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Old 12-02-2008, 07:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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alcohol, depression, counselling and medication


Hi

I wanted to strart this post as I have been drinking all my adult life (now 37). I went to AA, counselling, and tried to deal with alcoholism myself too unsuccessfully. I was always depressed about what i thought was the drinking.

2 months ago i decided it might be time to start thinking about how to end my life as it really was not living anymore and i could not get any better. At this point i decided i would have one more shot at it and went to a counseller.

I've been going for 2 times a week ever since and have been sober with no real hard cravings like when i tried to give up myself. I think in some way it has helped me to be told that i have been self medicating using alcohol to either in some part deal with the anxiety/depression/social anxiety and to some extent the issues i have with myself, which i am addressing now and will continue to do so at counselling.

I was prescribed anti-depressants (seroxat or paxil as it is known in the states), anatabuse and an anti anxiety pill for the weeks coming off booze.

I want to start this thread as i wanted to get some feedback on the above and also wanted to discuss users questions about my road to recovery which has, and i know will be now, successful. Fears on medication etc.

I would never have really considered what i have done to get to being able to sit here happy and posting in a sane frame of mind, post away please:-)
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Old 12-03-2008, 02:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to the MH forum of SR, yeahgr8!

You probably know that alcohol is a depressant. While it may give you a lift at first, make you feel socially competent in the beginning, it is a fickle lover. It turns on you and has a way of making one more depressed and anxious. The paxil and anti anxiety meds can be very helpful if you've been self medicating. And many do.

So glad you're here, posting in a sane from of mind!
Continue to post away! Let us get to know you. We care.

Shalom!
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Old 12-03-2008, 02:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Yeah, I am glad things are improving for you.

I am an alcoholic who has always had depression, I am only about 2 weeks sober right now.
I have been on Cipramil for about 10 years but I am not sure how much they are helping at this point. Recently I started counseling and have found it very helpful.
Alcoholism and depression is a nasty combination, well done for addressing the issues.
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Old 12-03-2008, 07:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeahgr8 Welcome, I can personally relate to your efforts at recovery, I was an active alcoholic for 30 years until I was 45. It was at that time I felt I was crazy and didn't know what to do so I put myself in the VA veterans hospital. I also was medicating myself with speed and alcohol, just to function, I was misdiagnosed with ADHD, years before, and the Meds almost took me over the edge, In the VA they diagnosed me with manic depression, and for the 20 years of being clean and sober through AA, I was in and out of depression, the meds never helped, because again I was misdiagnosed.

When I found this site I found the help and information to research what my symptoms were, went to a good PDr. and was diagnosed with BI-Polar II it then took quite a long time working on my anxiety, depression, and along with counseling, I started to find some relief, and that is where I am at now. It looks like you have a plan be careful of expectations, and don't quit, it does get better. If you want to you can check some of what I went through, and my slow recovery out of the hole I was in. on the BI-Polar thread. You can ask any question, and somebody here might be able to help, or recommend where you can find the answer as was done for me. Good luck and keep on keeping on.
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Old 12-09-2008, 11:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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jurneyman, your post was really interesting as it has only been 2 months since i started on this road. The psychiatrist has said that they are pretty sure i have adult adhd, i have all the signs, and that the alcohol abuse etc, was all trying to deal with the problems which this creates. I am not sure how this all works with the depression too and the addition to alcohol but i will find out when i have my next appointment with him mid January.

The counselling is a god send though and i am going to continue with this for as far as i can see, I have been very fortunate to find a counseller who knows their stuff. I went to a couple before who were totally useless so I think that you need to keep looking if you are not lucky the first time! Probably don't leave the 7 years between visits like i did either;-)

As i said I am not going to AA just yet but have been before on a couple of occasions throughout my drinking and am almost certain I will be going in the very near future. I think it is a, without meaning to sound too objective, very useful tool for the alcoholic both as a support and also as a reminder to why we have made the decision to stop drinking. I would certainly not advocate waiting to get to a counseller and would say get down AA asap, I have no insurance that covers the counselling so have to fund it myself and I know I am lucky to be able to afford this option.

I just wanted to say how worthwhile this has all been and how totally grateful I am for this amazing opoortunity to live again:-)

Anyways I will keep coming back as often as possible and will look to post in other areas definitely, let's all just keep going and keep being better!

Thanks you all for the welcome:-)
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeahgr8,

Good for you. You deserve respect and admiration for taking your life back. I've had undiagnosed bipolar for 20 years. During which time, I drank to self-medicate. And drinking, obviously, only made things worse. I reached the state you reached also and which many of us have reached - that state where it doesn't seem as if we will ever be able to live a life without intense pain and misery and so maybe it's time to leave. I'm always amazed, when I think about it, that I am here, alive and sane and sober.

All this to say, from one alcoholic to another, I'm really proud of you. And I know how hard it is. You deserve a lot of credit.

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Old 12-10-2008, 06:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Getting into therapy has been a huge factor in my recovering. I never really understood just how badly I was self-medicating with alcohol until I quit, and then it became real apparent when I was having daily breakdowns & violent mood swings. Alcohol is bad medicine because when it wears off the side effects just make other conditions so much worse. The only "solution" then is to keep it in your system at all times, ever increasing the dose when tolerance kicks in, and I'm guessing everyone here knows where that road goes.

