Jump to content
BANGKOK 22 April 2019 07:46
Sign in to follow this  
Neeranam

Are You An Alcoholic?

Recommended Posts

And robitusson, if I trusted a dr every single time he told me something then I would most certainly be screwed. Misdiagnosis by a "trained professional" happens quite regularly.
Very true. There is more than one option, that's all. :o

I didn't say it was the be-all and end-all. As I've saying consistently, exploring all options available is the best option for the problem drinker, the chronic alcoholic, the person who may want to know if they're alcoholic, the person who may not be alcohlic but think they are, etc. etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think it a fair assumption that doctors cannot help alcoholics. Other professionals in the West, maybe.

On what do you base your assumption? Statistics certainly don't support this notion.

At any rate we need to qualify which 'doctors' you are referring to. If you mean general practioners then of course they probably can't help with drug or alcohol addiction.

On the other hand, a physician trained in addiction medicine, why not? In medicine, empirical evidence will beat intution most of the time when it comes to diagnosing and predicting treatment outcomes (if not, no one would ever go the hospital :o ). It's highly likely that an addiction professional will know which treatment will work better than an addict himself will know. An addict has only his/her own experience to guide him/her, while a professional will have the predictive advantage of having treated hundreds of individuals, using methods based on thousands of test cases.

I would only judge doctors or treatment therapies by their track records. Treatment programmes devised and administered by trained professionals--whether MDs or clinical psychologists--have higher success rates than 'traditional' programmes (such as AA), as well as self treatment (which itself ranks relatively high) according to the available statistics.

Of course you're free to favour your own intuition or anecdotal evidence. But don't claim a predictive edge ('I think it a fair assumption that doctors cannot help alcoholics'), because you don't have it.

But I see we digress.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting points you bring up sabaijai but if you are interested, let me tell you the other side of the coin.

A good friend of mine was one of those "addiction professionals" you are referring to. He first got sober through AA (ordered to by the judge after his final DUI) and then went back to school to obtain his Masters --he was a drug and alcohol family addictions counselor (please note that he also spent a pretty extensive amount of time doing an intern like program while in school, practical hands on experience with drug addicts and alcoholics at the Federal Pen). Not a doctor, mind, but still a trained professional. Out he went into his chosen profession only to find that the majority of people in it have little to no real experience with drug and alcohol addiction counselling and are generally as screwed up as their patients. He left the profession embittered by the need of the admin in the hospital he was working at to form the program to be in line with their untrained and unrealistic expectations.

So, does he still attend AA, nope. Does he still live by alot the principles AA espouses? Some, alot of them are actually a very good ideas at how to live your life. Does he think that there are other alternatives besides AA? Certainly, but he believes that people should be wary of alot of the hospital based treatment programs since they rely mostly on drug treatment therapy and do not also deal with the underlying problems that come hand in hand with alcoholism.

So, anyway, I digress too :o.

Are you an alcoholic? Does your drinking consistently cause you major trouble in your life? Does your drinking consistently cause trouble in your relationships with people? These are criteria that only the person experiencing the problems can truly answer, in my own personal opinion anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Interesting points you bring up sabaijai but if you are interested, let me tell you the other side of the coin.

A good friend of mine was one of those "addiction professionals" you are referring to. He first got sober through AA (ordered to by the judge after his final DUI) and then went back to school to obtain his Masters --he was a drug and alcohol family addictions counselor (please note that he also spent a pretty extensive amount of time doing an intern like program while in school, practical hands on experience with drug addicts and alcoholics at the Federal Pen). Not a doctor, mind, but still a trained professional. Out he went into his chosen profession only to find that the majority of people in it have little to no real experience with drug and alcohol addiction counselling and are generally as screwed up as their patients. He left the profession embittered by the need of the admin in the hospital he was working at to form the program to be in line with their untrained and unrealistic expectations.

So, does he still attend AA, nope. Does he still live by alot the principles AA espouses? Some, alot of them are actually a very good ideas at how to live your life. Does he think that there are other alternatives besides AA? Certainly, but he believes that people should be wary of alot of the hospital based treatment programs since they rely mostly on drug treatment therapy and do not also deal with the underlying problems that come hand in hand with alcoholism.

Anecdotal evidence, however, can't claim to be typical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, but anecdotal from a man who was in the business side of treatment for 15 years, in 2 different states.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you an alcoholic? Does your drinking consistently cause you major trouble in your life? Does your drinking consistently cause trouble in your relationships with people? These are criteria that only the person experiencing the problems can truly answer, in my own personal opinion anyway.
To what extent is it all semantics? The definitions of alcoholics and non-alcoholics that have been used in this forum here have tended to be used to distinguish between those who can give up alcohol with one particular method and those who can give up using others.

