Hi all, it took 18 months of taking Nal to finally reach extinction and I’ve now been alcohol free for six months (mostly, there were two occasions when I tried it but it just reinforced that I can’t drink anymore). I’ve been feeling really flat and wondered whether it was just me or whether since was something that many people experienced. Especially I’ve felt joyless- and learnt a new word - it’s called anheydonia (literally “without pleasure”). Anyway I couldn’t find much here so thought I’d start a thread to let others know of this phenomenon and have a place for others to discuss their experience once abstinent. I really thought it would be all raindrops and roses, whiskers on kittens when I was free of alcohol and the destructive behaviours so it’s been a bit of a shock that it’s not! My reading suggests that it can take up to a couple of years to get over. I hope it’s not that long for me but knowing that it’s a recognised syndrome helps me to understand what’s happening and make plans to cope. Id really be interested in other people’s experiences with PAWS Peace
Post by joesixpack on Jun 11, 2019 19:54:44 GMT -5
I suppose you could have a dopamine deficit (or some other neurotransmitter(s)) that could be contributing to the problem. Is is like nothing out there holds much interest for you? How is it going with the chronic pain?
zooey, do you have a history of depression? Are you in any treatment for it?
I glanced at some of your earlier posts and see you have experimented with keto diets...I'm currently reading the book Wheat Belly and beginning to see a strong possibility that wheat and gluten may be contributing to my long battle with depression. I'm going to see what happens if I ban wheat for a bit. Also my therapist recommends Vitamin B...
Keep us posted, hope you get some relief soon. I know that anhedonia thing and it can be awful.
Thanks guys. I really appreciate the feedback. Joesixpack the chronic pain is manageable but at times still an issue. Pauline I’m still doing keto and I think overall it’s very beneficial Downdude I will give the B supplementation a go!
I was hoping to hear from others that had experienced PAWS In one way I was relieved to find that it’s a recognised phenomenon and that there’s a time line
Your post caught my eye. I also was on Nal for about 18 months and now choose not to drink and instead focus on exercising and growing my business. I do carry Nal with me everywhere I go because I like to know I could consume alcohol if I wanted to. July will be a year without consuming any alcohol.
I have also have been feeling emotionally flat. I wouldn't describe it as depressed. I am 52-year-old male and thought it might be low T, but got tested and I am in the normal range. I may try changing my diet - reducing sugar and wheat to see if it increases my energy level. I used to drink 1.5+ bottles of red wine daily for over 10 years, so I believe my body and brain is still adjusting to the significant reduction in sugar from the wine. I will experiment with diet and vitamin supplements and keep you posted.
Thanks Jam for the response. “Flat” is how I’ve been feeling. I’m now going to put more effort into working on my mental health. A high profile footballer said that he regards it like any other area of his life - if you want to be good at it you need to work at it. So I’m relooking at my gratitude diary and also The Resilience Project. Hopefully these will help.
Post by tallcansintheair on Jul 12, 2019 10:59:28 GMT -5
Given that we are all here tinkering with the deep brain systems, it is certainly my experience that drinking serves as a way to self medicate (destructively!) for some other neurochemical issues. I happen to think that is extremely common for folks to do this and end up in a spot they didn't intend, the alcohol just more or less fit that hole. It is a really powerful drug that fires off all kinds of stuff in the old noggin.
So the nal put a bullet in the drinking lizard but the original hole remains.
(I am not trying to diagnose anyone just offering a possible/plausible explanation)
Tallcansintheair, I had the same thought in that once the alcohol is no longer the focus we’re still left with our lives and the issues that were likely behind why we started drinking in the first place. Thanks Zooey for your honesty and sharing your experience. In dealing with depression in the past, I’ve found exercise to make a major impact if you’re physically able to find something that works for you (I see comments around pain management so maybe this isn’t an option). Finding some type of creative outlet can also be helpful. I’m 14 mos on Nal and nowhere close to my goal; I notice reduction in desire but not change in behavior so I am encouraged to read about others who have been slower in responding to TSM. Congrats on your courage and commitment to look at your true self in the mirror now that the curtain of alcohol has been pulled back. I’ve not posted as I don’t want to discourage anyone as I do believe it works but that for some of us there needs to be add’l work. As a daily wine drinker, what I’ve not been successful with is changing the habit b/c quite honestly it doesn’t really taste all that great any more.
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