It can be very difficult to recognize the signs of an alcoholic, especially if they’ve gone to great lengths to cover it up. Often referred to as “closet alcoholics”, the signs of a closet alcoholics can be much more difficult to notice. While it seems like the signs of an alcoholic or drug addict are obvious, many people can live with, or date someone without ever realizing they have a drinking problem.
There are a few reasons for this. For one, alcohol consumption is somewhat socially acceptable. If you see someone having a few beers, chances are you don’t think anything of it. There are some people who may drink at home but never in public or while driving.
Some people are ashamed of their drinking or will think they will get caught, so go to great lengths to hide their drinking problem or drug use. They will lie about how much they’ve had or if they’ve had any at all – even to their closest friends or doctor.
The signs of a drinking problem can correlate also to other potential problems. If you’re suspicious someone may have a drinking problem, doing a little digging to find out for sure may not be a bad idea.
Here are some signs that closet alcoholics might show that he or she has a drinking problem:
- 1. Anxious feelings for unknown reasons: When not being able to drink, someone will often feel anxious. There may be no apparent reason for this anxiety or irritability, but the person will know it’s time for a drink and therefore start acting very anxious over things that may seem like no big deal or unimportant.
2. Constantly Leaving Early or Showing Up Late: Someone who always leaves early with unusual excuses like “It’s getting really late” at 5 p.m. could show that they are eager to get somewhere else – for a closet alcoholic this means it is getting really late to be going without a drink! Showing up late often could be a sign that they have started drinking before showing up.
3. Small Inconsistent Lies: An alcoholic who is trying to hide a drinking problem will likely tell a lot of small lies. This can be from anything to what they did last night or last weekend to who they’ve been hanging out with. It can be tricky to catch these small lies, but if you see many of them or the stories don’t match up, it could be a good indicator the person has something to hide.
4. Disappearing: With an alcoholic, it is not uncommon for nobody to know where he or she is for any period of time. Relatives, coworkers, and close friends may have no idea where the person is, and he or she may go days without returning your calls or not return your calls at all.
5. Alcohol in Strange Places: You might notice the closet alcoholic keeps alcohol in strange places. While most people might use their fridge or wine rack for storing alcoholic beverages, someone who is hiding alcohol may have it in their basement, garage, bedroom, or other unusual hidden places.
You can’t always tell if a person is an alcoholic or drug addict based on these things alone. There are many other factors that could cause similar strange behavior. However, any of these signs can usually be a cause for concern no matter what the problem may be, so be sure to find out what is going on with the person you care about.
For more information on recognizing the signs of an alcoholic, check out our article 24 Signs of an Alcoholic. If you think someone you care about may be a closet alcoholic, don’t be afraid to seek help – they can be in just as much danger as someone who has the obvious symptoms and characteristics.