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Mood swings and relaps

Old 03-05-2018, 04:55 PM
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Mood swings and relaps

Hi all,

I almost made it four months without a drink. Last week I went on a bender. The bender ended on Friday and i'm paying for it. I've had horrible anxiety/panic attacks. The worst part of the anxiety is the intense and sometimes debilitating mood swings (depression). These mood swings can last 10min-4hrs. and come and go throughout the day. Does anyone else get these?

I tried quitting last year and had similar symptoms and the psyc dx me with GAD and Panic Disorder although i think, alcohol was to blame.
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Old 03-05-2018, 05:00 PM
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Did you have anxiety at 4 months of sobriety? It should be better then. Anxiety is expected in week one, though.

If you've been diagnosed, are you on your medication? Mood swings warrant a trip to the doctor, not the liquor store

I know you know that. But you must take drinking off the table. Relapse is not an option, so it can't be considered as one.

Besides your medications, there are many lifestyle changes that make a huge difference with mood disorder and anxiety. Proper nutrition. Staying off junk food as much as you can or keeping it to special occasions. Regular and frequent exercise. Getting enough sleep. These are just a few.

Work on that sobriety toolbox and ill bet you make it next time. Four months is great.
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Old 03-05-2018, 05:03 PM
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Hi Tom,u

Anxiety was always a part of withdrawal for me although I've always been anxious anyway.

If its really debilitating might be good to see your Doctor again?

D
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Old 03-05-2018, 05:07 PM
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Thanks Stay,

No meds, I tried a few different SSRI's but didn't tolerate them well. Last time i was seen, i told the psyc about the mood swings and all the other symptoms and they still came to the conclusion of GAD/Panic Disorder (so no bi-polar/BPA). Anyway, i'm def done for good this time. The physical symptoms suck, but the mental side of it is horrible. Especially the health anxiety that follows withdraw/recovery...
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Old 03-06-2018, 04:12 AM
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I had something like that when I was in rehab. I got onto the idea that I had a temporal lobe condition, which explained the crazy moods. I thought if they would give me a brain scan, they would spot it, give me a certificate (as in certified lunatic) and I would be set to drink again but have a solid excuse for my behaviour.

The docs weren't having any of it. They diagnosed chronic alcoholism and stuck with that. I went off to prove them wrong, but a year later, on my knees, I joined the action in AA. What I thought was mental illness was in fact the spiritual malady. When I straightened out spirtually, all that other stuff went away. Whoda thunk? The drink problem disappeared too.
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Old 03-06-2018, 05:07 AM
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Alcohol for sure screws with your brain chemistry and can make all kinds of symptoms come up that otherwise wouldn't be there. I know when I would come off of benders I felt like I was losing my mind. Massive panic attacks, feeling so depressed to the point of almost crying, anxiety through the roof, not able to concentrate on anything, it was horrific.
Though once the booze was taken away, all of the terrible mental issues virtually disappeared.
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Old 03-06-2018, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Gottalife View Post
I had something like that when I was in rehab. I got onto the idea that I had a temporal lobe condition, which explained the crazy moods. I thought if they would give me a brain scan, they would spot it, give me a certificate (as in certified lunatic) and I would be set to drink again but have a solid excuse for my behaviour.

The docs weren't having any of it. They diagnosed chronic alcoholism and stuck with that. I went off to prove them wrong, but a year later, on my knees, I joined the action in AA. What I thought was mental illness was in fact the spiritual malady. When I straightened out spirtually, all that other stuff went away. Whoda thunk? The drink problem disappeared too.
Pretty much the same for me. I got the docs to give me some meds though. Like they advertised - I didn't feel so depressed. Didn't feel so good either. Truthfully, I didn't feel much of anything - emotionally. For me, it became obvious the meds were treating the symptom of the depression well but i knew as soon as I stopped the drugs, I'd be right back where I started....... with X-amount of years wasted. I didn't want the sores covered up by some prescription bandage, I wanted the source of them to be gone.

Deep down I knew the AA program, the steps and that "spiritual experience" wouldn't do jack........but I really wanted to tell the jerks at my AA meeting that I'd actually tried the program and it didn't work so I got busy with the steps. Switched from a "cool sponsor" to a guy who knew and CONTINUED TO DO the steps in his life and I got busy.

I still laugh that one of my motivations for getting into the steps of AA was to prove that they didn't work....... 10+ years later, I still haven't seen anyone successfully prove that (but it sure does warm my heart when I see ppl try)
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Old 03-06-2018, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Tommy0311 View Post
I tried quitting last year and had similar symptoms and the psyc dx me with GAD and Panic Disorder although i think, alcohol was to blame.
I was diagnosed with GAD/health anxiety about a year and half into being sober, but mostly because I waited that long to finally seek help for it. The immediate anxiety that you get after a bender or a return to drinking is likely related to the physical withdrawal, and it's certainly possible that alcohol plays a role in GAD overall. Also be aware of the "Kindling" phenomenon: Basically the idea that progressive cycles of abstinence/drinking cause withdrawals to be worse and worse each time. There's no real answer as to why it happens, but it definitely happens.

Having said that, I found that it really doesn't matter what or who was "to blame" for my anxiety - I had to accept that I had it before I could make things better, regardless of the cause. And it definitely can get better. I found that a combination of counseling, self help ( mindfulness/meditation ), a bit of exercise, watching my diet and cutting back on sugars/caffiene and work on my sobriety all worked together to significantly reduce my symptoms. It took a good year at least to really settle down, but I can honestly say I make it through entire days now without even thinking twice about it. Not every day - i still accept that i'm an anxious person, but the good days far outnumber the bad now.
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