Down The Rabbit Hole: My Journey with Anxiety, Alcohol and Benzodiazepine Use by Anon

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

In this blog, I want to share my experience using various drugs, namely alcohol and different prescription medications, throughout my academic career. I also want to acknowledge that people use drugs—both legal and illegal—for many different reasons, often at the same time. Sometimes they just want to enjoy themselves. Sometimes they want to relax. Sometimes they do those around them are engaging in drug use. And sometimes, drugs are used as a coping mechanism in the context of mental illness, which is my experience. Looking back, I believe that my substance use was appropriate during some periods, and clearly problematic during others. I believe that problematic substance use is a hidden and largely taboo topic in academia, and that we need to acknowledge that it exists.

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Depression and Anxiety: My Abusive Love Affair with Alcohol by Daniel Lester

I guess I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember but without knowing it. From my teenage years onwards I would have episodes where I’d become irrational and reserved. I’d quit eating or sleeping for days and hide from those closest to me. I’d become frustrated by others unreasonably and would regularly self-harm. I didn’t really understand what was happening until many years later when I finished my PhD; I found a job that didn’t turn out well, and hit a wall. Since then I have been more mindful of my episodes of depression and the crippling anxiety that I regularly get when things outside of my control happen in the world.

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