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Quit Drinking, Huge Depression

  • #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 557 ✭✭✭ shtpEdthePlum


    I've been dry for just about a month now. I used just have a few drinks at the weekend but I really did enjoy them. I developed a habit of marking the weekend with a few pints, even without the pubs i kept it up while doing zoom calls with friends and family.

    I don't know if it's connected but internally i just feel awful. It's not your run of the mill ennui, it's proper pit of the stomach and lump in the throat sadness. Full body numbness.

    I do want to stay off it for my health. But the future is extremely bleak and i might be willing to shave whatever potential years off my life if I'm this sad indefinitely.

    Has anyone else experienced this when attempting to quit? Does it pass?


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Comments



  • Hi there. I am surprised you didn't get any responses to this very important thread.

    Well done on quitting. You describe feelings that an alcoholic feels after quitting. This is called PAWS. It normally starts at 3 months and can go on and off for the guts of a year, depending on how deep the dependency was.

    I would consider counselling of some description if these feelings persist. On the other hand, its possible that you may come out the other side of this without help. This depends on whether you have other co morbid issues that lurked underneath your drinking. Impossible to speculate about that here.




  • The reply you got is fantastic, stick with it, it will get better maybe consider some councilling or have a chat to your GP they might give you a mild antidepressant for a few weeks to help you over this bad patch.




  • It will pass hopefully. My head was wrecked for 6 to 8 months. I did AA, podcasts and books.
    There's lifering and and smart recovery. I'd highly recommend SMART recovery. There's a few books like Alcohol explained and and This Naked Mind that really helped me understand the pitfalls of alcohol and the never ending misery and merry go round of addiction. They're all available on audio book also. For me quitting alcohol was the best decision I ever made. I wish you all the best and reach out to others in the same boat.




  • Wow these responses are so helpful.

    I didn't even realise I had the dependence until I went without it.

    My OH gave up last year not a bother. I was dreading doing the same but for various reasons I had to go off it for a while.

    I realised today that with this outlook I definitely will manage to stay off. There will be good days and bad days and I'll get help if I need it.

    Hopefully with the pubs having been closed, many more people will have done likewise and there won't be such a stigma around not drinking when things start to reopen.

    Thanks very much.




  • It's such a sneaky addiction it can get a very strong hold on you, keep an eye on the depression. Have you said it to your OH how you're feeling as he or she could tell you if they think the depression is getting too bad as it can be hard to judge it yourself.


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  • I've been dry for just about a month now. I used just have a few drinks at the weekend but I really did enjoy them. I developed a habit of marking the weekend with a few pints, even without the pubs i kept it up while doing zoom calls with friends and family.

    I don't know if it's connected but internally i just feel awful. It's not your run of the mill ennui, it's proper pit of the stomach and lump in the throat sadness. Full body numbness.

    I do want to stay off it for my health. But the future is extremely bleak and i might be willing to shave whatever potential years off my life if I'm this sad indefinitely.

    Has anyone else experienced this when attempting to quit? Does it pass?

    It does pass, don't be hard on yourself you gone this far on your own which is impossible for a lot of people with the help and support. So imagine how great it'll b when things start opening up again like AA meetings, gyms, clubs, face to face counselling (actually a lot of private ones are already open you generally pay for each session can be 50-80 though but the hse provide some as well). Just keep being honest with yourself and others that's half the battle, you'll be amazed how many people will say oh my brother, aunt etc. Went through that, it affects pretty much every family in this country everyone has a story to tell so there's absolutely no shame in it. The fact you've come this far imagine how much easier it will be when you get the support you need but you need to look for it, ask for help and you will find it. It's too hard to do this on your own. Plus the whole lockdown thing doesn't help its great in one way coz the pubs are closed so temptation is less but on the other hand gyms, face to face AA meetings etc aren't available. Make a plan now for what you'd like to do when you are feeling better whether it's a different job, gym, college (believe it or not college esp for mature students isn't all sessions it's really a great way to upskill and meet new people).




