New Madness As I Know It-A Series Part 1

My life has been a series of jarring events since January when I found myself dependent on opiates for a traumatic fall I took last August where I broke something on every limb.

I have always been petrified of addiction or dependence as my late father was a raging alcoholic who tormented my family until my parents got divorced when I was a young teenager.

I was never one to try illicit drugs, drink in high school, or even try a cigarette. Forget about pot, it was out of the question. I knew I had my father’s addictive personality as I was similar to him in many ways. Drinking was something that scared me through high school and being a promising athlete looking to go to college on a full scholarship, my body was basically my temple.

Once I got to college drinking took on a new social meaning and by my sophomore year I spent the spring semester imbibing on Absolute and pink lemonade everyday instead of going to classes I really didn’t need to show up at. I was also heavily involved in the gay club scene at the time in Boston and went out to various clubs Thursday through Sunday nights. My MO was to do a shot or two of Tequila and spend the rest of the night dancing on the floor with a friend with whom I had no romantic interest. I was basically out for the music and dance and the Tequila made it all the more relaxing and liberating.

That was the extent of my drinking in college and I never developed a taste for it or a desire for it outside the club scene.

When I started working in the financial industry I found myself going out a lot more but my drinking was very limited. I basically could not hold more than one drink so I would buy a drink, usually vodka and sprite with lime, and sip it for the duration of my time out. I did go through a brief period one summer with a particular roommate where we froze glasses and made nightly gin and tonics during the summer months prior to making dinner. I never worried about having a problem, for whenever I got on a roll of consecutive drinking I would immediately stop to make sure I could stop and also to make sure I didn’t like it too much.

When I turned twenty-nine I developed unexplained panic attacks like the ones my mother suffered when she turned forty. I was unable to ride the subway underground and suffered periods of sheer panic and fear that left my soul vacant without any substance. I went to see my primary care and he put me on the classic cocktail at the time for panic disorder: Klonopin and Paxil. Within months I was better and even able to fly to my sister’s house in Atlanta for Christmas.

The rest of my story, broken into parts is not so clean or sterile. It is filled with polypharmacy, misdiagnosis and maligned mental health treatment that would affect my entire life until now when I decided not to be a patient or a prisoner to psychotropic drugs and do everything I can to take back my life. I hope you will continue to read my ride through psychiatry and the world of big pharma.










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