This is true even though he hasn't been hospitalized very much. Actually I'm fearful for his sanity if he goes on drinking. Bill wrote that Dr. Towns Hospital in New York during the summer of After that, Bill stayed sober for a few months, but then returned to suicidal binge drinking. My weary and despairing wife was informed that it would all end with heart failure during delirium tremens, or I would develop a wet brain, perhaps within a year.
She would soon have to give me over to the undertaker or the asylum. The Big Book , 3rd edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 1, page 7. Then, while Bill Wilson was hospitalized for detoxing, from December 11th to 18th, , at Charles Towns' Hospital in New York yet again, for the fourth time in just a little over a year, after yet another drinking-to-die binge, Dr. Silkworth gave Bill Wilson Charlie Town's specialty of the house — a hallucinogenic quack medicine " belladonna cure " for alcoholism that was also supposedly good for curing morphine addiction, bed-wetting, kleptomania, "cafeinism", or whatever else ails you.
When the drugs hit, Bill Wilson flipped out and "saw the light", and saw "the God of the preachers" , he said, and got religion. It seems like his "spiritual experience" and his miraculous conversion came in time to save his liver, but not his brain. Note that even Bill's reporting of Dr. Silkworth's diagnosis of brain damage reveals Bill's delusions of grandeur. Bill Wilson thought that it was a joke, just another alcoholic war story to brag about.
Bill thought that he was above minor problems like brain damage. Other men might go insane from alcohol-induced brain damage, but not Bill Wilson. It couldn't happen to a tough guy like him: Assume on the other hand that father has, at the outset, a stirring spiritual experience. Overnight, as it were, he is a different man. He becomes a religious enthusiast. He is unable to focus on anything else. There is talk about spiritual matters morning, noon and night. They suspect father is a bit balmy!
He is not so unbalanced as they might think. Many of us have experienced dad's elation. We have indulged in spiritual intoxication. Wilson, Chapter 9, pages We have found nothing incompatible between a powerful spiritual experience and a life of sane and happy usefulness. Wilson, page Denial, denial De Nile isn't just a river in Egypt. And note how Bill Wilson's flawed memory twisted and warped Dr. Silkworth's words — Bill has Silkworth saying of Bill, " It's guzzling rot-gut whiskey and bathtub gin outside of the hospital that causes the brain damage.
Nan Robertson also reported Bill having a nasty problem with delusions of grandeur. Bill Wilson's life in the period of to was like this: His hangovers and hallucinations were becoming more frequent. He panhandled and stole from his wife's purse. He would ride the subways for hours after buying a bottle of bootleg gin, talking gibberish to frightened strangers.
He threw a sewing machine at Lois and stormed around their house in Brooklyn kicking out door panels. She called him a "drunken sot. He barely ate. He was forty pounds underweight. His dark, withdrawn periods alternated with delusions of grandeur. Once he told Lois that "men of genius" conceived their best projects when drunk. Nan Robertson implied that Bill Wilson's delusions of grandeur disappeared after he quit drinking, but Bill's writings do not show that.
Neither does the rest of the literature about Alcoholics Anonymous. The rest of chapter 9 of The Big Book — "The Family Afterward" — features more strange, tortured thinking about how the family and Father should function after Father gets sober. The "anonymous" author, Bill Wilson, begins by saying that a recovering man will become either a workaholic or a religious maniac, and that being a workaholic and trying to recover financially is hardly worth the bother.
Funny that we only get those two unpleasant choices : become a workaholic, or become a religious maniac. Why does drinking sound like more fun? At the beginning of recovery a man will take, as a rule, one of two directions. He may either plunge into a frantic attempt to get on his feet in business, or he may be so enthralled by his new life that he talks or thinks of little else. We think it dangerous if he rushes headlong at his economic problem. The family will be affected also, pleasantly at first, as they feel their money troubles are about to be solved, then not so pleasantly as they find themselves neglected.
Dad may be tired at night and preoccupied by day. Mother may complain of inattention. They are all disappointed, and often let him feel it. He is straining every nerve to make up for lost time. He is striving to recover fortune and reputation and feels he is doing very well. Sometimes mother and children don't think so. Having been neglected and misused in the past, they think father owes them more than they are getting. The head of the house ought to remember that he is mainly to blame for what befell his home. He can scarcely square the account in his lifetime.
But he must see the danger of over-concentration on financial success. Although financial recovery is on the way for many of us, we found we could not place money first. For us, material well-being always followed spiritual progress; it never preceded. As each member of a resentful family begins to see his shortcomings and admits them to the others, he lays a basis for helpful discussion. These family talks will be constructive if they can be carried on without heated argument, self-pity, self-justification or resentful criticism. Little by little, mother and children will see they ask too much, and father will see he gives too little.
Giving, rather than getting, will become the guiding principle. Wilson, Chapter 9, The Family Afterward , pages Notice the guilt induction routine: "The head of the house ought to remember that he is mainly to blame for what befell his home. But now he tells you that it's all your own fault , and you have been so bad that you can scarcely make amends for what you have done, even if you try for the rest of your life. Are you starting to feel guilty?
The next to last paragraph says that "spiritual progress" — in other words, Alcoholics Anonymous — must come before a man's job: " For us, material well-being always followed spiritual progress; it never preceded. So go to A. And don't get a job that conflicts with the A. Note that Bill Wilson copied that line, along with the rest of the A. Frank Buchman, in a transatlantic radio broadcast from Stockbridge, Mass. Buchman, page The last paragraph of that large Big Book quote above describes a family where everyone becomes a good little Buchmanite and confesses everything in family meetings: "As each member of a resentful family begins to see his shortcomings and admits them to the others, he lays a basis for helpful discussion.
Bill was just painting a picture of a happy "Dick and Jane" dream world where the whole family happily practices Buchmanism. Bill and Lois had no children, so Bill had no experience with having some scared, abused children of an alcoholic in his house. But Bill certainly had plenty of experience with being the abused son of an alcoholic father who abandoned his family when Bill was just a boy, and then Bill felt that his mother abandoned him too, leaving him to be raised by his grandparents.
And Bill's mother had very serious mental problems of her own — she ended up in a mental hospital later in life. Bill Wilson seems to have gone into deep denial about the whole thing, and blanked most of that out of his memory. That is typical of narcissism — just suppress the feelings of rejection, humiliation, and helplessness, and deny that one was ever hurt; just live in a dream world where everything is wonderful.
