Hello Lolamum, I am so very sorry about all the problems you are dealing with, especially given you are very young and don’t have what sounds like a very strong support system. It seems like you have the world on your shoulders and doing things for survival, and not necessarily because it is what you want to be doing.
Mood disorders and alcohol dependence frequently co-occur. In other words, people who have substance abuse disorders as well as mental health disorders are diagnosed as having co-occurring disorders, or dual disorders. For example, a substance use disorder includes alcohol or drug abuse, alcohol or drug dependence.
Unfortunately, it is common for someone to reach for a drink because they want to change how they feel. Some want to feel relaxed, some had a bad day at work, and others to celebrate, also known as social drinking. What becomes a matter of concern is that many people drink attempt to mask anxiety or depression.
While alcohol can have a very temporary positive impact on a person’s mood, the long term effects can cause big problems for our mental health. It’s linked to issues starting with depression, memory loss and suicide.
Although you refuse to get some help by a medically licensed professional, I feel compelled to write this to you. There are many people that feel as you do and unfortunately focus on drinking or drugs in order to self-medicate or to cope with affective symptoms. You state that you function better if under the influence of alcohol. For many the simple task of going shopping to a mall is just that, a simple task. You need to know that your situation is not uncommon and you are not alone.
We all have fears, some get weak prior to a job interview or if having to give a speech, this is usually common in people. What you seem to describe and by no means am I making a diagnosis but rather, am giving you information based on my readings and my work as a medical exercise specialist/nutritionist.
Social phobia is more than just a little bit of shyness or occasional nerves. Social anxiety disorder, where you are afraid of embarrassing yourself becomes so intense that you avoid situations that can trigger it, thus turning to alcohol or drugs to calm that fear.
While it may seem like there’s nothing you can do about the symptoms of social anxiety disorder or social phobia, in reality, there are many things that can help. It starts with understanding the problem.
There are a variety of ways to help ease social phobia, however, lifestyle changes alone aren’t enough to overcome social phobia or social anxiety disorder, they can support your overall treatment progress.
I know several clients that suffered from the severe anxiety you write about, and it came close to destroying their lives in one way or another. In their cases they were placed on a medication specifically to help their symptoms – and they turned their lives around. Social phobia can be so debilitating and it’s awful, but what is worse is not getting properly treated.
You seem to have been put in some bad predicaments and although you may feel as though you have destroyed your life? You have your whole life ahead of you, and you can change it and do whatever you want to do, be whoever you would like to be but if you do not seek professional advice it could continue to lead you down the wrong path in terms of self-medicating.
You seem to be the one that helps everyone and you are responsible of having to look after your mother as well. You need to look after YOU, and you can do it, and there are many people here that care enough to see you through it. I wish I could give you a magical answer and if I could find one that didn’t involve medical intervention, believe me I would let you know what it is so that you can get the help you need.
Educating yourself can also be very helpful as there are many exercises you can do in order to help ease some of your symptoms but I hope you will help yourself by having this looked at – you do not have to live like this, you can and will get better. Could explain why you are adamant about not getting help? If you have concerns, please ask any questions you like, may be some of us can help put your mind at ease.
Please let us know how you are doing,
Big hugs coming your way, H. 2
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