Addiction and Mental Health

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Heartbroken
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Addiction and Mental Health

Post by Heartbroken » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:15 pm

Hi,
I have been struggling for several years with my daughter who had a mental break down in 2007 and I was told at that time she had bipolar disorder and may have used drugs which caused a manic episode. But after many years now I'm wondering what came first ....its like the chicken and the egg. Did she use drugs which caused metal health problems or did mental health problems cause her to use as a form of self medicating as some health professionals have suggested to me.

Now she's a full blown addict and to tell you the true I don't have any idea which is true and I don't think the health professionals and CMHA know either. I do see a strong link between the two illness and have noticed that people with mental health problems are more likely to use drugs, does anyone else know an addict who then was diagnosed with a mental health condition?

Thanks,
Carrie
What you can do or think you can do, begin it, for boldness has Magic Power and Genius in it !

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HollyTx
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Re: Addiction and Mental Health

Post by HollyTx » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:39 pm

My ALO has a diagnosis and the addiction.

All I can do is work on my recovery one day at a time.
I pray every day that my ALO works on his recovery. On both fronts.

Hugs for you,

Holly

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DianeB
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Re: Addiction and Mental Health

Post by DianeB » Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:51 am

I am not sure that answering the question of which came first would make
any difference. It didn't for me.

What mattered was that until the issue of substance abuse was addressed and
drugs were out of the system, my son could not work on any other issues, either
mental or physical.

But the really important thing is that I know how to take care of myself. I couldn't
make him take care of himself and I had tried everything I could.

I came here to fix my son, but learned that it was also me that needed fixing. I had
become a part of his addiction, I inadvertently enabled him to keep progressing in
his disease. I became as sick as he was. But, here, I could change. I could learn to
live a happy, healthy life no matter what choices my son made. That I could do.
He had to take care of his part. And I could be an example of change for him.

This is why we are here. To learn how to fix us so that we can not only survive in
the world of addiction, but thrive and live healthy, happy lives. We are worth it.

Keep coming back.
Hugs....

with Love

DianeB



“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin

http://nar-anon.org

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sassafrass
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Re: Addiction and Mental Health

Post by sassafrass » Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:35 pm

My daughter is bipolar and an addict. Once she turned 18, 3 years ago, I had to learn to accept that I could no longer force her to take her medication or force her to go to the doctor or even make doctor's appointments or speak to the doctor on her behalf. Now that she's 21 and is an addict, I am still learning all the ways in which I cannot control her or her illness or her addiction. I am learning that I am not to blame for any of it, but at the same time, I do need to accept responsibility for my actions, just like she has to (if she ever does). If I dwell on the past or worry about the future, I ignore the only thing I have, which is the present.

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Melissa
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Re: Addiction and Mental Health

Post by Melissa » Tue Jun 28, 2016 1:57 pm

Welcome!

Ahhh, the old "chicken or the egg" question.
I asked that very question when my son was in his first rehab.
The answer the counselor gave me was a Noble-Prize worthy reply
Who Knows?

It is quite common for addicts to be diagnosed as bi-polar or depressed because these diseases mimic many addictive traits.
However, an accurate assessment could not be made until all drugs were out of his system for at least six months or longer.

Unfortunately, I could not monitor my son and chase after him to ensure that he took his meds properly.
To him, if one pill was the dosage, then surely triple the amount would be better. Or, maybe he wouldn't take them at all.

I learned through Nar-Anon that addiction is a family disease and we need help too.
I may have come here to gather information about all-things-addict and learn how to help him, and hopefully discover the magic potion to help my son find his sobriety.

I stayed for myself--I was a basket case and was 1000% wrapped up in my son's life and could not be happy unless my son was "doing well"
It was here that I learned about codependency and enabling. It was here that I discovered that I needed help.

I have learned to live my life and have a certain measure of peace and serenity (most days!!) despite what my son was or was not doing towards his recovery.

(((Hugs))) I hope you will keep coming back.
Melissa
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On the path to discover the peace of God, which transends all understanding.

lovingwife64
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Re: Addiction and Mental Health

Post by lovingwife64 » Wed Jun 29, 2016 2:54 pm

I've wondered this myself. I have a nephew who was seemingly completely normal. No signs of mental illness. He met and married a Heroin addict at age 28. Two years later he is also a heroin addict (though says he is in recovery). He has been diagnosed with bi-polar and I am told he is a mess. They are giving him so many meds and trying to tweak them that every body thinks he's still using. I don't live in the area any more so I have no first hand knowledge.

But I've thought since learning this - does the addiction mimic the illness so much that they just treat and medicate the illness??

I don't know. I think its sad if they are just trying to medicate the illness instead of treating the addiction.

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Heartbroken
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Re: Addiction and Mental Health

Post by Heartbroken » Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:19 pm

Thanks everyone for your great comments,

Glad I 'm here, from what I have read I truly am co-dependent. I have been trying to help my daughter since she was about 14 -15 years old and she's 30 now.. Making myself sick over it, cancelling vacation plans, missing work to go help her, angry with people, jealous of family and friends who's kids are doing well .. terrible. Everything you all have mentioned in your posts is true, but I just don't know how to stop.
I worry about her non-stop.. nightmares the whole bit.

She's in jail right now, fight with her boyfriend, she was charged because she's on parole for stealing. This time they were fighting and she took her money to use, but he's abusive so she will spin that, that he hit her or something so she was upset she took drugs ..and I will never know what really happened. I'm dreading the calls that will come soon from jail for help ... the crying and begging, she'll be homeless if I don't do something .. as a mother it kills me and makes me so upset I run to help.

Like I said Glad I 'm here ... I need help bad.

