Monday, October 10, 2011

Dual Diagnosis: Admittance

When you have more than one occurring mental disorder and suffer from an addiction or alcoholism, you have a dual diagnosis. As I was first diagnosed, I displayed the symptoms of several mental disorders, yet as I began treatment, it came to the doctor’s attention that I was also a drug addict who drank often and for many, many years before hand. The term dual-diagnosed was beyond me then, yet I did understand it was not a good thing. What made life even more difficult for me was that this was a complicated issue because I had two conditions to treat, one of the mind, the other of the body. My drug addiction existed with my mental illness, and from high to low, I walked for miles daydreaming without believing in anything or anyone, except that my needs must be fulfilled so that I could feel myself to be a part of the world that was as neverland. I dreamt I was special within a world connected to another. I spoke thinking I could relate to any creature or person no matter where they came from, I believed I lived in the beyond.

The drugs I was addicted to were my power, my crutch, my ability to survive. It became an intense ordeal, without the drugs I would suffer, or sleep for long periods of time without food or drink. I would at times awaken from some bad dream and run, trying to find that which would bring me contentment. I existed for the drugs and I had no idea I was actually medicating myself, fighting depression, experiencing bouts of hopelessness, withdrawing from society, friends, family, experiencing moods due to the lack of drugs or too many and living with hallucinations. It became hard to survive and quit using, even harder to understand those whom have love to share. I finally gave in and with acceptance in a voluntary treatment program which dealt with people who were not only addicted yet also suffering from mental illness.

Recovery takes a long time when your living in many worlds and because this was not just a drug rehab center I had entered into, it took me some time to become used to what seemed to be a pristine world of order and mindfulness, of which I had to learn to define to overcome the distortion which I lived with. The counselors in contact with my doctor knew I was one of the fragile contenders, at one time a heathen, who was dual diagnosed, yet they were kind and understanding and the first step was taken, Hope was next. It took a while for me to understand that my drug addiction was reason of my mental illness, I am one of those that changed in the course of life by others guiding hands and minds who dared to cross the threshold and untangle the web of a very complex problem of abuse and mental illness.

Written by Donald Sammons

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