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Inside look at the depression of an addict

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Depression produces a place that is dark, lonely, and hopeless for the people who experience it. Depression is a disease. Many suffer various stages of it. Many do not get through it and die.

Note: All names are changed per request of those interviewed.

Jane told me on an interview the other day that she went into a deep depression after she stopped drinking/drugging and thought she was not going to be able to go on. After a visit to her clinic she was given medicine and it helped. The depression came back but she remains on meds with doctor and counseling backup and feels she can cope. She still craves alcohol and is not sure she will be able to stay sober---but for now she is---

Frank tried to kill himself by putting a shotgun in his mouth as he was bottoming out due to his drug and alcohol use. He told me the phone rang just as he was going to pull the trigger. It was his daughter checking in on him. He got sober/clean and remains vigilant with help of program and counseling. Many commit suicide because of depression. The latest example is the recent information on Robin Williams. It is tragic and frightening for the many that don't understand why someone can't just reach out and get help.

Sally can't remember when she was not depressed. She remembers when she was a little girl she would wake up sad, feeling lonely, and afraid. She came from a family that drank alcoholically but was never abused other than being ignored most of the time. She started to drink at age 13 and felt alcohol made her feel good. She soon became hooked on alcohol and years later stopped drinking due to job loss and DUI's and went back into depression with a vengeance that hospitalized her. She tried AA but did not like it and is drinking again but feels she is controlling it. When she drinks now she does not feel it helps her depression as much as it did earlier. She is fighting depression and alcoholism.

John said he used to get very depressed over work load, family obligations, personal feelings of inadequacy when he was drinking but because he chose to stop early enough before he became chronic and due to working an AA program he rarely suffers depression anymore. He said he felt he was spared the deeper hell of bottoming out due to his drinking. He stated he feels grateful and uses gratitude as a tool to stem feelings that lead to triggering any depression.

Depression puts on many faces---it is usually associated with deep emotions due to past childhood, family and personal problems. It has links to hormonal and chemical changes in the brain. There is more research being done to help people who suffer depression.

Most of the people I talked with during the interview described depression as a isolating, lonely place full of fear at first then at some point they felt absolutely nothing. That feeling of utter hopelessness was the worst. They said it is a deep, dark place where depression freezes your mind and renders you utterly helpless.

Growing Medicine ER in her book Negotiating Shadows (www.negotiatingshadows.com) wrote how there was a place where there was no reaching out, she was frozen in a dark space that took her sanity and destroyed her very soul. She put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger while drunk, drugged and depressed. She had a very difficult childhood and life was just too much for her to go on. She passed out and when she came out of the blackout she saw she had not loaded the gun correctly. She has been in AA/NA for over 35 years and still experiences depression daily but uses program and outside help to stay stable. She is not unhappy and is really doing well considering that the depression is still part of her life.

Depression haunts the mind and soul of those who experience it at the level written about here. PT said, "The darkness is so isolating that it is impossible to reach out, to call out, to get any kind of help at all." This what many describe about the depression they experience, are experiencing and some feel they will possibly die from if there is no intervention. All are vigilant and watchful even with help from counseling and medicine.

If you or your friends or family are experiencing depression checking on them regularly, encouraging counseling, etc. may be the intervention and help they need. There is recovery and many good medicines including natural are available. Good luck with any journey you take concerning depression.

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