View Full Version : Chronic Alcoholic with ADHD (untreated)- can I help her?


Modafinilguy
10-27-13, 08:16 AM
My friend- a mother, has a 30 year old daughter diagnosed with ADHD. Diagnosed both as a child and adult with ADHD.

I have some concerns she may *possibly* have BPD as well, but this is not entirely clear at this stage. She also has classic anxiety/depression problems.

In her earlier 20's she was treated with Dexamphetamine for ADHD for about 3 years.

However towards the end of this, she started experiencing progressively worsening panic attacks (the same thing happened to me, but with Ritalin)

Her doctor because she was having panic attacks, said she could not longer be treated for ADHD, and stopped her stimulant (but due to her panic attacks, she did not want to take them either).

She stopped seeing that doctor, and like I did at that age, gave up on ADHD. Her life went more and more down hill. She started drinking.

She is now 32 and a CHRONIC, really severe alcoholic.

She gets really severe withdrawal and shaking if she stops (dangerous).

Her family has managed to get her into rehab various times, but she has always fully relapsed shortly after discharge. None of the rehabs in my city will have her back, apparently. I have spoken to them and they talk in an angry way and say "oh her!". That she has been given enough chances and they will not have her back and that she does not "want to get well". Seriously I spoke to the worker at the main public detox in this state, and he was really rude. He really acted like he did not care, even though I said seriously mate she is going to die if she doesn't stop. It did not move him. His attitude was "tough", basically. I am pretty sure her private insurance will not pay for more private options- she has been in them various times also. Even her doctor has an angry attitude, he is a psychiatrist, and has been totally unhelpful. I guess they really do feel that she is not worth their time any more.

She had recently been drunk for many months, all day, every day.

I know she will soon die if this does not stop. She may have already caused irreversible damage to her brain and body. It may already be too late to ever properly recover.

But nobody is addressing the ADHD. They get her off the alcohol, the ADHD is not even looked at- even though it is obvious to anyone who believes in ADHD that she has it.

I can't help but wonder if somehow dealing with the ADHD part of the problem in this serious situation, may be her only hope of basically getting her life together before she ends up either dead or severely brain damaged.

Remember the serious problem with panic attacks on stimulants. Also she is athmatic, so can't take beta blockers, often used for anxiety on stimulants.

Any advice that could help would be deeply appreciated.

When she was a little girl, I was a young teenager that was dangerously depressed. I very nearly committed suicide. She was about 6 and she had a "childhood crush" on me. Her love and affection was one of major things that probably saved my life and kept me with the will to live.

When she is sober, she is a lovely warm person. Sure she is obese these days, not as stunning pretty as she was around 21, but she is very caring. If she dies, it will be a tragedy for many people.

Bye

dvdnvwls
10-27-13, 08:59 AM
Strange that she has those similarities to you - asthmatic so no beta blockers, stimulants cause panic attacks. Not an easy situation to be in, for either of you.

I think ADHD is very hard to "get dealt with" unless she herself knows that's what the problem is and is committed to improving that situation. Just popping medication into them kind of works on little children in school, but that's because they have teachers directing them all day. An adult with severe addiction problems getting just thrown some medication obviously isn't going to happen, so her leadership or at least her enthusiastic cooperation seem necessary to me if she's going to have ADHD treatment of any kind.

Nate W
10-27-13, 07:54 PM
I'm an alcoholic with ADHD and 8 years sober. I only started taking ADHD medication (dextroamphetamine) after I got sober, not by design, that is the way it played out. And after I started medication I realized I drank solely to self medicate my ADHD.

I have seen many people in the same situation as your friend. I was once one of them. I drank 15 beers a day, every day. And the obsession to drink was greater than anything else in my life and I lost a lot, including my soil. But there is hope.

Here is my experience you can relate to your friend. Treatment centers did not work for me. I tried quite a few. AA did work. Best (and least expensive) deal out there. But two conditions must be met: a) the person must want to get sober more than anything else (usually they also want to drink more than anything else too, but they have to want not to drink more). For me I had to hit my bottom to where alcohol no longer brought me relief. And b) the person has to find the real AA. A lot of AA groups do not study The 12 Steps and they do a disservice and can even get people killed. For years I attended those meetings (open discussion meetings) and just concluded AA did not work, so alcohol whipped my butt some more. I did not know any better. Until a met a guy while helping another AA move. He took me to the real deal. The program of action. This would be the Big Book (or study) meeting. Sometimes called a Step Meeting. Best way to describe this type of meeting is a strict study meeting, sticking to the Program of Action outlined in the Doctor's Opinion through Page 164 of the Big Book (the text, "Alcoholics Anonymous", of AA). After some initial balking I worked The Steps with the aid of a sponsor and eventually the obsession of the mind left. Basically I believed I got more benefit out of AA than I did drinking, so I stayed sober.

