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Seperation, depression, anxiety and alcohol abuse

Community Member

Greetings to all. I permanently separated from my 28 year long relationship in January. I have noticed my alcohol intake has increased to 17 units a day. I have been drinking at this level for six months. I do know I should not be doing this I do not know if I am dependent or an alcoholic. I take anti-depressants and other medications for depression and anxiety. I do not work and have socially isolated myself among many other issues.

I would welcome any thoughts/ideas to get out of "place" I find myself.


4 Replies 4

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hello TassieTassie and welcome to Beyond Blue forums

It's good you've found your way to our community of caring, friendly, supportive and non judgmental people.

Separating after 28 years in a relationship must be difficult. Not working and being social isolated makes it hard I'd imagine to talk through all the things that must be going on for you. Do you mind if I ask, who you could reach out to talk to? For example, a close family member or trusted friend? Talking helps at times like this.

Increasing alcohol intake to manage one's emotions and feelings is not unusual. Though, the mixture of antidepressants and alcohol isn't good I think. I suggest you see your gp if you haven't already to talk about what's happening in your life.

From my own experience, I've used alcohol to dull the pain of emotions and feelings. Ultimately, I found it doesn't work. The hangovers are the pits, and the emotions and feelings are still there - they don't go away.

Are you serious about wanting to move from the 'place' you are? Then think about:

  • seeking help from services that are available. Each state I think has an alcohol and drug services. Do a google search for your state.
  • making yourself a plan. What you want to do with your now single life? Where you want to be in 12 months and how you're going to get there? You may need help to work through this. Have a think about whether you want to see a health professional who can do this with you.

Let us know what you think. Keep reaching out if and when you want to. You're not alone.

Kind regards


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Tassietassie, a warm welcome to you.

I'm so sorry about what has happened, it's always a stressful time because there is a lot for the two of you to sort out, so can I just outlay some points about alcohol addiction/dependence

-if you drank heavily every Friday and Saturday doesn't necessarily mean you're dependent

-there's a fine definition between being dependent or an alcoholic, and everybody has their own thoughts, but most times the two of these are the same

-it used to be said that if you had one drink each day that you're an alcoholic, that doesn't support my thoughts at all, such as a glass of sherry or a glass of wine with dinner

-If you find it difficult to enjoy yourself or relax without having a drink, it’s possible you’ve become dependent on alcohol.

-waking up feeling as though you need a drink or having any sweating, shaking or nausea the morning after,

-If you're dependent on alcohol and not able to function without it, and drinking it everyday and/or hiding it from others, then you could be classified as an alcoholic.

Likewise, if you tend to be drinking more and increasing the amount you drink because you will develop a tolerance to alcohol, so you need to have more alcohol to get the same effect

-wondering where the next drink is coming from

-planning your social life ( which may not be your situation as you isolate yourself ) around drinking times

-any excuse to have a drink or plan to have a bbq at any time

Tassie I'd like to know what you think about these, and please don't be afraid, I used to be an alcoholic so I know what you are saying

Best wishes.


Thanks PamelaR

I am socially isolated from the world due to a number of reasons - agrophobia, social phobia, anxiety etc etc

I am on the disability pension but still have health insurance.

My drinking is very rigid - start at same time, finish at same time and 2 units per hour. It fills in the day for me - I have no contact with people and only go to the local shops - anxiety prevents me from the freedom of driving anywhere. BUT it is time to do something or I will become a total hermat with doing the same thing each day - staged drinking.

Thanks Geoff - my drinking is something that has become a daily habit. I do not really get the urge to drink, I have just fallen into a daily pattern. But I know the number of drinks I have over 9 hours id damaging.