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Julia Kizhner
Julia Kizhner, Physician Assistant
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1126
Experience:  7 years experience working in Primary Care as well as Gastroenterology, Sleep Medicine & Weight Loss
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OK--I have gotten myself into a situation with alcohol. I have

Resolved Question:

OK--I have gotten myself into a situation with alcohol. I have been having what I though to be panic attacks. To calm myself down, I started taking a shot or two of vodka to help calm things down so I could function and keep going at my job.

Well--seems like I have really dug myself into a corner. I HAVE to have enough alcohol in my system to function normally. If I don't I start feeling really bad physically. So--I now need enough to maintain semi-normal appearance. It's become a balancing act. Too much and I fall asleep; not enough and I am sick to my stomach and can not function. I had been taking Lexapro fro anxiety but stopped taking it because it did not seem to be helping at all. I know I should have called my DR and been up front w her but I didn't. I feel really bad about that but I thought I could deal with this on my own.

I have been drinking at least a fifth of vodka a day for the past couple of weeks, sometimes (most times lately) more.

Question--I want to stop this in the worse way. I am thinking that if I just quit, I will be really sick for a few days. I can probably pass it off as the flu. But I am reluctant to as I have heard there can be bigger problems that just feeling bad.

Is it ok for me to just stop drinking?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your question, I am sorry to hear you got yourself in this situation but, at the same time, I am happy to hear that you have come to a decision that you need to stop and you understand that alcohol is not a solution to the problems you experience. If you have mentally prepared yourself, you will be successful in quitting alcohol. I do have to warn you that you should not stop drinking on your own. You need to talk to your doctor and get admitted to the hospital for monitoring from withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes withdrawal symptoms can be severe and can cause permanent brain damage. Its a condition known as Delerium Tremors (DTs). Unfortunately it is not possible to predict who will get these DTs and who won't so to be safe, given the amount of alcohol you have been consuming, it would be strongly advised to go through withdrawal under medical supervision. People in the hospital will be very supportive and not judgemental (in case you are concerned about it). The most you would stay in the hospital is 2-3 days, maybe even less. You shouldn't feel bad in front of a doctor. None of us, medical professionals, judge people in a negative way, we are here to help in the best way we can. I hope you find this information helpful. Please feel free to follow-up with any other questions. If you are satisfied with the answer, please do click 'Accept' button so that I may get credit for my work. Best wishes and good luck,Julia
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
when you say permanent brain damage--what are you referring to? just curious mostly. Is there something I should be looking out for? No one--not even my husband--has a clue what I have been doing.
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 5 years ago.

Well, delirium tremens is a condition which happens when alcohol is suddenly stopped. During these episodes a person can have sudden and severe mental changes as well as neurological changes. For example, a person can develop seizures during delirium tremens. Falls with head injury are common, suicidal thoughts are common. Not everyone who stops alcohol intake will develop these but because there is no way to predict and because your alcohol consumption has been quite high, it is safe to go through withdrawal with supervision.

Here is a link that will give you more explanation about delirium tremens:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001771/

I understand that you haven't told anyone about your alcohol consumption but I think that you might need your family's and your doctor's support to safely stop alcohol and stay away from it. It is one of the most difficult things to tell someone but, in the long run, you will only benefit from it.

Please let me know if you have any other questions. I will be happy to assist you further.

If I answered your questions, please do click 'Accept' button so that I may get credit for my work.

Julia

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