Alcoholism, Depression, Anxiety and Addiction

Conventional or Alternative Treatment?In My Sobreity I investigate anything that can help

In My Sobriety any treatment is worth investigating

Getting into Recovery from Alcoholism and Depression is the key. In My Sobriety and with Alcoholic tendencies I had to get it right.

Treatment of the 'Big 4' is an important and crucial part of the recovery journey. Basically No Treatment, No Recovery. In My Sobriety and with alcoholic tendencies I know the right treatment is key. For instance ECT for Depression worked for me. Once the charade is over and you know it is time to get better, where to from here? I have in previous articles dealt with the various options open to you in the conventional medical field, but what about the Alternative field? Treatment for Alcoholism, treatment for Anxiety, treatment for Depression and treatment for Addiction. You will have no time to do anything else. But they have to be tackled if you want to return to a normal life.

My own recovery was relatively straightforward. Sleep Therapy stopped my Alcoholism slide and ECT stopped my Depression slide. Along the way I had doses of Psychotherapy, Counselling, Medication, 'Tough Love', Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and more pills. It all worked for me but we are all different. We all respond to differing treatments in various ways. Some just do not work. End of story. When you are fast approaching the "end of the road" getting the right help is key to your eventual recovery from the symptoms of the 'Big 4'.

I like to divide the phases of your illness into 3 distinct stages. Depending where you are will determine the treatment necessary to bring you back to reality:
Phase 1-As you develop the symptoms of Alcoholism, Depression, Anxiety and Addiction you are still in a stage where you can have some leeway with treatment choices. You are not ready to be hospitalised or shocked back to Planet Earth but you need help getting out of this mess.

Phase 2-Too late old friend. The diagnosis is not good. You are now a member of the club that you never wanted to join. Write Alcoholic, Addict and Depressive after your name. The treatment choice are now more limited and generally will involve conventional medical methods.
Phase 3- Recovery. You are out of the woods as such and back in the land of the living. This is the phase where the alternative medical choices have a larger role to play.

Alcoholism, Depression, Anxiety and Addiction

The conventional and traditional medical treatments are well known and for the sake of keeping this post not too lengthy I will dive into the alternative methods. With Alcoholic problems you have to dry out. ECT for Depression and Anxiety works for many. Interestingly enough my experiences of them are limited but I still feel they have a role to play. What worked for me worked for me and in my sobriety I am grateful. This is not an definitive list but the following could help in the phase before you are sick enough for medical intervention and also during the phase where you are struggling with recovery issues:
Hypnosis and Relaxing Techniques.
The Power of Positive Thinking (books, speeches,audio aids, videos etc.)
Herbal and Natural Remedies.
Educate yourself about your conditions with Self-Help aids
Old fashioned relaxation. Take a walk. Read a book. Watch a movie.
Support Groups such as Alcoholics Anonoymous, Alanon and Narcotics Anonymous.
Once again not all these treatments appeal to everyone. It really is a case of finding what works for you. Always keep in mind that the bottom-line object is to get you better and then keep you better. Simple and not rocket-science.

I have been asked to review a new book that might help. Richard Fields Ph.D has written "Awakening to Mindfulness: 10 Steps for Positive Change."
It has a positive message regarding addiction and recovery. If you have a look in my Sidebar under Amazon you can order a copy. Let me know what you think.

Like most issues Alcoholism, Depression, Anxiety and Addiction require a common-sense approach to treatment and recovery. ECT for Depression. Drying out forAlcoholism. Maybe with alcoholic genes in my blood I am always watchful. There is no replacing the traditional methods of hospitalisation and medication with more serious cases. In my sobriety I say use what works. It is worth it. However we can cast the net wider occasionally and see what benefits other alternative treatments might bring to these potentially fatal illnesses.

They are Mind Doctors,not Mind Readers-Help them help you.

The Anxiety of telling the truth and your Addiction to the Mind and Body can stop you spilling your guts.

The Anxiety of spilling your guts to your Docor and the devastation effects of your Addiction of the mind and body can work against you.

