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Why Do You Think It's So Hard For Most Alcoholics To Admit They Have a Problem?

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by Rainman, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    I've known many alcoholics most of whom when questioned about their addiction by people who were willing to help them declared that they didn't need any help because they weren't alcohol addicts. With such a mindset it would be almost impossible to get someone to change because they've convinced themselves that they are OK.

    In order to help someone like this maybe understanding why they are unwilling to admit they have a problem could arm someone with knowledge that could be useful in persuading the addict to accept the help offered.

    So, back to the question, why do you think it's hard for most alcoholics to admit they have a problem?
  2. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    So many reasons come to mind. Perhaps someone is scared of quitting - knowing that they'll have to face up to things and not blot it all out. Maybe some people think they are far too gone to change or don't like the thought of the withdrawals. Others will have a stereotypical image of an alcoholic being some kind of loser and won't want to associate themselves with that.
  3. 6up

    6up Community Champion

    Most societies look at addicts as people who have failed in life, which makes them ashamed of looking for help. We have distanced ourselves from drug addicts and that makes it difficult for us to know when they need help. We should learn how to live positively with alcoholics, that is when they can be open with us.
  4. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    There could be a lot of possible reasons why some people deny the fact that they have got alcohol problems. Based on my observation, most alcoholics are a little too arrogant, and they don't want to be pitied, because they think they are highly functional, and accomplished, and they don't need help from anyone. Just my opinion though.
  5. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    In short, I think it's probably just denial. They don't admit to anyone else that they have a problem because they are unable to admit to themselves that they have a problem. Additionally, many alcoholics like to think that they can probably function just as well without it despite their dependence. It's when they then try to cope without it that it really hits them. Alcohol addiction is unlike other addictions in that you don't really notice it getting it's grasp on you.
  6. sillylucy

    sillylucy Community Champion

    I think that it is pride. People do not want to lose their pride and they want to make sure that they are still in control.
  7. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    For a while for me, I just assumed it was "normal" to be out drinking every night, or to be drinking at home, because that's what the people I hung out with at the time were doing. I was only in my 20's when I admitted I had a problem, so for a while I guess I just didn't want to come to terms with it because I thought someone who was an alcoholic had to have been drinking for a certain timeframe - decades of alcohol abuse, for instance, rather than just a few years. Also, like some others have said I think a lot of the time whenever we as humans are struggling with anything (not just addiction) it can be hard to admit - whether it's for the sake of pride, embarrassment, not wanting to seem like you don't have everything together - so that part can be hard, too.
  8. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    Nobody likes to admit that they have lost control of a situation. We all like to be in control and when we lose that we have a hard time admitting that. It admit it is to say that we have failed. I think it is a pride thing.
  9. henry

    henry Community Champion

    Well, nobody likes to admit they're addicted to anything. They will always try to deny it. Why? Because it's shameful. It's also an excuse to keep on doing it. It's like saying you don't have a problem with something, so it's okay if you keep doing it. because you can quit any time you want.
  10. irishrose

    irishrose Community Champion

    Many alcoholics are 'functioning alcoholics,' who can still hold a job and function in day-to-day life, despite their dependence on alcohol. Such people do not see that they have a problem, because they are still working and going about their business. What they do not see is that their life could be a lot better without the alcohol dependency. If they did not come home from work and drink until oblivion, they would probably have better relationships with others and have better mental and physical health. They would be able to actually live and experience life, rather than sitting on the side lines getting hammered.
  11. MichelleVL

    MichelleVL Senior Contributor

    I think alcoholics have a hard time accepting they have problems with alcoholism because of the social and cultural acceptance that alcohol has around the world. It's used everywhere, everyday. You'll find alcohol at baptisms, weddings, funerals, diners, festivals, celebrating graduations, Christmas, Thanksgiving, sports, and the list goes on. Most people will find a fault with illegal substances, but won't so readily accept a problem if the substance they consume is a legal one.
  12. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I think maybe because they think that it was just normal as most of they knew probably are also into drinking habits. They might think that their drinking sessions are acceptable and just normal as what they would like to think.
  13. vegito12

    vegito12 Community Champion

    It may be due to them not wanting others t.o know or may feel it is a sign of weakness and will be viewed as someone who is weak and not a man as some males can have that feeling which causes them to try and hide the issue, and hope it goes away by itself which can happen very easy. I think it can be due to fear or dealing with someone nagging them or hassling which can make them hide the issue and hope no one bothers them, as the mind can make them hide it and not talk about it. Sometimes it can be due to taking time off drinking to solve the issue or work and want to deal with the problem in their own way which may work for them and can be hard to understand, for the other people who are around them.
  14. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    I think the moment these alcoholics admit that they have a problem then the next step would be to quit drinking, which would make them part with the alcohol that they crave so much, so it's much easier for them to be in denial of things. So they think that they still don't have a problem with drinking so that they will not be held accountable for the trouble that they are causing when they are drunk.
  15. 111kg

