Depression, anxiety attacks, insomnia, bipolar disorders, and currently one of the most popular- fibromyalgia, are maladies that are often “high-jacked” by addicts and alcoholics as a scapegoat or excuse for substance abuse. Yeah, no doubt many will be offended by this post but I’ll stand firm based on my own personal actions and extensive interaction with alcoholics and addicts in mature recovery that admit to the same. I would be willing to bet that over half of the population diagnosed with said maladies would see their symptoms clear up with treatment… that is substance abuse treatment.
Yes, I am sure that these conditions occur without the presence of and can often lead to substance abuse. More often than not though, people become depressed because they are a drunk- not the other way around, anxiety attacks are more likely acute withdrawals, and of course getting high and the subsequent crash to sobriety is about as bipolar as you can get!
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Fibromyalgia is the newest high-jacking target and a favorite of prescription medication addicts, because of its widely encompassing symptoms that closely parallel those of substance abuse and a cool scientific name it has become the go-to disease for many with addictions.
The defining symptoms of fibromyalgia are chronic, widespread pain, fatigue, and heightened pain in response to pressure (allodynia). Other symptoms may include tingling of the skin, prolonged muscle spasms, weakness in the limbs, nerve pain, functional bowel disturbances, and chronic sleep disturbances. Many patients experience cognitive dysfunction (known as “brain fog” or “fibrofog”), which may be characterized by impaired concentration, problems with short and long-term memory, short-term memory consolidation, impaired speed of performance, inability to multi-task, cognitive overload, diminished attention span, anxiety, and depressive symptoms. ~ Wikipedia
Can’t sleep, stomach pain, anxiety, impaired performance, cognitive dysfunction, and just plain overall discomfort; ditto addiction. I pointed out it’s a favorite of med addicts because the most common treatments for fibromyalgia are pain medication, antidepressants, and sleep aids- and don’t they know it!
I did choose my title carefully and hopefully the “high-jacking” explanation is now apparent. The “malingering” portion of the title was not just a mean spirited jab though; I mean after all, almost everything I write on this site is based on my own experience and actions as well as observed behavior- so consider it self inflicted constructive criticism. The military would define malingering as feigning an illness to avoid work or duty, in this case however, I define malingering as feigning an illness to avoid treatment of the real problem which is substance abuse.
There is no doubt that addicts and alcoholics really do suffer forom the symptoms they so badly want to classify as non-abuse related, and they are adept at believing their own lies and scams, living in their own construct. The pain and depression is very real. So they start chasing the cure in earnest for these ailments because they want to feel better, but they want to fell better and get well without quitting their beloved alcohol and drugs- it’s the epitome of addictive thinking.
There are many without substance abuse problems that truly suffer from these conditions, those of us who in the past or who are current high-jackers have done them no favors, and most likely just made their treatment more costly and difficult to attain.