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Am I having alcohol withdrawals???

Old 01-13-2016, 07:34 AM
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Smile Am I having alcohol withdrawals???

hi it would really appreciate some advice/info...

I had been drinking a lot over the past few years but recent months... maybe average 3 days with no alcohol a week... if i drink on week days it would be 2 beers max - but on weekends - sat = it would be some wine - maybe 1/2 bottle and a good few pints..

In november I went on hols so I had a few drinks every night - about 5 average.. then during xmas, after 3 nights out in a row, I woke up the following morn with the following sensations - had been sweating at night, palpatations, frequent urination, shaky hands, awful anxiety (but i suffer from anxiety anyway {had a kind of nervous breakdown in august} - and felt like I had a tremor in the body.. and that morn I felt like I was gonna have a fit...
Then I started getting strange sensations in my muscles.. like twitches.. not pain but a strange sensation..

Then i abstained for a few days and the symptoms subsided..

But then I had another night out - 2 wines and 3 beers and I had the same sensations as above the next morn.. not as bad but they were there

The feelings got worse in the eve..

Were these physical alcohol addiction withdrawals?

PS i suffer with major anxiety = have had trouble sleeping for years.. I am also a very small petite lady..

I am so worried.. I know I have a bad relationship with alcohol but this is a new chapter..
I did not think I was drinking enough to have physical withdrawals..

I went to an alcohol counsellor and he said, I am not alcoholic, but the binge and my anxiety have prob compounded one another..

I know I should go to the doc and get checked out - I am ashamed - I know I should not be.

After dangerous googling, I thought I had alcoholic neuropathy?? But now I think I might have v low vit B 12 (don't use dairy or eat red meat - my diet is v limited in fact). But from what I read, Vit b 12 def results in symptoms similar to mine? So I am thinking, did i have alcohol withdrawals or was it the alcohol that was riding my body of vit B 12?
Era maybe its a mix of everything - I know I should go to my doc.

my basic Q is, could I have alcohol withdrawals with this amount of alcohol? i'm 36 btw. and a little underwt.

I always thought that one would have to be drinking a lot in order to become an alcoholic.. I was not aware of the physical side of things.
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:40 AM
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Sounds like alcohol withdrawal to me. A standard "hangover" is also withdrawal, and that's why "hair of the dog" is well known to "cure" it. You feel awful the next day because your body is detoxing from alcohol, and more alcohol delays and spreads out the process. More severe symptoms include some of the ones you describe - jitters, tremors, sweating, insomnia. By the way, alcohol causes anxiety - many people find, what they thought was "natural anxiety" was just a side-effect of alcohol abuse, and it goes away when they stop completely, for good.
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:49 AM
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My advice is always talk to a medical professional, we are all different while that amount may not have an effect on some on others it is enough to be withdraw symptoms and alcohol, at least with me, anxiety goes off the charts when I stop for the first few days, so in short your drinking is compounding the problem, may not be what you want to hear but that is my experience with this sickness.
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by JeffreyAK View Post
Sounds like alcohol withdrawal to me. A standard "hangover" is also withdrawal, and that's why "hair of the dog" is well known to "cure" it. You feel awful the next day because your body is detoxing from alcohol, and more alcohol delays and spreads out the process. More severe symptoms include some of the ones you describe - jitters, tremors, sweating, insomnia. By the way, alcohol causes anxiety - many people find, what they thought was "natural anxiety" was just a side-effect of alcohol abuse, and it goes away when they stop completely, for good.
wow thanks for such a prompt reply..

I would love to understand alcohol as an addiction better - can you recommend a book? not an auto/biography.. something more factual - like from a professional.. but not too medical..

There is a lot of awareness about alcohol abuse in the media but I do not think that people realise how alcohol can be affecting one really badly without being an actual alcoholic (as in drinking a lot, everyday etc)..
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by jaysea View Post
wow thanks for such a prompt reply..

I would love to understand alcohol as an addiction better - can you recommend a book? not an auto/biography.. something more factual - like from a professional.. but not too medical..

There is a lot of awareness about alcohol abuse in the media but I do not think that people realise how alcohol can be affecting one really badly without being an actual alcoholic (as in drinking a lot, everyday etc)..
There's a lot on the internet, that's quicker to source than finding a book (though I'm sure there are great books too). You can poke around on Google, and for example there's a long list of good links here, Freestyle Recovery - Addiction Recovery Resources
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by jaysea View Post
my basic Q is, could I have alcohol withdrawals with this amount of alcohol? i'm 36 btw. and a little underwt.

I always thought that one would have to be drinking a lot in order to become an alcoholic.. I was not aware of the physical side of things.
Yes, you can definitely have withdrawals regardless of the actual amount you drink. And being an alcoholic is not necessarily related to drinking "a lot". Having said that, you mention that you were drinking "a few" drinks a night over the holidays, but in the same sentence you say "around 5" drinks. By most standards drinking 5 or more drinks at a setting is binge drinking.

I also suffer from anxiety and tried to "treat" it with alcohol over the years. Eventually it makes the anxiety worse unfortunately, you may be experiencing that too. If you re-read your story, notice that your drinking has increased and the problems from it...that's very typical of alcholism/addiction, it never gets better..and almost always gets worse.

If you have medical concerns, please see a medical doctor. The symptoms you describe could have a physical cause, or psychologial...anxiety can cause lots and lots of physical symptoms. But only a doctor can tell.

