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Gina P
Gina P, LCSW
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 175
Experience:  MSW, LCSW, PIP
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I have a question about depersonalization and addiction. I

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I have a question about depersonalization and addiction. I was in treatment for 30 days for opiate addiction and got out, and in those thirty days I was giving none of the medicines that help control the thought patterns that come jump before the full depersonalization episode. I also have the worst case of ADD ever. Which I think led to the depersonalization. I'm perscribed to adderall and most drug addiction specialist see this as a big no no. I did have one that gave me klonopin and adderall because I think he understood the horrors of depersonalization. I am 44 days clean but I have taken my adderall as prescribed and taken klonopin when I felt an episode coming. I will not change my clean date because my goal was to stay away from opiates. My life was not made unmangeable from adderall, it got me a BS from a great university. I'm on prozac and it helps with DP, but i want an opinion on klonopin. It works, I'm not abusing it, and no euphoria. Im openminded on suggestions
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Gina P replied 7 years ago.


Some recovering people will tell you to stay away from all mood and mind altering substances like Adderall and Klonopin.

However, many people self medicate when they have symptoms of psychiatric issues and this can cause drug addiction in the process.

Once you are clean, evaluating what you need to do to stay mentally healthy should be a joint venture between you, your physician, and possibly your sponsor.

Many recovering individuals continue to take mood and mind altering substances as prescribed, because NOT to do so may lead them back into an attempt to self medicate again, with substances that can cause relapse.

So, I would recommend you work closely with your MD and sponsor on this. Most sponsors understand the self medication aspect and can assist you in accepting the decision to take a prescribed medication.

It is really important that the Klonopin does not lead you back to the opiates, however, and that is why you need another person involved to help you stay honest with yourself.

As I am sure you know, the disease can sneak up on you, particularly if you begin to keep secrets. What I mean is, the Klonopin itself may not be as serious if you are sharing this information with a recovering person to assist when needed. And if you find yourself taking more than prescribed, discuss this with your sponsor as well.

I hope this helps. Gina

Gina P and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
First off, I'm sorry if there was a promblem with my transaction. I entered account numbers by memory and honostly didn't plan on getting anything from this. I was surprised with the information especially the last paragraph. I showed my mother, who is a therapist, and liked what she saw. The transaction will be taken care off which probablly doesn't mean much from an addict. Anyway, I have talked about this with my roomate in treatment but I wouldn't consider him my sponsor. Truth is I don't know where I'm going to be. That's where I'm stuck. I know I need more treatment and a sober house would be good for me, but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't allow adderall. It seems silly to need it in treatment. However, while I was in inpatient I couldn't read more than three pages of NA literature which frustrated me more. I want to use the opportunity at a sober house to learn all I can about addiction because ultimately I want to go back to school and become a counselor. I really think I'm meant to help people like me. That's another concern. How can I help others if i'm using adderall? I suppose I wouldn't need it after grad school, but I feel hypocritical either way. I'm very confused. I know I'll be ostracized at a meeting if I bring up taking any kind of mood altering substance. I'm sure these reservastions will go away when I find a group I go to regularly. Instead of two in Memphis, two in another State, and one in another State. The feasability alone of giving my klonopin to someone and having them give it to me for the rest of my life is pretty unrealistic. For now, that's what i'm doing. It's hard to talk to someone in recovery about depersonalization becuase they have no idea what it is. Most doctors and therapist don't know. I feel real confident when a therapist has to refer to their book just to get the definiton, let alone they've never treated someone with it. I don't really know what I'm asking but it seems to feel better writing out my thoughts instead of just talking about them. I would greatlly benefit from more of your insite.
Expert:  Gina P replied 7 years ago.


Thank you for responding. It sounds as if you are very motivated to remain clean and sober and be honest with yourself, as well. A sponsor should have at least two years clean and sober, and have worked the twelve steps. This is the person with whom you share all your secrets, which helps you stay clean. If your physician is recommending the Adderall and Klonopin, it does not have to be viewed as hypocritical. I know you know whether you truly need it or not. A sponsor helps to bounce things off of, and helps you make decisions about what is the best way to remain clean. "Using" Adderall is a little different than taking Adderall as a prescription from your physician. It is not something that necessarily need to be shared in an open meeting, as long as you are sharing it with even one person in recovery.

I really like your idea about being a counselor. Many recovering people make excellent therapists. You know, been there, done that!

Letting someone else dole out your Klonopin creates a type of codependence upon them and you. It is best if you do not do this. Perhaps regulation through your sponsor, by calling him when you have taken your medication for the day, can help you stay honest about this.

The longer you are clean, the less you will struggle with this issue. I hope you plan to work the 12 step program as this opens up many spiritual and positive emotional avenues for you. After a while, you may not need any medication at all, and if you do if will get easier to regulate it.

Remember, recovery is a WE program not an I program. This is the accountability aspect and the help that comes from those who have been there. They can also help you make some decisions about what you need to do next to help yourself.

Let me know if you have other questions. Gina