Mental health issues and drug addiction

Which comes first mental health issues or drug addiction? I can speak from my experience and my observations only.

As usual comments are welcome!

I have struggled from both. Mental health issues began for me in the 8th grade and drug addiction soon followed.

My parents did their best but the controlling environment didn’t help. I grew up with everything I needed except for the approval from my mom.

My dad, God bless his soul, was gone at work most of the time. I loved when he got home as then I received emotional 🖤 support. My mom would have him spank us for being naughty when he got home, but he never hurt us. We would laugh at his attempts to appease my mom’s annoyance at the three of us for being kids.

I began rebellion at that time, lied prolifically and wanted to run away from a young age. My mom sent me to a psychologist but I couldn’t open up. I didn’t want to share my pain with a total stranger.

In my 9th grade year I sought out weed to ease my mental pain. I was hooked from day one and chased that first high for many years. I started taking hallucinogenics which finally worked to help me forget my deep pain but really screwed me up the next day.

In reflection I sought out drugs because of my deep pain. I soon after became suicidal from age 15 to 21. I guess you could say I had a death wish. I ran away to escape my mom. The only problem was that I was still in tremendous pain even when I left home.

Finally after flirting with death I had a wake up call and returned home. I entered a drug outpatient program where I began to love myself. It still took many years to fight the heavy criticism growing up.

I met my husband when I was 22 and started a new life with him and my 3 kids.

I like to think big so in my experience I observe others and ponder their retreat to drugs addiction. I see some who became mentally unstable after using drugs and others who were mentally unstable so they have sought out a life chasing that first high.

I wonder how I might help others so I write. I do not have all the answers but I have many questions. Feel free to comment any ideas you might have on this topic.

What can we do for individuals suffering from drug addiction or mental health issues?

How can the community support those with the above difficulties? I think peer support is key but proper training is needed or it could harm both parties.

How can we get help for those who don’t want it?

How can we support those who do want it?

The world is a big place yet we are all a part of it in small and big ways.

I invite you all to join in this conversation as I have had many conversations about just this today here in Mexico 🇲🇽 both in English and Spanish.

Still to come my story of psychosis from an early age!

Pax

Victoria

13 thoughts on “Mental health issues and drug addiction

  1. Thank you for opening up about your struggles Victoria. I too have suffered from mental health issues and drug addiction. I think it’s different for different people. I took drugs out of curiosity. I then smoked weed prolifically for years. At the same time I was bullied daily. So I withdrew into shell. Anxiety and depression soon followed. I gave up the drugs a long time ago but the mental health issues remain. I think adolescence is a particularly vulnerable time for youths – who are rebellious by nature. Certainly having better supervision would have helped me. Someone I could trust that I could talk to. Ultimately we can only help those who really want to be helped. Thank for speaking up and being part of the good fight Victoria. I believe your words have the power to help many others. 🙏

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    1. Thanks for your comment AP2. I appreciate you opening up about your own experiences with both drug addiction and mental health issues. It’s hard to know but I agree that it is different for each person. All people deserve our attention from the poor and homeless to the rich and famous.
      Yes having someone to talk to is paramount for both issues. One has to trust the person or people for sure.
      I was so out of touch though I don’t know if even that would have helped me.
      Amazingly I raised 3 wonderful children who I made sure they knew from day one that me and their father loved them unconditionally. None of them had rebellious teenage years or abused drugs or alcohol.
      My mental health issues subsided while raising them. And the same thing is happening with my granddaughter.
      I fight every day for good mental health and know that I cannot rest on my laurels.
      Have a great day!
      Pax

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      1. Amazing/heartening to hear how raising children made you whole. I have experienced something similar with my two young boys. Seen a lot of personal growth since I first had children. Perhaps that outward focus on others is the real trick? Have a great day too! 🙏

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  2. It is true AP2 that when we have kids our focus turns away from ourselves and onto new life. However I’ll tell you a story that it is possible in other ways as well. My sister bless her heart ❤️ never had kids of her own and was very selfish for many years. Then tragedy struck her love of her life and she cared for her husband until he passed away from cancer almost 2 years ago. She has actually turned lemons into lemonade and is now one of the most giving people I know. She will go places with me or alone and always offer to take pictures of other couples because of her husband’s love and devotion.
    It’s beautiful 😍
    Paz
    Victoria

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  3. Thank you for sharing your story, I too deal with mental health issues and drug addiction at a young age, however I’m just now getting the help with my mental health issues at age 37. Hopefully inspiring stories and others experience and journey will help me stay on the right track. thank you again.

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    1. Thanks for your beautifully damaged comment! Love your name. Do you agree that even though we are damaged we are also able to heal? Is that where the beautiful comes in? Glad you are healing ❤️‍🩹 in both areas now!

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  4. Hi All! I stumbled across your post while in the process of attempting to create a website for recovery. I am a recovering addict/alcoholic (20 and 5 yrs) and a survivor of sexual abuse. Until recently my knowledge has been self discovery. I was accepted to Betty Ford School of Addiction studies and Co-occuring Disorders. That is quite a mouthfull! Anyway, I have learned that statistically the wounds come before the use. We are attempting to fill that void. Now, I do believe that addiction is a brain disease, and I believe we are genetically predisposed. Also, we are learning that counseling is most effective when our mental wellness and addiction issues are treated together. Integrated counseling. I am not sure how I got to this blog, but hopefully I can find my way back to chat with you all. Lisa

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    1. Hi Lisa, thanks for your comment! Well done on your recovery and kudos for going to school to help othert. I don’t know a lot about integrated counseling but am curious about it. Please do share on here any resources you recommend. Glad you found your way here and hopefully you do find your way back through this reply. To follow my blog you can subscribe at my link above on contact/subscribe. I don’t always blog about this topic but would love to check out your blog once it’s up. There’s a great blogger who blogs daily called gracefuladdict if you want to check her out. Also she wrote a guest blog for me once this year which you can find under my guest bloggers called which came first? Keep in touch! Pax Victoria

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      1. Hi! Well I made it back through my email. Not sure if that is how it is supposed to work. LOL I did find her blog just now and I love it! Love the set up theme she has. Integrated care is becomming more popular as the powers above are realizing the fact that addiction and mental wellness/illness go hand in hand. The facilities have to be licensed for such and the counselors have to be also. The education that I am getting will allow me to treat both. I will not be prescribing medications but hopefully will be working along with those that do. Addiction with Co-occuring disorders is what you need to look for as far as treatment. The old word is dual-diagnosis. There are treatment facilities that do not offer treatment for co-occuring disorders. A lot of them. I do believe that “the new” will eventually take hold and we will see more success stories! Anyway, I am just now getting back to work on my page so I will hop off here and hopefully figure something out in the next few days!

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      2. Are you near south jersey? There is a treatment center there that specializes in schizophrenia and substance abuse. I will be blogging about them in the near future. There website address is southjerseyrecovery.com
        They have a great philosophy
        Thanks for checking in
        Victoria

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