Substance abuse and lying to mental health professionals

Discussion in 'Self Harm & Substance Abuse' started by clinomaniac, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. clinomaniac

    clinomaniac Member

    I have a really hard time being honest with doctors and therapists. When I first start seeing a new doctor/therapist I tell myself "this time will be different" and I truly intend to be honest, take their advice, and try my best to do what they ask me to do. I'll even warn them that I struggle with being dishonest/non-compliant, and that I'm trying to turn over a new leaf. Then there's a period of time when totally open with them and they start to trust me. It feels good to not have to lie, and I feel proud of myself for putting in the effort and actually dealing with my shit.

    Eventually I get impatient and frustrated with my lack of progress and "take matters into my own hands" (i.e. lying and manipulating.) Inevitably I also get irritated with their insistence that I quit drinking, tired of failed attempts to quit, and sick of my therapist telling me to stop lying to my prescriber to get the meds I want. Thats when the lying really starts. After a while I realize that talking to my therapist is pointless since so little of what I say is true, so I stop going. Then things fall apart. I end up such an emotional wreck that I even fess up to my prescriber or get a new one and spill my guts to them. And so the cycle goes on.

    I know that this kind of chronic, almost compulsive dishonesty is a hallmark of addicts and alcoholics. I just don't feel like my drinking or use of prescription drugs is extreme enough to warrant going to rehab. However, my inability/unwillingness to stop keeps me from being able to get real help for my emotional issues outside of a rehab (or other mental health) facility.

    Anyone have similar issues with being honest, or feeling conflicted about seeking substance abuse treatment?
  2. Brian777

    Brian777 Safety and Support SF Artist Forum Pro SF Supporter

    Hey Clinomaniac, welcome to the forum.

    Yes very much so and though you don't think it's bad enough yet, it will be. If you feel you don't have a problem, go to an AA or NA meeting and see if you can relate to the people there. I'm not trying to be insulting to you, I just know what alcohol and drugs can do to you. I was recently addicted to my prescription pain medication and it was amazing how fast it escalated from proper use to addiction. It's also extremely difficult to get off of, not just the physical withdrawal but the mental and emotional withdrawal can take months to get over. It's especially bad when you have underlying problems like depression, anxiety and panic disorder. You're still young and I really hope you decide to get honest with your doctor, therapist.......but most of all with yourself. Again there is no judgement in what I'm saying, I judge no one, I just don't want to see you go through what I have. Take care of yourself.
  3. clinomaniac

    clinomaniac Member

    Brian, thanks for your response. Don't worry I'm not insulted at all! I actually went to AA for a few months and did relate to the people there. I was really lonely and depressed when I first came to AA and once I experienced the warmth and community there I wanted to be a part of it.

    So I went to meetings almost every day, made friends, made coffee, got a sponsor, the whole shebang. But I was still drinking and taking Adderall most days. I think that I only wanted to get sober because AA felt like a big happy family that I desperately wanted to belong to. That secondhand "desire to quit drinking" wasn't enough to change my ways.

    I made one last effort to get on the wagon and quit Adderall. I told my sketchy psychiatrist that I wasn't going to see her anymore and dumped the remainder of my prescription in the toilet. I slept and cried through the first week or two. Conveniently, I was actually too tired to drink much anyways. I started to even out and feel pretty normal (i.e. stable but mildly depressed.) Everything was going fine... and I hated it. I missed pills and alcohol like someone misses their best friend when they move away.

    I listened to other people's cautionary tales, words of encouragement, insights and advice. None of it made me give enough of a shit to want to stay sober. While most of people I knew came to AA desperately wanting to quit drinking/drugs, I was ambivalent about it at best. I finally concluded that I wasn't in bad enough shape to truly commit to it. So that's why I stopped going to AA and started waiting for things to get bad enough to do something about it.

    So here I am. I don't want to wait for my life to go to shit, I find it depressing enough as it is. I want to be a functional and generally happy person. I've been told countless times that I need to quit drinking and misusing prescription drugs in order to make that happen. I just don't know how to. You're right though, being honest is at least a start.

    Sorry for the rant. I'm frustrated with myself and needed to vent.
    Brian777 likes this.
  4. Brian777

    Brian777 Safety and Support SF Artist Forum Pro SF Supporter

    Hey Clinomaniac, I truly understand these feelings and it's definetly not easy, I thought I could quit anytime but it was one of the hardest things to do in my life. With depression and anxiety I was afraid to leave the house and used them to give me courage, so understand we do what we have to do to survive. Eventually however nothing worked and it left me in a very dark place. I hope you can find a way my friend, take care and pm me if you need to talk.