I was, and too a lesser extent still am, having a lot of problems with an emotional disorder that alcoholism support groups simply were not capable of dealing with. What I've found though is any support or help you get in one area helps you in another. I have: (legit) medication, therapy, SR, AA, family and a support group for BPD. Whatever good I get from one is currency I can take to the other group, and on and on. It's a big network, and I love it.
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Old 12-10-2008, 06:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I also forgot: with all those self-help activities I have no time to drink!
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Old 12-17-2008, 01:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've been on antidepressants for over ten years. THey help keep it from getting too awful. Two years ago also diagnosed bipolar and anxiety. I'm taking meds for all those things, tho when I was drinking it sort of negated the antidepressants' effects. I still have a lot of problems with the manic depression but not like I did while drinking every day. Counseling is a wonderful thing and I am blessed to get free counseling from our local Substance Abuse Center. She's really good at what she does, and has a great sense of humor (she thinks I'm funny)!

Stopping drinking was the best thing I've done to help the depression since I'm not depressing myself with wine all day. Do'nt miss the shakes and anxiety the next day either!
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi, I think it is wonderful that you are on this road to recovery and sounding so positive. Well done you!
I still drink and find it extremely hard to give up. I don't drink often and not very much but there is the odd occassion I either take too much purely because I get carried away or on some occassions it is to self medicate. I have rapid cycling BP. My pdoc says my drinking wouldn't be so much of a problem if I could always stop at the occassional glass of wine but because I don't and the occassions I don't, it tends to have a rapid effect on my mood cycle. I keep on promising myself that this will be the time I will give up.
So once again, well done!
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks Hippy!

When i went to the counseller for the first time she sent me off to the psychiatrist and he, in a very certain way, said to me if i stop drinking they can help if not they can't (which looking back was just what i needed) so am i ready to which i was like...hmmm...YEAH!

I have been so lucky as i have had literally no cravings at all and it isn't an option for me but i have to say the antabuse helps with that. I can't drink whilst I take it and it builds up in your system, so even if i wanted to drink in 2 days time it would make me very ill after the first drink (mouthful) so even if i had cravings it takes away the option. I take the pills with my multi vitamins (don't get the wrong impression here i only started taking multi vitamins since being sober, i was a mess!) so i don't find it a chore at all and there are no side effects or addiction to these pills, i have checked it all out. If i ever get fed up of taking the pills there is a great implant which slowly releases the meds in the pills, they put it in your back shoulder (not a big op), and it lasts 6 months...how cool is that!

I was doing really well, so the counseller said, before the anti-depressants kicked in (i was in a really really bad state) and i have to go back to the psychiatrist on the 15th jan to see how long i stay on them and what the next step is...but whatever they say i will do. To be honest, as i said, i don't care about meds i will take any recommended for as long as required.

I am loving it, i stayed up all night 3 days ago, as i went to sleep at 7pm and woke up at 10pm, cos i was tired (i have been sleeping when i want, my job is kind of flexi hours type, well basically i am the manager so i work when i want...yeah i know lucky again:-)) and, i have a cat, so i have been cat napping too. Anyway i felt like a college boy again as i used to stay up all night back then but used to do it with a hangover or half pissed, its brilliant...today i am up at 5am cos i am so excited about flying today to Gibraltar to see my 2 remaining friends...its like being a kid again!

I love this forum and read the posts of people that have got like 5 days sober and i remember exactly what that was like, it is a battle everyday to not drink and you are always thinking about it...it sucks ass! I dont know why i have no cravings, i am defo a hardcore alchie and i was drinking everyday but i am so grateful for everything that is happening to me.

I wish i knew why i am so lucky with this part of the recovery so i could tell you but i guess it is different for everyone. Im not an idiot though and i am going to check out AA anyway in january as i reckon the more irons in the fire, with terms to not drinking at all, i have the more i can guarantee a sober and happy future for me and everyone that comes into my life.

I really hope you get as lucky too soon:-)

Sorry the long post but it is 6am and i haven't got to go to work until 9am, ramble ramble hehe
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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It all goes around in circles...I was diagnosed depressed (never mentioning my drinking to Dr). When I stopped drinking (OK, not for that long) I went manic. While this was very productive after months of sitting around with a bottle of wine (!) it really scared me and I went back to drinking so I could feel calm again. Been on full dose of lamowhatever (for BP2) for a few weeks and now taking antabuse so I can't change my mind and have a drink.

I have major anxiety and anger and can spend hours obsessing over something which is really worth 5 or 10 minutes of my time.
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Old 01-03-2009, 10:53 AM   #13 (permalink)
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this is exactly where ive been mate..
i took meds for about 7 years... they either didnt work or they had such bad side effects that i couldnt function at all...

ive found amino acids to be very effective in treating my depression do the extent i feel cured and have no side effects at all.

there are alot of amino acids that are used to treat depression and axiety if your intressted in reading up on them... and you might find its a case of try which ones suite you. but i've found that l-glutamin, l-tyrocine and DLPA have worked wonders..
but dont even concider taking any of them without consulting you doc to confirm their safe with your current meds... but I've never read of there being a bad interaction with any meds

good luck
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