Jump to content
squirrel

Alcohol & withdrawal syndrome

Recommended Posts

alexjuice

Hi Alex,

 

thanks for responding.

 

It is very interesting to me, because it was actually while I was on Effexor that I was able to stop drinking alcohol. I was taking the 'delayed release' variant.

 

Now, on escitalopram (Cipralex) it has been very difficult - I had strong alcohol cravings tapering escitalopram, even appr 2 weeks before quitting completely. And now after reinstating I have been having and still am have strong cravings for alcohol. I would say, though, that the strongest cravings were after quitting completely last fall. But I am still struggling with wanting to drink now appr 1 month after reinstating. That is why I am wondering if maybe I should not have reinstated? I realize that there have been some triggers - but I think that I would have been able to resist alcohol before quitting escitalopram, since I have been able to for appr 7 years, and there were some triggers in those 7 years, including the the death of my father.

 

But even that is true, I still have to taper very very slowly, right? Not stop cold turkey even if I feel the drug is hurting me with regard to alcohol cravings?

 

Thanks!

Escitalopram is lexapro. As I say, while on escitalopram I struggled with horrid alcoholic drinking which improved a bit when I switched to Effexor and finally resolved when I then quit Effexor... That was my experience.

 

I think cold turkey is never a good idea. Otherwise it is hard to give advice because I dont know enough about your case. I wasn't an excess drinker before taking ADs -- I started on Lexapro as a 19 or 20 year old after a couple of yrs trying Paxil, Prozac and so on to find the AD that 'worked for me'... In my early 20s I shocked everyone by becoming alcoholic since I had no history of substance abuse... I just know that for me, drug and alcohol cravings resolved when I stopped taking ADs and atypical antipsychotics...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
alexjuice

Alex, I didn't realize you were on so many ADs at one time. Do you think the Wellbutrin reduced cravings at all (similar to smoking)?Sorry for the tangent. Back to regularly scheduled discission.

Barb,

It well a merry-go-round. The interesting thing about Wellbutrin is that I think it maybe increases cravings for certain things, or maybe my behavior overlapped with that one... THe problem with being on so many drugs is it is very difficult to understand causality...

 

During 2005-2008 I took Klonopin, Abilify, Zoloft, Wellbutrin and Lexapro ... During 2005-08 I drank way too much, used cocaine way too much, generally lived a horrible life... In 2008 I attempted suicide and went to a psych hospital where the psychiatrist dropped that program and Rx'd Effexor, Risperdal and Buspar ... I quit taking the Buspar immediately because I didn't think it did anything. I remained on the other two until I started to taper in Fall 2009. In 2008-2009 while not taking wellbutrin I mostly lived clean and sober....

 

I don't know anything about anything in my life in the last decade, is about all I can with certainty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
annelle

Hello again,

 

Alex,

 

I was just thinking that since it seems that Effexor is not giving bad alcohol cravings - at least in your case and mine - maybe I should have switched to Effexor instead of escitalopram when reinstating about a month ago.

 

But on the other hand, I know that Effexor is very difficult to taper off of, so on the whole I am probably better off being on escitalopram - do you have any thoughts about that? I guess it is a little like choosing between a rock and a hard place ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
alexjuice

I think Effexor is one of the most problematic drugs to discontinue, so I'd keep that in mind.

 

Annelle, I think you're doing a good job in trying to figure out how best to deal with this terrible situation that you find yourself in. If I were you I'd continue to monitor my symptoms and get advice before making any decisions about substantial changes.

 

Good luck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Altostrata
Int J Risk Saf Med. 2013 Jan 1;25(2):105-9. doi: 10.3233/JRS-130586.

New onset alcohol dependence linked to treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

 

Source

 

Department of Psychological Medicine, Hergest Unit, Ysbyty Gwynedd Hospital, Wales, UK.

 

Abstract at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23796469

 

BACKGROUND:

Genetic and environmental factors influence the development of alcohol dependence and alcohol dependence increases the risk of developing Major Depressive Disorder-MDD (vice versa). Amongst antidepressants, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are likely the most frequently prescribed for MDD. However, findings on the role of SSRIs in alleviating alcoholism are conflicting.

 

CASE DESCRIPTION:

A review of the literature is highlighted with a case of middle-aged lady with new onset alcohol dependence syndrome after commencement of SSRI, which resolved following discontinuation of the SSRIs and the introduction of Mirtazapine.