It's as important to define problem-drinking and what alcoholism is not as it is to define what makes someone an alcoholic.

Personally I don't think it's something that can be pinned down so easily. It's also largely irrelevant to people who have majr problems in their lives as a result of alcohol.

Edited by robitusson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, but anecdotal from a man who was in the business side of treatment for 15 years, in 2 different states.

Yes an interesting sample of one. Can we then conclude that this man is typical, statistically speaking? Every profession has people who do not live up to the profession's standards.

Back to the topic at hand, when it comes to diagnosis of alcohol abuse, I'm guessing that most problem drinkers don't diagnose themselves but are confronted by friends, relatives or colleagues. Qualified medical professionals can diagnose as well, but how many drinkers would seek a doctor's diagnosis? Relatively few, I should think.

Come to think of it, I wonder how many drinkers quit, or seek to quit, because they took a test such as the one in the OP? Reading it as a person who does not currently have a drinking problem, I'd say the test seems very incisive. But to someone in the throes of alchohol addicttion, is it nearly as effective?

Certainly tests like these are a good excercise for friends or family of alcohol addicts. Friends/family can do much to help a user realise he's hooked and to encourage the user to quit/seek help. And if it nets a few individuals who self-diagnose, that's a bonus.

Intuitively I doubt the questionnaire has much effect on most problem drinkers. But I wonder if there have been any surveys of former problem drinkers, now sober, wherein they reveal how they understood they needed to quit/cut down/seek help?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1. Is drinking making your home life unhappy?

no.

2. Does your drinking make you careless of your family’s welfare?

no.

3. Do you drink because you are shy with other people?

no.

4. Is drinking affecting your reputation?

mmm, kind of!!

5. Do you drink to escape from worries or trouble?

no.

6. Do you drink alone?

yes, sometimes i do!!! (shame of it)

7. Have you lost time from work due to drinking?

yes, come on, that goes without saying!!! not in the past couple of years though.

8. Has your ambition decreased since drinking?

cant remember what my ambition was like before I had my first ever drink so....

9. Has your efficiency decreased since drinking?

same answer as no. 8 but replace ambition with efficiency.

10. Is drinking jeopardising your job or business?

no.

11. Have you ever felt remorse after drinking?

yes, who hasnt?

12. Are you in financial difficulties as a result of drinking?

no.

13. Do you turn to or seek an inferior environment when drinking?

no.

14. Do you crave a drink at a definite time daily?

no.

15. Does drinking cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?

no.

16. Do you want a drink the next morning?

no.

17. Do you drink to build up your self-confidence?

sometimes.

18. Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of drinking?

not a complete loss, sometimes extremely patchy memories!!!

19. Has your doctor ever treated you for drinking?

no.

20. Have you ever been in hospital or prison because of drinking?

hospital yes, prison no.

What's Your Score??

If you have answered YES to any one of the questions, there is a definite warning that you may be alcoholic.

If you have answered YES to any two, the chances are that you are an alcoholic.

If you have answered YES to three or more, you are definitely an alcoholic.

<deleted>.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
QUOTE(Neeranam @ 2006-09-02 14:35:45) *

I think it a fair assumption that doctors cannot help alcoholics. Other professionals in the West, maybe.

On what do you base your assumption? Statistics certainly don't support this notion.

At any rate we need to qualify which 'doctors' you are referring to. If you mean general practioners then of course they probably can't help with drug or alcohol addiction.

I happen to know quite a few problem drinkers/alcoholics. Why not ask some of the problem drinkers/alcoholics that you know and stop relying on statistics? :o Or ask some doctors.

What statistics show that doctors can help alcoholics?

Here is something written by a very prominent doctor:-

The doctor writes:

The subject presented in this book seems to me to be of paramount importance to those afflicted with alcoholic addiction.

I say this after many years' experience as Medical Director of one of the oldest hospitals in the country treating alcoholic and drug addiction.

There was, therefore, a sense of real satisfaction when I was asked to contribute a few words on a subject which is covered in such masterly detail in these pages.

We doctors have realized for a long time that some form of moral psychology was of urgent importance to alcoholics, but its application presented difficulties beyond our conception. What with our ultra-modern standards, our scientific approach to everything, we are perhaps not well equipped to apply the powers of good that lie outside our synthetic knowledge.

Many years ago one of the leading contributors to this book came under our care in this hospital and while here he acquired some ideas which he put into practical application at once.

Later, he requested the privilege of being allowed to tell his story to other patients here and with some misgiving, we consented. The cases we have followed through have been most interesting; in fact, many of them are amazing. The unselfishness of these men as we have come to know them, the entire absence of profit motive, and their community spirit, is indeed inspiring to one who has labored long and wearily in this alcoholic field. They believe in themselves, and still more in the Power which pulls chronic alcoholics back from the gates of death.

