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Drinking, Anxiety, mental Illness

  • anonymous Asks ...

    I am scared that I am going crazy. Here is why. Hangovers used to be tolerable. Now I wake up in mental agony. The physical side is no worse than before. However now I wake up with a really horrible feeling an anxiety that either something terrible is going to happen or I did something terrible the night before even when I know it was just a normal night out. I will go over and over again what I did the night before trying to understand what is causing my feelings. My heart pumps fast and I worry that I am about to have a mental break down. On the bus I feel everyone staring at me and I feel like everyone knows that I am about to lose it. Yesterday I had to get off the bus early because I could not take it anymore and walk the last 6 blocks. I don’t have a drinking problem but I like to go out with friends 2 or 3 times a week. I can take it or leave it though. What I am really worried about is my mental health. Does this sound like I have a mental illness?

  • Loren Gelberg-Goff Says ...
    Loren  Gelberg-Goff

    Your question and concern are understandable, but before you go down the road of worrying about having a mental illness, you need to see if you have the same anxieties, paranoia, and fears if you do not drink at all. You state that you do not have a drinking problem but that you drink 2-3 times per week. How many times per week do you awaken with a hangover? There are a number of factors that indicate drinking is a problem . Check out the site highlighted and see where you fall in the descriptions...

    IF you are willing to stop drinking altogether for a period of 30 days you can see if you continue to have the symptoms of anxiety and paranoia. You don't indicate your age or for how long you have been drinking a few times each week and how often you have these hangovers... All of these are factors in determining what is really going on. 

    I would certainly recommend counseling regardless of the cause of your anxiety and other feelings because whatever the cause, they are certainly disconcerting and worthy of exploring. There are many options for you for choosing a counselor, and I'd seek out someone who specializes in anxiety disorders.Drinking can certainly mask underlying problems for awhile, but then problems are ultimately compounded. Please, do yourself a favor and take some serious time off from drinking to eliminate a risk factor, then we can better assess what your real issues are. 

    You can still go out with your friends, but stick with club soda and see how you feel. Feel free to contact me if you need additional guidance or support in seeking the help you need and deserve. 

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