 

DISCUSSION:

The serotonin transporter gene has been linked to excessive drinking, early-onset problem drinking, alcohol dependence, anxiety and impulsiveness. While the evidence for antidepressant use appears consistent in alleviating depressive symptoms in patients with comorbid alcohol dependence and depression, some groups of patients may show an increase in alcohol consumption. Alternatively, there are a series of studies suggesting that antagonism of S-3 receptors can lead to diminished cravings for alcohol. This case highlights the need for further research into the effects of SSRIs on alcohol consumption in those with and without previous alcohol dependence syndromes. It also indicates a need to monitor changes in alcohol consumption and behaviour while on SSRIs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Addax

I had two glasses of wine last night. I might drink that much once a month, if that. I woke up with a panicked, tight feeling in my chest this morning. Because anxious thoughts followed the physical symptoms (rather than the other way around) I'm pretty sure it was Akathisia rather than anxiety. Now, several hours later it's lingering, and as has accompanied Akathisia in the past, I'm pretty tired.

 

I know Alcohol interferes with the sleep cycle, and sleep or lack there of influences cortisol secretion. I've also read that alcohol consumption can cause an increase in cortisol plasma levels...

 

I know and have had cortisol mornings... But Akathisia mornings? Or am I mistaking Akathisia for Cortisol? I hope I am, because then the puzzle pieces fit. Am I overlooking something?

 

I'm going to see what information and literature are out there at some point, but in the meantime I was wondering if anyone had any info or knew of any information regarding alcohol and Akathisia, or cortisol and Akathisia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Meimeiquest

You might look up DAO enzyme..,I saw it on Amy Meyers' blog. It's a lack of an enzyme in the gut to properly metabolize histamine, and that affects alcohol as well. It is the cause of "Asian flush" as the lack of this enzyme is common in people of Asian descent.

 

But, more commonly, most people have a horrible tolerance for alcohol in withdrawal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Earthworm

Any bad things that can happen? Or is it safe?

 

From what I heard from my psychiatrist, is that alcohol reduces citalopram in the blood for a few days.

 

I drank some wine, I feel the skin on my face is a bit tingly, is that normal for alcohol?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UnfoldingSky

You could try looking it up on RX list to see if it says anything about the interactions.

 

However, several times years ago while I was on an SSRI (which may have been Celexa, I can't recall which one now) I got drunk and the next day I woke up with a face full of tiny broken blood vessels.  They went away after a day but that pretty well scared me off mixing SSRIs with alcohol.  It could be some sort of idiosyncratic reaction, don't know...I've never heard of anyone having an issue like this before.  A larger issue with SSRIs and alcohol, or at least some of them is that they can cause people to become alcoholics--some people find they suddenly crave large amounts of alcohol while on them, then when they stop the cravings just abruptly stop too. 

 

Also and not to wind off-topic but where in the world did you get that cat photo? That has to be the funniest thing I have ever seen...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Earthworm

That is strange with the popped capillaries. I know alcohol dialate them, and SSRI make skin easily bruseable though. I drank alcohol and smoked pot for a long time while on SSRI, risperdal, welbutrin, and buspar all at the same time. I didn't have any bad effects back then. Fortunately I did not have any big cravings for alcohol.

 

I tested drinking alcohol today, I feel fine so far, but my face feels a bit tingly and slightly numbed... I wonder if medication free people get that too.

 

I don't even know how I ran into the cats lol.

 

eJDjk.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UnfoldingSky

lol, I logged on while playing music and found the cats dancing in perfect unison with it...Earthworm you have me hypnotized now...

 

I haven't had anything to drink since becoming drug free so don't know what to tell you re the tingling.  Maybe someone else has some input.

 

Oh I should have added re the broken capillaries that it only happened when I had a lot to drink.  One or two drinks didn't seem to do anything to me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Earthworm

So I got drunk 2 days ago lol. I drank 658ml of wine all at once... was on the edge of super fun and unpleasant. No face tingling this time, had a good time hanging out with a couple friends. Unfortunately, I think the alcohol screwed up my sleep and I slept a shallow 2 hours lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
UnfoldingSky

Ah well, alcohol could do that anyway...Might have nothing to do with the drugs.  Glad you had a good time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ang

Hello people- On David Healy's blog there's a post by Anne-Marie: http://davidhealy.org/out-of-my-mind-driven-to-drink In this she explains, in short, that SSRI-medications (paroxetine, citalopram for her part) can cause intense craving for alcohol in a person who earlier had not had an alcohol problem. How common is this problem? How have people come to grips with it?

