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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: I stopped drinking, other impulse disorders worsened.

 mathair4 - Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:55 pm

I have been in recovery from alcoholism or alcohol abuse (depending on whose dignosis you use) for about 5 years. I have noticed that since I stopped drinking, my other impulse control disorders have worsened considerably. I have mild OCD and dermatillomania, as well as fingernail biting. (I also have been treated for depression for about 20 years). Curiously enough, about one year ago, I suddenly stopped the nail biting but my dermatillomania is so severe it takes hours of my day and my scalp is covered in scabs!! Fortunately, most other aspects of my life are now happy. I know dermatillomania doesn't cause nearly as many problems in life as the alcohol, but is it a healthy trade-off? It seems with serotonin and dopamine problems, all my disorders are interrelated, but is there a way to cure all of them at once so I don't chose one self-damaging behavior to replace the other?
 Debbie Miller, RN - Fri Oct 03, 2008 8:51 am

User avatar Hello,
I assume you have seen a psychiatrist and been evaluated for the OCD. There are medications to help regulate the neurotransmitters. This might help, if you aren't already being treated. It may also help to find some hobbies that use your hands and keep them occupied. Many people (men and women) find it is therapeutic to do needlework such as crocheting, knitting, or embroidery. A support group can also be helpful. You may check with your local NAMI organization to see what might be offered. It is helpful to talk with others who have similar tendencies and share what has worked for them.

You are absolutely right that these other disorders are much less damaging to you than the alcohol use but there's no reason you can't overcome these as well with the right treatment and support. Congratulations on your success with this serious life-damaging alcoholism and good luck.

Best wishes

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