Dont know what to do.

Old 04-04-2017, 02:06 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 5
Dont know what to do.

Alcohol is evil, well in my situation its a problem because of my own situation.

I have suffered with anxiety problems all of my life. I have been bullied over it, laughed at in the street, told it looks like i'm on drugs (because of the shaking) and have missed out on so many things because of the anxiety.

A while back I realised the only thing that helps with my anxiety problems, is in fact alcohol. It may sound like an excuse but it really isn't. Before I even touched a drop of alcohol in my life I was shaking in queues in shops, struggled with eye contact and would struggle in general when in public. Alcohol seriously helped those symptoms though. After 2 pints most of my nervousness was gone, I wouldn't be laughed at or struggle to talk to people.

Even my GP agrees with me that if this helps, there is no real harm in doing it as long as I moderate it and don't overdo it.....

Now, the word used is indeed moderate..... but.... some things prevent that.

I live on my own, socially isolated after the death of family members and due to my anxiety haven't really got any friends.... that is.... apart from pub buddies (The people you dont meet up with at all, don't have their numbers, but when in a pub I see them I say hi and we get on well).

This is danger point number 1.....

Due to my life being filled with a matter of days, if not a week stuck in not socialising, when I need to go out, have 2 pints to get rid of anxiety and bump into 1 of the so called pub buddies, I end up getting too carried away and struggle to keep within my limits, end up having 10 pints or more then end up too drunk and make an idiot of myself. All this because I don't get to socialise much and so when I am socialising, I don't want it to stop and drink more and more to socialise for as long as possible.

Danger point number 2......

During the week I just have nothing to do. I struggle going to places or doing anything because of my health problems.

1 thing I am still going through is bereavement after the death of my mother. She was ill for nearly 20 years before her death.

The happiest times with her was when I was a child, before she was ill. We put great amounts of effort into seasonal times like christmas and firework night.

In a way, remembering those times is part of the grieving process but for me I get pretty obsessive over it because of my health problems and how it feels there is nothing left for me in life now.

So during the week I will drink at home once or twice, this is because when stone cold sober, I feel too embarrassed to start playing christmas songs but when "tipsy" or slightly drunk, I don't feel embarrassed and also as alcohol boost's peoples moods, I can almost recreate that feeling I had in the past.

I have never felt so lost at all. Doctors have fully recognised that I do have severe anxiety problems and depression (not caused by alcohol) and as a result of this i'm on 1 of the highest levels of disability benefits.

Alcohol is both good and bad in my situation. When I have a drink, I pause and think why I am drinking. It's never been because I was craving it.

If i'm in town and have a drink of 2 pints, I know i'm doing it to reduce my anxiety symptoms to enable me to go to a supermarket to buy things without being really shaky. If I don't have those 2 pints, my symptoms are out of control, I have people staring at me and occasionally I get laughed at.

That is the ultimate dilemma for me. If I don't see any pub buddies, I stick to the 2 pints and all goes well. If i do see them though, I just end up living in the moment, drinking more and more to continue being in the social situation. If I didn't have anxiety problems and had some real friends, it's likely I would do non drinking activities with them and so wouldn't lose control socialising with people I class as pub buddies.

Doctors just don't know what to suggest. They understand my situation and have told me there is nothing more they can do for me apart from keep changing my medication and put me through CBT (i'm on the waiting list). Doctors are normally there to encourage people to cut down on drinking, but mine understand my situation and just tell me to do what works for me as it's a long road ahead to cure my anxiety.

Anyone else in a similar situation?
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Old 04-04-2017, 02:17 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
paulokes's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 1,111
I firmly believe alcohol contributes to/causes anxiety and depression far more than it genuinely helps. Alcohol is not a good solution to lifetime anxiety.

Yep I have always been anxious and still can suffer with Anxiety. But my problems have been immeasurably better since I quit drinking.

I would genuinely suggest getting help with your alcohol problem...strongly consider quitting entirely with assistance of needed ... then you can find out for sure how much booze is contributing.

There is not much health professionals can do (talking therapies or medication) while you are still drinking heavily.

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Old 04-04-2017, 02:21 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
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Location: Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 16,945
I am an anxiety sufferer and was also caught in that loop...thinking that drinking was making it better or helping me "cope", but it was really making it worse.

Quitting was literally the only option for me. Alcohol messes with all the known treatments for Anxiety ( meds, therapy, etc ) and so you really can't even assess if they are working until you quit. Have you spoken with a therapist about it by chance or just a medical doctor?
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Old 04-04-2017, 02:49 PM
  # 4 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 211,671
Like the others here alcohol actually ended up contributing to greater anxiety.

You'll find a lot of loners here too - and the more I drank the less I ventured out, so it made that problem worse as well.

Alcohol is at best a short term solution... so I'd not only have the original anxiety still but I developed a dependence on alcohol with made me anxious when I didn;t have a drink.

Using alcohol for anxiety or loneliness is like trying to control a fire with gasoline Tom.

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