I can totally relate to this.  With me it was Effexxor I think, but I have been on so many different ones.  Now my brain is clear, I am horrified, but so glad I am surviving.  Only 50mg Seroquol to go!

When I first "got ill"... was told by a new recruit of the "psychiatric era", my sister, that its OK drink, everyone knows that depressed people drink, and the new antidepressants are made for that, they go fine together.  I wasn't a drinker then, weird because my mum tried to fix my sadness/depression by giving me straight scotch and sherry in a big glass (as Sherry isn't as strong as it used to be?).  hahah rofl.   Well that just meant I couldnt get out of bed the next day, made problem worse, so off to my sisters I was sent.  He madly loved her psychiatrist, in hindsight, weird.  I also became a recruit in the new psychiatry, was pretty well brainwashed besides the new drugs, when I went home again after three weeks.  Silly me, had the shakes, couldn't see without magnified glasses, seemed OK on the inside, but obviously wasnt, who would go back to work as an obvious nutter?  My sister liked it, proved that "it ran in the family"  this chemical imbalance.  I told everyone else how great these wonder drugs were, how they are not addictive like the old benzos, my sister had taught me well.  I knew nothing was naive. After years of ups and downs, and just ordinary moderate drinking, I went on Effexor.  Would have 8-10 cups of coffee in the morning, wine and water all afternoon, evening.  I told my psych, she said "well with all that coffee, no wonder you are drinking to slow down in the afternoon.  ie not my meds, just my madness.  I gave up effexor two years ago, in a disastrous attempt to get off these "non addictive" things, over 3 weeks.  Had done it before over three weeks on other drugs, (but had only been on those drugs two weeks, or less).....and then been drug free for 6 years (so glad of that).

I was drinking wine to help cope with the withdrawals, so now I have a reputation for not only being mad, but also an alcoholic.  None of my sisters/brothers/want to know me...yes not even the sister that I was copying (she was exactly the mess I had become, when I first went to see her, all those years ago)...

Well weird now, I am treating the alcohol as just another med, that I need to cut down or have, or reduce.  And it is not hard.  Tried a bottle of wine, while stabilizing on 50mg Seroquol.  No good.  Tried two glasses of red, one at 4.00pm, one at 6.00pm.  Woke up well that next day (well got out of bed..:)).  

Last night 3 1/2 glasses of red over 5 hours.  Couldn't go out of house today, so on computer  (Yes, I am kind to myself).

Tonight I will have two glasses of red wine, one at 4.00pm, one at 6.00pm.   Every day, I will drink later, ie one glass at 6.00 one glass at 8.00.   

I believe once I get over my "mind addiction" to the alcohol, I will not have an addiction to it at all anymore.  8 years of drinking a bottle of wine a night while on Effexor, it has just become a habit.  

Can anyone relate any symptoms I might have while on the Seroquol, I wish to give it up as soon as I can.  But I am terrified of not sleeping  (as most of us on this site have become so terriefied of things).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ang

 

Hi Alex,

 

thanks for responding.

 

It is very interesting to me, because it was actually while I was on Effexor that I was able to stop drinking alcohol. I was taking the 'delayed release' variant.

 

Now, on escitalopram (Cipralex) it has been very difficult - I had strong alcohol cravings tapering escitalopram, even appr 2 weeks before quitting completely. And now after reinstating I have been having and still am have strong cravings for alcohol. I would say, though, that the strongest cravings were after quitting completely last fall. But I am still struggling with wanting to drink now appr 1 month after reinstating. That is why I am wondering if maybe I should not have reinstated? I realize that there have been some triggers - but I think that I would have been able to resist alcohol before quitting escitalopram, since I have been able to for appr 7 years, and there were some triggers in those 7 years, including the the death of my father.

 

But even that is true, I still have to taper very very slowly, right? Not stop cold turkey even if I feel the drug is hurting me with regard to alcohol cravings?

 

Thanks!

