What you Dont Know about Mental Health and Substance Abuse
It’s not uncommon for Mental Health Disorders, to be accompanied by Substance abuse.
I write this post, from personnal experience. Anxiety, General Anxiety disorder (GAD), Depression, Bipolar Disorder sometimes are not always treated properly, or they go untreated altogether. Sometimes people treated with these disorders are treated with medication, in my case Benzodiazepines, specifically Xanax and Klonopin.
The manufacturer of these medications state for short term use. However Doctors many times will use it for long term use. My Doctor at the time told me I might need to take this medication for the rest of my life. What bad advice that was.
While these medication are extremely effective in controlling Anxiety Disorders (GAD) or even Bipolar Disorder, when used as a long treatment (over 3 months) solution it can have negative ramifications as most people will develop a dependence. Shortly thereafter will develop a tolerance and need to increase the dosage to get the same therapeutic effect
When used for years or decades the withdrawal can be so bad, the patient will return to using them. They than become afraid to stop them for fair of the awful withdrawal symptoms
This post is directed at folks that are generally not drug abusers, or predisposed to Alcohol or Drug Addiction. These are people like myself who suffer from GAD or severe depression.
I don’t drink, nor do I use illicit drugs. Yet after decades of taking Klonopin, I became addicted. I had attempted in numerouse occassions to stop the medication, even went into a rehab. In rehabs the general protocol is to stop the Benzo immediatally, while administering other meds to assure a physically safe withdrawal
This generally does not work as long term use of Benzodiazepines changes the structure of your brain, and over powers the natural substance in our brains know as Gaba, or Gaba receptors.
How Benzos Work
These natural mechanism in your brain take time to start working again, accordingly while you might safely detoxed off the Benzo, your brain has not adjusted to life without them. This can cause confusion, memory loss, paranoia, hallucinations, disorientatiion.
In the United States unlike countries in Europe don’t seem adequately trained to detox someone properly.
Withdrawal from this class of medication takes time. It also needs to be reduced on a slow pace.
In a previous post I wrote about this subject and explained how I did it after decades of use. I will reprint that method as developed by a professor in England.
Doctors in the U.S.
are not likely to follow this methodology for reasons unknown to the writer. However it worked for me and makes perfect sense.
All that said, when substance use or abuse is entered the equation, with Mental Health, it is mot very well understood. It certainly not well received. It’s not uncommon to lose support from friends and family when Substance abuse occurs with Mentally ill people. People who understand or supportive of Mental Health issues, become substance issue
They will blame the Mental Health issues on substance abuse and lose sight of the underlying problem.
Depression will make people do things they normally would not. It did for me.
I am not sure where I’m going with this except to say people with a substance abuse problem are not bad people. If the underlying issues are treated properly from the out set, many substance abuse issues would not occur.
Please do your own research on a drug prescribed to you, ask the pharmacist questions, they know more than Doctors about medication. Check webmd or drugs.com, goodrx I used think well the Doctor prescribed it to me it must be alright, I don’t anymore