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LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 678
Experience:  10 years post-MSW experience
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I have recently stopped drinking about a week ago. Coming

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I have recently stopped drinking about a week ago. Coming from drinking 6 beers a day, and lately at night when trying to close my eyes and sleep I start hearing weird conversations go on in my head. Almost like I am having rushing thoughts. What could this be?
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I also have a history of anxiety.

Hello and thank you for writing to us. My name is***** on your recent change! It is likely that those "rushing thoughts" you are hearing are your anxiety. Not only does alcohol withdrawal promote anxiety in the earlier phases, but alcohol is in essence a "treatment" for anxiety that you were using to help keep this and other problems more masked. So basically, you took away your "medication" for your anxiety and now it is coming back to the surface. Plus, tha natural withdrawal symptom and you aren't feeling well! This symptom could be something that you can try to manage on your own as you adjust to life without the beer, but it ultimately may be that you need to pursue other options for treating the anxiety and possibly other things you were masking with your alcohol use. For now, don't panic!! Be confident that you are doing a great thing for your health and well-being, try to ride out the unpleasant symptoms that tend to follow, and reassess things carefully in the next couple weeks. If it turns out your anxiety and rushing thoughts are not getting better or are interfering with your ability to live a functional, quality life, than it would be time to bring this up to your primary care doctor to talk about options, both for medications (like an SSRI that treats anxiety) and also for more supportive treatments like therapy.

I hope this helps! Again, great job on your sobriety- keep up the good work!

-Leah

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
How long after does this go away? Thanks for the quick response.

Welcome! If it is your anxiety, that doesn't just go away on its own usually, although it can wax and wane and many people can learn to push through it. But sometimes, anxiety does require more formal treatment. You may start to have a better sense for this in the next few weeks.

If the discomfort is just stemming from your body adjusting to the alcohol-free state, it shouldn't last much longer - a few more days to a week, Most withdrawal symptoms tend to dissipate around the 1-2 week mark. However, if your alcohol use was more long-standing, it can take longer for your body to go through adjusting without and that can sometimes take months.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I shouldn't be worried about schizophrenia should I?

Very doubtful that a schizophrenia symptom would suddenly emerge like this. Plus, the direct correlation between your drinking cessation really points to this as a root. Also, auditory hallucinations are different from thoughts. It sounds like you could distinguish that your thoughts were carried away - the things you were hearing were internal to your own head. Hallucinations associated with schizophrenia are often distinguishable from thoughts in that you actually hear the hallucinations as external from yourself to the point where you may even question if other people can hear them.

Curious if you have a history of severe mental illness or schizophrenia in your family?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
No history of mental illness to my family. Thanks for all the help. I will rate you highly!

Thanks so much. No illness in the family is another predicting factor that this isn't a concern. I hope you are able to keep healthy and in turn. find new and exciting forms of happiness. Best of luck to you!!

-Leah

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