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Experiencing Treatment for Co-Occuring Disorders (Mental Illness & Addiction)

Jabberwocky

Frumious Bandersnatch
Joined
Nov 3, 1999
Messages
87,884
Location
Looking-Glass Land
Would you mind breaking that paragraph up into smaller ones so it's easier to read Jaa? I'd really appreciate it. Thank you! :)

MICA, or mentally ill and chemically addicted, has somewhat of a stigma attached to it. Years ago, I was labeled "MICA." Not only was I an addict, but I also had mental health problems to adjust to. When I was being told the story of MICA and how it affects you, etc. etc., I thought aren't most addicts also mentally ill? For example, an alcoholic quits alcohol after 20 years of heavy drinking. He now has a liver problem and is depressed. Does this mean he is MICA? Lots of addicts get depressed when they quit, that's just a way of life. I don't think MICA is an effective program, and it misses some important issues.

Just my two cents.
Thanks for that change ;)

IMHO I believe that mental illness to one degree or another affects all addicts. I mean, isn't addiction a kind of mental illness itself? Plus anxiety and depression, while they might not be fully blown diagnosable disorders according to the diagnostics professionals use to rate them, are still problems pretty much every addict struggles with.

Toothpastedog is there really stigma regarding mental health in NA circles etc? Id have thought addicts would be some of the most understanding people? Thats always beenmy experience. & you are right, i am my own worst critic, as im sure most are. The main reason for me trying to rush this is to start a family again. Im weary of being on any medication, but i know i have to be well myself, before i can be a good mom

i know the mental health circles stigmatise against addiction however, but apparently its part & parcel of bipolar... I dont know much about it to be honest, it's only recently been a diagnosis for me. I just thought id had a shitty life to date & was 'trying' to cope.
Every meeting is different, but yes, within the 12 step community stigma against mental illness runs rampant. There used to be a big movement against taking any psychiatric medication within AA and NA, and it is still very powerful in terms of influence among the fellowships to this day. Which is really very sad, because the stigma really can do some real damage in terms of those who experience symptoms of mental illness and addiction. Trust me, I should know. NA and AA can be so incredibly supportive to recovery in terms of addiction, it's really quite sad.
 
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Mazzy in Europe

Greenlighter
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
38
Location
Europe
I left rehab for poly-drug addiction with a long term script for a low dose of the anti-psychotic Olanzapine. I have taken it every day since then, five years ago.

At first it brought great benefits as it did seem to help stabilise me to an extent that I had never known before in my entire life, but it did strike me as counter-intuitive to treat my drug addiction with another addiction, which has now lasted 5 years and I absolutely cannot quit Olanzapine without terrible withdrawals. So although I regard myself as being in recovery I am still an addict. Only my addiction has come from a doctor's prescription, as if that makes it better.

There are many side effects to the treatment and I am constantly having to convince myself that it is worth enduring the side effects for the enormous benefit of becoming a stable person. My parents and close friends are all so happy to see me so stable, when previously I used to be very hard work with all my rapid and unpredictable mood swings.; I hurt a lot of people when I was ill.

But I have had to trade a lot for this new-found stability. The Olanzapine has robbed me of my spirituality, my sense of humour, my enthusiasm for life and I have very little motivation, my cognition has been impaired and I've lost all interests in my many earlier hobbies.

These combined side effects have not kept me sober either. To counteract all these side effects I have turned to stimulants to feel more alive, to improve my brain function, to give me more enthusiasm about living, to increase my motivation, to restore my sense of humour and overall to return the many aspects of the real me that I sacrificed when I chose stability through anti-psychotics.

The addition of the stimulant (Ritalin) has improved the quality of my life drastically, although I am most careful to use the stimulants sparingly and do my utmost to avoid an addiction. I have managed to treat the life-destroying effects of Olanzapine whilst retaining the vital mood stabilisation I need.

I now use my experience of mental health problems, extensive drug use and drug addiction and experience of rehab to help others on the many forums. From the feedback I receive, I know I can do some good out there and reduce harm. At the very least I am a compassionate person who strongly identifies with addicts and those with mental health problems and dearly want to do my best for these people.

