Dual diagnosis?

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Dual diagnosis?

Postby misslissy1982 » Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:40 am

Does anyone have a dual diagnoses and care to share? I have depression and anxiety since early teens. I'm 33 now. Yesterday Psychiatrist stated I could be bipolar and show symptoms of it. My mother is dx bipolar. How do you think it relates to your drinking and is it harder for recovery? I am new to site and only 10 days sober because of detox. Just interested in others ideas, comments.

Thank you!
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Re: Dual diagnosis?

Postby Larryp713 » Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:29 am

I think most alcoholics suffer from some form of mental illness, most commonly depression. It doesn't help that we self-medicated for years and made it harder for our brain to produce the same endorphins it should.
AA offers a solution to the alcohol problem, but other medical problems may still persist. I will say this - I know several people taking medication for bipolar and anxiety issues and many struggle to stay sober. I don't know if it is a coincidence in my circle, but I have noticed that. I would be very open with your doctor when you discuss treatment - let them know of your addiction history so they can help set bounds on medication prescribed. Best wishes!!! Larry
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Re: Dual diagnosis?

Postby ezdzit247 » Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:43 pm

AA's co=founder, Bill Wilson, suffered from depression in sobriety. The following quote is part of a letter Bill W. wrote in 1958 to a close friend who shared his problem with depression, describing how Bill himself used St. Francis's prayer as a steppingstone toward recovery:

Dear ...

I think that many oldsters who have put our AA "booze cure" to severe but successful tests still find they often lack emotional sobriety. Perhaps they will be the spearhead for the next major development in AA ... the development of much more real maturity and balance (which is to say, humility) in our relations with ourselves, with our fellows, and with God.

How to translate a right mental conviction into a right emotional result and so into easy, happy, and good living ... well, that's not only the neurotic's problem, it's the problem of life itself for all of us who have got to the point of real willingness to hew to right principles in all our affairs. Even then, as we hew away, peace and joy may still elude us. That's the place so many of us AA oldsters have come to. And it's a hell of a spot, literally.

Last autumn, depression, having no really rational cause at all, almost took me to the cleaners. I began to be scared that I was in for another long chronic spell. Considering the grief I've had with depressions, it wasn't a bright prospect. I kept asking myself, "Why can't the Twelve Steps work to release depression?" By the hour, I stared at the St. Francis prayer ... "It is better to comfort than to be comforted." Here was the formula, all right, but why didn't it work? Suddenly I realized what the matter was ... My basic flaw had always been dependence, almost absolute dependence on people or circumstances to supply me with prestige, security, and the like. Failing to get these things according to my perfectionist dreams and specifications, I had fought for them. And when defeat came so did my depression.
There wasn't a chance of making the outgoing love of St. Francis a workable and joyous way of life until these fatal and almost absolute dependencies were cut away.

Reinforced by what grace I could secure in prayer, I found I had to exert every ounce of will and action to cut off these faulty emotional dependencies upon people, upon AA, indeed upon any set of circumstances whatsoever. Then only could I be free to love as Francis had. Emotional and institutional satisfactions, I saw, were really the extra dividends of
having love, offering love, and expressing a love appropriate to each relation of life.

Plainly, I could not avail myself of God's love until I was able to offer it back to Him by loving others as He would have me. And I couldn't possibly do that as long as I was victimized by false dependencies. For my dependency meant demand ... a demand for the possession and control of the people and the conditions surrounding me. This seems to be the primary healing circuit, an outgoing love of God's creation and His people, by means of which we avail ourselves of His love for us. It is most clear that the real current can't flow until our paralyzing dependencies are broken, and broken at depth. Only then can we possibly have a glimmer of what adult love really is. If we examine every disturbance we have, great or small, we will find at the root of it some unhealthy dependency and its consequent demand. Let us, with God's help, continually surrender these hobbling demands. Then we can be set free to live and love; we may then be able to gain emotional sobriety.

Of course, I haven't offered you a really new idea ... only a gimmick that has started to unhook several of my own "hexes" at depth. Nowadays my brain no longer races compulsively in either elation, grandiosity or depression. I have been given a quiet place in bright sunshine. Tom said "Bill's word's of wisdom helped and inspired me and many others. To those who have never been there, it is hard to describe the gratitude that overflows in men and women who are delivered from the black depths of depression into the light. As with delivery from the bondage to alcohol, it is a hosanna of the heart that never ends."
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Re: Dual diagnosis?

Postby D'oh » Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:40 pm

Hi MissLissy

Why must Kids make everything so difficult today.

If you keep coming back, I know that you will find out so much more about yourself than any Physiatrist, Phycologist, or any Doctor will ever teach you.

You will learn this from Bankers, Farmers, Cleaning Ladies and Secretaries. Who have all once felt the way you do right now, but have found away out.

So try to get out to go to a meeting and see what they are all about,
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Re: Dual diagnosis?

