Mental Health and AA

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Mental Health and AA

Postby jd7087 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:27 am

Many in AA need mental health support that we in AA cannot provide. I have found much relief from mental torture by seeking help from from Mental Health practitioners. Some in AA object to "pill taking" for issues that they think will be corrected with the 12 Steps. Bill W. himself encouraged AA's to seek help from outside practitioners. I must say that I needlessly suffered during my first 5 years in sobriety, by listening to these hardliners in AA. We are not medical professionals and should not give advice in these matters. We share our experience and mine has been that medication has saved my sanity and allowed me to remain sober 29 years, by Jesus's Grace. I have buried several AA friends through the years that lost the battle against depression. My first priority is to remain sober in AA. I will admit my struggles to others that suffer from this malady in the fellowship. Hopefully, we will learn more as AA evolves.
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Re: Mental Health and AA

Postby chefchip » Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:49 am

I agree with you, by and large, jd. This issue would resolve itself if many AAs would just remember our tradition of staying out of "outside issues," and remember our PRIMARY purpose. Our success rates would probably skyrocket as well. Yes, the steps and the program might give us a way to meet life, and our problems, head-on. That never means, though, that they are the answer to everything, as some would espouse.

And now I'm preaching! :lol:
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Re: Mental Health and AA

Postby Lali » Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:08 am

I'm a firm believer in following one's doctor's suggestions. If your doctor prescribes medication, then you should follow his/her insstructions. It is usually best that you keep this to yourself though, it is not anyone else's business and you don't want to open yourself up to the possibility of criticism from others, as ridiculous as it would be for them to do so. :D
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Re: Mental Health and AA

Postby PaigeB » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:09 am

There is now conference approved literature on the subject!
http://aa.org/lang/en/catalog.cfm?category=4&product=33

One more thing... I believe our secrets keep us sick. I encourage people to talk to their sponsor about any medications you are taking, just remember that they are not qualified to give any opinion on the subject.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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Re: Mental Health and AA

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:40 am

I must say that I needlessly suffered during my first 5 years in sobriety, by listening to these hardliners in AA.

I don't want to be controversial but don't you see your part in it? Why do you have to listen to those hardliners? There are too many people in the fellowship talking crap, that why we have the book. Do what your highpower leads you to.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Mental Health and AA

Postby jd7087 » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:58 am

Thank you all , especially Chip and also the post on keeping your business to yourself. We are told to disclose in a General way !
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Re: Mental Health and AA

Postby Brock » Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:12 pm

PaigeB wrote: I believe our secrets keep us sick. I encourage people to talk to their sponsor about any medications you are taking, just remember that they are not qualified to give any opinion on the subject.

And Lali suggests it’s better to keep this kind of information to yourself, so you don’t open yourself to possible criticism, maybe she meant you could tell your sponsor but don’t blab it to everyone else. I think where the problems come are from ill informed sponsors, we have had several reports from newcomers on the forums, saying their sponsors are against prescription medications they are taking. And I don’t think a newcomer, even if they realize that the sponsor is not qualified to speak on the subject, will have the stones to say so. I believe a new and far more definitive manual on sponsorship should be written, too much is left up to the whims and fancies of individual sponsors. We have had other reports here apart from those to do with drugs, of sponsors coming up with ridiculous tests for wiliness and such things. If a sponsors do’s and don’ts sort of booklet were provided to both the sponsor and sponsee, not only would the sponsor have a definite knowledge of what AA says he can do, but the sponsee would be able to have a say when asked to do something which is not in the manual. I know the present sponsorship booklet does have a section on what we should and should not do, but it is apparently too vague for some sponsors, it says we should not “offer professional services,” and goes on to list legal and medical and so on. Unfortunately for some people this is not enough, the booklet needs to say -- do not discourage anyone from taking drugs prescribed by a doctor – do not ask anyone to do anything which can not be supported in writing by AA approved literature, very definite instructions. In one of his earlier posts I saw where Larrylive said this:-
I have heard much of quasi-dictatorship sponsoring in the rooms and could not for the life of me figure out where this technique came from.


I unfortunately have seen it myself, and witnessed reports of it here, sponsorship is an art perhaps we are not all equipped to handle. And possibly the ego we thought had been put to rest, flares up again, when we have the opportunity to boss someone around and play God. Let's hope those who do that remain in the minority.

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Re: Mental Health and AA

Postby Lali » Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:23 pm

As I have said in other posts, yes, you should tell your sponsor what medications you are taking. I think it is something that they should know about up front. In fact, when I had to go on pain meds for my back, I told my new sponsor when she agreed to sponsor me. What I meant in my other post here is that you do not need to share what meds you are on to the group. They don't need to know, it's not their business. And like I said, if you told a roomful of people about your meds during a meeting, you are opening yourself up for criticism. Your meds are between you, your doctor, your sponsor and God - no one else.
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Re: Mental Health and AA

Postby George12 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:31 am

The Anne Arundel County Mental Health Agency (AACMHA) is dedicated to ensuring that Medicaid recipients and other low-income, non-insured county residents who meet certain criteria have access to a wide range of quality mental health services. There are numerous agencies involved in providing mental health care and many different words are used to describe services.

Mental Rehabilitation | Licensed Mental Health Counselor Florida
Last edited by George12 on Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Mental Health and AA

Postby Doddering Moron » Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:21 pm

Unfortunately, the Alano club is used by cults for conversions.

Basically, the participants are concerned about being "put on the spot" or encountered by the trainers, guilt feelings are played upon, participants are tempted to verbally relate their innermost secrets to the other participants or forced to take part in activities that emphasize removing their masks. One of the most successful human-potential seminars forces the participants to stand on a stage in front of the entire audience while being verbally attacked by the trainers. A public opinion poll, conducted a few years ago, showed that the number one most-fearful situation an individual could encounter is to speak to an audience. It ranked above window washing outside the 85th floor of an office building.
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Re: Mental Health and AA

Postby SoberInMI » Wed May 03, 2017 3:03 pm

Medications taken as prescribed doesn't change one's sobriety date because it doesn't change one's sobriety. Abuse on the other hand does. I have only been offered narcotic pain killers in sobriety a few times and turned them down because I didn't need them mostly due to non narcotic alternatives. If I was in sufficient pain I would consider cautiously taking them and only after a discussion with the prescriber and would do similarly with any other potentially addictive mood altering substance.

AA members seem to panic at the idea of certain meds for good reason. Bu support from a sponsor and friends and rigorously working the program should get most people through. Watch out for any warning signs! As another has mentioned, there is an AA pamphlet on the subject.
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