vicious circle of alcohol, panic disorder

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red lightening
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 1/11/2009 9:42 AM (GMT -7)   
I've been sober 30 days today! I used alcohol to self-medicate
my anxiety/panic attacks. I was a binge/blackout drinker and
got into trouble...I didn't ever want to stop drinking even when
I had quelled the anxiety...I got drunk. And the next few days were
horrible with a depressed, suicidal, anxious hangover...deadly for me to drink.

Now that I'm off the booze...why the panic attack yesterday? Well I
withdrew from ativan, (without a Dr.s knowing-we moved 2 weeks ago across country)
and the Dr. here said I was having withdrawal induced anxiety. So he put me back on ativan and said I needed to get a therapist and anti-depressant. Been there done that and don't
wanna' get fat.

My question is this...alcohol, depression, anxiety, panic seem somehow interrelated.
Does the anxiety and depression cause me to want to drink or does the drinking cause
the anxiety and depression? It seems circular because I have anxiety when sober or
drinking. I have to heal both but somehow they are linked together.

Any thoughts or experience on this would be appreciated.

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 1/11/2009 9:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Congrats on your 30 days of sobriety. That is something to be very proud of!! I think right now you need to think about what is best for you, and I think seeing a therapist and taking some meds for awhile is needed. Throw the worries of weight gain etc out the window, you have to do whats best for you right now. Also, it is very dangerous to just stop Ativan cold turkey, so be sure you are using it again to help you get thru these tough days. We are very proud of your sobriety. Stay strong.

Hugs,
Gail *Nanners*
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

red lightening
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 1/11/2009 10:11 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Thanks Nanners!
Yes it's o.k. to need a little help by taking meds.
It doesn't have to be for ever.

This past year has been challenging...one of the hardest ever.
I had 1 year and 3 months sobriety and my anxiety was under
control.

Then my husband lost his job and we
moved from Nevada to North Carolina to my parents house to look
for work...didn't find any...I was still sober there but my anxiety
was through the roof even on ativan.

...then we moved to Atlanta (6 weeks) to my alcoholic sister's house and I relapsed...no work there

then we moved to Tucson Arizona to in my husband's alcoholic sister and brother-in-law and my panic
attacks became so frequent I wanted to drink all the time. Plus they had a keg in a refrigerator at all times and for a beer lover it was hard to pass by it without sliding a cup under the silver spout.

I wound up in the hospital one night after a cop told my husband to take me
there or else he would because I was drunk and out of control and we had gone to a motel because we couldn't go back to his sisters house with me in that state. I remembered nothing the next day
and woke up to being trapped in a hospital room while a social worker and my
husband discussed what they would do with me.

Thankfully my husband got me out of there with a plan for alcohol and psyche
treatment that I would promise to do on my own. So I go to A.A.meetings which helps with the drinking but our insurance doesn't kick in until Feb 1 and then I will get a Dr. and therapist.

I was so guilty over having to go to the urgent care to get help for the panic attack.
I really wanted to just get over it but it wouldn't go away. Why is it so hard to take care
of myself?

red lightening
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 1/11/2009 10:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Forgot to add that we moved again 2 weeks ago back to Nevada.
My husband got a job with benefits. YaY!!! We have our own place now.
Things are on the mend. I went through a lot in a short amount of time
and I am grateful to be alive.

percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 1/11/2009 10:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey, Red, you really did have a lot on your plate! I'm sorry that things just kept stacking up, not in your favor, for so long. It's hard to stay on the right track and take care of yourself when your environment feels chaotic all the time.

Try to take it one step at a time as you readjust to a more "normal" environment. The 30 days of sobriety is something to be so proud of!

percycat

Percy/Percycat

Co-Moderator, Anxiety and Panic Forum


Hibee
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 6492
   Posted 1/11/2009 10:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi

Welcome to healingwell. Well done for 30 days of sobriety you should be very proud that is such a good achievement, im having problems with alcohol at the moment and i admire your strength as i no how hard it is to stop. I agree with Nanners therapy is a good way of dealing with your issues i am on waiting list for CBT which i hear has great results.

