- Loss of inhibitions or compromised judgment
Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol lowers inhibitions and prevents the brain from properly processing information. If your spouse is engaging in risk-taking behavior or acting erratically, an alcohol abuse disorder may be to blame.
Alcohol is a depressant, and those that drink a lot tend to feel the long-term effects rather quickly. Long-term effects of alcohol abuse include depression, and the symptoms of depression include lethargy, a lack of motivation and changes in weight and sleep patterns (lost weight and an excessive amount of sleep).
Those who abuse alcohol will tend to feel extremely anxious, usually when they are too hungover to properly function or when more alcohol isn’t immediately available. If you go to a party with your spouse and there is no alcohol available, take note of how he or she reacts. Is it “no big deal,” or does it quickly become a major issue? Feelings of anxiety are also common during hangovers which is why many alcoholics will continue drinking from the moment they wake up. Take note of when your spouse begins drinking – if he or she continuously drinks earlier in the day (and makes excuses to do so), an alcohol abuse disorder is likely.
- Acting differently when drunk than when sober
In most cases, demeanor will completely change when alcohol is involved. Is your husband usually shy and reserved, but loud and outgoing when intoxicated? Is your wife normally outgoing and chatty but quiet and reclusive after she’s had a few? Pay attention to how significantly and drastically character traits change.
If your spouse has been abusing alcohol he or she is likely to exhibit extreme emotional behavior, which is often characterized by seemingly unprovoked crying spells (this is more common amongst women).