Depression and Such


I am not an expert in the whole AA/Abuse thing, so I come from a place of ignorance in this.

I do recall reading a few things when Claudia Christian was going through her addiction and apparent success with the Sinclair Method, which utilizes some medication. Maybe that would give you another avenue to research? IIRC it’s fairly popular in Norway.


Something I should make clear is that I seem to be the only person who thinks I have a problem. My medical professionals consider me as having a dependency, not an addiction. As such, drastic treatment options would probably be ineffective at best for me.


I’m no expert, but what’s the difference between a dependency and an addiction?


I’m no expert either but I can offer this from my health class that stuck with me:

Cureent literature states alcohol consumption falls into four broad categories:

Use: What I like to think I do. Anyone time anyone takes a drink, they are using alcohol.

Misuse: this is where grandma can’t go to sleep without her hot toddy. Still use, but not really what alcohol is for.

Abuse: Continued use despite averse consequences. Though not necessarily addiction. A good example of one without the other is college party style binge drinking.

Adiction: loss of control of behavior.

These all generally apply to everything not just alcohol but I think it’s nice to have the terms defined right here.

As to where dependence fits in here. I don’t know. I’m not Lizzie. It sounds to me closest to misuse, but I’m no expert on anything or anyone.


I was drinking daily, often in excess, but never to the point of loss of control. Somewhere between misuse and abuse, on Naoza’s scale.


4 chapters in and AA was clearly written for someone who had done a lot more drinking (and quitting) than me. A lot of the characterizations of the temperate drinker I can relate to, more than the characterizations of the alcoholic. It also seems to be designed for people who have never totally rethought their lives, which I’ve done probably three times now at the young age of 22.


From what I’ve heard from friends who went through the AA program (as secular people) was that the important part was community – That substance abuse has a social culture built around it, and that one must leave the substance and community around it, and replace it with a sober community. Parable of the weeds, so to say.

As to addiction vs dependency… IMO if you think it is a problem, it is a problem. Being dogmatic or pedantic about definitions is cold comfort when you feel yourself getting in the way of being/doing/feeling better.


After reading all of the Big Book in one night and going to three meetings, I’ve come to the conclusion I’m probably not an alcoholic. I’m just someone who needs a break from alcohol.


That seems eminently reasonable to me.

I think no_fun_girl makes a very important point above, in that community is probably the main part of AA that has any real merit. Even if you’re not an alcoholic and just want to take a break you might find that you will benefit a lot from being around people who will reinforce that choice rather than subvert it.

Personally I have huge issues with the “higher power”/“admit you are powerless” propaganda that AA peddles. I suspect that if I were to have a drinking problem and go into AA it wouldn’t be that great for me since my own issues with it would probably be barriers to the community aspects.


The thing is everywhere I’ve been so far the community has been toxic. Probably because I’ve been at Young Peoples’ or New Comers’ meetings and I’m a veteran of mental health treatment, I just feel like I’m operating on a different level than the people around me. A lot of these people sound like me when I was about 16 (and some of you may remember what that was like, actually). They need to leave their dogma at the door, it’s not helping anyone.

It’s interesting you bring up the 1st Step cause that’s what got me out. Someone told me to really reassess if I was powerless to alcohol, and that if I wasn’t I wasn’t gonna get anything out of AA.


I’ve heard about stories of people who’ve been to AA meetings. It seems to be less “let’s help you overcome your addiction” and more “believe in God to overcome your addiction.” It’s basically gaslighting and religious propaganda.

You wanna overcome your addiction? Here’s an idea: Dump your booze down the drain.

EDIT: Here’s the full text of the 12-step program. They’re a religious organization in disguise.


I do think when it comes to removing addictions from your life, it’s important to replace it with something else. For many people, religion is an easy one, and There’s no reason to hold it against them as long as it helps them be a better person.

On a side note, when I consider my life choices in retrospect, it’s always the ones made with the insistence on my exceptionalism that did not serve me well in the long run. Thinking I was different was low key a way to dismiss solutions out of hand. Struggle is mundane, not sacred or unique. While we aren’t the same person, maintaining a beginner mind can help uncover new meaning in old things.


I just want to point out that this really trivializes the challenges present in any substance addiction. If it were a simple matter of “dumping it down the drain,” we wouldn’t have addicts.

Addiction is a disease. You can’t just wish it away, much the same way that you can’t wish away cancer. We need tools and interventions to help people recover from it.

I don’t think that implication was your intent, but I thought it warranted a mention.


Yeah, and also at the far end you can die from the withdrawal if it’s not tapered off. “Just deciding to quit” is fine for someone that can already go days without, but it could kill somebody else.


I can’t take you seriously if you have only read the 12 Steps.


This sort of word play is why I posted my list of definitions above. Addiction is loss of control of behavior. Implicit is the fact that dumping booze down the drain wouldn’t help. It does help with use, misuse and, abuse though.


I swear that addiction has done something long-term to my body chemistry that just throwing away the vice and keeping it from my immediate grasp couldn’t have addressed. Just taking that at face value, it’s not a high enough barrier when addiction will motivate you to leave the house and replace your destroyed booze at one of many places you can cheaply get it. More importantly it doesn’t help when things in your life out of your control motivate you to try soothing yourself in any way possible.

This isn’t in the same realm of immediate danger as drinking or drug abuse, but even years after successfully quitting nicotine my body still almost instinctively craves a cig when stressed. Consciously, smoke is disgusting to me. The smell of it on someone’s clothes is deeply repellent, and I can’t hang out in rooms where years of smoke has permeated the drywall because it just smells and feels horrible. But my body still reacts to stress with a flash craving for a dart because addiction has permanently changed my chemistry.

I threw away dozens of half-consumed packs cigarettes, and it didn’t disrupt my access. Did you know a lot of addicts don’t keep big stockpiles of booze or cigs or coke in their room? They usually have what they felt like spending on it at the time and then make sure they stop to get another few days’ supply on their next errand run or whatever, or just outright make a trip for just that. There are a lot of assumptions built in to the idea that throwing your vice into the garbage is enough to stop addiction.


Just “dumping the booze down the drain” or “flushing the drugs down the toilet” or “no longer driving past the casino” isn’t enough to deal with addiction. It may prevent the immediate effects of addiction, sure, by separating you from the stimulus that you’re addicted to, but it does nothing to address the root cause. It doesn’t stop you from going back to the liquor store to buy more booze or going to the gas station down the street to buy lottery tickets.

I’m not going to speak to how AA does it’s thing as I’ve never attended one of their meetings nor read extensively on what they do. However, one should at the very least consult with a qualified mental health professional with expertise in dealing with addiction to try to address the root causes. Said professional may recommend AA or something else as part of the treatment for your addiction, but simply cutting the addictive stimuli out of your life cold turkey isn’t going to cut it. And that’s assuming it’s an addiction without physical withdrawal symptoms that also would require a physical health professional to deal with.


I’ve never met an ex-smoker who didn’t. I’ve mostly quit now myself(I pretty much only smoke when I’m down at PAX, or out drinking), but I still keep an emergency bag of shag tobacco around for times when I just can’t deal. (Well, that, and to make mull with for the occasional spliff, I’m not a fucking barbarian breaking down pack cigarettes.)


During a recent depressive turn I stopped for a pack with the intention of blasting one cig and tossing the rest, but that night a friend let me try their Juul device, which gave me more nicotine than I think I’ve ever had at once. I’m terrified of those things now. Devil fog.