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Author Topic: meds are helping me slow way down on drinking?  (Read 133 times)

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Offline rsessums22

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meds are helping me slow way down on drinking?
« on: December 06, 2013, 10:50:32 PM »
Hi everybody I'm new here!  I've had General and Social anxietymy whole life.  I learned to drink at an early age, even though I was raised better.  A month ago I was drinking a 12 pack every week night, and upwards of an 18 pack on the weekends.  I always thought I would need to go to rehab to quit.  I finlly went to the doctor for my anxiety disorder, he put me on 75 mill extended release Venlafaxine.  After a week I was down to drinking 2-3 beers an evening?It's been 3 weeks now of the same intake.  I always felt bad about drinkin, and there is no history of alcoholism in my family that I'm aware of.  Could drinking have been a mental addiction to deal with severe anxiety?  Will this medications effets were off soon?
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Offline fearnot

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Re: meds are helping me slow way down on drinking?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2013, 06:58:45 AM »
Yes. Alcohol and other drugs are a typical way for some people to cope with the symptoms of anxiety. However, it works against you really:

- you find yourself in an emotional state that is uncomfortable, such as anxiety
- you drink to help take the emotional pain away (temporarily)
- you need to drink more to keep the pain away
- drinking saps vital nutrients and makes you feel crap. It's upset your brainís chemical balance, making anxiety come up again
- you recognise the anxiety, which makes you feel there is something wrong with you, and a negative emotional state arises (more anxiety)
- you fall into the repeat pattern of needing to drink to take the discomfort away....

Rather then the bottom of the can, get to the bottom of you and what exactly are you trying to avoid feeling? Also, heavy drinking temporarily raises blood sugar and might give you "good feelings" but it causes a huge crash in blood sugar that shares the same symptoms as anxiety and panic.

Especially if you're on medication, you're doing yourself the biggest favour to cut down, and I'd really work towards trying to stop drinking altogether. While I can't say if the effects of the meds with will wear off, I can say that alcohol interferes with the meds, and might even intensify your anxiety symptoms making you feel even worse.

Your liver too will thank you for vacation it needs from alcohol so it can function properly again.
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Offline kconnors

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Re: meds are helping me slow way down on drinking?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2013, 06:59:03 AM »

Glad you came by with your experience . . . I cannot speak from direct experience with either drinking or the meds that you are taking, however, a close personal friend, had a similar experience. She also was drinking as much as you were if not more along with smoking 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day because of anxiety triggered by marital situation. She also started on meds and experienced a substantial decline in the alcohol consumption to the point where she now drinks a couple of beers on some weekends and often goes long stretches without drinking at all.

So, to answer your question, you might drink because of the anxiety and, for you, the alcohol appeared to decrease your anxiety (this is a bit of a false reality because once the alcohol wears off, you can experience rebound into deeper anxiety, etc.).

What I would view this as is a second chance to get away from drinking as much as possible and perhaps look at what triggers your anxiety. If you have had anxiety all your life, sometimes a bit of directed counselling would guide you to understand and deal with your triggers. . . .because, you do not want to return to anxiety and drinking should you decide to stop your meds . . .

In any case, I am pleased that you are finding relief from your anxiety and yes drinking is often a coping mechanism for anxiety . . . whether the effects of the meds will wear off, that is a difficult call because everyone reacts in a different fashion . . .but, if you feel that you are drinking more, then get to your prescribing doctor . . . .to enhance the meds, though, look at your lifestyle also in terms of exercise, sleep, diet, etc. as you may be able to do something to prolong the good effects of the med or make changes that will contribute to your managing anxiety long term.

Do let us know how you are doing and thank you for sharing your experience . . . if we can do anything to support you in your recovery, please let us know . . .take care, kc
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