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Could you be an (almost) alcoholic?

Are you almost an alcoholic?

If you aren't sure, answer the following questions.

Do you drink to relieve stress? Do you drink by yourself? Is drinking one of the only things you look forward to in your day? Is your drinking causing one or more health problems? Do you drink to relieve boredom or loneliness? Do you drive after drinking? Do you drink just to get a buzz? Do you drink just to help you overcome your shyness? And when you do drink, does it cause tension in your relationships?

If you've answered positively to any of the questions then you could be suffering from what is called the "almost effect", a term coined by Robert Doyle, MD, and Joseph Nowinski, Ph.D.

They define what it means to be "almost alcoholic," as being when excessive drinking habits begin to negatively impact one's life, without meeting the definition of alcoholism.

Suzanne Kane in Psych Central says according to Drs. Doyle and Nowinski, the following signs may be indicative of a problem:

  • Drinking to relieve stress.
  • Often drinking alone.
  • Looking forward to drinking.
  • One or more health problems may be related to your drinking.
  • Drinking to relieve boredom or loneliness.
  • Sometimes driving after drinking.
  • Drinking to maintain a buzz.
  • Work performance after drinking is not what it used to be.
  • Social situations aren’t as comfortable without drinking.
  • Drinking to overcome shyness.

CapeTalk host Jeanne Michel spoke to the founder of a website and program called World Without Wine, Janet Gourand about how we have normalised our reliance on wine.

The conversation was sparked after reading an article on marieclaire.co.za titled "I Didn’t Think I Had A Wine Problem Until I Stopped Drinking For A Month" written by Lynette Botha where she says "It’s a natural instinct for me to head straight to the fridge when I get home from work and pour myself a chilled glass, feeling the stress of the day melt away with the first sip (read: gulp). Wine was my salvation, my escape and – often – the only ‘me-time’ I had."

Take a listen to the interview below and check out whether you may just have a problem:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Could you be an (almost) alcoholic?


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