The Hidden Struggle: Autism, Self-Medication, and Addiction

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The best thing is to avoid getting trapped in bad habits. The next best thing is to get rid of your bad habits.

In the depths of my being lies a susceptibility to addiction. I easily fall into the trap of creating routines, following them diligently, whether it’s the comforting routine of a glass of wine with dinner or the repetitive pattern of gambling on horse racing. But amidst this struggle, I’ve found a glimmer of hope, a pathway to freedom entwined with my autism.

The key to combating my addictions lies in breaking free from these routines, seeking new paths. While quitting alcohol initially seemed daunting, dismantling the habit of purchasing beer for every meal was surprisingly swift. Yet, even as I reflect on my progress, I find myself subconsciously opting for non-alcoholic beer, a testament to the lingering grip of past indulgences.

Sadly, not everyone finds it as easy to leave behind their vices. Through my amateur-psychologist lens, honed by observing loved ones and my own journey through psychiatric evaluations, I’ve discerned commonalities among those grappling with addiction. While not all addicts may be trolls, I often detect autistic traits or other disorders among them.

People with autism often find social situations hard. Some use alcohol or THC to help. I used to do this too, to fit in. But now, I’m living without those substances, even if I make mistakes.

Navigating social situations can be particularly challenging for individuals with autism, leading many to self-medicate with substances like alcohol or THC. In my experience, the blurred lines between intoxication and social acceptance served as a crutch for years. However, today, I stumble sober, my mistakes laid bare without the veil of inebriation.

Addiction isn’t just about alcohol and drugs. I often find myself drawn to gambling, from scratch-off tickets to blackjack. Many trolls try to deal with their problems by using things like THC or alcohol. I’m not in favor of freely allowing drugs, but I understand that addiction usually comes from bigger problems that these substances help to cover up for a while.

For those grappling with loved ones’ addiction, empathy and understanding are crucial. Providing a supportive environment, encouraging healthy coping mechanisms, and offering information on treatment options can make a world of difference. Remember, addiction is a disease, requiring both assistance and respect for the individual’s autonomy.

In conclusion, while autism may contribute to addiction vulnerabilities, it also fosters resilience and unique perspectives on recovery. Through awareness, empathy, and support, we can navigate the labyrinth of addiction, emerging stronger and wiser.


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