Bill does not appear to have had a clue about how abused children of an alcoholic will never get together with Father for a happy little confession session where everybody admits his wrongs and "moral shortcomings". They will think, " Anything you say can and will be used against you the next time Father gets drunk, so don't say anything, not ever. That was just some more deluded wishful thinking on Bill's part, imagining that the family members will all somehow turn into happy little Buchmanites who are just tickled pink at the opportunity to have family meetings and confess all of their sins, defects, and shortcomings to each other.
Also notice how Alcoholics Anonymous Wilson-style Buchmanism is supposed to be the religion of the whole family, not just a quit-drinking program for Father. Alexander Lowen describes the development of a narcissistic personality disorder in a way that is reminiscent of Bill Wilson's childhood: All of us are vulnerable to being hurt, rejected, or humiliated.
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Yet not all of us deny our feelings, try to project an image of invulnerability and superiority or to strive for power. The difference lies in our childhood experiences. As children, narcissists suffer what analysts describe as a severe narcissistic injury, a blow to self-esteem that scars and shapes their personalities. This injury entials humiliation, specifically the experience of being powerlessness while another person enjoys the exercise of power and control over one.
I don't believe that a single experience shapes character, but when a child is constantly exposed to humiliation in one form or another, the fear of humiliation becomes structured in the body and the mind. Such a person could easily vow: "When I grow up, I'll get power, and neither you nor anyone else will be able to do this to me again.
And Bill's completely unrealistic picture of the alcoholic's family life is explained by denial: The narcissist faces the risk of being overwhelmed by feelings and going wild, crazy, or mad, should his defense of denial break down. This is especially true of anger. Every narcissist is afraid of going crazy, because the potential for insanity is in his personality. This fear reinforces the denial of feeling, creating a vicious circle. That also explains Bill's strange attitude about anger.
Bill insisted that you couldn't be angry at all — no matter what the reason — that it was very "unspiritual" to be angry about anything: It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us. If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also. But are there no exceptions to this rule? What about "justifiable" anger?
If somebody cheats us, aren't we entitled to be mad? Can't we be properly angry with self-righteous folk? For us in A. We have found that justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it. And Dr. Lowen explained the suppressed anger this way: The need to project and maintain an image forces the person to prevent any feeling from reaching consciousness that would conflict with the image.
That also gives us one cause for Bill Wilson's chronic, crippling, and long-lasting fits of depression: Suppressed anger is a leading cause of depression. Anger, Controlling the Fireworks , www. Bill certainly had enough to be depressed over. Narcissistic need is tremendous. Just as sharks must continually swim to keep from drowning, Narcissists must constantly demonstrate that they are special, or they will sink like stones to the depths of depression. Bernstein, Ph. Unless the subject of the conversation is how great they are, Narcissistic vampires will become visibly bored.
One of the main reasons Narcissists wear expensive watches is so they can look at them when someone else is talking. Besides boredom, Narcissistic vampires have only two other emotional states. They're either on top of the world or on the bottom of the garbage heap. The slightest frustration can burst their balloon and send them crashing to the depths. Next, Bill Wilson described what happens if the recovering man becomes a religious maniac, rather than a workaholic. As soon as his sobriety begins to be taken as a matter of course, the family may look at their strange new dad with apprehension, then with irritation.
He may demand that the family find God in a hurry, or exhibit amazing indifference to them and say he is above worldly considerations. He may tell mother, who has been religious all her life, that she doesn't know what it's all about, and that she had better get his brand of spirituality while there is yet time. When father takes this tack, the family may react unfavorably. They may be jealous of a God who has stolen dad's affections.
While grateful that he drinks no more, they may not like the idea that God has accomplished the miracle where they failed. They often forget father was beyond human aid. They may not see why their love and devotion did not straighten him out. Dad is not so spiritual after all, they say. If he means to right his past wrongs, why all this concern for everyone in the world but his family? What about his talk that God will take care of them? Wilson, Chapter 9, page Parts of that are, of course, ludicrous.
The first paragraph features all of the horrible things that will happen if Father has had a "stirring spiritual experience", perhaps a drug-induced vision of God while detoxing : The family will become increasingly concerned about father's obvious monomaniacal obsession with religion RELIGION , not "spirituality" — " He becomes a religious enthusiast. He is unable to focus on anything else " — " There is talk about spiritual matters morning, noon and night " — and Bill dismisses the family's apprehension with "They may be jealous of a God who has stolen dad's affections.
Clinically certifiable. Completely deluded; no contact with reality remaining: "They may be jealous of a God who has stolen dad's affections. First he was an obnoxious drunkard, and now he's an obnoxious religious fanatic. When's he going to knock it off and just act halfways normal? Note the paranoia — Bill can just hear all of the people talking about him behind his back, calling him insane: Dad is not so spiritual after all, they say.
No joke. But Bill was apparently incapable of taking their concerns about his sanity seriously. He dismissed their suspicions as just part of their "jealousy of God", or their needless general worrying. Like a gaunt prospector, belt drawn in over the ounce of food, our pick struck gold. Joy at our release from a lifetime of frustration knew no bounds. Father feels he has struck something better than gold. For a time he may try to hug the new treasure to himself. He may not see at once that he has barely scratched a limitless lode which will pay dividends only if he mines it for the rest of his life and insists on giving away the entire product.
Big Book , 3rd Edition, William G. Wilson, Chapter 9, "The Family Afterward", pages That is a fair description of mania. Bill Wilson called it "spiritual intoxication", but it's really mania — a kind of raving, giggling, laughing insanity. That text is also a fair description of a trap: You will only benefit if you do the program for the rest of your life. You can't ever leave the cult. It also begs the question, "Do you have to wait the rest of your life for the benefits to start? Well then, why couldn't you benefit from doing it for less than the rest of your life, like maybe half, and then getting the "dividends" and running away?
It really means recruiting new members for Alcoholics Anonymous. True-believer A. Incidentally, the line about "For a time he may try to hug the new treasure to himself" is absurd. Bill Wilson did not try to keep his new religious beliefs to himself after his drug-induced "spiritual experience" in Towns Hospital.
He immediately turned into a fanatical missionary who drove all of the alcoholics around him crazy with his proselytizing and recruiting attempts. Bill was actually starting home churches within days of his pharmaceutical "vision of God". Then Bill admits that father isn't quite right in the head, but says that it's okay, because it's just a passing phase.
And, Bill says, father's return to sanity depends on the family not annoying or irritating him: If the family cooperates, dad will soon see that he is suffering from a distortion of values. He will perceive that his spiritual growth is lopsided, that for an average man like himself, a spiritual life which does not include his family obligations may not be so perfect after all. If the family will appreciate that dad's current behavior is but a phase of his development, all will be well. In the midst of an understanding and sympathetic family, these vagaries of dad's spiritual infancy will quickly disappear.
