PTSD: Next Generation in Recovery. Are we prepared?

Help for alcohol abuse addiction alcoholics who want to stay sober
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PTSD: Next Generation in Recovery. Are we prepared?

Postby Dallas » Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:54 pm

PTSD: The Next Generation in Recovery. Are we prepared to serve?

[quote="Alcoholics Anonymous, the book: pg 77"]"Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.â€

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Postby november6 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:59 pm

Wow, it is really awesome that you wrote this. I have had some exp with "outside issues", as very close person turned out to have some. I actually live in a city that I feel (fancied or real!) has a somewhat general tendency to label garden variety alcoholic traits as "outside issues", and though many of those people are important members or close friends of mine, my closest group (sponsor, ect) and myself tend to see many things differently in that area. (Though still I have GREAT respect for other medicines and solutions and use them myself). And so, what happened at the start of '09 was a huge heartache with a good deal of misunderstanding and, for this close family member, quite a few relapses in a small amount of time. There were some PTSD (or similar) things going on with them and on my part, due to my own attachments to the idea that many an AA are often misdiagnosed w "outside issues" when it could be simply alcoholism, I partook in a great deal of pain, resentment and nearly abandonment of this close member of AA. I simply believed that what was going on was a lack of willingness, desire to stay sober and ability to be honest. And one day it dawned on me that this person was ill. Outside of alcoholism. because he did do all the work, and he did keep showing up. The results just wernt the same as they were for many who did same in AA. And then began a long road of the person and our family getting him the outside help he needed. It was a tough and painful year, though after getting the aide for those issues while simultaneously working a thorough program, he just picked up a 9 month chip for the first time on the 23rd of August. I still have my opinions about certain things - though today my opinions have more personal exp behind them.

This was really positive, Dallas, And i will remember to pass what you wrote on as members from the service start showing up in the rooms..

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Postby Dallas » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:55 pm

I'm a total believer in the 12 Steps for recovery. And, I know that they even help someone with heart disease and other conditions that were not associated with alcohol (the person was a non-alcoholic non-drinker that had measurable results using the 12 Steps and humor) ... however, this was no reason for the person to not continue to see a Cardiologist. :wink:

Often times, alcohol-ism does go mis-diagnosed as other "conditions, issues, and disorders" and is just as real a condition as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions.

Untreated alcoholism is like a chameleon that will appear the same as many other mental-health conditions -- and once that it is treated, the other conditions most often disappear.

I guess, in some AA circles -- I'm kind of like an outcast in my ideas. :lol: I've never been one to bash the treatment centers, treatment professionals, or other health care professionals. Of course, I don't try to promote them, either. I try to stick to the Big Book and the Traditions.

The way my book reads: I'm supposed to try to be helpful to anyone anywhere -- that is trying to help others -- and especially those that are trying to help alcoholics -- regardless of how they are trying to help them. And, I'm not a professional at anything -- inside of AA.

While it may be difficult to find -- there is good professional help available and it can be most beneficial to those that can benefit from it.

Back in the mid and late 80's and early 90's -- numerous prospects that were coming in to the rooms in Southern California, had contracted HIV. And, HIV rates were like a time-bomb waiting to explose in the recovery Fellowships -- and much of it could have probably been preventable -- had the Fellowships been a little open-minded about discussing "other issues" (maybe as minor as practicing safe-sex) that we can face with alcoholism. Some of us were rebuked for mentioning it at the time. And, a few years later -- as the HIV population explosion started taking place in the Fellowships -- a few of us -- that had been willing to talk about it -- were not included in that part of the population that got it.

The PTSD is a real heart-breaker. I've worked w/ some of the soldiers and civilian contractors exposed to war -- and, I'll tell you, what they experience is way more worse than a bad case of DT's!

On our 12 Step calls -- we already need to be educated about AWS (Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrom) that can actually kill the alcoholic that we're trying to help sober up. Combine the AWS + PTSD potential and it spells the possibility of something much more dangerous than the one alcoholic that dies trying to get sober.

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Postby sober1988 » Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:57 pm

Teresa here, alcoholic. My understanding of dealing with members who have other problems beside their alcoholism is that we, as members, are not doctors. Some alcoholics can't work/live/do the steps without some other form of help other than the meetings, sponsorship, reading the bb, etc. I've known many who had to take anti-depressants before they could even begin to comprehend this program and for a long time after they were sober. However; I would suggest they leave this matter to their sponsor and doctor and not make an issue of it in the meetings, as one will get many diverse opinions that could be fatal for a drunk! Just my .02!

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Postby Dallas » Sun Sep 12, 2010 6:09 pm

Thanks, for sharing, Teresa. In total agreement w/ you. We can't and shouldn't try to fix anyone, and it's good when we can keep our opinions to ourselves in regards to things other than ourselves. And, it's good to be helpful. On one side, our hands are tied, and on the other, we have a responsibility to serve and be helpful. So, it's definitely, as I see it, a difficult balancing act. Perhaps -- if we're somehow aware of problems -- we can prepare ourselves to better ourselves to be helpful. And, perhaps it would be good to take the topic to our Regional, Area, District, and Intergroup business meetings. Collectively, an informed group conscience can meet and seek guidance on "what is the best way."

A different topic, for illustration, might be something like this one: What if I encountered a teen or a child -- in a meeting -- and I had strong reason to believe that the person may be suffering current abuse? While, yes, this would be considered an "outside issue" -- in my heart, I believe, as a human being, I have a responsibility to yell "Help!" And, do what I could to insure that the child received proper attention. For me, the attention might be something as simple as to provide the child with the telephone numbers for help and the encouragement to make the call. That may also be all that I can and/or should do -- with another alcoholic that's suffering what appears to be PTSD. "Just in case you're interested -- here are some other resources that may be able to help you." Provide some telephone numbers and let it go at that. I think as long as we're not affiliating ourselves with, or endorsing, I wouldn't see a problem with having a list available. I know when I work in Central Offices on the telephones -- we usually always have a list of other numbers to call. Suicide hotlines. Crisis Centers. Detox facilities. Al-Anon, and other Anonymous Organization's telephone numbers, if they are requested.

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Postby DiggerinVA » Sat Sep 18, 2010 6:41 am

I will be brief. But I grew up in a military family and knew a fair number of people who went through that mill. Compassion and understanding is the best answer. I will never live exactly as another person, but I can always try and look it it from their side.

The other answer comes in the 11th step. Ask and listen to God for those answers. Especially when things are outside of my direct experience or knowledge. Then try and do the next right thing.

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