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Alcoholic insanity. I have heard that it's quite common for a person's character to change when they stop drinking. Does anyone have exerience of this? My ex, of whom I am still fond, has created insane stories about me sleeping with various men in the village where I live, but has focussed on one in particular, and he absolutely refuses to listen to reason. He however still wants to be friends and "forgives" me. This started when he stopped drinking (completely abruptly, after seeing a Ukrainian doctor who gave him some unidentified drugs). What do I do? The easy answer is to cut all contact with him, but I'm worried about him. Do alcoholics eventually return to "normal" after the trauma of stopping drinking, or is this a permanent change?

GoldenDoll 7 Mar 14

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While I do on occasion drink, I never became alcoholic. I'd like to think those who dealt with alcoholism eventually recover fully, but I imagine for some that would not be the case.


I think its a permanent change , most of the time . Alcohol can do a lot of damage to the brain , with irreversible effects . I had one friend in Italy ,who after getting weaned off of alcohol became fixated on espresso coffee and even had to have hospitalized treatment for that . Maybe it was some sort of mental illness or personality disorder , I don't know , I, not a psychiatrist .


I think there's a certain kind of alcoholic who has existing mental health problems and self-medicates with booze. Cutting off the medication reveals the full nature of the disorder that it was masking.

Frankly, a history of depression or any kind of substance dependancy is enough to make me run a mile from anything more meaningful than casual friendship. I've done my stint of suffering 'stress and depression by proxy' living with the adult child of an alcoholic, and I never want to go there again. My mental health comes first.

If the situation with this guy is that you both want to stay reasonably close friends, then make it a condition that he drops all of this nonsense about you sleeping around. If he can't agree to and stick to that condition, then you need to be willing to cut him lose. He is no longer your responsibility. Your own personal wellbeing is more important than his.

Thanks for this. You're right.


I don't think they do. At least that is my experience. I have been an alcholic for about 30 years not counting my binge drinking in my younger years. I notice I become much more reclusive when I quit drinking. I measure the poison, and hope for the best.


Hard to tell but if he doesnt trust or didnt theres a good chance it will happen again. I think he says he forgives you more because he misses you than anything to do with the drink. he might of drunk more because of the stress of mistrust. I don't see the conection being a recovering binge drinker between drink and his insecurities.


Based on the limited info available... i think you have to cut all contact with him and thats not an easy answer at all. Its really hard to do but you need to protect yourself.
I stopped drinking and taking drugs around 25 years ago and I think most people would say I'm a much nicer person for it. Which is probably no help at all


AA ers are the worse when it comes to this question because they couldn't control what they thought they could. The same goes for drug addicts and alcahol is a drug which is why they call it "dope" I am not a weed smoker and at my stage in life I am not going to start. I am dedicated beer drinker whose Irish Ancestry taught me the respect for the stout. I never ventured farther and learned that beer was invented because it killed the taste of the water. For 30 years I worked Construction and when I came home after a 6 and sometimes 7 day work week I always had two or three beers to unwind and get ready for the next day. Austrailians who go on the wagon consider drinking beer as abstinence and I don't know about that because I only drink beer and could sometimes consume a lot on occasion.
Mixing drugs with Alcahol is insanity as are drugs mixed with other drugs or hard line drugs. I was never looking to get insane. I was born that way and learned how to produce a show which never failed reviews or had a violent or hurtful ending. Control and mediantion plus a good diet are the staples of living in any country, culture or society.


Does alcohol create a Dr. Jeklel and Mr. Hyde personality? You bet. My previous partner was a maintenance drinker for years before I realized she had a problem. When I found out the drinking got worse. She went through de-tox and like night and day. She had a empathetic character and a lot of qualities came out that were previously hidden. It is said alcoholics have trouble with orgasisms because it can't compare to the high with alcohol and I saw this before and after effect. Unfortunately, after 5 years she relapsed and a year later it was over. I have not heard from her in25 years.


I can only speak from my own experience.

It is true that it is quite common for a person's character to change when they stop drinking. However, this does not happen with everyone. Typically, the character change is for the better, and I believe that is the case with me. Those around me have pretty much told me so, they come around more often, and I am breaking free of the isolation that the alcoholism imposed upon me. I'm still not done with my self-improvement efforts, but I'm working on it. The single most important thing, of course, is to remain sober.

In cases where the character doesn't change, or changes for the worse, the ex-drinker has often become what is referred to as a "dry drunk." What this means is that the alcohol consuption has stopped, but the underlying issues that fed the addiction to alcohol in the first place still remain. Anger, resentment, low self-esteem, grief, etc. may still exist, and the individual still lacks the coping skills necessary to address them. The one, very unhealthy, coping skill they had, drinking, is gone.

A quality comprehensive alcohol rehabilitation program tries to help the alcoholic develop those skills, but it is not always successful. Of course, a former drinker who "white-knucked" their cessation of alcohol consumption, the path it sounds like your ex took, receives no such assistance.

