Alcoholism is a self-inflicted illness, which affects people everywhere without regard to language, sex, creed, education, religion, or caste. It is usually slow in the early stages but a negative outcome is inevitable unless strong action is taken by the sufferer and those around them.
However, denial is a symptom common to all sufferers and must be overcome for recovery to be possible and lasting. Alcoholism sets in when occasional drinking becomes a habit. Prolonged drinking causes resentment, unhappiness and alcohol depression all around and can ruin you totally. Alcoholism normally passes through four stages with specific symptoms. Denial is prevalent in all the stages.
The initial stage is where you are amazed at the quantity of alcohol you can consume. That is often more than your friends and companions and leads you to boast about your capacity. When you drink to excess, you imagine yourself to be wealthy, go on careless spending sprees and are carefree in showing off your achievements.
1. Drinking “to relax”.
2. Drinking to relieve you of all tension, stress or mental fatigue.
3. Emptying all available bottles and cans to avoid wastage.
4. Always on the lookout for opportunities to drink.
5. Gradual increase in the quantity you can and do drink.
This is still an early part of alcoholism. You can mend your ways but only if you choose to do so. However, you are at crossroads and you need a strong mind and body to pull yourself back.
1. Frequent blackouts, similar to amnesia, occur during drinking sessions. Although you are normal, you cannot later recall anything about what you said or did – or even places you visited. This is not connected with loss of consciousness.
2. You swallow your first couple of drinks very quickly.
3. You drink extra alcohol ‘on the sly’ at parties and social gatherings or have a few gulps before or during events without the knowledge of others there.
4. You seem to develop an inner feeling of guilt about your drinking habits and you avoid any discussion about drinks or drinking.
This stage is the beginning of full addiction. You lose control over your drinking. Until now, you could stop whenever you wanted to. Now, it is very much harder even impossible, although you started with an intention to just have a few drinks. This is the dangerous stage leading to total defeat.
1. Making excuses for your increased and frequent drinking.
2. Inability to control your drinking.
3. Avoiding meeting family, friends and close colleagues as you are unable to honor your repeated promises to them that you would quit drinking.
4. Aggressive behavior.
5. Neglecting food, increasing the damage to your body and general health.
6. Losing interest in work, causing employment and money problems.
7. Acute necessity to have early morning drinks and lowered tolerance of alcohol.
This is the final stage.
Until now, you could choose to start or not start with the first drink. Now you cannot stop drinking. You must drink. Until this chronic stage, you might manage your job and other commitments. Now, you drink through all your waking hours. Hangovers are persistent and pronounced. You cannot start even one day without a drink and time-keeping is poor, so your morning may begin at any odd hour.
1. Drinking mania with long periods of intoxication.
2. Deterioration of moral values with lack of logical thinking.
3. Indescribable fears. vague feelings and thoughts.
4. Long hours of total blackout.
Alcoholism may not necessarily follow the given order but inevitably leads to death or serious impairment without proper medical attention and rehabilitation.
These are the four stages of alcoholism but alcohol depression kicks in right after the first stage and goes along the last stage.