What Are Some Personality Traits of Alcoholics?


Quick Answer

Although alcoholics don't have one personality type, common characteristics of alcoholics include a low frustration tolerance, high sensitivity, a low sense of self-worth and a fear of intimacy. Alcoholics may also be articulate, charming and persuasive. High-functioning alcoholics might be in denial, have unhealthy drinking habits and lead a double life.

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Full Answer

Alcoholics often experience distress more easily when things don't go their way and may be more impulsive than other people. Alcoholics often feel left out, and drinking relieves this feeling. Creative and artistic people are more likely to be alcoholics. In addition, they are more likely to be loners and experience difficulty sharing their feelings with other people.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism separates alcoholics into five subtypes, namely the functional, young adult, young antisocial, intermediate familial and chronic severe subtypes. The intermediate familial subtype generally includes middle-aged people with mental illnesses, whereas high-functioning alcoholics normally don't fit this stereotype. High-functioning alcoholics are usually successful in their careers and don't believe they need treatment. They often use alcohol as a reward or to relieve stress. One drink sets off a craving for these people, and they frequently obsess about the next opportunity to drink; in addition, they often compromise their morals when drinking.

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