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Does drinking help anxiety?

answered 07:11 AM EST, Wed September 19, 2012
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anonymous anonymous
I think I drink a lot to deal with my bad anxiety. Now my drinking is way over the top and I am having a lot of worrisome pains where I think my liver is. I know I should go to an AA meeting and I have even printed off a schedule of meetings when drunk at night so I can go the next day but when I wake up and think about doing it I get crazy anxiety and so I don't. I don't have money for counseling or rehab so I feel like I'm stuck in a catch 22 with no way out. Any advice?

Jill Edwards Says...

The first thing you need to be aware of is that your drinking is actually increasing your anxiety. I would think that with your heavy drinking you would be in withdrawals, a lot of the time and certainly when you wake in the morning. You may well be feeling shaky and this will tell your mind that you are frightened and this will ratchet up the anxiety. You are living on a treadmill and wanting to get off and this is also making you more anxious. Given that your drinking is affecting your liver, I think you should contact your doctor and discuss a medicated detox.

In the mean time you can reduce your drinking your self if you do it really slowly. So, if you are currently drinking 6 cans a night, you can cut down to 5 cans a night quite safely and continue every week to reduce the amount by one can a night. If you are drinking strong lagers, then you need to switch to lagers of about 5%, so the reduction will be regular and manageable for you.

AA is a good place to go while you are going through this process of sobering up. When you have sobered up, then I would be happy to discuss your anxiety issues in more detail with you. Have a look at my contact details at www.invitationtotalk.co.uk.

Your doctor is your first port of call and you can work out a plan with him. Otherwise you may need to contact any other alcohol services in your area.

I wish you the best of luck. There is a way out, just do it day be day. Alcohol always makes anxiety worse. Just remember that. Yours Jill Edwards

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Page last updated Sep 20, 2012

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