Hi i'm brand new here. I've been drinking about 2-4 drinks almost daily for the last few years. My marriage is doing well, I don't get trashed, am doing well at my job, my friends and family are not having any issues but I quit drinking in mid-december on advice of a counselor, as I am going to court next weeking for a "pui": a cop caught me urinating in the woods but arrested me for dui because I was going to drive home (the car's engine was stopped and keys out of it). My bac was only 0.61, well under the 0.8 limit for dui.
However, I am going through terrible depression since stopping drinking. I was on antidepressants before that worked very well, now it's as though they've been "switched off". Has anyone else had this? It hasn't been hard to quit drinking, but this depression is very bad, i'm far more worried about it.
alcohol always worked for me, it always changed the way I thought and felt. And it did it fast.
Even in those hard last days of my drinking career it still worked. It was like any unpleasant thought that crossed my mind could be put to sleep while I was loaded.
There used to be an old tv show called taxi. In this show was a burn-out taxi cab driver named jim, (my favorite character). He goes up to the character played by judd hearsh and proclaimed he had found the perfect drug! It only had one bad side effect, and that one bad side effect was it wore off. Alcohol was like that for me, it worked to repress all kinds of feelings, but I always came to. And the same sorry cycle would start all over again.
Mornings were always the worst. Lots of regret and shame masked by anger.
When we get sober, we have good news and we have bad news. The good news is we get our feelings back, and the bad news is we get our feelings back.
What you are feeling is not unusual at all. The first few months are in my opinion the roughest. Dont drink and things will get better. It took us a while to get in trouble, it will take us a while to get back out.
Your friend on this long strange trip
The trouble with me is that over the past year things have been going very well for me except for the pui--job promotion, my marriage is the best it's ever been, financially i'm doing very well, my friends and family relations are doing very well. I cut down a lot on drinking (amount, not frequency, about 3 beers/day after work) and haven't had a hangover in over a year or regretted anything i've done. It's hard right now to see the benefits. The unexplained depression is far more of a problem to me than alcohol dependence. I know part of why i'm depressed is the shame of having to go before a judge on all this.
if going before the judge is the source of your depression, than the source should be behind you soon, or at least as soon as your court date. Taking a leak in the woods and getting busted is a little embarrassing no question, picking up a dui, that can get expensive, but if your blood alcohol level is below the threshold, you should be ok. Then based on your description of whats going on with your life right now, things ought to be looking up. Ok, the job stuff is another question, but if moneys not a problem, thats good.
Steve, im not here to throw cold water on you, but when you first posted, you said that no one was on you about your drinking, no one except your counselor. What do you suppose he or she saw in you that caused them to suggest to you that you quit drinking?
Your friend on this long strange trip
i am meeting with him at noon today and that will be one of my questions! I'll let you know.
I do know
(1) i've quit in the past after periodic episodes of abuse (i was diagnosed as a periodic but not a dependent drinker years ago by an alcohol expert), but no longer abuse.
(2) my wife used to complain about these incidents, about twice/year. I never drove that way. She says I am much improved this past year, and have matured.
(3) from his report, he said I am denying I have a problem with alcohol, but that is not true. From day one i've told him I have a problem, but don't think it's a dependence. The trpuble is, if you're open to change and counseling on alcohol issues, you're automatically labeled an alcoholic due to these criteria, thus it's a catch-22.
From my extensive reading on this subject since my pui, I beleive there are many shades of gray in alcohol problems, it is not clearly black or white.
Thanks a lot for your questions and answers! It is really helpful, and don't ever think you're throwing cold water on me. I may need it! I'm attending a smart recovery meeting this thursday.
Shadow, he says he errs on the side of conservatism so he's not sued. Anyhow, he says my previous attempts to cut down, along with an increasing tolerance (which I don't think is correct; it all affects me the same) plus the family history are all indicators of alcohol dependency. Strictly under the dsm-iv 303.9 diagnositc criteria, I don't fit 3 of the 7 symptoms, I said. He did not disagree.
Im impressed steve,
most guys arent too eager to parade around in public information that doesnt dovetail tightly with their own perceptions of the truth. Particularly when it deals with alcohol. Maybe I should just speak for myself on this, I didnt want to hear any info that put my access to alcohol in jeopardy. And for sure I didnt discuss less than glowing critiques of my drinking with anyone. The last thing I wanted to do was to remove alcohol from my life. What a depressing/frightening option.
But its a funny thing steve, things go the way things go.
Just for the sake or argument, lets say your counselor is on to something. Lets say, again just for the sake of argument that you are alcohol dependent. What could a reasonable person expect of such a person as time goes by. The argument that I adhere to is that this dependence on alcohol gets worse over time, never better. As the old song lyric goes, what was once a habit is now a vice.
Steve, weve never met, probably never will, all I know about you is what you have said here. And just using what you have said on this board, I have picked up this. You started this thread with i am going through terrible depression since stopping drinking. On your next post you said i cut down a lot on drinking (amount, not frequency, about 3 beers/day after work)
you also said that you have tried more than once to quit in the past. It seems to me that you are aware that drinking is creating some difficulties in your life. And that you are wisely trying to do something about it.
Steve, dont underestimate the power of alcohol, it is powerful and relentless foe. It will not easily let go of someone it has in its grip, ok, I anthropomorphize it a bit, but you get the point. The recovery rate for people who have gone way beyond the recreational drinker stage is depressingly low. Most alcoholics die wet.
Im not here to scare, but you need to know whats at stake in this game.
Let me know how your smart meeting goes,
p.S. What are the 7 symptoms, and which 3 dont you fit?
Your friend on this long strange trip
Shadow, you have to fit three of the last seven below in the past year in order to be diagnosed 303.9 alcoholic.
Re #2, I think that if my depression may be classified as a withdrawal symtom (i don't know if it is, neither does my counselor), then it's a maybe on #2. Otherwise a no.
Regarding #4, I have desired to stop or cut down in the past year, successfully. I got rid of my beermeister (hard to count drinks when you're pouring them into a 19 oz., european metric, glass), starting measuring my bourbon with a measuring shot glass (before I use to just throw a lot in, probably a double or more). Both my primary care dr and an alcohol counseler last march said I could continue to drink moderately at 2/day but that eventually became 3/day but stayed there most of the time. I hadn't gotten drunk in the past year, either (i used to twice a year really get drunk). So maybe a yes, perhaps a maybe since I did sucessfully cut down, but I can live with this being a positive "yes".
by david goldman, md, best practice of medicine. November 2000.
Last modified april 10, 2002.
Best practice report
table 12. Synopsis of diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependence
criteria dsm-iv definition
alcohol dependence (at least three criteria at any time within the same year)
1.Tolerance need to markedly increase drinking to achieve the same effects
2. Withdrawal signs of withdrawal; drinking to avoid or relieve withdrawal
3. Drinking more or longer drinking larger amounts or for a longer period of time than intended
4. Stop/cut down unsuccessful attempts or a persistent desire to stop or cut down
5. Time spent much time spent obtaining, using, or recovering from alcohol
6. Activities impairment important social, occupational, or recreational activities given up or reduced in favor of alcohol use
7. Psychological continued drinking despite knowledge of a chronic physical or psychological problem that results; physical problems caused or exacerbated by alcohol use
yes that is correct, there's no diagnosis like a self-diagnosis. That's why I don't think I have an alcohol dependence, but do have occasional problems with alcohol that do need working on, through counseling and support groups like smart recovery. I'm going to my first meeting there tomorrow night. I'll let you know how it goes. So far I have not had a drink in almost 2 months per advice from my attorney (the trial is next week) and counselor. I've stopped drinking, not quit drinking, but if I have to (that is up to the judge, other counselors, and the results of smart recovery work), I will also quit drinking.
Okay first off alcohol is great, well for some people. I am 22 years old and I have never touch a drug and never been drunk. What is the point. You can do so much more in life if you don't drink. Think about it how much a month do you spend and then figure that out for the year and do it for 20 years. Wow!!! All you do it piss the stuff out. Go work out at a club, start a hobby get your mind off it. Everytime you think about drinking give your wife $20 and cant touch it and wow will that add up and you'll have enough to go on a nice vacation. You don't need alcohol or drugs to make you happy. I am 22 like I said. I don't party like my friends, I do go to parties don't drink. I own 2 houses and a business. My freinds live at home and filed for bankrupcy, and there from 22 to 30 years old and most of them drink and go out almost all the time.
Scott, good for you, you are correct it's better not to drink! You're one of those lucky people born with a higher level of serotonin and other brain chemicals that do not require alcohol, or higher levels of acetaldehyde levels after ingesting alcohol that makes you not want to try it again. Alcohol does not give you the same "high" feeling as one who is genetically predisposed to alcoholism does. Thus it is very hard for many to quit, even if it causes problems in their life.
Are you concerned about someone close to you who has a drinking problem?
Sorry out there, new to this forum stuff, but need to talk to someone objective.
On this past tuesday my husband was in an auto accident and had been drinking. Nothing has come of it yet (i.E. Losing license or losing job, or losing wife and family). I have a feeling the worst is yet to come.
We have been to the doctor (she described lithium) and have found a program but appointment not until wednesday. I do not recognize my husband of 30 years - his depression is debilitating. He is moving in slow motion, hardly says a word and looks exhausted even after a full night's sleep. He is only taking the lithium at night before bed. I am so afraid.
Is this normal? Does anyone know? I've tried to talk him into making another dr's appointment, but he wants to wait for his eval at rehab on wed.
Has anyone experienced this or know of someone who has?
i am an alcoholic, and maybe I can offer you some objective advice. It doesnât matter much what program you have found, what matters is his going. Hopefully he wants to stop drinking. The best program in the world will have a hard time getting him to stop if he doesnât want to. If he wants to stop, and this is important, stay stopped, heâs on the road.
But I feel that you need to know what you are facing. If your husband is an alcoholic, he is facing a formidable foe in alcohol. Once we cross that invisible line from problem drinker to alcoholic, we can never go back. If I donât have another drink until the day I die, I will still die an alcoholic. We can never drink safely again. Thatâs just the way it is. If your husband stays dry for a month or two, and then starts drinking, he will be right back where he started. We need to accept that we can never drink again without all the bad things happening all over again.
As to the lithium, I have no opinion. Follow the doctors instructions until you get him into the program. I donât thing doping a man into a zombie is necessary, but getting into positive action is.
I quote, âi have a feeling the worst is yet to comeâ
leelee, if he continues to drink, I guarantee you that that statement is true. Things will get a lot worse. It is difficult to describe exactly how bad it can get. Some men drink themselves into jails, institutions, or they drink themselves to death. Over time, active alcoholism always gets worse, never better.
I havenât had a drink in a little over six years, so there is always hope. I involved myself in the program of alcoholics anonymous. I recommend that your husband find an aa meeting as soon as he is out of the treatment facility. We canât spend the rest of our lives in a controlled environment, safe from temptation, we have to live in a world full of bars, and package stores. Aa is the long term treatment we need to live happily in this world.
One more thought,
there is another program called al-anon. It is a collection of people like you. People who live with or have lived with an alcoholic. They have a great amount of experience and hope to share with you. Find them, they are in the phone book, and avail yourself of what they have to offer.
We are going to the rehab facility tomorrow and I think we will both feel better knowing we have sought help. My husband is also saying that he wants to become involved with aa. I have a friend in alanon and will be going to my first meeting with her. I am hoping that with my support and love my husband can begin to live each day as it comes, without drink.
Thank you again. It was especially helpful to hear from someone actually living with alcoholism.
I love sights like this, so much information that might not otherwise be available.
I believe that naltrexone, and now campral are trying to combat the disease of alcoholism.
What they both do is reduce the pleasurable effects of getting loaded. They kill the buzz. I also believe that in the short term, they seem to be impacting the problem. If I didnât get the requisite buzz from my drinking, I might not drink so much. After all I love the effect. Toward the end of my drinking career, I drank for oblivion, the ultimate form of a buzz.
I did a little research on campral and this is what I foundâ¦ âcampral is thought to reduce the pleasurable effects of alcohol ingestion. The purpose is to help the patient maintain abstinence until adequate self-motivation for abstinence has been established.â
just like naltrexone, it only addresses the most obvious aspect of an alcoholics problem. It tries to take the fun out of drinking. In the end, I didnât drink for fun, I drank to satisfy an mental obsession that I could not control. Any alcoholic reading this understands what I am saying about the obsession.