Without some form of therapy, such as outpatient alcohol counseling, returning to normal can be a monumental task for some. Hell, it can be a monumental task for some even with the therapy. Those who go without the therapy are likely to exhibit this demeanor long-term and/or return to drinking. Those who receive successful therapy will often (but not always) return to some semblance of normalcy. Either way, it is virtually impossible to go through developing a drinking problem and later regain sobriety without being changed by it in some fashion.

Also, I would be extremely suspicious of these "unidentified drugs." There is no magic pill that will "cure" alcoholism. Some drugs, such as antabuse, make it so that the person taking the drug will become violently ill if they drink alcohol, forcing them to stop, but does nothing to treat the underlying cause.

The safest and most successful method of recovering from alcoholism is treatment that includes detox in a medical setting followed by several weeks of inpatient rehabilitation. That's what I did, and it saved my life. If your ex has already successfully put the plug in the jug, then perhaps some outpatient therapy to get a grip on the underlying reasons for his drinking is in order. It certainly can't hurt, and might just be the ticket for getting him back on a path toward normalcy.

I would certainly not take this beyond friendship until this is resolved and he makes some significant progress. If he refuses to address it, then perhaps even friendship is undesirable.

Good luck!!

Thank you. X

Well done you. I've been clean for 25 years now and life is SO much better.


It could be due to long term withdrawal symptoms, or it could be he was using alcohol to mask mental illness symptoms, and now that he is not drinking they are manifesting themselves. If it is "post acute withdrawal symptoms" they should gradually decrease over time, the longer he goes without alcohol.

Thank you. It says it could last 2 years. I had already more or less decided I need to stop contact.


Non-drinking alcoholics are very controlling. They exhibit alcoholic behavior. They can behave eccentrically by picking up another addiction like hoarding food, buying online and inventing wild accusations. My ex is disabled and follows these practices. Its a roller coaster; I got off.

Thanks for your comments. I think I will have to get off the roller coaster too.


From your initial description sounds like it might be a deeper mental illness. Had a similar experience. My kids mom is skitzo and she insist I had an affair. I to date have never done such an abhorous act.

It's so hard to accept that they won't listen to reason. It makes me feel sick when he talks about it. He has threatened to come & confront the man (the partner of a neighbour who I hardly know). Such a mess.

@GoldenDoll My kids mother wrote this very slanderous letter. Had to do with with me being involved in a homosexual relationships something I have never done. Passed it out to all the neighbors. Was embarrassed kept the letter one of my neighbors was polite enough to give me a copy. Was like you what was I going to do go to every neighbor and explain. That was in California now we are far away.

@azzow2 - That's awful. I need to keep him away from here I think.

@GoldenDoll If he has threatened to confront them then it would most likely pay to go and have a chat at least with the wife and politely explain the situation to them, will save a lot of hassle if he ever makes good on his threat. Just say he's delusional and you want to minimise any shock or embarrassment to them, that way he doesn't confront them have the wife arc up and things get even more out of control.
If he is saying stuff like that then they have a right to know as well because it is slanderous to the husband.


Depends on how long he has been sober, he needs a good year for his sobriety to kick in. Also depends what the drugs he is on are. Some drugs , antabuse comes to mind, makes you ill if you drink any alcohol but some drugs have helped curb the urge to drink, topamax, comes to mind. Seeking therapy for you during this time is also encouraged to deal with it. No guarantee he will return to "normal" after awhile, therapy would help him also. I'd say not to address his issues at this time and slowly ease yourself out of his life.

I think you're right. Very hard to do. It's been about a year. He's not on any drugs any more. He had it done in probably illegal circumstances- a drip which fed something into his body for a couple of hours, then tablets for 30 days. Then nothing. And he stopped immediately. People have told me it could be permanent damage. Such a waste of a life.


This could be "Wet brain syndrome". []

Thank you. It sounds like this.

Part of that is confabulation (yes it is a real word) to fill in the gaps in their memory alcoholics make stuff up without being aware of it, to them it is the truth.
Usually there are kernels of true memories in there with a massive construct of rubbish around them. "They saw you talking to Fred" gets confabulated and "then you went back to his place" gets tacked on. I am regularly accused of threatening to bash other women out of jealousy, biggest load of bollocks ever, they are welcome to him but live in a small town so I suspect someone used the excuse of me as a way to ward off his unwanted attentions and I get demands to prove I didn't (not very often, I don't socialise with them but again it's a small town). Everybody else who knows it's rubbish but the delusion feeds their ego so it persists.
Usually there is a reason they want to believe the load of rubbish whose sole source is their own mind and you are unlikely to get them to admit that.

@Kimba Same. I introduced him to a friend who's husband was around. Next thing I knew the husband apparently comes in the back gate of my house to sleep with me on a regular basis, I'm in love with him & we've been to several hotels for secret trysts! All from that hi this is Debby & this is her husband.

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