Self medicating

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lonewolf

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Re: Self medicating
« Reply #30 on: March 09, 2015, 11:25:09 AM »
im curious if anyone has ever had a DR. or therapist tell them that they binge on substances as not a medicating thing but as a self harm thing? I have been looking up a lot on traumatic reeinacting and substance abuse and I do think I have always methotically went on binges to self harm. In my case I would go to the bar and use my sixth sense to find that " right person " I would then obtain the " stuff " and go back home to be alone to use it. I was private about it and most people would have never suspected that I was capable of doing it actually. I always happned after an extended period of time bottleing up emotions then the cycle would start, my wheels would start spinning and my thoughts would get shameful and start to race and then BAM it was off to the races. once I was done I would have a day or two of crying and panic and then go about my business.

Warning - my post could be a possible trigger for some people.

Hi Sasha,

I've been thinking a lot about your post since reading it late last night. I have a tendency to binge drink. Not for days on end but for a night -- which outside of my home usually includes prowling for sex (it's been awhile since I've done that).

It's also something I'm discussing with my therapist. I don't feel my binge drinking is an addiction issue (and I haven't come to that conclusion lightly), but more of a self-harm behaviour related to self-poisoning (described as overdose-type actions, and also includes ingesting things not meant for human consumption). I find it strange that "alcohol" isn't typically included in the list of "poisons" because as we know in larger doses it can be quite poisonous. Also, self-poisoning doesn't necessarily mean a person wants to end their life.

I can really relate to this A LOT when I binge drink. I think that I am trying obliterate myself (or the pain) by killing it with the alcohol/effects of alcohol. Not over the long term but in that immediate moment which makes it seem more like a compulsion than an addiction. It sounds bizarre but it's ringing true for me.

I think it is different than an addiction for that reason, but also because it isn't a daily occurrence. I don't drink much until I have a trigger  (anxiety, trauma or stress) and then I binge drink. I believe this is an important distinction and something that should be further looked at in relationship to CPTSD (and self-poisoning). I am actually going to explore it deeper with my therapist, so thank you very much for raising the question.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2015, 11:38:12 AM by lonewolf »

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Phoebes

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Re: Self medicating
« Reply #31 on: March 09, 2015, 09:13:31 PM »
I definitely recognize that I self-soothe with alcohol. The thing is, when I was younger, drinking too much at times was one more reason for me to shame myself and feel "guilt". I spent time in AA, and although it was helpful at the time, started feeling like I was not so much an addict as someone who always felt guilt about things and felt guilt about alcohol. I do drink now, but if I catch myself feeling guilty about it, I stop. (Weirdness? Maybe.) The thing is, I enjoy alcohol, and hated not being able to drink it in "fun" situations. I still get the stigma repercussions from people who know I was in AA. I don't enjoy that. But then, I drink on most nights, between 3-4 drinks..that is probably too much. However, it DOES make me feel better, especially in times of higher anxiety. And sometimes it's fun. My latest alcohol weirdness is I have really become a lot healthier, food-wise, and I have cut out "toxic" drinks with dubious ingredients, only sticking with craft beers and organic wines. That may be delving into other neuroses, but I do feel better about it  ;D

The few times I have smoked pot, it just makes me fall asleep, so I have never seen it as fun or a good way to self-soothe for me, although I think it is probably healthier than alcohol overall, and I believe it should be legal. I don't react well to smoke, either inhaled or second hand. I was around several people smoking pot last night and I was slightly high the whole time. And sleepy.lol

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Abandoned2x

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Re: Self medicating
« Reply #32 on: March 29, 2015, 10:14:32 PM »
Hi All.
Found my way here from Out of The FOG.

Currently my self-medicating is smoking.
From one day to the next it could be half a cigarette to 5.

Depends on the degree of recent triggers/EFs.

Could be the self-harm. Could be the shame.
I absolutely hate the smell & I've developed a whole routine of "what I must do" along with it: Wear gloves. Wear same coat. Make sure my kids don't see me do it. Cover-self in Febreeze after coming inside. Wear specific coat, hat & scarf. (it's cold where I am at the moment). Come inside. Put away hat & gloves. Brush teeth. Wash face. Gargle with Listerine.

The thing is, it stops the EF or the trigger in it's tracks. My T has me on prazepam for my anxiety moments, but it takes a bit for that to work & with the smoking, I only need a drag or two to calm down and realize that I'm ok.

But I don't like it. For the moment I'm doing it so I don't go completely nutso on my family. (kids are small, but man or man do I NOT want them associating that smell with their mama)
Plan to get help to stop as my T becomes more effective and the other meds reach the level I need not to have the freak out moments where the stress builds.
For the moment, here we are though.
Maybe it's the self-harm. There's definitely a degree of shame involved.
Tried e-cigs, but that had zero impact.

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Kizzie

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Re: Self medicating
« Reply #33 on: March 30, 2015, 04:38:25 PM »
Hi Abandoned - Do you think it's the nicotine?  It doesn't sound like it's the act of smoking since you've tried e-cigs so perhaps the hit to your system is what's working. If so perhaps a patch or spray would help until you are able to manage the EFs better? 