If you let him do whatever he wants, then the situation will magically fix itself in short order. Bill says that father will quickly perceive that his behavior is inappropriate, and "these vagaries of dad's spiritual infancy will quickly disappear. In , Clarence Snyder complained that Bill Wilson had been unemployed and mooching off of his wife Lois or the Alcoholics Anonymous organization for nine years.
And Bill never did get and keep another job. He just swiped the Big Book money , and then stole the copyright to the Big Book , and blackmailed the Alcoholic Foundation into giving him and Doctor Bob most of the royalties money, and he got rich off of the book. Bill Wilson never worked a straight job again in his whole life. He just made A. Incidentally, the American Psychiatric Association does not recognize any such mental problems as "vagaries of spiritual infancy".
But if the family won't do things Bill's way: The opposite may happen should the family condemn and criticize. Dad may feel that for years his drinking has placed him on the wrong side of every argument, but that now he has become a superior person with God on his side. If the family persists in criticism, this fallacy may take a still greater hold on father.
Instead of treating the family as he should, he may retreat further into himself and feel he has spiritual justification for so doing. Though the family does not fully agree with dad's spiritual activities, they should let him have his head. Even if he displays a certain amount of neglect and irresponsibility towards the family, it is well to let him go as far as he likes in helping other alcoholics.
During those first days of convalescence, this will do more to insure his sobriety than anything else. Though some of his manifestations are alarming and disagreeable, we think dad will be on a firmer foundation than the man who is placing business or professional success ahead of spiritual development. He will be less likely to drink again, and anything is preferable to that. Wilson, Chapter 9, The Family Afterwards , pages In other words, the solution is to let Father act crazy, even if his behavior is "alarming and disagreeable".
Don't criticize him, or else really bad things will happen, Bill says. Narcissists just can't stand criticism. Just let him neglect his family and irresponsibly devote his entire life to Alcoholics Anonymous. Housewives, just watch passively as your husband turns into a babbling bombastic believer in a crazy contentious cult.
Then everything will turn out okay. He will supposedly be on a "firmer foundation" than someone who works for a living and behaves normally. This is a repetition of the idea that Bill Wilson stated earlier, that working hard, earning a living, and trying to recover financially, is a mistake — that A. Let your wife support you while you go recruiting for Alcoholics Anonymous. Bill Wilson What, Lois? Me go get a job? Oh dear, I can feel an anxiety attack coming on. I think I'm about to relapse This appears to be highly autobiographical: Bill Wilson didn't bother to get a real paying job and support his wife Lois after he sobered up; he continued to let her support him.
He made religious mania and proselytizing for the Oxford Group, and then for Alcoholics Anonymous, his full-time hobby, for the rest of his life. No wonder she was screaming, "Damn your old meetings! We can only make an educated guess, and assume that Bill meant going to A. Bill did indicate that being on a "firmer foundation" meant being less likely to drink again.
So Bill Wilson was really saying, "If you condemn and criticize me, if you don't let me do just whatever I want to do, if you force me to go get a job, then I just might relapse and drink myself to death. Anything is preferable to that. He was talking about himself. In psychology, that is called "projection": accusing others of doing what he was doing wrong, accusing others of committing the very sins and crimes that he was committing.
And it turns out that this is standard behavior for a cult leader. The Europe S. In psychology, this is called "projection. Apparently, either Bill Wilson or some of his fellow A. Then, in that chapter, Bill Wilson admitted that he and his friends had been acting crazy, and said that the fix was just to embrace a different set of irrational beliefs — just change your opinion of God's plan for you, and then everything will be fine: Early A. Those of us who have spent much time in the world of spiritual make-believe have eventually seen the childishness of it.
This dream world has been replaced by a great sense of purpose, accompanied by a growing consciousness of the power of God in our lives. We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our fellow travelers are, and that is where our work must be done. These are the realities for us.
Let's see One spiritual make-believe or another, Tweedle-Dee or Tweedle-Dum Decisions, decisions Are the "fellow travelers" the alcoholics who have not yet been converted to the A. Bill is indulging in vague terminology again, making up more euphemisms, but that is probably what he means. The phrase "fellow travelers" does not appear again anywhere else in the Big Book , so it is simply undefined. And that terminology, "our fellow travelers", implies that the unsaved alcoholics are somehow already the property of A.
That is not necessarily reality for anybody else Then Bill once again reveals that, on some level of his mind, he knows he has gone insane, but he is in deep denial about it: We, who have recovered from serious drinking, are miracles of mental health. Wilson, The Family Afterward , page Yes, you don't have to act crazy after having a belladonna-induced vision of God. But Bill did. And you don't have to be chronically unemployed after a spiritual experience, and demand that your wife and the A. And you don't have to go into an eleven-year-long bout of deep crippling clinical depression after a spiritual experience, but Bill Wilson did.
And right in the middle of it, Bill wrote: But dependence upon an A. Excuse me, Bill? What did you just say? Denial isn't just a river in Egypt. And then Bill finished his sermon with: One more suggestion: Whether the family has spiritual convictions or not, they may do well to examine the principles by which the alcoholic member is trying to live. They can hardly fail to approve these simple principles, though the head of the house still fails somewhat in practicing them.
Nothing will help the man who is off on a spiritual tangent so much as the wife who adopts a sane spiritual program, making a better practical use of it. Wilson, Chapter 9, The Family Afterward , page So now the whole family has to go join Al-Anon and do Bill Wilson's 12 guilt-inducing steps because Daddy is acting crazy.
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And they couldn't possibly dislike Bill's Buchmanite religion: "They can hardly fail to approve these simple principles Speaking of nutty attitudes about father's new sobriety, the Big Book chapter "To Wives" also contains a couple of real jewels. Bill wrote that absurd chapter himself or possibly with some help from Joe Worth , in spite of the conceit that it was written by the women: As wives of Alcoholics Anonymous, we would like you to feel that we understand as perhaps few can. We want to analyze mistakes we have made. That's deceptive, to say the least.
No matter how much the wives may have understood, and no matter how much "they would like you to feel" that they understand as perhaps few can, the truth is that the "wives of Alcoholics Anonymous" did not write a single word of that chapter. Bill Wilson asked Dr. Bob's wife Anne to write it, but she declined. Lois Wilson wanted to write it, and she also wanted to write the following chapter, The Family Afterwards , but Bill didn't trust her to get the "style" right, he said. That is an indication of Bill's real opinion of his wife's intellect. Bill Wilson wrote those chapters himself while pretending to be his own wife , and putting his words into her mouth.
