Not alcohol dependant

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I suffer with anxiety which I've learnt to live with. However about 3-4 times a year I have what I call 'episodes' which can last up to a week, which is when I start drinking. My family and GP have always said I'm not alcohol dependant, but anxious and use alcohol rather than other and better ways to deal with anxiety.

Several years ago I used to have acupuncture which I swear by. However to see a counsellor and start acupuncture again, the quickest way was to have an assesment at the nearest substance abuse centre. There's a six month waiting list to be assessed for anxiety management.

i had to keep an alcohol diary and had my assessment today. I've not drunk at all over the last 3 weeks. Based on that, they said apart from acupuncture they didn't think I'd gain anything from them and they'd refer me to the after care services for anxiety management in a couple of weeks.

ive been on Trazodone for the last 6 years and have been convinced that I've become tolerant to trazadone, which is why I'm getting more anxious and drinking more. They agreed with me today, so I've got to go back to my GP, cut down my dose of trazadone gradually and start on a new drug.

Today made me wonder how many people get mis diagnosed as alcohol dependant. I know from personal experience that some drs hear the word alcohol, don't really listen to you and just refer you to substance abuse. Does anyone else agree with this?

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Vicky,

             trazadone is Prozac in guise.The Sunshine drug from LA.

    As you are aware the NHS is over burdened your Doctor should give you sound advice.

    You are not a alkie & please get off that excuse for life called Prozac.

    May I wish you well x

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    • Posted

      Trazodone is not the same as Prozac. Trazodone is from the tetracyclic group of drugs. Prozac (or Fluoxetine, which is its approved name) is of the group SSRIs and works in a different way to Trazodone.
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  • Posted

    Thank you for your reply. I was on Prozac years ago and never felt so bad in my life. I'd never ever thought about self harming, but four months after first taking Prozac I starting thinking of harming myself so I would end up in hospital and that all my problems would be solved. Stopped Prozac and have never thought about self harm again, in fact the very idea repulses me.
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  • Posted

    If u answer yes to one of these ?'s u have a serious drinking problem.

    Alcohol abuse.

    For most adults, moderate alcohol use is not harmful. However, nearly 17.6 million adults in the United States are alcoholics or have alcohol problems. Alcoholism is a disease with four main features:

    Craving - a strong need to drink.

    Loss of control - not being able to stop drinking once you've begun.

    Physical dependence - withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating or shakiness after stopping drinking.

    Tolerance - the need to drink greater amounts of alcohol in order to get "high".

    Alcoholism carries many serious dangers. Heavy drinking can increase the risk of certain cancers.

    It can cause damage to the liver, brain and other organs. It can cause birth defects.

    It increases the risk of death from car crashes and other injuries as well as the risk of homicide and suicide. 

     

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  • Posted

    The problem is that alcohol causes anxiety with long term excessive use. The only way that you can work out what the underlying issue is, is to get off the alcohol for a decent period of time.

    I agree about many doctors and other health care professionals' attitude to alcohol problems. It is appalling.

    I also agree about your tolerance to Trazodone.

    You really need a proper review of your treatment and could do with some  anxiety management. It is bad that you have to wait 6 months for that, but I would suggest that you get yourself on the waiting list and, in the meantime, do a Google search of 'anxiety management' and have a read. First thing you need to know is what anxiety is and what purpose it serves in all of us. You will find quite a lot of help online that you can go through yourself without a therapist.

    I really hope you get some decent help soon!!

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  • Posted

    I've got an appointment with my GP on mon. I did group therapy for anxiety management years ago and have spent ages online. I've got an app for my iPad for relaxation techniques which I start when I'm in bed which helps me sleep. Also got relaxing music app. They both switch off automatically after 30 mins, by which time I'm usually asleep.

    i had auricular acupuncture yesterday and slept really well. I know many people knock it, but it works for me and helps lessen my anxiety. The closer the sessions, the better it works. So will aim for 3 times a week.

    i don't work and spend a lot of time on my own worrying about trivial things and making excuses to friends about meeting them. Will discuss CBT with my GP and may consider seeing someone privately.

    i know Prozac is not the same as trazadone and don't want to start with having diazepam even for a short time, like alcohol the existing problems are still there.

    thanks for the replies and advice.

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    • Posted

      The only reason Diazepam would be appropriate would be to do a detox, although Librium would normally be the first drug of choice. Neither of these should be used for anxiety and rarely are these days.

      Glad you are finding some things online that help you.

      I think CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for those who are not familiar with the term) would be a very good idea.

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  • Posted

    hi Vickylou, i agree with you that  certain medics do not understand the way some people use alcohol- they are quick to diagnose dependance and/or addiction- many people i know drink quite alot, while not good for their health i would not describe them as having a problem with alcohol- however in the US (i was in a treatment centre there) they would be classified as dependant on or addicted to alcohol- everybody is different in how they and their mind and body react to alcohol- i am of the belief that only the individual themselves know the full extent of their relationship with alcohol/ i would qualify that by saying that this is dependant on the individual being honest with themselves and not being in denial about the affect that alcohol has on their lives- as i was for many years as a functioning alcoholic- i am happy that you are moving in the right direction and i hope that you get the help and medication that is right for you - i would caution you not to underestimate the power of alcohol and just ask that you be careful- i wish you the best of luck and much happiness in the future-
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  • Posted

    hi Vickylou, i agree with you that many medics misdiagnose people with issues with alcohol- in my experience very few GP's have much experience of addiction, though this is improving  here, many people confuse dependance with addiction - two similar but diferent issues- i am an alcoholic- i am addicted to alcohol- i cannot stop drinking once i start and find it very hard to stay stopped- someone who is dependant on alcohol at some particular stage in there life may be using alcohol to cope with stress or bereavement or a myriad of problems which may lead them to drink to excess in an effort to relieve their pain, if this continues for a sustained period they may develop a tolerance to alcohol, just like any other drug and will need more and more alcohol to achieve the effect they desire- if and when they decide to stop drinking they may well experience WD's as their body has become used to having alcohol in their system. This is a purely physical reaction and generally passes in a few days- whereas an addict will experience physical withdrawl there is also a huge part of addiction which involves the effect alcohol or other drugs has on the mind and spirit (soul), sense of self of an addict. this is the part we battle with- the physical stuff is easy- the spiritual and mental toll that addiction takes on an addict is the really hard bit and really hard to quantify. 

     i am glad you seem to be getting some help and some answers- i hope you get your meds sorted soon that should help i wish you the best of luck with that Vickylou and much future happiness- PS for what it is worth, i would never describe anybody as an addict/alcoholic- only that person truly knows about their relationship with their drug or drugs of choice- it is a much abused term -ADDict- stay strong- 

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