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Ask Dr. Heidi McKenzie Your Own Question
Dr. Heidi McKenzie
Dr. Heidi McKenzie, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 25
Experience:  23 years experience in addictions and mental health treatment
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I have been on oxycontin 80s 3-4 per day, I also have been

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I have been on oxycontin 80's 3-4 per day, I also have been diagnosed with severe depression and was an alcoholic ( By myself I have reduced from 20 bottles of beer per day ,7 days per week ,down to 4-7 bottles of beer per month. I also take anti-depressants and sleeping pills as a cocktail as you like. I want to know if I am either drug dependent or drug addicted ? Background, 2.6 years ago I was leaning against a concrete brick wall at work, the wall collapsed outwards and I fell "through " the wall and landed 1.5 meters in the front yard of the house next door, the back of my head hit hard against the corner of a brick house and lost consciousness for approx. 5-7 minutes.I have found out by my surgeon that I will need a replacement of two disks in the top of my neck and in the future 1-2 at the base of my spine.i have considered suicide but because of my wife ,I have not and probably will not do this. I feel useless, fearful, hopeless, painful ( even with a large amount of oxycontin ) a waste of space and my wife can do a lot better than me, as my future does not look goog, as my prognoses looks bad.Added to my problems, I spent 3 weeks in a detox clinic in Sydney Australia and found that to be totally ineffective, unprofessional and really a total waste of time.I was so drugged up ,that I could not go to meetings and or help sessions as I would fall fully asleep after 5-10 minutes.I would therefore ask you what do you think would be an appropriate course of action to help me get back to some sort of "normal " life where I might be able to function as a useful human being!!!!!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Heidi McKenzie replied 6 years ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer:

I'm sorry to hear that you are feeling so hopeless about your situation and it certainly sounds as if you have been through a lot. I imagine that at times it feels quite exhausting.

The various medications, especially the Oxys and the sleeping pills, may be contributing to your depressed mood and I would recommend that a psychiatrist take a look at your medication regime and consider any impact that this may be having on mood. Adding alcohol to the mix does not help either as it can lower the effectiveness of an antidepressant.

Depression can cause people to perceive pain as worse so it is possible that if you can get your depression better stabilized, that this may actually help with the level of pain that you experience. People on Oxycontins build a tolerance and dependency quite quickly and while only you and your doctor can say whether you are abusing them, you are likely physically dependent on them if you have been taking them for awhile. Tapering off of them would need to be done under a doctor's supervision.

I do not see counseling under the things you have tried. Again, I would urge you to seek counseling or therapy for the depression and suicidal thoughts. When we are depressed, it is hard to look towards the future with any sense of hope. Once the depression is adequately treated, it is likely that you will better be able to cope with your situation and perhaps see possibilities and opportunities for your future that you are unable to see at the moment. Your therapist or doctor may also be able to refer you to various support groups to help with the depression, the substance use and/or the chronic pain. Feeling less alone with your struggles and being able to relate to others who may be in a similar situation can help a lot.

You are NOT a waste of space. There IS hope - it may just take a bit of doing to get on a more optimistic path but you can do it. The fact that you are reaching out here says that there is a part of you that is a survivor and is willing to fight to get back to a place where life feels productive again.

Again, I encourage you to seek therapy with a qualified professional in your area to develop a treatment plan for dealing with your issues of depression and chronic pain and to have your medication regime evaluated by a medical professional for the impact that these may be having on your mood.

I wish you better days in the future and please, if you ever feel that you may act on your thoughts to harm yourself, seek immediate assistance at your local hospital or emergency room.

Dr. McKenzie
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