Substance Abuse: Understanding the...

Substance Abuse: Understanding the Underlying Mental Health Issues

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By Rabia Khan

If you’ve been dealing with substance abuse, you are not alone! In this article, I would like to trace my own journey with substance abuse and alcohol addiction and it has not been easy so far. Mental health issues have become so rampant ever since the pandemic hit off, half a quarter of the population has been diagnosed with multiple mental health disorders and it only gets worse everyday.

Mid-May, I was diagnosed with four mental health disorders: Generalized anxiety, major depression, panic disorder and PTSD. Only to realize one more recent diagnosis including Borderline Personality Disorder at the end of September. I often knew that there was a major mental health issue eating me up since early days of my childhood, just like everyone grows ignorant, I too did in fact excel at growing ignorant as an adult. Fast forward to June 1, 2023, is when I was forcefully placed on multiple antipsychotic drugs by my university psychiatrist. Now, I feel like I’m just a mere human being who is being experimented at and is treated like a project.

Well, It was going pretty great the entire month of June. Something ticked my bones and there I was abusing my antipsychotics in mid-July. Things were happening so fast that I lost track of how much harm I have done to myself. It was August the 3rd, the day I was admitted for an overdose in a psychiatric ward for 7 days. After discharge, I had several suicide attempts by overdosing and was in and out of emergency room, picked up by ambulance. There had been several incidents that I did not feel alive. It’s tough to live now! Though, the strong feeling of wanting to die still lingers on me even now.

The hospital switched my antipsychotics, and a few drugs were also discontinued abruptly. The whole process took a huge toll on my mental and physical health. I would often suffer from withdrawal symptoms and also experience stroke-like symptoms.

Apart from that, alcohol became my best friend. I resorted towards alcohol like a feast! I just started drinking and abusing my antipsychotics. Mixing drinks and drugs became a huge part of my life. I was put on new antipsychotics by my university psychiatrist as well as my dosage of antidepressant was increased. Currently, I am placed under “test”, so that I don’t abuse my meds. I have to religiously respect daily dispenses, and pick my meds daily! That’s how they prevent overdose in people.

Having a borderline personality can suck your life and soul for real. It’s a vicious cycle. You keep repeating the same patterns over and over again and now you wonder why! Mental health issues can increase in people if they start a path of substance abuse and it can only get tougher from there! Hope my story inspires many. The biggest moment is when you have survived!

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