Lastly, regarding the comment by your alcohol counselor...you are the only one that can decide if your drinking is truly a problem or not. Have you considered staying sober for a month or so to see if things improve?
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by ScottFromWI View Post
Yes, you can definitely have withdrawals regardless of the actual amount you drink. And being an alcoholic is not necessarily related to drinking "a lot". Having said that, you mention that you were drinking "a few" drinks a night over the holidays, but in the same sentence you say "around 5" drinks. By most standards drinking 5 or more drinks at a setting is binge drinking.

I also suffer from anxiety and tried to "treat" it with alcohol over the years. Eventually it makes the anxiety worse unfortunately, you may be experiencing that too. If you re-read your story, notice that your drinking has increased and the problems from it...that's very typical of alcholism/addiction, it never gets better..and almost always gets worse.

If you have medical concerns, please see a medical doctor. The symptoms you describe could have a physical cause, or psychologial...anxiety can cause lots and lots of physical symptoms. But only a doctor can tell.

Lastly, regarding the comment by your alcohol counselor...you are the only one that can decide if your drinking is truly a problem or not. Have you considered staying sober for a month or so to see if things improve?
thanks for that..

Oh hols, I didn't think it was much of an issue cos i was having some wine with dinner then maybe a beer or two after.. same as everyone else.. but yes, then xmas came after the hols fast - and I had more nights with alcohol than without..

I have not been happy with my relationship with alcohol for a while now and had thoughts to tackle it this year - but these physical symptoms I had were unexpected - I never had anything like that before... it was more than anxiety - more than a hangover..

In a way, I am glad it happened now - as I feel maybe I got a wake up call sooner rather than later..

I have been abstaining now since NY - with the exception of 3 beers on sat night (i had a slip up).. but back to no booze and tbh I feel better already... still anxiety but thats me - have to work on that.. but no palpatations, shakes etc... but I still have the muscle sensations - esp after exercise - thats why I wonder about my Vit b 12? I hope I do not have alcohol neuropathy?? Yep I know, I gotta go to doc - gonna go tomorrow get my bloods done..
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Old 01-15-2016, 05:54 AM
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I'd say it is very hard to tell if your symptoms are W/D or just anxiety and wheter your an alcoholic or not. I personally get anxiety on and off and i found myself one time being anxious that i am an alcoholic and would fully exaggerate shaky hands and other possible symptoms so once i calmed down in a week or so all these W/D worries of mine went away.

Anxiety can also lead you to believe you are alcoholic and you know when ur anxious a drink always helps but that leads to more anxiety for the fact that your drink to calm anxiety and u know the merry go round xD I'd say talk to your GP regarding anxiety and some therapy as opposed to stressing over your drinking because your probably NOT an alcoholic.

If your an alcoholic you will feel it, deep inside you will know it, it's not something that requires medical examination or an x-ray to figure out. If you try and calm down i bet you won't have any problems your probably just stressing your having a problem where it's all in your head. If you see an alcoholic you would know right away he is.. There is difference between having minor psychological dependance on alcohol and full blow physical and mental alcoholism i promise you that you won't be able to get up from bed in the morning if you were physically dependant or at least that's my opinion.
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Old 01-15-2016, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by v0da12 View Post
If your an alcoholic you will feel it, deep inside you will know it, it's not something that requires medical examination or an x-ray to figure out. If you try and calm down i bet you won't have any problems your probably just stressing your having a problem where it's all in your head. If you see an alcoholic you would know right away he is.. There is difference between having minor psychological dependance on alcohol and full blow physical and mental alcoholism i promise you that you won't be able to get up from bed in the morning if you were physically dependant or at least that's my opinion.
I feel obliged to point out for the benefit of any newcomers that all of the above is utter nonsense.

SR's guidelines include a request that we stick to sharing our own experience. Those guidelines exist for a reason.
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Old 01-16-2016, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Andante View Post
I feel obliged to point out for the benefit of any newcomers that all of the above is utter nonsense.

SR's guidelines include a request that we stick to sharing our own experience. Those guidelines exist for a reason.
Well i am perhaps trying to be a bit smart here i know i do that sometimes xD However i was just sharing my opinion and what kind of anxiety i experienced recently that went away and i feel fine, so i thought that it is very possible that original poster could be having same issues as opposed to experiencing physical W/D but i am also a new comer and haven't got much experience so i apologize if this is misleading in anyway.
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Old 01-16-2016, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by v0da12 View Post
Well i am perhaps trying to be a bit smart here i know i do that sometimes xD However i was just sharing my opinion and what kind of anxiety i experienced recently that went away and i feel fine, so i thought that it is very possible that original poster could be having same issues as opposed to experiencing physical W/D but i am also a new comer and haven't got much experience so i apologize if this is misleading in anyway.
Well, that's an improvement

When we stick to sharing our experience, rather than throwing around random wild unsubstantiated opinions, things go much better for everyone!

Glad you're here!
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Old 01-16-2016, 07:19 AM
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Can you not drink for 90 days? If it's easy to do, there probably isn't an issue.

If it's difficult, maybe it's time to reconsider things.....
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Old 01-16-2016, 07:34 AM
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I agree with Sugarbear. If you think alcohol might be contributing to your unpleasant symptoms, try going without it for a while (90 days is a good amount) and see if you feel better.

Alcohol treated my anxiety in the short term, but greatly exacerbated it in the long term.
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Old 01-16-2016, 07:54 AM
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For me it was extremely progressive at the end of my drinking career.. It was like a light switch.. Small amounts would make me feel the same way, and I drank like a fish..the hangovers went from bad to horrible and I had to have booze in my system to feel normal.. It was no longer fun in any way.. The darkest days of my life.. Hope you feel better, put a plug in the jug and quit!! Wishing you the best!
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