When you have a problem with alcohol, you really have a big problem – even though you may not realize the extent. Alcoholic denial is very strong in those suffering from alcohol use disorders, and even though an individual can openly admit to drinking more than a safe amount of alcohol, they can still deny that alcohol is a problem.
This is not necessarily the person lying about the seriousness of the condition but is often a subconscious response. When a dependency on alcohol is present, the mind and the body will often set up defense mechanisms to protect itself – alcoholic denial is a very common defense mechanism.
How to Break Alcohol Denial in a Loved One
If your loved one has obvious problems indicative of an alcohol use disorder, you – as a parent, spouse, family member, or a friend – will want them to seek treatment. However, the alcoholic denial can cause them to get defensive if even bring up the fact that their drinking is problematic and needs attention.
So how do you handle an alcoholic in denial? An intervention is often the best way to get the alcoholic to realize for themselves that they have a problem. The ultimate goal is to get the individual understand the extent of the problem and accept treatment for themselves.
How to Break Alcohol Denial in Yourself
It may sound counterintuitive, but it is possible for an alcoholic to realize that they have a problem, but be in denial of the extent of the problem. A person can even drink every day, show obvious signs of severe alcoholism, and still believe that they have their problematic drinking under control. These individuals may have tried several times to cut down on their drinking unsuccessfully.
These types of individuals may also benefit from a traditional intervention, but if they already recognize the problem and the denial or fear keep them from quitting completely, addiction treatment is the best way to break through that denial and fear. The denial may continue for the first days and weeks of treatment, but as the individual begins to “dry out,” the defense mechanism of denial will begin to drop. As the curtain of denial is pulled back, it becomes all to evident to the individual just how bad the problem actually was.
Do I Need Rehab for Alcohol?
Most people who have problems with alcohol will attempt to cut back or quit by themselves. Of those who try quitting on their own, many will find that they simply can’t cut down or completely quit. Either the urges to drink are too overwhelming, or alcohol withdrawal symptoms begin and they drink to relieve these symptoms.
The truth of the matter is that alcohol rehab and alcohol treatment programs are not exclusively for those with severe alcoholism – even those with more moderate drinking problems will need some form of treatment. Alcohol withdrawals can be severe is extreme cases, and these cases will need medical alcohol detox to get through the first 3-4 days.
A moderate drinker may not show severe withdrawal symptoms, and could have an easier time with the initial detox phase, but the first few weeks of cessation from alcohol should always be done with the assistance of some sort of detox and initial treatment. Treatment is not only necessary to keep you safe in case of medical emergencies during detox, but also to help you to understand and deal with the mental, physical, and emotional side effects of early sobriety.
Nutritional Deficiencies and Negative Health Issues in Alcohol Recovery
Dealing with the negative health effects from drinking is important in early recovery from alcohol. Much like alcoholic denial can make you believe your drinking is not a severe problem, denial can cause you to turn a blind eye to damage alcohol does to your overall health. Over 80% of alcoholics and alcohol abusers have blood sugar problems of some type, either hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, diabetes, or pre-diabetes.
Problems with blood sugar can often be tied to nutritional deficiencies caused by lack of absorption of vitamins and nutrients. A number of health issues can arise from these deficiencies, and alcoholics may suffer from numerous health ailments – even though they may not recognize the symptoms, or the symptoms were being covered by alcohol use.
When a person quits drinking, these underlying health issues will become more apparent, and symptoms will begin to manifest. These symptoms will usually manifest in the first weeks or months of recovery, so it is imperative that those recovering from alcohol dependence have access to medical treatment. Alcohol treatment programs can provide clinical care during recovery to address all of your health questions and concerns.
Help In Early Recovery from Alcohol Abuse
Early Recovery from alcohol abuse is going to throw a lot at you, from the alcohol withdrawals, anxiety, and depression, to the symptoms of health issues caused by alcohol. While many believe they can quit on their own, and without the help of others or treatment, alcohol dependence is a serious problem – with many underlying medical issues that will require clinical care. The benefits of having help in recovery are going to help you to stay devoted to your recovery, and clinical care staff can help you to understand the multitude of symptoms and emotions you are going to encounter in the first months of quitting alcohol.