25 Questions for Concerned Persons

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For concerned persons in a relationship with a problem drinker

If you answer ‘YES’ to some of the questions, it indicates that negative changes may be occurring in you as a result of being in a potentially alcoholic relationship. Stress associated with trying to cope with growing behavioral dysfunction may be affecting your mental health. Help is as close as your EAP.

  1. Do you lie awake at night thinking about the problem drinker?
  2. Does much of your time involve handling problems or worrying about problems that result from the problem drinker?
  3. Do you force or elicit promises from the drinker about their drinking that are not kept?
  4. Do you threaten the problem drinker, but not follow through?
  5. Has your attitude changed toward the problem drinker, alternating between love and hate?
  6. Do you mark, hide, dilute, empty bottles, or search for liquor or medication?
  7. Do you think that everything would be just about perfect if the problem drinker would control his/her drinking?
  8. Do you feel alone, fearful, anxious, angry, and frustrated much of the time?
  9. Are you beginning to feel that you do not like the kind of person you have become in the relationship with the problem drinker?
  10. Do you sometimes feel responsible or guilty about the drinking problem? Have you begun to wonder whether the problem drinker is right about your role in making him/her drink?
  11. Do you try to protect the problem drinker from the direct or indirect consequences of the alcohol use?
  12. Have you withdrawn from outside activities and friends because of embarrassment and shame over the drinking problem?
  13. Have you taken over many chores and duties that you would normally expect the problem drinker to assume, or that were formerly his or hers?
  14. Do you feel the need to exert tight control over the family expenditures but are having less and less success? Are financial problems increasing?
  15. Do you feel entitled to certain actions and attitudes that are not necessarily desirable because of the negative circumstances that exist in your relationship with the problem drinker?
  16. If there are children in the house, do they take sides between you and the problem drinker?
  17. Are the children showing signs of emotional stress, such as withdrawal, conduct problems, trouble with the law or persons in authority. Are teenage children acting out sexually?
  18. Have you noticed physical symptoms in yourself such as nausea, stomach problems, depression, sleep problems, anxiety?
  19. Do you sometimes have a sense of dread – that something terrible is going to happen, but are unable to say what it might be or when it might occur?
  20. Do you find your moods fluctuating widely as a direct result of the problem drinker’s moods and actions?
  21. Do you feel that nothing you or anyone else can say or do will move the problem drinker to change? Do you believe that he or she can’t get better and that treatment or counseling would never work.
  22. Do you believe the problem drinker is gifted, has exceptional intelligence or abilities, or in other ways is special or different enough to make him or her unlike “other” problem drinkers, and therefore should be “handled” differently.
  23. If applicable, is your sexual relationship with the problem drinker affected by feelings of revulsion? Do you use sex to manipulate or refuse sex to punish the problem drinker?
  24. Do you feel unable to divorce or leave the problem drinker out of fear of what could possibly happen to him or her if you left and were not there to intervene?
  25. Have you drank along with the problem drinker as a way to cope with the drinking problem and feel better about it?

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