It's not always easy to differentiate between enjoying an occasional alcoholic beverage and needing one to function. The former is not a problem while the latter could be symptomatic of a dangerous dependency on alcohol.

Some symptoms and signs are obvious, while others are not. The amount of alcohol one consumes is not the defining factor.

Instead, how it controls and affects one’s life is what matters.

Below are six signs that show you have become dependent on Alcohol.

Drinking Alone

It is not uncommon or a sign of a problem if you have a glass of wine or beer to relax after a long day at work.

Drinking alone occasionally and in moderation is not a symptom of alcohol abuse. However, drinking alone more often could be a cause for concern if:

• You drink because you are anxious or depressed
• Drinking becomes an escape from problems, emotions, or trauma
• The amount of alcohol consumed continues to increase

Drinking alone, by itself, is not one of the signs of an alcoholic. However, if you notice that your drinking patterns fall into one of the categories above, it could be a symptom you should address.

Increased Tolerance to Alcohol

If you notice that you need to consume more alcohol to get the same effects, it is likely that you are developing an increased tolerance.

Alcoholics gradually and slowly build tolerance for alcohol. This is a sign to pay attention to as it can signal potential problems.

Increased tolerance to alcohol influences drinking behavior and can lead to negative consequences such as:

• An increased risk for addiction and dependency
• Encourage greater consumption
• Gives a false impression of how drunk you are
• Interfering with the effectiveness of some medications
• Can cause alcohol poisoning

Increased tolerance for alcohol could be a sign that you are developing a dependency. Seek professional help or talk to loved ones before the problem escalates.

You Don’t Know When to Stop

When you have developed a high tolerance for alcohol, sometimes it is difficult to control the amount you drink or stop once you start.

Many alcohol-dependent people can consume large amounts without showing signs of intoxication.

This is because their bodies have learned to tolerate higher blood alcohol concentration.

If you know someone with an alcohol problem, you might have noticed them drinking a lot but appearing fine until a certain point. And then, suddenly, their behavior changes and they act incredibly drunk.

As a result, you can lose your usual sense of judgment and self-control. This can lead to dangerous behavior such as getting behind the wheel of a car or taking other unnecessary risks.

The Need to Drink

If you can’t go to a social event without having a drink first, it could be a warning sign that you are developing a dependence on alcohol.

It could also be a sign of an underlying psychological issue such as social anxiety. Using alcohol to self-medicate for such a condition is a sign of danger.

People who are dependent upon alcohol often have mood swings, are irritable, feel guilty, or get defensive when others question them about their drinking.

These feelings usually indicate that at some level, you realize you have a drinking problem.

Feeling Isolated

Feeling isolated from friends, family, or co-workers could be a warning sign that should be addressed. It is not necessarily a problem with alcohol.

However, if you find yourself avoiding family events or calling out from work because you are either drunk or hungover, you have an alcohol problem.

Additionally, if you are embarrassed or ashamed to let others see your condition, it means you need help. For those who do not feel comfortable speaking to someone face to face, then talking to an online psychologist can be a good first step.

Drinking could be your way of numbing the emotional issues you are experiencing. Treatment should include the underlying causes of your alcohol dependency.

Neither mental health nor substance abuse problems like alcoholism will get better by themselves.

Getting the right treatment and support will help you recover and get your life back on track.

Drinking as a Coping Mechanism

Like needing to drink before attending a social event, consuming alcohol to cope with stressful situations could be a symptom of a dependency on alcohol.

It can be harmless to want a drink after an emotional situation such as a funeral or a stressful business meeting.

However, if you feel the need to drink to cope with everyday life, you likely have a problem.

Although you could initially feel better temporarily, over time drinking to cover up feelings usually ends up exacerbating stress rather than relieving it.

Consuming alcohol to cope with any problems that arise in your life increases your dependency on it, can be dangerous and puts you at risk of becoming an alcoholic.

Drinking alcohol responsibly and in moderation isn’t something of concern. It becomes a problem when you find yourself drinking alone often, experience an increased tolerance, don’t know when to stop, need to drink, feel isolated, or drink as a coping mechanism.

Talk to loved ones and professionals to get the help you need to overcome your dependency on alcohol and any underlying emotional reasons that cause you to drink.

Author's Bio: 

Success Coach, Business Development Consultant, Strategist,Blogger, Traveller, Motivational Writer & Speaker