Bottled Up

Help and Support for people living with an alcoholicProfessional therapists bringing you their 
unique experience of both sides of the problem.

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Why does my drinker deny he has a problem?

27 May 2013 6:11 PM | John McMahon (Administrator)
We are continuing the short video series Burning questions you would like to ask your drinker.  This one is called Why does my drinker deny he has a problem?

As before please leave any comments you have about the video and the series in general.  We always like to hear from you.


  • 27 May 2013 7:53 PM | Vivien Toft
    I find your videos so very helpful in understanding how alcohol is affecting my son. I wonder if you cover the way the problem drinker is changed by alcohol? I realise it is a big subject. Thanks for your insights so far.
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    • 27 May 2013 10:19 PM | Jane
      Thank you for this. Being the end of a bank holiday, when my husbands drinking and volatile behaviour, no doubt like many others, is at its worst, I do find solace in watching and reading your website. I don't understand why he prioritises drink above his family, why it is so important to him but the video helped me think about his denial of the problem. The part where an alcoholic believes someone else is worse than himself so therefore there is no issue rings true.
      Link  •  Reply
  • 27 May 2013 10:15 PM | Iesha
    Thank you John and Lou for making this informative helpful and encouraging videos. My husband likes his drinks and it happens in spurts, like on weekends or when certain people are around him. I'm not 100% sure if he would be considered an alcoholic but definitely a problem drinker. He is different when he's been drinking and I couldn't be bothered to be around him. I found johns last statement about the drinker contributing the negative effects of drinking to something else. Like a bad meal or my example didn't sleep well. I actually had my husband the other day say to me the day after he'd drank a few Cesar cocktails and beers saying "did you find the moose meat we had lastnight make you feel sick?" I laughed! And straight out said "maybe it was the booze you drank the day before?!" He didn't say too much after my comment. Lol. It's hard to say if he does have a problem with drinking or not. But, I do believe his upbringing had a part or most part to do with he way he drinks. It's something he does to fit in with others who drink. As he says something he enjoys. But what the joy when the aftermath of a hangover feels terrible! The pros out weigh the cons?
    My question to you both John and Lou is how does a person become a problem drinker? Is it environment when growing up? Or? Maybe you have covered that topic.
    I grew up with both my parents and they never drank it front of us kids. My mother had actually gone to AA when I was small and never drank again. I occasionally drink every few months or so but I know when I've had enough cause I sure don't like the hangover and sickness.
    My husband on the other hand grew up with separated parents and the only child. His father is a binge drinker still to this day. His grandfather was an alcoholic and passed away a few years ago from causes I do not know. His mother likes her weekend beers and I find her in fault for an affair my husband had while he was visiting and drinking with her.

    I just hope one day my husband will realize that drinking in excess a few times a month is doing more bad than good.
    Thank you John and Lou! I am very thankful I found your site! Much love, Iesha. From Canada! :)
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  • 29 May 2013 10:24 PM | Anonymous member
    thank you for these video's .one thing I hope you can answer , is the relationship between alcohol and depression, like the chicken and the egg....which comes first
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  • 19 Jun 2013 8:11 PM | Rosy
    I tend to agree with John that the drinker will deny he/she is an "alcoholic" and the word has a stigma to the drinker. If you tell them or use a negative term such as you are a "drinker" of course they will defend and drink even more to prove a point that whoever makes the statement is wrong. Often drinking can be a power-play between the drinker and non-drinker as to who is right and who is wrong. Better safely to say there is a problem, but that it might be a no-win situation to address it to the drinker until that drinker acknowledges for him or herself that they have a problem. I also agree that there is always a reason for things happening "to" the alcoholic that always seems to be someone else's fault, something other than the alcohol itself that is causing the issues or problems. Blame is a big thing for a drinker to espouse for all of their problems for instance: their boss is the problem because they can't make it to work that day or cant' be on time or... it's the other employees causing problems, Or... the reason they have no money is that they are being cheated out of their pay, Or... their court problems are the fault of the person who issued the ticket, Or... the reason they can't get a job is the fault of those who are hiring or not hiring, Or... the reason they aren't accepted by their girlfriends is because they try to use them for money or they cheated on the drinker. The list is endless. My point is as long as the cycle continues there will always be problems.
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All photographs by Cassia Lewis
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