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Old 04-26-2009, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by doorknob View Post
I guess I'm not an alcoholic, I just have serious mental problems and use alcohol and pot to cope. Which means I don't belong here, which makes me really sad, which makes me want to drink, or smoke pot, or drop acid, or just smash my head against a wall, or nail my foot to the floor board of my Ford (or Subaru)...




Maybe that's me too.


This is all so confusing.
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Old 04-26-2009, 09:56 AM
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Ahem, there is a "mental health" forum guys! You don't have to go anywhere!

Only you can decide if you are an alkie DK (and Bam), no-one was trying to tell you what you are, no-one can, only you can decided that.
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Eroica View Post
I agree with gneiss and I don't think she was trying to be smart. Its common sense. Anyone who drinks enough will lose control because alcohol affects judgment. When you're drunk, its easier to say, "one more won't hurt."

If we bought Jim's definition, a person can declare himself an alkie after just a few drinking sessions. And someone who can stop at 5-6 drinks every night wouldnt be an alkie, because they didn't lose control, nevermind that six drinks everynight will cause problems.

Thats what I don't like about the word "alcoholic". I prefer talking in terms of how addicted or physically dependent the person is to their DOC, and the only reliable measure of how addicted someone is is by how often they drink and the severity of withdrawals.

It isn't about "my" definition. It's about my experience. Big difference between experience and knowledge and when it comes to alcoholism, some people have neither.
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:08 AM
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I would not like to be confined only to the mental health forum, please!

I read around the boards quite alot and I can learn something from others who have life struggles even if they are different than mine.
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Eroica View Post
Thats what I don't like about the word "alcoholic". I prefer talking in terms of how addicted or physically dependent the person is to their DOC, and the only reliable measure of how addicted someone is is by how often they drink and the severity of withdrawals.
But I have only become physically dependant on alcohol a few times in my life, as I said I binge, blackout binges lasting days...it is dangerous and makes me very sick but for some reason I can't control it...because I am an alike of the binge type.

So your definition makes no sense at all to me....and Jim's doesn't make sense to you....but makes total sense to me.

None of it matters anyway of course, somebody else's definition isn't important, only how you see yourself is important, whether you choose to call yourself an alkie or call yourself someone who shouldn't drink...it all leads to the same thing, not drinking.
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by liveweyerd View Post
I would not like to be confined only to the mental health forum, please!
I can send you a special pass? LOL
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by doorknob View Post
I guess I'm not an alcoholic, I just have serious mental problems and use alcohol and pot to cope. Which means I don't belong here, which makes me really sad, which makes me want to drink, or smoke pot, or drop acid, or just smash my head against a wall, or nail my foot to the floor board of my Ford (or Subaru)...
I'm fairly new here but it sounds to me like you belong here, I've read lots of posts where people have said that you helped them, and that DK, is a big part of what makes life work.
I have been in and out of therapy for PTSD, depression, psychosis whatever for 25 years, even my psychiatrist told me she did not consider me an alcoholic she said I drank to self medicate, and boy did I self medicate...Alcohol itself is not even what nearly killed me it was a prescription drug overdose. But the overdose would never have occured had I not been drunk, so I have not drank since and never will again because I never again want to lose control the way alcohol makes me lose control. And ya know what else, since I quit drinking I've come to terms with what caused the PTSD and depression, I've dealt with it and I'd say at least 75% of the time if not more I'm a happy healthy person.

Hugs

Judy
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:34 AM
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I wish this thread would move away from trying to define alcoholism. I think it is something that each person needs to decide for themselves and that ultimately it ends up being much more of a gut feeling. It would be a shame to put out a strict definitions for what classifies one as an alcoholic and have someone actually be an alcoholic but not identify with those words and therefore think they are a-okay.

Also, I do not think there is a difference between someone who self-medicates with alcohol and an alcoholic. To me there are a lot of words describing a similar problem that has a similar solution.
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by sfgirl View Post
I think it is something that each person needs to decide for themselves
I did say that.
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:53 AM
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Iím not convinced that getting frustrated or being depressed or feeling anxious are mental problems. They are emotions that everyone feels from time to time, and likely a sign of a healthy mind trying to cope with what is often times a messed up world.
Defining alcoholism is pointless. If someone thinks they are an alcoholic, they probably are. How many people do you know who think they are an alcoholic, but only have, letís say, one drink a year? Alcohol and drugs cause a variety of problems for a variety of reasons, and the way that people react to intoxication varies widely. If there is a definition of alcoholic in the dictionary, there probably shouldnít be.
DK, Iíll ask again, why are you torn? If you contemplate this question, you will find the reason why you came to this forum in the first place.
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Old 04-26-2009, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Bamboozle View Post
Psychology as a pseudoscience? Ouch.

While there are certainly a crap ton of variables when dealing with mental conditions/illnesses, researchers do have testable theories in this discipline. This field is most certainly in its infancy, but as technology and methods improve, so will psychology.

I have depression and anxiety and have benefited from therapy many years before. Also, the med that I’m on right now is helping. I know I can’t do this on my own. Therapy and meds is the best shot I have.
Bam, please don't be offended. I'm not saying psychology can't be useful, having someone to bounce ideas off of and such. That part is really helpful, which is why I'm here.

But, yes: pseudoscience. Perhaps it will evolve into a real science one day. But usually it seems like they turn to medical/biological science-- cat scans, blood tests, and such-- to find what's going on in your brain. And medical sciences-- psych drugs-- are useful for treatment. Telling your shrink all your ills might help you deal with them, but it's still sort of sketchy as science. Tis why you still need someone with medical training-- a psychiatrist, M.D., or D.O.-- to give you drugs. As you well know, your psychologist can't prescribe psych drugs.

