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Where Do I Start with What Is Wrong?

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Originally I think I had a drinking problem and it started to bother me. Then my husband’s mom died and unfortunately a couple of other family members.

After that, I did control my drinking a lot better to maybe once maybe twice a week, unfortunately, it was like a binge drinker and I hated it. But I’ve stopped also for long periods of time so I know that’s not the problem. With or without alcohol I still have the same outcome. Only if I do drink I get to forget about my problems for a few minutes. I’ve become obsessed over different things I hate certain people I feel like I’m always being attacked. I feel really stupid like my brain can’t figure out basic stuff. My memory is terrible. I just want to break but I financially cannot afford to take a break from work. I absolutely love my job but one of my coworkers makes it possible to be there. I feel like she’s always trying to steal my job out from under my feet. She is a non-drinker so she makes comments also about people drink with rude words and snotty comments. She is the type of person that talks shit about people on instant messages and I find out because everybody in the whole company will know. It really bothers me she’s also the type to say “I didn’t do anything” always the victim. Now I can’t even go to work without crying. Like I feel something inside me gets all tense sometimes I just want to start yelling but, I don’t because I don’t want to start a fight. So what do I do? Quit my job and have no money to put food on the table for my kids? Keep coping with the problems? (From the USA)

Where Do I Start with What Is Wrong?

Answered by on -

A.

I admire your courage in trying to figure out what’s wrong.

Stopping drinking for long periods of time doesn’t mean that alcohol isn’t the problem. If you once believed that drinking might have been at the core of your issues, and now think that because there was an extended time where you didn’t drink and that that is behind you, I’d revisit your intuition. You say you feel obsessed, attacked, unable to remember things, angry, tense, want to quit your job, feel stupid, and have daily crying jags. All of these can be symptoms of binge drinking.

Binge drinking is different from alcoholism. People who binge drink are typically not alcohol dependent. The usual definition used is five (5) drinks for men in 2 hours and four (4) drinks for women in that same time. The highest percentage of users are between the ages of 25-34 and is the most common, costly, and deadly use of excessive alcohol. You can read more about it here.

The CDC lists many health problems that come along with it. Some of these you’ve mentioned in your email. Binge drinking is associated with many health problems, 8-10 including the following:

  • Unintentional injuries such as car crashes, falls, burns, and alcohol poisoning.
  • Violence including homicide, suicide, intimate partner violence, and sexual assault.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Unintended pregnancy and poor pregnancy outcomes, including miscarriage and stillbirth.
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
  • Sudden infant death syndrome.
  • Chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and liver disease.
  • Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon.
  • Memory and learning problems.
  • Alcohol dependence.

Because of all this information, I’d begin by looking at the drinking. My guess is any progress you make in this area will be well worth it.

The easiest and cheapest way to begin is to catch an open Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in your area. That might not be exactly where you would get the help you’ll need, but the literature available there and the people will be the best place to start.

Where Do I Start with What Is Wrong?

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2019). Where Do I Start with What Is Wrong?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 22, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/10/16/where-do-i-start-with-what-is-wrong/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 14 Oct 2019 (Originally: 16 Oct 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 14 Oct 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.