Of course an alcoholic ought to be freed from his physical craving for liquor, and this often requires a definite hospital procedure, before psychological measures can be of maximum benefit.

We believe, and so suggested a few years ago, that the action of alcohol on these chronic alcoholics is a manifestation of an allergy; that the phenomenon of craving is limited to this class and never occurs in the average temperate drinker. These allergic types can never safely use alcohol in any form at all; and once having formed the habit and found they cannot break it, once having lost their self-confidence, their reliance upon things human, their problems pile up on them and become astonishingly difficult to solve.

Frothy emotional appeal seldom suffices. The message which can interest and hold these alcoholic people must have depth and weight. In nearly all cases, their ideals must be grounded in a power greater than themselves, if they are to re-create their lives.

If any feel that as psychiatrists directing a hospital for alcoholics we appear somewhat sentimental, let them stand with us a while on the firing line, see the tragedies, the despairing wives, the little children; let the solving of these problems become a part of their daily work, and even of their sleeping moments, and the most cyni cal will not wonder that we have accepted and encouraged this movement. We feel, after many years of experience, that we have found nothing which has contributed more to the rehabilitation of these men than the altruistic movement now growing up among them.

Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks-drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery.

On the other hand-and strange as this may seem to those who do not understand-once a psychic change has occurred, the very same person who seemed doomed, who had so many problems he despaired of ever solving them, suddenly finds himself easily able to control his desire for alcohol, the only effort necessary being that required to follow a few simple rules.

Men have cried out to me in sincere and despairing appeal: "Doctor, I cannot go on like this! I have everything to live for! I must stop, but I cannot! You must help me!"

Faced with this problem, if a doctor is honest with himself, he must sometimes feel his own inadequacy. Although he gives all that is in him, it often is not enough. One feels that something more than human power is needed to produce the essential psychic change. Though the aggregate of recoveries resulting from psychiatric effort is considerable, we physicians must admit we have made little impression upon the problem as a whole. Many types do not respond to the ordinary psychological approach.

I do not hold with those who believe that alcoholism is entirely a problem of mental control. I have had many men who had, for example, worked a period of months on some problem or business deal which was to be settled on a certain date, favorably to them. They took a drink a day or so prior to the date, and then the phenomenon of craving at once became paramount to all other interests so that the important appointment was not met. These men were not drinking to escape; they were drinking to overcome a craving beyond their mental control.

There are many situations which arise out of the phenomenon of craving which cause men to make the supreme sacrifice rather than continue to fight.

The classification of alcoholics seems most difficult, and in much detail is outside the scope of this book. There are, of course, the psychopaths who are emotionally unstable. We are all familiar with this type. They are always "going on the wagon for keeps." They are over-remorseful and make many resolutions, but never a decision.

There is the type of man who is unwilling to admit that he cannot take a drink. He plans various ways of drinking. He changes his brand or his environment. There is the type who always believes that after being entirely free from alcohol for a period of time he can take a drink without danger. There is the manic-depressive type, who is, perhaps, the least understood by his friends, and about whom a whole chapter could be written.

Then there are types entirely normal in every respect except in the effect alcohol has upon them. They are often able, intelligent, friendly people.

All these, and many others, have one symptom in common: they cannot start drinking without developing the phenomenon of craving. This phenomenon, as we have suggested, may be the manifestation of an allergy which differentiates these people, and sets them apart as a distinct entity. It has never been, by any treatment with which we are familiar, permanently eradicated. The only relief we have to suggest is entire abstinence.

This immediately precipitates us into a seething caldron of debate. Much has been written pro and con, but among physicians, the general opinion seems to be that most chronic alcoholics are doomed.

What is the solution? Perhaps I can best answer this by relating one of my experiences.

About one year prior to this experience a man was brought in to be treated for chronic alcoholism. He had but partially recovered from a gastric hemorrhage and seemed to be a case of pathological mental deterioration. He had lost everything worth while in life and was only living, one might say, to drink. He frankly admitted and believed that for him there was no hope. Following the elimination of alcohol, there was found to be no permanent brain injury. He accepted the plan outlined in this book. One year later he called to see me, and I experienced a very strange sensation. I knew the man by name, and partly recognized his features, but there all resemblance ended. From a trembling, despairing, nervous wreck, had emerged a man brimming over with self-reliance and contentment. I talked with him for some time, but was not able to bring myself to feel that I had known him before. To me he was a stranger, and so he left me. A long time has passed with no return to alcohol.

