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Did we all just fall off the turnip truck? ALCOHOL IS A DEPRESSANT


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I've been an alcoholic since the womb...actually I started when I was a teenager. Went through detox and rehab 23 years ago and managed to stay sober for 19 years. During that time I went through many ADs trying to deal with depression which I really think started in the womb. About 5 years ago I found effexor which did wonders for me and then 2 years later, I started drinking again. I continued taking effexor and drinking for 2 years until I finally went through 2 more detoxes and rehabs. After 13 months of sobriety, effexor still isn't working. I screwed up my brain in more ways than one, it seems.

Its a known fact that alcohol negates the effects of ADs. So, if you really want to feel better on your meds, don't drink. Booze is temporarily fun but life goes on when you're done drinking and you will not feel as good as you could.

I don't mean to sound preachy. I'm angry at myself and I just wish I hadn't been so stupid.

Gracie

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I've been an alcoholic since the womb...actually I started when I was a teenager. Went through detox and rehab 23 years ago and managed to stay sober for 19 years. During that time I went through many ADs trying to deal with depression which I really think started in the womb. About 5 years ago I found effexor which did wonders for me and then 2 years later, I started drinking again. I continued taking effexor and drinking for 2 years until I finally went through 2 more detoxes and rehabs. After 13 months of sobriety, effexor still isn't working. I screwed up my brain in more ways than one, it seems.

Its a known fact that alcohol negates the effects of ADs. So, if you really want to feel better on your meds, don't drink. Booze is temporarily fun but life goes on when you're done drinking and you will not feel as good as you could.

I don't mean to sound preachy. I'm angry at myself and I just wish I hadn't been so stupid.

Gracie

Gracie-

This is certainly a timely reminder for me. I have, in the past, been a serious alcohol abuser. Alcohol is NOT my friend, and I very rarely drink alcohol at all. However, for whatever reason yesterday I bought a bottle of Merlot(it's always been my fave) thinking I'd have one or two glasses with dinner. Well, as we abusers have learned from many years of experience, that "plan" seldom works for us. After dinner I ended up getting long winded and chatty for hours on the phone as I continued to consume. Ugggg! What a mistake! I think I had about 6-8 glasses, and boy have I regretted it all day today! Even the klonopin wouldn't snap me out of the hangover from hell.

I will say this too, unlike an SSRI(Paxil) which I have taken previously, Pristiq DOES NOT prevent hangovers. That was a major part of my "issues" with Paxil. I could drink to the point of passing out and get up without a hangover, without guilt, without remorse.......DANGER, DANGER! Of course, I am BPII also, and part of the drinking issues that I was plagued with during the many years of taking Paxil was that it flipped me into hypomanic states(which at the time, I didn't even know what they were), and all in all the alcohol abuse was most likely an attempt at self medicating to bring me down.

Anyway, having shared all this, I say "hear, hear!" to your reminder. Today is my day 12 on Pristiq, and I kinda blew it. ADs and alcohol are not good matches! In addition, the fact that I also take klonopin(a benzo) can add up to double trouble when alcohol is added.

Thanks for your post!

Deepster

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It's a central nervous system depressant. So are benzodiazapines. That doesn't automatically mean it causes a depressed mood. A few drinks with dinner or to get to bed at night isn't going to negate the effect of antidepressants.

Sure binge drinking is bad. It's bad regardless of if you're on meds or not.

Medication you shouldn't mix with alcohol will say so on the bottle.

I get what you're saying though

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Hi Velvis.

Looks like, officially, you're correct. From what I've seen and heard in the rooms of AA, alcohol in excess does indeed cause severe depression. I can attest to that myself. I hate to see anyone who is depressed mess with it at all. I forget there are people out there who can drink occasionally without going down the tubes.

My message is then, please be careful with alcohol, especially if you are taking an AD.

Deepster, I love merlot! Although, when I'm in full blown alchy mode, only straight vodka does the trick. I'm on day 11 of pristiq (day 2 of 100mg). Hope its working for you.

Thanks.

Gracie

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VE,

Thanks for your post. You've got me out there searching for an alcohol-serotonin relationship and there are some very interesting things.

http://www.currentseparations.com/issues/18-1/cs18-1d.pdf

http://hum-molgen.org/NewsGen/03-2005/000019.html

http://alcoholism.about.com/library/blacer021118.htm

VE, not trying to make you wrong and me right. ;) Just trying to understand myself.

Thanks again and I'll stop posting now.

Gracie

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The first and third articles you posted are about the effects of alcoholism, not the effect of drinking in moderation. The second one is about a genetic predisposition to higher alcohol consumption in people with a particular 5HTT genotype.

It's perfectly fine to be on an SSRI and have a glass of wine with dinner.

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Gracie-

Thanks for the links.......interesting reading. I see no reason why you should stop posting now, nor any reason why VE would take exception to your post/opinion. I am a long-term attendee at a Recovery Education Center, and I can tell you from personal experience depression/substance abuse/BP, and many other MIs have a commonality. I'll just say at this point that we all know that the brain is a VERY, VERY complex thing. Who's to say that abuses were catalysts to our disorders, or were the disorders catalysts to our abusing?....the chicken or the egg thingy all over!

