Stimulants


A therapist friend of mine, in another state, shared this with me recently:

Friday I had to “admit” someone due to him being under the influence of meth and ecstacy. He hadn’t slept in 8 days and was instigating fights, one of which resulted in his shoulder being stomped by a guy in steel-toed boots who dislocated his shoulder. He was taken to the hospital and refused treatment. Returned (this is prison btw) and continued picking fights…

He begged me not to “admit’ him, promised he would go and lay down somewhere and when I told him I was going to based on his needs he threw his cup of coffee against my office wall and stormed out of my office saying “fuck y’all, you bitch!”

As much as he didn’t want to, it was for his own good and safety. He got some much needed rest, and detoxed.

I wrote a break-down of what happens when we use stimulants:

Anytime humans take stimulants (meth is one of THE most powerful stimulants- up there with crack), it can increase anxiety. If we have an increase in anxiety, we usually also have an increase in agitation or irritability. If we are too stimulated, that agitation can escalate into aggression and hostility.

It’s wild, because even too much caffeine in the morning can make people irritable before work. Or many of my client are prescribed Adderall, which is another stimulant, and can definitely increase anxiety and irritability. The other, perhaps lesser known stimulant that gets prescribed, is WellButrin or Bupropion. People don’t realize that a “side effect” of that drug can be rage and increased anxiety.

So then people ask, why prescribe these drugs? Well everyone’s body is different and some people calm down from stimulants and therefore have less anxiety. However, when we are talking about THE most powerful stimulants that exist, no one is “calming down”. In fact, the anxiety is so intense that it’s more like paranoia. Murders get plotted on this stuff guys. It’s scary.

The other factor likely contributing to this guy’s mood issue was his lack of sleep. ALL HUMANS have a HIGH potential to get (literally) psychotic without sleep. That’s a large contributor to post-partum psychosis- lack. of. sleep!

Our bodies tend to adjust to whatever we do to them, but that does not mean getting 4 hours of sleep is ever “good” for us. We need at least 8 hours of sleep a night; some people need more. During sleep our brains regenerate and replenish the neurochemicals. Without sleep none of that is happening, which in turn, leads to crappy or sometimes even dangerous moods.

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