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alchohol makes me think sensibly. Does anyone relate? I use it sometimes as  a break, a holiday from myself. On;y once , in decades, has it made ocd worse. 

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I use it instead of a benzo. I don’t drink much at all but when I have a bottle of Belgian beer I make sure I am near my bed. I go to pubs for meals not alcohol.

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It often neutralizes OCD. However it can also cause Alcohol Anxiety, a high anxiety the next day due to serotonin drop.  Plenty of topics on that one. 

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I'd be very, very careful and if you want to know why please find my post about what I put myself through. I'm not saying that will happen to you but …. 

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Yes, it's very dangerous, I also used alcohol to self-medicate and now I've both: OCD and an alcohol addiction. Of course it's not the same for everyone but there is a risk.

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Yes I am very careful with alcohol. I found prescribed benzodiazepines to be far more addictive though.

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Alcohol, like benzodiazepimes belong to a class of drugs called anxiolytics, i.e. drugs that reduce anxiety.  Its not surprising then that you would find some amount of relief from alcohol for your anxiety, and thus might feel like you are able to think more clearly.  However, as others have mentioned there are a number of significant problems that can develop from "self-medication" with alcohol (or other substances).  I can absolutely understand your desire for some relief, but I too would urge a lot of caution about pursuing this kind of treatment, it can spiral out of control very quickly and end up being worse than the thing you are trying to treat.

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A message of hope though: I just passed 11 months without a drink and am now down to 4mg of Valium a day

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2 hours ago, PhilM said:

A message of hope though: I just passed 11 months without a drink and am now down to 4mg of Valium a day

Congrats @PhilM!

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19 hours ago, PhilM said:

A message of hope though: I just passed 11 months without a drink and am now down to 4mg of Valium a day

That is awesome PhilM! :thumbup::57439eb60db27_thumbup:

bIg HU:hug:

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Thank you.

The thing is and I mean this in a non-scaremongering way: you don't want to use alcohol to cope with anxiety - even from time to time. I convinced myself that although my level of drinking was heavy it was not "alcoholic".

Alcohol dependency has a subtle way of creeping up on a person like it did to me. Beyond the stereotypes (and believe me there are countless just like people's stereotypes of OCD) my life went down hill like you wouldn't believe.

Although I feel pretty good, I have liver disease as a consequence of Alcohol Use Disorder and despite what people might say scarring and liver cirrhosis is permanent - the liver NEVER heals. I'm kind of in remission but I can never drink alcohol again and I would be a fool to do so.

A cautionary tale.

Edited by PhilM

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I think Philm is a sensible counterpoint to the first post in this thread. A friend and a colleague of mine had a long article in The Guardian in the late 1980s about the addictive qualities of benzos she had visual hallucinations as a product of withdrawal.  She was involved in a class action against the people who prescribed the drug. She took them for too long. Their class action did not work. It is difficult in English and Welsh law to have class action in law. They should be prescribed with caution.

Edited by Angst

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The thing is I have to accept I played a part in becoming dependant on Benzos albeit unintentionally. I knew they were addictive when I was first prescribed them as I'd seen my mum "cold turkey" from Ativan and it wasn't pleasant. Of course there were a lot of issues going on which led to my dependency but there's a lot of information out there so I certainly don't see myself as the victim of over-prescribing.

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Interesting language. You say that there was the knowledge that you could locate and register in your mind but you did not. Is this a retrospective judgement? From the late 1980s to 1995 there is 15 years.  

But how do we measure that effect of my friends’ campaign against the mainstream orthodoxy? Did you search the information? Is part of your philosophy a product of the ideology of AA?  It is good that you take responsibility for your plight in the sense that you are willing to change. But did you search for facts or accept the orthodoxy? A lot do.

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I don't believe in the 12-step approach to "recovery" so I don't go to AA meetings now or use the AA way as part of my recovery from problem drinking. I believe very strongly in the SMART approach and go to relapse prevention sessions.

I also don't use the word "alcoholic" because I think it is disempowering. I know a LOT about AA as I first went to meetings in 2006 and have very strong views on the "program" and also the contradictions in AA literature.

However out of fairness to other people I will say I know it "works" for some (as do other models) and also this, perhaps, is not the place to be debating the pros and cons of 12-step programs of which, "surprise", there's one for OCD sufferers. 

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I am very open minded -what works works.

What is very odd about OCD is that it is not disempowering. Because of forums such as this.

I admire your openness about the dangers of alcohol. It is a danger for those of us with anxiety.

