Do I have a drink problem?

Posted , 9 users are following.

Hi. I'm new here and just looking for some people's opinions. Honestly I'm hoping for someone to say everything is fine but I may be kidding myself... Sorry if it's long.

I'm 23 and have multiple mental health problems including PTSD. I drink to help with flashbacks and other issues. I was able to keep my drinking secret for a long time and it was fine. But a month ago I got arrested for drunk and disorderly because I was trying to kill myself. (I'm terrified of police, and never been in trouble before). Since then people that found out have been concerned about my drinking. I had to do an alcohol diary for the police worker and she's making me get in touch with alcohol support services. But I think she's overreacting. So the stats... I drink everyday. I don't start drinking until 2pm (but I'm sat with the drink waiting for the clock to change). I drink on average 15 units a day, with some days going up to 25 units. I know that probably sounds a lot but I'm not affected that much, I'm just a bit relaxed, happier and it helps me sleep. Sometimes I can't remember all of the previous night. I wrote all this out fine and I'm currently on 13 units today. I don't get hangovers, in fact the last time I felt particularly ill was when I only drank a few nights a week and had uncontrollable shakes on days that i didn't drink. Now i drink more I'm fine!

Anyway, sorry I've rambled. Just wondering people's opinion, I think I'm fine but am I kidding myself? Thank you for any replies smile

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  • Posted

    Hi speckledGecko

    I am not a doctor but that amount of units per week is high. On a daily basis its huge. The fact that you DONT get hangovers is also a red flag. So I would say you do have AUD Alcohol Use Disorder and you need to take action and not ignore it.

    Kind Regards

    JulieAnne

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  • Posted

    Most people realise that they have an alcohol problem when they try NOT to drink. If you can't stop drinking and go a few days without a drink, then you are becoming (or maybe have already become) physically dependent on alcohol. The amount that the alcohol affects you is also a sign. The more you drink, the more tolerance you build to alcohol. I see people that I treat who can drink a bottle of vodka a day and people that don't know them don't realise they have been drinking at all because they don't get that drunk. Their body, however, is taking a massive pounding and, if they don't have a drink, they could die from the withdrawal symptoms.

    If you try and go without a drink and get strong withdrawal symptoms, you should have a drink to stop those symptoms and seek medical help in the form of an alcohol detox.

    Good luck!!

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  • Posted

    Hi there, Great that you have come on here. Are you getting treatment or any kind of help with your PTSD? Thats the main question i would ask as i am sure on your very low moments it is acting as a trigger. You are so young and there is plenty of time for things to change and for you to feel so much better. It may be a bit of a process but it can happen if you want it to with some support, PTSD can not be easy for anyone to deal with even on its own. The thing is with drink is that people judge those who drink very harshly... the way that drink is promoted is also part of the prob. At the end of the day we dont have cocaine or heroin shops on every corner or see it all the time on tv. Maybe keep with the alcohol diary and gradually reduce and try to recognise when you feel very triggered. I can understand how sometimes you dont feel that much diff without it, its just your getting to use with it feeling normal to be this way and you tolerate it more. If you dont cut down or stop trust me you will feel worse the next day whether you have or havent drank. Dont use this forum as a one off, talk to people here as we can all help each other. No one on this forum knows this until now but i also know how low a person can feel to want to commit suicide... i have made a few attempts in the past and not all that long ago to be honest. Try to focus on what you feel is good in your life and also please get some help if your already not with the PTSD. If you really feel you can not stop there are others on here who can advise with meds better than me that will help you control the drinking and many have had brilliant success. Keep in touch, like i say your young and it can and you can change xxx take care 

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you all for your really lovely responses, that's more than I ever hoped for.

      Sharon, thank you. I was getting help for the PTSD but the hospital I was at got closed and it ended. I now feel too ashamed to talk to anyone else about it. I'm really sorry you've been going through a tough time. I know how hard it is. I have made several attempts on my life with and without alcohol influence. I hope you get the support you need and deserve.

      I was thinking of only using the site as a one off but have found it much more supportive than expected so may stick around. Thank you so much. xxxxxx

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    • Posted

      Sorry i meant how you dont feel that much different with drink rather than without...like i say its just a tolerance thats building up x
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    • Posted

      The best thing you can do, is take in Paul's post.