There comes a time when it is time to see a Professional. Be it a Doctor,Counsellor,Social Worker,Psychologist or Psychiatrist. The Anxiety of telling it like it is and your ongoing Addiction of the mind and body will, more than likely mean you will lie through your teeth. Try not to. Normally by this stage of your journey you are not feeling too great. In many cases you will going just to keep the family off your back. Fair enough. At least you have started on the road to recovery. Those inital appointments are probably conducted with you as a disbelieving shell of your former shelf. "How in the hell can these guys help me? They have no idea how bad I feel. Look at them with their sweet smelling offices and a grumpy receptionist at the front?" In you go, more than likely fuelled by your favourite brew or pill. I recall leaving one appointment and immediately cracking a brew open in my car followed by an old fashioned puke. My attention span could be measured in seconds rather than hours.

The terrible truth is that all those Professionals are way ahead of you. Been there.Got that T Shirt. They generally have seen it all before and nothing you can tell them will knock them out of their stride. So you got pissed three weeks ago,stayed pissed, wrecked the family runaround,shagged the pastors wife, knocked the boss on his behind and ran up a debt of thousands at the local betting shop. All this while your wife and kids had no food at home. And you think you are unique and hard done by. Well have I got news for you. YOU ARE NOT. Join the club and take a number please.

As I staggered into their offices I used to wonder what they thought of me. Pity? Disgust? Compassion? The reality is that the vast majority are well qualified and experienced in dealing with the difficult cases. You are probably nothing unique to them. Alcoholism and Depression account for a large percentage of their daily time. Many reputable studies put these "silent killers" at the top of the illness charts. The circumstances of individual patients vary slightly but the treatments, end results and patient attitudes have much in common. You may feel that you are at the end of the road, so unique and hard done by but fortunately your care-giver has seen it all before. He will try every trick in the book to gain your trust. I fought against this for a long time and it cost me both physically and mentally. Having made the effort to go and see someone for help take the next step and hand over your trust.

Now that we have got you sitting in front of somebody who could save your life there is one "Golden Rule" that I feel obliged to pass on to you. This one is key. SPILL YOUR GUTS OUT. Do not hold back. Even though your Anxiety of the diagnosis and your Addiction of life can prevent you taking that brave step.The more you say the easier it is to get you the right help. These guys are MIND DOCTORS NOT MIND READERS. This example sums it up:

"How are you feeling today?"


"Why? What thoughts and feelings are going through your mind?"

"I think I drank too much last night."

Oh really. This guy was more than likely drinking up to the moment he arrived and all he could think about was where the next beer or pill was coming from. Harsh but mostly true. In a perfect world he would have gone on to explain that he was feeling suicidal and lost in a sea of darkness and despair. He should have opened up about the withdrawal symptoms and ongoing hallicinations. Instead he chose to keep quiet. He should have talked about his sense of alienation from his wife and children and the hopeless situation he found himself in at work. All in all he should have described a world gone horribly wrong and with no apparant hope.

This is when the medical professionals have to use their best judgement and experience to assess how far down the road this guy is. The timing of the critical interventions such as hospitalisation and in extreme cases of Depression , ECT, are crucial to bringing the patient back to Planet Earth. But give the care-giver a break. They need to know precisely where you are in this journey of self-destruction. The more they know , the easier it is to treat you. In fact with the very good Psychologists etc. you will eventually believe that they are Mind Readers. They seem to know your very thoughts and feelings. There is no magic here. Years of experience are brought into play. The important thing to remember here is that they have your interests at heart. Forget the words Embarassment, Humiliation and Reputation. Leave that all behind in the waiting room.

I know from my own experience that it is not easy to sit in front of a stranger, not matter how nice they are, and reveal the most intimate details about your life. For what is worth you are protected by Doctor/Patient Privelege.

Seize these opportunities and make the most of them. Help the Mind Doctor to be less of a Mind Reader. They are aware of your Anxiety of coming forward and they are also aware of your Addiction of self preservation due to the place that you find yourself in.You will in time just look back at this time as part of a painful journey to regain your rightful place in the human race.