Why Do Alcoholics Lie About Their Addiction?
At some point in your life, you’ll probably know or come across someone who has dealt with alcoholism. There is a former drinker around every corner.
Alcoholism is a very serious and psychological issue. It can manifest itself in symptoms like cloudy judgment and recklessness. This addiction affects millions of American adults every day.
So if you know someone who deals with alcoholism, what do you do if you can tell they’re lying? Why do alcoholics lie?
We’ve put together a list of the most common reasons alcoholics lie. Keep reading to better understand your loved one that deals with this addiction.
In some cases, people who struggle with alcoholism have told themselves that they won’t be able to function without alcohol. This convincing could’ve been done either consciously or unconsciously. Either way, they feel that alcohol is their only option and remedy.
People that struggle with this addiction believe that alcohol is the main focus of their life. They feel that they’d wouldn’t be able to perform normal day-to-day tasks without it. In reality, if they continue to spiral deeper into this addictive lifestyle nothing will ever get done or be accomplished.
In this mindset, alcoholics tend to believe that no one else will understand. They think that no one understands because they don’t live in the same shoes.
Since they assume that no one will understand their situation, they lie about their addiction. This is done to continue self-medicating without judgment or correction from others.
They believe self-medicating will solve their problems. In reality, their alcohol addiction will actually do the opposite and create opportunities for further ruin.
To Avoid Reality
Another reason alcoholics lie is very similar to facilitating the facade. Sometimes the truth of reality is too much for alcoholics to face so they ignore it. Instead, they create this idea in their mind that they don’t actually have an addiction.
Alcoholism alters a person’s physical and mental state. This often happens to the point where it’s noticeable to their friends and loved ones.
When these friends and loved ones comment or raise concern about their addiction, they lie to reassure the concerned party. They try to convince them that ‘they’re fine’ and ‘have complete control’.
Alcoholism does the complete opposite of giving them control.
The Snow Flake Syndrome
Similar to avoiding reality, snowflake syndrome is a reason alcoholics lie. If someone believes they have complete control over their addiction, they believe that they’re the exception and not the rule.
The ‘snow flake syndrome’ is when someone believes that they are entirely different than every other person. Alcoholics use this perception to their advantage to leverage the art of comparison.
Under this ideology, they tell themselves that they’re better off than so-and-so so who’s doing pretty rough. By those standards, they must be doing alright.
Loved ones and friends will often comment on the physical appearance or erratic behavior of an alcoholic. It isn’t uncommon for the alcoholic to react defensively.
They feel attacked and think that they won’t be able to accurately explain why this is important to them.
These kinds of confrontations can be stressful to both parties, the addict and the one concerned. There can be yelling, hurtful words and heightened emotions. If someone were to confront someone struggling with alcoholism, they would have to come face to face with their addiction.
If they were to come face to face, the alcoholic would then grasp and understand the weight of the problem at hand. Oftentimes people who struggle with this addiction find it easier to lie about their alcohol abuse. They think it would be easier to lie rather than deal with this stressful confrontation and recognition.
Denying the Severity of the Situation
Probably one of the most common lies amongst alcoholics is that their addiction doesn’t affect the people around them. When someone deals with an addiction it’s easier to think that since it’s self-inflicted it doesn’t involve or hurt anyone else.
Again, a major component that is involved in alcoholism is denying and lying. A lie alcoholics believe is that they’re protecting people that don’t know about it by lying.
In this particular situation, alcoholics assume that loved ones will become an obstacle. They think friends who intervene in their substance abuse will get in the way of their goals. In their minds it’s in their best interest to continue relying on alcohol and their friends will get in the way of that pursuit.
Rather than run into an obstacle they see lying as an easy way to get around that potential obstacle.
Stigma Is Staggering
Some people don’t believe that alcoholism is a disease but rather a moral issue.
Society, and mainly media, explain alcoholism as a moral issue that stems from people. The topic of alcohol has a moral and ethical connotation, rather than a psychological basis.
What they often forget is that, like depression or anxiety, alcoholism has a psychological and chemical causation.
Unfortunately, because of the stigma placed on alcoholics portrayed in the media, alcoholics feel condemned and not able to come forth with their truth.
In this case, alcoholics lie because they believe that shame, condemnation, and judgment with this label will be put on them.
Why Do Alcoholics Lie
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 15 million American adults deal with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). While that number is scary, it’s even more alarming that only 7% of these adults receive treatment.
This ratio of people who actually receive treatment for their alcohol use disorder is daunting. With this unbalanced ratio, it might make you wonder why more people aren’t actively seeking and receiving treatment.
So why do alcoholics lie?
Don’t forget that alcoholism doesn’t leave people in their right minds. This addiction will probably keep them from doing the logical thing and seeking treatment. For this exact reason, people who struggle and suffer from this addiction feel the inherent need to lie and deny their addiction is real.
If you know someone who deals with alcoholism and actively lies about it, remember to have compassion and grace for them. In this position, they’re navigating a difficult psychological disorder.
They’re probably scared, confused and convinced that there’s nothing wrong with alcohol consumption.
Encourage them to seek help and consult people specialized in addiction recovery. If you’re looking for more resources to provide your loved one, let us know. We have plenty of resources that could be sent their way and help lead them on their path to recovery.