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James

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James

Posted by CT [13099.8028] on September 29, 2009 at 17:02:10:

James,

As you know from previous posts of mine I have suffered anxiety episodes for virtually all of my life. Unfortunately, when this got really bad I turned to alcohol to get calmed down and relax and this did the trick. As a result I now have a legacy which is an alcohol dependency.

I probably drink three full ( I mean large) glasses of wine most evenings. I know this is wrong and dont need a lecture. I am working on reducing my dependency and have done so recently but still have some way to go.

What I want to know from you is how does this affect my anxiety levels. Is it making it worse and if so how does this happen. I need to know the clinical story if possible. I can work better if I know what exactly is going on in my body biologically.

Thanks.


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Re: James

Posted by James [2174.8095] on September 29, 2009 at 21:10:12:

In Reply to: James posted by CT [13099.8028] on September 29, 2009 at 17:02:10:

Hi CT

The major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain is GABA, it is charged with keeping the excitory (anxiety producing) neurotransmitters in balance and to control the intensity of incoming stimuli and prevent seizures from too much excitory NT's.

On the GABA site are binding areas for sedative hypnotics: alcohol, barbiturates, benzodiazepine tranquilizers etc. Benzos do the most damage actually changing the physical structure of the receptors and altering the whole biochemistry, electrical CNS system.

Without getting too technical benzos are like using a bulldozer planting petunias - much damage possible. Alcohol does much less damage but irritates the GABA system (called upregulation) so you get rebound anxiety (can take as long as 96 hours to manifest) that tells you to take another drink - the typical scenario for addiction.

When I was getting my degrees in alcohol and substance abuse we were told that once an alcohol users stops drinking it can take up to 12 months for the GABA system to normalize and anxiety to return to baseline - I have actually seen it take up to 18 months.

Even casual alcohol uses is poison for people with sensitive nervous systems, under stress or having anxiety/depression. The neuroadaptation is causes will make the conditions much worse.

Many alcoholic people are actually people with anxiety - especially men. They learned the maladaptive answer was to drink and got caught in the trap of alcohol making them feel better, then worse with the need for another drink


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Re: James -- Archive in brain chemistry.

Posted by Walt Stoll [93.7902] on September 30, 2009 at 07:15:00:

In Reply to: Re: James posted by James [2174.8095] on September 29, 2009 at 21:10:12:

Thanks, James.

Great description!

Walt


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