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Thread: Substance abuse

  1. #1
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    Default Substance abuse

    My 19 yo son is an InFP. He has bi polar and self medicates so now he has substance abuse issues.

    Sometimes he is very reality based and other times he has his head in the clouds; not dealing with reality and seeing what he wants to see.

    Just wondering .. is that typical of InFPs, seeing what they want to? Or is that typical of any substance abuser no matter what type they are.

    Any suggestions on how to make someone see reality? Anyone in the mental health field and use knowledge of MBTI to treat patients?

    Wondering how I can reach him.

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    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie1962 View Post
    Sometimes he is very reality based and other times he has his head in the clouds; not dealing with reality and seeing what he wants to see.
    well, no offense intended but I think this describes almost everyone alive!

    I have a feeling that the substance abuse (and bipolar!) issues will make it hard to figure out his actual type. (I'm assuming you mean something more than he smokes pot every so often. )
    -end of thread-

  3. #3
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Bipolar disease is defined by ups and downs. The 'head in the clouds' phase that you mentioned may be him experiencing a manic or hypomanic episode. Also, people who suffer from this disease tend to self-medicate more than the average person, whch makes sense, considering the intensity of it.
    I wish I had something definitive to offer. Has he been disgnosed by a professional? That is the first step, if not already taken.

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    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what to say.. I had substance abuse issues as a teen - but quit in my late teens.. only to get diagnosed as a depressive then (not exactly bi-polar)..but i never self-medicated, since that phase of my life was over with. i can't say my head was in the clouds, but i did lack direction. i still do.. but not in the same unhealthy way. i just wanted to have fun and didn't care much for whatever wasn't fun. and... i basically still do this. my definition of fun now just isn't as bad. yet, some people still have a prob with my view of reality.

    what is it you would consider reality? what is it you want him to not avoid? just kinda confused there..

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    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie1962 View Post
    My 19 yo son is an InFP. He has bi polar and self medicates so now he has substance abuse issues.

    Sometimes he is very reality based and other times he has his head in the clouds; not dealing with reality and seeing what he wants to see.

    Just wondering .. is that typical of InFPs, seeing what they want to? Or is that typical of any substance abuser no matter what type they are.

    Any suggestions on how to make someone see reality? Anyone in the mental health field and use knowledge of MBTI to treat patients?

    Wondering how I can reach him.
    Julie. He has some serious issues to overcome. He self medicates primarily because of his bipolar. It becomes a cycle - a dog chasing its tail kind of syndrome. He medicates because (I'm assuming cocaine? It's very common among bipolar people because it mimics the natural "high" of a hypomanic or manic state). It also serves another purpose of avoiding the depressive phases of the illness. So his treatment would have to be two fold. One for the drug addiction (getting clean) then medicated for his bipolar (getting stable). It has nothing to do with type.

    Please feel free to PM me for any other questions. As it is well documented on this forum - I'm very open about it - I was diagnosed at 21 with bipolar. Hospitalized, medicated and now stabilized about 10 years now.

    The only thing type related IMO is how best to approach him with your concern or choosing the right counselor for him (a psychologist (counselor) in addition to psychiatrist (who only prescribes medication). Someone that he feels comfortable with. I am a firm believer that medication alone will not and cannot get him stabilized. One has to relearn how to function properly without his illness interfering. Essentially, you are relearning coping strategies and recognition of triggers. I would strongly advise once weekly/biweekly visits to a psychologist until fully stabilized.
    ~luck favors the ready~


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    Senior Member IndyGhost's Avatar
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    If he's an InFP, then I'd say he won't see reality in the same way you perceive it. I'm a bit curious as to what sort of world your son seems to be living in. How is he clouded & how does he perceive things?
    I've definitely been in the substance abuse category. I've done... almost everything... and for me it was less an escape, so much as it was the same as Kdude, being directionless and getting too caught up in the moment and never thinking of the future and the consequences. I started doing all of this when I was going through my own phase of up's and down's. I thought I was bipolar, and after a few years of being seemingly out of my mind, I finally had a moment of clarity, realizing my behavior and my emotions, and then sought out a counselor. She instead diagnosed me with depression. I still don't think it's quite accurate, however, time will tell.

    We're talking about personality type, a behavioral/mental issue as well as a dependency and how one perceives reality. There isn't enough information and details to give any actual advice, nor do I feel as though any of us here would be fit to do so. However, if you're keen on sharing, I am very interested in your son's story and would like to know more. Mostly, because I'd like to mull over it all, as I've always wondered about the connections between types, issues and ones reality.
    "I don't know a perfect person.
    I only know flawed people who are still worth loving."
    -John Green

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    [QUOTE=what is it you would consider reality? what is it you want him to not avoid? just kinda confused there..[/QUOTE]


    The reality is that if he doesn't stop using and selling drugs he will end up in jail as someones beeeeaaach. Or he will take so many depressive drugs and suppress his breathing and never wake up or choke on his vomit.

