There is more than meets the eye. Alcoholism has long been misunderstood as a disease which only operates in dysfunction. To most people, alcoholism is only something that could be described with homelessness, low socioeconomic profiles, severe mental illness, and inability to function in life. Indeed, that is how alcoholism can be for many people. However, the myth of the “low bottom” alcoholic masks what is another realm of alcoholism- the “high bottom” alcoholic. An alcoholic doesn’t have to lose everything and be at the lowest point in their life, in terms of material possessions, bank accounts, and other surface issues. Being wrought with alcoholism, drinking every day, hiding alcoholism, and still trying to meet the demands of daily life while fulfilling responsibilities, is another form of hitting bottom. Alcoholism may not be evident to everyone on the outside looking in. For those who are in an immense amount of emotional pain on the inside, they know that their outsides are just a cover up for unmanageable alcoholism.

High profile professionals like lawyers, doctors, athletes, and celebrities of all kinds are especially pressured to keep up appearances during a struggle with alcoholism. As tabloids are quick to point out, some are more successful than others. In cases like a most recent one with Brad Pitt, who, to everyone else seemed to live a normal and happy life, there are secrets beyond what magazines show, which could be tearing families apart and slowly wearing someone down. New York Post wrote about the “new alcoholism” of high profile, high functioning alcoholics. Talking with a local therapist, the article quotes, ““I’m seeing a lot of professionals like nurses, doctors and lawyers and successful people,” says Midtown-based therapist Kimberly Hershenson. “It’s not people who are blacking out, unemployed or living in Section 8 housing. I’m seeing married executives with great careers, and nobody knows what’s going on with [their alcoholism].”

Keeping alcoholism a secret is a characteristic of alcoholism not exclusive to high functioning or low functioning alcoholics. Hiding alcoholism is a way to protect the ability to drink. Family members might be aware of the alcoholism, but because everything else in life is high functioning, it won’t be considered a problem. Enabling behaviors worsen high functioning alcoholism.


It isn’t always easy for high profile members of society to find sobriety. In the public eye, with high stakes of reputation, it can be difficult to maintain anonymity and privacy. Hired Power offers the privacy and the safety of working relationships you can trust to help you plan and transition through every phase of treatment. Our experienced recovery professionals serve to empower your experience so you can bring recovery home. For information, call us today at 800-910-9299.

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