Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is a chronic relapsing brain disease and is characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using. If you suspect a loved one has alcoholism, look for these signs:
- Unusually high tolerance for alcohol
- Hiding alcohol
- Isolation/absence from work
- Irrational moodiness/emotional ups and downs
- Dangerous behavior
- Not being able to stop drinking once he/she starts
Keep in mind that alcoholism affects 17 million adults in the US, and that it is a disease. Many people with loved ones suffering from alcoholism tend to think that the affected person is purposely ruining his/her life and trying to upset family members. You would not blame someone with cancer for hurting themselves, so treat alcoholism in a similar manner. The best things to do when dealing with someone with alcoholism are:
- Having honest and open discussions with the person about love and the relationship
- Getting help from others, including professionals
- Committing to change. If you have to make boundaries or personal promises, be sure to stick with them.
- Empowering yourself. Learn about alcoholism so you can have a better understanding of what your loved one is going through
- Do not enable (ie: giving them money)
- Offer to take him/her to therapy or Alcoholics Anonymous (12 step) meetings.
- Lastly, DO NOT blame yourself. You are not responsible for anyone’s disease.
Alcoholism is never easy to deal with, especially when it is affecting someone close to you. The best you can do is follow the suggestions above and remember that it is not your responsibility to cure him/her.
If you or a person you know is struggling with alcohol use disorder, it may be beneficial to contact a mental health professional and receive therapy. The psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists at Arista Counseling and Psychiatric Services can help. Contact the Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920. Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.
Information in this blog post was received from: