Addiction versus medical condition

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Addiction versus medical condition

Post by mitcl74 »

My story may be a little unique but I'm at a point in my life where I'm not drinking. The reason: I have a mental disorder called OCD, a form of anxiety and only this last year did drinking become an issue. I typically was a weekend drinker when I would drink and I really enjoyed it. Now, after a bad setback with my anxiety disorder, I find that if I do drink, the next day is horrible - i'm depressed and sad and my OCD is thru the roof. So it would seem to be easy enough to say "don't drink if it does this". So then, I decided to try to drink just 1 beer and that now puts me into a panic attack/high anxiety mode so the rest of my evening is ruined. The thought of never drinking socially again is not getting easier. This is almost a year now and I feel lost and sad. My family and close friends know about my anxiety disorder, but they go on about their social lives when we go out. i don't think it would be fair of me to ask everyone not to drink around me. The hardest thing would be for me to tell everyone the horrid thoughts I have when I drink. Typically, alcohol reduces anxiety and panic, and that was the case for me all these years, but now it's not. So I obsess all the time over this. I never drank on work nights and I only picked one night on the weekend to drink because of calories but now I worry every night about never drinking. I'm not sure if I'm going to word this right or not, but are the feelings I have of being sad and obsessing over never drinking the same feelings someone who is an alcoholic feels? I feel if I had been blacking out, cheating on my husband, jeopardizing my job, driving under the influence, then those would be reasons to stop and that would be MY decision. That isn't the case. I'm not drinking because I have horrible thoughts and panic disorder which isn't my choice. Can anyone relate - does this feeling of hopelessness and sadness about drinking go away? Thank you for any words/insight you may have.


Re: Addiction versus medical condition

Post by 2granddaughters »

Alcoholism is a progressive disease... a cunning, baffling and powerful progressive disease.

The first paragraph of AA's HOW IT WORKS has proven to hold true for me over the decades:

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

All the best.

Bob R

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Re: Addiction versus medical condition

Post by Lali »

My suggestion would be to see a doctor, preferably a psychiatrist to talk about these things. He/She may prescribe medication or refer you to a psychologist. I would want a medical opinion, if I were you.

P.S. I take antidepressants for clinical depression, but a lot of the depression went away when I stopped drinking.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

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Re: Addiction versus medical condition

Post by joey »

Mitcl74, I am not sure if you are alcoholic. At least the problem described in your post does not appear to be alcoholism.

So although you are free to post here, I am not sure that people on this forum may be able to assist with your problem. Alkies are not experts on everything, although we may think we are :D . I would strongly recommend visiting a doctor.

Please feel free to share about your progress.
Last edited by joey on Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Addiction versus medical condition

Post by ODAAT »

Welcome to the forum and thnks for sharing your situation, m74. I second the suggestion to get an evaluation by a medical professional. Anxiety, panic attacks and OCD are all issues that need medical attention. You would probably get to describe your concerns about alcohol.

One observation, from a layman member of AA, is that you appear to be describing a drinking pattern of very low consumption, possibly zero. If that is the case, it's hard to imagine your being an alcoholic, which means that AA would not be appropriate for you, as AA is for alcoholics. But a doctor or psychologist could best help you with that issue.

In answer to your question about hopelessness and sadness, I recall feeling only a little bit of hopelessness for abut a month. Then I could see that there was hope in a sober life. I never felt sadness, I don't think. I wasn't joyous, but wasn't sad.

Best of luck to you, m74.

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Re: Addiction versus medical condition

Post by whipping post »

Like everyone else said, go see a psychiatrist preferably to treat your anxiety and OCD. I have dealt with both and am not going into it here but they can explain these feelings you are having and get you on some meds to help. I will point out that alcohol actually is a depressant that makes things worse, not better.

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Re: Addiction versus medical condition

Post by desypete »

i have heard all sorts of things in aa rooms from different people in aa

some people i identify with and some people i dont when it comes to drinking and patterns etc, as my problem with drinking was always the same, i would take a drink and end up getting drunk, when i never intended to get drunk, i only wanted that free effect the drink gave me, but the problem i had was that once i picked up the first one i would end up drinking more and more until black out drunk

i might of been able to live life doing that if it wasnt for the fact when i would wake up the next day, to my horror i would find out i had done things or said things i normally would never do. i would end up waking up in police cells not knowing why and have to face the music the next day with court appearences or having my name published in the local paper so everyone would know what ever it was i had done

the same and guilt i had was huge and i would hide myself away at home behind closed curtains hating what drink did to me, but not able to say to myself well i will not drink again, i always would end up going back on the drink to have another try at controlled drinking and get away with for periods and then end up back in trouble again, swearing off it again on an on this would carry on for until in the end my drinking had progressed to daily drunkenness and of course losing everything along the way

like i said i have heard so many different ways people are affected by drinking, some people never got drunk or went loony tunes in drink, i only wish that was me but it wasn't, some people could drink and top themselves up daily and never get drunk ? i dont know how that works as its not my experience

for me i drunk and it was the getting drunk i wanted to stop, i would always let people down if drink was around, always be drunk when i needed to be sober

i dont know if you can identify with me or my drinking ? but all i an say is there are so many different types of drink problems in aa or at least thats what i have come to see but one thing i do notice is that when people talk about themselves or there feelings and are being honest it doesnt matter about our drinking pattens as we all are so a like, i identify with the control freak in aa, the boss, the one who know everything, if only everything in this world, at work, at home, even in aa was done my way then everything would be fine

what i found out is that i am the problem not the world, not the people, not even the people in aa who dont say what i want to hear

the problem is me how i think and how i react

i dont know if its how all humans are in life as most humans are not as honest or open with each other like we are in aa about ourselves

i mean fancy being stuck in a room with people and coming out with stuff like i peed the bed, or how i would control at home, smash holes in doors if i didn't get his own way ? all sorts of things you would wish to keep quiet about trying to impress etc. yet in aa i found people who were honest and it encouraged me to get honest

anyway its not for me to tell you or anyone if your an alcoholic or not if you have a problem with alcohol you will be welcome at aa

so the only answer i can think of is give aa a try and try out differnt types of meetings and you might find someone who is just like you or not either way you will find your answer as to if your an alcoholic or not so it will not be wasted time

good luck to you as for any medical condtions we are not drs in aa hence we all try to tell people to see a dr for that sort of thing as there the professionals not us

so i dont think you will find anyone able to help with medical conditions in aa unless of course there a dr

good luck to you

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Re: Addiction versus medical condition

Post by recovered »

Oh yes I do understand.
There is a belief that there is a component of OCD in alcoholism. All I know is that I used a depressant to help relieve my anxiety and obsessive thoughts. I still have OCD today all though it is not as troublesome as it was when I was in a higher state of anxiety attributed to alcohol consumption. For many years my work on myself thru the steps was sufficient to deal with my co occurring anxiety and affective disorders. I understand today that in order to treat these i had to first deal with my substance use disorder, my alcoholism and that was addressed through the suggestions of an 80 year old program. Today i am experiencing a little anxiety and from what i have learned i am able to establish the cause, yet i don't know if that will be enough so i am considering specialist help again. That is what is suggested in AA and i believe the other posts suggest the same. It would seem logical that you can not pray away a chemical imbalance and although some in AA may want to anoint you with oil and have group prayer sessions the co founders were wise enough not to put such claims in writing. Remember Wilson himself sought a lot of psychiatric help over the years for his many, many, many issues.

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