Food/Sex/Excercise to self medicate

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Food/Sex/Excercise to self medicate 2012-11-04T10:33:19+00:00

The Forums Forums What is it? Addictions Food/Sex/Excercise to self medicate

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  • #91139
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Hi,

    New to this site and have spent the last 2 days reading as much as I can, largely with my mouth hung open in shock and recognition.

    I wanted to start a new thread as I haven’t come across anyone talking about using food, sex (not the nice kind with your boyfriend – the scary kind with a stranger) and exercise to reduce or drown out the ADHD symptoms.

    I’ve only just come to the conclusion that I have and always have had ADHD and that my son has probably go it too. I’m not diagnosed yet but will see a doctor soon.

    I’ve been a drinker since my (unhappy weird) teens and have done my fair share of dope, coke and E, but what I realise now is that I also excessively used exercise and food. The two never at the same time for obvious reasons. When I was going through a ‘fit’ phase, it was often at a time when I needed to be hyper focused – new baby, new job etc etc. I’ve exercised for up to 4 hours a day before. The obvious benefits are that you look fit, but you feel completely wired, LIke your brain is literally travelling at a million miles an hour. Great when your want to spin around like swirling dervish getting everything done, not so good for relaxation and relationships. On the other extreme, my food use was the complulsive eating/bulimia type. Just miserable. Compulsively eating means you eat so much, you literally cant move, or think. It give you a temporary narcotic feeling and everything just shuts down. I have also at two points in my life used sex as a distraction/entertainment/medication. The more dangerous, risky or extreme situation the better. I was part of the E generation and we were ‘all at it’, but looking back, it certainly fulfilled that desire to do something dangerous.

    I have three kids now and the middle one, I believe is ADHD. I’m at a point in my life where I don’t want to use anything to self medicate and I want to face whatever it is that had been making me feel different/weird/unhinged since I was a child. I don’t want my son to go through some of the miserable and scary things I did (which a the time I thought were fun!). I still drink too much. The kids go to bed and I think, right, wine-o-clock. I just want to switch my head off and not think, and it helps, but I’m scared about my poor old liver and I am pretty vain – the old skin isn’t looking so good!

    I want to live a wholesome life and set a good example to my children. I’m scared of medication because I feel like I’m ready to face The Real Me – but I’m also scared without all my props (not the scary sex or food any more) that I won’t cope. I need to be healthy/balanced to deal with my difficult boy!

    I’d love to hear from anyone else with similar experiences who might be able to offer some advice.

    One last thing – very odd. Since I’ve read these messages and scoured this site, and generally understood a little more about ADHD, I have felt less of a need to drink. Very strange!

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    #117193
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    Tiddler
    Member
    Post count: 802

    Food, definitely. Made some bad choices about sex when I was younger, though that was more impulsiveness than self-medicating I think. Exercise – I can’t be bothered!

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    #117194
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Alid,

    Just want to tell you that you are not alone AT ALL! I am 48 years old and got diagnosed with ADHD 5 months ago. This occurred after a relapse into alcohol addiction in June 2012. I have come to realize that I have been self medicating for the past 30 years with the use of Alcohol and cocaine. When I first decided to get help with my addiction 4 years ago I was diagnosed with depression and Bipolar! For 3 1/2 years I was being treated for these conditions medically with no success. This greatly hindered my recovery with alcohol and drug dependance. Needless to say that I am thankful that is in the past! Since being diagnosed and treated for my ADHD my life has changed dramatically. All the meds that I was on were discontinued in detox and they began treating my ADHD. The medication was a gift from GOD! For the first time in my life I felt normal! Happy to say that my recovery from alcohol and drug addiction seems to now be effortless. Although I do go to AA daily, life is a joy!

