Clearly addiction is a brain disorder, that - like depression - has many factors leading to its cause. We don't exactly know why ECT works for mood disorders and why it doesn't work for addiction. My best guess is that the circuits in the brain involved in addiction are not sensitive to the effects of ECT, like those circuits involved in mood disorders. The same could be said for other brain disorders like anxiety, ADHD and eating disorders, which are not responsive to ECT. Unfortunately in 2012, there are many questions that remain to be answered. View Thread
ECT is the best treatment that medicine has for mood disorders, i.e. depression and mania. It is also used for schizophrenia — rarely — and a few other neurologic conditions. However, it is not effective in the treatment of alcohol/drug addiction.
That being said, one has a better chance of successful treatment of addiction if one does not have a severe depression. Addiction itself can cause depression, but the treatment for that type of depression is support and sobriety, not ECT or medications.
If the depression is unrelated to the use of alcohol or drugs, ECT could be helpful in getting that person into a place where he/she would be able to get the most out of addiction treatment.View Thread
If you are concerned about head trauma, I would recommend you follow up with your primary MD to evaluate for a concussion.
I know of no way to access memories lost due to alcohol-induced amnesia, i.e. blackout. The important point now is to assess your health and ensure you are stable.
Also, alcohol-induced amnesia may be a warning sign to look for other alcohol-related problems in a person's life. It would seem reasonable to talk with your primary MD about this as well, and if your doctor is not experienced in it, ask him/her or other trusted people in your life for the name of a person who may know about such medical consequences of alcohol.
I feel for your situation and want you to know you are not alone.
Many people have gone through having a significant other become lost to addiction and/or psychiatric illness, and they have come out on the other side in a better place.
First, I would recommend you get involved with local Al-Anon groups. Also, many local chemical dependency programs will have family programs available to help.
Second, it is difficult to say if your wife has a psychiatric disorder outside of her drinking/Klonopin usage, for these will cause depression and cycling of one's moods. If not doing so already, seeing an addiction psychiatrist who has the knowledge about her usage of substances would be an option as would getting her into an alcohol/drug treatment center that can evaluate these mood swings, detox her if needed and promote sobriety. However, it sounds like she will not go willingly. In that case, an interventionist can help, if that is the appropriate course to take.
I think you can't control her but do care about her. Take care of yourself, then maybe she will come around.
Thanks for your candor. Don't give up, for with ongoing abstinence there is hope. Although you have "only 5 years of use," this is not an insignificant time period, for many people with fewer years of use may also report difficulties as you do. Also, the amount you were smoking is not small. Obtaining sobriety over weeks to months can hopefully get you back on track to be the person you used to be. While this may be a simple process, it is not easy, and I believe you will require the help of a number of people. First, I recommend you have an evaluation by an addiction psychiatrist and/or a chemical dependency facility, i.e. an alcohol/drug hospital that has the capability of evaluating your mood and interpersonal decline. They will then be able to give you more specific information on what you need to do to get your 'old self' back. I recommend doing this quickly, for contemplating suicide is a dangerous place to be and potentially requires quick intervention. Many people in recovery from alcohol and drugs have gone through what you are going through and are living successful, fulfilling, and sober lives. Many of them have found their new lives through 12 Step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Those that evaluate you will hopefully lead you to these lifesaving/changing programs as you follow your path. I wish you well. View Thread
Given your symptoms and reaction to the medications, I would recommend the following. If you haven't already done so, you should get a thorough physical exam and labs as your family doctor feels are appropriate. If this finds you to be without evidence of a cause for your fatigue/apathy, then an evaluation by a psychiatrist experienced in the ways of depression, poor attention, and medications of potential misuse, i.e. an addiction psychiatrist, is probably warranted. If your doctor does not know of one, contacting the local county medical society should find you one. Also a word of caution: The medications you report taking are strong medications that need a doctor's guidance. Also, obtaining scheduled medications (the ones you report taking) without a prescription from a properly licensed MD is a crime in the United States. I'm just throwing this out there so you don't find yourself in a worse situation.View Thread
The demoralized place you find yourself in is common to both drug use and depression. Also, it is very dangerous, especially given your thoughts of suicide. I would recommend you see your primary care or family physician as soon as possible and discuss these concerns. Ultimately you probably should see a specialist in mental health issues i.e. a psychiatrist - hopefully one who also understands drug use. If you don't have a personal physician, then most counties have mental health departments that will evaluate you and give you options. Just a reminder that there is help and hope for both depression and loss of control over drugs—don't give up on finding solutions!View Thread
You ask why hydrocodone makes you feel goal-directed and productive. Many people have that response to opioids, i.e. hydrocodone, but some don't. The easiest answer is that it affects many areas of the brain but specifically the pleasure center. Hence the dramatic change in your life perception/motivation. However, over time, tolerance often develops, possibly leading to higher doses and misuse/abuse of the medication. In response to your second question: Hydrocodone itself doesn't cause liver problems, but the Tylenol often combined with it does, with prolonged and/or high dose usage. There are no antidepressants that work like opioids do, i.e. on specific opioid receptors, and conversely there are no opioids that work as clear antidepressants. If you do have ADHD, there are medications similar to cocaine - such as methylphenidate (Ritalin) and amphetamine (Adderall) — that are used to treat this condition. If a person does not have a substance use disorder and does have ADHD, these are medications your physician might consider. It is possible for some people with low-grade depression from ADHD to feel improvement of mood/motivation with these medications. That being said, if your mood is unrelated to ADHD and you have a low-grade depression, other medications might help if you work with a psychiatrist. However, other treatments can also help and should not be forgotten, including psychotherapy, exercise and various forms of meditation/relaxation therapy.View Thread
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