What I say in my education classes is that it doesn't matter. We are now what we are....no matter the protagonist that got us there. That is not to say we are our "diagnosis". We are wonderful people far beyond that!

Regards,

Deepster

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Should I just move this thread to the addiction forum? That seems to be what ya'll want to talk about.

I'm just pointing out where counterfactual claims are made and and attempts made to justify them with irrelevent articles.

I know about addiction. I've been though it myself. I'll be the first to admit that I drink more than I should.

None of that changes the fact that for the vast majority of people it's fine to have a couple drinks with dinner or a nightcap before bed while taking an antidepressant.

People with substance abuse problems are a special case.

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VE-

Sorry! I don't think we intentionally posted in a "wrong" thread. I am new here, and I think Gracie is too. Hey, I'm just still trying to figure out where everything belongs.....i.e., what's appropriate where. With just a little time, my confusion should settle into "with it".

This is a great forum, and thanks for your input and guidance!

Regards,

Deepster

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That's fine VE. Didn't mean to ruffle any feathers. Thanks.

Deepster, thanks for your understanding. I wasn't trying to write a medically correct thesis. It seemed to me that the evidence in the links indicates a link between serotonin and alcohol: "Alcohol is known to interact directly with several neurotransmitter systems in the brain". Whether it causes/precipiates alcoholism or not, it still is related. I would think that if alcohol wasn't that important to you, you would rather not drink while taking ADs or while depressed. Otherwise, by all means, have a drink or 2 when you feel like it.

Gracie.

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I'm a raging alcoholic, recently had a slip where I drank a half bottle of vodka, was smuggling in vodka miniatures over the summer but now back on the straight and narrow. Over time, alcohol makes me depressed. I can drink it and be happy in the moment but long term it stops the Prozac from working. I have also done severely stupidly dangerous things while drunk like taking overdoses and lacerating my hands and arms very badly. Alcohol will do nothing in life but bring you down (except for the lucky people who can drink 2 or 3 and keep it at that!)

blackbird x

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I can drink it and be happy in the moment but long term it stops the Prozac from working.

That's a really important effect to watch for, and we're all different in that regard. I know that I can have a drink or two a couple of times a week and be ok. More than that gives depression a new foothold and I end up worse than before.

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Deepster, thanks for your understanding. I wasn't trying to write a medically correct thesis.

However, the less we mislead people - whether intentionally or by accident - the better off the next reader will be.

It seemed to me that the evidence in the links indicates a link between serotonin and alcohol

You might enjoy researching the interactions between alcohol and GABA, and alcohol and dopamine.

Or not. Some of the implications can be a bit depressing.

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I drank my fair share in uni, but when I realized it was getting to be a bit much, I cut it back a lot. After all, I have alcoholism in my family. Not much turned into seldom fairly easy, some periods a little more so than others, but on the whole not much. Now I will have the occasional margarita on the rocks (mmm, good tequilla), the odd beer, the random glass of wine with dinner. I do these for taste. I don't want a buzz. They don't effect my mood and my pdoc says it's fine. I think it all depends on the person's history with alcohol and how it effect's each individual's med efficacy.

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Alcohol is and always has been a huge problem for me. Binge drinking is the problem, usually when I'm hyopmanic these days but not always. I really think if I can totally eradicate alcohol from my life I can have a much better chance of actually having a life but I haven't been able to do it so far. I'm much better these days than I used to be, it really usually only is a hypomanic thing now, where as in my younger years I was quite the slosh. But it screws up my meds and I think is what makes me suicidal.

It's an evil thing for me.

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I can never tell if I am an alcoholic or not. Sometimes it seems so culturally specific. The questionnaires don't necessarily point to much.

In my country, it's no big deal to have a few bottles of wine/beer a week. I probably drink most nights and keep 2 or maybe 3 alcohol free. I have never been someone who can't stop drinking, but I can certainly pour a few glasses down before I say 'enough'. I am aware it would probably help my mood (which has improved slightly) if I stopped completely, but it's not compulsive. If it's not in the house, I won't go out and buy and drink it (and we're talking a two minute walk down the road to get to the shop) unless it's been a while and i am v stressed.

Also, I have spent 10 weeks smoke-free and am coming off Valium so don't want to do it all at once. Cigarettes were my heroin - one is too many and a thousand is never enough. That was my worst addiction.

What is your definition of an alcoholic? My parents were but I have been able to spend years without it, or months and not care.

Is the above drinking risky? I know that certain nationalities sanction more drinking than others, but what would you consider to be warning signs?

thanks.

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It's been said that alcoholism is a self-diagnosed disease. If alcohol is making your life unmanageable in any way then you should definitely take a look at what you're doing.

I'm an alcoholic because I can't stop even when my job is in jeopardy.

Gracie

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm an alcoholic because I can't stop even when my job is in jeopardy.

I'm in this boat too, Gracie. I've been so irresponsible with coming to work "not quite sober" and calling in sick hungover and all of that. It's pretty gross.

That is what really made me stand back and realize I have one hell of a problem to confront. Things are slowly getting better but daaang, indeed, it's an emotional rollercoaster.

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