    I too during my 30 years of drug and alcohol addiction engaged in extremely dangerous sexual encounters to say the least! Although that behavior ended when I met my partner 15 years ago. I also dealt with major food and exercise issues during my 30 years of “being in the FOG”. Bulimia was part of my life for a period with excessive over eating. I would go through phases in my life of GYM addiction and work out 4 hours a day. I actually did this for a 4 year period and then just stopped only to start again then stop again! Everything in my life I would begin whole hardidly only to fail at the end….during my life my weight has fluctuated over 100lbs 4 time over. I attribute all of these periods in my life to my untreated ADHD. Not only have I been successful in my drug and alcohol addiction but I have also begun to eat healthy and exercise. I have lost thus far 40 lbs in a healthy way. Since my treatment began I have also begun to read books in there entirety, which is something I have never been able to do. The only thing I did manage to do in my life with the help of drugs and alcohol was to hold a steady job for a period of 26 years which I have since retired from with my full pension. However, this is something I probably never would have never done if my ADHD was being treated, but what is done is done. I am now pursuing a new career, starting school next spring. Finishing my college years was also something I never succeeded in completing….dropping out of college 3 times in my life. I can go on and on with all of this but I will spare you. Only know that things will get better for you especially with proper treatment! Hang in there!

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    #117195
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    I got three words for ya……….Stimulus Seeking Missille!!!! Food, booze, sex, shopping, drugs…. I believe there are many types of stimuli….both building and destructive types…..I also believe we all have the ability to chose those in which we engage…….and that we all have the ability to change and direct those activities. I also believe our past actions do not control our future…..influence yes…..it is part of how we got here…to today…..but the past does not control the future.

    I tend not to be too harsh with myself for my past actions, nor too prideful of my accomplishments …..they are past….. they don’t define who I am, they were just part of my developmental experience.

    So…..I try be gentle and kind to myself always but, particularly when the wheels get wobbly, I like me, and I think I deserve it!!

    If I don’t who will…………???

    Toofat

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    #117196
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Thanks guys – always good to know you’re not alone! This is only day 5 of my ‘realisation’ that I may be ADHD and the more I read, the more it all makes sense of my past.

    toofat – I agree entirely but literally, up until abject misery with my son’s behaviour forced me to type ADHD into google, I was blaming myself for everything that had ever slightly gone wrong and blaming myself for how he was too. I cannot tell you what an eye opening transformative RELIEF it is to think that it might not be me – it might be ADHD.

    However, I still know that I am responsible for my actions and I’m determined, like you say, to make some good choices and not damaging ones.

    I’ve just booked an appointment with a hynotherapist – have read that it can really help with stress, anxiety and restlessness. I’ll keep you posted!

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    #117197
    Rick Green - Founder of TotallyADD
    Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADD
    Participant
    Post count: 473

    There is a lot in what you are sharing AliD that resonate with me, and most ADDers. Which is why what you’re reading is resonating with you.

    First of all though, congratulations for becoming a member and sharing.

    Funny how down we are on ourselves. I’m still going there with surprising regularity despite the fact that it doesn’t help.

    We are all doing the best we can.

    When we know better, we do better.

    Which is why the reading you are doing on the site is already lessening the need for a drink or whatever. The more you understand about what’s going on, and are able to take apart and understand your particular flavour, the more power you have.

    Just knowing is powerful. Then experimenting with different tools and strategies is interesting. Some stuff will work gangbusters. Some things don’t make a difference at all. A

    nd though I understand you not wanting to depend on anything to feel good, there is also the idea of choosing things that are healthy and effective and protective of yourself…

    exercise, eating better, yes, even medication if that’s needed for a while to level the playing field.

    It’s early days, be open to learning more, keep looking at how it’s showed up in your life in the past, and see the patterns.

    And trust me, just seeing patterns starts to have them fall away and lose their power.

    “No wonder I do that. It’s exciting. And I crave excitement.”

    Don’t dismiss any tool or ‘treatment’ until you really understand what it can do, and what it can’t.

    Keep learning, do the research, and demand proof that something is effective. It’s so frustrating to try things that turn out to be bogus.

    On the other hand, the placebo effect is real, and if you feel something is working, and it’s not harmful or illegal, stick with it.

    And welcome!

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    #117198
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    What a lovely reply! Thank you Rick.

    It’s very early days since I first ‘clicked’ so I’m taking my time. Already, I’m so much more patient with my little boy. Rather than shout at him because he’s attempting to launch off the sofa on his scooter for the 9th time before 7am, I’ve just calmly taken the scooter away and given him some colouring to do (which he did for 30 seconds…).

    I feel very grateful I have found this site. The people on here are so funny, honest and clever.

    Thanks guys!

