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A Few Questions From A NooB

Old 12-03-2009, 12:06 PM
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A Few Questions From A NooB

Greetings,

I really don't know where to start, so I suppose this is probably the best place. Anyhow, my name is John and I have been going through some things that I can only imagine have to do with anxiety. I have symptoms like rapid heart beat, aggressive thoughts, high blood pressure, insomnia, feeling not really "grounded", if you know what I mean, and a feeling of a kind of impending doom. I've been to the doctor and he thinks that it has something to do with PTSD (I'm a veteran of OIF) and I am now waiting to see a psychiatrist.

With that said, I was thinking about some things the other day and I am wondering if these feelings have anything to do with alcohol withdraws. Are there symptoms of alcohol withdraws, as well as anxiety/panic attacks? If so, how long do withdraws usually last?

I usually just drink on the weekend, but when I do...well, I believe we call it binge drinking. I have been suffering massive hangovers lately, where as I have not before. When I was younger, I would drink every night. While training in the service, I did not touch a drink for quite a while.

I know that this is probably a bit scattered, but it is the best that I can articulate at the moment. Oh, and I hope I posted this in the correct place. Thank you in advance for any and all responses and any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
johnny0

So, is this considered alcoholism? I mean, I function just fine, well except for the day(s), that I am hungover, I don't miss work...I just don't know. I am just trying to find out why I feel this way. I hope this isn't considered asking for "medical advice".
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Old 12-03-2009, 12:44 PM
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It is good that you are seeing your doctors.

In my own experience I have had panic attacks induced from coming off of alcohol binges. They were so bad and scary I ended up in the ER. So it can happen. However, then I gave up alcohol for a period of time and the panic attacks stayed. So the point is in my case the alcohol exacerbated something that was already going on. So it could easily be both, or one, or the other. In any case, taking out the alcohol is the best thing you can do. You think that alcohol calms your anxiety but as someone who has suffered with anxiety my whole life, I have never been calmer and less anxious than now as a sober person, no more ups and downs.
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Old 12-03-2009, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by sfgirl View Post
It is good that you are seeing your doctors.

In my own experience I have had panic attacks induced from coming off of alcohol binges. They were so bad and scary I ended up in the ER. So it can happen. However, then I gave up alcohol for a period of time and the panic attacks stayed. So the point is in my case the alcohol exacerbated something that was already going on. So it could easily be both, or one, or the other. In any case, taking out the alcohol is the best thing you can do. You think that alcohol calms your anxiety but as someone who has suffered with anxiety my whole life, I have never been calmer and less anxious than now as a sober person, no more ups and downs.
Thanks for the speedy response, I really appreciate that. I haven't a drink in about a week and the last three days have been filled with anxiety and panic. The other night, I was sitting on the couch and I felt that the whole room, heck, the whole world, was coming down and around on me. I took my blood pressure and it was really high - 153/100 high. So, I started to freak out some more and I almost went to the hospital. I took some medicine and relaxed for a bit and the BP lowered and I was actually able to go to sleep. Last night seemed fine, but I still felt a bit anxious. I dosed off thinking that was the end of my night, but then I woke up and tossed and turned all night long. Sorry, I am on a bit of a rant here.

Anyhow, headaches come along with this, too, right?

Again, thanks for your response and I am going to cut the drink out and see if these symptoms subside. I hope so because not only are they scary, but they are annoying as all anything.

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Old 12-03-2009, 01:00 PM
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Never had a panic attack in my life until 2 weeks sober. Scared the hell out of me. So for me, yep.
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:00 PM
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by soberinwpg View Post
Never had a panic attack in my life until 2 weeks sober. Scared the hell out of me. So for me, yep.
Thanks. As weird as it sounds...that's good to know. Now, I think I just really need to deal with whatever it is, but I'll treat it like alcohol withdraw. Huh, I really don't even know how to treat that. I guess I'll have to tell the DR.

If you don't mind me asking, how long did it last for you?

johnny0

@Sikkisirus

Thanks!
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:00 PM
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Hi Johhny0

Yeah it's best to see your Dr and be honest about everything.

I certainly don't think a period of not drinking will hurt - at the very least you may feel better and you'll soon determine if you have an alcohol problem or not.

Welcome to SR!
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by johnny0 View Post
Thanks. As weird as it sounds...that's good to know. Now, I think I just really need to deal with whatever it is, but I'll treat it like alcohol withdraw. Huh, I really don't even know how to treat that. I guess I'll have to tell the DR.

If you don't mind me asking, how long did it last for you?

johnny0

@Sikkisirus

Thanks!
How long did my panic attacks last when I got them or how long did I have panic attacks for?

They were only maybe 2 minutes but felt like forever when I was in them. I finally figured out, for me, to get on my knees and breathe helped.
I can't remember how long I had them for but I know it wasn't long. I remember being in an AA meeting talking about the panic attacks and someone else had them too and I, like you, felt better immediately knowing I wasn't the only one.

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Old 12-03-2009, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
Hi Johhny0

Yeah it's best to see your Dr and be honest about everything.

I certainly don't think a period of not drinking will hurt - at the very least you may feel better and you'll soon determine if you have an alcohol problem or not.

Welcome to SR!
D
Thanks for the welcome. I am going to try it and see how I feel.

How long did my panic attacks last when I got them or how long did I have panic attacks for?

They were only maybe 2 minutes but felt like forever when I was in them. I finally figured out, for me, to get on my knees and breathe helped.
I can't remember how long I had them for but I know it wasn't long. I remember being in an AA meeting talking about the panic attacks and someone else had them too and I, like you, felt better immediately knowing I wasn't the only one.
I'm sorry, how long did the effects of the alcohol withdraw last? The kind of attacks I've been having last a few hours and it is not fun, as you probably well know. They leave me feeling quite strange.

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Old 12-03-2009, 04:08 PM
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When I had my panic attacks induced by alcohol withdrawal, the actual panic state where it escalated and sort of broke (that is the best way I can describe it) and then the coming down lasted 20 minutes. However, all the rest of the time I felt like CRAP as well. My heart rate was extremely elevated; my anxiety level was out of control. I twitched. I couldn't sit still. This could last for days. Actually it ended up lasting for months for me but in terms of the alcohol inspired feeling, that goes away probably after a few days. And my panic took a large toll on my body so that even when I was calmed down, my body was in recovery mode, almost like I had a hangover from the panic because it really does a number on you physically. Good luck. The best advice I can tell you is talk to your doctors about it and quit the alcohol even though it might seem like it could help in the short term (that was what I always thought although I am now pretty sure that my panic disorder and alcoholism are intrinsically linked). And there are tons of therapies for panic that really work so it isn't a life sentence.
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Old 12-03-2009, 04:53 PM
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I had terrible panic/anxiety attacks during the last year or so when I was drinking. My level of anxiety was always high and I often had to struggle just to relax and breathe. Stopping drinking will help a lot and I hope that you talk to your dr about the problem.
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Old 12-04-2009, 06:57 AM
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Thanks everyone for sharing. I am going to cut out the alcohol and start a healthy lifestyle change and hopefully that will do the trick. Oh, and of course speak with my doctor.

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