Barbiturate addiction is something that has been prevalent thoughout history. It has not been until the last hundred years or so that mental illness was really discovered. In past times mental illness was thought to be the work of the devil or witch craft. Vampirism and shape shifting was another thought instead of the psychosis diagnosis that we get today. Though it was still a long time ago, barbiturate like substances were believed to be used to calm a person down during their psychotic rages.
Barbiturates of today have the same effect but they are a lot stronger than anything our ancestors would have had at their local apothecary or healer. Today there are several different types of barbiturates out there but not all of them are legal anymore. Though all act at a different speed or strength, they all serve the same purpose or treatment. The barbiturate class includes short acting and long acting sedatives. They are commonly used to treat insomnia, anxiety, seizure disorders and also as a mild sedative to take before a medical or dental procedure. It is also well known that due to the sedation and euphoric traits of these drugs that they are also abused. These can range from Xanax and Valium all the way up to Propofol.
We are also discovering that there is an underlining cause for barbiturate addiction,that cause being a mental illness. The most documented diagnosis for this is bipolar disorder. Many people these days are being treated like bums when they have a very serious medical condition. Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that is characterized by episodes of mania and depression. When people start showing symptoms of this disorder, their first step is to self-medicate. This helps the patient feel more balanced and like they are able to handle the real world.
It seems to be these days the well-known abusers are famous people. Too often, we are seeing people in the media being taken down in their prime by trying to reach a level of calm that is no longer in their grasp. Knowing what we know now about bipolar disorder, and other kinds of mental illness, we are able to see the struggles of these people. Actors and singer/songwriters seem to be the ones most plagued by this. It is thought that actors get too far into a character and cannot seem to get themselves out. Heath Ledger, who was found to be bipolar, overdosed on four different kinds of anti-anxiety pills after completing his role for the Joker. On the other hand, Cory Monteith from the Fox show Glee, had a happy role. He was found to have overdosed on heroin and alcohol at the age of 31. Cory’s addiction was a long running problem for his family since the age of twelve. At the time, bipolar disorder was not only just not well known but also a stigma and the proper help was never received.
When talking of mental illness and barbiturate addiction one cannot help but think of “The King of Pop” himself, Michael Jackson. One just had to know the entire history of the Jackson family to know that Michael Jackson did not have a chance at getting help so he sought out the doctors that would give him what he needed to chill out, but it also ended up killing him in the end.
Barbiturate addiction or mental illness are not things to make light of. If you or someone you know suffers from a drug addiction, please seek professional help. You have a chance at a normal life now and there are so many resources to help.