Booze abuse - self med or self harm?

Discussion in 'Self Harm & Substance Abuse' started by Crashland, Dec 6, 2011.

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  1. Crashland

    Crashland Well-Known Member

    I think I can honestly say that since my age of 16 I have been pretty much of a drinker. It has partly been a cultural habit (Eastern European origins) and is also strongly related to my profession (media; almost everybody I know drinks).

    I never seriously considered myself an alcoholic. Until lately I have been highly functional. However, I recently started to have serious doubts.

    I realized that I mostly drink to ease the anger I feel. I'm not just talking about being a bit cheesed off. It's more like being scared that I'm not safe any more and I will do something that cannot be undone. I can fully relate to those who just get a gun and start shooting randomly. It is a terrible thing and I hope I will never get to that stage but there have recently been occasions when I could hardly refrain from assaulting someone.

    I find it really scary, plus when I'm that angry I tend to feel physically sick; I get dizzy, shaky, pressure in my head to the point where I experience a little "explosion" and altered vision. On occasions I have chest pain, palpitations and difficulty in breathing. I would do anything to ease these symptoms and alcohol seems to be the only thing that works so far. At least in short term. It does backfire though, badly - I can't sleep and get panick attacks when I drink, and more chest pain. At least I don't want to hurt anyone when I fear for my life. Funny for someone suicidal.

    This is where the second point comes into the picture.

    I have had suicidal tendencies all in my adult life and although I don't particularly want to die, I feel that I must; that I have failed, I'm a disgrace and the person I care about the most would certainly be better off without me (this is a fact, not just how I feel).

    So it occured to me that all this drinking business could just be about slowly killing myself. Without actually commiting one major act of suicide which I - most probably - could not do.

    I would be most grateful to hear what you all think.

    I don't expect any pink happiness in life but I would really like to make the very best of the wreck I am.


  2. jimk

    jimk Staff Alumni

    HI Crash.. only you know just how much drinking you are doing these days.. also up to you to know the effects on you from this.. i am a former drunk.. was very serious and polluted out of my mind and body for many years.. you mention that you use this to just numb yourself out often.. better to talk to a professional medical person about this for yourself.. alchohol has many long term effects on the mind and body.. better to talk to a mental health professional and try to find out just what the heck you are running away from. look at, and face and then try to move on.. sober is really different state than wasted.. granted sometimes it is hard to take and live with also. but is much healthier in the long run..

    best wishes always.. Jim
  3. Crashland

    Crashland Well-Known Member

    Thanks jimk,

    as I never go over 3 bottles of wine a week and the occasional small bottle of vodka, I'm not really the obvious alcoholic or at least not in the eyes of a medical professional. In fact, I'm officially not. I did try to seek help but my blood test results are all fine, liver function outstanding and talking to a professional "revealed" that I'm not dependent on alcohol. In turn, it means I don't get any help unless I vomit blood, lose control of myself or whatever. In short, they seem to be looking for much serious cases.

    I'm wasted not because of the booze but because of the anger, the depression, the scary physical symptoms, because I often feel suicidal, I can't connect with people any more, I have horrible nightmares if I manage to sleep and because my life is pretty crap at the moment and I often feel there is no hope to better it. I haven't given in to this thought just yet, I'm still trying but it feels pretty grim.

    I have been trying to seek professional help on almost every front to get to the bottom of things but the best they could come up with so far was anxiety disorder which I really do not have. Although I do get scared a lot and I have panic attacks occasionally (esp. atfer drinking), they are not at all typical; they last for hours (sometimes for 12 hours which is just sheer torture) plus I do not exhibit any kind of avoidance behaviour.

    Despite all this I know that I drink way too much than I should and I do it for the wrong reason. Also, because the underlying cause is not being treated I can only expect this to get worse.

    I've changed my GP several times in the last two years, received CBT without a proper diagnosis (it did make me feel a touch better for a little while, actually), talked with councellors about possible alcoholism but no one seems to take me seriously. Well, they don't laugh at me and I have gone through lots of tests but as I seem to be physically healthy, which I don't feel at all by the way, they seem to belittle everything else I complain about and say "oh, it's only anxiety". I might be paranoid but I most definitely feel that they think I'm an attention seeker, a hypochonriac and I just can't miss the sheer despise in their eyes.

    I really don't know who to turn to any more and I know things will only get worse, including the drinking. I suppose my very last option is seeing a psychiatrist privately but (oh, so typical) I just don't have the financial resources.

    Oh, anyway, sorry about the rant.
  4. jimk

    jimk Staff Alumni

    Crash your use of alcohol is in the moderate range on most scales.. that does not worry me but your talk about the anger which you talk about a machine gun and sometimes feel you could mow down people. that is awfully scary sir..,, if that comes to you very much that is what should be talked about with the psychiatric professionals.. that is really out there.. agree with you that anxiety disorder is not what i think you have got now.. i am not a professional even a little bit but i have done anxiety disorder in my life. what you are describing here does not sound like it.... now depression is a mighty beast and it is very common and reading some of your recent posts i find it easy to beleive that you really do have that.

    if you really believe that have a assigned the incorrect diagnosis to you i would voice your displeasure and disbelief to them loudly.. if they persist maybe time to try to find another doctor.. misdiagnosis leads to misplaced meds and therapies..

    Crash good luck with getting some good help.. tc, Jim
  5. 1Lefty

    1Lefty Well-Known Member

    Crash - Is there a chance you could check out a few Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and see if you fit? It probably saved my life. One thing I heard was "It doesn't matter how often you drink, or how much you drink, it's what it does to you when you DO drink" for someone trying to determine if they were a "real" alcoholic.

    I'm not going to turn this post into some AA diatribe, but if you're interested PM me, and I'll be glad to talk with you about it.
  6. Crashland

    Crashland Well-Known Member


    cheers mate - so far I have turned all my aggression inwards. You are right - it won't work forever. Thanks for your insight.


    ---------- Post added at 03:17 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:17 PM ----------


    cheers mate - so far I have turned all my aggression inwards. You are right - it won't work forever. Thanks for your insight.


    ---------- Post added at 03:24 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:17 PM ----------


    when I drink I get defused. I'm calmer, not risky, not aggressive, not desperate. (very ill, though)
    Thank you for your comment and I WOULD talk to AA but - jeez; I am not an alcoholic for the sake of it, needing to stop.
    I drink to be able to carry on! To be able to function and not to hurt those I love! (or anyone for that matter)

    Do you still think that AA is of any use for me?
  7. kote

    kote Account Closed

    you sound like my twin!!!
    with the angression i have to be medicated so i dont go ballistic at someone or a group of people.
    so i have anxiety issues as i cant control myself - now this is without booze. with booze x 10000.
    i found myself drinking more and more and could see a bad pattern coming so i told my dr.
    he put me on antabuse.
    best drug possible for you in my honest opinion!!!
    it will stop you drinking guaranteed - but not the desire. once the desire went away i took myself off it against my drs. opinion.
    id say go get the antabuse and some anti anxiety meds and try them for a few months. it will reset the clock.
    anyway goodluck and i know how youre feeling right now!!!
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