Truth is early sobriety just plain sucks. The first few days are pure agony from the physical withdrawal and the obsession to drink is ever present. The depression of the first few weeks without alcohol was like none I had ever experienced. And one has to come to terms with this fact and just accept it and also accept on "blind" faith that at some point, the depression will ease as will the obsession.

Now, I rarely think about alcohol and in fact, can be around it without risk. I am truely free now.

It works, it really does.

--Nate

Blanched Dubois
10-27-13, 09:27 PM
My husband came back from Vietnam and was treated so badly and was so ptsd'd out he told me that it took him some alone time to finally realize he'd had enough of himself and finally got out of his own way.

He found fellowship and healing in AA even though he wasn't an alcoholic his dad was and he did quit weed and other things and he decided to just honor life and not focus on the stuff that will never heal - that's why we loved each other - he was way stronger than I was but he was also 10 yrs older and wiser but never condescending or controlling.

He taught me a lot of what he'd learned in the 'program' that I could apply to the behavior now of our son who was too chicken to act this way in front of his Dad. I do point that out. I can't help it. I would not want someone saying they 'love me' but will yes me to death rather than disagree with a point of view supported by some facts....he enjoyed a good debate...but he wasn't adhd - he was ptsd and highly intelligent

he married me for comic relief and cus i'm cute lol and because mainly that we both understood something about energy, the mind as 'the builder' and taking ownership and having accountability to help manifest goals and he worked it fiercely as I did just because if i'm going to work i'm going to relax, have good tunes on and then pace myself while also not holding back - I know what I must do to achieve what I must or I earn no commissions so that is motivating as i'd rather make a commission and bonus than a salary

Maybe once people stop giving up and giving in and fight more for their own lives they'll realize that it's easier than refusing to grow up and being a parasite to a drug or a person who and what will never satiate the monkey - cus the monkey forgot it's looking for a deep encounter....with itself.

sarahsweets
10-28-13, 04:38 AM
The unfortunate part of alcoholism is she has to want to get better. It doesnt matter a lick what anyone else wants, if she doesnt want to she wont stop.

Nate W
10-28-13, 06:51 PM
So true Sarah. Getting sober for the wife, husband, court, employer, dog, girlfriend, boyfriend, cat, etc. is bound for failure (relapse). It happens every time.

--Nate

Nicksgonefishin
10-28-13, 11:32 PM
The unfortunate part of alcoholism is she has to want to get better. It doesnt matter a lick what anyone else wants, if she doesnt want to she wont stop.

Ditto!

DichotOhMy
10-29-13, 12:35 AM
The unfortunate part of alcoholism is she has to want to get better. It doesnt matter a lick what anyone else wants, if she doesnt want to she wont stop.

And this goes for every single addiction. It's a cold hard fact that goes for everyone. As callous and hopeless as it sounds, you can work tirelessly to convince someone to quit, but you'll likely just end up watching the wreckage accumulate in the other person's life until they themselves are ready to quit.

Truth is early sobriety just plain sucks. The first few days are pure agony from the physical withdrawal and the obsession to drink is ever present. The depression of the first few weeks without alcohol was like none I had ever experienced. And one has to come to terms with this fact and just accept it and also accept on "blind" faith that at some point, the depression will ease as will the obsession.

PAWS is the prize for quitting that few see coming once they quit. Life does not get better immediately after you quit drinking, but things become a whole lot more clear all of a sudden. For me, that focused mental gravity swirled around with emotional lability and hyperactive restlessness. I was faced with the alcoholic self-deception that I could handle just a few drinks to make myself feel better, yet loathe to this thought in conflict with my own disgust over what my drinking did to me.

sarahsweets
11-01-13, 04:41 AM
The other risks that I personally found was that some addictions can be easily replaced with others.