Why do alcoholics deny being drunk?

Old 01-29-2017, 01:46 PM
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Why do alcoholics deny being drunk?

They deny being drunk when drunk. I know drunks deny being drunk, but I'd like to know why.
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Old 01-29-2017, 02:09 PM
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When my XABF used to do it, I really believe that he thought he could convince me he wasn't drunk with his words, because he knew I would be mad/disappointed/sad that he was drunk. I don't believe he was capable of realizing that his actions spoke so much louder than his words. Of course, he was *drunk* so that's not surprising.

But you might as well ask why fish swim, why birds fly. It's what they do.
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Old 01-29-2017, 02:20 PM
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Same reason someone on a diet will deny eating all the cookies in the pantry--fear of being judged, shame, wanting to rationalize/normalize their behavior...
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Old 01-29-2017, 02:23 PM
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Quackers alert. So my H was stumbling drunk after two beers.
Me: Did you stop someplace between work and home?
H: Like what?
Me Like a bar?
H:No, yes.
I think they want to keep it secret unless they have to.
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Old 01-29-2017, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by hearthealth View Post
Quackers alert. So my H was stumbling drunk after two beers.
Me: Did you stop someplace between work and home?
H: Like what?
Me Like a bar?
H:No, yes.
I think they want to keep it secret unless they have to.
Ha, mine would just act all confused like he didn't understand the question whenever I asked him something like that.
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Old 01-29-2017, 02:40 PM
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Probably because when someone ask: Have you been drinking? There is a 99% percent chance that they don't really have your best interest at heart.
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Old 01-29-2017, 02:47 PM
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Hmm. First, you're asking someone to give a rational response when they are impaired or irrational. When someone does something they aren't supposed to and there tit is caught in the proverbial ringer, of course, the first response will be to lie out their butt. When I was active, I used to think that was the most ridiculous question to ask. Just use your powers of observation and leave it at that. Ultimately, I knew I was being a jackass but until I was ready to get my life together, the hamster wheel kept on turning.
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Old 01-29-2017, 03:11 PM
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It's also important to note that, unless you are talking DUI statutes/limits, "drunk" is a relative term. To the alcoholic, s/he might have a LONG way to go before s/he would personally consider her/himself "drunk."
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Old 01-29-2017, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
It's also important to note that, unless you are talking DUI statutes/limits, "drunk" is a relative term. To the alcoholic, s/he might have a LONG way to go before s/he would personally consider her/himself "drunk."
They can be drunk but not "look" it, i.e., not stereotypically falling down or stumbling around.
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Old 01-29-2017, 03:31 PM
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My point is that there isn't a universal BAC (apart from legal definitions in statutes) that constitutes "drunk." One drink impairs some people significantly. Others can put away a great quantity of booze (amounts that would put most people under the table) and actually function quite well in most respects. Is the latter person "drunk"? Depends on how you define "drunk."
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Old 01-29-2017, 03:33 PM
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They do it because they are alcoholics. For the most part they don't even know "why". If they did they probably would do it, right?
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Old 01-29-2017, 04:00 PM
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Denial and rationalization are at the heart and soul of addiction.
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Old 01-29-2017, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
My point is that there isn't a universal BAC (apart from legal definitions in statutes) that constitutes "drunk." One drink impairs some people significantly. Others can put away a great quantity of booze (amounts that would put most people under the table) and actually function quite well in most respects. Is the latter person "drunk"? Depends on how you define "drunk."
But just because someone isn't at that level, their drunkenness can still be a problem, right?
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Old 01-29-2017, 04:34 PM
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Sure. But a problem for whom? And in what context?

Your original question was why someone would deny being drunk when s/he is. Let's say a partner picks up a slight slur in the alcoholic's words in a telephone call. Partner asks, "Are you drunk?" and alcoholic denies it. Actually, alcoholic has had 6-7 drinks over the course of a couple of hours, but has been drinking long enough that a slight slur is the only giveaway. Alcoholic is safe at home, watching TV--not driving, not taking care of children.

Of course, being an alcoholic is a problem unto itself, but in this scenario, drinking that quantity of alcohol presents no immediate threat. Partner is upset because partner can tell alcoholic is drinking, yet the only "problem" is that partner doesn't like it because they've argued about it and alcoholic says s/he will "cut back."

Whose problem?
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Old 01-29-2017, 04:38 PM
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I can answer that question LexieCat but I don't want to be THAT kid in class. ��
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Old 01-29-2017, 05:18 PM
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Much of the time....questions are just statements in disguise....
When a person asks "Are you drunk?"......really means "I think you have been drinking alcohol (and I want you to admit it)"
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Old 01-29-2017, 06:04 PM
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We will say it's because YOU will judge us. But it's really shame. We're ashamed of it.
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Old 01-29-2017, 06:06 PM
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Are we really arguing about what constitutes being drunk in this scenario???

This is about lying. Why the need the lie. It's shame.

<----alcoholic for years, trust me I know
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Old 01-29-2017, 06:23 PM
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In my case, I think AH simply doesn't want to admit they've been drinking but for some reason they think they can convince you of it despite all evidence to the contrary.

Today is our 40th wedding anniversary. We planned on going out to a nice restaurant for brunch. I figured that it's brunch--how drunk could he be at 9:00am. How naive of me.

He was so excited about our anniversary he was awake at 3am and pretty much drank from 3am until 9am. He was wasted. So I told him that perhaps we should forget brunch and do dinner, as long as he doesn't drink anymore, and he actually protested that he hadn't been drinking. He was drooling on himself, and slurring and having trouble dressing, but nooo he wasn't drinking!

He implicitly admitted he had been drinking by agreeing to skip brunch. We wound up going out for dinner early; he had sobered up enough. We were home by 7:00 and he's already in bed sleeping. Ahhh, sweet peace!
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Old 01-29-2017, 06:27 PM
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I usually never ask about his drinking. This night he was asking me about signs of a heart attack and fell sideways on me. He was having me check his *legs* for signs of a heart attack. So I was gathering data.
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