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Is this alcoholic

(21 Posts)
sunshine2014 Mon 19-Dec-16 16:16:18

Hello. I drink about 4-5 times per year. I typically drink to excess, get totally intoxicated and have memory problems and severe hangover the next day. Is this alcoholism? Do I need to stop?

Please note I do not drink even a drop between these binges. So far this year I have been intoxicated on two occasions. Both left me with an horrific hangover.

NecklessMumster Mon 19-Dec-16 16:20:48

I don't think so, it's binge drinking. Alcoholism is when you feel you have to have a drink. Are you feeling doomy after a hangover?

BeautyGoesToBenidorm Mon 19-Dec-16 16:21:32

This doesn't sound like alcoholism to me, but it IS binge drinking, which you already know. How much are you drinking during these binges, and what makes you want to drink in the first place, seeing as you do it so infrequently?

sunshine2014 Mon 19-Dec-16 16:45:13

A recent works party. I probably had the equivalent to 3 bottles of wine. The hangover was the worst I've experienced. I drink infrequently because I can't bear hangover feeling, the anxiety and the nausea. And I don't actually like the person I am with a drink. I always cry. Become totally emotional.

Sparkletastic Mon 19-Dec-16 16:50:45

No it is binge drinking.

BeautyGoesToBenidorm Mon 19-Dec-16 16:50:46

I'm not surprised you felt rough! I'm a recovering alcoholic, and if I drank that amount now, I'd be in hospital with full blown DTs.

It sounds like when you drink, you don't have an 'off switch', but lots of people are the same when they're on a night out. Alcoholics don't have an off switch either, but they have a dependency on alcohol (be it physical or psychological). You don't sound remotely dependent to me, just that you got a bit carried away.

BratFarrarsPony Mon 19-Dec-16 16:53:48

I think that would be 'problem drinking' which some might classify as alcoholic, some wouldn't.
You do have a problem with alcohol and probably shouldn't drink. This is one reason why I don't drink.

sunshine2014 Mon 19-Dec-16 17:17:06

Thanks everyone. What do you mean by problem drinking? I do have a "full" point where I say "no more" and I normally just go home & fall asleep. I do become very tearful though. But that's after about 4 drinks. I also get hazy memory after binging. Yuck.

NecklessMumster Mon 19-Dec-16 17:19:44

I used to be a bit like this but I sort of grew out of it, I could no longer afford the recovery time, the anxiety and the memory lapses. Now I can't physically drink that much, but I used to have no 'off' button either, by the time I thought I'd maybe had enough I was too drunk to care. Don't beat yourself up, try the usual tips: alternate drinks with soft drinks, drink smaller measures, try and identify when you feel happily tipsy and then stop etc

sunshine2014 Mon 19-Dec-16 17:45:21

Thank you for the helpful advice. Yes this is what I need to do or become tee total. I always wake up horrified and beat up with anxiety. Awful feelings of shame and guilt. Even in cases when I have done nothing.

tribpot Mon 19-Dec-16 17:49:26

No, I don't think you're an alcoholic. But you do have a problem with alcohol. 4-5 times a year you're doing something which brings you absolutely no joy and which could have severe consequences. Why bother? It sounds like the occasions where you drink are social occasions where you feel you 'should' - just don't. Try it one time to compare the experiences, the old 'I'm on antibiotics' trick is your friend here.

BratFarrarsPony Mon 19-Dec-16 19:14:45

" What do you mean by problem drinking "

..when you drink, you have a problem....grin

eg hazy memory, tearfulness, binging

mudandmayhem01 Mon 19-Dec-16 19:21:43

I think your issues from this type of binge drinking is more having an accident, acute alcohol poisoning or doing something embarrassing ( especially risky if you doing this with work colleagues) than labelling yourself as an alcoholic.

sunshine2014 Mon 19-Dec-16 20:26:03

Basically I need to go sober from now on. Will save my nerves and dignity and everything else in the end!

NiceFalafels Mon 19-Dec-16 20:32:48

I only ever have one drink. Then alcohol free drinks after that. Is that something you can do?

sunshine2014 Mon 19-Dec-16 20:51:55

Yeah I can. I normally go out to social occasions and have one drink but normally no drink. But on occasion, especially when I am feeling nervous I decide to drink for Dutch courage and to rid myself of feelings of anxiety! The next day my anxiety is through the roof. I get so drunk that I can only recall up to a certain point in the night. But this year this has happened on two occasions. I don't drink alcohol at home even though I have a drinks cabinet which is full. I do have an off limit even when I am intoxicated.

My biggest concern is my stupid behaviours when I drink wine or spirits or too much of any drink! I always seem fine on beer and can only manage to drink three pints! I never drink spirits as I cannot stand the taste.

I am the most self critical person anyway. I have a background of PTSD which always seems to hit me badly with flashbacks when I am intoxicated. I am not currently on treatment for the PTSD

BeautyGoesToBenidorm Tue 20-Dec-16 10:15:00

So, you can regulate your intake. You can keep alcohol in the house, but you don't touch it. You occasionally go overboard when you feel you need a bit of Dutch courage.

Honestly, this isn't alcoholic behaviour. If you left me with a full drinks cabinet at the height of my alcoholism, that thing would be empty in a few days (at most) and I'd have gone out to buy more once it was dry. I just couldn't regulate.

However, if you have PTSD/anxiety issues that haven't been addressed, you should really be avoiding alcohol. It's the worst thing in the world for anxiety.

sunshine2014 Tue 20-Dec-16 16:14:22

Thank you that is excellent advice. I wish I didn't have anxiety and I wish it didn't affect me more acutely when I have had a drink of alcohol. It does and there is nothing I can do. Bah humbug!

BeautyGoesToBenidorm Tue 20-Dec-16 17:35:12

Anxiety's a beast of a thing, I really do empathise! Have you thought about being referred for counselling?

Janey50 Tue 20-Dec-16 17:41:39

OP you sound a bit like me,only my binges happen only 3 times a year. I can go months without so much as a drop of alcohol,then on Christmas day I will get through a litre of white wine in 8 hours. I thankfully don't get a hangover the next day. When I did a quiz to test whether you are drinking too much,my result was that I had a drink problem! confused I estimate that I drink about 30 units of alcohol a year!

sunshine2014 Tue 20-Dec-16 19:08:48

Yeah I need to get a grip on my anxiety. I just about manage my anxiety on a day to day basis. Add in alcohol on a few occasions throughout the year and I am a nervous wreck. Full scale anxiety. The problem when I drink is I am completely unpredictable as I have such Dutch courage! I'm going to give it a break for at least a year. smile

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