Well Done, Take care

Ben

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/11/2009 11:25 AM (GMT -7)   

red lightening

I too am glad that you are alive and never give up.  Your doing extremely well and a new home and your hubbie's new job, that is all good stuff.

We often waste way too much of our time and energy focusing on what we don't like, what we're worried about, or what we think needs to be fixed, changed, or enhanced.

There are great things happening in your life and around you all the time.

Celebrate the good stuff around us, in others, and in ourselves

Gentle Hugs

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
&  Moderator GERD  Forums

*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


red lightening
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 1/11/2009 11:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks everyone...I'm feeling much better today just knowing I can talk to people who understand.
This is a very healing place.

Green Grove
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 1/11/2009 4:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Red :)

Congrats on the 30 days sober! That is something to be proud of so focus on the positives in your life so you can start combating your anxiety :)

Good luck!
Take care and have a wonderful day! . . . Your Bro . . . Sam :)
 ~Co-Moderator Anxiety & Panic Forum~
  "When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."
~Franklin D. Roosevelt~
Not a professional.  Seek your physician's advice before making changes to your meds or lifestyle.
 


gilly-love
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 1/11/2009 5:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Dear Redlightning...I too have asked and am still asking myself the same question....I often wonder if it is a fear of life in gereral and try to escape those horrible feelings of dispair...I am sober now for 5 days but have used sillier things to mask my anxiety in the past, but in reality nothing will....I need to seek more professional help.  Please stay sober and give yourself a great chance of healing completley. Well done 30 days! You give me great hope!  gill xx

       My Struggles!
- Graves Disease in remission
- Depression on and off medicated
- Wrongly Diagonised Bi polar with meds
- Wrongly Diagonised Borderline Personality Disorder with meds
- Srtuggling with Bulimia
- X Drug Abuse for self medication
- All along a drug induce psycosis
- Recovering from a broken Heart
- Recient Recovering Alcoholic
      I am getting Stronger!
 


Krista07
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 1/12/2009 1:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Good Morning....I'm glad I'm not the only one up at this hour!!  I have a bit of insomnia lately.  I was reading through your entries and I have to admit that you and I have a lot in common.  I was a "raging" alcoholic for about ten straight years. I have been sober now since August of 2006.  And what they say at AA is true......."one day at a time"....sometimes it's "one minute at a time"....but I have to say that as more time goes by that you remain sober, the easier it gets.  I must say ....beer was my true love as well, but after growing up with alcoholic parents I am glad I finally saw the light and am able to have my 10, 9, and 7 year old children know there mom as being "alcohol free".
Hang in there. You're going to have terrible days.......my only piece of advice that I always hung on too was that you may have twenty bad days....but for that one good day you have keep it close and hang onto in tightly....because in the beginning you may have seldom good days...but the longer you remain sober....the more of the "good" days you will see come your way.
Keep up the good work......30 days is AWESOME!!
Krista


StateofCalm
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 1/12/2009 11:38 AM (GMT -7)   
hi red lightning!
 
i often wondered the same thing about the link between alcohol and anxiety. i do not doubt 100% that both problems aggravate the other! after my first panic attack and subsequent disorder stemming from the first, i began drinking more heavily than i ever had before. however, i had been drinking quite a bit before the panic attacks started. did the alcohol actually CAUSE my panic attack, i wonder? probably. anyways what i would do is rush home from work every day and immediately start in on the wine because alcohol was the only thing that made me feel normal again. it was certainly a vicious cycle, since i would drink for the anxiety, but the "morning after" feeling and the hangovers made my anxiety and depression a THOUSAND times worse and amplified. to this day i'm terrified of ever having a hangover again, since my panic mostly stems from my mind overanalyzing my body signals and being hypervigilant of anything feeling "out of whack" in my body.
 
however once i stopped drinking, 2 years later, i noticed an 80% improvement in my mood and anxiety!!!

