Week of:
Oct 26, 2018

Drinking for stress relief — a problem?

Alice,

I get stressed out with everyday life and find drinking a great stress release, but I am finding that I drink more and more every week and my stress levels never really decrease. Does that signify a problem? Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Stressed out and anxious from schoolwork and everything

Alice,

I think I just had my breaking point. I don't know how much more stress I can take. I tried to check out stress-reduction workshops, but the next one is next semester. I don't really want to see a psychiatrist. I don't know what to do. Basically, I think a lot of my stress is because it is just so difficult for me to focus or concentrate on anything. My thoughts are running everywhere. I try, I really do. I even moved into a single for it. I feel so incompetent. I don't give a damn about making friends. I'm always feeling lonely. And worst of all, there is always something that makes me so worried, panicked, to the point of just wanting to die to relieve me of it. I have chest pains when I sleep sometimes. When I stand up to do something, I always forget what to do... always. This letter that I'm writing has taken me an hour to write because I have to pause so many times to think about my classes. Whenever I do anything away from my desk during my designated "study time," I feel so guilty. Last weekend, I couldn't eat because I didn't want to leave my room to go to the kitchen to eat anything. Yet I am always behind in my schoolwork. Since transferring here this semester, I have never felt confident, relaxed, or satisfied about anything. Everything annoys me. I annoy me. This letter probably sounds really unorganized, but I can't organize my thoughts. I went to see a Broadway play and loved it, but just really hated myself for seeing it when there was so much work I had to do. When I would read my texts, I would try to read faster so I could get all of it done, and a lot of times, just out of nowhere I would get so upset and start crying over my book and myself and my life. I've decided I don't want to live like this anymore. I'm tired of not being able to breathe and get chest pains when I get stressed. Please help me.

— Feelingsuffocatedandconfused

Gag reflex and stress

Dear Alice,

Under times of heavy stress, high anxiety situations, and physically strenuous activity (especially running), I tend to gag and dry heave. When I am at rest, this never happens. I even gagged in class at my last mid-term because I was nervous about the test. This did not start until I was 18 years old and when I joined the military. I am 27 now.

I no longer wish to be this way. The military doctors said that I just have a sensitive gag reflex. Well, this is not normal; it's too sensitive. I would like to be a normal person and not gag in public when I get nervous or have to speak in front of large crowds. Do you have any idea what is wrong with me? My wife says that I need to have my tonsils taken out, but she is not a doctor. Gagging during sex is a big mood killer for her also, but the high excitement and physical activity just tightens my throat and I get choked out. Please help. What do I need to do?

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