    111kg Community Champion

    Because they like to drink. It's that simple. They like to drink and think they can stop whenever they want...if they want, but trouble is they never want to stop drinking for real. I asked my dad once why was he drinking and his answer was plain simple: to get drunk.

    I really don't get it why they drink, not to say why they continue to drink after they are drunk already.
  16. ChaseHayden

    ChaseHayden Member

    I've been discussing this over and over with myself, and close family members. From experience, I believe alcoholism is an instant illusion, and long term, literally a hallucinogen.. You delve so deep into the booze, you are fully unaware of the effects that also instantly take place, your views on the world shift, your emotions become dull, you become confident in all of the wrong subjects.. You grow a little more angry as you go along because your insides are indeed deteriorating. So, without thought, without demand, no alcoholic feels it necessary to admit those drunken words. Most of all, every alcoholic I've met in my life including myself has thought of it as a temporary stint, a quick binge if you will, but it's always an extended stay..
  17. iga

    iga Member

    I find that I stress out and overthink everything. Always thinking I am so useless that I should just be quiet and miserable rather than be a bother to anyone. I over-analyze and criticize every single word I say and every action I do. Alcohol managed to dumb me down and shut my brain off a little bit so I stopped thinking and stopped worrying. This of course led to some horrible situations the next day because I just didn't care enough to think about the long term effects.
  18. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Belligerent stupidity. Stupidity and ignorance is the main, denial is the other. Certain physiological aspects cause the lowering of rationality and they wallow in their ignorance due to deficiencies. Lying and wrongful acts push them further into their own oblivion. Alcohol depletes the spine of certain nutrients causing the brain to malfunction and cause someone to do completely illogical things. Its not an excuse its a fact. It is so self abusive.
    Honesty and doing the right things as best as possible does more for a an individual than they could ever realize. Ignorance is not knowing. If you know and continue without doing what's best. How is that not stupid? Some people can't handle the truth or they actually think they are stupid. So they reinforce it with more stupid behavior. Its like they are on some mission to prove a point that makes no sense. It makes sense to them. There is a way around it, but that takes skill.
    Maybe if they knew that it was the alcohol causing them to be a jerk instead of thinking they are a stupid jerk. They are not really nor were they in the first place. Its almost as if they are condemning themselves into this oblivion. I know exactly what you are talking about.
    There's also the element of brainwashing. You see somewhere they have been conditioned to believe that drinking is some kind of sport. They've got to go long and keep up. Like I can drink anyone under the table kind of thing. So what gets set in that is "AA is for quitters". It becomes a joke to them like they couldn't maintain the game. You know like I'm the best. Other alcoholics when it comes up will say to keep someone in their drinking club "AA is for quitters" and it becomes like this mentality of I'm not a quitter so I will continue and be the best at it.
    I'm giving the perspective cause I've done the survey and I've heard it straight from the alcoholics themselves. They just want to seem to want to be right even if it kills them or ruins their relationships.
  19. djolem

    djolem Senior Contributor

    An interesting point. I think they do not want to ask because they would feel even worse about themselves. It is not easy to say and admit others have been right about something. It is guilt and pride. I suppose that some of them think they actually can quit and maybe they do not want to. I like to say i do not have problem with alcohol. We are just fine, no problems here sir :)
    Elendil likes this.
  20. Jasmine2015

    Jasmine2015 Community Champion

    I was just going to say something along the lines on how some people are functioning alcoholics. If you live in an environment where all people do is drink like there's no tomorrow then it might be viewed as normal. I think an alcoholic has lots of personal reasons as to why they won't admit to having a problem. It's either they are truly ignorant that they have a problem. Or that they like to deny it and you can't deny something unless you know it's there. These people must admit it to themselves that they have a problem before they admit to someone else.