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I'm very open-minded but one thing that really bothers me about AA (among many things!) is that as an organisation it believes ITS definition of what a "real alcoholic" is, is the definitive one. I disagree and think there are many reasons why people develop problems with alcohol, drugs, prescription medication, food etc. beyond the stereotypes.

Like OCD - there are theories and there has been a lot scientific, neurological and psychological research into the causes of OCD but there is nothing definitive or not as far as I know. I think labels can be disempowering in the sense that once we strongly relate to one we start looking for more evidence (often unintentionally) to become the label if that makes sense? Like "I'm an 'alcoholic' which explains … " or "I have OCD which explains …. "

Also the statistics that AA provided (reluctantly) a number of years ago suggested there was (over a year) an 85 per cent relapse rate and a 15 per cent retention rate. The argument of AA is that the relapse rate is so high because people aren't "working the program" not flaws within the program.

Another thing about the 12-step approach of AA is that it actively encourages obsessive thinking which for someone like me is very dangerous. I've much more to lose than many people who go to AA as I can't, under any circumstances, drink alcohol because my liver can't process it.

A lapse or a relapse for me would be catastrophic and literally a matter of life or death. Mindfulness, which I'm learning a lot about in the relapse prevention group I go to, is a way of detaching ourselves from our thoughts and "cherry-picking" the ones we want to "respond" to. It's helping me a LOT with abstinence and also with OCD.

Edited by PhilM

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AA was great for my mom but it only has a 5% success rating.  That is after one year 95% are drinking again. 

Edited by Handy

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That’s an interesting statistic, PhilM. But do we know the relapse rate after OCD treatment deemed to be successful. You are given a questionnaire at the last session of therapy and results are generated from this data. I had no follow up. In other illnesses there is follow up in terms of years such as cancer. 

How was the statistic calculated. I believe that the definition of being employed is being employed one hour a week. It never was so silly. Statistics are vitally important but you need to look at the definition of categories they are prone to political manipulation. We all need to be trained in statistics and research conventions in a democracy.  As H.G. Wells said at the beginning on the last century.

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Well if you had no follow-up it's not something that can be quantified? I'm only using AA in the context of this post so an unintentional tangent was created - my bad as the saying goes. When it comes to relapse rates from addiction there are too many biased studies to form an accurate picture. However, if the statistics of AA itself indicate it's so high it really doesn't say a lot (to me) about the efficacy of the 12-step approach. Just my view.

Edited by PhilM

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On 11/08/2019 at 10:18, Handy said:

but it only has a 5% success rating.  That is after one year 95% are drinking again. 

There is no evidence to support this claim.  
First, defining "success rate" as people don't have any drink after one year is disingenuous.  Any addictive behavior is hard to overcome, and a person may struggle early on and improve over time. 
Second, how do you define "drinking again".  As in have dropped out of the program and regularly drink alcohol?  Or perhaps you are including anyone who within one year of joining the program has had another drink.  Slip ups happen in treatment, it doesn't mean the treatment is a failure.
Third, most surveys and studies on alcoholism measure whether a person has remained abstinent over a period of time (i.e. never had a drink) vs. whether they have started drinking regularly again and got in to problematic behavior.

Unless you can find a published, peer reviewed study that shows that "95% are drinking again", please stop making baseless claims.

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It's very dangerous to self medicate with alcohol, that's why no doctor or medical professional would suggest it as a good idea in any amount, some people can enjoy a pint and leave it at that, when my ocd was at its worst I was waiting for the pub to open, masking my problems with getting blotto,it will only cause problems, don't get me wrong if you enjoy a wine with a meal and the reason why you are drinking is purely as an added enjoyment to celebrate great but if its to dampen the demons in your head it's a rabbit whole you can easily go deep into. 

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20 hours ago, dksea said:

There is no evidence to support this claim.  
First, defining "success rate" as people don't have any drink after one year is disingenuous.  Any addictive behavior is hard to overcome, and a person may struggle early on and improve over time. 
Second, how do you define "drinking again".  As in have dropped out of the program and regularly drink alcohol?  Or perhaps you are including anyone who within one year of joining the program has had another drink.  Slip ups happen in treatment, it doesn't mean the treatment is a failure.
Third, most surveys and studies on alcoholism measure whether a person has remained abstinent over a period of time (i.e. never had a drink) vs. whether they have started drinking regularly again and got in to problematic behavior.

Unless you can find a published, peer reviewed study that shows that "95% are drinking again", please stop making baseless claims.

AA won’t give out their success rates but people within the program have.like sponsors. Do you have any evidence it’s more than 5-15% as mentioned on this topic?  You do know AA was originally based on church teachings, right ?

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