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alcohol and mood disorder

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Per my psychologist I don't meet the DSM criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence. However, I am trying to be completely dry from alcohol/street drugs so that my meds will be effective. I am finding this nearly impossible. I drink to self medicate emotional symptoms, but a few days later, I am even worse off mentally.

Emotionally, I'm fine as long as I am meticulous about self care (take my meds, eat well, exercise, stay hydrated, stay busy, keep a routine), but one of those falls and it's a spiral downward. Drinking leads to poor self care, which gradually leads to disturbing mental experiences and behavior that others have labeled as "crazy." It also goes the other way; poor self care can lead to symptoms which I drink to self medicate. I'm scared I'm going to hurt myself during one of these episodes. I have hurt myself recently, just not bad enough to end up in the ER. Luckily I isolate so there is little danger of me harming others.

Both my emotional symptoms and my drinking are moderate enough that neither is cause for concern alone. Put the two together though and things go sideways. I am wondering if it is possible to go to rehab or get some other addiction help before I do end up in ER or worse. Anyone have experience with this? I am also seeking out professional opinions but I would like to know the perspective of those who have been through rehab as a patient/client.

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Wow. Im sorry your struggling ralph. it seems really strange to me that your psychologist would say you dont meet criteria, when your unable to stop drinking...and especially when drinking has such negative consequences. pretty sure those are the 2 big indicators of alcohol dependence. =\

I'm really glad your seeking some more professional opinions.... Cus i wouldnt put a load of creedence in the opinion you've received thus far.

Wish i could offer more insight. Its refreshing to hear somone so motivated to find health and happiness for themself. i guess on the one hand, it seems reasonable to assume that going to rehab isnt going to harm you in any way, and you may find what you need to sustain sobriety there. and the more you know, the better. why not go?

With making your health your first priority, you've got the right momentum, good on ya ralph! a man who has chosen to take charge of his destiny! i wish you well ralph! hopefully you will reap the rewards of your hard work and perserverance in the near future.

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in the DSM there are several criteria. If you meet 3 or more, a diagnosis is warranted. I meet two. Unable to stop despite repeated efforts, and drink more than I planned when I do drink. I haven't had any really negative consequences: no dui, job loss, relationship failure. Nothing major. Just hangovers and poor judgment when drunk, which leads to self injury and suicidal rehearsals.

Why not go to rehab... cause most of them could do more harm than good. The majority are based on 1930s ideas about addiction and not on evidence from medical science. The evidence based rehabs are the exception to the rule and one has to be an expert on the industry to find a good one. Also there is the career consequence, and having it on my medical record. This could have insurance and employment implications for me down the road. It's a big risk, but if I continue to drink that could have even worse health and employment consequences.

Thanks for caring JaiJai. You gave me some good things to think about.

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Ralph, call your health insurance company or go to website and get a list of covered substance abuse facilities, then schedule an intake assessment. You don't have to attend anything you don't want but check it out.

I have not had a beer since after Halloween & I feel better already, physically & emotionally.

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I am looking into options. I found a counselor that i know is good and I plan on asking him if he can see me sort of off the record as in no diagnosis just let me talk to him about my problems and I will pay him outside of insurance. To date I'm 2 wks sober and feel a little more stable this time than the past several attempts. I have some stuff to figure out if I'm going to make it, though.

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