  • I knew I was drinking too much for a long time but thought i could stop when i wanted to but when the day came i really tried to stop i would be okay for a couple of days followed by massive exhaustion then would be ok next day and repeat. I guess i thought after googling the internet it was my body healing myself but invariably I would drink again and was stuck in this cycle with various degrees of sobriety.

    At one stage after a sober period and big relapse I was seeing a psychologist after all else failed and I remember after an hour session I felt like i was hit by A JCB, completely exhausted.

    I then went to a psychiatric hospital/rehab and the first thing the doctor said is i was depressed and TBH i never considered myself depressed as i guess the alcohol was medicating my depression until it stopped working and he told me it was the depression rather than my body repairing itself that caused my exhaustion. I agreed in the end to take antidepressants and I guess that and being away from the world in the hospital bucked me up and things moved in good direction. The long and short from my experience is cut to chase and at least see a psychiatrist for this exhaustion.

    Everyone's sober journey is different but for me it was a lot of different things added up to work and keep me sober.

    Good luck with your sober journey.




  • I knew I was drinking too much for a long time but thought i could stop when i wanted to but when the day came i really tried to stop i would be okay for a couple of days followed by massive exhaustion then would be ok next day and repeat. I guess i thought after googling the internet it was my body healing myself but invariably I would drink again and was stuck in this cycle with various degrees of sobriety.

    At one stage after a sober period and big relapse I was seeing a psychologist after all else failed and I remember after an hour session I felt like i was hit by A JCB, completely exhausted.

    I then went to a psychiatric hospital/rehab and the first thing the doctor said is i was depressed and TBH i never considered myself depressed as i guess the alcohol was medicating my depression until it stopped working and he told me it was the depression rather than my body repairing itself that caused my exhaustion. I agreed in the end to take antidepressants and I guess that and being away from the world in the hospital bucked me up and things moved in good direction. The long and short from my experience is cut to chase and at least see a psychiatrist for this exhaustion.

    Everyone's sober journey is different but for me it was a lot of different things added up to work and keep me sober.

    Good luck with your sober journey.

    Depression is the key word here. My late father was a functioning alcoholic until he retired and he went off the rails completely in his retirement. During brief periods of sobriety he displayed classic symptoms of depression but wouldn't do anything about it, his GP was very old timey and being a big drinker himself wasn't much help. Are you taking medication for depression now? Do you have a drink at all? I would loved to have gotten proper help for my father but he couldn't see anything wrong.




  • CoBo55 wrote: »
    Depression is the key word here. My late father was a functioning alcoholic until he retired and he went off the rails completely in his retirement. During brief periods of sobriety he displayed classic symptoms of depression but wouldn't do anything about it, his GP was very old timey and being a big drinker himself wasn't much help. Are you taking medication for depression now? Do you have a drink at all? I would loved to have gotten proper help for my father but he couldn't see anything wrong.

    Im still taking some mild antidepressants at the moment and sober almost two years now. Tough story about your Dad, I guess many functional alcoholics can keep it together for a period even some most of their lives. I suppose retirement with too much time on their hands can really be the downfall and turn to the bottle full time.

    When I was getting treatment there was a fair few guys there like your Dad unfortunately who suddenly tipped over the edge in retirement where the bottle became their replacement of work.

    I was a functioning alcoholic for a long time but there came a time where the alcohol stopped doing the job of medicating my depression by then I was on a bad place. Thankfully I realized this and got the help before it was too late. Unfortunately I know many who refuse any help and there is not much you can do unless the alcoholic is willing to stop and at least allow help into their lives.

    Most Doctors might be good with physical ailments but come up short through no fault of theirs with regard to mental health. The good ones will at least know who to refer the patients too. From my experience I think any mental health issues should be only dealt with from a medical perspective by psychiatrists. I’m not knocking psychologists or support groups as the all played a great benefit in my recovery too.




