Some people know they have a drinking problem when when they can't hold a job or their liver starts to fail. It\u2019s not as easy for a successful alcoholic to admit to a problem. In fact, if that's you, you may be thriving in your career, even as a drinking problem grows. An alcoholic who is able to be successful in his or her career or family life in spite of drinking too much is known as a functional alcoholic or a high-functioning alcoholic. This type of person appears so productive and responsible that the people in their life may even overlook the drinking problem. Don't Let Success Drive Denial Denial is a big problem for successful alcoholics. You might feel there are few outward negative consequences to your drinking. You\u2019re able to function productively in your career. Your family and friends don\u2019t object to your drinking because your problem isn\u2019t obvious and doesn\u2019t stop you from meeting your career potential. Getting past denial can be challenging when you\u2019re doing such a good job functioning in your day-to-day life that no one can tell you have a problem. It\u2019s probably easy for you to tell yourself that your drinking isn\u2019t out of control because it hasn\u2019t caused any major losses in your life. You haven\u2019t been fired. You haven\u2019t been arrested. Your family members haven\u2019t turned their backs on you. Outwardly, you appear to be very successful. But deep down you know that you are relying way too much on alcohol to relax or remain calm. You notice that you need to drink much more than you used to in order to get the same results. Trying to get through a day without alcohol may cause tremors or panic. You may not want to think of yourself as an alcoholic, but on some level you\u2019re probably aware that your drinking has gotten out of control. Recognizing Signs of Alcoholism You don\u2019t have to be a homeless drunk living on the streets or sleeping on a park bench to be an alcoholic. You don\u2019t even have to drink in large quantities or drink every day. What makes drinking a problem is how physically or emotionally dependent you have become on alcohol. Some of the signs of alcoholism include: \tRelying on alcohol to relax or feel confident \tDrinking alone or in the morning \tTrying to conceal your drinking from others \tMissing work or important appointments because of alcohol \tHaving no memory of things you did while under the influence \tDrinking more than you intend to \tExperiencing shaking or other forms of physical discomfort if you try to stop drinking Help for "Succesful" Alcoholics It\u2019s often difficult for functional alcoholics to admit they have a problem and to ask for help. Once you do recognize you have a problem, you have taken the first and most important step toward recovery. Talk to your doctor about your drinking. Doctors are a good source of information and can point you to help from a support group, counselor or an addiction specialist. An addiction professional can evaluate your alcohol problem and let you know if you may be able to be treated on an outpatient basis so that you can continue to work and stay with your family while getting help. Highly successful alcoholics are sometimes reluctant to attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. You may be afraid of being recognized or seen going to meetings. Consider going to meetings in a nearby town rather than in your hometown. Talk to an addiction professional about all of your options. It\u2019s important to remember that just because you haven\u2019t lost your job, family or home doesn\u2019t mean that you are not an alcoholic. If you think you have a problem with alcohol, you probably do. It\u2019s important to get help because long-term alcohol abuse can have serious, life-threatening consequences. Alcoholism is a progressive illness, and the things and people you haven\u2019t lost yet may still slip away from you in the future because of your drinking. Ask for help and start your journey of recovery.