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Unread 10-14-2012, 04:46 AM   #1
jasel
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I saw your message when I came here to post about whether Buprenorphine was helping me or killing me.

I've been taking Sub for several years now, but my worsening depression is coming more from the fact that my depression was helped for a long time from taking opioid medication. Sub helped relieve depression somewhat for a period of time, but has seemed to stopped working for that now.

When James Holmes massacred all those people in Colorado, I wondered who was capable of becoming a murderer fro a seemingly very intelligent grad student. In my reading, I discovered they have a name for my condition that was created in the seventies. I was diagnosed by one psychiatrist ( when psychiatry actually consisted of more then medication management ) with Anhedonia, and hadn't heard the term since until Colorado happened. What I have is called Dysthymia which is a term for depressive disorder lasting more than a few years. I have a severe case.

Suboxone seems to be a well kept secret, and rarely mentioned in the media. I often wonder why. I used to watch Celebrity Rehab, and the few times it was mentioned by addicts, they were immediately squelched.

But back to the issue. It seems that when I'm late for a dose, or I reduce what I'm taking to below about 2mgs, I feel pain and emotions that are unrelated to traditional withdrawal symptoms. I get chest pains and other pain and discomfort that feel like symptoms of more serious illness, and I wonder if Buprenorphine is serving to mask the signs of something I should be more worried about.

In the last year, my depression has worsened to the point that eating and sleeping have become almost nonexistent. For a time I rarely slept more than a few hours in a few day period, and in the past several months have lost over fifty pounds. I used to weigh over 200lbs, and now weigh less than 150. I've developed Diabetes, which neither lack of sleep or proper diet is good for.

I have no health insurance, and the only way I've been able to continue taking Sub has been by not having told my doctor when I reduced my dosage from 24mgs to below 4 for several months, and stockpiling the extra meds. Probably not wise, but it's the only way I've been able to survive for the last half year.

I've also lost all of the few friends I had, which I would partially blame on them, but have come to realize it is entirely my doing, and caused by my deteriorating attitude toward others. It can't be a coincidence that all this has happened since I started Buprenorphine treatment, and it scares the hell out of me. I've read a lot about people's efforts to taper off the meds, and have resigned myself to the belief that I will be on this med until I die, or am involuntarily committed to some institution. My house looks like a science experiment, and I can no longer walk through it and see the floor. The only thing keeping me alive is my pets, and the need to care for them. And the job I do at that is unworthy of their devotion to me.

If anyone has a solution to this deepening depression, and worsening health, I'd love to hear it. I'm beginning to lose hope, and don't know where to turn. I can only hope that hearing how bad my life has become will make others realize that theirs may not be that bad. Pretty pathetic, huh?
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Unread 10-14-2012, 04:57 AM   #2
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In seeing that you've only made one post, I should mention that this site has been one of very few helpful places I've been able to turn to in the past for support. Nancy, and some of the members here are truly wonderful people.
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Unread 10-14-2012, 09:07 AM   #3
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Hi jasel, I think it's finally time for you to get some professional help. Please, really think about it. You've been dealing with this worsening depression for so long and now it's reaching a critical point with your weight loss and lack of sleep and your diabetes. I don't think it's medication causing you depression, but like you said, it could be masking something because, first and foremost, bupe is a painkiller and those chest pains you have when you try to stop do not sound like regular WD symptoms.

Are you still smoking that weed or the fake weed? I know that's been a problem in the past for you where it exacerbated your lethargy.

This link has a list of low or no-cost clinics in the state on your profile.
http://www.needymeds.org/free_clinic...=list&state=pa

Please see if there is one near you and please seriously think about going. I don't know if there's anything you can do for yourself at this point except for that.

Or call 211 - the referral line available in most states. Hopefully it's available in your area. http://www.211.org/
They should be open today.

Please, jasel, I think it's time for professional help. I hate to hear that you're living like that.

Nancy
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Unread 10-14-2012, 12:59 PM   #4
jasel
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Part of the problem is I don't smoke pot or synthetic anymore. The synthetic was made illegal and is now harder to find than the real stuff. It did create a worsening problem when I was smoking it. And I no longer have any contacts to get the real stuff. When I did, at least it helped relieve some of my misery.

