Here at the DUI Foundation, we’re excited to partner with Carrie Armstrong, with the How To Be A Sober Girl blog. You can check out her blog here. Over the next thirty days, she has committed to a How To Be A Sober Girl 30 Day Kickstart campaign and we’ll be sharing her stories right here.
And without any more time, here’s Day Seven:
There’s a huge assumption that people who abuse alcohol do so because they want to self-destruct. Because they want to sabotage their own happiness.
I believe that it is the complete opposite.
That people who abuse alcohol a lot of he time are doing so in a bid to self-medicate. And a great deal of the time that self-medication is driven by Depression.
If Depression is something that is prevalent in your own family, but you’ve never been formally diagnosed? it is never too early to go and see your GP about it. There’s an assumption that alcohol abuse has to reach the stage of alcohol dependency in the UK to be taken seriously. Nothing could be further from the truth. The earlier you catch it, the easier it is to deal with.
Stand you ground. Be firm with your GP. Tell them you use alcohol to try and medicate your symptoms. And do not let them tell you the amount you are drinking is not enough to warrant a problem. Because there is no faster descent into alcoholism than a person with a bog standard approach to alcohol who decides to use it to medicate for depression instead of seeking medical guidance. It happens so fast it is frightening.
If you have been diagnosed with depression and are stuck in the pattern of abusing alcohol even though you are on medication? Again this is not your fault. There’s just a strong logical mental link that’s been established in your brain now between alcohol and feeling a bit better. It takes a great deal of new momentum to counteract this.
Don’t be embarrassed to tell your GP you feel your drinking could be a factor in why your depression medication is not working effectively. don’t underestimate the importance of this. Alcohol affects serotonin levels in the brain dramatically. Even in people who do not have Depression. Alcohol is a chemical depressant in itself. it is not your fault. It is not your doing. It’s just how it is.
Ask for help. Keep asking until you get it. You are not making a fuss over nothing. You are being proactive about your own health and well-being. That is something to be admired. Never apologize for that.