Do I think like you? Alcoholic Personality

The Betty Ford Clinic maintains there is an alcoholic personality which they describe below:
The first is a low frustration tolerance. Alcoholics seem to experience more distress when enduring long-term dysphoria or when tiresome things do not work out quickly.  Alcoholics are more impulsive than most.
Secondly, alcoholics are more sensitive. This sensitivity relates especially to nuances of interpersonal relationships. Alcoholics have a “low rejection threshold.” They feel more apart or left out. Incidentally, a drink or two “works wonderfully” to deal with this feeling. Yet, it is known that sensitive people are often especially creative. Alcoholism seems to selectively strike gifted people. Most American Nobel Prize winners in literature suffered from alcoholism.
Another trait found in excess in alcoholics is a low sense of one’s own worth. Then there is isolation. Alcoholics are loners. It is with most difficulty they are able to share innermost thoughts and concerns with anyone.
Although they may be articulate, charming and very persuasive, they operate behind an armor or shell that keeps the world out. They are afraid of intimacy.
So let’s dissect and analyze:
Low frustration tolerance (LFT), or “short-term hedonism” is a concept utilized to describe the inability to tolerate unpleasant feelings or stressful situations. The feeling that reality should be as wished, insisting that everything that a person dislikes should be resolved quickly and easily, and if it’s not, it leads to emotional disturbance.[1] Behaviors are then derived towards avoiding frustrating events which, paradoxically, lead to increased frustration and even greater mental stress. *Check*
Are your own feelings easily bruised and do you worry endlessly about hurting other people’s? Do you well up when watching charity adverts for illness or animal cruelty, dislike scary films or feel bothered by loud or irritating noises (think music coming from somebody’s earphones) in a way that those around you don’t? Then you could be a Highly Sensitive Person, or HSP, a condition that’s common but until now rarely understood. *Check*
Fear & Anxiety are the cornerstones of low self esteem (Low self worth and low self esteem are synonyms; they mean virtually the same thing). Those who suffer from low self-esteem experience extreme fear and anxiety frequently. Believing that there is something innately wrong with themselves, these low self esteem sufferers experience self-esteem attacks (often called panic attacks) when they do something they deem to have been stupid, something they think others have noticed, and something that confirms their own feelings of inadequacy, incompetence, being undeserving or unlovable. During these attacks they may attack or withdraw and isolate while feeling embarrassed, humiliated, devastated, depressed, even despairing. Depending on how seriously they perceive their “mistake” they may not recover for minutes, hours, days, or longer. They are often too fearful to ask for help, thinking that needing help is an admission of inadequacy. *Check*
So that’s three out of three for me and yes I isolate too.  Do these traits and descriptions resonate for you too?

18 thoughts on “Do I think like you? Alcoholic Personality

  1. Yup. Although in my case I fear LFT may stand for Low Fuckwit Tolerance.

  2. This could have been written about me. I’ve been given some bad news this morning. This is the day I want to stop drinking. I am going to pour any wine left from last night away and try with all my might not to drink again

    1. Hi Sue Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog 🙂 I’m sorry to hear you’ve had bad news this morning but happy to hear that this is your Day 1 – welcome to the sober warrior tribe! I’d love to hear tomorrow how you applied your might and my only advice is if you need to go to bed at 7pm tonight to avoid drinking then so be it.

  3. Yes from me too! Hi Lou & Prim. Although I do wonder whether people in the general population would answer yes to those.
    I remember noticing on a large US based support forum how many of us had extreme sensory sensitivity. Mine is very annoying for my family as I am constantly irritated by noises etc.

    1. How the devil are you Haggismcbaggis? 🙂 Sooo lovely to hear from you! Well this is turning out to be a slam dunk conclusion isn’t it although your question is an interesting one lovely. Would be valuable to test your question in a research study for sure.

  4. This is interesting.
    I definitely have an intolerance of lots of noise , probably am a HSP- check
    I don’t well up at charity adverts but I can’t watch scary films, and I practically avoid the news because some of the dreadful thing that happen distress me so much and linger in my mind long after – check
    I don’t think I have low self-esteem as such – but at the end of my drinking career, I suffered horrendous post drinking paranoia – so if I had fallen over etc I was beyond mortified at the thought of showing myself up, others would say ‘oh you weren’t that bad’ etc but I would be paralysed by shame. I think in the end this was a good thing though because I couldn’t stand feeling like that so decided to give up drink – best decision ever!

    1. Hey CycleSal! Lovely to hear from you 🙂 2 out of 3 for you and best decision ever verdict which makes it a hat trick in my eyes 😉

  5. Your blog really hit home. It gets down to the traits that I see in myself and in other alcoholics that are at the core of our drinking issues. A super helpful blog. Thanks!

    1. You’re welcome RJHandley but blog credit is shared with the Betty Ford Clinic!

  6. Yes, yes and yes. I recognize #1 in myself and do a lot of self talk to deal with it. #2 I’m ok with – it’s the way I am and I’ve learnt to avoid certain things but #3 is still a huge aspect of myself I’m trying to work on now.

    1. Hey Amanda 🙂 Any tips on good self talk strategies for no1? I’m all up for learning more!

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