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Drinking. . .


I am a 36 year old woman. I am married, employed and have three children. I believe I have an alcohol problem. I think I also suffer from depression. I have tried AA briefly (six meetings). I am considering going back. I have read information on neuro feedback therapy and alcoholism. I was wondering about finding a therapist that uses this type of treatment, I want to increase my chances of straightening out my life. I have relationship issues as well.

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If we prioritize your problems (and that is usually a good idea), the one to tackle first (assuming that you are not acutely suicidal) is your drinking . Alcohol is known to make people more depressed. Getting sober will likely help you to feel less depressed all by itself. Relationship problems are also not particularly helped by alcohol (or by depression). By all means please do get back into AA and immerse yourself in its wonderful 12-step program. Please make a deal with yourself that you will attend AA faithfully several times a week (at least 2 – hopefully more), for at least several weeks. AA has so many things going for it. It is about as effective a program of help as can be found anywhere (although hospitals are necessary for detoxification (seizures can occur if you drink a lot and try to go cold-turkey!)). It provides much needed social and spiritual support in the form of meetings and sponsors. It helps you to stay on track (hard to do). Best of all – it is free and located everywhere you would go. I really can’t recommend it enough. I am not familiar with the form of therapy you mention and so cannot comment on its effectiveness. I can say however, that it would be a good idea to seek professional help with a therapist of some form who has experience working with problem drinkers to aid you in dealing with your depression and relationship concerns (which AA is not set up to address). Good Luck! Dr. Dombeck

More "Ask Dr. Dombeck" View Columnists

  • Ray Smith

    Maybe she can avoid the 13th steppers and being one of the 1 in 4 whose marriages fall apart during their first year of AA:

  • JR

    By all means, give AA a good trial. Listen to what is said at meetings. Read the "apporved" literature. Then, as your head clears, consider with an open mind (something of which AA professes to approve) whether this is really a suitable program for you, given your circumstances and personal beliefs. And, while listening and reading, bear in mind the wise injunction that keeping an open mind is indeed a virtue - but not so open that your brains fall out. AA may be very helpful for some people it is clearly quite the opposite for others. It is, most definitely, not a case of one size fitting all. Unreserved recommendations that completely ignore the latter point seem unwise, even (perhaps especially) when directed at "newcomers" who may be confused and impressionable and, therefore, vulnerable.

    The very best wishes for your recovery, however you go about it. Believe me, it is worth the effort. - JR


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