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Old 12-25-2006, 12:56 AM   #1
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Social anxiety cured with alcohol

I have this problem where I feel so uncomfortable, even at the thought of social situations, I get nauseous, sweaty, almost tearfull, yet last Friday night I went out with work friends to celebrate Christmas, and after drinking I had the time of my life, but when I sober up I get the same old feelings of anxiety again. I don't want to end up an alcoholic, as the only way I can be truly comfortable with people is when I am drunk.

Also when I'm nervous, for example before going to social activity, exam, interview etc, I get racing thoughts which I can't control, and I get irritable and I keep snapping and being angry at my mum.

Can anyone relate?

Thanks, and Merry Christmas!

 
Old 12-25-2006, 07:26 AM   #2
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Re: Social anxiety cured with alcohol

Yup. Alcohol does help in the short term and there are a lot of people who are alcoholics because of this very reason. However, alcohol will require more and more for you to get the same benefit, if you don't get hangovers now, you will, which will actually make your anxiety worse. Alcohol has way more side effects than some of the anti-anxiety nedication out there. I drank for two years straight and rarely felt anxiety, but I now have a messed up liver and alcohol makes me very sick, so I quit drinking. This led to more anxiety. I now take 2-3 mg of Xanax a day for anxiety and it works much better than alcohol. Don't become an alcoholic, get some help from a doctor.

 
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Old 12-25-2006, 08:50 AM   #3
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Re: Social anxiety cured with alcohol

Yea I've been an alcoholic for a few years, but I've cut back a lot and yes alcohol DOES make you more anxious in the long run when your body develops a tolerance for it than you're pretty {REMOVED}for a long time. Also ask any psychiatrist about benzos (Klonopin, Xanax, Valium, etc.) and they'll tell you that they're just alcohol in a pill form because they depress the central nervous system as well. Eventually, after a month or so they'll stop working and you'll just want a higher dose and it just gets worse, they put you on a different one and it's the same process until you've taken them all. A couple of doctors I've seen and a rehab therapist even said Benzos are the worst drugs in the world when it comes to withdrawal (worse than any street drug or any prescription). I've been off of Benzos for months and I feel like {REMOVED} I'm always dizzy, unsteady, queezy, constant headaches, body tremors, hard to focus on anything I'm doing, etc. Sometimes they'll recommend nonbenzo meds like Buspar or an antihistamine like Vistaril which don't work for {REMOVED}(well not for me anyway). I'm kinda screwed right now, nothing will work for me, they just tell me ya gotta take it one day at a time and stay in therapy and exercise every day.

So just stay away from Benzos and alcohol (barbiturates are bad too). They'll only make you 5x worse than you are.

Last edited by ms_mod; 12-25-2006 at 06:00 PM. Reason: Do not use vulgar, curse or implied vulger or curse words. Ms_Mod

 
Old 12-25-2006, 10:13 AM   #4
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Re: Social anxiety cured with alcohol

Quote:
Also ask any psychiatrist about benzos (Klonopin, Xanax, Valium, etc.) and they'll tell you that they're just alcohol in a pill form because they depress the central nervous system as well. Eventually, after a month or so they'll stop working and you'll just want a higher dose and it just gets worse, they put you on a different one and it's the same process until you've taken them all. A couple of doctors I've seen and a rehab therapist even said Benzos are the worst drugs in the world when it comes to withdrawal (worse than any street drug or any prescription). I've been off of Benzos for months and I feel like
These are not true statements for everyone. I personally had no problem quitting alcohol and Benzo's do not have the same tolerance building problem that alcohol does. Benzo's actually reach a point where taking more has no added effect, so there is a point where you need no more Benzo's. If you ask any psychiatrist who has experience with panic dissorder he will tell you that Benzo's are the only thing out there now that works. I have been taking them for months and have stabalized at 2-2.5 mg of Xanax. In fact most of the time I can take even less and I have a prescription for 3 mg per day, so addiction is not a problem for me. I ramped for 2 months and the last few months I have been on the same dose. Many others on this board have also had great experiences with Benzo's as well. I believe that they may not work for you, but don't scare others into thinking it may not work for them.

Benzo's do have a withdrawl issue which can be alleviated by tapering instead of quitting cold turkey. You should never quit taking Benzo's cold turkey, but they have minimal to no side effects and are just as dependency forming as any other SSRI or antidepressant. Read some of the posts of people coming off of some of the SSRI's and you quickly learn that they are not a joke either and must be tapered off as well.

Some people need drugs for the rest of their life. I, unfortunately, am one of them, so let's not make generalizations about drugs unless you have a sample size of greater than one.

Last edited by ms_mod; 12-25-2006 at 06:02 PM.

 
Old 12-25-2006, 11:50 AM   #5
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Re: Social anxiety cured with alcohol

I would just echo what the others said. For me it worked for a long time - I was only drinking about 2 drinks a day though. Eventually it went from helping me to causing me bad anxiety attacks the day after so I stopped drinking completely last year and have been using Xanax as needed instead. If you aren't abusing alcohol it can work but you have to be careful not to let it get out of hand and be aware that eventually it may stop working and will just cause you more anxiety then you had before.

