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Glenn Yank, MD is a Psychiatrist located in Tennessee.


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ShrinkTime (TM)


Question:
My sister passed away 5 weeks ago at the age of 45. I am 42 and for 3 weeks after her death I had this uncontrollable fear that I, too was about to die of a heart attack. The only thing that would ease my chest pains was, every evening about 5:00 I would drink a few beers. That relaxes me enough that I am not bothered with the anxiety until 3 or 4 am. I do not have the fear any longer, but the anxiety and chest pains are worse. Is there an anxiety medicine that I can take and drink 4-6 light beers daily? Jim L.

Answer:

Let me first express my condolences for your loss. The process of grieving is a painful one and it is not uncommon for people to experience a variety of anxiety and depression symptoms during this process. The most important things to do to help with this grief process are to let yourself experience it and talk about it with people who are supportive to you. If your anxiety symptoms persist, you might benefit from the anxiety medicine buspirone or from an antidepressant with anti-anxiety properties, such as one of the SSRI antidepressants, venlafaxine (Effexor), or mirtazepine (Remeron). Of the SSRI antidepressants, Zoloft, Celexa, and Lexapro are least likely to have any interaction with the alcohol you are consuming, but any antidepressant can potentiate the effect of alcohol (a drink may seem twice as strong). I would not combine any benzodiazepine anti-anxiety medicine [alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), oxazepam (Serax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), chlorazepate (Tranxene), etc.] with beer or any alcoholic beverage due to risks of interaction and developing dependence. I hope this is helpful.

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Disclaimer: The information contained here is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional advice relative to your specific medical or mental health condition or question. ALWAYS seek the advice of your physician or other health provider for any questions you may have regarding your medical or mental health condition. Information provided here DOES NOT constitute a doctor-patient relationship between you and the column author.

© Copyright 2003-2005. All rights reserved. Contact: ShrinkTime Last edited: 01/27/04.