Medication and Self-Medication

24 May

I know a little something about medicating yourself. Life can be difficult to handle, and with the variety of legal and illegal substances to play with, why would you want to stay unaltered? Well, as I like to say, there are no solutions, only trade-offs.

I happened to be scanning my blogs and ran across an interesting set of links on Struggle Street‘s page, including one of about the use of psychedelics in therapy in Texas. Now this is using medications that are “unusual” (and usually illegal) to effective use against patients with PTSD. These are what I consider “real problems” and I’m in favor of anyone using anything that works. My father-in-law had Parkinson’s and there was serious evidence for using medical marijuana to help with the shaking. Unfortunately, he never got a chance to try it out because of… well, things got too bad before they had to admit him.

I think it’s interesting trying to use MDMA (molly or ecstasy) to treat folks with serious psychological conditions. I can believe that different drugs can have different effects on different people; Ecstasy for most people usually ends up with bad results–but when your normal life has bad results, you might as well try some serious uppers.

Now in my life, I have “minor problems.” Dealing with ADHD is part of that, but that doesn’t make me different than 5-10% of Americans. You have to try different concoctions to see what works best. I went to a psychiatrist to get a prescription to help with that–he ended up giving me an anti-depressant that made me angrier and more twitchy. So much for that. Then I discovered supplements which are much cheaper. A combination of GABA (for concentration), 5-HTP (for calming), and Omega-3 pills (for emotional stability) works for me… but probably wouldn’t work on a different person with ADHD.

However, I don’t take those on a regular basis–not anymore–because a) my job has stopped being so stressful and detail intensive that I need it, and b) because it makes you feel emotionally numb and sexually deficient. So I only take it when I need to be at my top game at work… or when I know I’m walking into a stressful situation at home.

Plus I discovered bar culture. I’ve talked about how bar lives matter, but thanks to my ADHD, I’ve generally avoided most bars because they’re too noisy. Then I discovered several dive bars and day drinking where the crowds are small and I can actually hold a conversation with someone. Alcohol reduces the effect of my supplements and gives me a temporary high. But just like meds, different liquors have different effects. Whiskey and gin make me angrier, rum makes me happier, beer makes me gassy… but it’s different with different people.

At the moment, I’d rather have the temporary high then the emotional numbness, but because my wife is on the “high health” kick, she had made her displeasure with my drinking at the house clear. So I vowed only to drink at the bar… which means I find more reasons to sneak to the bar. That was strangely more difficult when I worked from home, but substantially easier now that I’m working in an office.

Of course, now that my life’s improved, I’m going a lot less, because there’s less need for self-medication. There’s no guarantee that will be good in the end. But what do you do to get through life’s hard places? Let me know in the comments below! Then check out one of my books. However, if $1.99 is cutting into your beer money, go ahead and download one of my stories for free. Then have a drink on me.

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