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Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: concentration, sleep, alcohol makes it better?


 akdl - Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:09 pm

1. 22
2. male
3. seasonal allergies
4. none
5. father diabetes, mother hypertension, high cholesterol
6. zyrtec - d

I have had this problem for a long while now and it will be difficult to say in a few words. I will start out with saying im a healthy sporty 22 yr old male (6" 165 lbs, 9% bodyfat), I lift weights on a regular basis 5 days a week, I care about my diet and eat only healthy nutritional items. I have no problems besides my allergies.

My problem is this, and I have had this for a while now. I feel as if I may have problems concentrating and thinking. I have trouble remembering things for the short term as well. However, when I take omega-3 supplements, I feel 10x more better than before. Also, I feel that it is associated in that I thought I had difficulties sleeping; I wake up sometimes during my sleep with arm jerks and leg jerks. The reason I think I have a sleep problem is because I feel tired a lot during the day. I have just got my results in from a sleep study and everything was OK, no PLMS, no apnea, etc.
So when I got my tests back, I think I narrowed it down to my allergies being the problem to my sleep. The only symptom I have from my allergies is that my nose is stuffy.
I have done my research and the fact that previous doctors said that the histamines were making me feel tired during the day. So, although the medication helps me breathe through my nose, it does make me feel a little less tired. The omega 3 vitamins seem to help a lot as well. They make me feel much more sharper and alert. So I think I have the problem solved.

But one last thing, I still don't seem to feel like myself. I feel as if something is holding me back to me being more outgoing. This is the thing that bothers me and this is why. After nights when I go out to get drunk with my friends, I wake up extremely better than any other days. I think it is because I get deeper sleep, but I'm not sure and this is my question. When I wake up, I can recall events in my memory much quicker, I am much more active, outgoing, talkative, etc, how I feel I should be all the time. Basically, when I wake up, everything that I say, comes out much smoother and easier than other days. I think ahead a lot more and am much more calmer and sharper than usual and happier, etc. At other days, i am much more impulsive, and I feel like i have ADD, like the feeling you get when you drive a car and you don't remember anything, time goes by quicker, its like I'm on auto pilot and not thinking in the present, and much less emotional. So the doctors cant seem to find anything wrong with me, sleep studies are negative, and I have allergy medication, which leaves me to believe that it may be more social. I am a great student at school with a 3.5 GPA, and always have been an honors student my whole life.

So because I know myself best, I seem to think that because I have much more emotions involved in days when I go out and have fun and drink, I am providing my body with much more energy, and of course you remember things a lot more when your emotions are involved; and maybe my brain is metabolizing oxygen much better. Either this is the problem, and its just a social issue, or I may get deeper sleep days when I am drunk than days when I am not, and therefore get better REM sleep and wake up with loads of energy and memories.

I guess my final question is; do you think it is a social issue, or a deep sleep issue? And if so, what are some things I can do to narrow down the problem.
 akdl - Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:27 pm

In rereading my question, I feel like I should add this information as well.

During times when I show more emotions, happiness etc., I get a huge adrenaline boosts and energy. At times when I feel more dull and constricted I guess is the word, I am more apathetic towards other people and things in life, and tired, less attention span, more shy, less memory. So I like to take energy drinks, as they work wonders for me and make me do a complete 180 from all those problems just listed.
 Dr. K. Eisele - Mon Aug 06, 2007 4:00 pm

User avatar Dear AKDL:

I think this is probably a social issue. Now, the next thing I will tell you is something you probably won't want to hear. Nonetheless, I am going to advise you to stop drinking alcohol. Alcohol, taken in small quantities, does make you feel better, in the short-term. In the long term or with frequent heavy use, it is totally counterproductive. In the long-term, alcohol makes you more anxious, and it is a depressant, so you get depressed and some people will even become suicidal.

How does this work?

Alcohol relaxes you, right? That's why, for now anyway, you feel better the next day. However, the more your body gets used to the calming effect of the alcohol, the harder it is for you to be able to relax in your social life. Before you know it, you are a bundle of nerves if you are not drunk. Alcohol in the short term will make you feel less depressed for the same reasons. In the long-term, as your body gets used to these effects, you'll feel lousy if you aren't drunk.

So, now you may be saying to yourself, "what does she know? I know myself best, and I'm never going to be an alcoholic." I have worked with hundreds, maybe even thousands by now, alcoholics who have wrecked their lives. Most of them started out just like you.

You say you care about your body. It sounds like you're very proud of the shape you're in. Did you know that alcohol is DIRECTLY toxic to your heart, liver, and stomach? I have seen alcoholics DIE from these toxic effects.

Did you know that alcohol kills brain cells? I don't know about you, but I'm using my brain cells, and I sure wouldn't want to lose any of them. I have seen alcoholics after they've been drinking for several years come in looking just like someone with Alzheimer's dementia.

Please stop drinking!!! You can have fun without being drunk!

To get over being shy, simply persevere. Push yourself, gently, to interact more and more. This is the only way to really cure yourself of this problem. Your brain cells do change over time with new learning experiences. You simply have to retrain them.

Good luck.
 akdl - Mon Aug 06, 2007 4:04 pm

I don't believe that is the problem, I don't drink often, as I know how harmful it is to me. I drink maybe one weekend out of the month.

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