  • Not to sound insensitive and I’m not much of a drinker myself, but why are you quitting drinking if you’re only having a few at the weekend? It hardly seems excessive or harmful.


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  • Dtp1979 wrote: »
    Not to sound insensitive and I’m not much of a drinker myself, but why are you quitting drinking if you’re only having a few at the weekend? It hardly seems excessive or harmful.

    Maybe "the few" you mention are causing a lot of problems in his life. It's a pet hate of mine when people seem to think the amount of alcohol being consumed (always lied about) is a gauge as to how much of an alcoholic the person is. If it's making the person or the people around them unhappy it's a problem.




  • CoBo55 wrote: »
    Maybe "the few" you mention are causing a lot of problems in his life. It's a pet hate of mine when people seem to think the amount of alcohol being consumed (always lied about) is a gauge as to how much of an alcoholic the person is. If it's making the person or the people around them unhappy it's a problem.

    Very true alcohol mixed with depression is a nasty outcome from personal experience. When I would go out on the lash with my buddies generally wouldn’t drink much more than them down the years until my latter stages of drinking. I know one person who drank 4 or 5 times and quit as they knew it was heading somewhere bad.

    It’s not how much you drink it’s what it does to you is the key.

    There are two kinds of people, those who can drink and those who can’t but unfortunately I fall into the latter but that’s life. Problem, diagnosis, find solution and get on with life.

    Thankfully these days lots of possibilities out there be it your local AA group or medical attention that has a better handle these days on the reasons why we drink to destruction.




  • CoBo55 wrote: »
    Maybe "the few" you mention are causing a lot of problems in his life. It's a pet hate of mine when people seem to think the amount of alcohol being consumed (always lied about) is a gauge as to how much of an alcoholic the person is. If it's making the person or the people around them unhappy it's a problem.

    I didn’t mention ‘a few’. The OP did. You’re assuming they are lying? I’m only taking them on what they said they are consuming. Sure I could assume the op is drinking 20 pints.




  • Dtp1979 wrote: »
    I didn’t mention ‘a few’. The OP did. You’re assuming they are lying? I’m only taking them on what they said they are consuming. Sure I could assume the op is drinking 20 pints.

    Kinda have to agree the depression or downness as told by the OP appears on face to be not linked to the alcohol at all. In fact I'm not sure the my mentioned specifically it was causing them harm or their interactions with others. They just said they have up a month ago and are still feeling down. That seems like a long period of disconnect between the two.

    There may be other issues at hand here that require looking at rather than specifically alcohol.




  • I would go hammer and tongs every weekend from Friday to Sunday and suffer badly. I'm currently still off it and I actually socialised last week. Now, the end of the night was cat because it's no craic being sober when everyone's drunk but I think I'm doing alright generally.

    I have a tremendous thirst on a Friday night always but I distract myself with other stuff and it's getting a bit easier, I think. A drink at the weekend is no harm but the rollovers and lock-ins were getting too much and I think they were bad for my health physically and psychologically based on how I feel now. I want to be able to go in, have a pint or two, or more if the situation permits, but not absolutely smash it every time.

    The depression is nowhere near as bad as it was the few weeks ago. I get a bit overwhelmed sometimes but if I "forget" what day of the week it is, I seem to be able to trick my brain into behaving itself. I didn't get help because it's too expensive and admitting to any degree of substance abuse is dangerous and could hurt me in my job.

    Ireland has a very unhealthy relationship with drink and a very judgemental attitude to those who would rather curtail their drinking. It's like the cocaine addict passing you the bag every time they want a line to normalise their own impulsive behaviours.

    No offence to drinkers, I absolutely love gat myself and intend to maybe go on a mad one to congratulate myself for staying a month off it for the first time in I would say at least ten years.

    I'll probably go off it again soon afterwards though, and try and take a longer break the next time.




  • listermint wrote: »
    Kinda have to agree the depression or downness as told by the OP appears on face to be not linked to the alcohol at all. In fact I'm not sure the my mentioned specifically it was causing them harm or their interactions with others. They just said they have up a month ago and are still feeling down. That seems like a long period of disconnect between the two.

