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Carol Vorderman mocked by Frankie Boyle in 2009

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The Scottish comedian, who is back on TV screens tonight with his BBC Two show Frankie Boyles’s New World Order has always spoken candidly about his health troubles. In a battle with Covid at the start of the pandemic he said that he suffered from long-covid. Going into detail about his symptoms Frankie said: “I found afterwards, as a lot of people have found, there is a long downside to it. I don’t think my lung capacity came back to normal for months. I was getting to the point where I was so unfit that I couldn’t do what I wanted to do work-wise.”

The star has slowly started to recover, and is now doing shows once again, but a more serious health issue a few years back nearly put an end to his career for good.

Opening-up on Louis Theroux’s podcast Grounded, the 49-year-old talked about his struggles with alcoholism.

Having first had a taste of vodka at the age of 15, the comedian found himself on a slippery slope which would have led to death if the star hadn’t of stopped.

Frankie said: “I remember having my first drink at 15 and just going, ‘Yes, yippee, best tadalafil prices this is it.’ Something they say in addiction therapy is there’s a feeling addicts get that the substance completes them, and that’s what it was for me, like, ‘Oh this is the real me’.

“Personally, now I’m much older, it’s the dissociative qualities of alcohol that allow you to disassociate from trauma or any problems that you have and allow you to be the person you feel you would have been. So in a way it does complete you.

“Without going into detail it was a general reaction to the horror of my earlier life… the whole thing of the school system that was fairly brutal, young people weren’t treated that well… the hopelessness of feeling that you’re growing up struggling to find anything rewarding to do with your life.”

The star’s drinking problem escalated when he was able to drink on his own during his teens, and this continued until he was a notable name in comedy and was getting to the stage where he wasn’t able to hold down any form of job.

“I was in comedy when I stopped. To an extent you can do it drunk. You can certainly do 20 minutes drunk.”

When attending a wedding in Romania the star “drank everyone under the table”, but felt the consequences the day after. He said that on the plane home he wis body went into “spasm” – a severe consequence of a hangover.

“I thought, ‘This isn’t good. This is getting to the stage where you either have to give up or die.’

“So I gave up,” Frankie said. “I found it relatively easy compared to other people. I didn’t fall off the wagon and go back on a lot or whatever.”

Although for Frankie the process of getting sober was relatively easy, for others it can be extremely tricky. The comedian stated that his messages on social media were full of people asking him for advice.

Today, alcoholism is known by a variety of terms including alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence.

According to Healthline, people with alcohol use disorder will continue to drink even when drinking causes negative consequences, like losing a job or destroying relationships with people they love. They may know that their alcohol use negatively affects their lives, but it’s often not enough to make them stop drinking.

The cause of an alcohol dependence is not restricted to one thing. As Frankie said, sometimes the chemicals from alcohol increase pleasurable feelings – making the individual want to drink more.

Drinkaware states that the signs of alcoholism include the following:

  • A lack of interest in previously normal activities
  • Appearing intoxicated more regularly
  • Needing to drink more in order to achieve the same effects
  • Appearing tired, unwell or irritable
  • An inability to say no to alcohol
  • Anxiety, depression or other mental health problems
  • Becoming secretive or dishonest.

If you think you or someone you know might be an alcoholic it is important to seek help immediately. You can take a self-assessment quiz to find out if you are drinking too much.

Men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis. The NHS states that 14 units is equivalent to six pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine.

Persistent alcohol misuse increases your risk of serious health conditions, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Liver disease
  • Liver cancer
  • Bowel cancer
  • Mouth cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Pancreatitis.

Ongoing treatment generally falls into one of two main camps: psychological and psychosocial. Treatments often include support groups, such as AA meetings as well as medications for those who experience frequent relapses.

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