Bigotry against mental illness in AA

Discussion in 'Self Harm & Substance Abuse' started by MimiK, Jun 22, 2011.

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  1. MimiK

    MimiK Member

    Hey, I recovered from alcoholism 23yrs ago on July 31st. I've become really disenchanted with the anti-mental illness sentiment in the rooms of AA. If I hear one more ignoramus spout off about how antidepressants are mind altering drugs I might go ape-spit on them. Now, if the member is an MD then I might want to hear their opinion on the subject. Since my daughter died of suicide from untreated anorexia, MDD, & OCD in January of this year I haven't been able to stand going to AA meetings in person much. I know it's a resentment, but I'm starting to wonder how we alcoholics would have fared had people been so obnoxious in the beginning when Bill W. was struggling with depression and trying every new treatment he could. Anyone else aggravated about this? Or am I just new to the grief walk and too sensitive?
  2. Terry

    Terry Antiquities Friend Staff Alumni

    probably a bit of both.
    I know I am still overly sensitive since my father died and things that I would normally shrug off really get to me.
    On the other hand, sounds like they (AA) are having a "we are so superior" moment at the expense of the mentally ill :dry: and God forbid anyone be depressed!
    If it's really getting to you then stay away, or, if you feel up to it, the next time some moron spouts off, say "I wonder how well you would manage without anti-depressants if you had just lost a loved one" then walk away.

    Sorry to hear about your daughter :hug:
  3. MimiK

    MimiK Member

    Oh thank you for your response. I'm not irritated on my behalf, but on the behalf of those poor souls who listen to them. It's just an observation I've made over the years and never really thought about it much until lately.
  4. VALIS

    VALIS Well-Known Member

    I knew of a man, my friend's roommate, who was a mentor in AA, had gone through all the 12 steps, really active in the program, but who would go to the doctor for demerol shots twice a week. They seemed to let that one slide. Along with the chain smoking and chugging coffee that loads of them do at the meetings. I have gone to meetings to support the friend several times and was pretty tired of being told by that same man that because I drank wine one time while at a party with many AA members that I "had a problem." In a condescending way.

    An addictive personality can in so many ways be indicative of underlying depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia- these illnesses commonly come along with alcoholism and drug use. I am bipolar and have to watch these things very carefully. I strongly believe that if I wasn't medicated I would be abusing drugs and/or alcohol.

    So basically I get where you're coming from, sometimes the people in AA draw the line in the wrong places. The difference between mental illness treatment and drowning it in alcohol and drugs is pretty distinct- treatment as opposed to self-medication in a self-destructive way.
  5. Kaos General

    Kaos General Well-Known Member

    I know what you mean. Its the same with NA as well. Im forever being told i am not in fact clean and serene because im still on anti-psychotics and mood stabilisers etc. Next time they say the same to you tell them that all conventional medicine is in fact a mind altering substance including all the painkillers such as aspirin they shove down their necks when their in pain or cold and flu meds when their ill, all the anti-biotics they take when they have an infection. They all work on different receptors in the brain so are indeed mind altering to some degree. Then tell them they should all consider it a relapse and for go their clean time because if thats the way they think then AA/NA/CA cant ever possibly work. Tell an addict to forgo his clean time is like asking him to give you his arms and legs, its the only thing that addicts have.
  6. Pickett

    Pickett Well-Known Member

    AA has never been appealing to me. Many of the same people you meet in AA you can find at the bars later. They'll say they've been sober for x amount of days, months, years, but you never know.

    AA to me is just a cult. All cults ask you to surrender and not question them. AA requires that you admit you are weak and only keeps you in weakness instead of making you strong. AA members focus on the past and the past makes people want to drink because they are unable to move on. That's my experience anyway.

    Rather than identify and correct the problems that create alcoholism, their solution is to simply quit. It is this fact that one can only return to drinking because nothing was really done to help this person. Doctors and the like really piss me off. They don't do anything and expect compensation.

    Honestly, if I try to kill myself again I am going to do it sober so I can make a point. I feel like I haven't been taken seriously due to my past with alcohol. If I die while not under the influence they will have to admit they were wrong... then again, they really won't admit that so what does it matter? They'll just say it was depression when that view is so simplistic. These freaking people and psychiatrists will tell you 2 + 2 is 5 and try to make you believe it! It's a wonder why anyone would do anything to get away from them all!
  7. Kaos General

    Kaos General Well-Known Member

    Yeah and a lot of people in the rooms in NA say exactly the same thing about AA as well.

    AA is like a cult. They live in fantasy land and think that having one drink isnt in fact a relapse at all. Thats why i stick with NA because it is about all substances including alcohol.
  8. HawthornePassage

    HawthornePassage Well-Known Member

    I personally don't see opposition to anti-depressants as stigmatizing the mentally ill; there are some problems with them. If someone was saying that 'depressed people are just a bunch of whiners and should pull themselves up by their bootstraps" thennnn maybe I'd take it like that
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2011
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