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Alcohol and beer

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GiaK

yeah...having a life...

 

I was a beer drinker...always preferred beer to wine...

 

not sure I'll ever be able to drink one again...fermented beverages are LOADED with histamine...at this juncture I'm not sure the histamine intolerance will ever go away.

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Barbarannamated

Red wine and champagne have always guaranteed headaches for me. I don't do well with any wine, actually. Beer is ok, though I've had only 1 or 2 in past year+. I've had a few margaritas over past year+ (1 at a time) and have been ok.

 

I've envied people who can kick back with a few glasses of wine. Any amount that might temporarily *help* would definitely hurt more in the morning.

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dunerbug

I've had to give it up, pretty much completely. It makes my ocd symptoms worse and just generally doesn't agree with me. Giving it up wasn't that big of a deal, as I wasn't a big drinker anyway.

 

What I do find strange, is people's reactions when I tell them I can't drink or don't drink. Like, I can't possibly have a good time without a drink....

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dunerbug

What's interesting though is that during the weening process and immediately after weening I could tolerate a drink or two. Once the symptoms got really bad, I had to stop.

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Narcissus

during the weening process and immediately after weening I could tolerate a drink or two. Once the symptoms got really bad, I had to stop.

Yes, it was the same for me. Strange indeed.

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annelle

Hello!

 

I have had the opposite exerience - it has helped me somewhat with regard to abstain from alcohol to take SSRI's - and almost the second I stopped taking Cipralex after a too quick taper, I had a relapse of alcohol abuse after 7 years of being sobre - I felt like it could just not be helped, I had to have some alcohol, and did have some - I had 7 days of drinking too heavily, and that was it - after that I have had no urge to drink, although I still feel terrible with withdrawal symptoms 7 months after quitting Cipralex too quickly (Just reinstated on a low dosage a week ago, though in order to try to ease my withdrawal symptoms)

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alexjuice

Hello Annelle,

 

Thanks for sharing your experience. I think it's interesting, but not that shocking, that you had the opposite effect. In a number of areas the SSRIs can overaffect function in either direction depending on the patient. For instance, some people have trouble sleeping on the ADs while others have trouble waking. Some react with mania others go into depressions so serious that the suicides may result.

 

Did you take any pyschiatric medication for longer than seven years?

 

Alex

 

PS - Hang in there, annelle. As time passes you'll find your bearings!

 

Hello!

 

I have had the opposite exerience - it has helped me somewhat with regard to abstain from alcohol to take SSRI's - and almost the second I stopped taking Cipralex after a too quick taper, I had a relapse of alcohol abuse after 7 years of being sobre - I felt like it could just not be helped, I had to have some alcohol, and did have some - I had 7 days of drinking too heavily, and that was it - after that I have had no urge to drink, although I still feel terrible with withdrawal symptoms 7 months after quitting Cipralex too quickly (Just reinstated on a low dosage a week ago, though) in order to try to ease my withdrawal symptoms)

 

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annelle

Hi Alexejice!

Thanks for the encouragement! It is all about patience, I think.

 

The way I see my relapse with alcohol is that I fell into a deeply depressed mood after quitting Cipralex, and wanted to self-medicate with alcohol - which is what I have done earlier in my life. Depression, low self-esteem, insecurity - I always used alcohol to help myself feel better - until I finally said stop in 2005.

 

Yes, I have been taking different SSRI's for appr 10 years, and also taken benzodiazepines fairly consistently for about 10 years, until I also stopped that, shortly after I stopped drinking alcohol - often I used benzos to 'heal' after drinking too much for around a week or so.

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annelle

Hi Alexejice - and everyone else!

 

I just wanted to follow up on the subject of ssri and alcohol cravings - I have always thought that the ssri's helped with regard to staying sober - helped me fight the impulse to drink - and I thought the this was proved to me by the fact that I had about 4 days of 'needing' to drink alcohol upon my quitting Cipralex almost cold turkay - that is to say after a very - too - quick - taper last fall.