nervymeg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 1/12/2009 5:38 PM (GMT -7)   
yeah   yeah yeah yeah 30 days of sobriety..that is an amzing feat..you are a very strong person!!
I am so glad you have joined our forum, please know that we are a supportive family and even if you slip..we will be here to help not judge..
Meg
Co-moderator Anxiety/Panic
Panic Attack Survivor
 


Krista07
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 1/14/2009 2:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Red Lightning,
How are you feeling? I haven't seen any threads from you in a few days and just wanted to check in.  Are you attending any AA meetings?  How has your anxiety been? I just visited a healthstore yesterday for something to help me "sleep through the night"....(It's 3:51 CST right now....I don't think it's working :-) ) At any rate, I tripped across a product called GABA. It is an all natural supplement that promotes relaxation and eases nervous tension. I have been on valium for about 6 mos. for my anxiety; however, I'm not supposed to drive after I take it so I've been trying to find more "all-natural" medications.  Hope all is well with you....please check in with the rest of us just to let us know how you're doing....whether it's good or not so good....we're all here to listen, help....and as the previous thread stated...never to judge.
Healthy wishes,
Krista
Krista


gilly-love
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 1/14/2009 3:05 AM (GMT -7)   
There is a natural vitamin called valarian....I think that is how u spell it and it also is meant to be great for stress and valerian forte to sleep. gill xx
       My Struggles!
- Graves Disease in remission
- Depression on and off medicated
- Wrongly Diagonised Bi polar with meds
- Wrongly Diagonised Borderline Personality Disorder with meds
- Srtuggling with Bulimia
- X Drug Abuse for self medication
- All along a drug induce psycosis
- Recovering from a broken Heart
- Recient Recovering Alcoholic
      I am getting Stronger!
 


Krista07
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 1/14/2009 3:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Gilly,
Do you have problems with sleeping too? Yesterday, I also picked up a sleep-aid at the Health Store as well. This one is called "Calms Forte". My problem is not falling asleep....that's the easy part.....it's staying asleep.  Typically I wake up like clock-work at 2:30 every morning...today though I actually got an "extra" hour of sleep and "slept-in" until 3:30. YIKES!! cry Krista
Krista


gilly-love
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 1/14/2009 3:34 AM (GMT -7)   
That is my problem too...I wake up usually around 3-4am and that is it...I have to get up, I get so aggitated and anxious laying in bed. I do know it is related to depression and anxiety, it is a symptom....My antidepressant has been upped in the last two weeks and I am sleeping longer. It is wonderful!!!! gill xx
       My Struggles!
- Graves Disease in remission
- Depression on and off medicated
- Wrongly Diagonised Bi polar with meds
- Wrongly Diagonised Borderline Personality Disorder with meds
- Srtuggling with Bulimia
- X Drug Abuse for self medication
- All along a drug induce psycosis
- Recovering from a broken Heart
- Recient Recovering Alcoholic
      I am getting Stronger!
 


Krista07
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 1/14/2009 3:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Me too....I can't lye there either. My fiance gets agitated with me because he tells me that from the moment my eyes open I jump right out of bed...."I don't lye there and try to fall back asleep"....but I too, maybe you're right, it could definitely be my anxiety, can NOT just lay there. It's like there's something inside me that makes me feel like I have to do something instead of just lye there.....even though it's the middle of the night!!
Krista
Krista


gilly-love
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 1/14/2009 4:02 AM (GMT -7)   
If i do stay in bed and try to sleep more I toss, and toss, and toss. Then I scratch and roll and scratch somemore..It drives me nuts so i gave up trying to sleep after waking. I get straight up. You are right it feels like you have something to do...but what the hell is there to do at that time in the morning?? Anxiety, thats all it is....Funny hey? gill x
       My Struggles!
- Graves Disease in remission
- Depression on and off medicated
- Wrongly Diagonised Bi polar with meds
- Wrongly Diagonised Borderline Personality Disorder with meds
- Srtuggling with Bulimia
- X Drug Abuse for self medication
- All along a drug induce psycosis
- Recovering from a broken Heart
- Recient Recovering Alcoholic
      I am getting Stronger!
 

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