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Hi all. Below is a brief history of things. A lot has gone on. As a kid, around the age of 5 to 6 i was very contented. Age 7 onward there were difficulties. i had a bad accident, a severe head/neck injury, i don't know how that impacted things? i started getting nightmares/problems with sleep. i experienced with hindsight what i think was a psychotic episode around age 7 as well. Age 11 i first got drunk & smoked cannabis. By age 15 i was habitually drinking/drug taking. There had been increasing anxiety, depression & problems with sleep. When i left school i went to art college for 2 years & was very depressed. Shortly after leaving age 17/18 i experienced a very severe psychotic episode, was convinced that i'd lost my soul to the devil & saw a vision of the end of the World, was sectioned for 4 months in a locked ward & very heavily medicated. They diagnosed a drug induced psychosis. i left hospital, came off all the medication & went into full time work for some 4 years. i managed to stay away from the drink/drugs for a time but it crept back in again. Age 21 i went into another severe psychosis, got clean/sober for 6 months, & landed in a drug treatment center. i became very paranoid, believed that people wanted to kidnap, torture & kill me. i also became convinced i was the Devil & had a serious attempt at suicide. This lead to another stay in psychiatric hospital & being placed on prozac & stelazine. They diagnosed psychotic depression. i then went into sheltered accommodation for a few years, the drink/drug use increased again. i came off all the medication, did another college course & then went into full time work. Age 25 i had another severe psychosis, & smashed up the room i was staying in, was sectioned again & diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. i was placed on a 1200mg dose of Amisulpride. After a year of that dose i stopped it cold turkey, went very psychotic & was again sectioned. i refused all medication for a while & then agreed to a 200mg dose, after being threatened with a section 3 (forced treatment) & depot injections, if i didn't take anything. Age 26 to 28 i went back into the addiction, & age 28 again went into a severe psychosis - i was refused any help from psychiatric services & sought out help from NA/12 step. The first 3 years of sobriety were hell. i stopped the Amisulpride twice, the first time with a 3 month reduction & the last time with a 2 year tapered reduction. Each time i ended up in severe psychosis. That last withdrawal attempt off the medication was 12 years ago - i have maintained the 200mg dose of Amisulpride, & increased it to 300mg a few years ago. i have been in T-total recovery from the drink/drugs & clean/sober for 15 years. it very much feels that there are underlying psychological/emotional difficulties still. All things considered i do accept the schizophrenia diagnosis as being valid. i am interested in what other peoples thoughts are here on it all? How other people have done with coming off neuroleptics with a diagnosis of severe schizophrenia/multiple episodes of psychosis? ideally i'd love to be successfully free of this medication, just don't know how i can do it without severe illness. i have tried many things over the past 15 years connected with healing, but it still feels that things are unresolved. Thanks.
Hey All, As someone who suffers from mental illness, pharmaceutical dependence, as well as alcoholism/addiction, I thought I would share a reflection and some helpful concepts from the support group Emotions Anonymous (similar to AA). I think this could be very helpful for people in the process of psychiatric medication withdrawal. If you want to find out more about EA, visit their website: http://www.emotionsanonymous.org/ Perhaps one day there could be a SAA group(Surviving Anti-Depressants Anonymous). I have always maintained that a 12-step program would benefit anyone who is willing to give it a try (regardless of addiction). Just for today The choice is mine Just for today I will live through this day only, and not try to tackle all of my problems at once. All I have to do is take small steps in the right direction, getting there will take care of itself. Just for today I will try to be happy, realizing that my happiness does not depend on what others do or say or what happens around me. Happiness is a result of being at peace with myself. Just for today I will try to adjust myself to what is, and not try to force everything to adjust to my own desires. I will take my life as it comes, and I will fit myself to it. Just for today I will take care of my physical health; I will exercise my mind; I will read something spiritual. Just for today I will do something good for somebody. I will do at least one thing I don’t want to do, and I will perform some small acts of love. Just for today I will try to go out of my way to be kind to someone I meet. I will be considerate and talk low. I will not engage in unnecessary criticism or try to find faults. I will not try to improve or regulate anybody except myself. Just for today I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests — hurry and indecision. Just for today I will stop saying, “If I had time.” There is never enough time. If I want to do something, I must make time for it. Just for today I will have a quiet time of meditation; I shall relax and seek truth. Just for today I shall be unafraid. Particularly, I shall be unafraid to be happy, to enjoy what is good, beautiful, and lovely in life. Just for today I will not compare myself with others. I will accept myself and live to the best of my ability. Just for today! Helpful Concepts We come to EA to learn how to live a new way of life through the twelve-step program of Emotions Anonymous which consists of Twelve Steps, Twelve Traditions, concepts, the Serenity Prayer, slogans, Just for Todays, EA literature, weekly meetings, telephone and personal contacts, and living the program one day at a time. We do not come for another person — we come to help ourselves and to share our experiences, strength, and hope with others. We are experts only on our own stories, how we try to live the program, how the program works for us, and what EA has done for us. No one speaks for Emotions Anonymous as a whole. We respect anonymity ‹ no questions are asked. We aim for an atmosphere of love and acceptance. We do not care who you are or what you have done. You are welcome. We do not judge; we do not criticize; we do not argue. We do not give advice regarding personal or family affairs. EA is not a sounding board for continually reviewing our miseries, but a way to learn to detach ourselves from them. Part of our serenity comes from being able to live at peace with unsolved problems. We never discuss religion, politics, national or international issues, or other belief systems or policies. EA has no opinion on outside issues. Emotions Anonymous is a spiritual program, not a religious program. We do not advocate any particular belief system. The steps suggest a belief in a Power greater than ourselves. This can be human love, a force for good, the group, nature, the universe, God, or any entity a member chooses as a personal Higher Power. We utilize the program ‹ we do not analyze it. Understanding comes with experience. Each day we apply some part of the program to our personal lives. We have not found it helpful to place labels on any degree of illness or health. We may have different symptoms, but the underlying emotions are the same or similar. We discover we are not unique in our difficulties and illnesses. Each person is entitled to his or her own opinions and may express them at a meeting within the guidelines of EA. We are all equal ‹ no one is more important than another. Part of the beauty and wonder of the EA program is that at meetings we can say anything and know it stays there. Anything we hear at a meeting, on the telephone, or from another member is confidential and is not to be repeated to anyone ‹ EA members, mates, families, relatives or friends. Happy Journey Everyone! ~OpalOwl