Am I Alone...Mental illness and addiction???

Many people/professionals I've talked to say that it is common for addiction and mental health illnesses to go hand in hand for a majority of the people that have mental illnesses. I find it easy to believe that, mainly because of my own situation, but also there are many who end up, consciously or unconsciously, self medicate with a wide range of drugs, alcohol, and other methods. Has anyone else either experienced that first hand or seen many others struggling with that situation? One of the most common things i see since joining this site is a very high percentage of people feel alone in their struggles, so I'm just curious if there are actually anyone else besides me that went through and/or still going through a 'self medicating' phase or if im kind of alone in that area.

7 Replies

  • I know where you're coming from! My mental issues were the only reason I used to have a pill problem, I was definitely self medicating. Ive been a few years sober now, but I think about pills all the time, its a big struggle. Anti anxiety meds and opiates were my comfort. I do still struggle with alcohol a little bit, I like wine, it helps calm my nerves. If you ever need to talk, I'm here! :) I do think if you are still self medicating, you should get some help, I know it's hard to quit, but you can do it! Never thought I could, yet I did. Take care friend!

  • Yeahh, once an addict always an addict unfortunately, but congrats on the sobriety. We will always live with those triggers.

    Just from what i see here in the states in iowa and really many other places is how bad prescription abuse has seemingly gotten very out of hand, probably more so for the younger generations. Pills have been my downfall as well. I have OD'd on xanax and then few years later opiates consumed my life. I never did go to heroin, but i was spending over 15k a month for over 2 years on hydrocodone and both were very obviously used to selfmedicate due to activites i was doing and had done, that much opiate abuse has very much so changed the way my brain works. Unfortunately, i feel like my addiction just transfers to new things every time. I can definitely agree about me needing help. Admitting i have a problem and wanting treatment has never been an issue. Lately the problem i have is finding it in my area that will also work with my insurance, not many places where im at in Iowa.

  • I hear ya with treatment not being easy, I was in treatment for only 7 days, on the count of that's how long my health insurance let me stay, so it wasn't helpful. Honestly, the only reason I quit, was because my doctor stopped prescribing me pills, not because I wanted to quit. Drugs definitely change the brain chemistry, once you're hooked... you're hooked, its horrible. Man, I wish there was an easy solution, as I'm sure you do also. I know there are drug therapist's, I dont know if you have that where you live? But that could be helpful, plus narcotics anonymous, it can help talking to people. I hope you can find something helpful! :) That's good that you're aware of your addiction and trying to find a way to get better.

  • Also, is that your dog in your picture? So cute!

  • Yeahh, not just a one size fits all treatment plan and unfortunately most of the time you end up feeling like a lab rat try different meds til you find a winner. I've been clean from benzos since the day after i OD'd and i stopped opiates a few years ago never got to heroin luckily i can't do needles what so ever lol, where i live lortabs were really only thing that could keep up with my demand and with all the older ladies always trading and want weed it worked for a couple years. I'm not nieve, i can see that I've shifted from those to other things in my life and i have absolutely no coping skills because all i did before was do/take some drug to 'fix' my problems.... and yes, thats my girl :) I'm pretty confident in saying that if i didnt have her the last few years i wouldn't be here, basicly my therapy dog :)

  • That's good that you've been clean from opiates and benzos! Heroin is a scary drug, I'm glad you never got into that, its a yucky drug. I totally get ya on having no coping skills, I'm the same way. It's nerve wrecking when I have those "If I had pills right now, I'd be able to deal with everything" kind of thoughts, I hate those thoughts. In time I think we'll find it easier, I hope! That's awesome that your dog is comforting and helpful! :) I have a cat, I feel the same way about him, he's my buddy :)

  • I have seen it in others and I can use alcohol as a crutch. My anti depressants have been upped and I am not using drink so much like this.

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