Are Mental Health Disorders as Bad as Substance Abuse.
When I went into the hospital at 17 with substance abuse problems (then they just called me and alcoholic and drug addict) I was hoping they would find that I had a mental health problem.
After all I can't do anything about a mental health problem, abusing drugs and alcohol, that was my fault.
They did not find that I had a mental health problem. I had a drug and alcohol problem, correctly referred to as a substance abuse problem today.
Surprisingly I received tremendous support from everyone one as I began my life anew, clean and sober.
About fifteen years ago I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. No surprise to any of you the support was not so easy to find, even amongst my family members.
Drugs were easy to get. counseling not so easy and very expensive.
Three and a half months ago I went to my doctors and told them I believed my medication was making me sick. I was met with incredulity. They didn't want to believe me. Fortunately I had the research to support my position and to their credit they hesitatingly agreed to help.
All of my meds will be gone by the end of the year. I am down from 14 to 4 or 5, depending on how you count them. The remaining drugs have been reduced by two thirds. I feel the best I have in decades.
Other than the increasingly supportive help from my three doctors, I have received nothing but skepticism from almost everyone, (separate from this board) who knows me. Especially my family.
I am lucky to have the support I have.
I find it odd that mental health in general and the discussion of possible problems created by the medication is such a verboten subject.
Both issue supposedly stem from the imbalances in the brain of the suffers.
Both destroy lives.
Both cost incalculable amounts of money.
Both have medication the suffers should not take.
Both have the same treatment plans to start with:
Medications if needed.
The big difference is medications are seldom prescribed long term for individuals suffering from a substance abuse disorder. In fact they are discouraged.
Medication is routinely given for long term treatment of mental health disorders, with further mediations given for the side effects. Routinely the other components of substance abuse treatment are ignored in mental health treatment
I believe there is a difference between mental health disorders and diseases effecting the brain, though where the line is drawn is changing.
Further this is my opinion. I am not a doctor. I'm just a guy who has a fair bit of experience with both of these disorders and their treatment.
Take care of yourself. Companies make money money selling drugs. The only one to benefit from lifestyle changes is you.
Be well, hope everyone who suffers finds their path to peace.