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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10547
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I have a friend who has been on antidepressants .

Customer Question

I have a friend who has been on antidepressants for years. However she may be cyclothymic. Misdiagnosed - wrong meds?? Drinking is a huge problem. When she drinks which is almost daily,its excessive. She doesn't stop until either an ambien puts her out or she passes out. After 2 DUI's she only gave up the ambien. She says alcohol makes her feel euphoric, but outwardly she is anything but. The personality change after the first or second drink is the opposite of her lovely sober self. Aggressive, assertive, sarcastic, no filter. I have long suspected alcohol is not the root of the problem, but used to relieve other symptoms;. When not drinking she is quite upbeat but has a very nervous disposition. Could medication exacerbate her anxiety making her more uncomfortable in her skin. Drinking seems to calm her. but her personality is so very different. One never knows her true feelings, they drastically differ when under the influence. Are they repressed? Is this the wrong meds?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.
*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.
Hello, I am very sorry that your friend has been experiencing this wide variety of symptoms, I can understand why you are concerned for her. Obviously I cannot provide a diagnosis online as that takes a face to face evaluation, but I will answer your questions one by one to make it more orderly and easy to follow.
1. Yes antidepressants do have a possibility of increasing anxiety. Typically when this happens it is the result of either the wrong antidepressant being given or there is a misdiagnosis where the individual does not suffer from a typical anxiety disorder. Usually a more thorough examination by a psychologist or psychiatrist can help clarify diagnosis, and possibly changing or adding medications may be helpful.
2. It is doubtful that your friend is experienced a repressed personality or emotions while she drinks alcohol. Alcohol is a psychoactive substance that can have a strong effect for those that are sensitive to it (e.g. individuals that are addicted to alcohol). It is more likely that your friend suffers from an Alcohol Abuse Disorder and when she drinks alcohol it causes her to lower her inhibitions and her behavior to be drastically different than when she is sober. This can occur with any psychoactive substance and not just alcohol.
3. I cannot tell you specifically if these are the wrong medications since I do not know what specific medication she is on, what she has tried in the past, and like I said I cannot diagnose her online. It is possible that she may be on the wrong medications or too high of a dose. If she does choose to taper off her medications, I would recommend that she do so under the supervision of a psychiatrist since the withdrawal symptoms could be very bothersome.
I hope this answers your questions and gives you some guidance on this issue. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns as I am happy to assist and support you regarding this issue.
*If you are satisfied with my answer, I would appreciate it if you can provide me with a positive rating so that I can receive credit for helping you today. Thank you

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