Escitalopram is lexapro. As I say, while on escitalopram I struggled with horrid alcoholic drinking which improved a bit when I switched to Effexor and finally resolved when I then quit Effexor... That was my experience.

 

I think cold turkey is never a good idea. Otherwise it is hard to give advice because I dont know enough about your case. I wasn't an excess drinker before taking ADs -- I started on Lexapro as a 19 or 20 year old after a couple of yrs trying Paxil, Prozac and so on to find the AD that 'worked for me'... In my early 20s I shocked everyone by becoming alcoholic since I had no history of substance abuse... I just know that for me, drug and alcohol cravings resolved when I stopped taking ADs and atypical antipsychotics...

 

Resolved when you quit effexor.  Thanks for that.  Now I need to read up on Seroquol.  But I know everyone is different.  Most people can tolerate valium, but even a small amount sends me psychotic. The person I trusted when I first went to "her doc", convinced me that alcoholics are just depressed, and need to go on antidepressants, omg. Thanks for this site, nothing in this world will ever convince my family and friends of the truth. It is a very lonely existence in some ways.

I will now have a glass of wine, a whole glass of water, another glass of wine, two glasses of water, a glass of wine, three glasses of water.  I don't think I will ever make it to the fourth glass.  But the idea that I need it, is still in my brain.  But the addiction isnt there like it was.....  I would drink 8-10 cups of coffee in the morning, Wine in the afternoon, and found it difficult to space it with water.  Now that is easy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ang

I hope that Alex will weigh in on this - There has been discussion of carbohydrate and sugar craving on SSRIs also - http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1667-cravings-advice-sought/page__pid__20641#entry20641 Just FYI

Would it help to start putting sugar in my coffee?  Not that I drink that much coffee now, used to drink 8-10 cups during the mornings.  Wine in the afternoon, how weird.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OutdoorsMan15

How has alcohol affected everyone's recovery process? I generally have tried to avoid it but sometimes, especially when im having a good day, i give in. There are some nights that it aggravates my symptoms and some nights when it doesn't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
antidepressantsNoMore

Alcohol..... where do I start?

 

My best piece of advice, Don't Drink.

 

Alcohol is an depressant. It could possibly make ALL your symptoms worse. It did for me anyway. Now, I'm not saying drinking a few beers will hurt you because it probably won't, but going out and getting hammer drunk will. It will probably cause you to experience even worse depression and anxiety the next day and even weeks after considering your body is going through w/d and is not functioning like a normal person.

 

I can't say I haven't gotten drunk during w/d because that would be a lie, but I haven't been drunk in over a year and I feel better than I have in a long time. I also have cut down on my drinking by a lot the last few years. I used to be able to drink like a fish, now I only drink a few beers here and there.

 

What specific symptoms are you referring to?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
brassmonkey

Because of its availability and social acceptance most people believe that alcohol is a rather benign drug. Most of the ssris and snris that we deal with here have three serious side effects; they increase the desire to drink, they decrease the ability to self regulate ones intake, and they frequently increase ones tolerance to getting drunk.  I'm living proof.  It is best to stay away from alcohol until one is fully recovered, only then can one experiment responsibly. I'll get off of my soap box now.

 

Having been there myself I have made a point of talking to a lot of others on these boards who are dealing with alcohol.  It is a very common theme that someone will be doing very well on a low dose or a few months off and decide that it is okay to have a couple of glasses of wine at a party.  They have a wonderful evening and no particular problems the next day. Then wham the second day they are hit with the hangover of a life time.  But it doesn't clear up over night.  Of the people I have talked with they all feel that they have been thrown back into acute WD and it lasts three to five weeks before things start to settle down.  Even then it has set back their recovery by months.  Some times they are lucky and get away with a drink now and then, but eventually it catches up with them and they don't know what hit them.  It is best not to take the chance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bluebalu86

I think that anything which interferes with your nervous system is a no-no when in WD. Why put your brain through that? The brain needs calm and as much stability as possible. I suppose a few beer won't hurt, but still I wouldn't drink or eat or take anything that even slightly destabilizes the nervous system, it's just not worth it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heart