I have no clue whatsoever if I am doing the right thing or not by trying to medicate against the life-destroying effects of the Olanzapine.

I know I am still using drugs but I feel mentally more healthy than I ever did on just the Olanzapine and I still regard myself as being in recovery.

I would very dearly like to hear other people's opinions on the course of action I have taken. I really don't know if I am fooling myself and making a big mistake, or if I have found a way to stay stable whilst sacrificing the soul-destroying side effects of my meds.

Please can anyone offer their opinion, their advice or any suggestions that could help me.

I would be eternally grateful.
 

Jabberwocky

Frumious Bandersnatch
Joined
Nov 3, 1999
Messages
87,884
Location
Looking-Glass Land
Out of all the atypical anti-psychotics, I found Zyprexa to be really shitty. Does Seroquel not work well for you? It has less intense side effects, although it still has a lot at higher doses. I'd suggest finding a better psychiatrist or working more with your current one on this. A medicine isn't really worth taking if its side effect create more problems than the disorder it is being used to treat. I'm not suggesting you stop taking Zyprexa, just look into trying something else if it is really that hard on you. I know I was glad when I got off of it. Nasty stuff.

And in terms of the withdrawals from Zyprexa, if you work with your psychiatrist there are lots of meds that can help with this. Some psychiatrists won't prescribe anything that is potentially habit forming to anyone with a history of addiction, but frankly these aren't very good doctors if they are unwilling to prescribed a needed medication to someone with a legitimate issue that is genuinely invest and serious about their recovery (you fit this descriptions as far as I'm concerned Mazzy).

Trying to treat the lethargy of an anti-psychotic with a stimulant like Ritalin doesn't sound like a very effective solution in terms of long term treatment, so I highly recommend looking into another form of treatment/medication to treat your psychiatric disorder(s).

What are you diagnosed with/what do you take the Zyprexa for?

And for the record, I rarely hear of or have met world class, or even merely competant, in-house rehab psychiatrists, so I really urge you to look into finding a better doctor to manage your condition.
 
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manboychef

Bluelighter
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
4,050
Location
central florida
And for the record, I rarely hear of or have met world class, or even merely competant, in-house rehab psychiatrists, so I really urge you to look into finding a better doctor to manage your condition.
I was very fortunate at Lifestream in Leesburg fl. My therapist was amazing...actually both therapists I had were amazing. What I have noticed in other rehabs is that the doctors do not care because they have the attitude that they are treating addicts, and we either bring the problems on ourselves, or we are not worth the time.
 

Mazzy in Europe

Greenlighter
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
38
Location
Europe
Out of all the atypical anti-psychotics, I found Zyprexa to be really shitty. Does Seroquel not work well for you? It has less intense side effects, although it still has a lot at higher doses. I'd suggest finding a better psychiatrist or working more with your current one on this. A medicine isn't really worth taking if its side effect create more problems than the disorder it is being used to treat. I'm not suggesting you stop taking Zyprexa, just look into trying something else if it is really that hard on you. I know I was glad when I got off of it. Nasty stuff.

And in terms of the withdrawals from Zyprexa, if you work with your psychiatrist there are lots of meds that can help with this. Some psychiatrists won't prescribe anything that is potentially habit forming to anyone with a history of addiction, but frankly these aren't very good doctors if they are unwilling to prescribed a needed medication to someone with a legitimate issue that is genuinely invest and serious about their recovery (you fit this descriptions as far as I'm concerned Mazzy).

Trying to treat the lethargy of an anti-psychotic with a stimulant like Ritalin doesn't sound like a very effective solution in terms of long term treatment, so I highly recommend looking into another form of treatment/medication to treat your psychiatric disorder(s).

What are you diagnosed with/what do you take the Zyprexa for?

And for the record, I rarely hear of or have met world class, or even merely competant, in-house rehab psychiatrists, so I really urge you to look into finding a better doctor to manage your condition.

