If you have ever wondered, “am I an alcoholic?” you are not alone. Many people have moments in their lives where they consume more alcohol than usual and wonder, “am I becoming an alcoholic.” Answering these questions early on makes it possible for you to get the help you need.
What Causes Alcoholism?
Anyone who has asked themselves, “am I an alcoholic?” or “am I becoming an alcoholic?” needs to know the causes of alcoholism.
Your genetics and any family history of drinking will play a significant role in subsequent alcohol abuse disorders.
Mental health disorders like bipolar disorder, PTSD, OCD, depression, even schizophrenia can be difficult to manage, especially if you don’t know that you have all these problems. Many people self-medicate without even realizing they suffer from a mental health problem. Alcohol can temporarily ease symptoms of anxiety or depression but eventually can lead to alcoholism while also making mental health problems worse. About one-third of people who suffer from mental health problems also suffer from alcoholism.
As mentioned, self-medicating is another cause of alcoholism. But it’s not just people who self-medicate to handle mental health disorders. Some people self-medicate to deal with grief or sadness after a divorce, the loss of a loved one, or financial strain. The more often you drink to self-medicate, the more likely it is that you will develop alcoholism.
Stressful environments at home or at work often result in people drinking. Many professionals like doctors, pilots, lawyers, or construction workers who have highly demanding careers are more likely to develop alcoholism, especially because of binge drinking, in order to keep work-related stress at a minimum.
People who struggle with trauma, especially childhood abuse, domestic abuse, or any form of sexual abuse, are at a much higher risk of developing alcoholism. Without properly treating previous trauma through therapy, alcohol can become a form of self-medication, and the more often you turn to alcohol instead of healthy coping skills, the more likely you are to develop alcoholism.
Given these cases, maybe now you have a better idea of the answer to the question: are you an alcoholic?
What are the Signs of Alcoholism?
Knowing the signs of alcoholism will help you determine the answers to “am I an alcoholic?” or “am I becoming an alcoholic?”
Some people who drink heavily or regularly binge drink are more likely to suffer from alcoholism. Heavy drinking is considered four or more drinks in one day. Unfortunately, there is no specific number of drinks per day or per week that tells you in black and white whether you have alcoholism. The way in which alcohol affects your body and subsequently leads to alcoholism is based on many changing parts like your gender, age, how much you weigh, any other co-occurring disorders, and even what you have eaten that day.
That said, are you an alcoholic? Only you know best.
Is There a Test for Alcoholism?
If you feel that the answer to the question “am I an alcoholic?” is “yes,” or you believe there is a high probability that it is, you could probably benefit from a surefire test.
You can always ask yourself:
- Do I regularly drink more than I mean to?
- Have I tried cutting back or cutting alcohol out entirely but failed?
- Do I get urges or cravings to drink?
- Does drinking or the effects of drinking keep me from doing my job, taking care of my family, or other responsibilities?
- Do I continue to drink even though it causes me to skip activities I used to like or ignore my friends and family?
- Do I struggle with withdrawal symptoms like rapid heartbeat, shaking, or insomnia?
While there is no quick online test you can take, there are some medical tests a doctor can take to check how your body is doing. A doctor can evaluate your drinking habits and conduct a physical exam to see if any heavy drinking has impacted your liver. There are no specific lab tests to diagnose alcoholism, so it’s up to you to recognize when you personally need help.
Finding Alcohol Addiction Treatment Centers
Finding alcohol addiction treatment centers that really help you with a personalized approach doesn’t have to be complicated. If you have answered “am I becoming an alcoholic” and now won’t help, let Ocean Coast Recovery be there to get you on the right path. Our state-of-the-art alcohol and drug treatment facility gives you medically assisted detox at the start of your path. It then gives comprehensive inpatient treatment right along the beach. This environment is conducive to relaxation, peace, and turning your attention inward to best apply the lessons you learn with your therapy and treatment.
If you have an affirmative answer to the question “am I an alcoholic” and you are ready to get help, Ocean Coast is here. Reach out to us today for help with your addiction.