Doug Thorburn’s enlightening book How to Spot Hidden Alcoholics-Using Behavioral Clues to Recognize Addiction in its Early Stages, provides some information that is quite astounding.
In the Introduction, he asserts that “One of the surprising things about alcoholism is how little most experts know. The main problem is that the definition they have agreed upon fails to describe the affliction in its early-stages. As a result, the current practice of identifying alcoholism is comparable to waiting until tumors become the size of basketballs before diagnosing cancer.”
When I reflect on my own personal experience with loved ones and friends, I can see how true it is. Too many people I’ve known and cared for have suffered this very sad, yet predictable fate. Some of them were combat vets and too young to have to die from this treatable disease.
We’re losing many of our returning Iraq and Afghanistan combat vets to this miserable illness, as well as our Vietnam vets, Gulf War, WWII; the list goes on and on.
Another tragic fact about alcoholism is found in Part III, titled “Middle-Stage or Polydrug Clues (pg.83.) The author notes “Although displaying multiple symptoms of early-stage alcoholism, most alcoholics are not identified as such until well into the progression of the disease.
Father Joseph Martin suggests that it can take about nine years on average for a spouse to begin tentatively diagnosing alcoholism in the other spouse. It probably takes another ten or twenty years for the non-alcoholic spouse to share suspicions with outsiders. No one is served by keeping the family secrets, yet the stigma of alcoholism precludes discussion, without which a confirmed diagnosis may be impossible.” Continue reading 'A Surprising Fact About The Co-Alcoholic Spouse'»