I suppose most teens today undergo times of depression, confusion, and insecurity. Unfortunately, I never seemed to grow out of this phase even ten years after my adolescence. In all honesty, it was only getting worse. For me the depression was a day to day battle that in time wore me down so much that I just submitted to and accepted my fate. The feeling was totally unnecessary, as I have so much to be thankful for in life, but at the time it was uncontrollable and guaranteed to ruin any initially pleasant situation. It is so frustrating when you feel that you lack control over your mind’s own thinking and realize that at this rate you are doomed to spend the rest of your life like this. While I was prescribed several different SSRIs and anti-depressants, I found alcohol to be the only sure temporary fix.
I knew the illogical and unhealthy reasoning of treating depression with a depressant and anti-depressants on top of it all, but it provided my only relief. Every morning it was either a heavy dose of Lexapro or Welbutrin followed by coffee and a shot of whiskey on the side, not to mention the several other pick me ups throughout the work day and at night. While I rarely drank to the point of blacking out or serious physical endangerment, it would be at the most random and inappropriate hours of the day. It was obvious I had drinking problem, but as the blues of depression overwhelmed me, my world was shrunk to a point where few people even noticed my condition. This of course only made things worse: incessant boozing around the clock, constant fatigue yet total lack of sleep, zero energy for getting anything done, total loss of appetite, and reclusion from the outside world. In hindsight these were all my own decisions; a self guided trip to hopeless misery and self-pitying despair, but at the time I blamed only my depression for its crushing lack of sympathy and others for not noticing. Finally, at an all time low, I felt curious enough to make a decision that would guarantee my relief from this pathetic existence…
I woke up to being tied down and restrained in a hospital bed, attached to a machine and with IVs running out of my arm. I immediately felt even more abysmally depressed when I realized I couldn’t even kill myself right. Even with all the prescription drugs and vodka I poured down my neck, it was an attempt that failed. Ugh God, on top of everything else now I’m forced to endure the alarming concern of my family and the doctors labeling me a crazy, a troubled subject unfit for human society.
After my mandatory stay at a mental health stability center, some of my family visited me with tears in their eyes and information they have found online about a place in Florida for inpatient dual diagnosis treatment. They showed me how this place specialized in helping people who were suffering from a combination of substance abuse and mental health problems. For the first time in years, I felt actually optimistic that maybe my hopeless and despondent thoughts could actually be treated and cured.
Fast forward three months later, and I feel like a brand new person. The doctors and therapists that treated me during my inpatient dual diagnosis treatment were incredible. They were able to identify the flawed thought process that resulted in my thinking that alcohol and pills were the best way to deal with problems. Through my behavioral mental health therapy sessions, I learned new productive ways of coping when my stress triggers were tripped. I do not mean to suggest that the psychological conditions I had been suffering from like depression, paranoia, and anxiety are easily treatable; I spent 60 days at my inpatient dual diagnosis rehab. I now believe that each of us has to do all the necessary hard work every day and really want to change and get better, because it is definitely not an easy road to hoe. I will always be eternally grateful to all the staff who helped me to get better. You showed me the path I need to actively step on every day in order to live a sober life.
North Massapequa, NY