Having to self medicate with alcohol

Discussion in 'Self Harm & Substance Abuse' started by neverever, Dec 7, 2009.

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  1. neverever

    neverever Member

    Does anyone else here have to do this? I go to the doctor and he tries me out on various ssri's. I've tried them all, they don't do anything except when I try to come off them, I get "zapps" and dizziness and generally feel bad. I

    've tried beta blockers, my bad feelings don't come from elevated breathing or heart rate, I can be breathing normally and have a really slow heart rate and blood pressure but be feeling bad. Not depressed, but anxious and nausious. I have to feel my pulse all the time. I would rather do some really strenuous excercise to get my heart pumping so that I can feel it properly, but when it comes down again, I feel bad.

    The doctor won't give me diazepam, which is probably the only thing, apart from alcohol, which helps me. So I basically told the doctor that if I can't be on tranquilizers, I'll just end up self medicating with drink, and he just shruggs his shoulders as if to say "right, fine with me". Dick.

    The only thing he offers apart from ssri's is "cognitive therapy". Look, I'm sure it's good for some people and all, but this thing can't be reasoned with. I know we're all in the same boat and I know there are other people who feel this way. Meeting them and chatting isn't going to stop me feeling like this. I don't have irrational thoughts, I don't think people hate me or think bad things about me. I just feel bad and only drink and benzo's can make me feel ok. All my childhood was the same and I just had to grin and bear it. Now I'm an adult, I don't have to feel bad all the time, I can kill it with drink.
  2. fromthatshow

    fromthatshow Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    Hey I'm the same way, drink to self medicate. Except they gave me benzos so I can bear it sometimes without drinking. But I know how you feel.

    Two suggestions. My first would be to try AA. I don't know if you have or you haven't. But if you haven't, I would at least give it a shot. I went, it wasn't for me, but it works for a lot of people.

    Second. Have you tried regular therapy? I mean, is cognitive therapy different than regular therapy? Is that like with a group? Anyway, figuring out why you need a drink or a benzo to make you feel better can help. I'm in therapy right now and she's telling me to focus on my self-esteem. And although I'm not at a place where I want to quit drinking, I see very dimly a future where I don't need a drink.
    It's not natural to need benzos or a drink to feel normal. We should be able to feel normal without them. So I would say there is a cause for this... it doesn't have to just be the way things are. I'm in the same boat as you are. I just refuse to believe that I will always need a drink to feel normal, or that it will be that way for anyone.

    Anyway, best of luck. :pm: PM me if you ever want to talk :hug: :heart:
  3. Chargette

    Chargette Well-Known Member

    I use to do that and then it stopped working. It stopped working at a time when I needed it most.

    I went to AA. I stayed, I closed my eyes during meetings, with my arms across my chest, and I never said anything. This went on for a good 3 months. At some point things started getting better.

    Some of what was said in meetings applied to me and I could use them and I did, little by little. After awhile I got pretty good at doing these little things.

    AA is full of people who were seeking to change the way they feel with alcohol. Old man alcohol is cunning, baffling, and powerful. Alcohol has killed a lot of people, destroyed a lot of families, and friends.

    If you are finding yourself on the losing end of the deal all the time, I recommend 90 AA meetings in 90 days.

  4. neverever

    neverever Member

    But it doesn't even sound like you accomplished anything in your whole time there apart from long periods of boredom and learning that "alcohol is bad". I know alcohol is bad. It's obvious. I don't need to spend long periods of time talking to a load of fellow alkies to realise that. It might make some people feel better about themselves to form some sort of mini-community where they all feel like they're in the same boat, not me. I'm glad you suddenly somehow started to feel better because of it, though, obviously.

    People just don't seem to understand what I'm talking about with this and it annoys me a lot. I know I'd end up hating people who attend these kind of get togethers. Normal people (people who don't feel like me all the time) are constantly telling me that the reason I'm feeling bad is literally because I'm doing something wrong and that I need to behave more like them to start feeling right again. That's what cognitive therapy (or any kind of group therapy) is about and nobody should try to deny that. I could almost call it brainwashing.

    My hell on earth feelings don't stem from not being relaxed or from being socially anxious. I can be alone in my room and feel even worse than I can out in the world. The 'panic attacks' can happen without ANY physical symptoms. Infact, some of the worst moments of anxiety I have experienced have happened when I am completely calm and relaxed. It's kind of an unnerving pseudo 'panic' that could never be realised or detected by external means.

    Infact, I'm really not bothered anymore about trying to stop drinking at all. I have no interest in listening to people congratulate me, as I tell them I've "been sober now for 5 years" while at the same time feeling much worse than I ever did as an alcoholic (like when I was a child).

