Are you an alcoholic? Good question. The only answer we can honestly give is we don’t know. That is a question that you are going to have to answer for yourself. You may have had a friend or a loved one tell you that you are. Sometimes you might think you are and sometimes you might not. Sometimes you might try to convince yourself that you’re not even though you might think you are. Other times you might try to balance the opinions of people who you think you are with those who assure you that you’re not. It’s enough to make you crazy right?
If any of the above statements sound like you it’s probably worth taking a deeper look. The last thing that anyone wants to admit is that they are an alcoholic.
There is a list of twenty questions, that you might see and often come from a variety of sources. These questions are designed to help you understand some of the issues that may be stemming from your drinking. Two popular lists are the Johns Hopkins list and the Michigan Alcohol Screening Test. Affirmative answers to any more than a few of the questions are said to indicate the strong possibility of alcoholism.
Let’s take a look at a few of the questions you might find on either test:
Do you lose time to work due to drinking?
Cutting out early for happy hour. Coming in late due to a hangover. Lowered productivity because of a mental fog due to drinking or thinking about drinking. These are all indications that drinking could be affecting your work negatively.
Do you drink because you are shy with other people?
This is a tricky one. It is not uncommon for people, the world over, to use alcohol as a social lubricant. There are however some people who feel that they can’t open up without first taking a drink. If you can’t loosen up without alcohol this could be an indication of a problem.
Do you turn to lower companions and an inferior environment when drinking?
If you find yourself hanging out with people you wouldn’t normally hang out with this can be an indication of a problem. Also, some of our members, after some reflection have recognized that by surround themselves with people who drank similarly or worse than they did helped normalize their own behavior.
Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of drinking?
Also known as a “blackout.” Blackouts are definitely big warning signs. And they’re actually quite terrifying. If you have experienced the fear of waking up in the morning and not remembering what happened you can relate.
Do you drink to build up your self-confidence?
A close relative to the social lubricant, drinking for self-confidence also known as “liquid courage” is another indication that you are using alcohol to alter your perceptions. If you feel that you are not good enough and need a little boost to have self-confidence, you’re use of alcohol could be on its way to being problematic.
Can you stop drinking without difficulty after one or two drinks?
Some of us have found this one to be the one question on the entire test that really hits home. It’s easy to try and justify the times we didn’t get into trouble when we were drinking. But once you have this little piece of knowledge in your head and you think about stopping after the second drink, and realize just how hard it is, that might be all the information that you need.
Again, these tests are meant to be a guide and not a definitive answer on whether or not you are an alcoholic. But bear in mind most people who drink normally aren’t reading blogs about alcoholism or taking tests to determine if they are an alcoholic. It might make sense for one of the questions to be have you ever taken a quiz to determine whether or not you are an alcoholic. So we encourage you whatever you do to be honest with yourself. And if you feel like you need help ask for it. There are people who have been there and have gotten better. You are not alone.