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Luann
Luann, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 158
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist, 24 years experience working with children, adolescents, families and adults.
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I drink approximately 1 bottle of wine 5 nights per week. I

Resolved Question:

I drink approximately 1 bottle of wine 5 nights per week. I work full time and have 2 children 10 and 13 I am currently off sick with depression and have a long standing deprssive illness. Prior to this period of sick leave I have not had a day off sick for 5 years. I get very anxious which is when i want to drink and do feel quite desperate at those times. I just wondered what this scenario means. I am currently not drinking butnstill having bad days linked to the depression does this make me an alcoholic?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Luann replied 3 years ago.

Luann :

Hello

Luann :

It is difficult to give you a definitive answer. Diagnosing alcoholism, depression, anxiety is complicated. Many of the symptoms not only overlap but one can influence the other. It is a process of elimination. To do this you need to try to get under control those things which might have the most influence.

Customer:

Hello

Luann :

Alcohol is a depressant, so in order to get a clear picture of your symptoms of depression, you need to not drink for a period of time. This will allow your true symptoms of depression to present themselves, not just the alcohol influenced symptoms.

Luann :

Also, your symptoms of anxiety may be influenced by your drinking. You may experience a rebound effect, that is, the alcohol may settle down your anxiety but as the alcohol leaves your system your symptoms of anxiety come back oftentimes even stronger.

Luann :

So, even though it is unclear if alcohol is a problem for you or not, you need to stop drinking for a period of time so this can be properly evaluated along with a proper evaluation of your other symptoms.

Customer:

I always have a much bigger problem with alcohol when I am unwell and I am trying to break the link between anxiety and drinking have you any advice about this?

Luann :

Talk with your therapist about this and ask for coping skills that will work for you. In addition, I hope you are seeing a psychiatrist, get in to see this person and discuss appropriate medication for your anxiety. If you are not, schedule an appointment today.

Customer:

I have a problme linking anxiety and drinking and am trying to break this have you any advice about this?

Customer:

what would you say makes someone an alcoholic?

Luann :

I encourage you to get a support system around you. This could include your therapist, boyfriend, non drinking friends, a support group. Rely on them when you are feeling anxious, make phone calls, talk about what you are feeling, ask them to distract you.

Customer:

I do not want to stop drinking and when I am well it is something I enjoy

Luann :

What makes someone an alcoholic? It is usually what happens when you drink, not how much you drink. If negative things tend to happen when you are drinking and you keep drinking this usually indicates that you have a problem. Social drinkers would stop drinking or change their patterns, but problem drinkers think that they will be able to change what happens when they drink.

Luann :

Just take a break from drinking right now, don't make a decision about forever. Right now you need to get well and get your feet on the ground.

Customer:

Thats what I am doing . It is dificult to know when it is O.K ot have a drink again because I do feel so much better.

Luann :

I recommend you give it some time, like 6 months, before you decide about drinking or not. It takes up to a year to fully treat depression and anxiety. You want your mental health to be as stable as possible before you start adding a mood altering drug to your system like alcohol.

Luann, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 158
Experience: Licensed Psychologist, 24 years experience working with children, adolescents, families and adults.
Luann and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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