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Forums / Young people / Alcohol and It's effect on Anxiety and Depression

Topic: Alcohol and It's effect on Anxiety and Depression

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. just_let_go
    just_let_go avatar
    37 posts
    9 September 2014

    Hi Everyone, 

    I'm hoping to get some of your thoughts on alcohol intake when you're suffering with anxiety/depression. I have read quite a bit about it, but you don't even need to do that to know that it obviously wouldn't help. 

    But is there an amount that is ok? I'm still in my early 20's, and I often get invited to birthdays and outings which more often than not involve some social drinking, which I usually part take in. I've always try to limit myself since my first major panic attack, before that I must admit I did engage in large amount of binge drinking pretty much every weekend. Now days I have cut down to well under half the amount I was drinking on weekends. Probably more. An average weekend for me my consist of 4 - 5 drinks on Friday and Saturday, where as before it would have been around 10 - 12 per night. During the week I don't touch the stuff. Unless a friend drops over and we might have a single beer together.

    On a side note, for marijuana I do not believe any amount is ok if you suffer from anxiety. I used to smoke it occasionally, I'll admit. I was never what you might call a "stoner" but my close friends were, so I would just part take in some social smoking occasionally. When I was younger it was more frequent. Maybe once a week. More recently it was more like once or twice a year. But alas, guess what caused my first major panic attack... i can tell you, you DO NOT want to suffer a panic attack while high. It amplifies the feeling x10. It was the worst 2 hours of my life. Safe to say I've never touched the stuff since, and never will.  

    I suppose the reason I've seen it as okay, is that I've never turned to drinking with the intension of making myself feel better. I've never seen it as an antidepressant. If anything I'm the opposite, when I'm feeling really down or my anxiety is peeking, I tend to avoid drinking and going out. I know it definitely effects people differently, so it may be ok for some and not for others. 

    What do you guys think? Is a few drinks on the weekend ok? Is 1 - 2 drinks a day acceptable and harmless to our well being?

    Look after yourselves. :) 

  2. white knight
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    white knight avatar
    6323 posts
    9 September 2014 in reply to just_let_go

    Hi,  welcome to BB forum, such a brave subject lol

    I've read a little over the years. I've read that a mixed drink eg bourbon and cola (lets make that no sugar cola) is actually good for you once a day. It may relax you, have it as a reward for a hard day working. I feel I can relate to this and endorse it. The problem is that often it will go to 3 or 4 or more and before you know it, you do have a problem.

    I see this issue wider. eg  I have friends that consume so much soft drink it is alarming. I asked them if they drink water at all- answer - no. Recently tests found that no sugar soft drink arent good for you as many people think. What has happened with humans drinking water?  My mind boggles at this.

    The same can be said for vegetables. Recently we went to another friends home and for dinner (as they are vegans) we had a large bowl of vegetables. No melted butter, no salt and pepper.  WOW!  what an amazing tasty feed. We have forgotten the wonder of food.

    So considering all of this I reckon moderation is the key. And with drinking I would limit it to a drink when you feel like you have earned it, say 2-3 times a week. One only!  As well as sharing one with a friend.  As for drinking excessively- it makes no real sense to me.  It achieves nothing.

  3. HA1
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    531 posts
    10 September 2014 in reply to just_let_go

    Hello hi_im_ty,

    An interesting topic.  

    For too many years I had turned to alcohol as a means of self-medicating.  It made me happy and relaxed.  However,  I stopped drinking completely on the day of my 'meltdown'.  Often, I think how great it would be to have a nice glass of wine with dinner, or when friends are over.  Particularly now that summertime is soon here.  At the moment however, I dare not.  Will it send me into an even deeper depression?  How does it affect the meds?

    I know that many sufferers of mental illness are able to still enjoy the occasional (how frequent?) glass of alcoholic beverage.  But I am not sure I could do it until I feel much more comfortable/safer - when I have a spring in my step, when my head is no longer bursting, when my mood is lighter (naturally without forcing it or wearing a mask).  At the moment my motivation is so low, that I could probably not even motivate myself to open a bottle of wine (lol).

    So, in short, although I have no experience mixing alcohol and ADs, I suspect if my mood was right (mental health wise), then I would probably not hesitate having the occasional drink - regardless of whether I was still on ADs. The test will then be, will one or two glasses of wine with friends be enough, or will I want to continue when the friends have left. Don't know.

    At the moment I have to settle for sugar free soft drink.  Agree with WK, I have a wife who keeps telling me how bad it is for me.   A light beer is probably healthier!  

    Be interested to hear what others have to say.

    stay safe

    regards

    K

  4. HA1
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    531 posts
    10 September 2014 in reply to HA1

    Hello again ...Ty,

    forgot to add that if you type in "alcohol, depression" in the search bar you will find more discussion on similar topics.

    cheers

    K

  5. geoff
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    10 September 2014 in reply to just_let_go

    hi, I'm pleased that this topic has been raised again, because it's a very important one, and as AOK has said there have so many posts on alcohol, some which have gone on for a long time, while others have just briefly been mentioned.

    When I was deeply suffering from depression I was often called an alcoholic, because I used it to make me feel numb, but was always frowned upon by my doctor and psychologist who continually asked me to stop, but I couldn't, I needed it.

    What it does is water down your medication so that it doesn't have the full effect.

    Now I only drink socially, because after awhile it becomes tasteless so I stop, so now in hindsight drinking excessively doesn't help it just makes the problem worse.

    The trouble is is that it's a highly addictive drug in itself and that the temptation for one drink can easily turn into two, but have a read of all the other posts, as there is a lot of information there. Geoff.

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