    There may be other issues at hand here that require looking at rather than specifically alcohol.

    All good and valid comments and nice sensible interactions on this important topic.

    We generally drink to feel good, ok in a controlled way or we drink to forget I would say generally drinking to avoid the depression where alcohol is the short term fix.

    Of course there is the case where certain drinkers develop depression due to alcohol consumption as it is a depressant. Do you put the cart before the horse or vice versus, we never know.




  • Dtp1979 wrote: »
    I didn’t mention ‘a few’. The OP did. You’re assuming they are lying? I’m only taking them on what they said they are consuming. Sure I could assume the op is drinking 20 pints.

    Anyone who recognises they have a problem with alcohol the first thing they tell you is that they lied about the amount they were drinking. I'm not calling the op himself a liar, quite the opposite in fact but excess or harmful alcohol consumption and lying/hiding it are part of the addiction.




  • Dtp1979 wrote: »
    I didn’t mention ‘a few’. The OP did. You’re assuming they are lying? I’m only taking them on what they said they are consuming. Sure I could assume the op is drinking 20 pints.

    I think this posters comments is quite valuable to the overall topic. Earlier the OP mentioned a stigma around not drinking, and this type of comment is an example of that. Dtp1979, I mean this with the greatest respect and am not at all trying to criticize you.
    My own personal journey away from alcohol was something that was/is difficult because people couldn't understand why I was giving it up.
    What they didn't understand was that when I had a few, I was always thinking about the next. This would go on until the end of the night. There were also a couple of times a year I would have major regrets that was related to drinking. It could be as simple as drinking every day for 2 weeks over Christmas, it it could be something much more. I'd love to be able to have a couple and stop, but I never can. If I was to, I would not enjoy those "couple".

    So, just wanted to say that I know a number of people who have battled drink in their own ways, and the reasons are all different (drink was a direct contributor to an early death of 3 of them, all at different ages). You may never know why someone wants to give up drink, but if someone suggests they do, it should only ever be encouraged.


    BTW: OP: I have been very open when I stopped drinking and I told people that I don't have a good relationship with alcohol. It can consume me when I drink. I had some negative reactions from people, but every one of those negative reactions were in relation to how the other person would be effected by me not being their drinking buddy.




  • I would go hammer and tongs every weekend from Friday to Sunday and suffer badly. I'm currently still off it and I actually socialised last week. Now, the end of the night was cat because it's no craic being sober when everyone's drunk but I think I'm doing alright generally.

    I have a tremendous thirst on a Friday night always but I distract myself with other stuff and it's getting a bit easier, I think. A drink at the weekend is no harm but the rollovers and lock-ins were getting too much and I think they were bad for my health physically and psychologically based on how I feel now. I want to be able to go in, have a pint or two, or more if the situation permits, but not absolutely smash it every time.

    The depression is nowhere near as bad as it was the few weeks ago. I get a bit overwhelmed sometimes but if I "forget" what day of the week it is, I seem to be able to trick my brain into behaving itself. I didn't get help because it's too expensive and admitting to any degree of substance abuse is dangerous and could hurt me in my job.

    Ireland has a very unhealthy relationship with drink and a very judgemental attitude to those who would rather curtail their drinking. It's like the cocaine addict passing you the bag every time they want a line to normalise their own impulsive behaviours.

    No offence to drinkers, I absolutely love gat myself and intend to maybe go on a mad one to congratulate myself for staying a month off it for the first time in I would say at least ten years.

    I'll probably go off it again soon afterwards though, and try and take a longer break the next time.

    I would advise against this if possible.




  • TheRef wrote: »
    I'd love to be able to have a couple and stop, but I never can. If I was to, I would not enjoy those "couple".

    This is exactly what I tell (most) people when they ask why I don't drink anymore. Some people just get the "I got fed up with it" line.
    TheRef wrote: »
    You may never know why someone wants to give up drink, but if someone suggests they do, it should only ever be encouraged.

