A lot of people are unaware that there is a possibility for an individual to have a drinking problem and still be able to keep a job and live normally. It is not in contention that alcohol has become a major part of the social culture globally. It is, however, important to draw a line between drinking to have a nice time on the one hand, and becoming an alcoholic ( functional alcoholic) on the other.
It is quite possible for a person not to exhibit symptoms of dependency on alcohol, but still have a drinking problem. The odds, in this case, are high that you might have become one of those regarded as functioning alcoholics.
Those under this category include several people who are still able to maintain high-profile jobs but have alcohol as an integral element of their work culture.
Questions To Consider
A consultant psychiatrist, Dr. Iqbal Mohiuddi while speaking to a media outlet commented on the symptoms of functional alcoholism. According to him, one of the methods of knowing whether or not a person can be brought under this category is through the use of an acronym known as CAGE. CAGE refers to a set of questions that are directed to a person while inquiring into some habits related to alcohol consumption.
The questions include:
C stands for cutting down. The relevant question is whether or not you have ever thought about cutting down on the drinking habit.
A is for annoyance and the relevant question in this wise is an inquiry into whether you have ever gotten angry or annoyed when other people talked to you about your alcohol consumption.
G represents guilt. The question to ask yourself here is whether you get a guilty feeling about your alcohol consumption or any effect of this drinking either on yourself or on other individuals.
The last letter, E, stands for Eye-opener. The question to ask here is whether you feel there is a need for you to drink in order to feel better. More specifically, whether this feeling comes early in the morning as a means of calming your nerves.
Dr. Iqbal interestingly noted that you need to affirmatively answer all the questions for it to constitute a problem. He added that there is a high probability that you have an alcohol problem if you answer a question or two in the affirmative.
An Honest Personal Review
The expert, however, noted that the questions should not scare anyone. He opined that some of these questions only point out mild signs, and there is a possibility that even though you answered positively, you still do not have an issue. He added that it only helps to raise awareness and consideration of whether or not a drinking problem is developing.
The psychiatrist said that the breaking point is more often than not when a person loses or stands at a real chance of losing a person they love as a result of their alcohol consumption. He added that this possibility is usually what brings a lot of people to their clinic.
The expert suggested that people who strongly believe that they have a drinking problem need to be honest with themselves. This comes as the first primary step, and they can subsequently take other actions in order to solve the problem. Such steps include keeping a diary for their drinking, carrying out an analysis of their behavior when they are drunk and even getting help from therapy groups or medical experts if they honestly consider that as a necessity to aid then in retracing their steps from the functional dependency on alcohol.
The fact that you lied to the doctor about the exact amount of alcohol you consume weekly does not automatically mean you have a drinking problem. There is, therefore, no need to panic. However, if yours already goes beyond that, the time may be right for you to determine whether drinking is only a part of your social habit or if you are slowly becoming functionally dependent on alcohol.