I feel a little uncomfortable divulging this information, but when I entered rehab I was diagnosed with psychosis, schizo-affective disorder and bipolar disorder manifesting as mania at the time. I was also a poly drug addict and additionally my psychiatrist informed me that I was anorexic. I was in a very poor state of mental health to say the least. Olanzapine treated all of my psychiatric symptoms (aside from addiction) and probably saved my life at the time.

I still find it distressing to revisit the memory of all this.

When I left rehab the only label that stuck was bipolar.
 

Jabberwocky

Frumious Bandersnatch
Joined
Nov 3, 1999
Messages
87,884
Location
Looking-Glass Land
Its okay, I totally understand Mazzy. You hear all theae fucked up stories about crazy people with schizoaffective disorder or BPD, but in reality none of them are like American Psycho. Sure, there are some unfortunate people with really severe mental illness, but these are stastically the last people that are gooing to go out and commit violent crime, property crime, or crash a plane into a building full of people. Thise kinda of people are psychopaths, not mentally ill per se. They probably suffer from kind of serious mental illness, but you can be sure they are bipolar 1 or 2 or suffering from psychotic states that tend to characterize a condition like schitzoaffective.

Mental illness is incredibly hard to diagnose accurately when one is also using or transitioning from ones previous drug use to a life of sobriety, so id highly recommend you get yourself check out again. Maybe they can update your diagnosis to one more suited to your actual experience of life these days not using drugs.
 
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Jabberwocky

Frumious Bandersnatch
Joined
Nov 3, 1999
Messages
87,884
Location
Looking-Glass Land
I wrote that down and will check it out. I ordered "In the realm of hungrey ghosts" today be here tomorrow. Im having trouble with the pdf. I look forward to dicussing it with you. Very interesting.

Yeah, even where i go see my shrink their involved in state programs and...lets just say its far from private practice andvpeople in there will be raising hell all the time usually about controlled substances and they need more and so on. I see mental illness everytime i go in there and i live it bc i am. If you talked to me youd never know that im severe bipolar and experience phycosis. Meds arevjust means to an end. One of my symptoms is i hearvmy name being yelled out and it happened today at DMV. I looked a couple of times then just ignored it cause i know its not real. I took my meds this morning but they dont work 100%. What does? That book sounds interesting. Drug use isnt good but its better than theftcand murder but drug use in inner cities def leads to a lot of the crime here. Like a vicious cycle. Like ive said, they have to modernize mental health care and addiction treatment in this country. I dont know how but i know theres at least a dozen meds for bipoar and so on so where are the drugs for addiction? I know addiction runs deep and has to be attacked at several sourses but cant they come up with a pill for craving? All they have is Antabuse and Naltrexone and shit that will make you sick if you use. People still use on that shit or just dontvtake it. For people who wanna stop a pill that takes away craving is a great start. Recovery is easier without that monkey biting into your neck!!

Maybe im way off but i think waiting for a higher power to remove your obsession is outdated especially in these anti God times. Medicine is the answer then theray whether group or one on one and giving back and helping people is a good combo. But i sit here with my own problems. I think if they made recovery a bit easier more people would clean up cause how many people want to but the thought of withdrawl and meetings or whatever keeps them locked in addictive patterns. I know it did with me and not until they ripped my colon out did iblose the urge to drink now im stuck with opiates bc of my chronic pain but could easly fall backbonto abuse again. Like i said before, my mental illness contributed to my addiction. Nobdoubt. I was born with it and eben at 7-8 i would hear and see shit and at 10 i was in a childs phyc ward for a month cause i used to see a monster and when the shrink asked me if these things told me to hurt myself or others and i said yes, i was in a room in 10 min. I look back on that as a peaceful time. Mefs were working and we had fun. Put nerf rims up and had tournaments and thats the first time i was ccalled an artist by art teacher. Then is was back home to hell and i was miserable till 12 when i was given my first joint and a 40. I had found peace and over my life the mental shit and addiction shitbjust fed. Eachother. Sorry to get so long and ersonal with my post but this is a topic i feel very passioatly about. Thanks for putting up with my perhaps conterversal views.
Just wanted to add this on here, it is kinda pertinent to this discussion.
 