    He took personality test a few years back. He is an InFP. 54 25 50 45.

    He was diagnosed 7 years ago with bi polar and general anxiety so he has long history of mood swings and anxiety. He actually can control his mood swings with prescribed meds and music but he can't control his anxiety. He was recently diagnosed with Panic disorder and THAT is what he self medicates for. He used pot, and then got addicted to xanax, etc. Now he drinks, not everyday but when he does he blacks out.

    I need to go to alanon. Its just very hard to deal with. THanks everyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDP2525 View Post
    Julie. He has some serious issues to overcome. He self medicates primarily because of his bipolar. It becomes a cycle - a dog chasing its tail kind of syndrome. He medicates because (I'm assuming cocaine? It's very common among bipolar people because it mimics the natural "high" of a hypomanic or manic state). It also serves another purpose of avoiding the depressive phases of the illness. So his treatment would have to be two fold. One for the drug addiction (getting clean) then medicated for his bipolar (getting stable). It has nothing to do with type.

    Please feel free to PM me for any other questions. As it is well documented on this forum - I'm very open about it - I was diagnosed at 21 with bipolar. Hospitalized, medicated and now stabilized about 10 years now.

    The only thing type related IMO is how best to approach him with your concern or choosing the right counselor for him (a psychologist (counselor) in addition to psychiatrist (who only prescribes medication). Someone that he feels comfortable with. I am a firm believer that medication alone will not and cannot get him stabilized. One has to relearn how to function properly without his illness interfering. Essentially, you are relearning coping strategies and recognition of triggers. I would strongly advise once weekly/biweekly visits to a psychologist until fully stabilized.
    Thank you. Glad to hear you are stablized. My son has been going to therapy since 12. Medications, psychologists, group therapy you name it. When he started having fantasies about doing a "Columbine" in his school thats when the state stepped in and he was sent to a residential treatment center where he flourished for a year and a half. Then he got discharged came home and it's been downhill since. He learned all these coping skills there but after he got out and got into drugs he has regressed. He was kicked out of our home last winter because of his drug use and he became a danger to me and his young sisters. He lived with friend and his parents kicked him out this week. He is living in hotel, totally homeless. As I said he is agreeing to go to rehab to get a roof over his head. When he comes out if he stays sober he can live at an Easter Seals house for people with mental illness and sub. abuse issues. BUT, he has to stay sober.

    I'm hoping rehabs can knock some sense or reality into him. He thinks he can play the system to get free housing but he doesn't realize they can recognize those who sincerely want help and those who don't.

    Thanks so much.

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    oh, i thought you meant head in the clouds in some other fashion (like professionally). anyways, yeah, he's taken it beyond that. i'm sorry to hear of it. it sounds like he's already bottomed out - and in many cases, that's enough of a wake up call for people. hopefully it's the same for him. i've known people who've persisted though, and i never could give them the kind of advice that worked for me. it seems like it always comes down to self-medicating in the more difficult cases.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie1962 View Post
    Thank you. Glad to hear you are stablized. My son has been going to therapy since 12. Medications, psychologists, group therapy you name it. When he started having fantasies about doing a "Columbine" in his school thats when the state stepped in and he was sent to a residential treatment center where he flourished for a year and a half. Then he got discharged came home and it's been downhill since. He learned all these coping skills there but after he got out and got into drugs he has regressed. He was kicked out of our home last winter because of his drug use and he became a danger to me and his young sisters. He lived with friend and his parents kicked him out this week. He is living in hotel, totally homeless. As I said he is agreeing to go to rehab to get a roof over his head. When he comes out if he stays sober he can live at an Easter Seals house for people with mental illness and sub. abuse issues. BUT, he has to stay sober.

    I'm hoping rehabs can knock some sense or reality into him. He thinks he can play the system to get free housing but he doesn't realize they can recognize those who sincerely want help and those who don't.

    Thanks so much.
    I wasn't aware from your OP the history behind it. Good to know.

    Wow. That has got to be very hard on you. Judging from what you wrote above at least you can rest assured that you have done everything in your power to help and assist him the best way possible and it certainly sounds like you covered all your bases. It's often forgotten how much the relatives of bipolar individuals go through. They live through it too.

    Even with all that support and guidance he has to make a choice to want to get better or change. Like you said, his dire straits will hopefully be the rock bottom he needs to incite that desire. My prayers are with you.
    ~luck favors the ready~


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