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I am feeling panicky and kind of hopeless. I have c-ptsd,

I am feeling panicky...

I am feeling panicky and kind of hopeless. I have c-ptsd, constant anxiety and am now alcoholic. I have tried to seek help and cannot seem to get better. I used to be a very high functioning individual but am functioning at a low level now. I am alone and have trouble dealing with that. I do not know where to turn except to a bottle of wine which is killing me. i want to live and be happy but cannot seem to get there. Have really tried. Checked myself (self pay--more anxiety!) into detox and rehab multiple times. I seem unable to deal with normal life setbacks.

Doctor's Assistant: How long have you been dealing with this? Is there anything in particular that seems to make the symptoms better or worse?

I am 60. I would say that I began to be alcohol dependent about a decade ago concurrent with the time that I had reached a breaking point in an abusive marriage. I have some issues in childhood which likely made me susceptible to an inability to deal in a healthy fashion with multiple traumas which began to occur in my mid 20s. There were so many things. I just started checking out with alcohol and that is my go to.

Doctor's Assistant: Anything else in your medical history you think the psychologist should know?

I have been quite healthy all of my life until recently. Have been hospitalized 3 times recently for low sodium and alcohol detox. Went to a gastro guy who sent me for an abdominal ultrasound and tons of specialized blood work last Thursday. No results yet. I am so frightened that I may have cirrhosis although my only symptom is fatigue. Hard to tell if that is just liver or entire endocrine system which I suspect to be the case. Lost insurance last year. I know that my dose of armor thyroid has ranged from 240-30 mg so that is not yet stable. Probable have adrenal fatigue which is a result of long term stress but not really recognized by mainstream MDs. All of those organs, endocrine related talk to each other and I have yet to find anyone who truly understands the interaction. Anxious about getting my results. I am trying!

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Answered in 1 day by:
5/7/2018
TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5,988
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hello, I'd like to help you with your problem.

It sounds like you are being honest with yourself about the alcohol use and the past traumas you have gone through, all of which is an excellent sign that you can overcome your problems. The first step in dealing with any problem is acknowledging it up front, which you have done.

You mention that your go to coping mechanism is alcohol, which you feel is in response to the trauma from your past and the difficulty in your marriage. You also mention that you are dealing with C-PTSD as well as anxiety, which are common reasons why people turn to alcohol to cope.

You also said that you have tried to go to rehab for your alcohol use, which you feel has not helped. You did not say if you have tried therapy with a Mental Health therapist. There is some therapy involved with rehab, but it may not be the kind you need to address your past issues, which seem to be at the root of your issues.

A good place to start for addressing your trauma and coping with alcohol would be mental health therapy. If you feel that your alcohol use exists because it is a way to cope with your past trauma, anxiety and PTSD, then resolving these past issues would help you to find new ways to cope besides alcohol. You may want to begin by asking your doctor for a referral to a therapist or therapists. You may want to try to look for one that has experience with anxiety, PTSD and alcohol use. It may not be easy to find someone who specializes in all three, but any therapist with some experience at least in one area should be able to address the other issues as well.

Also consider working on your issues at home through self help. It can help supplement any therapy or outside treatment you are involved in. Here are some resources to help you:

On line links:

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/addictions/overcoming-alcohol-addiction.htm

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_types_symptoms_treatment.htm

https://psychcentral.com/lib/telephone-hotlines-and-help-lines/

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_self_help.htm

https://www.rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/Thinking-about-a-change/Support-for-quitting/Self-Help-Strategies-For-Quitting.aspx

Books:

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne

When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life by David D. Burns

The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anxiety: A Step-by-Step Program by William J. Knaus EdD and Jon Carlson PsyD EdD

The 30-Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of Your Own Home

by Jack Canfield and Dave Andrews

Coping with Anxiety: 10 Simple Ways to Relieve Anxiety, Fear & Worry by Edmund J. Bourne and Lorna Garano

The Complex PTSD Workbook: A Mind-Body Approach to Regaining Emotional Control and Becoming Whole

by Arielle Schwartz PhD and Jim Knipe PhD

Support groups:

http://psychcentral.com/resources/Anxiety_and_Panic/Support_Groups/

https://ptsd.supportgroups.com/

http://www.dailystrength.org/c/Anxiety/support-group

It is good that you are getting medical attention for your medical symptoms. Being anxious that your test results will show problems is natural. But the fact that you are getting help for your symptoms and are concerned about recovery are very positive signs that you can address what is causing you to feel this way. And the doctors can be part of the team that works to get you back to good health and the life you want. If possible, try to ask someone in your family or friends to help support you. Write out how you feel, share your anxiety over your health with online or in person support groups. You may find that others have gone through similar experiences and hearing their insights can be very helpful.

I hope this has helped you,

MaryAnn

May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer and it does not cost you extra to rate. Thank you so much!

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Hello,

I have not heard back from you. Please let me know if you have any related questions or need clarification on anything. If you are satisfied with your answer, please consider rating three or above. It is the only way experts are paid for their work. Thank you so much!

MaryAnn

TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5,988
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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