    Amen


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  • Now, the end of the night was cat because it's no craic being sober when everyone's drunk but I think I'm doing alright generally.

    This is a real issue for many, being out with people as they get drunker is a real pain. essentially you realise that drunk people are irritating. I also hate the attitude of people that never want the party to stop.

    I don't really get drunk when i drink (dont drink much when i drink) and when i get to a certain point I am happy to stop drinking and just chat and enjoy. but i also find I get tired and decide 'right, time to finish up' but others want the part y to go on and on and on. thats a real downer.

    Back to the OP...
    I think there is addiction, not just to the drink, but the ritual. and that's not a physical dependency to break but a habit dependency. I went off the drink in first lockdown for about 2-3 months and felt great, but I also took up other activities that i didn't associate with drinking. more walks (late in day) swimming is great if you're near sea, anything that will leave you a bit tired so that you're happy to chill out.
    I always find that i looked to have a drink when i wanted to 'do' something, especially at the weekend. essentially drinking was an activity for me. replace it with something else will help.
    also some other great advice here from people around the drink itself.




  • CoBo55 wrote: »
    Anyone who recognises they have a problem with alcohol the first thing they tell you is that they lied about the amount they were drinking. I'm not calling the op himself a liar, quite the opposite in fact but excess or harmful alcohol consumption and lying/hiding it are part of the addiction.

    Yes but we have to assume the OP is not lying, so the few drinks over a weekend is not excess or harmful. If the op was saying they go binge drinking at the weekend then fair enough




  • Dtp1979 wrote: »
    Yes but we have to assume the OP is not lying, so the few drinks over a weekend is not excess or harmful. If the op was saying they go binge drinking at the weekend then fair enough

    Well it's obviously harmful to the op, as I said before alcoholism isn't measured in quantity more so quality or lack of quality of life.




  • My own feelings about if you’re a problem drinker you basically have to not have a drop. Going off the drink for a problem drinker is just too difficult to accomplish every Monday or whatever is the next day after the last drink. It’s not a process that you can go through on a weekly basis




  • CoBo55 wrote: »
    Well it's obviously harmful to the op, as I said before alcoholism isn't measured in quantity more so quality or lack of quality of life.

    That’s fair enough. I personally don’t see how such amount is harmful or excessive, and I bet a lot of other people would agree. But each to their own n all that.




  • Dtp1979 wrote: »
    That’s fair enough. I personally don’t see how such amount is harmful or excessive, and I bet a lot of other people would agree. But each to their own n all that.

    It’s always a challenge for normal drinkers to understand alcoholism.




  • It’s always a challenge for normal drinkers to understand alcoholism.

    Ok, so you’re telling me a few drinks at the weekend is alcoholism? I’m basing my understanding purely from the original posters post, nothing else. A few drinks yea?




  • Dtp1979 wrote: »
    Ok, so you’re telling me a few drinks at the weekend is alcoholism? I’m basing my understanding purely from the original posters post, nothing else. A few drinks yea?

    For some people yes it is, not necessarily that he is an alcoholic but on reflection he could have been drinking to offset depression and was heading down a bad road. Why are you being so argumentative about the whole thing? I hear strains of my fathers voice in your posts. Anyway this isn’t about you it’s about the op and his struggle after giving up the weekend drinks.




  • I’m not trying to be argumentative. I’m trying to understand, and you’ve explained why up above. From the outside, the general population of casual drinkers probably have more than a few drinks at the weekend and don’t see it as a problem. That’s all.


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  • Dtp1979 wrote:
    I’m not trying to be argumentative. I’m trying to understand, and you’ve explained why up above. From the outside, the general population of casual drinkers probably have more than a few drinks at the weekend and don’t see it as a problem. That’s all.


    Casual drinkers don't think about alcohol in the same way as problem drinkers.. People with alcohol problems vary and its not just a case of all booze all the time..


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