Since the recession of 2008 women have been fast joining the ranks of high functioning alcoholics. Alcoholism is the hardest addiction to detect in general, and in the case of women specifically, almost impossible. Women are under a tremendous amount of pressure, between family, finances, relationships, and work some of us are not able to cope; throw in the added societal pressure of looking younger, prettier, skinnier etc., and copping for some becomes impossible. Some look to alcohol to take the edge off these feelings, to help them cope with the issues of the day. Women traditionally, have kept their drinking a secret, and referred to themselves as “closets drinkers”. Most women claim their alcoholism crept up on them, drink by drink and then bottle by bottle. They would hide their bottles in laundry hampers, sneak in their sips between meetings, little league games and making dinner. One woman even switched to drinking vodka because she was told it would go undetected on her breath—important when picking up her kids from school. In the last ten years or so, closet drinking has evolved into high functioning alcoholism. In the spring of 2015 the Oasis Movement published “Hiding in Plain Sight—How to Spot a High Functioning Addict, and since we have decided to dedicate this month to issues surrounding women and addiction we thought to focus on women and high functioning alcoholism.
Signs of a high functioning alcoholic are:
- Trouble Controlling their Intake
- Think Obsessively About Drinking or Drugs
- Experiences Blackout During Drinking Binges
- DENIAL DENIAL DENIAL, when the topic of addiction is approached
In general, high functioning addicts are masters of disguise whose struggle with alcohol can go unnoticed for years, women specifically have taken this to a whole new level. They not only carry on stellar careers, but manage to juggle taking care of everyone and everything around them because it is in their “nature” to do so. A woman’s ability to function so well on every level leads those around her to deny a problem even exists; in fact spouses, family and friends almost willingly turn a blind eye, further enabling the high functioning addict. Denial delays treatment further deterioraing a woman’s mental and physical wellbeing, and only when something tragic occurs do those around her take notice. In the last fifteen years the rate of females caught drinking and driving has soared.
If you or someone you know exhibit even ONE of the signs of a high functioning addict please seek medical attention IMMEDIATELY!