Most people think that alcoholism is in a category all its own — you either have a drinking problem or you don’t. However, there are a few different types of alcoholism that you need to be aware of. This knowledge is crucial first and foremost for chosing alcoholism treatments as well as proper alcohol addiction recoveries. You may be surprised to find that you or someone you know could fit into one of these categories.
Understanding the different forms and degrees of alcoholism can help you recognize the signs early. Alcoholism is defined as a dependence on alcohol for any reason. Whether you are using alcohol to be more outgoing in a social setting or to concentrate more at work, there is still dependence present. The person who have these problems should be offered alcoholism addiction treatments as soon as possible in order to avoid future problems. Here are the four major types of alcoholism:
Social alcoholism is the hardest type of alcoholism to address and treat because people are not prepared to admit that social drinking may be a problem for them. Many people have the impression that alcohol consumption is a sign of adulthood and maturity, and that attending parties or business meetings where alcohol is served (especially expensive alcohol) makes them more sophisticated. Some individuals will make sure they attend as many social events in a week or month as possible in order to maintain the feelings associated with alcohol. Some individuals use social drinking as an excuse to drink more than they should, since some people are under the misconception that if you drink with others, you are not an alcoholic. For the social alcoholic, group therapy with friends in addition to assistance from loved ones in planning different social events and boosting self-esteem is most effective in alleviating this problem.
This type of alcoholism consists of drinking alcohol at inopportune hours of the day, such as first thing in the morning with (or without) breakfast or late at night before bed. Systematic alcoholics may also drink during lunch time and may return to work slightly intoxicated. Individuals that engage in this type of reckless behavior feel as though they cannot get through the day without drinking and need alcoholic substances to concentrate on tasks at work or to avoid depression. Systematic alcoholics are almost always experiencing multiple stresses and other family or personal problems that cause them to drink. They usually become defensive or angry if someone tries to confront them about the problem. This reaction is to be expected but help is definitely needed. Medical attention is best for the systematic alcoholic. Getting the advice to stop drinking from a professional may help the individual take the problem more seriously.
While all alcoholics drink to feel differently, emotional alcoholics drink to avoid emotions that should be dealt with in a healthier fashion. For instance, if this type of individual is angry, he or she may drink to forget about the anger rather than face it, not realizing that alcohol will only worsen the anger. This means the individual could end up doing something dangerous to themselves or others. Emotional alcoholics will also drink to ignore sadness or anxiety that should be dealt with by talking to a trusted friend or self reflection instead. One-on-one counseling may be best for the emotional alcoholic, so that the individual can talk about feelings associated with alcohol consumption in a safe and confidential environment. Counseling should also start as soon as possible, since these types of alcoholics are the most likely to hurt themselves or others when intoxicated.