Someone asked me once what I thought a cure for alcoholism might look like. For me a cure would be my being able to drink all I want, for as long as I want, get as drunk as I want every day, and still have people love me. Still keep a job, and not have all those bad things keep happening to me. That is what a cure looks like to someone who still is a slave to the obsession.
If that obsession isnât addressed, we will drink again, we canât help ourselves. That is why treatment programs and detoxes donât graduate 100% success stories. If getting the alcohol out of our systems fixed us, we would be sober for the rest of our lives once we walked out of treatment. Somewhere around half of us are drunk out of our minds a week or so after graduating. And after a few months, almost all of us are lost in our alcoholism again.
Maybe naltrexone or campral can improve those short term results, but are we to dose ourselves forever? What happens when we stop taking them? If we havenât been relieved of the obsession to drink, nothing on godâs green earth will have any long term effect on our alcoholism.
This getting and staying sober is an inside job. If iâm not happy in my sobriety, I wonât stay sober long. The trick is how do I get comfortable in my own skin?
I stumbled into my first alcoholics anonymous meeting in the fall of 1998. As a result of doing what so many others before me had done, I havenât hade a drink in over six years. That cruel obsession to drink has been removed.
Eat pills if you think it will help silence those cravings in the first few weeks. Those first weeks are indeed tough. But like the manufacturer says, âuntil adequate self-motivation for abstinence has been establishedâ
if you want what we have, true long term sobriety, do what weâve done.
Please do not buy from that website nancy is recommending!!!. This sounds like they want your credit card number. A website that sells prescription drugs without prescription is most likely a fraud.
Go to your dermatogolist and get a prescription. This people are just trying to advertise their website. If you check their messages (tina, nancy and dutchman) they're always recommending that website.
How pathetic!!! Making money out of people's miseries!!!
Ps do these forums have an a moderaror that can erase their messages?
alcohol dependency and depression often go hand in hand. There are complex biochemical interactions that go into play when withdrawing from alcohol consumption even if you do not consider yoursel an alcoholic. They can affect each of us in very different ways. While some of this is directed at people with severe alcohol dependency, we can all benefit from some of the advice. Good luck.
Below is a good summary of ways to deal with depression associated with alcohol withdrawal:
what are the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal?
A person typically has a mild to severe hangover that lasts several days. Symptoms may include stomach upset; headache; shakes or jitters; feelings of generalized anxiety or panic attacks; and insomnia that may be accompanied by bad dreams. There may be also be increases in heart rate, breathing rate, and body temperature. In a small proportion of alcoholics, withdrawal may result in severe symptoms, such as hallucinations, delirium tremens (dts), or generalized seizures.
over the counter treatment involves supplementing with multiple b vitamins, including thiamine.
Prescription treatments in detoxification centers may begin with an injection of vitamin b1 in cases that involve malnutrition. In treating severe acute withdrawal symptoms, a nervous system depressant, such as the benzodiazepines such as diazepam (valiumÂ®) and lorazepam (ativanÂ®), is prescribed with a dosage that is tapered down over three to five days. The beta-adrenergic blocking drugs atenolol (tenorminÂ®) and propranolol (inderalÂ®) are also occasionally used.
Further treatment includes adequate nutrition, fluid intake, and rest.
Dietary changes that may be helpful
some of the nutritional deficiencies associated with alcoholism can be caused by a poor dietâa factor that needs correction on an individual basis. Improving the overall diet should be done in conjunction with a doctor. Sometimes liver or pancreatic disease associated with alcoholism also contributes to nutritional deficiencies. These problems require medical assessment and intervention.
In one trial, a hospital diet was compared with a special diet including fruit and wheat germ and excluding caffeinated coffee, junk food, dairy products, and peanut butter.1 after six months, fewer than 38% of those on the hospital diet remained sober, compared with over 81% of those eating the special diet. A review of the research shows that diets loaded with junk food increase alcohol intake in animals.2 in a human trial, restricting sugar, increasing complex carbohydrates, and eliminating caffeine also led to a reduction in alcohol craving.3 while the support for dietary intervention remains somewhat unclear, some doctors suggest that alcoholics reduce sugar and junk food intake and avoid caffeine.