That hurt Lois' feelings, but that was just the way it was going to be. Bill would not let even Lois, who was dying to do so, write the chapter titled "To Wives. Bill Wilson constantly hurt Lois Wilson, both before and after sobriety, what with his screaming temper tantrums, arrogant, inconsiderate behavior, philandering, and demanding that she work to support him.
One evening, Lois Wilson exploded in anger when Bill Wilson wanted her to go to yet another Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. She screamed, "Damn your old meetings! He couldn't have that. So Bill made up an explanation for Lois's anger where he had the imaginary wives saying: Another feeling we are very likely to entertain is one of resentment that love and loyalty could not cure our husbands of alcoholism.
We do not like the thought that the contents of a book or the work of another alcoholic has accomplished in a few weeks that for which we struggled for years. Big Book , William G. Wilson, present in all editions of the book, from the multilithed manuscript through the 4th Edition, on page Bill's imagination was vivid: Even while Bill was still busy just writing the opening chapters of the Big Book in late and early , he was describing wives who were jealous of the book because the book had already cured their husbands of alcoholism in just a few weeks.
There's nothing like being confident that your book is going to revolutionize the world, and have magical , nay, miraculous effects on alcoholics. That's delusions of grandeur, again. It's also characteristic of a narcissistic personality disorder. The real question is, "Was Bill Wilson totally disconnected from reality, or was he just lying and manufacturing propaganda?
Do they know they are lying? But, they feel they have the right to use any means available to achieve their ends. Further, some will have an assumption, much like that of "Suspicious" narcissists, that everyone is lying, and thus lying is fair play. Brown, Ed. See the web page on The Other Women for much more on Bill Wilson's narcissistic, exploitative use of women — especially his wife Lois.
Bill Wilson's behavior meets the criteria for " Grandiose delusions usually take the form of the person's being convinced that he or she possesses some great, but unrecognized, talent or insight, or has made some important discovery Grandiose delusions may have a religious content, and people with these delusions can become leaders of religious cults.
Age at onset. Impairment in daily functioning is rare. Intellectual and occupational functioning is usually satisfactory, even when the disorder is chronic. Social and marital functioning, on the other hand, are often impaired. A common characteristic of people with Delusional Disorder is the apparent normality of their behavior and appearance when their delusional ideas are not being discussed or acted upon. Predisposing factors. Diagnostic criteria for Nonbizarre delusions Auditory or visual hallucinations, if present, are not prominent.
Apart from the delusion s or its ramifications, behavior is not obviously odd or bizarre. Has never met criterion A for Schizophrenia Othmer, Ph. An interesting statement on page of the same book is that Grandiose delusions can be seen in substance-abuse disorders. That makes sense — if you damage your brain with enough drugs and alcohol, you will go insane. Bill had two possibilities there: first off, the obvious immense alcohol abuse. And second, the repeated use of an extremely toxic hallucinogen, a mixture of belladonna and henbane during his four stays at the Charles B.
Towns Hospital in New York. That description of delusions of grandeur fits Bill Wilson so well that it is uncanny: He expected future admiration and acknowledgement as a leader of mankind, and he didn't even wait for the future. He was such a megalomaniac that he went on speaking tours for years , breaking his anonymity, grandstanding, and getting his picture in the newspapers.
He even testified before Congress , declaring himself to be the leader and co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. To Bill Wilson, "anonymous" meant that everybody else had to be nameless and selfless and get none of the credit. He became the leader of a religious cult. He had a messianic complex. He felt that he was chosen by God for a special mission — to save all of the alcoholics in the world.
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He became a fanatical preacher and started organizing home churches right after he flipped out on belladonna and "saw God". He thought that he had discovered a new, original, cure for alcoholism — religion. He thought that he had a special relationship with God. He had an immensely inflated idea of his own importance. Apart from his delusions, Bill's behavior was not obviously odd or bizarre. At first glance, Bill appeared to be relatively normal. But if you started talking about alcoholism, or God, or religion, or Bill Wilson's place in the Universe, then you would realize that he was totally Looney-Tunes.
There is room for debate in the diagnosis of Bill Wilson's mental problems. I have heard others describe Wilson as probably having a bipolar or manic-depressive disorder. It seems that those cases can be grandiose during the manic phase of their disorder. There is also the question of "when?
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But from the early s to the mid s, Bill also suffered from deep, crippling, clinical depression or an intense manic-depressive disorder. The one characteristic that Bill Wilson had that does not match the diagnosis of delusions of grandeur is the depression. Then, by the late s, Bill seems to have recovered from most of his depression, but not the rest of his signs of mental illness.
Another very likely diagnosis of Bill Wilson's mental problems is Narcissistic Personality Disorder , of which Bill Wilson was also a textbook case. It has the following characteristics: Although they may not show it outwardly, criticism may haunt these individuals and may leave them feeling humiliated, degraded, hollow and empty.
They may react with disdain, rage, or defiant counterattack. Such experiences often lead to social withdrawal or an appearance of humility that may mask and protect the grandiosity. Interpersonal relations are typically impaired due to problems derived from entitlement, the need for admiration, and the relative disregard for the sensitivities of others. Though overweening ambition and confidence may lead to high achievement, performance may be disrupted due to intolerance of criticism or defeat.
Sometimes vocational functioning can be very low, reflecting an unwillingness to take a risk in competitive or other situations where defeat is possible. Sustained feelings of shame or humiliation and the attendant self-criticism may be associated with social withdrawal, depressed mood, and Dysthymic or Major Depressive Disorder. In contrast, sustained periods of grandiosity may be associated with a hypomanic mood. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is also associated with Anorexia Nervosa and Substance-Related Disorders especially related to cocaine.
Substance-Related Disorders. Again, that description matches Bill Wilson so well that it sounds like it was written about him: Bill had a grandiose sense of self-importance, and exaggerated his achievements and talents, and expected to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements, like his belief that he was essential to other alcoholics' recovery , and his wildly exaggerated claims of success in drying out alcoholics , and his years-long nationwide tours, grandstanding and promoting his own legend.
Bill was preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love, like the Oxford Groups' "Absolute Purity, Absolute Honesty, Absolute Love, and Absolute Unselfishness". Bill also liked to imagine that he was launching a movement that would sweep the entire world and save all of the alcoholics. Bill even claimed that A. Bill thought that he understood God, alcoholics, and alcoholism better than anybody else in the whole world.