I also tried to get insurance and when I did, my private medical records became an open book to anyone offering insurance. Even my own doctor's office almost refused to see me because I applied for PA FairCare (PA's fillin in program till Obamacare is supposed to take effect in 2014). I had to fight with them to accept cash to see the doctor. And I had to see a doctor because I burned myself pretty good on my foot and with Diabetic Neuropathy was at risk of losing my foot from infection.

That only added to the list of preexisting conditions that keeps from getting any insurance that doesn't cost the arm and leg I want to keep.

The state of health care in this country sucks. I'm not poor, but refuse to get raped by Blue Cross (also the provider of PA FairCare, so it becomes a vicious circle) and pay half my savings for mediocre service.

I need psychiatric help, and have sought in the past, but no therapy I received in my many years has seemed to help. And I also refuse to commit myself to some institution so they can keep me from taking my own life if it ever comes to that. Despite the failure of the health care system to provide minimal insurance coverage, obtaining a gun took about ten minutes, and a carry permit about a half hour more.

I don't intend to kill myself. I wouldn't abandon my pets like that. But I still want to keep my options open.

Buprenorphine has turned me into a hypochondriac and every sign of pain an indicator of something potentially serious, although its more likely related to getting older or something I can't do anything about anyway.

I appreciate your concern, but I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that my quality of life will not get any better than it has been, and I ultimately suffer the heart attack or other result of my poor health or sedentary lifestyle. I wish I could say I have some hope, but that appears to be gone with most of my friends and family.

I checked the links you sent, but the only lead to a lot of Planned Parenthood clinics and United Way, which I don't need. I've resigned myself to the fact that life for me is going to always suck, and likely will until it ends.

Thank you for your concern, and all the help you've given me since I began Suboxone treatment. At least I have the knowledge that some people do care, even if they don't know me. I am truly grateful for that.

People should also know that I didn't post this to bring people down, but hopefully to help them from making the poor decision I did of trading one drug dependence for another. Buprenorphine may be helpful for some, but it is a life changing decision that should not be taken lightly.
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Unread 10-14-2012, 02:37 PM   #5
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Hi jasel, that 211 number isn't for the United Way, it a referral line run by them. Since the other link didn't have anything other than planned parenthood in your area, they may be able to refer you to psychiatric services nearby.

This is the state link to the Mental Health Services page:
http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/foradults...ices/index.htm
There is a phone number, please try calling that. 1-800-692-7462

if you think buprenorphine is causing your problems, then seriously think about tapering off of it really slowly. It might be a good thing to do just to see how you feel without it and where your pain levels are really at.

You're in a catch 22, you're wanting help, but your depression is holding you back from really looking for it. Can you find the energy or motivation to just make a few calls to see if you can find some help?

Please think about it, ok?

Nancy


-I'm going to move our posts to a new thread so we're taking over SubuserK's thread.
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Unread 10-14-2012, 03:59 PM   #6
jasel
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Thank you Nancy. If you do a search on Dysthymia or Double Depression, you see that it's something of an accomplishment that I've even survived this long. I'm over sixty now and have suffered from this disorder for most of my life, even in childhood.

In my teens I had an excellent psychiatrist who correctly identified the problem as Anhedonia ( the inability to experience joy ) and before the term Dysthymia even existed.

I hadn't heard the term Anhedonia since until I read about Holmes and the Colorado massacre. That's actually what led me to finding out about Dysthymia, and concern about my own sanity. It seems scary, but I don't really believe that any human can determine they they are assured of a life free of mental disorders.

That being said, I cannot imagine myself ever being capable of harming another human or animal. So if you're overly concerned about my condition, please don't be. Even when I tell you that I would end my own life if I even considered the possibility of hurting another. And my obligation to my birds will never allow that to occur. They have, and will continue to keep me alive, at least until a major heart attack or other physical infirmity kills me.

I must also add that if you feel any of my posts are inappropriate, I won't be insulted if you delete them, or remove this thread entirely.

I still can depend on the Internet and media for some relief from total isolation. Like just reading about Felix Baumgartner's epic skydive. Some people do truly amazing things in their lives, even if I feel I can't.

I have a follow up appointment next week for my burn, and will see if my doctor can refer me to someplace for treatment. Besides filing my taxes tomorrow, and addressing other legal and moral obligations, I can't promise I will do more than than that.