Lifestyle changes that may be helpful
most experts agree that alcoholics must stop drinking completely in order to overcome the addiction. Moreover, before nutritional supplements can be used, effective treatment of the malabsorption problems requires a complete avoidance of alcohol.
Nutritional supplements that may be helpful
many alcoholics are deficient in b vitamins, including vitamin b3. John cleary, m.D., observed that some alcoholics spontaneously stopped drinking in association with taking niacin supplements (niacin is a form of vitamin b3). Cleary concluded that alcoholism might be a manifestation of niacin deficiency in some people and recommended that alcoholics consider supplementation with 500 mg of niacin per day.4 without specifying the amount of niacin used, clearyâs preliminary research findings suggested that niacin supplementation helped wean some alcoholics away from alcohol.5 activated vitamin b3 used intravenously has also helped alcoholics quit drinking.6 niacinamideâa safer form of the same vitaminâmight have similar actions and has been reported to improve alcohol metabolism in animals.7
deficiencies of other b-complex vitamins are common with chronic alcohol use.8 the situation is exacerbated by the fact that alcoholics have an increased need for b vitamins.9 it is possible that successful treatment of b-complex vitamin deficiencies may actually reduce alcohol cravings, because animals crave alcohol when fed a b-complex-deficient diet.10 many doctors recommend 100 mg of b-complex vitamins per day.
Alcoholics may be deficient in a substance called prostaglandin e1 (pge1) and in gamma-linolenic acid (gla), a precursor to pge1.11 in a double-blind study of alcoholics who were in a detoxification program, supplementation with 4 grams per day of evening primrose oil (containing 360 mg of gla) led to greater improvement than did placebo in some, but not all, parameters of liver function.12
the daily combination of 3 grams of vitamin c, 3 grams of niacin, 600 mg of vitamin b6, and 600 iu of vitamin e has been used by researchers from the university of mississippi medical center in an attempt to reduce anxiety and depression in alcoholics.13 although the effect of vitamin supplementation was no better than placebo in treating alcohol-associated depression, the vitamins did result in a significant drop in anxiety within three weeks of use. Because of possible side effects, anyone taking such high amounts of niacin and vitamin b6 must do so only under the care of a doctor.
Although the incidence of b-complex deficiencies is known to be high in alcoholics, the incidence of other vitamin deficiencies remains less clear.14 nonetheless, deficiencies of vitamin a, vitamin d, vitamin e, and vitamin c are seen in many alcoholics. While some reports have suggested it may be safer for alcoholics to supplement with beta-carotene instead of vitamin a,15 potential problems accompany the use of either vitamin a or beta-carotene in correcting the deficiency induced by alcoholism.16 these problems result in part because the combinations of alcohol and vitamin a or alcohol and beta-carotene appear to increase potential damage to the liver. Thus, vitamin a-depleted alcoholics require a doctorâs intervention, including supplementation with vitamin a and beta-carotene accompanied by assessment of liver function. Supplementing with vitamin c, on the other hand, appears to help the body rid itself of alcohol.17 some doctors recommend 1 to 3 grams per day of vitamin c.
Kenneth blum and researchers at the university of texas have examined neurotransmitter deficiencies in alcoholics. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals the body makes to allow nerve cells to pass messages (of pain, touch, thought, etc.) from cell to cell. Amino acids are the precursors of these neurotransmitters. In double-blind research, a group of alcoholics were treated with 1.5 grams of d,l-phenylalanine (dlpa), 900 mg of l-tyrosine, 300 mg of l-glutamine, and 400 mg of l-tryptophan (now available only by prescription) per day, plus a multivitamin-mineral supplement.18 this nutritional supplement regimen led to a significant reduction in withdrawal symptoms and decreased stress in alcoholics compared to the effects of placebo.
The amino acid, l-glutamine, has also been used as an isolated supplement. Animal research has shown that glutamine supplementation reduces alcohol intake, a finding that has been confirmed in double-blind human research.19 in that trial, 1 gram of glutamine per day given in divided portions with meals decreased both the desire to drink and anxiety levels.
