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Alcohol and beer

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starburst

I am almost three weeks 'alcohol free'. The first two weeks were the hardest but now I feel like I have crossed over and it is not hard at all. I am sleeping much better and feel more energetic. Alcohol definitely affected my sleep pattern and made the anxiety much worse. Before starting AD I never really touched alcohol, just the odd glass of wine here and then. But AD seemed to change my whole pattern of behaviour and I could easily drink a bottle of wine every night and sometimes more. I am so much better off without it. 

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zstard

After the age of 30 I hardly drank at all. Then after being given SSRIs, Ativan and Ritalin, I started wanting to drink to excess whenever I could. After stopping the drugs after 7 years and in withdrawal for 2, the cravings are much less, but I'm still drawn to drink because it makes me feel better while under it's influence. Of course if there's a hangover that's not fun. Anyway it's good to read of other's struggles, and to know the AD drugs contributed to my problems with alcohol and the effect on my family. It's hard dealing with the guilt.

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oskcajga

I have some experience with alcohol in recovery.

 

It started with using nyquil to fall asleep at night, and nyquil does contain a certain amount of alcohol (25% by volume).  I actually found nyquil to put me to sleep very peacefully without any hangover in the morning.  I used to drink 1 serving of nyquil once every 3 days or so to avoid any possible tolerance buildup from all the substances contained within.

 

I then started to drink casually with colleagues from the University, and found that beer really did make me drunk, but like many members report, the "fun" of drinking died.  I also got terrible life-alteringly bad hangovers - which were more like worsened withdrawal symptoms, for like 3-14 days afterwards, depending on how much I drank.  One time I got REALLY drunk with some colleagues, found it to be a lot of fun, but my skin got all numb and I had an EPIC depression/ worsened withdrawals afterwards for WEEKS.  I never made that mistake a second time.

 

After that experience, I would still drink, but I knew it was bad for me and made it difficult for me to function at a high level at school.  I found that even 1/2 of a beer severely worsened my withdrawal symptoms, usually for a day or two afterwards.

 

Interestingly, I found that the clear alcohols, such as vodka, didn't really have too terrible of an effect upon me, but it didn't really help or make my life any better either. 

 

I found tequila to give me almost a full panic attack, after drinking with a close colleague of mine - definitely did not repeat that a second time.

 

On a couple of occasions, when I was having panic attacks, I did something dangerous:  I combined a shot of vodka with 1/2 or 1 benadryl - and it completely knocked me out for like 4-8 hours.  I woke up feeling very refreshed and calm, no hangover.  If I remember correctly, I did this two times, and both times I would wake up in uncomfortable positions laying on my arm, the whole thing would be numb - and I'd have a momentary freak-out until my feeling returned.  I didn't try this again after the second time.

 

I stopped drinking alcohol about 14 months ago, after having a bad reaction to inhaling marijuana (that experience can be found here:  http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/5030-cannabis-thc-or-marijuana-to-ease-withdrawal-symptoms/page-2)

 

So overall based on my experiences with alcohol, it didn't really help at all - and often made my symptoms worse.  The only somewhat positive experience I had with alcohol was the nyquil use (which one of my understanding doctors recommended), and the occasional use of "clear" alcohols.  All of the alcohols of dark color, ESPECIALLY wine, made me feel absolutely horrible afterwards - often for a week or longer.

 

I feel like this is an important topic - because alcohol is omnipresent in our society and may seem tempting for some of us to turn to, especially if we've had positive experiences in the past.

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Theon

 

I feel like this is an important topic - because alcohol is omnipresent in our society and may seem tempting for some of us to turn to, especially if we've had positive experiences in the past.

 

 

That's so true... specially here in europe. I think you don't have so much of an alcohol problem in america as here in europe, but in europe it's frightening the amount of alcohol people drink and specially the young age people start drinking alcohol...

 

I started drinking occasionally with my friends when I was 17 and most of the people in my country are already getting drunk when they are 15-16 years old..