Postby PuppyEars » Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:42 pm

Back when I was drinking I was 302'd quite a few times. And each time I would tell them I was there because of depression and anxiety. In my mind it was real and I had it bad. They would prescribe some psyche meds, pat me on my behind and send me on my way. The 4th time in - during intake, the councilor said flatly "You don't have depression, you need help for your drinking and substance abuse issues." Her statement landed me in an environment that introduced aa as a part of our lives. Over time, my personal story is I was never clinically depressed or anxious. I made it all up in my head and was in deep blind denial and I was using it as an excuse to get the good anxiety meds. The symptoms I once suffered from *melted* off of me once I was knee deep in aa work and I believe as long as I am on this side of the fence, it won't ever return.
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Re: Dual diagnosis?

Postby RosieF » Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:15 pm

I have struggled with alcoholism and been in and out of the rooms for ten years - since my twenties. A couple of months ago I was finally diagnosed bipolar and the relief was incredible. I drank to escape the fear, but now knowledge is my weapon. I think the reason there are so many sick people in the rooms is bc as soon as we discovered alcohol, we thought we had found a treatment for our illness. It is the lucky alcoholic who has parents that recognise the symptoms of mental illness and care enough to get their kids help before they ruin their lives.
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Re: Dual diagnosis?

Postby Noels » Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:03 pm

I could be bipolar and show symptoms of it. My mother is dx bipolar. How do you think it relates to your drinking and is it harder for recovery?

Good morning Melissa :D I wasn't going to post as some members here do not agree with us giving advice or suggestions on medical issues and also, my almost 15 year living with bipolar was lifted from me last year January. (before I stopped drinking). But I do believe that I have gone through the bipolar experience for a reason and what would that experience and what ive learned from that experience be worth if I don't share it with others still suffering to try and make their lives easier. So here goes

Since you are no longer drinking bipolar will be easier to treat. Treating ANY illness whilst consuming alcohol is very difficult so your recovery should be similar to any other alcoholic. It can be done :) HOWEVER, you cant only rely on the meds if you want to happy and have a normal life. The best way to deal with bipolar is kind of similar to stopping drinking -

(I) accept that you have it and work with what you have. It is nothing to be ashamed of. You will be taking meds for an illness exactly like others are taking meds for high blood pressure or diabetes. (similar to step 1)
(II) Get to know your body and emotions (reactions) very quickly. The 12steps is actually going to help you with this so its a good thing you're in AA :) (The clean house step 4)
(III) There are usually little pointers before an episode happens - i.e change in smell, change in taste, possibly becoming "more focused / obsessed" with one particular thought /thing i.e want to ONLY clean the house or want to ONLY do one particular thing, (the mental obsession)
(IV) Unable to sleep / feeling more energised / tired than usual.

If you are able to " read " your body and its reactions and emotions you will immediately be able to do something about it to prevent an episode or at least " shorten " an episode. When I was on bipolar meds I had an anti-depressant and a mood stabilizer. Then I also had a calming pill which I would only take when I saw these little pointers. When that happened I found that sleeping for a solid 36 hours broke the " pattern " I was heading to so that prevented an episode or shortened an episode. The best would be though to discuss it with (NOT your GP/doctor but your clinical psycologist).

Congratulations on your sobriety and be not afraid of bipolar. You are now on the path to becoming happy, joyous and free :D

PS- There should be support groups for bipolar. Perhaps just ask around. These groups are very similar to the AA groups and provide ESH from people who have learned to live with this illness.

Love and Light
Noels xxx
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Re: Dual diagnosis?

Postby Feeya » Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:27 am

Anxiety Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder
Depression
I think the BPD relates to my drinking in a way that I was trying to regulate my emotions, not realising that I was actually making things worse. As far as my depression and anxiety goes, I just ended in this cicle of not wanting to feel anything at all, getting more depressed from my using, using more to not have to feel depressed, being more depressed and so on.
One day at a time.
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Re: Dual diagnosis?

Postby Tosh » Sun Jul 24, 2016 11:10 pm

Larryp713 wrote:I think most alcoholics suffer from some form of mental illness,


I think most human beings suffer from some form of mental illness. Carl Jung said something like "Show me a sane man and I'll cure him", which infers that being sane is a 'sickness' in that it's not the normal state of being for us humans. When the Big Book talks about our 'spiritual malady', what it's really describing is the human condition. Humans are restless, irritable and discontented. Mother Nature created us this way; being restless, irritable and discontented means we'll put some effort into bettering our circumstances. If we didn't, we'd still be living in caves.

As for BPD, the symptoms can match the symptoms alcoholics suffer when we're sober (according to a psychiatrist in our fellowship), for example an inability to deal with feelings, or extreme anxiety, or having quickly shifting emotions, and probably more.

I think what makes us alcoholics 'special' is that we have a way - a solution - to these problems of the human nature that's called alcohol, and it really works for us.