The 1st symptom that made me realize that things were not right, was a dramatic change in my reaction to alcohol. I was always a lightweight - got tipsy after 2 glasses of wine, but a few months after my last antidepressant, it was like a switch had been turned off in my brain - I remained cold sober even if I drank to my limit. At the same time, during that night and the next morning I'd get hit with a horrible despair. So, I didn't touch the stuff for about 3 years. Now, year 4, if someone I care about really wants to share a drink with me, sometimes I'll have a glass or 2. My nights and mornings aren't affected nearly as much and, although I still don't get a buzz, I get a "warm nostalgia?". But at home, I don't touch the stuff - not even tempted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
InvisibleUnless

i was warned to look out for alcohol while on some of my meds---especially the antipsychotics, but i was never a heavy drinker to begin with.  it didnt seem to interfere with my drinking negatively (making me way drunker or not drunk at all) and i never had hang-overs, so i drank socially while taking meds, only getting drunk a choice few times, and it was almost always totally fine (and when it wasnt, it wasnt from the meds).

 

however, towards the final year or two, my body stopped tolerating alcohol.  even just one beer or one shot would make me puke, even if i wasnt drunk from it.  if i tried to hold down a little sip for hours to see if itd get better, id just have to give up and expel it before i slept 10 hours later.  so, i effectively quit drinking, even before i quit the meds.  and, in withdrawal, it has only improved slowly, incrementally, and non-uniformly.

 

so, naturally, i do not press it, never get truly drunk anymore, and rarely drink---still just socially, and in extremely limited quantities, for the pleasure of taste.  beer, and to a lesser degree wine, has positive health benefits that could rouse your healing process, however, as everyone has mentioned, there are psychoactive complications with alcohol and it is probably not at all worth the risk if you are someone that experiences, or could potentially experience, negative effects.  there are better ways of relaxing or promoting healing out there.  sometimes i have to avoid social situations that would make me feel sad/left out/bored/scrutinized to not drink, or say no to drinking even when it makes for an uncomfortable time, but its a no-brainer for me because my organs are in serious need of repair from all the medications and lifestyle choices and i am determined to give them time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bluebalu86

Heart - the exact same thing happened to me with alcohol! I thought I was the only one. Ever since my withdrawal started on February 16th, I don't get drunk even if I drink a lot. Also benzodiazepines such as clonazepam don't work on me anymore. I'm so worried that my nervous system is damaged beyond repair.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Petunia

The 1st symptom that made me realize that things were not right, was a dramatic change in my reaction to alcohol. I was always a lightweight - got tipsy after 2 glasses of wine, but a few months after my last antidepressant, it was like a switch had been turned off in my brain - I remained cold sober even if I drank to my limit.

 

Something similar happened to me.  My favorite drink used to be bourbon and coke.  One drink would always make me feel pleasant and relaxed.  Suddenly, one evening, it no longer had this effect. Instead, my brain became 'foggy' and I felt irritable and agitated, it was causing anxiety. I tried it again the next night, with the same effect, very unpleasant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ang

On effexor I drank, had alcohol cravings....never got drunk, had "blackouts"""".   Did stupid things, got done for dd twice....(Drink Driving).  I lost my brain on effexor, but somehow the alcohol gets blamed?  never the damn drugs?  convenient for Mr Big Pharma.......  All clear in hindsight, of course.   ...    Off all the tablets now    .........     I tried reinstating the zoloft, and different time, mirtazapine..... and  craved alcohol again., like the body was craving a sugar shot, instead of damn food............  God these poisons mess up everything....          God it was a relief to find out I was not an alcoholic, never was, the drugs, cause alcohol cravings.

 

I find at my point in withdrawals, if I drink some wine at night, I actually sleep better.........     but as everything changes on a day to day basis with Withdrawals, I dont think this effect will last......... i will just stick with this routine for another week....  I add as many ice blocks in as I do the wine, or space a glass of water, glass of wine............   I am still suffering the effects of stopping the zoloft reinstatement trial, only 5 days ago......  sure the desire will diminish, and it is a bit.

 

I regard alcohol as just another drug, thrown into the mix.           I never drink spirits, I drink wine. (Out of fear... dont like craving alcohol).......... I dont dare drink anything stronger, and dont dare drink before evening.  

When I am off the drugs, got rid of Withdrawals, I will kick the alcohol...........  But nice to know  it is just a passing phase.........and willl be able to drink socially in the future  (if I ever leave the house?, and socialise?  one day !).

 

I am lab rat proof, that the effexor damaged my liver, as my drinking hadn't changed when I had blood tests done  (while on the zoloft bridge).......  liver was back to normal. 