Jabberwocky

Frumious Bandersnatch
Joined
Nov 3, 1999
Messages
87,884
Location
Looking-Glass Land
Also, this was a really good post:

I can't help but feel the majority of the medical community only treats addicts because they have to, and doesn't believe that it's possible for an addict to get healthy. The level of care I have received as both an addict and as a sober person is night and day, and that makes me so sad. I'm not saying every doctor treats addicts poorly, but in my experience about 75% do. I've had some doctors be openly hostile to me as if they resented having to help me. That being said, in the town I used to live in detoxing at home really was the only option as we had no facilities, and the hospital would only take someone in a life or death emergency. Some people were involuntarily referred to the state mental facility, because but they are not geared toward helping addicts, and from what I've heard the conditions are less than ideal. Detoxing at home is much more comfortable then some of the alternatives. When I came off of benzos and PAWS set in my only option was a mental facility as insurance wouldn't cover any additional rehab outside of the 28 days I had just used, so I hunkered down at my house to ride it out. I know benzo withdrawal isn't the same as opiate withdrawal, but if you can find someone to run support detoxing at home is a valid option. Once you detox, you need a plan for treatment. You need to address the underlying issues that are driving you to use. For me it was OCD, and cognitive behavioral therapy did wonders. My anxiety levels are manageable, and I have learned to tune out or at least tone down the OCD, and because of that, my depression is much better. I will say that after you detox you will have to deal with PAWS, so it will get worse before it gets better, but it does get better.
 

manboychef

Bluelighter
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
4,050
Location
central florida
Also, this was a really good post:
That is so true. It took me so long to find a therapist that has any idea of how to treat someone with OCD. One way my OCD manifests is an overwhelming sense of doom when I leave my house. He had to understand that I want to see him, but sometimes I need to cancel because I just cannot leave the house that day. I don't mind him billing me for the lost time, but I hated having a therapist drop me because I would cancel sometimes.

One thing that has really helped me in recovery is talking to other people experiencing the same phenomena that I am. It is really hard to talk to someone that doesn't have OCD or panic disorder and feel like you are getting the message across. There is something so uplifting when someone can commiserate with you about jumping when the telephone rings, or feeling afraid for no reason. That is something that most therapists in rehabs cannot understand. I was very fortunate with my rehab...I was the only person that had OCD there, and fortunately there was a therapist that specialized in anxiety disorders and he was incredibly helpful for me in addressing the issues I have. I would usually hide my thoughts and feelings, even if someone was doing something that would set my OCD or panic disorder off. My doctor actually had me talk about it in group. It washed away the feeling of being strange, and less than for the disorder and I was able to talk about the things that caused me to have anxiety. I was able to say that people rubbing their feet on the carpet caused me to have intensely strange feelings course through my body, and yes people at first had a laugh, but once they realized that I was serious they made changes to their behavior.

That is all well and good for me, but when it comes to the average consumer of mental health services or addiction treatment, there just is not enough meat on the bone for everyone. Routinely the therapists and counselors do not have much time for individual sessions because they are stretched so thin as it is. That is why I highly suggest just using rehab as a break and seeking therapy once you get out. Getting a diagnosis from a few different doctors will help you get referrals to the services you need.

Lastly, never be ashamed of how your brain works. I thought I always had to hide it and that I wouldn't be accepted by my friends if they knew what was going on in my noggin, but I have found that I can actually help younger people that are just starting to experience the symptoms that I experience to understand it better simply by speaking up.
 

Mmp85

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 22, 2015
Messages
402
I was very fortunate at Lifestream in Leesburg fl. My therapist was amazing...actually both therapists I had were amazing. What I have noticed in other rehabs is that the doctors do not care because they have the attitude that they are treating addicts, and we either bring the problems on ourselves, or we are not worth the time.
I was really pleased with my psychiatrist in rehab, but the problem is you've got over 100 patients and one psych. I was only able to see him twice during my stay.
It took me days to even see the regular doctor for a cough and cold that persisted and looking back probably turned into pneumonia. And the only medication they gave me was childrens cough syrup and cough suppressants. Nothing to treat the actual illness which they never bothered to diagnose.
 
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