Today's question is on where to get a healthy rush without violence, drugs or gambling.
Three years ago I had a very bad experience with LSD and ended up on meds. They make me feel pretty numb much of the time. One way I found myself compensating is gambling for high stakes and watching a lot of violent movies to feel more. I am realizing this is not a life but feel trapped by the meds and my limited options. I am almost tempted to blow off the meds before I go broke and go back to psychedelics for the rush, though I know that's not real. So what would you advise? Thanks. - Merrill.
Rita Milios: First of all Merrill, good for you for reaching out for help. Your letter indicates that you recognize, at least on some level, that “going back to psychedelics for the rush” is a bad idea, and essentially a dead end. Unfortunately, what you are experiencing is not uncommon - psychotropic meds can dull all feelings, not just the bad ones. But you are not trapped; there are options. Even though there may be no quick and easy way out, it is always worth the effort to work toward becoming whole and healed. Consider yourself lucky to have “dodged a bullet” with the LSD experience. You probably don’t want to take a chance on being lucky long-term… So focus on the wise, inner part of you that made the decision to seek help and listen to that voice more often.
The first thing you may want to do is to return to your doctor or psychiatrist and ask him/her to check your dosage. It is possible that it is too strong.
The other thing that you can do is to find a good therapist and address your issues through counseling. Meds often cannot do the job alone, and you don’t want to be dependent on meds long term. Working through your issues emotionally is a better way to address difficult or repressed feelings. Seeking out emotional intensity via gambling or violent movie viewing may just cause your feelings to become more repressed over time, as you habituate yourself to the intensity.
You may need to “try out” several different therapists in order to find one that you feel comfortable with and that you can really open up to. But it will be worth the effort. Finding emotional balance, inner peace and self-acceptance is possible. If you can refrain from high-intensity-seeking behavior long enough to give counseling a real chance, you can improve your life, not only in the immediate, short-term time frame, but long-term as well.
Your unfortunate experience could eventually prove to be a blessing, if it motivates you to address your emotional well-being in a serious and dedicated manner.
I will be sending positive vibes your way… please don’t waste them!
Rita Milios, LCSW, is a psychotherapist in private practice, author of more than 30 books, and frequent professional lecturer and on-camera expert. She also facilitates workshops and training for clinicians, therapists, writers, holistic practitioners, businesses and associations. She is known as "The Mind Mentor" because of her unique approach to “mind tools training.” RitaMilios.linktoexpert.com Full Bio.