 

So long story short?  Try and kick the habit, as and if you can...... just another unwanted drug......   but in my case, so nice to know my alcohol cravings were just the damn drugs.........  so dont stress,  use your own judgement, you will know how alcohol affects you.........     We are all different, we are all our own lab rat, we all different.

 

And a weird thing, my daughter is now 30.........  from age 10- 16 she was on Augmentin forte, yes, double dose, for another medical problem... now gone, thank god!!..... anyway, at that age (now she tells me), if she had so much as a slurp of beer, she would be bedridden, and ill for days........  she didnt realise the connection......... now she is 30, if she ever touches antibiotics, she doesn't dare drink anything.......... she will be sick for days,  yes, even half a glass of wine.............  

I remember her being so, so damn ill......... now we realise she cannot tolerate antibiotics (any of them) and alcohol.   I dont know if she was sensitised, after being on so many damn pills for 6 years of her life.  I dont know that I have ever taken antibiotics and alcohol?  Dont think so.

 

I do know that valium sends me psycho, so all I can do, is warn my kids, and my extended family... Some of them go  ""yeah sure" one day they will find out, one day I hope when their loved child, or bloodline relative  goes psychotic, they may remember that..... in our bloodline, valium sends ya crazy.  What can I do?  Watch and wait....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
a99

Can I use skin care products that contain alcohol in them ? I've been using them without any reaction but I'm afraid the alcohol can act on some receptors and impact my recovery .

I'm dwelling about it and I'm afraid when using any kind of soap that it has an ingredient that interferes with the recovery process  :(

Also , about food that contains additives , is it ok to be part of my diet if I don't have any ploblems when consuming it ?

Thanks .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
starburst

I am no expert but I have heard that alcohol in skin products is not necessarily good for our skin. I really don't know about the effects with antidepressants. To be on the safe side it might be worthwhile looking at more natural products?

I actually make a lot of my personal home care products, namely toothpaste and deodorant. The main ingredient? Bicarb! I tried using the 'no poo' shampoo method for a while but didn't have much luck so I now use a very mild coconut shampoo. There is a lot of information online about making your own creams and other facial products using 'safe' ingredients. 

I enjoy eating foods that are as natural as possible and try to avoid anything in tins or jars. But that is just me! the same with personal care items. If it becomes obsessive it is probably not a good thing. 

Good luck x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Altostrata

Alcohol in skin products has no bearing on withdrawal symptoms. You may wish to avoid it for other reasons, as the other posters noted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bluebalu86

I would just like to urge everyone NOT TO DRINK, AT ALL. 

I thought I was stable and doing well and drank some rakia (a Bulgarian drink) on the 6th and I feel terrible since then. I lost my sleep, this is the thirs night where I can't fall asleep. I also feel unreality and like I'm not breathing at all. Very scary. I'm scared it will keep getting worse. 

I think I did some permanent damage to my brain with this alcohol. I'm scared I'm never recovering.

Please, DON'T DRINK AT ALL IN WITHDRAWAL. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
starburst

I am almost three weeks 'alcohol free'. The first two weeks were the hardest but now I feel like I have crossed over and it is not hard at all. I am sleeping much better and feel more energetic. Alcohol definitely affected my sleep pattern and made the anxiety much worse. Before starting AD I never really touched alcohol, just the odd glass of wine here and then. But AD seemed to change my whole pattern of behaviour and I could easily drink a bottle of wine every night and sometimes more. I am so much better off without it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
zstard

After the age of 30 I hardly drank at all. Then after being given SSRIs, Ativan and Ritalin, I started wanting to drink to excess whenever I could. After stopping the drugs after 7 years and in withdrawal for 2, the cravings are much less, but I'm still drawn to drink because it makes me feel better while under it's influence. Of course if there's a hangover that's not fun. Anyway it's good to read of other's struggles, and to know the AD drugs contributed to my problems with alcohol and the effect on my family. It's hard dealing with the guilt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
oskcajga

I have some experience with alcohol in recovery.

 

It started with using nyquil to fall asleep at night, and nyquil does contain a certain amount of alcohol (25% by volume).  I actually found nyquil to put me to sleep very peacefully without any hangover in the morning.  I used to drink 1 serving of nyquil once every 3 days or so to avoid any possible tolerance buildup from all the substances contained within.