And then in university when people are 18-19-20-21 the rule is getting drunk almost every weekend.

 

I have not really drunk (well, sometimes a bit) in almost 2 years because I started to wonder if the almost weekly alcohol during the first years of university was worsening the anxiety that made me start ADs last year.

 

I also wonder often if this high consumption of alcohol at young ages is partly responsible of the high amount of teenagers and young people with depression/anxiety problems.... who knows

Edited by KarenB
merged similar topics

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legan

I took ssri to help with alcohol withdrawals . Now ive after injured . I m always think of alcohol again to help with ssri wd .

 

I wish i can be an alcoholic again .and not take this thing.

 

any body using alcohol during wd ?

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Fresh

Alcohol will further destabilize your nervous system.  Many members have had bad waves brought on by a few drinks.

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InvisibleUnless

revisiting alcohol as a recovering alcoholic does not seem like a good idea at all.  using alcohol during SSRI withdrawal is also a really, really bad idea for almost everyone.  even drinking while still taking an SSRI can be bad news.

 

i became almost completely intolerant to alcohol after beginning my tapering.  while i have had a few periods where i was able to have a few sips of alcohol rather than nothing, i have not yet recovered my organ functionality 5 years later.  drinking can cause serious issues for my body and mind, and they can last for days after the drinking.  many people here have symptoms that can last for weeks or even months after introducing psychotropic substances like alcohol during their withdrawal.

 

i really do not think alcohol will help you with this, and you could make your situation a lot worse.  it sounds like maybe you need some additional social support to help you keep dealing with the horrible withdrawal symptoms---if you are thinking that drinking might be a good answer, you probably need more encouragement and personal interactions that make things a bit easier on you.

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tinker4

Has anyone ever drank while on an antidepressant like Brintellix? How does it react with alcohol? Is it safe?

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ChessieCat

Hi tinker4, welcome to SA,

 

You are welcome to start an Intro/Update topic Read This First & Introductions and updates

 

Drinking alcohol whilst taking antidepressants or antipsychotics is not recommended:

 

Interactions between your selected drugs and food

Moderate vortioxetine food

Applies to: Brintellix (vortioxetine)

Alcohol can increase the nervous system side effects of vortioxetine such as dizziness, drowsiness, and difficulty concentrating. Some people may also experience impairment in thinking and judgment. You should avoid or limit the use of alcohol while being treated with vortioxetine.

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brassmonkey

Hi tinker-- Drinking while taking ADs is not a good idea.  Been there, done that, almost destroyed my life.  There are several things to keep in mind, the first as CC pointed out is the interaction between the drug and alcohol.  Frequently the drug will intensify the effects of the alcohol while the alcohol can decrease the effectiveness of the drug.  The drug can mask the negative effects of alcohol such as the hangover or the realization that you've had too much.  The drugs also lower ones inhibitions and dull ones common sense leading to risky activities and binging.  And the big one is that many of these drugs actually increase a persons craving for alcohol to an extreme extent, making it very easy to consume way more than what is healthy or polite.

 

Once a person is tapering off of these drugs and is having WD symptoms the whole thing can switch very quickly. To the point that one can of beer or glass of wine can give you the hangover from h*** for several weeks and set off a bad wave of WD symptoms.  We have a large number of members that have experienced this first hand.

 

So after all of that the short answer is: Don't do it.

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Junglechicken

I don't touch alcohol as I am too sensitive to it.

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Toulouse

I can no longer drink alcohol of any kind now. I get a really bad wave that last for days after I've had a few drinks.  I have cut it out of my life entirely and do not miss it.  I have no desire to start drinking again, even when / if I am fully healed.

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Mimi11

Hi everyone!

 

Just wondering if anyone else in WD has noticed that they don't get the same 'buzz' from drinking alcohol? I'm not a heavy drinker, but enjoy a few glasses of wine etc. I don't get the buzzed/drunk feeling, just feel tired. I'm 6 months into WD. 

