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    1. #1
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      Alcoholic, alcohlism, Alcohol dependancy, Alcohol Habit

      What are the differences between these, and how would you categorise yourself?

      I felt I had an alcohol habit, now I cant seem to stop drinking, so that would suggest an alcohol dependancy. But that is awfully close to being classed as an alcoholic

      Whats your views?

    2. #2
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      Wagoneer's Avatar

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      Alcoholic, alcohlism, Alcohol dependancy, Alcohol Habit

      To me, if you cannot stop drinking, if you think you have a problem and cannot stop and find are dependent on alcohol, you are an alcoholic. I just know that I can never ever drink again. Although the term makes me wince, I know I am an alcoholic because alcohol makes me someone who I do not wish to be. It doesn't really matter how you classify yourself or someone else since AL effects everyone differently. I'm sure there are millions of different opinions on this.

    3. #3
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      Alcoholic, alcohlism, Alcohol dependancy, Alcohol Habit

      Thats why I thought I would ask, I wince when I think of the term alcoholic, but I think I am edging towards believing I might be...

      I dont hate what I become when I am drunk, I am a very placid drunk, I just hate waking up the next day hung over and irritable.

    4. #4
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      Alcoholic, alcohlism, Alcohol dependancy, Alcohol Habit

      I don't get mean or anything either when I used to get buzzed, but I mostly hated the person I was the next day - all because of boozing it up the night before. So awesome to be done with that. Phew.

    5. #5
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      Alcoholic, alcohlism, Alcohol dependancy, Alcohol Habit

      I thought I was a GREAT drunk - just everyone else seemed to have a problem

    6. #6
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      Alcoholic, alcohlism, Alcohol dependancy, Alcohol Habit

      Hi Nailz, you raise a good question. I don't think I am the most qualified person to answer all your questions, but I have some thoughts on the issue.

      I don't think there is any doubt that the term "alcoholic" carries with it a lot of baggage, psychological, sociological and so on. There is much debate about this, and some feel it harmful and some helpful it seems. I avoid the word myself, perhaps it's cowardly of me.

      One thing I talk about is if we still have "power" over alcohol. What is that relationship like? It seems that it is very hard for the individual to sometimes give a true or objective opinion about this. When do we lose majority in this power struggle? At that point, what is the label, or what should we call this behaviour?

      The term "functional" is often used. A lot of us function at work, at home etc, but drink a great deal. Over time we know it is killing us, and decreasing our ability to function at those things. In addition our decision making is often horrible; often landing us in rock bottom over time (like me).

      I also used to say "I abuse" alcohol, but I am not addicted. I don't think I was being honest with myself.
      I don't think I was right.

      Well, not sure I helped at all, but some food for thought. Perhaps someone else has some thoughts on my points too.

      Hill

    7. #7
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      Alcoholic, alcohlism, Alcohol dependancy, Alcohol Habit

      I think terminology can put people off seeking help, e.g. it's easier to admit to a drinking problem than to the label of alcoholic. On the other hand, if you have a "little problem with drink" it may be easier to slip back than if you admit you are a full blown alcoholic from the outset. For some people the AA habit of daily admitting you are an alcoholic seems a negative reinforcement, and for others it's an important check.

      I'm not sure how to differentiate, or if there is any difference. I know that when I was drinking every day I was not in control, alcohol was. Now I feel I have reversed that, but I remain vulnerable to the possibility of giving up control again.

    8. #8
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      Alcoholic, alcohlism, Alcohol dependancy, Alcohol Habit

      "The term "functional" is often used. A lot of us function at work, at home etc, but drink a great deal. Over time we know it is killing us, and decreasing our ability to function at those things"

      I just copied and pasted that part of Hillside's post as this is something that has been on my mind since I stopped drinking on 27th Feb. This description certainly fits my pattern. As time went on, my "functioning" became "existing", now instead of "functioning" I am "living" - don't know if this makes sense to anyone, I'm still trying to think it out.

    9. #9
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      Alcoholic, alcohlism, Alcohol dependancy, Alcohol Habit

      What is an alcoholic? According to whom? AA states that if your life has become unmanageable you are an alcoholic. That is pretty broad. The DSM 4 has certain criteria to diagnose people with alcohol issues, but it will change in a few years. To me, I hate the label, but I know to some it is important. People with alcohol problems don't have an off switch, they have an allergy, one drink leads to too many. So, what to do about it? AA, quit on your own, MWO, SMART, Women for sobriety, Sinclair, Lenair, Moderation management, all these things have worked for people, and all these methods have not worked for people. We all have to find our own way, and if we don't we can die or end up in jail. That is the unpleasant truth, but there it is. The pleasant truth is that if we manage to find our way out, we have a much better life.

      So, to being AF today and everyday.

    10. #10
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      Alcoholic, alcohlism, Alcohol dependancy, Alcohol Habit

      I thought the broken off switch the " panic at the end of the bottle" was the point where real alcoholism kicked in.( That and blackouts. ) Whereas if you drank too much but could stop before you passed out then you had a drinking problem but were not a real alcoholic???? Thats what has been in my head all these years anyway.

      I heard as well that alcoholism was not about how much you drink or how often you drink but instead its about what happens when you drink ie once you start you will not be able to stop. One drink will trigger huge cravings for more and more until you literally pass out. Interesting post.

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