Warning signals

Phase 1 - return of denial

  • concern about mood
  • not admitting anxiety

Phase 2 - escape and defensive behaviours

  • "I will never drink again" belief
  • worrying about others instead of oneself
  • defensive behaviour
  • compulsive or rigid behaviour
  • overeating
  • dieting
  • gambling
  • work
  • sex
  • spending money
  • stimulating sensations
  • sports
  • escape from monotony
  • impulsive behaviour
  • ability to isolate oneself from people

Phase 3 - critical build-up

  • tunnel vision
  • masked depression
  • loss of constructive planning
  • plans begin to fail

Phase 4 - loss of the ability to function

  • daydreaming and wishful thinking
  • feeling that nothing can be solved
  • an immature desire to be happy

Phase 5 - confusion and hyperactivity

  • periods of confusion
  • irritation towards loved ones
  • easily irritated

Phase 6 - depression

  • irregular eating
  • lack of desire to do anything
  • sleep disorders
  • unstructured days without any routine
  • periods of deep depression

Phase 7 - loss of control over behaviour

  • irregular attendance at AA meetings
  • "I don't care" attitude
  • explicit rejection of help
  • dissatisfaction with life
  • feeling helpless and powerless

Phase 8 - awareness of the loss of control

  • self-pity
  • thinking about social drinking
  • purposeful lying
  • complete loss of self-confidence

Phase 9 - limiting the number of choices

  • unjustified resentment towards everyone about everything
  • discontinuation of all treatment and contacts in AA
  • overwhelming loneliness, anger and tension
  • loss of control over behaviour

Phase 10 - relapse episode

  • first glass
  • shame and guilt
  • helplessness and hopelessness
  • total loss of hope for control
  • physical, mental and social damage
  • complete collapse