Last weekend I went out to a frat party. I got completely wasted and ever since then all I can think about is getting drunk again. Am I suffering from withdrawal? If so, what are the symptoms?
-Buzzed on Booze
Dear Buzzed on Booze,
That is not withdrawal. Withdrawal is when the cells produce short-term and long-term changes to counteract what the drug is doing. When the drug is removed, all of these cellular changes are still there and the drug is gone. The cells are producing wake up signals to the brain to counteract the go-to-sleep signals the alcohol is producing, and all of a sudden, no alcohol is there. What happens is called withdrawal. The cells are screaming "wake up" and not having alcohol is saying "go to sleep."
Acute withdrawal has been driving alcoholics to the liquor store every day. They go to sleep under the effects of alcohol and in a few hours they wake up feeling nervous and restless. They can’t sleep. Their stomach feels upset. They have a headache. Their hands shake. All of these symptoms are withdrawal symptoms.
Lately I have been having difficulty concentrating and remembering even the smallest tasks. I have been feeling hopeless and losing interest in activities which once made me excited. I constantly feel sad and restless. What is this?
Dear Depressed Soul,
You could be suffering from depression. The warning signs are very apparent, which are the loss of interest in fulfilling activities and sudden periods of feeling sad and hopeless. The good thing is that depression is very treatable. Your doctor can prescribe anti-depressant medication. It may take up to four weeks before you notice changes in your behavior and mood. Another effective way to treat depression is psychotherapy. Hopefully you will find the option that works best for you.
The counseling center is located in the Mary Walker Health Center and is open on Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call 315-312-4416 for an appointment.
My boyfriend and I have been in a relationship for two years. We have been in a long-distance relationship since I came to school from Brooklyn. What are our chances of being together in the future?
Dear Miles Apart,
Why not focus on the present? It is important for you and your partner to talk about your feelings and concerns. He or she may be wondering about the same things. If being together on a daily basis is what you both want, then you can strategize ways to make this happen. Will you need to wait until you graduate? Can one of you transfer schools? Leave the possibility open, too, that you may continue in this couple-ship for a long time, and that would be okay, too. There are many "right" ways to be involved in a loving relationship. Running away from your long-distance relationship may not be the answer.