 

But now I have experienced maybe the opposite - and maybe the same thing that you, Alexejice, experienced - that upon reinstating at a very low dose - 2,5, going down to 2 mg - that I again have an urge to drink alcohol - which I have had not for some time prior to quitting Cipralex last fall - 7 years sober which made me happy and proud.

 

Now I am confused - It seems that too little and too much Cipralex - any change up or down, I guess - is not good for me with regard to alcohol, maybe because I am genetically predisposed to drinking.

 

I just wondered if I should stay on this dose - 2 mg of Cipralex - and it will stabilize also with regard to alcohol - do you, Alexejice, who have personal experience with this - or anybody else have any suggestions or generally thoughts about this?

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annelle

Hello again

 

maybe I shoud add that I had a rather traumatic experience - a funeral - a few days ago - which probably triggered something - but I do not think that it would have given me the urge to drink alcohol - or I would have been able to fight it - for for instance a year ago, when I was relatively stable on 10 mg of Cipralex - any comments will be appreciated :)

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alexjuice

Hi annelle,

 

I'm sorry you are going through so much. It's my humble opinion that a lot of psychiatric medication can spin one around in all sorts of ways that really confuse the issue.

 

I think it's important for you to assess your likelihood of alcohol relapse and make sure you re-establish the support system around you to decrease the chances of drinking. It sounds like you've worked hard and accomplished a serious accomplishment -- 7 years -- so fpr right now I'd focus on maintaing that.

 

I don't know if you go to meetings or support groups ... That might be helpful right now.

 

If I were you, Id keep at it and try to research as best you can and hang in there. It's really important to not take risks right now, believe me. Drinking alcoholically would add yet another variable and is likely to really muck things up. Again, if I were you, I'd realize I'm in a fragile situation and be extremely proactive about addressing relapse or anything else that can monkey wrench the recoverry process.

 

Will the cravings remit? I only talk from my own experience and I never noticed the effect of SSRIs on alcohol until AFTER I WAS OFF OF THEM and I never had to re-start ... So I don't know if your cravings will diminish as you adjust to the reinstatement.

 

Do you think they are resolving? Getting worse?

 

Alex

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annelle

Hello Alexejice!

 

Thank you so much for your response - it always helps to hear from someone who knows what you are going through from personal experience.

 

I think maybe you are right that it will be a good idea to be proactive with regard to alcohol cravings - I am considering going to a counsellor like I did 8-9 years ago, which helped me stop drinking.

 

I feel that the craving is over for now - now that I have had time to process things - the funeral of a very old friend - that triggered it - but I am aware that it may return at some point - also because I am very sensitive to stress right now - I suppose that is part of the withdrawal syndrome.

 

I am still hoping that the cravings will level out with the reinstatement mg Cipralex - I am now taking 2 mg oral drops. But as you say, it may not - so I will try to stay very alert to any cravings 'sneaking' up on me.

 

Were your cravings related to stressful life events, too?

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alexjuice

I am still hoping that the cravings will level out with the reinstatement mg Cipralex - I am now taking 2 mg oral drops. But as you say, it may not - so I will try to stay very alert to any cravings 'sneaking' up on me.

 

Were your cravings related to stressful life events, too?

 

Hi annelle,

 

I think you're doing great so far, so keep up the good work.

 

I am sure stress played a large part in my desire to drink. Drug use (alcohol is a drug) was an escape for me, like it is for most people. I started drinking to cope with side effects of medication and effects of anxiety. As time went on, I drank more to escape the misery of daily life and sometimes in response to difficult days or news.

 

I did have some cravings early in withdrawal but they've resolved entirely. I don't struggle with temptation to drink alcohol excessively any more than I struggle with cravings to crash my car into a tree or any other self-destructive activity that will put me further from my recovery goals.

 

Hang in there.

