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Depression and anxiety after quitting drinking

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Old 03-05-2007, 08:53 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 98
maintainin HB User
Depression and anxiety after quitting drinking

Anybody who whas quit drinking, did you experience depression and anxiety in the months after you quit? I used to drink everyday. Not a huge amount, maybe 4-5 beers, enough to give me a nice little buzz for as long as I can remember. I stopped a couple months ago and I must say I've been depressed and had some mild anxiety ever since. I dont crave a drink, but I'm just down in the dumps. I've never suffered depression before this and I must say it sucks. I've been to the doctor for it and he prescribed me some Lexapro but I have yet to take it because I keep on hoping this will go away and am scared to death of AD medication.

Anybody else experienced this and how long did it take you to get better? I'm assuming its the quitting drinking thats causing it. I never felt depressed when I drank and I never felt the need to drink because I was depressed, but maybe subconciously I was. I dont know, I'm just confused and down right now. I take great car of myself. Work out, take vitamins, eat reasonably well. Any insight would be appreciated.

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Old 03-05-2007, 09:48 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 1,625
ozzybug HB Userozzybug HB Userozzybug HB Userozzybug HB User
Re: Depression and anxiety after quitting drinking

Hey Maintain-
First- Congratulations on these months without drinking. I know it isn't an easy road to travel, but you have come a long way. A couple of months may seem like a short while to most people, but when you are trying so hard to stay clean/sober, it can seem like a lifetime, but you are doing it. Way to go!

My husband quit drinking cold turkey several years ago and has stayed that way. I can tell you that with him, and he was drinking quite a bit more than you, he did have to deal with anxiety & depression for almost a year afterward. It wasn't a constant struggle for him as in every single day, but it did haunt him for about a year. He chose not to see a doctor for it because he felt like if he started taking medications for the anxiety & depression, he would end up fighting another battle to get clean.

I can tell you that staying busy helped him quite a bit. He tried not to have too much down time because it would allow his mind to steer towards drinking and that didn't help with the anxiety at all. He poured himself into his work, and then when he wasn't working, he found other things to keep himself busy such as yardwork, family activities, reading- whatever worked at the time.

I can't say that this will work for you, because each person has to deal & cope with sobriety in their own way. I know many people greatly benefit from some sort of support group such as AA. This wasn't the route my husband wanted to go, but that was his prefference. Many people need that kind of support and will greatly benefit from it. If you aren't already attending AA, it wouldn't hurt to try a meeting. There will me many people there who are going through, or have already gone through the feelings you are, and will be able to offer helpful suggestions as well as support during the times when your anxiety & depression are bad.

Hang in there, because this will get better. I'm sending positive vibes your way. And know that you can always come here for guidance & support! Take care!

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