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    #117199
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    Robbo
    Member
    Post count: 929

    Yep yep,

    I call it “the disease called more” whatever it is that makes the dopamine flow in our brain? we tend to do it too much. Exercise is actually a very healthy one, but even that can lead to problems later on in life. I was a carpenter, and a body builder. For me exercise was my addiction. And adrenaline seeking. I’ve gone on and on enough about my seemingly suicidal adventures here already. But yep, it’s definitely a factor.

    I have to take extra special care of my shoulders. I started the body building in 7th grade, even back then I remember playing king of the hill at scout camp, and my nickname at scout camp was “muscles”. I ate up that positive attention big time. Being an athlete was my one ticket into all the parties after football games in high school. Put some booze in me and I was very nearly comfortable in social situations. Of course, the only real friends I had were absolute party animal types. So I ended up doing some of the stuff you’ve talked about. My biggest struggle was with weed. When a judge sent me to AA because of some trouble I had with drunk guys hitting me in the fist with their faces. In AA they said I had to quit smoking weed in order to quit drinking. I literally cried like a baby. It made me crazy. Becoming a dad made it a billion times easier for me. I’m eternally grateful that judge sent me to AA instead of 2 years in prison… (please don’t ask)

    If you have any concern at all about real addiction. I very strongly recommend AA meetings. They will give you a “big book” for free. I’m very convinced that an extremely high percentage of the folks in 12 step program meetings are untreated, undiagnosed ADDers. I’m sure there’s statistics and studies out in cyberspace to back me up. But my point is to consider showing up there. I had a girlfriend who I met in SLAA (how funny huh?) who didn’t even drink!. She went to AA because she said that’s where she found the best support, really awesome unconditional love, excellent philosophy that in hind sight fits ADDers like a custom made glove. (I bet she also went to AA to find men!) that’s another rant for another time. Please be careful about that. It can be a difficult place to stay sober if you like flesh. The ultimate exercise!.

    Anyways, you don’t have to say, or even be an alcoholic to go to the meetings. I haven’t been there in years. But I still carry lot’s of the philosophy with me. They will talk about God, but trust me, it’s not religion, and it’s not a cult. An atheist will get just as much unconditional love, and respect as any other human being there. In fact. They helped save my life.

    Good luck.

    PS, people are very surprised to hear me say I’m 47 all the time, and I don’t get out much either. I’m really sure it’s because I haven’t drank for so many years. I did start drinking some about the time my daughter went to college, but soon realized it’s just plain dangerous stuff to me. I very rarely drink these days. Got no friends that drink fortunately. Keep us up to date okay?, thanks

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    #117200
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Hey everyone. Why does all of this sound so familiar? (a purely rhetorical question). I used and abused drugs and alcohol from my early teens until my early adult years. All in an effort to quell the dragon inside my head. When I was 19 I began training in Karate and for me it was better than any drug. The extreme physical exhaustion coupled with the mental toughness required resonated within me and helped me become, for lack of a better word “better”. I realize this is not for everyone but that is what i did to stop my self destructive behaviour.

    Growing up with this demon, as you all can relate, is as debilitating as any other disease. Although I hesitate in saying that “I have this”, because I didn’t ask for it and I don’t want it therefore I don’t have it. (This is just a positive affirmation of mine.) Like many of us I did poorly in school despite the fact that I am very smart and creative. I even had teachers who told me I was stupid and was “the village idiot”. These things do not help a young persons self-image. However, I was smart enough to realize that I was better than all those things people said to me and about me.

    As Rick mentioned earlier: look for the patterns. Examine them and learn from them.

    I have never had medication prescribed to me to control my dragon because I simply do not believe in meds. But that is just me. If something works, then it works.

    AliD, keep working at it. It is possible to tame the dragon.

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    #117201
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    g.laiya
    Member
    Post count: 116

    there is only one thing i can think of that hasn’t been part of my “disease called more” – though it’s the one thing i wish i did do, even if on the side of excessive, and that is exericise.

    otherwise, yep, i’ve been a big-time self-medicating stimulus and/or numbness seeking machine most of my life.

    also, i’ve been to a few anonymous-type meetings, most recently “underearners anonymous”….and i completely agree with robbo on that i think there are many adders (diagnosed or not) who end up at these meetings….i think there’s a lot of crossover.

    though i’ve definitely made some improvements since first finding this site, getting diagnosed, starting with treatments/tools, i still have a long way to go to get to a balanced, peaceful,more healthy and fulfilling life.