Edited by KarenB
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Mimi11

I imagine this has something to do with dopamine levels. Any insight/thoughts?

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SkyBlue

Not sure -- but from what I've read, it's best to avoid alcohol during WD whenever possible. Unless you're not having any symptoms? 

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Shep

I had some issues with alcohol about 25 years ago when I was more likely to come off and on meds, and there seems to be a reason that some people drink more on SSRIs. There's an article on the Rsk.org site (Dr. David Healy's site):

 

Driven To Drink: Antidepressants and Cravings for Alcohol

 

Perhaps it's increasing the tolerance level, and for some people, causing more cravings. I've also read about this happening with people on benzos, too, especially since alcohol also acts on GABA receptors just like benzos. 

 

Even for a long time after we're off these drugs, it's possible we can still suffer consequences. 

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Mjau

Personally I have become more sensitive to alcohol (and caffeine as well). I get tired very quickly and my wd symptoms worsen. Alcohol feels like poison to me nowadays so I avoid it.

 

I used to be on Wellbutrin. What happened a few times shortly after cutting doses was that I had alcohol cravings. I have never ever before had alcohol cravings so it was really weird and scary! And my alcohol consumption has always been low!

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Mimi11

Thanks everyone. I just miss that buzz! Will watch my intake, which is minimal anyways. Hope the buzz returns :)

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marie123

Like Brassmonkey stated about I have "the hangover from hell". I drank much to much a couple of days ago and I still feel hungover. I'm nauseous, dizzy, etc.  I had 2 sangrias and wine. I wanted to feel normal again I guess. I was never a drinker and I do notice now that I sometimes crave a glass of wine. I will never touch alcohol again until I am safely off all meds. I just reinstated a 6 weeks ago and I further destabilized myself. I'm trying to drink lots of water to flush it out. Any other suggestions?

 

Marie

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Cressida

Alcohol is even less safe when you are off meds

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theloneranger86

I used to love beer and the feeling it gave me. I cant feel alcohol in my brain anymore. It does nothing except making me lethargic the next day and it lingers for a week or so.

I think it also takes away from my recovery.

 

Has anyone else felt the same ? Do you ever regain the fun from alcohol 

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powerback

I personaly gave up alcohol 2 years ago and its the best thing i did,for me i think its less hassle to b worrying about hangovers and the exspense that comes with alcohol.

I will admit that I was mostly a binge drinker and that will cause more issues than an occasional few drinks.

I believe the fact I am putting so much energy and time into recovery from these drugs that I barely think about alcohol and I can only report benefits.

I am even going to travel soon to help someone close to me stay off alcohol and find a healthier and less destructive way to deal with things head on.[have to fly and I've got extreme anxiety with stress].

Take care and good luck in your recovery. 

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theloneranger86

I cant wait to get that feeling back . I just dont know what to do about this . Everything good in my life is pretty much gone . I have sexual dysfunction , loss of emotions  - i cant feel good anymore. 

Its so frustrating I cant do anything about this. No pill is going to resolve this. fml

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Cookson

I haven't touched alcohol in nearly a year. No point giveing myself a drug that will hinder my recovery. I Remember the euphoria It used too give me before all of this. When I last drank some it left me tired and flat with an uncomfortable inner restlessness.

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LilyBlueRose

I truly believe alcohol will only set any of us so far back and be incredibly damaging. I believe this for non WD suffered as well, but especially in our state.. No way.

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LilyBlueRose

Are you able to maybe check out a new hobby? Have you heard of geocaching? I know how hard it can be to learn to have fun outside of alcohol sometimes.. But it can be done! Even if it's only while you are in WD recovery.

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Mimi11

Yes, I've had the same feeling and posted about it a few months ago. How far into withdrawal are you loneranger86? Do you have any other WD symptoms? Things are evolving every couple of weeks for me. I have to believe these are signs of healing.

