As a mothers know life with children and pressures of schools, homework, work, relationships is complete and absolute mayhem; Couple this with postnatal depression, relationship issues, hormonal upheavals, social media and we have a perfect storm to kick off an full fledged addiction.
We all love our kids, but sometimes, just sometimes, we just need an escape.
Run and hide mommy run and hide, it certainly does not help that our esteemed medical professionals routinely prescribe harmful and addictive substances and that harmful and addictive substances are readily available and socially acceptable within those circles of soccer mums.
As psychological wellbeing of every mother is challenged to the limit daily, the refuge we seek is often found at the bottom of a glass or three of wine.
Add wine to antidepressants and we have a cocktail heading for neurological disaster.
Anti depressants are well, ANTI depressants, and well, Alcohol is well, a depressant! and a highly addictive depressant at that. Combine the two and the brain chemistry turns into warp speed to all fall down mode real quick.
Social media walls filed with friends drinking what would far exceed the perceived “norm” or what would be considered “alcoholic behaviour” by addiction industry professionals. It’s incredibly easy to be fooled into thinking that excessive drinking is the “norm” for moms, but it’s a real issue.
Women (generally, medically) have a lower resistance to alcohol. It’s a body weight, mass, muscle thing and does not apply in every individual case but the bottom line “in general” is that women are in a higher risk category, purely from a physiological trait standpoint.
Now that I have the feminists are champing at the bit, do some homework. Men are “generally” considered the higher risk alcoholics than their female counterparts but this has more to do with the general stupidity of western male culture of drinking than anything else.
But this said across the sexes around 10% of all individuals that drink or take drugs do so trapped in a model of dependancy. Dependant on a substance means that you cannot limit, or control their intake. Addicted individual routinely or ritually take substances as it becomes part of their identity and day to day life.
Most alcoholics / addicts walking around, dropping kids at school, dealing with day to day work pressures are considered “high functioning” addicts / alcoholics. In other words and by societies standards these individuals are “perfectly normal” by all appearances, but in actual fact qualify on the spectrum as addicts.
What is more concerning is that of the 10% of dependant adults only 10% of that number actually ever seek any form of addiction treatment.
Once you start to understand more about addiction you will begin to learn that as a disease addiction is “chronic, progressive and potentially fatal”. So sooner or later compulsive drinking and drug abuse habits land up with catastrophic outcomes not only to families of addicts but also to their mental / psychological / physical well being too.
In a conversation with Vaughan Pankhurst from Recovery Direct in South Africa.
“Young women, mothers are one of the highest risk and hardest to treat category of addict and alcoholic.”
“They prioritise their families over their own addictions without seeing that what they are doing could have even further reaching impacts on their families wellbeing”
“addictions carry on for years unchecked, resulting in divorces, broken homes and a vast array of social and economic issues.”
“By the time these women actually seek treatment their lives are completely out of control and what started off as pastime, has turned into an advanced stage addiction”
“They frequently suffer in silence and hide their addiction from their families for as long as they can maintain a semi normal life. The stigma of being classified as an alcoholic or an addict and a rolemodel to their children and spouses is literally unbearable”
“Anxiety medication and antidepressants combined with alcohol are some of the most common topics we treat in young moms for. Narcotics in the format of prescription or over the counter medication are also prevalent features in this segment.”
“My only advice is to seek help early, there is nothing to fear in going to see a psychologist or therapist that deals with addiction topics and asking them for assistance before this disease progresses and life becomes unmanageable.”
“Family therapy involves educating the entire family on the topic of addiction and working out meaningful and robust solutions that support young mothers into a lifestyle of recovery and rejuvenation as opposed to silent self destruction”
Recovery Direct operates a recovery programme in South Africa that deals with alcohol and drug addiction issues you can read more on their blog here.
So as a conclusion to this post, seek treatment before you get caught in this trap. There is so much more to life than being controlled by a substance. Addiction is not an issue it is a life threatening disease, that needs to be treated.
Good luck mommies.