When I need a mental uplift, I often think of another case brought in by a physician prominent in New York City. The patient had made his own diagnosis, and deciding his situation hopeless, had hidden in a deserted barn determined to die. He was rescued by a searching party, and, in desperate condition, brought to me. Following his physical rehabilitation, he had a talk with me in which he frankly stated he thought the treatment a waste of effort, unless I could assure him, which no one ever had, that in the future he would have the "will power" to resist the impulse to drink.

His alcoholic problem was so complex, and his depression so great, that we felt his only hope would be through what we then called "moral psychology," and we doubted if even that would have any effect.

However, he did become "sold" on the ideas contained in this book. He has not had a drink for a great many years. I see him now and then and he is as fine a specimen of manhood as one could wish to meet.

I earnestly advise every alcoholic to read this book through, and though perhaps he came to scoff, he may remain to pray.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I happen to know quite a few problem drinkers/alcoholics. Why not ask some of the problem drinkers/alcoholics that you know and stop relying on statistics?

I have, and while the stories are interesting as separate test cases, predictive power (inferring actual probable outcomes) favours statistics over anecdotal evidence, ie, statistics can more reliably suggest what is typical, logically speaking.

Anecdotal Evidence and Faulty Logic

I earnestly advise every alcoholic to read this book through, and though perhaps he came to scoff, he may remain to pray.

So quoteth the Big Book in 1938. So we do have one doctor who knows what he's talking about then, although he died 55 years ago? :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
QUOTE

I earnestly advise every alcoholic to read this book through, and though perhaps he came to scoff, he may remain to pray.

So quoteth the Big Book in 1938. So we do have one doctor who knows what he's talking about then, although he died 55 years ago? wink.gif

Yes, he knew what he is talking about and what advice does he give alcoholics?

The same as most doctors give their alcoholic patients 70 years later - go to AA, an organisation that you say statistics show is a waste of time. There must be a reason for this, or do doctors not know what they're talking about? :o Doctors see hopeless cases get better and give the advice to others. Just as well they don't rely on faulty statistics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, but anecdotal from a man who was in the business side of treatment for 15 years, in 2 different states.

Yes an interesting sample of one. Can we then conclude that this man is typical, statistically speaking? Every profession has people who do not live up to the profession's standards.

Back to the topic at hand, when it comes to diagnosis of alcohol abuse, I'm guessing that most problem drinkers don't diagnose themselves but are confronted by friends, relatives or colleagues. Qualified medical professionals can diagnose as well, but how many drinkers would seek a doctor's diagnosis? Relatively few, I should think.

Come to think of it, I wonder how many drinkers quit, or seek to quit, because they took a test such as the one in the OP? Reading it as a person who does not currently have a drinking problem, I'd say the test seems very incisive. But to someone in the throes of alchohol addicttion, is it nearly as effective?

Certainly tests like these are a good excercise for friends or family of alcohol addicts. Friends/family can do much to help a user realise he's hooked and to encourage the user to quit/seek help. And if it nets a few individuals who self-diagnose, that's a bonus.

Intuitively I doubt the questionnaire has much effect on most problem drinkers. But I wonder if there have been any surveys of former problem drinkers, now sober, wherein they reveal how they understood they needed to quit/cut down/seek help?

Excellent points Sabaijai, and in many cases, very true. It seems to me that it is often those who care about the addict the most who are the ones willing to confront them about their problems and perhaps this should be added to the list?

Has someone you love or care about ever confronted you with the problems your drinking have brought on?

And give that one extra points.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
QUOTE

I earnestly advise every alcoholic to read this book through, and though perhaps he came to scoff, he may remain to pray.

So quoteth the Big Book in 1938. So we do have one doctor who knows what he's talking about then, although he died 55 years ago? wink.gif

Yes, he knew what he is talking about and what advice does he give alcoholics?

The same as most doctors give their alcoholic patients 70 years later - go to AA, an organisation that you say statistics show is a waste of time. There must be a reason for this, or do doctors not know what they're talking about? :D Doctors see hopeless cases get better and give the advice to others. Just as well they don't rely on faulty statistics.

I thought that according to you most doctors don't know what they're talking about. :D

I think you've missed the point. I don't personally see that doctors are effective for diagnosis (the subject of this thread). As for treatment, it all depends on the doctor, most doctors aren't addiction specialists, so it's difficult to generalise about 'most doctors'.

What's your source for saying 'most doctors' advise AA (how did this thread come around to AA again - I sense an agenda :o)? Are we talking about general practitioners or addiction specialists? Perhaps you could start a separate thread about the medical profession's take on substance abuse, where we could look beyond ad antiquitatum?

As for treatment, another subject entirely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

YES, My name is Sol, I'm an Alcoholic, anyone want a lift to the Pub? :o

Oi, don't drink and drive....! :D

Lets get a cab........... :D:D:D:D

redrus

Who said anything about drinking and driving, when I get there I ain't leaving :D

:D:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...