Bill required excessive admiration. Bill certainly had a sense of entitlement, and felt that he deserved the best of everything, like all of fame, credit, and prestige , all of the money , and all of the women , and even a house in the country and a Cadillac car supplied by the A. Bill also felt entitled to dictate the terms of other people's recovery from alcoholism, and even to dictate their religious beliefs. Bill Wilson was outrageously, heartlessly exploitative. He used everybody, and he discarded and drove away people when they refused to kowtow to him. Bill Wilson lacked empathy — he didn't even think about the welfare or recovery of the women alcoholics whom he was thirteenth-stepping , and he disregarded the recovery of the unbelievers whom he drove away from A.
And Bill even disregarded the feelings of his own wife Lois while she supported him for years. Envy of other people seems to be the only characteristic of narcissism that Bill Wilson did not overtly display, but I think that he was envious. Bill spent his whole life trying to prove that he was just as good as other people.
He must have felt envious of those other people who were born with a higher status than him, and who were never cursed with alcoholism, whose honor and morality were never questioned. They regarded the envy item as too weakly correlated to be a sure sign of NPD. Bill certainly showed arrogant, haughty behaviors and attitudes. Bill strongly displayed "Vulnerability in self-esteem".
He couldn't stand criticism. He lashed out in defiant counter-attack whenever he was criticized, as shown in the cases of his wife , his calculus professor , his business partner Henry Parkhurst , and Ed the atheist who dared to challenge Bill's bombastic religiosity. When Bill was criticized, he often nursed a bitter resentment over it for years , until he could get his revenge, or he went into a fit of deep depression that often lasted years. Bill's interpersonal relations were very impaired due to "problems derived from entitlement, the need for admiration, and the relative disregard for the sensitivities of others".
Bill fought with everybody from his wife to his best friend and partner Henry "Hank" Parkhurst to the A. Loud screaming matches were routine behavior for Bill Wilson. And Bill certainly suffered from "Major Depressive Disorders": A one-year-long depression in his childhood when his parents divorced and his mother left Bill and his sister with his grandparents. A three-year-long depression when his high-school girlfriend died.
Various sporadic depressions throughout his drinking career. Then, while sober, an eleven-year-long deep, crippling, clinical depression from to , from indeterminate causes. Alexander Lowen added one more characteristic of narcissism: The tendency to lie, without compunction, is typical of narcissists. That fits Bill Wilson too. This problem of several possible diagnoses is not unusual.
This naming of categories is the traditional method of organizing and transmitting information in everyday life and has been the fundamental approach used in all systems of medical diagnosis. A categorical approach to classification works best when all members of a diagnostic class are homogeneous, when there are clear boundaries between classes, and when the different classes are mutually exclusive.
Nonetheless, the limitations of the categorical classification system must be recognized. In DSM-IV, there is no assumption that each category of mental disorder is a completely discrete entity with absolute boundaries dividing it from other mental disorders or from no mental disorder. There is also no assumption that all individuals described as having the same mental disorder are alike in all important ways.
The clinician using DSM-IV should therefore consider that individuals sharing a diagnosis are likely to be heterogeneous even in regard to the defining features of the diagnosis and that boundary cases will be difficult to diagnose in any but a probabilistic fashion. This outlook allows greater flexibility in the use of the system, encourages more specific attention to boundary cases, and emphasizes the need to capture additional clinical information that goes beyond diagnosis.
In recognition of the heterogeneity of clinical presentations, DSM-IV often includes polythetic criteria sets, in which the individual need only present with a subset of items from a longer list e. So, basically, just call them whatever they most closely resemble. We have plenty of "wiggle room" for debating the various diagnoses for Bill Wilson, but one thing is certain: Bill was nuts. Ernest Kurtz and Robert Thomsen reported in their books that the psychiatrist Dr.
Harry M. Tiebout and had entered upon a regime of psychotherapy. Tiebout, a psychiatrist specializing in the treatment of alcoholics, from early on had supported Alcoholics Anonymous and had referred to the fellowship its first successful female member, Marty Mann. Throughout his long and distinguished career, the Connecticut psychiatrist published a series of perceptive analyses of alcoholism and of the therapeutic dynamic inherent in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Tiebout came to this comprehension largely through his knowledge of Bill Wilson, and his diagnostic understanding was both profound and simple. Drawing upon a phrase attributed to Freud, the psychiatrist pointed out to A. Thomsen, pp. Not-God , Ernest Kurtz, pages , Alas, Bill Wilson just projected that diagnosis onto all of the other alcoholics around him, and claimed that they were all just as bad as him: When A. The doctors weren't trying to find how different we were from one another; they sought to find whatever personality traits, if any, this group of alcoholics had in common.
They finally came up with a conclusion that shocked the A. These distinguished men had the nerve to say that most of the alcoholics under investigation were still childish, emotionally sensitive, and grandiose. How we alcoholics did resent that verdict! Wilson, pages Notice how Bill Wilson was using The Preacher's We propaganda trick once again, saying "Oh, us stupid alcoholics — we are all so immature and grandiose and resentful," when he really meant, "You guys are all so bad Tiebout's papers were simplistic, sadistic, and insane.
Tiebout's answer to alcoholism was just to "make the patients surrender. Nowhere do we find Tiebout treating his patients with respect. He described alcoholics just the same way as Bill Wilson did: with contempt and negative stereotypes that declare that they are all just pompous, egotistical fools with grandiose, "strutting-peacock" egos that need to be "deflated" and "cut down to size. Tiebout's answer was always "Just make them surrender.
Also note the careful cover-up contained in Kurtz's description of Marty Mann as "its first successful female member". What Kurtz isn't saying is that there were other, earlier, female members of A. And there was Jane Sturdevant, who was the first woman in Dr. Bob's group in Akron. But those other women weren't "successful". So they became A. Wilson, chapter 11, "A Vision For You" , page That text is present in all editions from the multilith of the manuscript to the fourth edition.
Bill Wilson in They would not know how to get well? They would not be able to figure out how to quit drinking without Bill Wilson telling them? Nobody else in the whole world knows how to quit drinking but Bill Wilson, and without him, the other alcoholics will all just die? Remember, this happened in the spring of , when Bill Wilson had only five months of sobriety, and he had not founded Alcoholics Anonymous yet, nor had he even met Doctor Robert Smith yet — he would meet Dr. Bob the next day.