I again thank you for your concern, and providing me with the links and help you have given me now and in the past. I think without your efforts, far fewer people would have been able to find the relief they have from Buprenorphine treatment. For that, I will always be grateful.

Last edited by jasel; 10-14-2012 at 04:03 PM..
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Unread 10-14-2012, 07:51 PM   #7
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Hi jasel, the thought of you harming someone other than yourself never crossed my mind. I did read about Dysthymia here:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001916/
The bright spot in it is in the Treatment section where it says people with Dysthymia often benefit from talk therapy. CBT is one of the therapies mentioned. I think I've given you the link for the CBT site people have found helpful, but here it is just in case:
https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome/new/splash

It's encouraging to hear that you will talk with your doctor when you go next week. That's a big step forward, I'm glad you're going to ask.

By the way, I just saw Baumgartner's jump on the news. That's crazy going 800-something mph from 24 miles up!

I don't see any reason to delete these posts. Maybe someone who has dealt with Dysthymia will see them and have some input.

Please keep us posted when you can.

Nancy
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Unread 10-14-2012, 09:09 PM   #8
jasel
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Default Double Depression and Dysthymic Disorder

One of the problems with the link you provided is it deals primarily with Dysthymia, characterized by long lasting but milder forms of depression. Compounding the confusion are the DD acronyms for both Dysthymic Disorder and Double Depression. Digging deeper into the latter brought me to

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2276359/

It's somewhat harder for me to understand, but goes into the projected 10 year outcome from both, and doesn't appear so promising. Add to that the discussion of Cluster C Personality Disorders and the outcome from long term suffers seems pretty bleak.

If this hadn't been pervading my life for so long with relief rarely lasting more than a few months, just the knowledge that I suffer from it becomes downright depressing by itself.

When I read about James Holmes transition from a bright but socially inept grad student to an outright murderer, it was cause for concern to me. Although I don't believe my behavior has ever triggered any red flags from the many therapists I've seen in the past, it appears that few would have predicted the outcome of Holme's behavior before something triggered his heinous acts.

As a piece on 60 Minutes just referred to on PTSD, it's a 'slippery slope'.

I said before and will repeat, my birds, two of which I've had for more than a decade keep me alive. If I give up on them, I lose. And despite my afflictions, I'm not a person who likes to lose.

I've sought out CBT in the past but it has usually been met with the same response, "Go find it."

I'll let you know if anything comes of my next doctors appointment.
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Unread 10-22-2012, 01:13 PM   #9
jasel
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Health care in this country is a joke!

I saw the doctor this morning to follow up on my burn, and asked for a referral to a psychologist who does CBT.

The first answer was "They all do."

Then I was told getting therapy could be a problem due to my lack of health insurance. I questioned why, as most health insurance no longer covers mental health care, despite the fact that they use depression as a preexisting condition to deny insurance.

Well, where can I turn? Response - we use Dr Benjamin. As it happens, Benjamin was my first Sub doctor. I refer to him as Dr Kickback. He triple books appointments, has an office filled with drug company logo items, clocks, pens, notebooks, you name it. In addition to my Bupe scrip, he prescribed Wellbutrin XL. When I asked if I could get the generic SR, he told me the XL was better. Bt the XL is still covered under patent and much more expensive.

So that was a waste.

She asked if I was taking any other meds, and I told her Buprenorphine. "You didn't tell me that last time."

" Yes I did".

"You take Wellbutrin? Bupropion?"

"No Buprenorphine, and I did tell you last time because you responded the same way."

I told her what I took and she proceeded to type it in her computer. I asked her not to because my private medical records were an open book, and not at all private. She had to because it would be a crime if she didn't.

"Okay, I don't take it!""

So I left the office in tears, worse off then when I went in. I even had to ask for a bandage to cover my burn back up.

Now I'll probably get a visit from the police because I admitted to owning a handgun.

Will I use it on myself? No. I have three birds that I wouldn't do that to. Did she believe me? Probably not, and there's probably some other law that says if a depressed patient owns a weapon they have to report it to law enforcement.

Add to that that I cut down a tree this weekend and it landed on my house.

Just when you think things can't get worse, they do...
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Unread 10-22-2012, 10:17 PM   #10
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Hi jasel, yikes. First of all, sorry to hear about the tree on your house. I hope the damage isn't extensive and your birds are ok.