Alcoholics are sometimes deficient in magnesium, and some researchers believe that symptoms of withdrawal may result in part from this deficiency.20 nonetheless, a double-blind trial reported that magnesium injections did not reduce symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.21
because of the multiple nutrient deficiencies associated with alcoholism, most alcoholics who quit drinking should supplement with a high-potency multivitamin-mineral for at least several months after the detoxification period. Whether or not the supplement should include iron should be discussed with a doctor.
Are there any side effects or interactions?
Refer to the individual supplement for information about any side effects or interactions.
Herbs that may be helpful
milk thistle extract is commonly recommended to counteract the harmful effects of alcohol on the liver.22 milk thistle extracts have been shown in one double-blind study to reduce death due to alcohol-induced cirrhosis of the liver,23 though another double-blind study did not confirm this finding.24 milk thistle extract may protect the cells of the liver by both blocking the entrance of harmful toxins and helping remove these toxins from the liver cells.25 26 milk thistle has also been reported to regenerate injured liver cells.27
kudzu is most famous as a quick-growing weed in the southern united states. Alcoholic hamsters (one of the few animals to become so besides humans) were found to have decreased interest in drinking when fed kudzu extract.28 traditional chinese medicine practitioners generally recommend 3 to 5 grams of root three times per day; some herbal practitioners also suggest that 3 to 4 ml of tincture taken three times per day may also be helpful to reduce alcohol cravings. Nonetheless, a double-blind trial using 1.2 grams of powdered kudzu root twice per day failed to show any benefit in helping alcoholics remain abstinent from alcohol.29
are there any side effects or interactions?
Refer to the individual herb for information about any side effects or interactions.
25. Faulstich h, jahn w, wieland t. Silibinin inhibition of amatoxin uptake in the perfused rat liver. Arzneimittelforschung 1980;30:452â4.
26. Tuchweber b, sieck r, trost w. Prevention by silibinin of phalloidin induced hepatotoxicity. Toxicol appl pharmacol 1979;51:265â75.
27. Sonnenbichler j, zetl i. Stimulating influence of a flavonolignan derivative on proliferation, rna synthesis and protein synthesis in liver cells. In: okolicsanyi l, csomos g, crepaldi g eds, assessment and management of hepatobiliary disease. Berlin: springer-verlag, 1987, 265â72.
28. Keung w, vallee b. Daidzin and daidzein suppress free-choice ethanol intake by syrian golden hamsters. Proc natl acad sci usa 1993;90:10,008â12.
29. Shebek j, rindone jp. A pilot study exploring the effect of kudzu root on the drinking habits of patients with chronic alcoholism. J alt compl med 2000;6:45â8.
Thank you for all the nonjudgemental advice and support I have received here. Soooo, nuch good stuff. I have just moved back to the city after being isolated for 5 years in a mountain top house where I wouldn't get plowed out for days and being alone. 8 miles to the mailbox. My souse was on trips and I would forget what day it was and there wasn't even a reason to get dressed in the morning and certainly no time when it was best to start drinking! Drinking became my salvation. I remember it being fun at first - to have a wine at 11am. Now I drink vodka. To complicate things further - I have a congenital back defect that reared it's ugly pain with the cold weather (also severe arthritis). So I was on pain pills - which I never abuse and am actually painfully taking myself off of even if it means I will be in a wheel chair.
However - my greatest concern is my etoh abuse. It was my only friend at 10,000 feet. It kept me from feeling th eloneliness and gave me some thing to look forward to. But now I am in the city and I want my life back. I am a highly educated professional - but my shame around my etoh use keeps me from doing anything. I don't go anywhere now because I don't want anyone to smell etoh on my breath. I am motivated to quit - but dread how I am behaviorly going to replace it's joy and company that it gave me for so long. Namely boredom. I also fear the anxiety that comes with withdrawal. How long does this anxiety last?
Any thought or input would be greatly appreciated. I despirately want out...And I am not in denial in the least. I will turn 50 this year and am looking forward to doing that without any etoh.
This is by far the best forum I have come about. So much good information. Please I ask your support and any insight on what the best way to approach the first day is. Kindly, ute