Some people prefer to drink when they are socializing with friends or are out at a party while others might enjoy the relaxation of a few drinks at home alone. Drinking by yourself does not always mean you have an alcohol problem but it is considered one of the most common signs and symptoms of a developing dependency.
The question of whether or not you are an alcoholic could have more to do with your motivation for drinking alone. Do you need the alcohol to relax at night or are you hiding your drinking habits from your friends and family?
There could be a number of different reasons why a person chooses to drink alone but in many cases consistently getting drunk by yourself could indicate that you have a growing alcohol problem.
The Link Between Addiction and Drinking Alone
When people begin drinking alone it is often because they are maintaining some secrecy about their habits or they are looking to medicate some emotional problems rather than socialize. There is nothing wrong with a glass of wine with dinner or a beer before bed on occasion but if you are drinking heavily alone and it becomes a regular habit then there may be some underlying issues at hand.
When you are alone and are drinking to calm your nerves or alleviate stress, one glass can easily turn into two or three. Any type of self-medicating through the use of drugs or alcohol is a strong indication of addiction.
If there are issues like mental illness involved than drinking alone can be especially dangerous and you will be much more likely to develop a serious problem with alcoholism. Secrecy and hiding drinking habits is one of the common signs and symptoms of addiction.
Alcoholics are ashamed of how much they drink or are worried that someone will try to stop them if they know the severity of their addiction.
Developing a Problem with Drinking
An individual may not initially have any addictive motivations to drinking alone. They may not be drinking to escape or to hide their habits but are simply looking to unwind after a long day.
The problem is that drinking regularly means you will quickly develop a tolerance to alcohol. If you have a beer every day after work over time one beer will not have the same effect that it used to.
You will eventually need more and more alcohol to feel relaxed or experience the type of buzz that you want when you are drinking alone. As tolerance develops, a person may begin to feel withdrawal symptoms and cravings for more alcohol.
This is when the foundation of addiction can begin to form. Alcohol can also be a factor in a person experiencing depressive thoughts.
Drinking alone frequently can actually contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety which can make addiction and dependency worse in the long run. Alcohol can cause negative feelings especially for someone who already has these types of feelings when they are sober.
Drinking can intensify depression and even lead to a risk of suicide if you have a mental illness.
Not everyone who drinks alone from time to time is an alcoholic. But if you find you are drinking alone on a regular basis you might want to consider what your reasons and motivations are behind your behavior.
You may have a drinking problem or be in the process of developing a serious addiction if you show any of the other common signs of alcoholism. Drinking alcohol alone should be kept to a minimum if you are worried that you might have a problem.