Can you call your local hospital to see if they have a doctor referral line? Obviously you're not getting any help from your doctor's office. How frustrating. Did they not even look at your burn?

I'm so sorry it was such a horrible visit.

Nancy
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Unread 10-23-2012, 04:43 AM   #11
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Thanks Nancy. I actually didn't think about what the birds must have thought when the house shook around them. They don't seem to have been overly traumatized by it, at least not as much as I was. It could have been a lot worse ( three good sized holes and a dead chainsaw ). I needed a new roof anyway, and there's a guy in the area that my neighbor trusts implicitly who is going to do the repairs and reroof the house. I'm not even going to bother getting other estimates, since this guy has done other stuff and always been fair ( like plowing my driveway when we got 2 feet of snow for $20, and my driveway is 200 feet through the woods with little place to put the snow ).

I'm pretty surprised and quite disappointed at the attitude of my doctor today. The burn center had refused to treat me because of the no insurance thing, and the doctor looked at the burn and said it might have to be debreeded (?) if it got worse. Then after her depressing responses to my request for a referral to a psychologist that left me in tears, she says "Okay, you can put your sock back on." And I had to ask her for a bandage like I was imposing on her for required treatment. Doesn't the Hippocratic oath begin with first do no harm. And doctor patient confidentiality has gone out the window. They seem happy to label me a diabetic when my blood glucose is barely over 100 most of the time and that's because I live on fruit juice and Ovaltine. If I eat right my blood sugar is normal. But they don't give a damn, and the way life is going, neither do I. I just hope whatever kills me does it quickly.

All I'd like to do is move to a state where I can get medical marijuana, an Internet connection, heat in the winter, air conditioning in the summer, Buprenorphine, and enough energy to take care of my birds. And Mitt Romney, Obamacare and my doctors can go to hell.
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Unread 10-23-2012, 09:37 AM   #12
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Hi jasel, glad to hear your birds weren't traumatized when the tree fell. I'm glad that you have someone nearby who is trustworthy and fair to do the work. $20 to plow your driveway was a real bargain! Hopefully he can get the roof done quickly.

Is it possible for you to find another doctor? Think about calling the hospital and seeing if they have a referral line.

Or maybe look into telepsychiatry to start?
http://www.telepsychiatry.com/
http://www.telepsychiatry.com/clinic...e=Pennsylvania

Nancy
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Unread 10-23-2012, 12:56 PM   #13
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Hi Nancy, and depressed Sub takers,

Those birds have literally saved my life. If I didn't have them I'd likely be long gone. One doesn't like coming out of his cage. One demands constant attention and likes pulling hairs out of my beard. And one is just sweet as can be, as long as nobody else is around.

Once I get insurance, I may look into another doctor. But this one isn't nearly as bad as the last, and what I really need is to get some blood work done. The physicians assistant is really quite nice, so I'll probably just ask to see him which should be fine with them. My sister is a pediatrician and says most doctors these days are lousy, with good ones few and far between. My previous doctor was even worse. More concerned about his car than his patients. He lasted all of three appointments before I realize he just didn't care. When I asked if I would have difficulty getting insurance if I was diagnosed with Diabetes, he told me without a job it would be nearly impossible, then diagnosed me with Diabetes, which I don't have (I have pre diabetes, which could be controlled if I watched what I ate). The only good doctor I had saw me for almost twenty years. He understood all my problems as he was a recovering opiate addict. But he retired and moved to Canada. I heard that he resumed his practice up there with a limited number of patients. He always spent as much time as necessary and sent me home with a handful of notes. You always had to wait a long time before he came in the room, but it was because he never rushed any of his patients. I wish he'd come back to the US.

I looked at the links you posted. There are two doctors in PA. One didn't fill in any info, and the other charged $250 for the first Skype session, and $150 after that. Medication management is $90, which probably lasts 10 minutes and probably is used to get drugs that wouldn't normally be prescribed. Why else would someone pay that much for an online session?

My Sub doctor in NY is a board certified psychiatrist, so I may call him when I'm up there. He charged $50 for med management and somewhat more for longer sessions. I may have to see about some anti psychotic meds. I took some once before, but didn't really give it a chance. I think it was called Lamictal. But then most doctors just said I was Bipolar (or unipolar, since I was never manic). And now I know more about Dysthymia.