 

I then started to drink casually with colleagues from the University, and found that beer really did make me drunk, but like many members report, the "fun" of drinking died.  I also got terrible life-alteringly bad hangovers - which were more like worsened withdrawal symptoms, for like 3-14 days afterwards, depending on how much I drank.  One time I got REALLY drunk with some colleagues, found it to be a lot of fun, but my skin got all numb and I had an EPIC depression/ worsened withdrawals afterwards for WEEKS.  I never made that mistake a second time.

 

After that experience, I would still drink, but I knew it was bad for me and made it difficult for me to function at a high level at school.  I found that even 1/2 of a beer severely worsened my withdrawal symptoms, usually for a day or two afterwards.

 

Interestingly, I found that the clear alcohols, such as vodka, didn't really have too terrible of an effect upon me, but it didn't really help or make my life any better either. 

 

I found tequila to give me almost a full panic attack, after drinking with a close colleague of mine - definitely did not repeat that a second time.

 

On a couple of occasions, when I was having panic attacks, I did something dangerous:  I combined a shot of vodka with 1/2 or 1 benadryl - and it completely knocked me out for like 4-8 hours.  I woke up feeling very refreshed and calm, no hangover.  If I remember correctly, I did this two times, and both times I would wake up in uncomfortable positions laying on my arm, the whole thing would be numb - and I'd have a momentary freak-out until my feeling returned.  I didn't try this again after the second time.

 

I stopped drinking alcohol about 14 months ago, after having a bad reaction to inhaling marijuana (that experience can be found here:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5030-cannabis-thc-or-marijuana-to-ease-withdrawal-symptoms/page-2)

 

So overall based on my experiences with alcohol, it didn't really help at all - and often made my symptoms worse.  The only somewhat positive experience I had with alcohol was the nyquil use (which one of my understanding doctors recommended), and the occasional use of "clear" alcohols.  All of the alcohols of dark color, ESPECIALLY wine, made me feel absolutely horrible afterwards - often for a week or longer.

 

I feel like this is an important topic - because alcohol is omnipresent in our society and may seem tempting for some of us to turn to, especially if we've had positive experiences in the past.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Theon

 

I feel like this is an important topic - because alcohol is omnipresent in our society and may seem tempting for some of us to turn to, especially if we've had positive experiences in the past.

 

 

That's so true... specially here in europe. I think you don't have so much of an alcohol problem in america as here in europe, but in europe it's frightening the amount of alcohol people drink and specially the young age people start drinking alcohol...

 

I started drinking occasionally with my friends when I was 17 and most of the people in my country are already getting drunk when they are 15-16 years old..

And then in university when people are 18-19-20-21 the rule is getting drunk almost every weekend.

 

I have not really drunk (well, sometimes a bit) in almost 2 years because I started to wonder if the almost weekly alcohol during the first years of university was worsening the anxiety that made me start ADs last year.

 

I also wonder often if this high consumption of alcohol at young ages is partly responsible of the high amount of teenagers and young people with depression/anxiety problems.... who knows

Edited by KarenB
merged similar topics

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
legan

I took ssri to help with alcohol withdrawals . Now ive after injured . I m always think of alcohol again to help with ssri wd .

 

I wish i can be an alcoholic again .and not take this thing.

 

any body using alcohol during wd ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fresh

Alcohol will further destabilize your nervous system.  Many members have had bad waves brought on by a few drinks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
InvisibleUnless

revisiting alcohol as a recovering alcoholic does not seem like a good idea at all.  using alcohol during SSRI withdrawal is also a really, really bad idea for almost everyone.  even drinking while still taking an SSRI can be bad news.

 

i became almost completely intolerant to alcohol after beginning my tapering.  while i have had a few periods where i was able to have a few sips of alcohol rather than nothing, i have not yet recovered my organ functionality 5 years later.  drinking can cause serious issues for my body and mind, and they can last for days after the drinking.  many people here have symptoms that can last for weeks or even months after introducing psychotropic substances like alcohol during their withdrawal.

 

i really do not think alcohol will help you with this, and you could make your situation a lot worse.  it sounds like maybe you need some additional social support to help you keep dealing with the horrible withdrawal symptoms---if you are thinking that drinking might be a good answer, you probably need more encouragement and personal interactions that make things a bit easier on you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.