 

Alex

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annelle

Hi Alex,

 

I just want to run a few things by you, because you are the only person I know on this site who has had problems with alcohol cravings.

 

Today I had a visit from my vest friend, and it was nice, but for some reason I could not relax and enjoy our conversation. I felt stressed out and emotional.

 

Even when she was still here, I was thinking to myself that I really needed to drink some alcohol - maybe to take the pressure of - but I did not say or do anything about it.

 

When she left, I could not resist drinking some alcohol, but felt very bad about it - guilty.

 

Now I would like to ask you: As I feel this is very much related to reinstating AD (escitalopram) on May 18, I wonder if that maybe reinstating was a mistake. I really hate 'having to' drink alcohol, but feel like I can't help it.

 

But the problem is, i suppose, that now, once I have started taking escitalopram, I can't just stop again, even if it is causing me to relapse with alcohol. I still have to taper very slowly (app 10%) do i not, even if it is making me drink more than I would actually really like?

 

Do you have any thoughts? I am going to see a counsellor that I saw earlier 7 years ago with good results, but I am afraid it will not work as long I am still taking the AD.

 

I would appreciate any comments from you -  and others reading this.

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annelle

Hi again,

 

I meant to say 'best friend' and not 'vest friend' lol!

 

I was wondering if you had any thoughts as to whether certain antidepressants are more alcohol craving inducing than others? Or are they all the same in this regard? Or maybe it is an individual thing.

 

Which AD were you on when your SSRI related cravings started, do you remember?

 

Thanks

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alexjuice

Lexapro was much worse than Effexor for me in regards to alcohol abuse.

 

While taking Lexapro I also took Zoloft, Remeron, Wellbutrin and other medications and these additional medications may also have influenced the drinking. I noticed a major drop in alcohol cravings and over drinking when I changed to Effexor, which I was only on for about a year and during that time I was trying to abstain from alcohol...

 

For me the effect of alcohol was more noticeable than the cravings. When I wasn't on an antidepressant, alcohol was okay. On antidepressants alcohol was a euphoric release than I couldn't resist.

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annelle

Hi Alex,

 

thanks for responding.

 

It is very interesting to me, because it was actually while I was on Effexor that I was able to stop drinking alcohol. I was taking the 'delayed release' variant.

 

Now, on escitalopram (Cipralex) it has been very difficult - I had strong alcohol cravings tapering escitalopram, even appr 2 weeks before quitting completely. And now after reinstating I have been having and still am have strong cravings for alcohol. I would say, though, that the strongest cravings were after quitting completely last fall. But I am still struggling with wanting to drink now appr 1 month after reinstating. That is why I am wondering if maybe I should not have reinstated? I realize that there have been some triggers - but I think that I would have been able to resist alcohol before quitting escitalopram, since I have been able to for appr 7 years, and there were some triggers in those 7 years, including the the death of my father.

 

But even that is true, I still have to taper very very slowly, right? Not stop cold turkey even if I feel the drug is hurting me with regard to alcohol cravings?

 

Thanks!

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alexjuice

Hi Alex,

 

thanks for responding.

 

It is very interesting to me, because it was actually while I was on Effexor that I was able to stop drinking alcohol. I was taking the 'delayed release' variant.

 

Now, on escitalopram (Cipralex) it has been very difficult - I had strong alcohol cravings tapering escitalopram, even appr 2 weeks before quitting completely. And now after reinstating I have been having and still am have strong cravings for alcohol. I would say, though, that the strongest cravings were after quitting completely last fall. But I am still struggling with wanting to drink now appr 1 month after reinstating. That is why I am wondering if maybe I should not have reinstated? I realize that there have been some triggers - but I think that I would have been able to resist alcohol before quitting escitalopram, since I have been able to for appr 7 years, and there were some triggers in those 7 years, including the the death of my father.

 

But even that is true, I still have to taper very very slowly, right? Not stop cold turkey even if I feel the drug is hurting me with regard to alcohol cravings?

