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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. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    I can only speak for myself, but for me, I just refused to believe I actually had a problem in the first place. I knew how much I was drinking but was a functioning alcoholic, I'd go to work, take care of the family and did everything I needed to do on a daily basis, then at the end of it, drink till I was drunk, crawl to bed and do the same the day after.

    I couldn't see that I was slowly sliding into alcoholism, and when it got mentioned I went on the defensive and pointed out it was just a few drinks at the end of the day and it wasn't affecting my day to day life, and it wasn't at the start. As the years drag on though, it does, its just that you don't notice.
    Mara likes this.
  2. Joethefirst

    Joethefirst Community Champion

    I think there is a big stigma surrounding alcoholism. Alcohol is legal and freely available to most people, this said anyone can become an alcoholic.
    For this reason, it creates a certain amount of fear in people, they know that they themselves could easily become addicted and the easiest way to deal with this addiction is to neglect people from this ill.
  3. Psyduck

    Psyduck Active Contributor

    I think this is mostly due to the fact that the moment when they admit they have an alcohol problem, the way others look at them becomes different than how it was previously. They could easily avoid that and not be frowned upon by lying rather than revealing that they're an alcoholic.
  4. doatk22

    doatk22 Community Champion

    Because they already have self esteem issues that they mask with alcohol, they can't bring up what hurts them. They mask those emotions, that's why they won't bring them up.
  5. CpeterN3

    CpeterN3 Member

    Sometimes the reason could be because they are in denial. This may be the biggest reason people struggling with addiction decline treatment. Most of them don’t think that they actually have a problem. They tell themselves they can quit anytime, and they actually believe it. The problem is, they can’t — and they’re scared to admit to themselves that they might have a serious problem.

    Sometimes they just don’t want to change because changing may seem terrifying to them. If a person has always had the same circle of friends, who also happen to be drug addicts, they may be scared to seek help. They may worry that they will be pushed out of the group or shunned. It is more the fear of that looming change, and the threat of having to start over and find new friends, that keeps people from accepting they have a problem and from seeking help.

    Some of them enjoy getting high or getting drunk because to them, that is a way to mask feelings or cope with troubling times. The person may be drinking to deal with; Unemployment, Abuse or neglect, Relationship troubles, or Traumatic events. In these cases, the person struggling with addiction may find the escape offered by drugs and alcohol pleasurable. They don’t want to lose the joy of that escape, even when it is impacting their life in other detrimental ways.

    Nobody likes to be gossiped about. Getting help for alcohol or drug addiction can lead to the sort of attention most people would like to avoid from colleagues, school acquaintances and more. Some people would rather continue to drink and get high rather than face judgment from their peers.
  6. IgCho

    IgCho Member

    I don't think alcoholics are unique in this regard. The pathology of denial is common to many different kinds of addiction. I think it can be hard for addicts to admit having a problem because firstly often the substances of abuse are part of social rituals for users and its difficult to consider trading off whole aspects of ones social life. Additionally, the dopaminergic release so many substances produce in addicts make it an immensely pleasurable experience often in individuals in which a similar enjoyment is hard to come by. This makes it difficult to even consider giving up.
  7. Elendil

    Elendil Active Contributor

    Exactly. Pride is such a peculiar emotion and one of the hardest to deal with. People who are alcoholics generally have a lot of pride, so they turn to alcohol to forget their problems instead of admitting their mistakes, learning from them, and moving forward. And it's this pride that prevents them from admitting they have an alcohol problem, because they can't stand to be proven that what they're doing is wrong, even if that mistake costs them their future, and sometimes, their life.
  8. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    Alcohol itself though isn't taken seriously enough in my opinion though, and there's still that mentality of 'it's only a few beers, what harm can it do'.

    The problem is that for a lot of people though, it can do a lot of harm without them even realising it.
  9. Mara

    Mara Community Champion

    With my experience with my dad, he used to say that he is not an alcoholic because he can stop drinking anytime that he wants to. Perhaps in my dad's case, it wasn't hard for him to admit it but that he's in denial that he has a drinking problem. Also, probably one of the reasons that he doesn't admit that he has a problem is because he still can function normally. He was a good provider and never once neglected his responsibilities to his family, unlike other alcoholics that we see being portrayed in the media as menace to society.
  10. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    There are 2 reasons that I think cause people to admit they have a problem. The first one being that it is perfectly legal to have a drink and so they do not see it as having an addiction. Alcoholics drink like I drink coffee, too much and too often. I feel like I need coffee to function and they feel the same way about alcohol. The other reason is that they are afraid to face life sober.
  11. Okaviator

    Okaviator Senior Contributor

    I personally think that alcohol addicts don't admit that they are because they are in denial. Most of them have been trying to stop the habit for a long time, so they don't like having the topic brought up.