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Avatar universal

dissociative periods

I've had a couple of episodes lately when I drink heavily.  I often drink pretty heavy once a week, usually on a Friday.  About a month ago, I had an episode where, according to a friend, I zoned out and started making faces.  He said it was like I lost my mind.  It only lasted a couple of minutes.  Last night, I was out drinking with another friend, and he told me that in the middle of a conversation, I put my down and then looked up and started saying something that had nothing to do with our conversation.  Again, he said it was like I lost my mind for about 30 seconds.  In both cases, I was aware after they happened that something strange had occurred that I couldn't control.  

I have what I think is a slight anxiety disorder, but I've never really had a panic attack, or anything severe with it.  One of my friends has suggested that the alcohol might trigger the anxiety and that it's manifesting itself in these odd dissociative periods.  Could that be or could it be some other neurological thing?  Should I see a doctor?  

Years ago, I had a very bad trip when smoking only pot.  Safe to say, I never touched it again, but at the time a friends suggested that the pot might have tapped into an underlying anxiety disorder.  Here I am, many years later with some symptoms of anxiety.

I've been drinking for 25 years and have never really had negative effects from it.  I've never even considered the idea that I'm an alcoholic because I usually only drink once a week, if that, and there are plenty of times that I have a beer or two and that's it.  I'm reading here, though, that you can't judge an alcoholic solely on the amount he drinks.  I do look forward to my nights out with some drinks and realize that stopping wouldn't be easy at all, so perhaps that's an indication of alcoholism.  

Please advise.  Thank you.
2 Responses
666151 tn?1311117976
I answered this but it disappeared!  You might just be having blackouts-- that doesn't take much alcohol to occur in late alcoholism.

As for whether you are an alcoholic... an alcoholic is someone who continues to drink in spite of negative consequences.  Something funny going on in your brain qualifies as a negative consequence, don't you think?  So if you aren't an alcoholic, you will stop drinking.
Avatar universal
What is happening to you is not a good thing. Obviously, to just stop drinking could stop the problem. AA's definition of an alcoholic is when alcohol makes your life unmanageable. Don't keep blaming yourself for having some underlying mental disorder. See what happens when you take the drug (alcohol) out of your system.

If you go and tell a doctor all this you will promptly be put on SSNRIs or antipsychotics . This could go on for many years, which if mixed with alcohol could really make you psychotic.

If you see any doctors tell them honestly about your drinking. I have heard of people that couldn't handle even tiny amounts of alcohol, because of the enzyme production in their bodies.

I would look at the alcohol as possibly causing these episodes before I started thinking that it was an existing underlying condition.

If you are taking any other medications, this could also exasperate things, even be very dangerous.

Keep in mind that alcoholism is a progressive disease. Some people drink for decades before they become full blown alcoholics. It's not always easy to know when the line has been crossed.

Good luck,
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