For the past couple of years I have really struggled with overeating, binge drinking (at home), and going through spurts of being hyperfocused or obsessed with any number of things that interest me. I have become a terrible procrastinator and have become very lax in keeping my home and laundry clean. I have gained 20 pounds in the last few months and have struggled to keep up with my job. I have been treated with Zoloft 100 mg for the past 2 years for generalized anxiety. My husband was out of work for many months and we have been struggling financially. Our strong relationship has deteriorated a bit because of the stress of this stress.
An example of what my day would consist of is: Sleep late because I was up until 2 or 3 am the night before drinking wine and browsing the internet for information on my latest interest. I may or may not shower. I sidestep all the dirty laundry and dishes that need to be done and just lay on the couch eating a whole bag of chips while I watch TV, all the while hating myself for not cleaning like I should. I should now start working (I work from home doing medical transcription), but instead I watch more TV or get on Facebook or the internet. I may then get in about 4 hours of work when I should be working 6-8 hours. Then the whole process starts again.
I have always been a very well-liked person and I have lots of friends. I had a very happy childhood and am fairly attractive. I used to be of average weight for my height (5’8″, 150 pounds), but have gradually put on weight every year and now weight over 200 pounds. I don’t drink every night, but when I do, I will drink a whole bottle of wine in a 2-hour period.
I feel completely out of control and unable to find the motivation to stop these behaviors. Is Zoloft the right medication for me? Right now financially I can’t see a psychiatrist. Is there anything I can do on my own to help myself? Thank you so much for any help you can give me.
A. You have been struggling for the past few years with binge drinking, overeating, a lack of sleep and motivation, as well as stress. You also mentioned that your marriage is strained because of these issues. In addition, your husband was out of work. All of these issues had to have taken an emotional toll on the both of you.
It’s difficult to know what if any disorder you may have. It might just be that you are having a difficult time and there isn’t a diagnosis that would fit. Generally speaking you may meet the criteria for depression but you’d have to be evaluated by a trained mental health professional to know for sure.
While I understand that you are suffering I do not think you are that far away from getting your life back on track. In other words with effort on your part and the proper intervention you could start to feel better in the near future.
At this point your marriage is strained but as you said it’s mostly related to the issues you are dealing with. It seems that fundamentally you have a strong marriage. Having that solid relationship is important for your well-being. Without it you’d probably be feeling much worse.
You are twenty pounds overweight. Much of that is due to overeating and probably due to the wine you are drinking (alcohol is high in calories).
You have a job but you spend too much time surfing the Internet. You’re also not feeling very motivated to work, you’re overly stressed and you’re not attending to all of your daily chores. You mentioned that you are taking medication that does not seem to be working. Medication alone is often not a comprehensive treatment.
If you could afford it counseling could really be beneficial for you. I would advise against only seeing a psychiatrist. Usually psychiatrists only prescribe medication. This problem most likely requires some form of talk therapy intervention. You might benefit from cognitive-behavioral or cognitive therapy. A medication change might help but you should consider counseling in addition to the medicine. If you cannot afford counseling try a local community mental health center. They often have low priced or free counseling services. You should also consider a support group. There may be local support groups you could attend. Your local community mental health center might have support groups and if they don’t they could probably refer you to an agency that does. Some people also find that joining an online support group is helpful as well. Please consider one of these options.
Since you are already at the point where you feel that you are “out of control” I’d strongly encourage you to consider some form of professional assistance. This problem may be difficult to correct yourself. A therapist could work with you on gaining back your motivation. He or she can help you uncover why you are drinking and binge eating and teach you how to stop engaging in harmful behaviors. If you cannot afford a therapist call your local community mental health center or try to find a local support group. As I mentioned above, with help and effort on your part these problems are correctable.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 Mar 2009
Randle, K. (2009). OCD, Bipolar Disorder or ADD?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 23, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/03/23/ocd-bipolar-disorder-or-add/