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And Bill had not helped a single alcoholic to quit drinking. Not one. He had been trying to recruit more alcoholics for Frank Buchman's Oxford Group cult, but had totally failed with every last one of them, because he drove them away with his fanatical preaching. Yet Bill thought that he was so important that "the other alcoholics" would die if he drank again. That is delusions of grandeur. And it's also characteristic of a narcissistic personality disorder.
Bill Wilson said pretty much the same thing again, later. Bill was already " the most famous 'anonymous' person in the U. Bill worried that his failure to grandstand even just that one single time had fatal consequences for many alcoholics, and he tried to guesstimate how many alcoholics had had to pay the terrible price of Bill Wilson's modesty: For all I know, a piece of this sort could have brought A.
Therefore, when I turned that article down, I denied recovery to an awful lot of alcoholics — some of these may already be dead. And practically all the rest of them, we may suppose, are still sick and suffering. Therefore, in a sense, my action has pronounced the death sentence on some drunks and condemned others to a much longer period of illness.
William G. Well goodness gracious, Bill! If those alcoholics are going to be dying like that, then by all means, you really should abandon anonymity and humility, and grandstand to save them! Likewise, Bill later bragged about how he had preserved his anonymity which he didn't with these words: Just before publication of the Big Book, I toyed with the idea of signing my name to it. I even thought of calling A. This movement would have gotten off to a false start entirely. Bill's picture was featured in a newspaper article on alcoholism in the August 9, issue of the Knoxville Journal.
Chester E. For Bill Wilson to claim that thousands of alcoholics would have died if he had broken his anonymity is absurd. Bill Wilson broke his anonymity hundreds of times, and spent years constantly touring the USA, proselytizing and promoting his new Alcoholics Anonymous organization, and getting his picture and his story printed in the newspapers, and that doesn't seem to have caused thousands of alcoholics to have died. Notice how, in Bill Wilson's demented mind, he had thousands of alcoholics dying either way: Thousands of alcoholics supposedly died because Bill didn't indulge in self-aggrandizement and get his picture printed on the cover of TIME magazine, and thousands of alcoholics would have died if Bill had broken his anonymity.
Those poor alcoholics just can't win. Bill Wilson's immensely inflated opinion of his own importance to other alcoholics is clear evidence of delusions of grandeur. Bill didn't — just couldn't — admit even the slightest possibility that those other alcoholics could probably find some other way to quit drinking and recover anyway, if they really wanted to, without Bill Wilson and his great teachings Buchmanism being the center of their lives.
No, Bill Wilson declared that he was condemning those unfortunate alcoholics to death by depriving them of knowledge of his magnificent program. They save themselves, alone, on their own, without Bill Wilson or his followers. Only 13 percent of people with alcohol dependence ever receive specialty alcohol treatment. Rockefeller Jr. Certainly the rich will help us. How could they do anything else? One of the greatest medical and spiritual developments of all time? And notice how Bill Wilson tried to off-load the blame for his grandiosity to the other alcoholics.
It was Bill Wilson who went around grandstanding and raving about how he was the greatest and his program was the greatest new discovery. But then he seems to have had a moment of clarity where he realized how ridiculous those grandiose claims were, so when he wrote his version of the history of Alcoholics Anonymous many years later, Bill Wilson claimed that it was those silly other alcoholics who were assuring each other that A. Ha, ha. Aren't us alcoholics really stupid? Nina Brown described living with a narcissist: Off-loading Blame If your partner has a Manipulative DNP [Destructive Narcissistic Personality], you are likely to be accustomed to [his] tendency to off-load blame, and many times you are the recipient of the blame.
It doesn't matter how big or small the offense is, your partner never accepts responsibility for mistakes as errors. Worse, you may be blamed for things that are not your fault or are not under your control. This tendency to off-load blame is a manifestation of the inflated self. Your partner feels that [he] can do no wrong and is superior. Other words to describe this self-perception and attitude are grandiose and omnipotent.
And Bill insisted that all other A. If these personalities happened to have slips, outsiders would think our movement is not strong and they might question the veracity of the miracle of the century. The miracle of the century? Note how that policy will hide all A. When you see an alcoholic going down the tubes, you will not know that he is another alcoholic whom Alcoholics Anonymous failed to help.
Bill learned that trick from the Oxford Group. In Akron, the O. But then Russel relapsed repeatedly, publicly, in all of the wrong high-society places sort of like the movie Arthur , which greatly embarrassed the Oxford Group. Bill Wilson didn't want that to happen to his group, so he insisted that everyone, especially famous celebrities, had to be anonymous.
The grandiose self-image that characterizes the narcissist compensates for an inadequate and ineffective sense of self. The image itself is a denial of one's feelings. By identifying with a grandiose image, one can ignore the painfulness of one's inner reality. But the image also serves an external function in relation to the world.
It is a way of gaining acceptance from others, a way of seducing them and of gaining power over them. We have seen that we were prodded by unreasonable fears or anxieties into making a life business of winning fame, money, and what we thought was leadership. So false pride became the reverse side of that ruinous coin marked "Fear. Wilson, pages , That fits Bill Wilson exactly. He was sure that he had discovered something extremely important, a brand new way for alcoholics to quit drinking — become a religious maniac. Bill even wrote of his first three converts in Akron: These men had found something brand new in life.
Bill Wilson also wrote in the Big Book that the first ten alcoholic members of Bill's new temperance movement would meet each evening, Bill Wilson imagined that his "great discovery" was brand new and original. He didn't seem to be able to remember — or else he conveniently forgot — the fact that Oxford Group members, Ebby Thacher and Rowland Hazard in particular, had taught the same thing to him — that the cure for alcoholism was to turn into a religiomaniac.
Bill forgot that they made him into the religious maniac that he was by attacking his mind and indoctrinating him while he was detoxing in Towns' Hospital and completely out of his head from alcohol withdrawal and hallucinogenic drugs. Bill also apparently forgot the fact that there had been many earlier temperance movements, and a lot of them had used religion as a big part of their program. They had even contributed some colorful phrases to our language, like "taking the pledge" and "falling off of the wagon.
Bob and I sat in his living room, counting the noses of our recoveries. There had been failures galore, but now we could see some startling successes too. A hard core of very grim, last-gasp cases had by then been sober a couple of years, an unheard-of development. There were twenty or more such people.
All told we figured that upwards of forty alcoholics were staying bone dry. As we carefully rechecked this score, it suddenly burst upon us that a new light was shining into the dark world of the alcoholic. Despite the fact that Ebby had slipped , a benign chain reaction, one alcoholic carrying the good news to the next, had started outward from Doctor Bob and me.
