Breaking free of 12-Step Dogma re Opiates and other Addictions

 

Was a professional beach volleyball player, very very active exercise bulimic, exercise addiction have had 4 foot surgeries, and big ones, 2 knee surgeries, and am now 56, 2 days away from 57. On and off opiates for 25 years, post operatively and when surgeries went south due to doctor malpractice.

Been thinking about opiate epidemic alot and the thread that runs through depression, despair and addiction, because I fell in that trap. I ended up taking an unusual way out, not the traditional dogma and so forth. I’ve been to so many different programs OA, AA, group therapy and hospitalization for same, surgeries from overexercise, and being that as an actor, thin was in..1970’s, Post Twiggy Lauren Hutton Culture, the opiates…well they snuck through the side door when cocaine was the main attraction. It follows, in this case, I needed an alternate egress of escape.

Same with my Tardive Dyskinesia (TD) I got from my atypical antipsychotic, one that they don’t prescribe much anymore it’s so neurologically aggravating, according to comparative studies of these products. I have these uncontrollable movements, also bad for pain, especially if you have it.

This conditions are one big knot of iatrogenic (Caused by drugs, medical treatment or medicine itself) disorders, particularly psych drugs. The fallout of all of it, especially the side effects of widely popular, highly profitable medication is the big elephant in the room. I hate to use this overused catchphrase, but it’s stigma. Even though the drugs caused these problems, I always felt I was the disease.

Just like with the opiate epidemic. Who wants to stand up and say that they never want to get high again but at the same time can’t imagine a life without  Even thinking about it is abysmal. Who wants to commit to quitting, something they can’t commit to? Plus, people are in legitimate pain, at least, I was.

There’s a whole new way of looking at Addiction and some of the limitations of the traditional, one size fits all, punitive ‘the program.’ Don’t get me wrong. If it weren’t for AA I might not be alive, but there are some things about it I’m glad I left behind.

Black and white thinking, for one. Paternalism, for two. Little digs at the soul such as “Once an Addict Always an Addict” not helpful to me.

On the other hand, the big book of AA is one of the most inspired texts on the planet. I believe it was a divine act, or Bill and Bob were savants of one sort or another. As Bobby Womack sort of sang in “Across 110th Street”  ( Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown,”) You never know what you’ll do until your back is…I’m going to go look that lyric up right about now. Music is Medicine to me.

Allison Strong

Finding work as Patient Advocate first in a series

 

A pleasant side effect one major side effect I have has been traveling and doing paid public speaking about overcoming these iatrogenic (Caused by medical treatment or medicine itself) complications of psych meds.

Because these are iatrogenic (treatment or medication ‘complications) they’re touchy subjects, the big elephants in the room. There is stigma to overcome, on the part of doctors and patients. Because of this hesitancy on the part of psychiatrists, primary care people and neurologists, it took me 3 years and 10 appts with top neurologists to get a simple diagnosis and relief from my involuntary movements. My point in this case with TD?

If the doctors would get over their uncomfortability and be willing to ‘break the news’ and get their patients to the appropriate specialists, sometimes this side effect can be prevented w/o patients having to give up meds they really need. No one will talk about it. I am willing to.

…..so how does one find work like this? Well, I’m finding out! The money isn’t stratospheric, but it’s helpful, I can pay a private literary coach to help me edit my book, get my hair done, the little things I can’t afford because of my high medical expenses. It’s nice to be a ‘part of’ something bigger than myself and do some good in this world.

I can’t ever discuss specifics, because marketing and many other matters are proprietary and confidential. But the basics of finding rewarding work in this elusive field? I’m happy to share. Let me know and also feel free to email me at bipolarbrainiacSFL@hotmail.com

Allison Strong

Are you at risk of Tardive Dyskinesia? Find out now.

You know that rapidly rattled off disclaimer “Call your doctor if you experience involuntary repetitive movements as these are serious and may become permanent.”

No shit, Sherlock. This International Bipolar Disorder Story has some of the stuff the doctors won’t tell us. The TD causing meds developed for schizophrenia are now being used for mainstream, run of the mill, non mental ill concerns such as anxiety, adhd, insomnia, cancer and anorexia (stimulate appetite) depression, and bipolar disorder, so you might be on one of the drugs that’s whitewashed as something else and be at risk. The drug companies don’t exactly advertise they’re selling reformulated Thorazine. Antipsychotics.

