Depression and Alcohol abuse

Old 05-25-2016, 04:31 AM
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Depression and Alcohol abuse

Hey everyone! First off I'd like to say I'm 10 days sober and have loved every second of the clarity I'm getting. My mind is open now for thinking. Now not all thoughts are good, but I am going to learn how to deal with them without alcohol. One step at a time.

Here's what I'd like to ask you folks... I have fought depression on and off for years. Maybe my entire life. Now I'm wondering if my depression is majorly related to alcohol. With no more drinking alcohol I'm hoping that my bouts of depression will be less or go away. I've drank since I was 15 (almost 39 now) and I don't know how my mental health will be affected. I know it will be for the better.

So did you, are you feeling less depression now that you're not ingesting a depressant poison on a regular or binging basis?

Thank for reading. I really appreciate you all and the honestly, kind words and encouragement. Sharing your experiences is helping me every day.
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Old 05-25-2016, 04:34 AM
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My experience was that until I got sober, I didn't even recognize that I suffered from depression.

In sobriety, I was able to begin to see how depression and anxiety played a role in my life, in my addiction and in my own struggles.

But also in sobriety, I was far better able to see, accept, understand and cope with my depression.

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Old 05-25-2016, 04:37 AM
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My depression got a lot better after I got sober for good. I'm on antiD's and being sober allowed them to work as they should. Now my depression is much more manageable.

Congrats on ten days sober! It took me a few months before I felt better but it was worth the wait.
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Old 05-25-2016, 05:06 AM
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It has been my experience that mental illness is magnified 100 fold with alcoholism. I don't have clinical depression, but do have extremely depressive episodes that are part of a cluster of issues associated with PTSD. SSRI's don't work so that's out. Without a doubt drinking makes my symptoms far worse and usually ends up making me suicidal. Drinking causes brain damage and a kind of malfuctioning of my dopamine response. When feel good hormones aren't released in a healthy, normal way I definitely am more susceptible to depression.

Congrats on 10 days and I'm glad you are seeing improvement with not drinking. I try to remember that all feelings change, good and bad. And that its normal to have bad days. And its normal to be emotionally all over the place for the first year....for me. The key is, don't drink, no matter what.
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Old 05-25-2016, 05:27 AM
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Exercising is very important for me. Also meditating. I find reciting mantras helps my mood immensely. Also sitting or walking through the forest.
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:08 AM
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My depression began in my teen years and I didn't drink at all until my mid forties. I tried to manage things myself. A couple of drs told me I couldn't be depressed because I brushed my hair and put on makeup!! Anyways, I had to get the depression treated properly before I could stop drinking. I do agree that alcohol makes depression worse.
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:15 AM
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I had the same hope razor blade - get rid of the depressant, alcohol, and voila! a happy person.

So far it doesn't appear to be working that way - but I am not on medication of any kind whatsoever, so if I am still "flatlining" at 6 months, a doctor's visit may be in order.

My teenage son did observe last night that I "seem" happier - what he probably meant was that I am much more stable. (ugh that's embarrassing to admit - I was the type of drunk who would cry)

So - progress? Yes I guess so - ?
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Old 05-25-2016, 07:48 AM
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Diagnosed clinical depression here , told i'd need pills forever didn't stop drinking tho'.

Gave up drinking and and a depression hung round for 6 months , then i was fine for 3 years although i got depressed this winter and suffer occasional bouts of ennui , i take no drugs and bounce back reasonably quickly . within 6 to 12 weeks .

8-10 months of the year life is pretty fine and i'm planning for a future in 10 or so years where i can do part time work and go south for the winter as long as i'm modest in what i spend .

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Old 05-25-2016, 08:32 AM
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Were all different but with me it was more anxiety than depression that lay beneath the life long binge drinking since about 14-15 im now nearly 60 . However , after 14 days sober my moods are all over the place and feel very down at certain times of the day . Seems as long as I throw myself into doing things around the garden which I love and have got it looking fantastic I am quite well but if I sit around too long my mood goes weird , sad and sorrowful . It is my hope that in time this will sort it's self out .
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:57 AM
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I finally stopped again on April 30th. My depression still ebbs and flows as it did when I drank heavily. I am on meds, but they only do so good.
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:36 AM
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A couple of drs told me I couldn't be depressed because I brushed my hair and put on makeup!!

Seriously Anna? I'm always amazed when I hear stuff like that!
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Old 05-25-2016, 02:23 PM
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I've struggled with depression since my teens. I've also been drinking since I was 12, first got utterly wasted when I was 13

Alcohol is a well known depressant, personally I believe I have a propensity to depression and the booze just made it worse. Much worse probably.

I'm seven months sober, the longest stretch I've gone without alcohol for 40 years.
I'm also currently enjoying the longest stretch of uninterrupted good mental health for as long as I recall. Melancholy occasionally pays me a visit but it's not depression.

Is it coincidence that my depression has lifted entirely at the moment? I doubt it very much indeed.

Ps, I'm not on any medication, quite high on life I'll admit but not a prescription in sight.
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Old 05-25-2016, 03:01 PM
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I'm no expert but I know that alcohol seemed to make my depression worse. Maybe because I knew alcohol was a problem and I could not solve it. Whatever the case, I told my counselor that alcohol made things worse and she told me to stop using alcohol to cope. I am over 4 months sober now, and doing better. Just my two cents.
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Old 05-25-2016, 03:21 PM
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These are great insights. Thank you. I feel like I'll be ok. I'm doing good now, and I'll see how I feel when I have a bad day. Being in SR and going to AA is helping me a lot. Much soul searching is going to happen this year!
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Old 05-25-2016, 03:21 PM
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I have had episodes of depression throughout my life, and still have them now that I'm sober, but they aren't nearly so overwhelming. I have a bit more perspective that this is only temporary and will pass.

What I didn't realize until I quit was just how anxious I am! I mean, doesn't everyone perceive every new person they meet as a potential enemy? Lol....but I am working on this as well. Learning to see my anxious thoughts as unreal as the dreams I have when I'm asleep.
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Old 05-25-2016, 03:35 PM
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I found I was pretty screwed up on multiple levels including anxiety and depression. What was interesting is until I had been sober for a while I didn't even know I was screwed up. Alcohol had put me in this gray fog where I didn't feel anything.

Today I still get anxious and depressed but at least I know it and am working on coping strategies
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:14 PM
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Alcohol is a depressant. My guess is nobody could be properly diagnosed w clinical depression until they are sober. But definitely it's a cycle - drink because you are depressed, you are depressed so you drink....and I don't think anti depressants can really work if you are drinking heavily while using them.
Get checked out, can't hurt!
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:29 AM
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Its a tough road. I've had bouts of depression since i was 21 and been drinking heavily since 18 years old. My longest sobriety was a couple weeks ago when i had 74 days, I started feeling normal and much better around 2 months sober. I relapsed when i thought i was all "better"...Im back in the depression. Its definitely a journey, but please never ever give up!
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Old 06-04-2016, 08:11 AM
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I have been an alcoholic for about 10 years now. During this time. I have also struggled with depression and anxiety. I am certain that alcohol abuse has been directly responsible for mental health issues. I also have ADHD, which means my brain 's reward system is already wired differently to begin with. My depression tends to clear up after a long period of sobriety but anxiety remains an issue.

Sometimes I wonder if all alcoholic's suffer related depression issues. Alcohol causes changes to the brain after a while so it seems unavoidable if you abuse it alcohollically.
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