Throughout this month on Real Men Wear Gowns, we've been focusing on mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. To try to self-medicate and control many of those issues, some people turn to alcohol.
John Garcia has no problem talking about his alcoholism.
"Alcohol came when I was a teenager, and I would drink for the effect," Garcia said.
He said he used it to treat his anxiety.
"I just liked it a lot, and I could escape from all of my problems. I just continued to drink, and eventually I became an alcoholic," said Garcia.
"Someone at first may start using alcohol to help them with their anxiety, to get them out of the house and get them to work, but their bodies become tolerant to it, and they have to keep increasing the doses," University Health System psychiatrist Dr. Christopher Wallace said.
"Admitting to a loss of control over something that they probably never intended to become physically dependent or emotionally dependent upon, is a difficult thing to admit for men," he said.
"I was scared. I was frightened. I didn't like it, and I ended up staying sober for 12 years," Garcia said.
Garcia recognized his problem and joined Alcoholics Anonymous in 1989.
Eventually, Garcia said he relapsed.
"Out of stupidity, I started drinking O'Doul's beer. Then it progressed into regular beer. Then it progressed to whiskey, and I was back in the same boat."
He said he eventually found his way back to sobriety.
"You never graduate from Alcoholics Anonymous. You just never do. That's going to be something I have to do for the rest of my life," said Garcia.
He said he was using AA as a tool to help him wear the gown and live a healthier life.
For more men's health information, call 210-358-3045. You can also find the rest of our Real Men Wear Gowns stories on wearthegown.com.
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