 

Thanks!

Escitalopram is lexapro. As I say, while on escitalopram I struggled with horrid alcoholic drinking which improved a bit when I switched to Effexor and finally resolved when I then quit Effexor... That was my experience.

 

I think cold turkey is never a good idea. Otherwise it is hard to give advice because I dont know enough about your case. I wasn't an excess drinker before taking ADs -- I started on Lexapro as a 19 or 20 year old after a couple of yrs trying Paxil, Prozac and so on to find the AD that 'worked for me'... In my early 20s I shocked everyone by becoming alcoholic since I had no history of substance abuse... I just know that for me, drug and alcohol cravings resolved when I stopped taking ADs and atypical antipsychotics...

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alexjuice

Alex, I didn't realize you were on so many ADs at one time. Do you think the Wellbutrin reduced cravings at all (similar to smoking)?Sorry for the tangent. Back to regularly scheduled discission.

Barb,

It well a merry-go-round. The interesting thing about Wellbutrin is that I think it maybe increases cravings for certain things, or maybe my behavior overlapped with that one... THe problem with being on so many drugs is it is very difficult to understand causality...

 

During 2005-2008 I took Klonopin, Abilify, Zoloft, Wellbutrin and Lexapro ... During 2005-08 I drank way too much, used cocaine way too much, generally lived a horrible life... In 2008 I attempted suicide and went to a psych hospital where the psychiatrist dropped that program and Rx'd Effexor, Risperdal and Buspar ... I quit taking the Buspar immediately because I didn't think it did anything. I remained on the other two until I started to taper in Fall 2009. In 2008-2009 while not taking wellbutrin I mostly lived clean and sober....

 

I don't know anything about anything in my life in the last decade, is about all I can with certainty.

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annelle

Hello again,

 

Alex,

 

I was just thinking that since it seems that Effexor is not giving bad alcohol cravings - at least in your case and mine - maybe I should have switched to Effexor instead of escitalopram when reinstating about a month ago.

 

But on the other hand, I know that Effexor is very difficult to taper off of, so on the whole I am probably better off being on escitalopram - do you have any thoughts about that? I guess it is a little like choosing between a rock and a hard place ;)

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alexjuice

I think Effexor is one of the most problematic drugs to discontinue, so I'd keep that in mind.

 

Annelle, I think you're doing a good job in trying to figure out how best to deal with this terrible situation that you find yourself in. If I were you I'd continue to monitor my symptoms and get advice before making any decisions about substantial changes.

 

Good luck

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Narcissus

Had a beer today and now only I only feel moderately crappy.  Hoping this is a sign of progress.

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Jemima

Had a beer today and now only I only feel moderately crappy.  Hoping this is a sign of progress.

 

I had to laugh at this.  Black humor, I think.  Withdrawal is so exasperating that feeling only moderately crappy is a good thing.  AGH!

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Narcissus

It's true, I've never appreciated feeling moderately crappy so much in my life.  

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Rhiannon

I like a little beer from time to time. It's hard to get away from it up here in the Pacific NW. It's not a drink, it's a culture. And I have to admit I've never liked the taste of beer much but the microbreweries here are pretty good, I'm starting to like beer. So I do drink some from time to time. Usually feel a little crappy afterwards. 

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Iggy131313

and how about if we recover? would it be possible then? if anyone here knows anyone who has recovered can they drink?

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GiaK

I really could give a rat's ass if I can drink or not when I recover. who cares if we are otherwise well...I don't have any desire or inclination to cloud my mind anymore in any case.

 

but as with everything else, yes, some who have recovered can drink that I know and others cannot. 

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Iggy131313

I know that should be the case, and things are so severe for me that if I felt ok I prob wouldnt risk it anyway, but the thing that has kept me going has been the thought that if I do ever recpver I could have my life back, the more I read the more I see thats not the case, is life after this just damage control?

