Saturday, April 5, 2008

Recently from Cross Addicted....

Hi, everyone.

It's Wednesday of Spring Break week, here, and MAN, am I ready for the kids to get back into school!!!!! I've never heard so much whining and crying, pi**ing and moaning, "it's too cold to go out! It's raining again! When does school start back up again??!!"---oh, wait. That was ME. Nevermind. xp

Well, I've been slacking on my schoolwork like CRAZY, so I felt that I would at least try to make this post somewhat educational, in case anyone should find it, while looking for info.

Last semester I was taking a class that was about the family and how they deal (or don't) with addiction, and it was striking to me that the textbook really seemed to "poo-poo" the idea of getting particularly concerned when the addict/alkie relapsed. It was saying that it's going to happen, so when it does, the addicted person needs to just pick themselves up and move on. Maybe try harder next time. WHICH, I'm sorry, am I the only one getting this?---smacks of the illusion of "self-control", to me. Reading these things, I remember thinking, "well, sh*t, then I can just go out and have a couple, and get up the next day and hold my head high and get that "slip chip"---coz, shoot, it's what we're s'posed to do! That chaps my ass. If it was all that nice and neat why would anyone ever need to quit?!

Anyway, that's not what I was going to write about today.
It amuses me to no end when I read things in Psychiatric journals adn the like, letting us all in on their latest discovery: "recovering tweakers more likely to have major depression"! (My translation, I'm pretty sure they don't use terms like "Tweaker" in their journals) Now granted, maybe this is only a no-brainer to me, b/c this is my area of specialty, and I've always tried to learn as much about drugs as possible. But it kinds really just makes sense, when you stop and consider it: Your brain is getting overloaded with FEEL-GOOD chemicals, for however long you are using coke, crank, Ice, meth, uppers in general, or whatever you wanna call it, then it stops getting all that sweet tweaky goodness. All of a sudden, the parts of the brain that are already built in, to make you feel good when good things happen, are NOT getting any assistance to do their jobs, and they have become essentially atrophied. I mean, it's just common knowledge, isn't it, that if you have a muscle that you don't use for a long time, it will get smaller until it can't possibly do the job it was made for?
And so it makes perfect sense to me, that I would tend to be even more of a "depressive" personality now, after having HAD the incredible highs that those drugs bring, for so long, and removing the same drugs.
But, I just wish I knew one thing, at least with some reasonable assurance:

Does your brain ever get balanced out again? I'd bet nobody has done all the testing necessary to really research this, for the simple reason that it would require the depressed person to be off of their meds for an extended period of time, and if that wasn't reason enough, think of the havoc it would reek(sp?) in the pharmaceutical empires, if it turned out that we COULD eventually be done with their fat, wallet-padding lineup.(???) I just want to be done with needing THE MAN, which is what it feels like, if I might be so brash. But today, right now, I am unable to remove the need for the chemical adjustments that the medical companies can only give. I detest this dependence. But until a whole lot of my situation changes, this is how it's gotta be. If only God would give me a big, towering, undeniable sign, and REMOVE the problem, so that I could just put them down and be ok.
I comfort myself, when thoughts of "what did the world do BEFORE they had antidepressants?" run through my mind, with this reply:
Maybe the world wasn't as completely morbidly depressing then. Maybe it wasn't.


Catherine said...

Or maybe it was - but it was an issue not talked about - discussed or swept under the rug and out of sight. I believe depression has been around as long as the human race, but for whatever reason - it is out now - like many things that were hidden from family and friends way back when, depression is now something that the general public is aware enough about to understand this is a chemical thing - in the brain - I wish you all the best - Cat

NeverEnough said...

God I just read this and LOVE it. As an addict/alcoholic myself, I have got to put this address on my site, if that's okay.

Marsha said...

I too have to wonder what folks did and went through before modern medicine. Can you imagine the pain, lack of sanitation and suffering? *shudder*

It's no wonder they had homemade wine. I'd need some myself.

therapydoc said...

Does your brain ever get balanced out again?

Depends upon who the you is in the sentence.

My favorite line is, Maybe you still haven't had enough to drink. You can't stop until you've had enough, really, really enough. So a person dependent upon alcohol really has to ask himself that question, have I really had enough?

Because it is an all or none thing for some people.

Craze said...

Great post. It does only make sense when you take away the "happy" you are bound to get the opposite. Does it every fully recover? I don't know. I will say that it's quite possible that people who are more prone to depression are more likely to abuse drugs. That being said if it's a true chemical imbalance then antidepressants are vital. It's not any different than my son who has asthma to use an inhaler.

RDanielHarteis said...

My answer for you - not pat or hip either.
The "atrophied" parts of the brain wont go back to normal overnight.Actually - many people use the tweaky goodness to help with the fact that their own chemical processes dont work right to begin with. That is to say that the part that is supposed to make you feel good - only works at 50% when working WELL in these people - so the drug of choice is filling the gaps.
That said - there is hope that once you stop using your body can recover - in TIME. think about it - the longer you were using, the longer your body needs to take to recover and it will NEVER be easy.

Jon said...

I was on and off anti-depressants for most of ten years. In the end, I think they did me more harm than good. I would have to say I'm a little bitter about them. I've been free of them for about five years. I have to work at it every day, but I understand my depressions and I have a pretty good idea how to stop them. So far so good? At their best, their very best, anti depressants made me numb enough that I didn't have to deal with the real problems that left me feeling so depressed. Getting off of them was the worst thing I've ever sat still for, with no help at all from my prescribing head shrinker. Much much worse than the depression that got me on them in the first place. I've done a fair amount of studying and I've come to believe that most of neuropsychiatry, the theory that "it's just a chemical imbalance" is a lot of crap. Oops, I better stop before the rancor sets in. Despite the outburst of crankiness, I feel better about life, myself and everyone else than I ever felt before.