Once, when Mrs Tosh was upset over something, I kindly suggested that I get her a bottle of wine from the shop. She said to me "And what's that going to do for me?"

I didn't relate. :lol:
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: Dual diagnosis?

Postby Feeya » Sun Jul 24, 2016 11:17 pm

Once, when Mrs Tosh was upset over something, I kindly suggested that I get her a bottle of wine from the shop. She said to me "And what's that going to do for me?"

I didn't relate. :lol:[/quote]

Lol!
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Re: Dual diagnosis?

Postby kdub720 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:16 pm

Wow, powerful post that we neglect to talk about.
I have tramatic brain injury or TBI, which promotes depression, anxeity and compulsion control issues. I have always had alcoholic tendencies, yet the brain thing developing later in life has made things a real battle. Understanding the brain is difficult. once you stack a disability on top of alcohalism the ball game changes. It is always a challenge, yet with a disabled brain makes it ten times harder. This is why I do not attend regular meetings, because when I bring up topics like this, people pretend to understand, yet have no clue of what I am dealing with. Brain is a tough thing, I confide in my uncle who has similar issues yet non alcoholic, but the way we talk and identify with certain situations is a real help. I would try to find a pear that has similar situations. The average alcoholic with no brain issues can not and will not ever be able to understand how you are thinking. Great post. I just watched the movie "Concussion" as it directly pertains to my brain injuries. Almost depressing, yet informative in that it is a real situation that we have to recognize and deal with.
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Re: Dual diagnosis?

Postby D'oh » Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:48 pm

Ok, I have never been diagnosed with anything more than a flu. So I may not be the person to answer this.

But I have heard Pages 58-60 hundreds of times, even the pages before this. If none of the words written in those pages fit, I would then look for a different solution. Until then I am an Alcoholic.

Which is ok, because the Alcohol was only a symptom of my illness. The cure is with a way of Living Life, One Day at a Time. Just as I believe that the principals of the Program can work for so many people suffering who have never taken a drink, but have the illness.
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Re: Dual diagnosis?

Postby Noels » Sat Jul 30, 2016 1:11 am

Bipolar is different to normal depression. With normal depression you can see a pattern. With bipolar because it affects both sides of the polls - the bottom pole being depression AS WELL AS the top side being extreme happiness - it is not always easy to notice a pattern. Sometimes a bipolar sufferer experience the entire length of the pole within minutes. Not always in the same order so the sufferer can wake up feeling OK, within minutes change into hysterics, 3 minutes later into exceptional happiness and 10 minutes later be in extreme depression. Then there is also the inbetweens where the sufferer feels OK but is swinged into either side of the pole by the first event that happens. It's as difficult for a person suffering from bipolar to explain the disease to a person not suffering from the illness as it is for an alcoholic to explain the disease of alcoholism to a non alcoholic.
Bipolar is not only all the normal lows and highs a non sufferer experience, it is also the extremes no non sufferer have ever experienced. Many times all those several times in one day. A sufferer never knows how he will feel within the next minute never mind when he wakes up every morning. YET most bipolar sufferers get up in the morning and try to do whatever a non sufferer does to live - holding a job, raising kids, housework and simple things taken for granted by non sufferes but which is exceptionally difficult for a bipolar sufferer. And this they 'manage ' without any complaints.
Therefore I believe that people affected by a mental illness is the true warriors - exceptionally courageous and much stronger than a non sufferer . So let us respect those affected accordingly as unless personally experienced their struggle yet success in living a normal life can never be understood.
Love and light
Noels xxx
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Re: Dual diagnosis?

Postby misslissy1982 » Sat Jul 30, 2016 2:12 am

Thank you for your kind words, I am now 17 days sober and finding that the last two days my mood has been terrible. I am calm one minute and irritable the next. I can't sleep well so that is most likely contributing to my moodiness. I know it takes awhile to physically feel better but I am getting impatient. I keep thinking if I only had a drink or two or more I could sleep thru the night. I am on a medication to minimize alcohol cravings. I don't think I will relapse, its just difficult adjusting to all these emotions flooding in that I used to numb with alcohol. I'm sure all can relate.
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Re: Dual diagnosis?

Postby ezdzit247 » Sat Jul 30, 2016 9:16 pm

Congratulations on 17 days sober, misslissy !

My ESH on detoxing from alcohol is similar to your experience. From what I've heard others share in the meeting rooms, it's hard for most alcoholics. I experienced irritability, insomnia, shakes, short term memory loss (it didn't last), anxiety attacks, and mood swings almost daily for the first few weeks and then it began slacking off and I started to feel much better. Going to AA meetings, lots of meetings, really helped to understand that I wasn't alone, that others had been through what I was going through, and to believe that everything would get better if I didn't pick up that first drink. That gave me a lot of hope. And, they were right! Everything in my life, including me, got better, one day at a time.

Keep coming back.......
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