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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5334
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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Id like to stop drinking

Customer Question

Id like to stop drinking
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 4 years ago.

Hi! You know, to give you the best answer, I think I should ask you a few questions first that will help define the problem and the situation.

Your question is very evocative that there is so much behind the simple few words you write. How long have you been using alcohol?

And how long have you been attending AA meetings? How often are you attending? Is it helping?

What other things have you tried in the past? Did they work and for how long?

Do you think you need in-patient detox and rehab? Do you have insurance and the financial resources for this?

Now for some general questions: Was there trauma or abuse in your childhood? What about alcohol or dysfunction in your family when you were growing up?

Are you interested in medications to help? Or self help techniques? Or psychotherapy?

Are you getting any therapy treatment right now? If so, what type? How is it going?

If not, when was the last treatment? What type of treatment was it? Was it helpful?

Any extra information that will help, feel free to share.

I'm going to be going to be logging off for the night soon, so if I can't answer before that, would later today be okay for me to respond?
Dr. Mark

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sure get back to me at yr earliest convenience.

I have been drinking at various levels for 20 years now.

AA was helpful for a couple of years but ive stopped going.

I have tried the usual medications but they are basically sedatives.

No trauma or abuse in childhood.

Alcohol for me is a convenient cheap drug that guarantees a blackout at home so i can have a few nights a week not dealing with loneliness.

I dont have the financial resources to attend residential rehab.

I no longer go to a closet drinker 4 times a week.

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 4 years ago.
I'm glad I saw this before I logged of. I know you want an answer as quickly as possible. But this is your life and I want to make sure that the answer I give you is the most fitting to your specific situation and who you are. So I need to ask a little more:

You have some really good insight into yourself. This is important. I don't think therapy is useful while you're still drinking: no therapy work/homework can compete with the blackout relief from the bottle if you're still drinking.

But you seem like a really good candidate for success with therapy to deal with the underlying problems that are causing the loneliness, depression, etc. So, AA would be a wonderful economical treatment to go along with the therapy so the therapy has a chance of helping.

What's ironic is this: you drink to medicate your pain of loneliness away. AA works so well; why? Because it is a social outlet. It's based on connecting with other people. Support. Isn't that remarkable? You are drinking because you're lonely, but you're avoiding AA where you can be more honest about who you are than anywhere, and it is a social opportunity available to you 4-5 evenings a week in most metro areas. Yet you avoid it!

So, is that an option for you to go back to AA and to start therapy?

Do you have insurance?

I'm not sure I'll still be logged on, but please reply when you can. Thanks,

Dr. Mark
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I do see yr point. However, it is difficult to sit through endless stories of other peoples problems. It can have the reverse effect. Its not inspiring anymore like it was when I was new in the program.

I really didnt think id make it this far in life to have nothing fufilling to transpire.

Life is boring. Loads of TIME. Others around me just go with the boredom. Perhaps this is as good as it gets.

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 4 years ago.
Hi, I'm glad I'm still online for the night so we can get farther here. Because you are clearly very hurt emotionally.

No, this isn't as good as life gets. But for life to be better, we have to put in the effort. Life is all about the effort we put in. Yes, it always seems that others have it easy. That's how movies and TV try to portray it. The stars have it so easy, for example. But in the real world, where we all live, it isn't like that. We do deal with loneliness and having our feelings hurt, etc. And on the other side we want life to be better. So, the answer is putting in the effort.

But the effort doesn't have to be so scary. For example, let's start:

You're a female, 40, you write. And AA is too boring to listen to others' problems. Okay. So what are your other interests in life?

No, don't say you have no other interests. What do you like? Make a list of the things you like. Write it down for me (Rock music, church, whatever). Write everything down in the list for me.

Then next to each item, write for me where people go who also like each of these things.

Let's go from that, okay? If not tonight, then tomorrow or Sat. night if I'm in sessions in my office tomorrow too long.

Dr. Mark