Psychiatry & Psychology--General/Drinking with Prozac/Seroquel and anxiety issues
Hi Dr. Harrop,
I have OCD and have been prescribed Prozac and Seroquel. Unfortunately, I have a problem: although I know that I am not supposed to drink while on psychoactive medicines, I've been doing so anyway because I usually have no problems after drinking small amounts. However, larger amounts over extended periods cause me to have bad mood swings and, yesterday, I had a very bad anxiety attack after drinking just one beer. Such a reaction is very unusual for me, but I've also been sleep-, exercise-, and sunlight-deprived over the past two weeks.
I spoke with my psychiatrist today, and she agreed that my drinking had been excessive (it had been as much as 2 and change drinks/day on average) and that I should not have more than 1-2 drinks per week at a maximum. Now, the challenge for me is actually sticking to this limit.
I tend not to do well with "arbitrary" limits (I set a number of drinks and then, once I've had my limit, I say"just one more won't kill me!"), and if I choose not to drink in a situation where I normally could, I feel that I am depriving myself of something and start to feel anxious (the same thing happens when I'm at a restaurant and see the dessert menu.) Another problem is that I am going on a month-long trip to Europe in a week and I know that the temptation to overindulge in alcohol will be ever-present, especially since I am travelling with two other twentysomething guys :). But, of course, that would be the absolute worst time to have an anxiety attack.
Do you have any advice for me on how I can stick to the limit my psychiatrist gave me? I feel like I could do it easily if I could overcome the anxiety of "missing out" and/or substitute some other pleasurable activity for drinking.
P.S. I feel a lot better today but I'm still a little moody -- since I'm not going to drink at all, can I expect my mood to stabilize over the next day? or would it take a while?
One key is "substitute some other pleasurable activity for drinking." If weight is not a problem, then fruit juices might work or food snacks. If don't have an alcohol or drug problem, then the fake beer might help (this is NOT recommended if there is a substance abuse problem). Other substitutions: exercise, music, other audio products (comedy, old radio shows), even TV -- something to get your mind on something else.