 

I cant help but wonder why I continue to go through this torture if the best I can hope for is a half life at the end. im so scared

 

does the sevrity of symptoms dictate this after effect? the people who can now live a normal life, are they the ones who didnt have it as bad, or is that not relevant?

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GiaK

I put this on the Beyond Meds Facebook page yesterday...it's fitting:

 

I don't want what I had before...forget recovery...transformation or "becoming" what we are...what we've forgotten we were is what healing is about.

 

 

I'm still sick and limited, but I've learned so much and understand so much more about the nature of reality that I'm actually grateful for what has happened in many ways...that doesn't mean I don't get frustrated in multiple ways all the time still, but seriously my life is already better...yes, I want my health back and no, I don't want to remain largely home bound...but it's better...I learned I don't want or need much of what I "had" before. 

 

hang in there...this clarity does come in time...

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Iggy131313

oh Gia, I just want to be a mother to my son, if I had that back I would never ask for anything, I tried to do a simple comic with him but the aggitation was so strong I couldnt do it, did you have akathsiia? do you still?

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GiaK

I hear you...and it's exactly that sort of thing that matters...I've been grateful many times that I have no children. I'm very sorry...I can only imagine the pain...

 

BUT...I do have some close friends who have gone through this and are now closer than ever to their kids...I don't know your son's age, but telling him as much as is age appropriate I think is a good thing...and you'll get better and he'll see that and know that you've done your best...

 

Akathisia, no, I don't have that but I do have disabling parasthisia at times and extreme hyper-vigilance associated with the autonomic dysfunction...so for me too, the only thing I want back is being to engage with human beings. I cannot even spend any sort of quality time with my husband...most of my social connections are online...since being with people is still far too stimulating....I have one friend that visits...15 minutes is a good visit...

 

but it's all changing and slowly getting better...it's just slow...but it changes all the time for the better

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Iggy131313

close friends who have recoeverde? do you think they would be willing to talk to me? my son is 4 and has lost his mother.

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GiaK

well, the person I'm thinking of mainly is Geraldine Burns...she started all withdrawal boards with the first benzo board ever...she isn't really available to talk because she's got far too many people who know who she is and want to talk with her...she's had to do like me and make pretty rigid boundaries...

 

Matt Samet is recovered and talks about his kid as well...but I don't know him well enough to ask a favor...you could read his book though.  

 

Death Grip: A Climber's Escape from Benzo Madness

 http://www.amazon.com/Death-Grip-Climbers-Escape-Madness/dp/1250004233/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372431265&sr=8-1&keywords=matt+samet

 

or you can read his blog on Mad in America http://www.madinamerica.com/author/msamet/

 

I've been on these boards a long time and I've seen people get better and be able to function again in their families, with their kids and their spouses...it happens all the time...I know it feels impossible but most of us do get better and return to lives that we find satisfying.

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Iggy131313

yes I have spoken to Matt, he has been very kind, but he didnt have children at the time, he has one now and I know he is happy now...also his was mainly benzo withdrawal, I am having trouble with believing in recovery, Im going to start a thread about it now, see if anyone can help me.

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GiaK

benzos is the ugliest withdrawal out there if you look at the stats and numbers effected (not what any given individual goes through)...and he was on a massively huge cocktail of other drugs too before he came off it all...he just concentrates on benzos because benzo people do that...and that is where he got his support...

 

everyone thinks their situation is the worst...it's part of the beast. 

 

in any case...it's not like there is any reason to believe your withdrawal is worse....that's the point I'm making. we recover. 

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Narcissus

 

 

It's hard to get away from it up here in the Pacific NW. It's not a drink, it's a culture. And I have to admit I've never liked the taste of beer much but the microbreweries here are pretty good, I'm starting to like beer.

 

I learned to appreciate a good beer while living in Portland, before that I'd never cared for it much.  A cold pint of Black Butte Porter at Deschutes made me a convert.  

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