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theloneranger86

Yes, I've had the same feeling and posted about it a few months ago. How far into withdrawal are you loneranger86? Do you have any other WD symptoms? Things are evolving every couple of weeks for me. I have to believe these are signs of healing.

Hey Mimi11

Yea I have several other symptoms. The most debilitating ones being emotional anhedonia and sexual dysfunction .

What other symptoms are you going through ?

 PS: Im completely off poison

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Mimi11

How long have you been off of it? Which drug? I'm 16 months off of Celexa. I have neuro-emotions, some depression, sporadic digestive issues, numbness and tingling in my limbs. Sexually not 100% yet either. 

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theloneranger86

How long have you been off of it? Which drug? I'm 16 months off of Celexa. I have neuro-emotions, some depression, sporadic digestive issues, numbness and tingling in my limbs. Sexually not 100% yet either. 

Iv been off these drugs for about 6/7 months .. but every time I drink I set back my recovery a few months I feel. 

Another thing that sets it back is masturbation, sorry to be explicit 

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Mimi11

Since I don't get the enjoyment from alcohol at the moment, I haven't been drinking much either. Probably a good thing. I haven't noticed any correlation between masturbation and setbacks though. Things don't feel quite how they used to, but there is still some pleasure for sure.

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Junglechicken

Haven't touched alcohol in nearly a decade.

 

It's way too toxic and harmful to my healing. Feels like acid in my stomach anyway.

 

Don't miss it either.

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sadandconfused

Hey guys, hope everyone's doing good. Has anyone had strange effects with mixing Lexapro and alcohol? I've been tapering and I'm down to 4.5mg now and the other night me and a bunch of my friends went out and i thought what the hell, I'll have a couple drinks. And I had two large margaritas and the next day I felt awful. Like a very strange, could barely even get out of bed kinda tired, not hungover at all. It's been 4 days and it hasn't gotten better. I'm literally fighting my sleep at work right now. I'm so tired and cannot focus and my brain just feels very off. More off than normal. Can the alcohol with Lexapro do this?!

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Junglechicken

Hey guys, hope everyone's doing good. Has anyone had strange effects with mixing Lexapro and alcohol? I've been tapering and I'm down to 4.5mg now and the other night me and a bunch of my friends went out and i thought what the hell, I'll have a couple drinks. And I had two large margaritas and the next day I felt awful. Like a very strange, could barely even get out of bed kinda tired, not hungover at all. It's been 4 days and it hasn't gotten better. I'm literally fighting my sleep at work right now. I'm so tired and cannot focus and my brain just feels very off. More off than normal. Can the alcohol with Lexapro do this?!

 

Alcohol and Lexapro (or any ADs) for that matter don't mix.

 

But also, I've never had any desire to put anything "toxic" into my body since being stuck on ADs.

 

Last week I stopped consuming refined sugar and yeast as well.

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IrishMonkey92

I've always been baffled by how I survived 5 months after a cold turkey (basically 4 weeks rapid taper) of an SSRI without many of my major symptoms that I suffer with now. I went from 40mg - 0mg over the course of August 2015. 

 
Around the end of September I began to experience shooting pains in my head (I guess these were brain zaps) along with a white dot flying across my vision every so often. Then I had shooting pains in my chest and a few dizzy spells. Then a month or two later I started getting anxious and getting palpitations when drinking alcohol. Then 5 months off I had a heavy night of drinking and woke up feeling very weird (dream like), when I went to the toilet I felt like I was free falling - that made me panic and cue my first ever panic attack (felt like a stroke). Then I started getting my main symptom which has stuck with me till now 15 months later - this swaying/rocking/off balance sensation, tinnitus, floaters etc. 
 
Has anyone experienced minimal withdrawal symptoms and didn't even know they were in withdrawal and then got hit with a huge symptoms that far out from stopping?
 
Can anyone relate to this? I think its withdrawal for periods of time, then other times I think perhaps its something else. 

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