Signs of Alcoholism: Causes & Stages for man and woman
For many, drinking alcohol is the easiest and most affordable way to celebrate a happy or sad event, relieve stress after a hard day at work, and overcome shyness in an unfamiliar company. The problem is worsened by the media that shows alcohol in an attractive light. Noting warning alcoholism signs can prevent an impending disaster before it begins to destroy lives.
Stages and Signs of Alcoholism
The initial addiction is gradual and can last from a year to a decade. Several warning alcoholism signs distinguish the underlying symptoms of alcoholism from normal behavior. The urge to feel drunk is not yet overwhelming, but it is already beginning to prevail over other desires. Of several options for spending leisure time, a person chooses one that involves a feast with drinks, even when offered more interesting entertainment.
The level of alcohol tolerance increases. The ability to drink more than others before the onset of obvious signs of intoxication is often perceived as an attribute of stamina or health. In fact, this is one of the first physical signs of alcoholism that is associated with the body’s attempts to establish a more effective mechanism for removing harmful substances.
The ability to control the amount of alcohol consumed gradually decreases and the amount of alcoholic beverages consumed is inevitably growing. The body reacts to increased portions of alcohol with insomnia, headaches, constant fatigue syndrome, and the first alarming failures in the work of the cardiovascular and digestive systems.
The individual’s character changes, willpower and ability to resist the urge to drink weaken. Drinking is becoming a must-have item for leisure time. During periods of sobriety, one can observe frequent mood swings and unreasonable outbursts of irritability up to aggressiveness. Cases of family quarrels and conflicts at work are increasing.
It becomes obvious for others that a promising employee, caring family member, or good friend has turned into an alcoholic. The sense of responsibility is blurred – a person can get behind the wheel in a state of intoxication, get involved in a fight, etc.
The person, though, refuses to acknowledge the addiction and is confident that they can stop at any moment. Yet, the symptoms of alcohol dependence become noticeable and begin to seriously affect daily life. The amount drunk is constantly increasing. The body requires a regular supply of alcohol.
Work effectiveness decreases, mental deterioration becomes noticeable. Mental disorders can be expressed in hallucinations, bouts of anxiety and depression. Physical signs of alcoholism such as swelling, broken capillaries on the nose and face, tremors, and unsteady gait become noticeable. There is also damage to the gastrointestinal tract, brain, liver, kidneys, cardiovascular system due to unhealthy eating caused by alcohol consumption.
If the addict is not stopped in time, the disease progresses rapidly. At the last stage, personality degradation and psychosomatic changes are so strong that the alcoholism signs and symptoms noticeable at first glance. Drinking begins to prevail over other activities.
Problems with the law, families are falling apart, a career going downhill are just some of the consequences. The addict becomes virtually insane when it comes to drinking – one is ready to lie, threaten, steal, seek access to a new dose of the potion by any means.
The amount of alcohol needed to get drunk drops sharply because the body is poisoned and weakened. Yet, even short breaks between drinks lead to painful withdrawal symptoms, which can only be removed with a new intake of alcohol. In especially severe cases, only urgent medical intervention can save the addict.
Physical signs of alcoholism include osteoporosis, liver cirrhosis, severe damage to the heart, pancreas, and other vital organs. Mental disorders are characterized by epileptic seizures, delirium tremens. Destructive processes in the brain lead to dementia. The body is no longer able to recover on its own, and treatment without the help of specialists becomes almost impossible.
Alcoholism in Men vs. Women
Female alcoholism develops in a similar pattern as male alcoholism. The differences lie in the accelerated speed of addiction and more pronounced visible signs of alcoholism.
According to statistics, it takes a man about seven to ten years to become ethanol-dependent, and only five years of regular use is necessary for a woman’s alcoholism to develop.
There are many methods of getting rid of addiction today. As practice shows, the earlier the alcoholism signs are revealed, the more effective the treatment and the more stable the effect.