Chip and Veronica explore the relationship between addiction and mental health.
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Chip’s diagnosis: Psychopath.
When Chip was at the height of his addiction, his behavior was extremely socially negative. He had no consideration for anyone else and empathy wasn’t anywhere to be found.
Not surprisingly, when he saw his doctor during this time, he was given the diagnosis of psychopath and was sent for a stay in a psychiatric ward.
The problem is that they never made the connection between his dependencies and his behavior. Because of his addiction, he had no room for empathy and consideration of social good. All he had was his obsession with using or not using.
Dependency and mental health overlap in a lot of destructive ways.
Our mental health isn’t separate from our sobriety. Questions about alcohol use are relevant and need to be examined.
How much are you drinking? And how much is that playing into your depression and anxiety?
In this episode, we’re looking at four key areas where addiction and mental health overlap:
- Issues that existed before we used substances
- Issues that arise as a direct result of using substances
- Issues that arise after using
- Mental health and sobriety
“My mental health issues started as a direct result of my drug use.” – Veronica Valli
As a teenager, I was using LSD and magic mushrooms and I had a really great experience with them… until I didn’t.
One day I was taking magic mushrooms with a group of friends and I had a bad trip. It took days to come down and I was left depressed and with auditory hallucinations.
Now I know I was in drug-induced psychosis. I was having multiple panic attacks every day and I didn’t know what to do. That’s when my drinking crossed over very quickly.
I was in such a state of anxiety and fear and paranoia and I realized that when I had a drink, it calmed it all down.
Very quickly, I made that association that alcohol helped me cope with the mental health problems that drugs had initiated. It was an awful way to live. My 20s were horrible because of all of those mental health issues that I used alcohol to cope with.
“Everybody I know who has got dependency issues started drinking or using because they had social discomfort.” – Chip Somers
A lot of people have a very similar story, using alcohol as an escape from anxiety and other mental health issues.
But there’s not a single mental health problem that is helped by alcohol, it’s always exacerbated in the long run. It’ll increase your anxiety. It’ll increase your depression. It’ll increase everything badly.
Wherever you are, we’ve got to stop the alcohol, we’ve got to stop the drug abuse, and then see what’s there.
If you’ve been taking medication for a long time, get it reviewed, be honest with the doctor, and get the appropriate medication for your condition.
Getting sober is going to help any mental health problem, whether it existed before, came during, or it’s lingering afterward. Being sober and exercising will make a massive change to your mental health.
Get the right advice and help from your doctor and know that everything’s going to improve in sobriety.
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