My doctor and the psychiatrist (Dr Kickback) are both part of the local hospital network, so calling the hospital will just lead back to them. I'll keep trying when my mood permits. My sister said I can go down and stay with her, and she'll try and find some help, so that's always an option (once I get my roof fixed among other things).

Or if I'm lucky, I'll have a fatal heart attack while I'm sleeping. Sad but true...
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Unread 10-25-2012, 10:41 AM   #14
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Well, I just called the hospital where I see my Dr and started Bupe treatment. It is Dr Kickback's office, but he had a very nice therapist that I could talk,to comfortably. She still works there and I asked if I could see her. Now she was more of a student than a board certified psychologist.

Charge to see her, $400 (that would be $10 a minute, or a dollar every time I sneezed). This country is determined to keep people either broke or mentally ill.

I'm about ready to find some corrupt doctor who'll pass out any scrip I want for the cost of admission, or just go to the ER with some severe complaint about intractable pain and get a bucket of opiates, and at least feel better until I take enough to stop breathing.

Pardon my language, but **** YOU, American health care!

Any animal lovers out there interested in adopting three wonderful parrots?
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Unread 10-25-2012, 03:49 PM   #15
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And how is the rest of my day going?

The roofer was supposed to come by yesterday to patch a few holes in my roof until he could do the main work. Did he show up? No. And today it is raining, but I don't feel like having leaks in my house, or rodents crawling through the holes. So I climbed up on my roof and did the fix myself, despite being deathly afraid of heights.

Then I get a check I have to deposit, but was too large to do online so I drove to the bank. There I was told I have an eAccount, and I had to,do,all my transactions through the ATM. If I deposited the check with the teller, there would be an $8 charge. But despite the fact that it took twice as long to explain this, and I would have to drive home with a $15,000 endorsed check and come back, they wouldn't just deposit the damn check.

So to calm down, I thought I would drive over to a car dealer and look at new cars. There was one customer in the whole dealership, and a bunch of employees milling around. So I flipped through some brochures and watched a video presentation while waiting for one of the salespeople to help me. In more than 15 minutes, none did. Maybe I looked too Semitic to be in an Audi/Mercedes/Porsche dealer.

And that's just a few of the things that piss me off to no end.

Nobody seems to take any pride in their work, except people,who,do,the most menial jobs, and are happy to have them. And half our country thinks Mitt Romney would make a good president. Maybe for the holier than thou a'holes who don't give a damn about anything but them selves.

To top it all off I have been waiting for the DNA test on my bird, which should have taken a few days, not a month. Oh there not in yet, for the fourth time. Then I get a call from the vet. They were misfiled two weeks ago, but nobody bother to check.

I'm reaching the end of my rope...
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Unread 10-25-2012, 09:22 PM   #16
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jasel, you have the roof fixed, now would be a great time to take up the offer from your sister. Staying home, alone, is not doing you any good. Head to your sister's and allow her to give you some help and hope. It might bring a bit of relief to you. Please don't put it off.

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Unread 10-25-2012, 09:42 PM   #17
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If you read my post, the roof isn't fixed. I just climbed up and nailed some boards over a few holes so animal couldn't enter the house. There is a hurricane coming and a loose tarp is not likely to prevent much damage.

I also have some psychopathic lying tenants in a home I have in NY who I have to evict before they ruin my house.

Not to mention the van in repair that won't be ready for four to six weeks, and the motorcycle I've heard nothing about.

What kind of relief do i get by putting a thousand miles between myself and a shitload of problems. And put myself closer to the brunt of the storm and hours away from where I can do anything about my house other than hope it doesn't collapse.

Capital idea...
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Unread 10-25-2012, 10:00 PM   #18
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Well either I am a complete genius, or the people I deal with are absolute morons. I ask for,a brochure on sport wagons and get an inventory list of sedans. No info on wagons. That's after three attempts.

I called the vet again, because it should not take a month to get a gender test on a bird. Their not deciphering the entire genetic code. They've had the info for two weeks, but nobody took the trouble to look for it.

The business end of my357 Magnum is beginning to look might tasty.
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Unread 10-26-2012, 12:08 AM   #19
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The relief you might get is getting outside of yourself and allowing your sister to give some help. You certainly are not helping yourself so maybe changing scenery will be a good thing. It has to be awful to feel as badly as you do so I wish you would go where you could recover. You need assistance and your sister has offered it.

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