Carrie
What you can do or think you can do, begin it, for boldness has Magic Power and Genius in it !

Ladybug12
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Re: Addiction and Mental Health

Post by Ladybug12 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 3:26 pm

I've learned unfortunately that it is more important to work first on our own mental health and the issues of co-dependency, etc., that have come about due to their disease of addiction. We have to wait for them to choose to become clean. Only then can their mental health issues be addressed. In some cases they have been self-medicating. We can't "help" them if we aren't healthy ourselves. Over the past 16 mos. I've been dealing with a family issue and neglected meetings and therapy for myself, and have almost lost my own sanity due to a long term alcoholic/addict with mental health issues, and another family member who is now a heroin addict who also has PTSD issues. I know I can only make choices regarding myself. It doesn't matter what came first with them. They have to choose to be clean before anything else can be worked on. I was an enabler almost 40 years of my life. Trying tough love is one of the most awful experiences I will have to say I've ever gone through but it does work. Or did on one. Four yrs later help is being gotten. I got my own way back and am seeking it again. We need to take care of ourselves, then them.

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Heartbroken
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Re: Addiction and Mental Health

Post by Heartbroken » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:46 pm

Thanks Ladybug,

I'm realizing how many people other than myself are out there suffering and here all this time I thought I was alone. I have received a lot of support and helpful responses for the short time I've been on this site. Thanks for reaching out to me in the midst of your own trouble.

Take care,
Carrie
What you can do or think you can do, begin it, for boldness has Magic Power and Genius in it !

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Heartbroken
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Re: Addiction and Mental Health

Post by Heartbroken » Tue Jul 05, 2016 8:54 pm

P.S. everyone the slogan I just added as my new signature was a quote I found in my Mom's Bible .. I thought it was fitting to use as my new mantra ; )
What you can do or think you can do, begin it, for boldness has Magic Power and Genius in it !

River Rock
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Re: Addiction and Mental Health

Post by River Rock » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:01 am

Most addicts gave a dual diagnosis. We need better
Mental health care in the U.S. Regardless if which
Came first, she still could have been an addict. We can question and wonder , but the main thing is we get recovery for ourselves , so we can be the best we can be.
It's all we have control of.
River Rock

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endoftheroad
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Re: Addiction and Mental Health

Post by endoftheroad » Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:18 pm

About two years ago, my son hit an awful bottom in his heroin use. He found his roommate dead from asphyxiation as a result of nodding off after injecting heroin. It was pretty life changing at the time, for my son. He started to clean up, unfortunately through other medication prescribed by a psychiatrist.

He would spend great lengths of time explaining the voices in his head and how the drug had calmed everything so that he could think and function. We had raised this kid with counselors and a fleet of doctors, but no one ever explored his mental health issues. He saw a psychiatrist for awhile and they began giving him different meds. It was awful to watch him try to find the right medication.

And then he sabotaged the whole effort and started to use again. He is in jail now and about to go through a very hardcore program that the institutions here use in conjunction with offenders. There is a huge mental illness component in their treatment. It will be interesting to see if this gives him relief.

At this point his survival, his health, his future is up to him. We did the best we could, and now it will be his efforts to get him well if he wants it.
This is the easier softer way.....

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Heartbroken
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Re: Addiction and Mental Health

Post by Heartbroken » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:07 pm

Yes I feel the same, see her struggle with her mental health issues and then the drugs prescribed by doctors are terrible such bad side effects I must say I wouldn't want to take them myself. That's why it's been so hard for me to let go because I see her struggling between trying the doctor's way and self medication but at this point it's my own preservation I must think about.
I can't cope with the demands and blame she try's to put on me, she needs to take responsibility for herself. She will be released from jail on Friday and I am honesty dreading it. I'm expected to drive her to a safe bed if we can find one that's not full ( we won't know till the last minute because I can't call for her) but there's so many many more pieces to this .. her clothes back at her place with the abusive boyfriend, prescription for her meth, meds, probation and of course I'm supposed to take her to all these places...

I really trying to not take it on and ask her to figure it out but I can feel my anxiety rising with each hour her release draw's nearer. .. and the calls of her demands are becoming more frequent. I have unplugged the phone for the night.

Thanks for listening,
Carrie
What you can do or think you can do, begin it, for boldness has Magic Power and Genius in it !

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endoftheroad
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Re: Addiction and Mental Health

Post by endoftheroad » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:05 pm

Stay close Heartbroken. Hopefully you have some phone numbers of Alanon folks to help you. I assure you, our addicts know what to do.

The insanity is that in their crisis, they want us right there by them. You have choices. I don't take any abusive talk, if it happens, right now, off the phone! If my AS needs meds, he can get them! I know he won't let himself die, even if he says he will :?

I am certainly not going to be the one to save him at 27! He is a grown man. Your daughter is a grown woman!

This is hard work, but I have to do it for myself, so that I can feel good during the day, to do my work, my chores, take care of the animals, have a productive life. Keep coming back! Hugs, Susan
This is the easier softer way.....

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Heartbroken
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Re: Addiction and Mental Health

Post by Heartbroken » Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:03 pm

Yes staying close and I do have the number to one nice lady from this forum. Just spoke to my daughter she got a safe bed at a women's shelter for tomorrow so that's good because I wasn't bringing her home, she also arranged for an intake call for a 4 month treatment program next Wednesday. I must try to set some boundaries about what I will and wont do, which is easier said than done when you're in the eye of a storm, and come heel or high water I'm going away with my hubby next Wednesday.. One step at a time and remember to breathe.

Thanks for listening,
Carrie
What you can do or think you can do, begin it, for boldness has Magic Power and Genius in it !

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