But when it gets down to the nitty-gritty "alcoholic" seems to be sort of an elusive term anyway. Kinda like being happy: If you think you are, you are. If you think your drinking is a problem, guess what? It is.
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Freepath View Post
Iím not convinced that getting frustrated or being depressed or feeling anxious are mental problems. They are emotions that everyone feels from time to time, and likely a sign of a healthy mind trying to cope with what is often times a messed up world.


There's a difference between feeling a little down and being depressed.
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by liveweyerd View Post
I would not like to be confined only to the mental health forum, please!
Somehow this makes me feel like I should be wearing a straight jacket while posting. At least I'd get to hug myself.

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Old 04-26-2009, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
But, yes: pseudoscience. Perhaps it will evolve into a real science one day. But usually it seems like they turn to medical/biological science-- cat scans, blood tests, and such-- to find what's going on in your brain. And medical sciences-- psych drugs-- are useful for treatment. Telling your shrink all your ills might help you deal with them, but it's still sort of sketchy as science. Tis why you still need someone with medical training-- a psychiatrist, M.D., or D.O.-- to give you drugs. As you well know, your psychologist can't prescribe psych drugs.

The medical/biological science is under the umbrella of psychology. Case study upon case study has been done in psychology on depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc. along with the medical/biological science part. There is room for improvement, but without fully understanding the complexities of the brain, this is the best we have for right now.

It's unfortunate that psychology bears the derogatory label of pseudoscience. There is a stigma in our society against receiving professional mental help in the form of therapy.
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Bamboozle View Post
There is room for improvement, but without fully understanding the complexities of the brain, this is the best we have for right now.

It's unfortunate that psychology bears the derogatory label of pseudoscience. There is a stigma in our society against receiving professional mental help in the form of therapy.
Like I said, perhaps it can evolve into science. As it is practiced now though it seems like there are two aspects: sitting on the couch discussing (helpful, but not really science... maybe someday?), and going to a doctor for some medication (helpful and science). It is still in its infancy, as you noted. Case studies I have read from psych (I used to read a lot of them. I was a copy and file clerk at a counseling center and I'd read the journal articles while I was making photocopies... a bit patchwork but I picked up a lot of info that way) are often based on one person, who by default has different circumstances than anyone else, so making broad generalizations seems a bit sketchy.

But here's what I have seen: My sister has most recently been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. She has had several re-diagnoses since age 15. Bottom line is they have no idea what to call it, but she's been on the same meds for a while now, through a couple diagnoses, and they seem to work. My cousin: schizophrenia, clinical depression, bi-polar, and now they think it might be Asperger's? Same thing: no idea what his problem is. The particular malady seems to depend on the opinion of the psychologist. Perhaps it doesn't matter what they call it? The meds work. Yay for medical science.
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Old 04-26-2009, 01:11 PM
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Many of the mental health issues can be mapped in the brain. For instance an MRI of a depressed person looks different than in someone who is not depressed.

It is all pretty conclusively demonstrated that the best treatment is a combination of medication and counseling therapy. That yields the most efficacious and lasting improvement and results.
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Old 04-26-2009, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by doorknob View Post
I guess I'm not an alcoholic, I just have serious mental problems and use alcohol and pot to cope. Which means I don't belong here, which makes me really sad, which makes me want to drink, or smoke pot, or drop acid, or just smash my head against a wall, or nail my foot to the floor board of my Ford (or Subaru)...
I hate for you to be sad!! Maybe you belong here for the help you have given others, and maybe something good rubs off on you in the exchange=)

Be good to yourself knob
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Old 04-26-2009, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by doorknob View Post
I guess I'm not an alcoholic, I just have serious mental problems and use alcohol and pot to cope. Which means I don't belong here, which makes me really sad, which makes me want to drink, or smoke pot, or drop acid, or just smash my head against a wall, or nail my foot to the floor board of my Ford (or Subaru)...

Best use a ring shank nail or a sheet metal screw so it'll stay there. LOL. DK, you so crazy ! We're all Fing crazy, mang. All of us. Nuts. But we're a good nuts.

Right now I'm wearing a toilet seat around my neck as proof. That and some clown shoes.
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jimhere View Post
Alcoholism isn't necessarily a physical dependance on alcohol. It is what happens when you drink alcohol. At some point do you lose control of the amount you drink? That is the one defining factor of alcoholism.
In the strictness medical sense (DSM-IV), there is no medical diagnosis of alcoholism. There is the diagnosis of alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. To some that may be splitting hairs, but I'm on the side of science when it comes to defining this thing that complicates so many people's lives. To compound things, many people who diagnosis themselves as "alcoholic", while they may be abusing alcohol, have very real and serious medical diseases (in addition to alcohol abuse) such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bi-polar disorder, etcetera, and may be using alcohol as a means to self-medicate. This is one of the main reasons why I question the wisdom of self-diagnosis and self-help programs that promote self-diagnosis. I am a strong believer in support groups, but only after being properly diagnosed by a medical professional and as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:25 PM
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Please, medical professionals are incredibly dense when it comes to diagnosing substance abuse/dependency. I know many people who would be dead right now if they waited for a doc to tell them they needed treatment. I have been treated for depression for years and any mention of alcohol that came up they were thrilled to pass off as "self-medicating". And I was thrilled about it too, because the mere thought of having to stop drinking was intolerable.
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