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Re: Alcohol - an equivalent?

Posted by JenStar on July 16, 2004, at 2:18:04

In reply to Alcohol - an equivalent?, posted by CindyLou on July 14, 2004, at 14:31:45

hi CindyLou,
congrats on adopting a baby! Awesome, cool, fun. I'd love to hear more about that, if you're up for sharing. If not, I understand. :)

About alcohol...such a tricky subject! I'm sure you've heard/read about the research showing that red wine and even other R-OH's can be good for the heart (although there are other studies showing that alcohol can be a risk factor for breast cancer, liver damage, etc.)

I HAVE read that a small amount of alcohol mimics the effect of SSRI's: increases serotonin activity. Then, as you have MORE alcohol, this reverses and you actually feel worse. I don't know how scientifically this was studied or proven, and I can't remember the article or web site where I read it. You'd probably have to research it, or ask your doc to do so. But this might be the key for you -- trying a different SSRI to find one that works. Did you really try them all?

There was the mention of Xanax: I took Xanax for a while myself, and while I ended up liking the feeling of glassy calm that I got, and needed it short term, it also frightened me. I ended up quitting it after getting thru the worse of my anxiety. Xanax can be addicting, and I read testimonials on the web saying that people often had to keep increasing their dosage (for long-term use) to get the same effects. I think Xanax is best used short-term for anxiety, not for generic coping (doc might disagree...but it seems that SSRI's or MAOI's work for this.)

I just re-read my notes and it all seems completely unhelpful. Sorry about that! I guess I don't have any advice, other than this: Drinking alcohol daily for stress reduction is probably not a good idea. But you already knew that, which is why you posted in the first place. ('s getting brain is slowing down!)

Could you afford a maid to help with cooking & cleaning sometimes? Maybe get a baby-sitter so you & the hubby can go out for a relaxing nite on the town? How about exercise? Are you able to do that? For me that's a good stress relief. Do you have a regular 'girls nite out' with friends?

Sorry I can't be more help. Good luck, and let us know what you decide.


> Hello,
> This is an issue that has been plaguing me, and I wasn't sure where to turn. I used to be a frequent poster here, and I thought of you here at PsychoBabble. I hope someone can shed some light on this ...
> A short background: I have struggled with chronic depression and anxiety for about 20 years now. I have been on several different medications, and combos of meds, over the years. Things really changed for me about 4 years ago after having my daughter -- my whole hormonal/chemical makeup really went crazy. I surely had postpartum depression, and, in looking back, probably some postpartum psychosis as well. Since then, I have been extremely sensitive to meds. Since then also, I have been diagnosed with BPII.
> All this to say, the ONLY "med" that really gives me true relief is ALCOHOL. I used to be a big partier, and I stopped drinking for about 10 years. Recently, I started having a glass of wine here and there, and it is amazing how much better it makes me feel. With a glass of wine, or a beer, I all of a sudden can make dinner with no problem, change a poopy diaper with no problem, clean with no problem, be patient with my kids with no problem. My anxiety and irritability all but disappear. It is like a miracle drug for me.
> But then there is the stigma. And the chance of addiction. And the embarrassment when a neighbor comes over and I have beer on my breath. I am able to keep things to two drinks at the most per day right now. However, I know in my heart this is probably not smart.
> SO my big question is ... what is the alternative? Is there any med out there that mirrors alcohol? Valium, maybe? (That's one I've never tried, since one of the symptoms of meds for me is fatigue. My pdocs say that Valium would knock me out.) I do take Klonapin for anxiety, but can only handle it at night because at the dose it is effective, it makes me need to sleep. (even 1/2 tablet -- 0.25 mg. -- knocks me out). Same issue with Xanax.
> My current "cocktail" --
> - 450 mg. Lithobid,
> - 5 mg. Prozac (just started this, but have taken it several times in the past and it always "poops out" on me after two months -- we are hoping that with the Lithobid it will last longer),
> - 5 or 10 mg. Dexedrine for energy during the day,
> - 0.25 or 0.5 mg. Klonapin at night for sleep.
> Needless to say, I have tried all the SSRIs out there. And the tricyclics. I just stopped Lexapro after a year due to "poop-out" (Lots of poop references in this post! We adopted a baby recently, so I guess I have poop on the brain!)
> Looking forward to some insight on this sticky issue!
> Thanks,
> Cindy




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