It is an unfortunate fact that almost all people with mental health issues develop issues with drugs and alcohol.
This statement will cause disagreement, I’m sure, but I personally believe that use of drugs and alcohol is a “symptom” rather than a “cause” of mental illness.
Let me explain why.
When you’re mentally ill you are basically very unhappy being yourself – you know something isn’t “right”. Drugs and alcohol let you gain some distance from yourself – “take a holiday” as it were.
Before you cry out in outrage, I don’t think for an instance that they actually “help” and I concur that they only exacerbate a bad situation.
However, when you’re in a situation where you basically feel like you cannot live with yourself; medical help can be either non-existent or extremely hard to get (usually because you drink or use drugs…) or your condition is unrecognised or misdiagnosed… Well – self-medication is often the only option you’re left with. – Rock and a hard place…
Join a “self-help” group is a mantra you will hear as soon as your problems come to light and you start inter-acting with health services.
I’ve tried a great many of them – CA, AA, NA etc. etc. – all 12-steppers no matter what the name. Nothing against any of them, just didn’t work for me…
What I find interesting is the concept of “Self-harm” groups….
What do I mean by “Self-harm Groups?”
MIsery loves company – drinkers and “users” gravitate towards each other. And whilst addiction is primarily “selfish” – you may be shocked to learn that these people have a camaraderie and support of each other that can often exceed that found in “Self-help” groups such as AA.
I’m going to delve into this concept again later – any comments on what I’ve just stated would be most welcome….
Here though is a thought to leave you with…
If you’re “clucking” or “gagging” for a drink or fix – who will help you?
If you’re trying to “kick” a habit – where will you get encouraged to partake?