Be safe. Be sure.

http://ibpf.org/blog/tardive-dyskinesia-decade-later

Allison

Are you at risk of Tardive Dyskinesia? Find out now.

You know that rapidly rattled off disclaimer “Call your doctor if you experience involuntary repetitive movements as these are serious and may become permanent.”

No shit, Sherlock. This International Bipolar Disorder Story has some of the stuff the doctors won’t tell us. The TD causing meds developed for schizophrenia are now being used for mainstream, run of the mill, non mental ill concerns such as anxiety, adhd, insomnia, cancer and anorexia (stimulate appetite) depression, and bipolar disorder, so you might be on one of the drugs that’s whitewashed as something else and be at risk. The drug companies don’t exactly advertise they’re selling reformulated Thorazine. Antipsychotics.

Be safe. Be sure.

http://ibpf.org/blog/tardive-dyskinesia-decade-later

Allison

I’m the Worst Blogger in the World and Now, I need Help

I’m Allison and Have Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Pain, Tardive Dyskinesia and possibly Sjogren’s syndrome. (I find out today on the Sjogren’s…genetically, it makes perfect sense).

I’m in bipolar depression relapse, which is awful. I had a great 2 1/2 years of remission.

Over the course of the last 17 years I’ve had perpetual, off and on med burnout, which has a very geeky name, Antidepressant Therapy Tachyphylaxis, which means the antidepressants just stop working. I think a lot of people have this problem but there’s a black void where knowledge should be.

Articles on it, and other names for it, like “Prozac Poopout” are all over the internet. In the past we’ve resolved it over time by cycling to newer meds. Pristiq, then Viibryd and finally Brintellix, (now called Trintellix) and then Fetzima, which didn’t work.

Two different times we used Trintellix, which worked for a few years, and needed to be discontinued and then worked again when we ‘recycled it.’

I’m worried. I think I’ve burnt out all the drugs that act on Dopamine, Serotonin, Norepinephrine and need to go to a different class like a tricyclic or MAOI. The fact that I have Tardive Dyskinesia reduces our treatment options greatly.

I think it might eliminate an MAOI, because monoamines factor into TD…in some way.

I’m just really scared.

Comedy as Therapy

gainesvilletwo

 

Even if I’m the only one to get the joke. It still works wonders. There is this guy who blogs for bphope.com, where I blog. His name is Dave Mowry and he self published a  book “No, Really, We Want You To Laugh” and it’s about a movement called SMH, “Standup for Mental Health.”

So the next thing I know, I’m going through my pile of ‘possibles’ possible stories, and marking some of them with a big black sharpie H, for humor. Then I wrote a humorous blog for my editor. She did NOT get the joke. It was called “Bipolar Disorder: I’ll fight your battles if you fight mine” and I had this one bit about how we all have different brain chemistry. “If I take your antidepressant, it might put me to sleep! I love sleep. It’s especially helpful when I’m operating heavy machinery, like my tractor.

” I’ll have to see how your antidepressant affects me before I text on my cell,” My publisher was NOT amused. I still think it’s funny, I just don’t know what to do, how to retool and resend it somewhere.

Any ideas fellow writers?

Radio show “Breakfast With The Smiths” (I barely survived…and I’m a Smiths Fan)!

girlstogehterInstead of a picture of Moz, you get to see who owns us, who rules our world. They been thinkin’ outside the box lately. No reason, really. Getting older. Medicine from the Vet.

I listen to ‘indie 103.1, a podcast out of la using the handle of a former alternative radio station. I write during the morning of most days. Anyway, during “Breakfast w/the Smiths” I had my fill at the first song. So I went over to Oedipus’s site, where my old boss from “The Q” in Phoenix, Jonathan L, hosts “The Lopsided World of L.” It’s mostly new music but I liked “Retrograde” on indie 103.1.  Hearing The Police play “Murder By Numbers” is killah. I don’t like everything they do but that song is irrestible to me.

 

ITunes has ‘lost’ half my 4000 songs. I’ve bought and paid for them, but the computer says It can’t locate them. The customer service person who I had an appointment with a few weeks ago ghosted me and has ghosted me ever since.

This newspaper column, called “The Haggler” in the New York Times says he’s done a handful of Apple cases this year and that they basically blow off trouble clients and focus on the bottom line. Speaking of ‘Lines,’ I might just drop one to “The Haggler.” Apple has already abandoned me and made off with about 2000 worth of songs.

I see forums of people online having the discussion about the greyed out fields with an exclamation point to the right of the song’s name.