      Being able to drink large quanitites of alcohol without it affecting you, is a major sign of a problem. If you want an honest answer, yes you are kidding yourself. You are young now, young enough to get away with it, but carry on and your body will start failing.

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    • Posted

      It was a while ago and i do see things very differently now...life is far from perfect but i do think you have to focus more on what is good in your life and what building a new one that is different from now. That will take time and support. Maybe go back and see your gp about the ptsd and also mention the drinking. We will support you and there is other support out there too. You have a whole life in front of you which can be so much more than where you are now. Excersize is important too for the body and mind this does help with so many things that are going on in the mind. Yes def keep coming on to the forum, we are always here x
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    • Posted

      Thank you Sharon. I'm so pleased you have managed to see things differently, i aspire to do that too.

      So I got stressed about the drinking and ended up having 33 units the other day, contradiction I know.

      I went to alcohol services today and they did an assessment on me. They say that i do have a problem and want me to get help from them. I will be given a case worker who will help me reduce drinking until it's safe to do a detox either in the community or residential (I've spent so much time in hospital that I don't want to go back). The nurse told me not to just stop drinking (not that I likely could anyway) as it could kill me - that was a bit of an eye opener. Problem is I think I'm still in denial... or they're wrong! Sorry for going on, I'm just happy I've found some caring people out there that don't seem to mind listening to my worries.

      Also, random question, have any of you experienced numbness in fingers and toes? Even before they start drinking that day?

      Thank you all!

      Sophie smile

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    • Posted

      Numbness in the fingers and toes sounds like alcoholic neuropathy. Alcohol use has damaged the peripheral nerves. The peripheral nerves send sort of messages from your body, spinal cord and your brain.

      You should take thiamine tablets, folate, vitamin B6 and B12 to help your nerves work properly (RHGB please correct me if I've got muddled!) 

      Heavy drinkers often have a very poor diet so you should supplement your diet with the above vitamins which you can get from most health shops.

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    • Posted

      Hi, I didn't think I drank enough for nerve damage.

      They gave me thiamine tablets and vitamins because I refused to eat at hospital but I don't take then now. I have a history of disordered eating. Which might add to the problems then.

      I might look into vitamins. I'm already on Iroin, calcium and vit d for coeliac caused problems but they didn't know about the drinking when suggested that

      Sophie

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    • Posted

      What Vicks says is pretty much right, regarding the alcoholic peripheral neuropathy. People often think of damage as irreparable when it is internal, when it can repair itself in the same way as external damage can (like a cut or a bruise). Normally it manifests itself, not as a numbness, but more of a tingling, itch or pins and needles. It can be a killer - as in annoying not life threatening.

      You also need to take the vitamins that Vicks mentioned, to try and keep your system healthy. Drinking washes out vitamins, people who drink heavily don't eat properly (therefore get little vitamins) and will often have gastritis (inflamation of the stomach lining) which inhibits ingestion of vitamins - this is why people who end up in hospital through alcohol are most often given vitamins by IV or IM.

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    • Posted

      Are you burning the midnight oil then too? Am sick to death of not being able to sleep.

      ?is polyneuropathy the same as alcoholic neuropathy? My mum was diabetic, she didn't drink, but am sure I heard polyneuropathy mentioned. I know she suffered with diabetic neuropathy. I think all these neuropathies are confusing me, mind you that's not difficult these days!!

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    • Posted

      'is polyneuropathy the same as alcoholic neuropathy?'

      Yes and no and that is a typical medical non committal response for you.

      Americans tend to use polyneuropathy more than the British. Poly just means many instead of singular, nothing more. Having said that, peripheral neuropathy from diabetes is called polyneuropathy.

      Google 'grossly normal' and read the first reply. That's how the medical profession speaks.

      Right, I'm off to bed.

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    • Posted

      Thank you. I don't think I have neuropathy then as it's most definitely numbness rather than itching or a sense of pins and needles. It might just pass in time. But I'll def consider the vitamins as I certainly think I have some sort of gastritis associated with the drinking.

      Thank you

      Sophie

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