I would just like to add my story to this forum. It might help others, and I would be interested to know if anyone else has the same issues I had. The botom line is that my experience with alcohol and antideppressants has not been a good one. My behaviour
has been very random and it took me years to figure it out.
I'm 43, I have been on Lexapro for about
6 years after having work related anxiety issues. I have just about
got myself off the drug but not after a real rollercoaster ride which has almost ruined my marraige, my business and other personal relationships. This isn't bagging Lexapro. Its works well, but perhaps just a note of caution to what you mix with it.
I took Lexapro for anxiety. I used to drink about
5 standard drinks a day. the lexapro worked, but at some point I started to do really stupid things while drinking. Previously drinking would relax me, but more and more I was behaving erratically while drunk. eg. showing off, running up the street in my underwear when my football team won, riding shopping trolleys down busy streets, booking holidays and buying things online with my credit card that I could not afford. Dumb stuff like this. I would have random sex with strangers. I also got these strange 'highs' from drinking and I would drink more and more until I got very drunk and could not remember what I had done the next day. I didn't make any co-relation with my medication at the time.
After visiting my doctor, we considered that my behavour might be more than depression and anxiety but bipolar disorder. I had all the symptoms. I was put on a drug called Zyprexa, which made a tempoary improvement. After about
6 months I was getting very depressed, and could not work Did not want to get out of bed. I used to go to bed after drinking of course and hope I would not wake up the next day. Over the course of another 18 months my dosage of my Zyprexa and lexapro was increased to the point where i could no longer function. My drinking sessions started to become violent, my relationship with my partner broke down, and my business was going broke.
Luckily at this point, mother nature stepped in and flooded my business in a massive storm For the first time in about
4 years I was able to take some time off and think about
my problems. I got off the Zyprexa and my depression went away immediately(again, this is not against Zyprexa. It just was not the drug I needed). I continued with a 40mg dosage of lexapro, and continued drinking. My behavoiur while drinking was still bad. I still did random things. Not everytime, but at least once every 5 or 6 drinking sessions. The obvious issue I had now was that i had become an alcoholic during this period.
As my workload was now different. I did not have the same stresses i used to have(which was the reason for using it in the first place), I decided it might be time to come off the lexapro. And thats where the magic has happened. Over 8 weeks i cut back from 40 to 20, then from 20 to 10, and now from 10 to 5mg/day. I would not recommend anyone to halve their medication like I did. i had some serious highs and lows when I did this but I rode through it. in retrospect I would have cut down in smaller steps.
The great news for me is that with this cut back, am able to have a single beer at the end of the day and stop, or maybe not drink at all. On a friday or sat night i can have 6 if I want, and NOT do anything stupid, I now just get relaxed like i used to. I am back to being a non-violent person which is what I want. I have my sexual function back so no more frustration. I have my conscience back so no more cheating, and best of all. I have a chance to make things right with my girl who i have put through hell in the last 3 years.
I would like to know if other people have had bad experiences when mixing alcohol and anti-depressants?
My advice to anyone on or considering anti-deppresants for anxiety is consider this.
1) if you are not coping with your job or your life, perhaps you should look at changing them, rather than taking medication to cope with them. The medication might work, but he side effects down the track can be devastating.
2) Seek professional advice from a shrink, rather than a general practitioner. They might cost more, but they are better trained. Just a few visits might save years of grief.
Problems you could have when using anti-deppressants(from my experience)
1) Loss of conscience- you can become lees concerned about
doing the wrong thing. For me this led to infedelity.
2) Inability to have an orgasm. Again this can become a major problem over a couple of years and combined with 1) above, can lead to problems in your relationship, should you be in one. This one is mainly for guys. Unfortunately for us, when our life goes to crap, we still feel the need to. Unlike most women who don't seem to have this issue (well not on a daily basis)
3) Lack of compassion/closeness for your partner or those close to you.
4) Random behaviour
when combining medication with alcohol.
All of these issue have casued me great problems with my relationship and I am only very lucky to still in with a chance at re-building it and my business
Be happy everyone!
Post Edited By Moderator (getting by) : 1/16/2010 7:40:48 PM (GMT-7)