Clues to People with Problems


This brief list of symptoms may help people tell the difference between alcoholism, addiction or mental illness.

NB; There are other signs and symptoms, but these are the most common.


  • Irritability, mood swings
  • Elaborate excuses for behavior;
  • Unkempt appearance
  • Blackouts (periods of temporary memory loss while intoxicated)
  • Impaired motor coordination, slurred speech, flushed face, bloodshot eyes
  • Numerous injuries, burns, bruises, etc. with vague explanations
  • Smell of alcohol on breath, or excessive use of mouthwash, mints, etc.
  • Increased isolation from others

Drug Addicted

  • Rapid mood and/or performance changes
  • Frequent absence from work;
  • Frequent use of restroom
  • Increased bodily complaints necessitating more prescriptions of pain medications
  • May wear long sleeves all of the time
  • Increased isolation from others

Mentally Ill

  • Depressed, lethargic, unable to focus or concentrate, apathetic
  • Makes many mistakes at work
  • Erratic behavior or mood swings
  • Inappropriate or bizarre behavior or speech

May also exhibit some of the same or similar characteristics as chemically dependent person

Note – it is most important to look for patterns or changes in behavior.
Not all characteristics need to be present to indicate that a problem exists.

Seek help for further diagnosis from a healthcare worker, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Al-anon or Naranon.

In the first instance always seek help from a healthcare worker especially where mental health is concerned.

Brief-TSF can assist patients cease alcohol consumption.


One thought on “Clues to People with Problems

  1. Pingback: Adolescent Development and Alcohol « Alcohol Self-Help News


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