment of highly functional alcoholics is based on individual therapy sessions with a specialist qualified in this field. We also offer sewing with an invisible, discreet Esperal tab, as well as detoxification.

Alcohol detox is very often the first step worth starting with. This will restore the disturbed water and electrolyte balance and supplement the deficiencies of vitamins and minerals washed out by alcohol. It is a foundation for further therapies.

Alcoholism affects the entire environment of the addicted person. Her friends also suffer, almost everyone who comes into contact with a person suffering from alcoholism. However, the family suffers the most. He has to watch the self-destruction of a loved one.

Important help for the family

It is imperative for the family of an alcoholic to understand one basic matter. A loved one is sick and there is nothing the family alone can do about it. It can help an addicted person, but it is not able to cure him. It is important to accept this fact. It is also important that everyone, even children, knows what is really going on with a loved one. Hiding alcoholism won’t do any good.

Another important point is not to blame yourself for your loved one’s alcoholism. Addicts often blame others for their condition, it is their defense mechanism of repudiating their own mistakes. In such situations, anger, hurt and regret, despair and helplessness often arise.

Alcoholic families need to define these feelings in order to be able to talk about it calmly. They should not close themselves at home with their problems, they must maintain family ties. It is also important to learn about alcoholism, learn about the right behaviors to be able to show adequate support.

Alcoholism treatment support

When a family with an alcoholism problem has worked through the understanding phase, they may be able to provide adequate support to the addicted person. It is extremely important in the treatment process. This starts with trying to convince a family member that he or she has an alcohol problem and should get treatment.

You shouldn’t try to cure someone because you probably don’t have the knowledge. Therefore, one should not shout, hide or pour alcohol, and under no circumstances should you drink together with a person addicted. An addict should take responsibility for his actions himself, he must understand that he is sick and that treatment is necessary.

Real help does not come down to indulging and justifying the alcoholic. You cannot justify or hide his antics, he must know the consequences and bear them consciously. Be patient, the return to drinking may be repeated. However, if the alcoholic knows that the family understands his problem and is ready for his return, such support can be beneficial. Of course, we are talking about the return of a man who turned straight.

Resources: Cirque Lodge

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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