    Breathing in bags? meditating? Group support? Sorry, don't make me laugh. In my opinion, the only answer lies in tranquilizing drugs. If I shorten my life slightly as a result of that, so be it. I'm just pissed, because the doctor will not give me these things, but would apparently rather me either go to the off license or approach a local drug dealer.
  5. Chargette

    Chargette Well-Known Member

    Who are you to say I didn't accomplish anything.

    I'm 5 1/2 years sober because of AA. I work one program for alcoholism and another for depression.

    I still feel like a 5th wheel. Oh well. I don't care what others (normal people) think about me or what needs to be done. I don't care what they have to say about it either because they have no clue.

    I was just trying to share part of my experience because sometimes that's where others find ideas they can try.
  6. Scully

    Scully Well-Known Member

    I'm drinking plus meds. Who knows, maybe it'll ahve my skin.... :laugh: I wish
  7. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    do you think they are flashbacks related to your past? i like reading your posts here cos, i've been in a similar place this year and feel the same way about SSRIs and cognitive therapy. if i didn't have diazepam i'd be drinking.

    why aren't they prescribing you diazepam anymore? if they are worried about dependency there are other drugs like clonazepam that they say isn't as addictive.

    but they probably aren't that worried about dependency seeing your drs reaction to you saying you'd drink instead, which was what i was talking about with someone a few months ago. it makes no sense does it?
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2009
  8. neverever

    neverever Member

    I was never really prescribed them long term. Doctor gave me them for about a week once and maybe done that several times. They just make everything better and I took them whenever I could get hold of them. My mate at work, who has problems, also got them off drug dealers and he'd give me them when he had one spare. When we couldn't get them, the pair of us would end up drinking cans of special brew behind peoples houses. Didn't help that we are window cleaners and climbing up ladders when you're drunk is not a good idea.

    I don't think they are flashbacks. I've never been abused as a child, but I was always in a bad way. I just had to struggle on and no amount of exposure to social situations ever made things better. I'd often end up just crying or vomiting most of the time. That doesn't happen now, but I feel just the same inside.

    It's like, what is worse, drinking 30 units of alcohol a day or taking 80mg of Diazepam? Well, to be honest, I don't know which is worse for the liver, but the alcohol is certainly a lot more socially destructive.

    I really did expect a lot more help from the doctor on this, to be honest. He's talking about me ending up like a zombie when I reach middle age with benzos. Hello? I might not even get to middle age if I carry on drinking. Sometimes I wonder what kind of state my liver is in, or if I'm just a few drinks off cirrhosis.

    I've also seen the other doctors at my local surgery and they deeply routed in the mindset that cognitive therapy and SSRIs are the only route. Yawn. And to be honest, the cognitive therapy wasn't even available as a treatment on the NHS (I live in England). They wanted me to pay to go to what is called " The Priory". Cost a fortune, too. These places are private clinics, and I think the NHS doesn't fund this kind of stuff because someone at the top knows it's all horseshit.

    One of these days, I might even attempt to get myself sectioned under the mental health act. I've been told they sedate you with heavy drugs. Where do I sign on?

    clonazepam? Cheers, I'll look into that.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2009
  9. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    sorry wtf!! the NHS doctors wanted you to pay to go to the priory! who do they think they are?

    i love reading your posts i feel so similar about things but that's one of the best i heard. the nhs wanted you to pay to go to the priory instead of telling you there might be other forms of therapy that could help and which are more affordable.

    when you say doctor are you talking about a GP or a psychiatrist?
    do you have CMHT support?
  10. neverever

    neverever Member

    Heh, I don't even know what CMHT support is, so I'm guessing I don't have it.

    I'm talking about just my regular GP. The whole Priory thing was actually back in 2005. I even went to see someone there, but after I was told I'd have to live there for a period of time, in house, having cognitive therapy with groups of people, I decided not to bother. Plus, yes, the prices were unaffordable. I think a figure of £5000 + was banded about. I know there are facilities out there for people like me. It's not like we're completely forgotten about. But I actually found it quite staggering that something as important as mental health is pushed onto the back burner a little. Thinking back, there were other options for thems poor in need, but I remember the doctor saying those NHS facilities were crap and that you had to wait ages for it. And that you were best off with the priory, if you had some cash lying around.

    My parents were actually wanting to pay it for me at the time. I know I didn't try it, but can only imagine it would have been a spectacular waste of time and money. And I would've hated it. I was also afraid that it would have been used a tool by my parents to make me feel guilty afterwards. Not that I'm saying they're a couple of arseholes or anything, but you know how parents can be about things, especially when they don't really understand it. They just wanted me to be "right again". Not that I would ever have described myself as being right in the first place...

    Anyway, nice talking to you. I may read up on a few of your own posts. Thank you for lending an ear.
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