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Question
Posted by: Me | 2010/11/25

Alcoholic

Dear Doctor,

I''m a woman in my mid thirties, and I''ve always been a heavy drinker. I sometimes don''t drink anything for 2 weeks, but then I''ll have a stressful day etc. and then I''ll have a bottle of wine.

I know I''ve embarrassed my husband whilst being tipsy/drunk. So it''s affecting our relationship.

For example, last night I had about 3 glasses of wine before dinner, and we had someone that had to come and see us. And he got very cross with me afterwards, because he says the guy could see I was drunk. I also fell asleep infront of the TV and woke up at about 1. So he was so cross with me, he just went to bed normal time. And just left me to sleep without waking me up.

So, my question to your dear Doctor do you think I''m an alcoholic? And do I need to go for treatment/rehab etc. There is no extra money, so won''t be able to go for treatment that is going to cost anything.. I''m the Westrand (Gauteng area). But we are on a good medical aid (Fedhealth)

I''ve also been diagnosed with depression and general anxiety for which I''m on treatment. I''m taking Cymbalta and Xanor (slow release)

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my message:-)

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

From your own description ( and you may be overlooking some aspects of the problems which may be obvious to others ) you are a problem drinker, and need and deserve proper help for that.
And the alcohol is interfering with the depression and its treatment. And some at least of the anxiety could be related to intermittent alcohol withdrawl.
Its a shame if when you saw the shrink or GP whop is treating the depression, you didn't reveal the extent of your alcohol problems, as they needed to be taken into account in planning.
As a binge drinker you may not need to be admitted for rehab , but this will depend on the results of assessment.
I agree with purple's wise and experienced advice. Look into AA and Al-Anon, too.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Purple | 2010/11/25

You sound just like my husband.

Please get help, someone who drinks, thinks they are fine but embarasses the whole family with the stupid things they say and then falls asleep on the couch is irritating. You can''t hold a conversation with the person, you can only talk to them in the mornings when they are sober.

depression and alcoholism go together, treating the depression alone doesn''t resolve the alcohol issues.
As you can go a few weeks between drinking binges (so does my husband, and then it builds up again over about 8 weeks till he is drunk for an entire weekend, then I got angry, then he holds off for two weeks and the cycle starts again), as you can go a few weeks between binges, you probably don''t need to go into a treatment facility but could be treated on an outpatient basis or get help by going to alcoholics anonymous.

Your husband and the rest of your family will find al-anon quite helpful, I know that I do. I''ve realised there is no point being angry with my husband, its himself he''s killing and I just leave him on the couch. I do point out that he is an object of ridicule to our son, who recently had a friend to sleep over and they woke up in the middle of the night and covered my husband in cereal and then went back to bed. I''ve recorded his binges on my cell phone (as advised by CS) and he was really shocked when he saw them, he stopped drinking for a whole month before I started seeing tins in the bin again.

Your friends laugh at you behind your back, your husband is ashamed of you and your children will be soon too. Get help before your problems worsen and you end up losing your job because you''re too much of an embarassment to your company. You''re probably already not performing at optimal level when you go in hungover.

I don''t believe this clap trap about alcoholism being a disease - you are choosing to have a drink each time you have one, it doesn''t strike you through no fault of your own like type 1 diabetes or genetic high blood pressure (not the lifestyle related kind) - those are diseases. Get some help with making the choice not to humiliate yourself the whole time.
Ask your husband to record you slurring and speaking nonsense the next time you do it and then phone AA immediately for some help.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/11/25

From your own description ( and you may be overlooking some aspects of the problems which may be obvious to others ) you are a problem drinker, and need and deserve proper help for that.
And the alcohol is interfering with the depression and its treatment. And some at least of the anxiety could be related to intermittent alcohol withdrawl.
Its a shame if when you saw the shrink or GP whop is treating the depression, you didn't reveal the extent of your alcohol problems, as they needed to be taken into account in planning.
As a binge drinker you may not need to be admitted for rehab , but this will depend on the results of assessment.
I agree with purple's wise and experienced advice. Look into AA and Al-Anon, too.

Reply to cybershrink

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