Signs of alcoholism include an inability to limit alcohol consumption, feeling a strong need to drink, or habitually drinking alone, notes Mayo Clinic. Not all alcoholics suffer from all of the symptoms, but they often suffer from more than one.
Many alcoholics develop a tolerance over time so that they have to consume more if they want to feel any effects. They finish drinks quickly or ask for doubles. When they don't drink they show signs of withdrawal, which include sweating, nausea and trembling. Sometimes they don't remember conversations they have had or commitments they made due to a phenomenon known as blacking out. They often form ritual-like habits, such as having a drink at a particular time of day, and become angry when these rituals are interrupted, says Mayo Clinic.
To assure secret access, many alcoholics hide bottles of alcohol in odd places in the home, office or car. In some cases drinking causes issues with work, finances or relationships. Alcoholics also sometimes lose interest in pastimes that they previously enjoyed. It is good to question whether a person is an alcoholic if any of these symptoms are present, if a person feels he needs a drink first thing in the day, or if he feels guilt about alcohol consumption, reports Mayo Clinic.