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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Frustrated and in Love with an Ex-Addict

02/11/2010

Question:

Im in love with a 50 yr old woman who abused cocaine & smoked crack cocaine most of her adult life.She has been in AA recovery for 3 years.She has also been going thru bad PMS or PMDD and now menopausing or a combination of this.She has also had traumatic experiences due to the drug abuse.She has also informed me that her mother had severe menopause also.She is a wonderful woman when she is not hormonaly imbalanced which seems to be occuring more frequently.She seems at times to be triggered into this from becoming upset or unhappy about about situations that arise in her life.She becomes very hateful and angry and closes her self off from me for a week or more every single month.She drinks coffee and eats sweets every day which I know amplifies this state of mind.She is scheduled to have surgery to remove her ovaries and uterus in Dec. 2009.I know the hormone imbalance is a part of this,how much of her past drug addiction plays into this? Will the surgery ease the anger and hate she exibits or is this attributed from the drug abuse also.I also believe she needs more than AA to help her cope with this. Thank You

Answer:

From your description, it sounds as though there are many things going on: 1. hormone imbalance associated with menopause, 2. history of addiction, now in recovery x 3 years 3. History of trauma.

As to your questions, How much of her past addiction plays into this? It probably plays a significant part, but the history of trauma may play a significant part as well.

Your second question, Will the surgery ease the anger and hate? I am not sure. I do not know if she will have hormone replacement after surgery or not.

I agree with you in that it sounds like she may need help from a mental health counselor or a psychiatrist if she is dealing with untreated depression or untreated post-traumatic stress disorder, both of which can manifest as anger, irritability, and unhappiness.

I also agree that AA is quite helpful, but it may not be enough. 

For more information:

Go to the Addiction and Substance Abuse health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Christina M Delos Reyes, MD Christina M Delos Reyes, MD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University