AA and Anti-Depressants
In 1986 I became aware that my drinking was a problem. I was in outpatient addiction recovery dealing with my food addiction issues. I’d also had depression for many years but thought it was a “bad personality” and had done no recovery for it. At that time a common theme in AA was that antidepressants were taboo for alcoholics if one truly wanted to be sober. That thinking kept me from seeking psychiatric care for many years. Even when I found a medication my body could tolerate I felt I was doing something “wrong” to take the medication, that it was probably going against my recovery.
Since 1997 I’ve accepted that Depression is an illness and I’ve accepted prescription medications as one tool to help me cope with it. It is by far not the only tool I use but I believe it helps. I no longer believe it is wrong to take medications. In fact the medications help me to stay in addiction recovery by helping me to function more “normally” on a regular basis. Each person needs to come to this decision for him or herself, but there is a lot of support now for people with “dual diagnosis” – an addiction and a mental illness.
Quite some time ago while reading the Big Book I ran across something that let me think early AA accepted the need for psychiatric care for some of its members. Being one of those that required that kind of care I was most interested, so I started seeking the exact quote. I couldn’t find exactly what I remembered but the one below will suffice – it probably is the same.
The following quote came from a reference book to Alcoholics Anonymous, The Big Book of recovery for alcoholics, and to The 12&12 which is the book that goes into depth re the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions. That reference book is called “164 and More”. There are more than 164 quotes from commonly cited passages in the 2 recovery books.
I found this information on “Google”, an online search engine.
Dr. Harry M. Tiebout, psychiatrist: “As a psychiatrist, I have thought a great deal about the relationship of my specialty to A.A. and I have come to the conclusion that our particular function can very often lie in preparing the way for the patient to accept any sort of treatment or outside help.
Much gratitude to AA as a whole and to the people and communities of recovering folks all across this country, as well as world-wide.