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Alcohol and sertraline

(14 Posts)
Star21 Sun 04-Jan-15 21:21:24

DH has been taking Sertraline for about a month and I estimate is drinking 35 units of alcohol a week, should I be worried? I have spoken to him about it and he became very defensive, said doc says he should do whatever takes to relax. He is also trying to hide the drinking so it is difficult for me to be sure how much he is drinking. The Sertraline is to help him sleep as he is very stressed in a new job.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 04-Jan-15 22:02:43

If he's been in it for a month, he should be due for a review. Is there any chance you could bowing him?

Star21 Sun 04-Jan-15 22:09:16

He has just picked up a repeat prescription and doesn't have to go back until Feb apparently.

KeemaNaanAndCurryOn Mon 05-Jan-15 13:18:47

When the doc said he should do whatever it takes to relax, I doubt he meant heavy drinking, especially since alcohol is a depressant that will make a low mood much worse.

If he's hiding the drinking, then its probably more than you're aware of even with what you are estimating.

was he drinking heavily before this?

Star21 Mon 05-Jan-15 17:52:51

His drinking has been much the same for the last couple of years, I have nagged and as a result he gets more secretive about it as he knows I disapprove. It does worry me that he drinks more than I know, not sure what I can do about it though if he doesn't think he has an issue with it. I told him he shouldn't be drinking especially if he is on ADs but it falls on deaf ears. His Dad died from a heart attack at 47years of age and I worry that the alcohol coupled with the ADs will increase his blood pressure.
I guess I just have to keep nagging.

gildedcage Mon 05-Jan-15 18:05:08

Here's a thought, stop taking ownership of your DH's health and recovery.

That sounds really harsh, believe me it is meant in kindness. You cannot control your DH's actions. He needs to be in control of his medication and his actions.

You can't fix him only help when he asks for it.

temporaryusername Wed 07-Jan-15 23:32:01

I hope he is not driving or operating machinery. He certainly shouldn't be.

I think he needs to get a review as certainly he should not be drinking that amount with Sertraline, I am not sure it is safe and the alcohol is probably interfering with any therapeutic effect the Sertraline might have so the prescription is probably wasted as well as being potentially dangerous. The alcohol will also be reducing his sleep quality, and I am not sure that Sertraline is a good choice for him as a sleep aid.

Also, he obviously does have a problem with alcohol and that could be behind the issues he went to his GP about. The drinking itself could be self medicating. It doesn't seem like the drinking or any possible underlying problems are being addressed at all with the current approach.

If I were you, and I may get flamed for this, I would contact the GP and inform her/him of your husband's alcohol consumption (which could be more even than suspected) in combination with the drug. You could also talk to a pharmacist. You could ring one now, lots of chemists are 24 hours and give free advice.

gildedcage Thu 08-Jan-15 09:21:12

This stinks to me though of enabling.

No one is ever able to control an alcoholic, whether he wishes to accept it or not he has, what could be termed an unhealthy relationship with alcohol.

While I totally understand that your desire is to help your husband. By ringing drs and chemists, you are taking ownership of your DH's choices and illness.

By continuing to control, or attempt to control his actions you are allowing him to continue as he is.

If your husband has a desire to change, and engage in the treatment offered to help his depression and drinking, then help him by all means. But if you think that you can control another person's actions and recovery you are wrong and you will have a lot of misery in the process.

If your husband is not prepared to engage in recovery, is causing stress in the household etc then you have to consider whether you would want to stay married to him.

temporaryusername Thu 08-Jan-15 19:55:51

I agree with you gilded but I would step in if I thought he was a danger to the public, eg. driving.

gildedcage Thu 08-Jan-15 20:34:12

I agree with you temporary with respect to safety but the only obvious thing to do if you believe someone is drink driving is call the police.

I am sensible to the fact that the OP just wants to help her DH. I know that I sound harsh but I have lived this life, and the only advice that I can offer is to not own someone else's recovery. You are only in control of your own choices and actions.

If your DH can accept that he has a problem with alcohol then it would be worth you both going to the Dr's together but realistically the Dr, Chemist, AA can only try and steer your DH on to the path of recovery. They can't control him and there is no quick fix. It is in your DH's hands alone.

Your choice is whether you can pyt up with it.

Star21 Fri 09-Jan-15 20:25:58

I am fairly certain he is not driving under the influence of alcohol, from what you are saying I should just butt out and let him get on with it, at the moment the situation certainly hasn't made me question our marriage I just want to help him.

gildedcage Fri 09-Jan-15 21:41:18

Star Believe me when I say I understand where you are coming from. I know that you are trying to help him and love him.

As I said before though I feel that you should take a step back from trying to fix him. If he is engaging with his treatment and is asking for your help obviously you want to help him. It is simply my experience that until they engage in the process of recovery there is no real chance of change.

Please keep posting if you need help. There are loads of us who have gone through it and sometimes it helps to vent a bit.

For what it's worth my husband had a total breakdown and it was only once I was ill and in therapy, from trying to fix him, that I took a step back and really looked at what I was doing.

Star21 Fri 09-Jan-15 22:00:21

Thanks for your advice, sorry to hear what you have been through guildedcage, I hope you are ok.

gildedcage Fri 09-Jan-15 22:35:23

To give you hope both myself and my DH are good, it caused a lot of problems in our marriage. The way my GP described it is that when you've been married for a while, you are like a tree. When a piece is damaged it hurts the rest of the branch, but there's re growth. Our relationship is good and in some ways better than before. I also had an epiphany moment throughout it all.

It is hard to hear that you may be enabling bad behaviour, but be honest with yourself about whats going on and what needs to change.
Remember there are lots of us here that can empathise, you aren't alone, and if things are getting tough speak to your gp about the impact on you, its a well known fact that the partners of depressed people are at a high risk of becoming depressed themselves, and they've seen it all before.

Just don't fall into the trap of thinking you can control someone else's choices or actions, nor are you in control of his recovery.

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