Alcohol dependency and your emotions
Your liver suffers in silence until you give in to win!
Many people suffer from both alcohol addiction and emotional or neurotic disorders. This combination is called a dual disorder. If the neurotic disorder isn’t treated along with addiction, it can hurt the chances for recovery.
Some alcohol dependent people suffer with depression but this often disappears once they stop using alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant and exacerbates depression. People often wash down their anti-depressants with alcohol sending their liver into “damage control”. They are the lucky ones if depression is their only side effect from using alcohol. However, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders and many other emotional disorders hinder the alcohol dependent in their efforts to obtain long term sobriety.
The good news is that many people who have alcohol addiction and dual disorders can get help and support for their addiction and also their liver.
Alcohol is a depressive substance and contributes to ongoing depression in the alcoholic.
We all feel sad sometimes, but the illness of depression is much worse than a case of the blues. Read Dr. Cabot’s Book: Help for Depression and Anxiety.
Depression can last for weeks or months and keep us from doing normal daily activities. Using alcohol for comfort is toxic to your liver and the cycle of feeling guilty, irritable, agitated, worthless, useless, leads to self-medicate with alcohol in an effort to feel “normal”.
Half the battle in handling emotions is admitting them.
Start by admitting what you feel. Ask yourself, do I feel angry, bored, anxious, empty, depressed, lonely, guilty or shameful? This opens the door for you to take decisive action in many ways. You can talk about your feelings with another person or a qualified counsellor or you can try changing how you see or react to a situation.
Alcohol dependent people may have one or more neurotic disorders. The most common ones are anxiety disorders; post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often a legacy from childhood; mood disorders (bipolar) and personality disorders. There are specialist counsellors to help you unravel your complicated emotions and free you from the bondage of alcohol dependency.
Carol U - suffers from alcoholism and depression.
Carol was referred to me by one of my patients with over two years sobriety. Carol presented her story about a difficult relationship with her mother; an emotionally unavailable partner and her career issues. She topped it off by asking me if I could reverse her appetite for alcohol consumption so she could resume social drinking as she was only “a little bit alcoholic”!
In other words, Carol wanted me to show her how to control her drinking. There is no way a practicing alcoholic can return to “controlled” drinking once they have been diagnosed as psychologically and physically dependent on alcohol. I explained to Carol that alcohol dependency is real.
You can’t be a “little bit alcoholic” and I compared that with “you can’t be a little bit pregnant”. You are either alcoholic or you are not alcoholic and 99% of people I see are not “social” drinkers.
Breaking through Carol’s denial was challenging but worthwhile. She didn’t know that alcoholism is a disease of the emotions and tried to self-medicate with alcohol and food.
She was unaware that her alcohol dependency could be helped by balancing the Dopamine neurotransmitter, the centre of satisfaction. She did not realise that her quest for satisfaction in life was linked to the Dopamine neurotransmitter exacerbating her already sensitive emotions. She didn’t know that there is another chemical responsible for her compulsion and this explained her inability to have just one or two drinks. Once she started drinking, she could not stop.
I explained that her compulsive behaviour was related to brain chemistry and could be addressed with supplements, counselling and many other resources available to help her.
When Carol reached her goal of 12 months sobriety, her depression lifted significantly and her sleep pattern had improved. She stayed on Tyrosine, Magnesium, Glutamine and other B-Complex supplements to help her stress levels. Her liver function test returned to normal after 6 months on LivaTone Plus. There was a period of 6 months that Carol was advised by her GP to use an anti-depressant to help alleviate her depression and that was successful.
I follow up with my clients, especially around Christmas time, and was pleased to learn that Carol has been sober for three and a half years.
My program is unique in that I use supplements, one-on-one counselling, 12 Step Program, Active Meditation, group therapy, Co-Dependency Awareness, Educational DVD’s and CD’s, DBT (dialectical behavioural therapy) to achieve success with my clients.
DBT is mindfulness-based cognitive therapy – a form of therapy initially used in treatment of stress and anxiety. This approach teaches the recognition and acceptance of thoughts and feelings and of just “being” rather than reacting and “doing”. Mindfulness is staying in the moment and looking at the emotional mind, the rational mind and the wise mind. With practice you will be able to tolerate sorrow, anger and fear. More importantly, you will understand your feelings and be able to untangle complication emotions, monitor negative emotions and increase positive emotions.
You can learn how to soothe yourself without reaching for the bottle or food for comfort and clearly communicate your feelings. Your liver will be grateful, as the major fat burning organ in the body, not having excessive amounts of toxins to process.
There are many ways to alleviate cravings for alcohol before the start of the recovery process. The use of Tyrosine, to assist in mood swings, concentration and motivation to change unacceptable and life-threating abuse of alcohol through liver failure. Magnesium Ultra Potent to assist with stress and sleep without the use of alcohol. Glutamine to help brain function in the alcoholic and supply glutathione, the body’s most potent antioxidant and detoxifier to help rid the body of alcohol toxins, and LivaTone Plus to support liver function and metabolism.