How can you tell the difference by looking at a group of individuals? You can’t; unless it is clearly obvious. I googled the definition of both:
Alcoholic – A person addicted to intoxicating drinks.
Chocoholic – Someone who is very fond of eating chocolate.
Why does one term leave a bitter taste in people’s mouths and the other a sweet? Is it because of society’s perception and stereotyping of a alcoholic, as depicted in the image above of the person slumped at the side of the road, (or more usually the homeless person on a park bench)? Whilst a chocoholic is someone who is fun loving, giggly, and dear I say possibly cuddly!!!
In reality however the majority of alcoholics are professional people attempting to live ‘normally’ (!!!) (Subjective!). A term also used is ‘functioning’, of which I was one; a full time working Mum. ‘Functioning’ makes me chuckle when I look back, as now its blindingly obvious to me how very badly my attempt at functioning was. There are many of my acquaintances who would be surprised to discover that I am an alcoholic.
On its most basic level addiction is an attempt to control and fulfil a desire for happiness.
Common sense should tell us that both ‘olics’ can affect anyone at any moment in their individual lives. I feel very strongly that stereotyping and the judgemental attitude of Mr and Mrs Public needs to be addressed. This, in turn, will help the millions of people who fear the label and stigma attached to their problem drinking. A problem that can vary between individuals, and does not necessarily have to be due to an excessive consumption, but more how your body and personality react to alcohol and the need for it.
Harsh realisation – addiction is not exclusive to gender, race, colour, religion, class.