Conceivably it could one day circle the whole world. What a tremendous thing that realization was! At last we were sure.
There would be no more flying totally blind. We actually wept for joy, and Bob and Anne and I bowed our heads in silent thanks. So, after two years of intense full-time recruiting work, including deceptive recruiting , coercive recruiting , and cherry-picking only those alcoholics who were ready to quit drinking, Bill and Bob counted 40 ex-drinkers in their club who had anything from two years down to a few days of sobriety.
I live alone. I wish I had a dog. Horses and dogs have always been in my life. When I was looking at apartments none of them allowed dogs, iIve offered to volunteer at animal but no one calls me back. I tried living in a shared houses but people either robbed me blind or would into their bedrooms and shut the door. I need to stop drinking so much. I know I need to stop or things will only get worse. Like liver failure or some kind of cancer. But still It feels like Im cursed and have given up trying.
So now I just drink more and more. Im up to a bottle of wine a day. I started about 4 pm because night will be coming soon and I will be by myself in an empty house. They know how to keep their noses buried in their cell phones though. I decided to finish my degree in psychology through an online university. But the lonelyness is crushing. Im losing my motivation and stopped caring. Life is ruining my life. I keep telling myself things will get better. I must be insane.
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Do people at do more than just meet at AA meetings? Do they know how to build and maintain real friend relationships? Has anyone out there there made true friendships through AA? Im reaching out to know how one gets through this from someone who has actually been where I am now. Aa is a good community where you can make real friends. All kinds go and if you are open they most likely will be too.
I feel less alone now at least. I have been drinking a lot more lately to help with stress…however I end up just getting more upset about things in my life when I drink, so it is not helping. It started 2 years ago after my first and only pregnancy ended in a septic miscarriage at 16 weeks. Up until the last week, my pregnancy was going great. During my 15th week of pregnancy I sustained an infection which had quickly spread throughout my whole body. My blood had become contaminated with bacteria and my water had broke.
The hospital I went to for help denied I was miscarrying and sent me home. They assured me that I was going to be ok and I was just being a nervous first time mother. I ended up passing my baby 2 days later into the toilet. A couple weeks later I began bleeding out again and needed an emergency hysterectomy. I had contacted several lawyers who said that there was no malpractice. I finally reached out to a good friend of mine who is going to help me get the help I need. Wish me luck! I am struggling to stay sober.
I am a binge drinker- the hard stuff. I go a week sometimes two without drinking, but will find a reason to drink a pint a night for days- feel like manure and swear drinking off again. It is having negative impact on my marriage. My wife has not drunk anything in a couple of years. I have wrecked 2 vehicles in the past 1. I am reaching out in hopes of finding an outlet. AA is great, but live in rural unpopulated area with few meetings. I hope this will help me and others will come here agsin.
After waking up hungover and not remembering much of what happened last night, I want more than anything to stop drinking. I hide it from absolutely everyone, including my husband who has no idea how much I drink. I hate the hold it has on me.
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I have survived the loss of my daughter — I am strong. I started drinking every night 4 years ago. I used to only drink socially on weekends. I moved to a small town for work, just myself and my daughter. No other family around. After my girl goes to bed I pull out a bottle. Whiskey is my choice. I drink to help me sleep and out of boredom. I like the buzz I get. I can drink a 40 in 2 days.
Withdrawal freaks me out. Reading all of these comments helped. Good luck to all of you. I found this page after another morning of waking up hungover. Please pray for me if anyone reading this believes in prayer. Hi Nadia. This is so similar to what I was going to write that I thought it better to reply to your post.
The only difference is that almost everyone around me drinks. Monday I was not going to drink anything. Then my husband had a beer so I had one while we were gardening. Then many drinks later, well I think I lost about an hour before bed. Then had trouble sleeping. Last night, Friday, was not as difficult as I expected it to be. But now I have to get through the rest of the holiday weekend including a neighborhood party tomorrow. Will keep everyone in my thoughts as we all work through this.
I made it through the weekend! Got through a party without drinking any of the adult beverages available. I made sure to always have my drink with me so every time something was offered I could just say that I already had a drink. Good to hear. I need to stop drinking. So I need to do it on my own. I suffer from a mental health issue that comes in highs and lows, which can be tricky to manage, but try recording It helped me. Why do these companies keep making more and more of their toxin? I wish every person who left comments the best.
I wish and pray for your deliverance. I will be ok. Hello, Caught in the same trap. Drinking way too much, making a spectacle of myself, embarrassing my family etc. Keep saying never again on Mondays, but by midweek, start rationalizing about it. Pretty sure something bad is going to happen as a result. I am hoping that by posting this that it will give me the strength to quit. Wish me luck, tonight is going to be my first night of my journey to no more alcohol as my security blanket to sleep.
I think AA would be a good thing to try, Cristal. It is a warm, welcoming fellowship of people all walking down their own difficult paths in life. I am 43 I quit drinking coz it has taken toll on me and my family l lost social connections with even people we share a lot since childhood I felt I isolated but my wife always told me I decided to Isolate myself I now seen sense in that.
I lied to my doctors and even counselor. I have been prayed for several times took. This time I decided on my own I am going to meet my counselor tomorrow and my doctors on 11th and I will just tell them that. My priest the am active member of our parish council. What am asking is that can I have daily monitoring form that can help me record my progres I would like to be doing this for at least one year.
My wife will help me do this as I journey on. I ask if available please send me this form.
I will send my wife e mail for her to be contacted want win my life and health back. Please let me know you can copy your reply to my e mail so I can send my wife mail. I was just going through the internet which I now do daily for at least an hour to find where to get strength this time. Help me in this journey when I get the forms I will ask my wife to send feedback every month for your comments and advice. Am living in Canada.
Yes this is me exactly. I am 54 years old and work for NYS. Lost my partner of 28 years last April and only went three to five days since without a drink. I am lonely and have great friends and family but drink to forget everything. We never had children and both drank. He had hep C and beat it but continued to have health issues. He passed at 63 which is way too young. I feel exactly like all of you do. I want to quit drinking and stop for a day and then I go right back.
I go to work and pay my bills but on the weekends, there are days I wake up and drink. Please say a prayer for me as well. I know I need help. I drink almost daily. I rush through my obligations work-housework- dinner- homework help so that I can drink without guilt. I often wake to find my husband angry with me and I have no idea what happened the night before to cause it. A few weeks ago I drove myself to the E. Tests were run.
