Q. I am 25 years old college student. Pursuing my Masters these days. Previously I was very much addicted to alcohol. But now I have stopped taking alcohol but these days am not able to sleep, I feel very anxious sometimes. Sometimes I am having shortness of breath, also I feel palpitation. These days most of the time I have found that my palms are sweating. I am not able to concentrate on my studies. How to handle these?
I appreciate your efforts towards leaving the alcohol because continuation at such an early age will affect your health badly. Your determinations need to be applauded.
1. Sleeping difficulty.
2. Anxious state
3. Palpitations and shortness of breath
4. Sweating palms.
5. Loss of concentration.
Dear, as you already tell that you are pursuing masters, difficulty to concentrate might be putting an effect on your studies. Probable causes: Alcohol intake usually results in decency and once you opt for leaving it, withdrawal symptoms come like anxiety and insomnia. You are going through the same commonly known as Delirium tremens. These withdrawal sometimes are so strong that they cause to lapse again but I m sure you will follow my advices and work hard to get rid of this habit completely: Diagnosis: Get yourself assessed, for anxiety scale online or by visiting psychologist.
My suggestions for you are:
1. Make a support group: Keep a list of people who know that you are in the journey of leaving alcohol, call them and talk when you feel anxious.
2. Use time: boredom and being alone brings negative thought and increasing tendency of the brain to think more, you can join some gym, yoga and moreover, do skipping ropes and cycling to maintain calmness in the body.
3. Some drugs are available to combact insomnia and anxiety which usually doctor prescribe in extremes like benzodiapenes but overcoming their addiction is again a deal.
4. For sleep issues:
- Avoid naps in a day, keep yourself moving the whole day.
- Avoid stimulants, Caffeine brewers are a big no-no.
- When you go the bed try to switch for relaxational videos and music, easily available on YouTube and if still there's a problem you can try some exercise at night.
- Ethnic room with dark lights and hot milk, hot bath before going to bed can be tried.
- Don't use electronic gadgets on bed for a longer time.
- Some vitamin supplements also work for betterment, prescribed by doctor.
5. Set routine: for sleep and good diet, healthy meals and lots of fruits, vegetables and lots of water.
6. Whenever you feel anxious, don't go for rest, go out work, exercise, talk to support groups and dance by playing songs.
7. If you are extrovert, try to go for parties ( not alcoholic one), spend time with your parents and meeting relatives If introvert, put on your favourite movie, favourite book or subject spend time. Understand, initially may be concentration is a problem, taking a break after every 15 - 20 mins is okay. You are doing great.
8. Aromatherapy, spa, naturopathy treatment will be helpful too, I even advise you to do gardening, connect with nature.
9. Self-talk: don't repress but encourage yourself like, It's just the phase, it will go I'm doing great I will able to do it perfectly. This is not going to harm me.
10. For motivation, you can also keep your diary of progress, look at that early in morning and night, feel inspired.
11. Go for Morning deep breathing exercises like parnayam. Just understand the crisp, This is just the phase of withdrawal and the symptoms, these only come when you work hard. Go on, don't stop my brave girl.
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