My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

Mumsnet doesn't verify the qualifications of users. If you have medical concerns, please consult a healthcare professional.

Alcohol support

If you aren't an alcoholic but have a drink problem.

17 replies

pompomseverywhere · 21/02/2022 20:13

I don't know much about alcoholism so I'm looking for anyone's take on things.

Is there a term for someone who doesn't drink daily or weekly but when they do their whole demeanour and mannerisms change even after one sip and it doesn't work well for them.

I can't be sure it's not daily drinking as I don't live with the person and they live alone but I'd know if they'd had a drink as as I said they totally change their manner.

When they do have a drink their behaviour becomes wild and reckless: think drunk driving and broken bones.

They deny and minimise their drinking habits when asked and say to people they never touch a drop.

Is there something in between being a alcoholic and not?

OP posts:
Report
Burnamer · 21/02/2022 20:15

It’s called alcoholism.
That’s all there is to it.

Report
pompomseverywhere · 21/02/2022 20:18

Really? Even if it isn't frequent regular drinking?

OP posts:
Report
theemmadilemma · 21/02/2022 20:27

I would call that harmful drinking:

www.drinkaware.co.uk/facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/mental-health/alcoholism

For a rough outline of current terminology.

Report
Duntelchaig · 21/02/2022 20:40

Problem drinker? If someone can’t control his or her intake whether it’s once a year at Christmas or
daily or twice a month, they do fundamentally have a problem with alcohol. That said, in my twenties my group of friends all drank too much and did various dumb things but now none of us do. Having to actually do life properly and an ageing body can teach moderation to a lot of people.

Report
Adm1010 · 22/02/2022 08:02

Have a read around Alcohol use disorder .
Alcoholic and alcoholism is a dying term .

Report
TomatoCultivator · 22/02/2022 08:04

@Burnamer

It’s called alcoholism.
That’s all there is to it.

This.
Report
Nothingsfine · 22/02/2022 08:14

It's just semantics. A problematic drinker is problematic drinker.

Report
pompomseverywhere · 22/02/2022 08:27

@Adm1010

Have a read around Alcohol use disorder .
Alcoholic and alcoholism is a dying term .

Thanks that's really helpful. Never heard of this before.
OP posts:
Report
pompomseverywhere · 22/02/2022 08:28

To be honest whatever the correct term is is irrelevant as my mother will never get any help or admit she has a problem with drink.

OP posts:
Report
Adm1010 · 22/02/2022 08:46

It may help you to understand though . Alcohol use disorder is a huge spectrum . Al anon is also a useful tool for you to get some support x

Report
racquel86 · 22/02/2022 14:02

I hate the term 'alcoholic' - I feel it is very misunderstood is alcohol use. A so called 'alcoholic' is not a homeless person, a domestic abuser, a hopeless addict. Yes of course there are people that drink to excess, cause some sort of havoc and/or harm to themselves and/or others..... then brush it off and repeat. However, many people who find themselves drinking to excess are often doing it to self medicate - whether it be from an event or lifelong insecurities and poor mental health. No one decides as a child that they want to grow up and be dependent on alcohol. Cutting out alcohol can certainly improve mental health and allow someone to deal with their reason for drinking and put issues to rest..... but often people find themselves in a cycle of drinking to feel better without addressing the real problem and over time the alcohol makes everything worse as the body becomes dependent on it. It becomes a vicious cycle - and 'just stopping' can be life threatening and result in death.
As advised previously - have a read about alcohol use disorder, it's complex xxxx

Report
Ecdysis · 22/02/2022 14:08

@racquel86

I hate the term 'alcoholic' - I feel it is very misunderstood is alcohol use. A so called 'alcoholic' is not a homeless person, a domestic abuser, a hopeless addict. Yes of course there are people that drink to excess, cause some sort of havoc and/or harm to themselves and/or others..... then brush it off and repeat. However, many people who find themselves drinking to excess are often doing it to self medicate - whether it be from an event or lifelong insecurities and poor mental health. No one decides as a child that they want to grow up and be dependent on alcohol. Cutting out alcohol can certainly improve mental health and allow someone to deal with their reason for drinking and put issues to rest..... but often people find themselves in a cycle of drinking to feel better without addressing the real problem and over time the alcohol makes everything worse as the body becomes dependent on it. It becomes a vicious cycle - and 'just stopping' can be life threatening and result in death.
As advised previously - have a read about alcohol use disorder, it's complex xxxx

I agree with this.
However normally on MN you get the frothers that say unless you say I Am An Alcoholic, you are in denial and are beyond hope etc.

I have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, however I am not dependant on it, do not get withdrawal, can go months without. I see a lot of people with a very similar relationship, many who do not realise often because drinking both regularly and heavily is normalised in this county.

So regards the person you are talking about, they certainly have a problematic relationship with alcohol.
Report
Ecdysis · 22/02/2022 14:11

To add, I am taking steps to address my problem, especially for me avoiding triggers. For example I don't have wine in the house, and have told everyone I know why I don't want gifts of it etc

Report
pompomseverywhere · 22/02/2022 20:17

@Ecdysis that's sounds very positive for you going forward.
Do you mind me asking what made you realise you had to make some changes?

OP posts:
Report
SailingNotSurfing · 22/02/2022 20:35

I self-medicated with alcohol to treat my clinical depression. Drinking made the depression 100% worse. I sought help from my GP and he referred me to the community alcohol team (as it was known then). I was prescribed a course of anti-depressants and CBT.

These days, I limit myself to drinking on special occasions only, and then only have one or two. Prior to getting help, one drink would lead to 100. Now I know I can put the bottle down. We have wine, beer and spirits in the house and I'm not tempted to have a secret swig.

I never described myself as an alcoholic but I was definitely alcohol-dependant.

Report
pompomseverywhere · 23/02/2022 09:04

@SailingNotSurfing sounds like you had a good self awareness throughout.

What I can't work out is if my mum believes all her lies and lives in a make believe land or if she's aware of them and thinks we all believe her or alternately if she's aware of her lies and doesn't care if they sound legitimate or not.

OP posts:
Report
brightspice · 28/02/2022 16:00

@Ecdysis - completely and utterly agree with your comments re: labels!

@pompomseverywhere there isn't a hard and fast line between habit and addiction. I help people stop overdrinking who aren't addicts (not drinking to stop withdrawal symptoms like shakes etc) but who question the role alcohol plays in their life... they have a habit to drink basically because that's what they've taught themselves. They are usually full of shame about this because of how alcohol is so normalised in society.

We tend to talk about 2 types of drinker - alcoholics and everyone else who drinks normally. Millions of people sit between this where they feel they're drinking against their will but who are intelligent people and in control of their lives. These people are the silent drinkers - wanting to drink less but struggling to do so.

So it is possible to have a drinking habit that does not involve being an alcoholic and does not require you going to meetings or any kind of AA type programme. (I'm not knocking AA and so on - works for many people - but I work with so many people who hesitated getting help for so long because the AA type message doesn't work for them).

Report
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.