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Surviving Alcoholism and Depression-Who To Turn To

Posted Sep 26 2008 5:16pm
Anxiety and Recovery. The different faces of Alcoholism and Depression.

Us lot are a stubborn bunch। But eventually we are forced into looking for help be it through "Tough Love", a concerned family member or just our own yearning to be better and rejoin the human race. Your next port of call is as varied as the symptoms that you are feeling. Here is a Streetsmart Guide to the various avenues open to you.
  • The Family Doctor- generally you will get a sympathetic ear from someone who is more than likely familiar with your imminent demise। I was fortunate to have an old school guy who took no nonsenese from me.
  • The Family Priest- another sympathetic ear to go to। Has no doubt heard it all before. They will have to send you on to a medical professional unless they have the oomph to get you off the drink and pills with some good old fashioned one on one talking.
  • Recovery Organisations- Lots of help here. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous spring to mind। They are very much a support based system and you will find yourself amongst fellow sufferers. Generally you arrive there "clean" but this is not always the case. It is not for everybody but they have helped millions over time. On a local basis you will find support groups in my own country such as the South African Anxiety and Depression Support Group. Probably a good idea is to "Google" addiction recovery/rehab and see what comes up.
  • Psychologist- More than likely your entry point to the "Mind Doctors"। Get ready for a lot of chat and soul searching here. All sorts of tricks up their sleeves. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Hypnosis, Life Regression Therapy, Psychotherapy etc. With so much one on one time you will need to get on with each other. Can be painful revealing your inner soul to a semi stranger but stick with it if you can. Regulations vary from country to country and they might or might not be able to prescribe medication to you. Basically will deal with your anxiety and base the treatment on the severity of your symptoms.
  • Psychiatrist- The Big Daddy of the "Mind Doctors". A mixture of a Psychoanalyist and a Doctor. Lots of talking again with the added touch of possible hospitalisation and/or ECT. Not that many around and could be difficult to find in some areas and countries. For instance there are only about 300 in the whole of South Africa. I found that if you are seriously ill with Alcoholism and/or Depression and basically on your "last legs" it is best to try and get to a Psychiatrist to start with.
  • Socal Worker/Counsellor- Would be available through State resources such as Government Health Departments। If you a little short of the old greenbacks this is a good option. From here you can be sent on.
  • An Old Lag such as Me- Great advice can be got from somebody who has been there, got the T Shirt । Most recovering Alcoholics and Depressants are only too happy to help out. Once it is known in the community that you have a history you will be surprised at the number of people who approach you for advice. It is generally advice worth thinking about. Their immediate and only concern will be to help you beat this horror. I had my mentors that stuck it out in the darkest days with me. For that I will be forever grateful.
  • Rehab- This is a tricky one। They vary so much and range from excellent to downright awful. They also utilise a range of tretament options which may or may not be suitable for you. From the New Age herbs and meditation to the old fashioned discipline and strong medication. Check it out beforehand. My family generally did a recce and then made a decision.

The journey to recovery is a bumpy ride and needs some patience। I ended up seeing 8 Psychologists, 3 Psychiatrists and numerous Doctors। However it is worth all the hassles and frustrations. There is a lot of help out there. Find it and do your and your loved ones a favour.

"Regrets, I have had a few
But then again too few to mention."
Ol Blue Eyes

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