Addiction .v. Mental Health Issues

How much of my addiction is addiction, and how much is mental health issues?

It’s a tricky one.

Especially in those diagnosed with complex MH issues. Usually, you’re taking your meds, minding your own business. And it’s helping manage the symptoms.

But how much of the addiction is being ‘held down’ by the mental health medication required?

How much are the underlying issues of the addictive pattern in your life being suppressed, because the bipolar, or borderline personality, or Schizophrenia, need to be managed, just to function each day?

I think the truth is, we never really know, until we’re in treatment.

We never really know, until we’re off the meds (within reasonable limits and with supervision of course)….in a controlled setting.

That’s when the real reasons for the addiction surface – the reasons why we turned to the (insert your poison) in the first place.

And, it’s a scary prospect. Do we even remember what life was like without the meds? Who we were?

The idea of getting up in front of people to admit….to face the shame….

Both the meds and the addiction layer on top of each other. At least that’s how it felt to me.

And hid who I really was. And the reasons I was addicted.

But with the right help, some gentle nudging in the right direction, and lessons that we need to learn, it IS possible. And help is available. There’s a number of alcohol services for the community, throughout Scotland and the UK.

We just have to want it sometimes. Not even all the time. But if there’s enough of the part of us left, that wants the help (that knows it needs the help) but is crippled by the fear underneath……well then sometimes that’s enough.