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Convalescent

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Re: Self medicating
« Reply #34 on: March 30, 2015, 09:21:06 PM »
Jup. Never been an alcoholic, but I've used alcohol to forget quite a lot. Tried various other substances, but it's always been most of alcohol. Probably because the other stuff just hits too hard, especially on the way down. I've also smoked a lot of pot, but that just made me A LOT worse. I just get panic attacks and massive depression of it now. I don't do anything except alcohol now. It's still something I try to cut down on, and I've managed to some extent. The average Joe drinks more than me, but it's still too much for me. If I drink while I'm having a hard time, I get 2-3-4 up to 5 days of * afterwards. When I'm down, I have to drink A LOT before I really notice any difference. I'm not talking about 3-4 pints. Probably 6-7 before I really feel any better. And from there on you get the idea that each pint will make you feel even better, so you just continue. Or I, so to speak :P I just can't, anyway. But sometimes the temptation sucks me in. Not as much as before though, but it's hard. It's especially hard to stop drinking, since a lot of my unestablished still young friends drinks in weekends and at social settings. Not always, of course, but it's hard for a legal substance that you see all around you. And when you're in a bottomless pit, it's hard to see the consequences of your actions, and you'll give anything to stop the pain. I manage though, but just barely.

I'm also quite the sugar addict :P The addiction to that is worse than nicotine and alcohol. Well, you got to have something.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 09:25:25 PM by Convalescent »

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Kizzie

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Re: Self medicating
« Reply #35 on: March 30, 2015, 10:10:16 PM »
Hey Con, I know what you mean about weed - it just makes me dizzy and weird, even the Indica strains so I have given up on it.  I gave up drinking too, but sugar (and carbs) are still a big problem for me too.

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Kizzie

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Re: Self medicating
« Reply #36 on: April 12, 2015, 09:50:15 PM »
Hi Oli - I got caught up in drinking last year to numb the pain and then like you it became the problem.  It got so bad I finally reached out to my GP, told her what was going on and she referred me to a psychiatrist and an addictions counsellor.

I know you said medication isn't helping but have you and your doctor tried different ones?  I went through a number (many actually increased my anxiety), before finally landing on the one I'm on (Celexa) and it made a huge difference. I just felt more comfortable in my skin for the first time ever and as though I could manage better overall. 

Also, do you have or could you set up any professional support for quitting?  My GP, psychiatrist and addictions counsellor worked as a team and that helped alot. 

I don't crave alcohol, but do occasionally have thoughts when I've had a bad day about how quickly and easily it can take away the pain.  I then think about withdrawing (I went cold turkey before getting help - dangerous and foolish but that's where I was at then), and that takes away any desire. I did try some weed about a month or so ago and did not like the feeling at all.

So sorry you're caught up in drinking, I know all too well how trapped you must be feeling  :hug:

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Kizzie

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Re: Self medicating
« Reply #37 on: April 13, 2015, 06:56:09 PM »
I don't go to AA for the same reason Oli, it triggers me so I just went to an addictions counsellor and he was great. Very compassionate which I very much needed as I was so ashamed and any more shame would have probably have done me in.  I think that not being shamed and feeling his compassionate took me a long way toward believing I could do it, I could beat it.  The medication also took me a long way because my anxiety attacks subsided and I didn't have to use all my energy on them.

In terms of other types of groups, I'm not quite sure where you live, but there are Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse groups listed here - http://www.ascasupport.org/events.php.  If there is one in your area it might help with the underlying reasons for your anxiety.  Your psychiatrist may also know of other F2F groups. I went to a mood disorders group for about 6 months based on her recommendation and it helped for a while, but once I got a handle on not drinking and my anxiety attacks subsided it wasn't specific enough to help with my CPTSD.  That was me though, you may find  otherwise.

I hope you can get some support in place and please let us know how it goes  :hug:






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Kizzie

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Re: Self medicating
« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2015, 03:47:37 PM »
Hi Oli - First of all   :hug: and another one  :hug:  because I can hear how awful you're feeling.  I know not being able to get the meds over the phone is frustrating, my GP is the same.  At a time when you feel like it's hard to even get out of bed to have to get dressed and go to an office somewhere feels like climbing Mount Everest.  One of the reason I went cold turkey was that I was didn't want to have to go sit in the ER or my doctor's waiting room while going through the withdrawal - very bad idea on my part but that's how I felt, like I could not even drag myself out the door to get to help. I always had to go in for any medication scripts too and I understand now that it is a safeguard, but at the time it just felt like another huge hurdle to get over. 

Do you have an appointment with your T?  I know you are not comfortable with AA but would  you be able to use it as a stopgap measure and perhaps link up with a sponsor even if it is just for a short time? The right sponsor might be open to leaving the God or higher power out of things if you tell them you have issues with that.  It's all about recovery afterall.

The other thing you can do until you can get into your T and get some ongoing face-to-face support in place is post here or PM me.  I am happy to fill in as a cyber sponsor if you think that would help temporarily.

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Kizzie

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Re: Self medicating
« Reply #39 on: April 14, 2015, 08:46:57 PM »
OK Oli, I am here if you want to PM  :hug:

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Dyess

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Re: Self medicating
« Reply #40 on: April 19, 2015, 01:47:58 AM »
I have prescribed pain meds I would love to break free from. Pain management said to just wean off of them, Fentanyl and Vicodn. Yeah right, last time I did it was not a good thing, and my GP was pissed that I even tried. I started drinking alcohol at age 10 and stopped in my 40's. My dad was an alcoholic and I didn't want to follow his footsteps. I do smoke cigarettes, less than a pack a day. I've  gained weight since being home and that feels terrible.