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    #117202
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Oh blimey. AA. Robbo I know you say it’s not all Godish but I just can’t bring myself!! One of the biggest trauma’s I had as a child happened at Church. I,of course, turned this into a ‘funny’ story since. But it wasn’t funny. We went to Baptist church alot when we were little but more and more I would rather have gone horse riding (cross country eventing – the scariest high octane of all the equestrian sports! Yeah!). Thankfully our vicar Norman, ran off with Anthea our hippy sunday school teacher, leaving his congregation, wife and 3 children. I point blank refused to go to church after that and I can honestly say that he provided me with the single best evidence to never ever trust anyone in a position of power. The thought of any talk of god actually makes me feel physically sick.

    I have been looking into Agnostics and Athiests at AA but there’s no meetings in my neck of the woods.

    Also – and maybe I’m just being a bit thick. But I fail to see what’s anonymous about AA. You sit in a room full of people baring your soul – in person! I’m not really a group hug type person and I’m much more comfortable a few clicks away from a forum.

    I do completely get your sentiments though and I can see where you are coming from. I’ve made an appointment to see my doc next Thursday and in the mean time I’m exercising everyday and have bought myself a hypnosis/meditation book and CD. It’ worth a try! I’ve also got a trip to Venice for the weekend with my husband for his birthday next weekend. I’m a photographer, so I’m looking forward to just getting us lost with my camera – that’s therapy in itself!

    This forum is great, thank you everyone who has taken the time to reply to my naive questions. I’m still at the rabbit in the headlights stage and learning so much everyday.

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    #117203
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    Robbo
    Member
    Post count: 929

    Camara’s are great, I especially like taking pictures out in nature. Or just finding funky lighting setups, or creating them. Light is neat stuff. That’s what makes taking pictures so fun. I buy cheap sunglasses to use as different filters for sunset shots.

    Last night I almost paid 90 bux for a DVD from my PBS station by a lady named Dr. Esther Sternberg. She’s really cool. I didn’t hear her talk about God. This is the second time I’ve watched her on PBS. Yet another book I want to get. It’s a thick one too. Her thing is “Integrative” medicine; it sounds a lot like holistic. But it’s cool in it’s own way. Maybe google her. The book I want to get is “Healing Spaces” (I think), I’ve got 4 books I want to start reading now. Being able to read better is one of the first real improvements I’ve made as a result of coming to this site. I don’t have to work my butt off to get something worth while out of a book like I used to. It’s a lil easier to write too.

    Dr. Sternberg went to Crete, in Greece? and discovered a lot of cool healing stuff. I especially love Italian food. She talks a lot about the Mediterranean diet and how healthy for us it is. Hopefully that will inspire me to start cooking more. I just started mixing extra virgin olive oil with my coconut oil. It tastes better and one doctor said it’s an anti inflammatory, maybe the coconut oil with help my brain function a lil better, some folks here are trying that also.

    Tok to ya later tomater :-) It sounds like you’re off to a great start. That trip sounds like tons of fun.

    Happy Hipnosisyzing and meditating. I think Esther talks some about meditation being a helpful tool also.

    PS anything I say is purely a suggestion, at’s all. There’s tons of different tools to choose from around this camp. Sometimes it’s hard for me to keep from spending too much time here.

    That’s because we’ve got a bunch of cool cats here.

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    #117204
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    Patte Rosebank
    Participant
    Post count: 1517

    Becoming as self-aware as possible is really the key. If you can figure out WHY you’re feeling the way you are, and WHY you’re craving that food/booze/drug/sex/risky thrill, you’ll be much more able to control the impulses.

    I’ve just started going to an ADD coach, and, as we went through the questionnaire to determine my strengths, areas that need improvement, and areas that REALLY need improvement, we were both quite amazed at how self-aware I am, and at how much I’ve been able to accomplish on my own. My tendency to research & analyse seems to have served me well.

    Of course, just knowing all the theory, is NOT the same as actually doing what you should!

    As a famous Alice said, “I often give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it.”

    Which is why there’s such a high correlation between ADD and obesity, addiction, alcoholism, promiscuity, and risky behaviour.

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