While waiting for results a woman was placed next to me. She was in her 60s or 70s and I heard her story. She was in liver failure from daily drinking. Had jaundice and goes to the ER weekly to just be told that there is nothing they can do for her. I feel this was no coincidence that I was placed next to this woman. I need to stop drinking for myself and my babies. Good luck to you all. I am 46 and have been drinking daily for the last 25 years give and take. I was able to stop while pregnant with my child but started again when stopped nursing.
I feel like I still have some control since I was able to stop drinking 2 or 3 times for a couple of months, but then it starts again. My husband also relieves the stress with a drink or two, or three…I cannot say that something, in particular, leads me there. I have a wonderful, loving, supportive partner, a good job, nothing to complain about, and this is the scary part. No excuse, just a pure thirst for more and more beer, no heavy stuff for the time being.
But the hangover almost every morning makes me feel like crap. I am still capable of hiding it from my colleagues, but it is not the point. My son will remember me with a beer can or a glass of wine in my hand. He already made some comments about my not so healthy habits. I feel trapped. We are facing a crisis of spirit. Alcohol needs to go the way of cigarettes. This is a battle that we can win, together. Alcohol is just as unnecessary as tobacco for human life.
It is an extremely addictive substance and does not discriminate against who it destroys. We need to be strong and fight together, and never doubt our strength. In other words, there is nothing to miss. Except poisoning yourself. The majority of our society is addicted to this poison, and it is a mass insanity. If you said you quit shooting up heroine, or snorting cocaine, the whole world would rejoice for you.
But if you stop drinking you are immediately stigmatized. So if someone quits, it holds up a mirror to their own insane behavior. You want to cut back on poisoning yourself? You only want to poison yourself just a little? Booze is an addictive substance and can drown anyone. Just like anyone can get hooked on cigarettes. It happens with TV, internet, cigarettes, sugar, sex, etc. I am in the midst of another attempt at sobriety and I feel great. I may make it, I may not.
I was drinking every night and passing out so hard I would wet the bed, wake up soaking wet, with a throbbing headache, curse myself all day, and then start over again at night. Not me being weak or stupid, just the simple consumption of an addictive substance, initiating the spiral of addiction. I quit cigarettes cold turkey after being a chain smoker for 12 years. Why has it been so easy for people to quit smoking in recent years? Because society finally recognized that it was poison and so made it increasingly inconvenient to be a smoker.
In fact, smoking is considered anti-social now. We need each other. Hey Clark! Well stated. My story is way too long to post. I wholeheartedly agree with the stigmatization that alcohol addiction garners, versus other drugs. I hate relying on any drug including alcohol. Sympathy is not easy to come by. Individuals without this infliction simply say stop drinking or cut back.
It is awful! The cigarette analogy is spot on. Unfortunately, the the industry has seriously deep pockets. Big tobacco did as well, so we can only hope for change in the future. I wish you you, and everyone struggling great success! I started drinking in high school and continued to drink A LOT throughout college to self-medicate for social phobia. Until my husband died suddenly at 49 a few years ago, though, I just considered myself a social drinker who drank more than most people at parties.
Now, I start drinking as soon as work ends and occasionally even sneak a mini-bottle or two at work. Look at us!! I want to go back to the way I was before alcohol! I am a 37 year old male and trying to deal with alcohol abuse and drugs for many years has been a struggle. Prayers and support for me as of today will be my first day to live an alcohol and drug free life.
Hi there. The most awful thing is I verbally and physically abuse my husband. Please help. My husband had tried to say things but of course I ignored them. I have been binge drinking everyday for the last at least months. Like fifths in a couple of days as well as beer. I also suffer from anxiety and have been trying to slow it down the past two days. Anyone else dealt with this?
I am sorry for our pain I am sorry for our hurting I am sorry for our fear I am sorry for us. Take hope in love Love of one self Love of life love of each other Love of thee. Nip it in the bud now before a decade goes by. Do whatever it takes — support group, one on one with a counselor, get a hobby, speak to friends, family, etc.
Before you take a drink, go out for a long run. I wish you the best. I drink cocktails everyday between 5pmpm and have been doing it for years. I want to stop. Unlike some of you, unfortunately it has affected my work. I slowly cut back on my hours everyday until I got fired. Oddly I felt relieved. I know this is not fair to my husband as he is the only income in our house. I pray that everyone of you reach your goals as I try to reach mine. Two 24 oz cans of 5. I have no withdraw symptoms when I stop. Then it always happens.
Oh well…here we go again. But I allow myself to become so discontent. Your email address will not be published. Effects of Alcohol Abuse:. Recovery from Alcoholism. Hope Without Commitment Find the best treatment options. Table of contents Social drinking or abuse: Do I have a problem? Understanding the need to stop drinking Ways to reduce alcohol use Simple techniques for quitting alcohol Safely quitting drinking without AA or professional help. People who drink often do not know whether they are social drinkers or there is a need for alcohol cessation. Some of the warning signs of dependence on alcoholic drinks are when a person: begins to skip exercising neglects to eat a healthy diet drinks more than anyone in their family or social circle cannot have fun without alcohol needs a progressively greater number of drinks to feel high misses important deadlines at school or work does not meet social obligations feels uncomfortable at the thought of not having access to alcohol often ends up drinking more than intended starts drinking in the morning starts drinking alone relies on alcohol as a form of stress relief needs more drinks to feel high has escalated the number of drinks since first starting to drink suffers blackouts after drinking sessions.
Is it simply social drinking or is it a dependency on alcoholic beverages? If someone drinks one light beer every day, is it alcoholism? Or is someone who binge drinks a few times a year at greater risk of dependency? Unfortunately, there is no black and white answer to this question. There is a large gray area between being a full-blown alcoholic and being well on the way to becoming one.
Quitting alcohol does not have to involve an inpatient stay at a private clinic or endless sessions with a support group. For the majority of moderate drinkers, some simple changes in habits and lifestyle can help cut down the use of alcoholic beverages. Do not make alcohol a major part of social life Tell family and friends of the intent to reduce or quit drinking Avoid going to places where it is habitual to drink for example, bars, restaurants Socialize without alcohol, such as at group exercise classes or team sports Avoid hanging out with friends or colleagues who are heavy drinkers Identify triggers for alcohol use and develop strategies to cope Learn relaxation techniques to deal with stress Stop stocking alcoholic drinks at home Talk to a trusted friend or family member when there is an urge to drink.
It is not unusual to feel angry, depressed, panicky, or uneasy when this decision is first made. For the first few days of abstinence, rest and sleep may be difficult to come by. In habitual drinkers, the brain develops a chemical dependency and must be rewired to operate without alcohol.