 
Old 12-26-2006, 03:32 AM   #6
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Re: Social anxiety cured with alcohol

I am new to this board and wanted to comment on the alcohol subject as it has related to my anxiety. I am 25 and have been drinking excessively from the age of 17 on.

I didnt get these anxiety problems until 2000-2001 after a bout of walking pneumonia, bronchitis, virus all at the same time. I laid on a couch the whole month of January 2000 crawling to the restroom when I could make it. {REMOVED}
The anxiety attacks started there and since Ive had to completely give up soccer due to not being able to breathe. Xanax seems to be the only cure for me but alcohol was up until no more than 6 months ago my "crutch" Every time I drink I feel great but when the fun wears off the panic is tripled at the minimum. I dont know if Ive developed some sort of allergy to alcohol or what but all I know is it isnt the answer to anxiety.

The doctors here in Tulsa are scared to prescribe Xanax {REMOVED} I have tried so many different doctors and wasted my money on meds that turned me into a zombie that I give up on the docs altogether.

This morning I woke up at 420 in a panic so called fiance on her way to work wanting her to not go and come home and stay with me today. Severe stomach pains, breathing difficulties, shaking uncontrollably, and feeling like I was going to die. This is how I found this forum. Sorry if I got off the subject, just had to get this off my chest during this attack. I feel better and so far I am seeing this forum as a real help for me.
Heath

Last edited by ms_mod; 12-26-2006 at 08:49 AM. Reason: Please read all of the "Sticky" posts at the top of this board, also do not disucss your use of prescription medication that was not prescribed for your use. Ms_Mod

 
Old 12-26-2006, 07:02 AM   #7
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Re: Social anxiety cured with alcohol

Heath,

You need to find a doctor who will prescribe you Xanax and you should be regulating the amount you take. It can be a very dangerous drug if not used properly. Also, sounds like you have a history of drug use and possibly addiction in which case Xanax may not be the drug for you, but you need to find a pro-xanax doctor and then go from there, {REMOVED}You need to do more in the way of finding a doctor.

OE

Last edited by ms_mod; 12-26-2006 at 08:52 AM. Reason: No longer applies, in response to part of a post that was removed. Ms_Mod

 
Old 12-26-2006, 08:26 AM   #8
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Re: Social anxiety cured with alcohol

I feel I must share this with anyone who uses alcohol for anxiety relief. My mom and grandma both had/have anxiety and panic disorder. My mom started using valium but found alcohol more helpful for her anxiety. My grandma had also been a big drinker. My mom drank herself to death at the young age of 44 leaving behind a family who loves and misses her badly and who tried so desperatly to help her. My grandma finally quit drinking and went on medication to help her with her anxiety. Please, please, please do not use alcohol to ease your anxiety. See a doctor for meds. Watching my mom suffer and then live on life support and eventually die will forever be embedded in my brain. Think of your health, your family, your future. Please don't drink to 'cure' anxiety.....

Take Care,
Tori

 
Old 12-26-2006, 10:27 AM   #9
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Re: Social anxiety cured with alcohol

Quote:
Originally Posted by ocdengineer
These are not true statements for everyone. I personally had no problem quitting alcohol and Benzo's do not have the same tolerance building problem that alcohol does. Benzo's actually reach a point where taking more has no added effect, so there is a point where you need no more Benzo's. If you ask any psychiatrist who has experience with panic dissorder he will tell you that Benzo's are the only thing out there now that works. I have been taking them for months and have stabalized at 2-2.5 mg of Xanax. In fact most of the time I can take even less and I have a prescription for 3 mg per day, so addiction is not a problem for me. I ramped for 2 months and the last few months I have been on the same dose. Many others on this board have also had great experiences with Benzo's as well. I believe that they may not work for you, but don't scare others into thinking it may not work for them.

Benzo's do have a withdrawl issue which can be alleviated by tapering instead of quitting cold turkey. You should never quit taking Benzo's cold turkey, but they have minimal to no side effects and are just as dependency forming as any other SSRI or antidepressant. Read some of the posts of people coming off of some of the SSRI's and you quickly learn that they are not a joke either and must be tapered off as well.

Some people need drugs for the rest of their life. I, unfortunately, am one of them, so let's not make generalizations about drugs unless you have a sample size of greater than one.
Well they have very similar tolerances, and benzos DO stop working after a while. Maybe you just been doing something else to keep your anxiety down you just don't know what it is, and believe me you don't wanna be on them forever, but once you stop you'll know what the withdrawal effects are like....even if you ween yourself off them for a while you'll still feel like crap. They're dangerous cuz u can get a seizure when you stop them. So just ask your doctor (preferably a psychiatrist cuz they know most) and they'll tell ya there's not much of a difference between alcohol and benzos.

 
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