06 Sep He Just Couldn’t Stop Drinking
He Just Couldn’t Stop Drinking
Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Thomas Lee
Jack (not his real name) first saw me at my clinic because he was concerned about the way he was consuming alcohol.
What started off as leisure drinking with friends during weekends gradually became an integral part of his daily routine. He simply couldn’t stop drinking!
He needed to have his daily dose of beer from the moment he woke up in the morning, throughout the day, to the time he hit the bed at night. Without alcohol, he would become restless and edgy, and would not be able to function at work. He needed the drink constantly to calm his nerves and appear ‘normal’ in front of others. Without the drink, sleep was an impossibility. Alcohol had become a constant companion in his life that he could not live without. He felt trapped. He wanted to break out of this pattern of daily drinking. He wanted to be normal again, in the true sense of the word, without the drink. He tried so many times on his own to fight off the alcohol, but he could not succeed. Finally, he decided to seek professional help.
What Jack suffered from was a condition known as Alcohol Use Disorder. He had become physically and psychologically addicted to the drink. Like Jack, countless others with alcohol dependence have tried to stop drinking on their own, but most either failed to succeed or were not able to sustain a considerable period of sobriety. Professional treatment using a combination of medications and counselling offers the best chance for recovery.
After working with me over several treatment sessions, Jack finally shook off the alcohol. He didn’t need the drink anymore. He was ecstatic! However, I cautioned him that his recovery had only just begun, for recovery is always going to be a long journey. The road ahead is paved with temptations and triggers for relapses. But by applying skills that are acquired through counselling, and with the help of medications, long-term sobriety is possible. Jack did exactly this and continued to maintain his sobriety as he soldiered on the path of recovery.