From the September 1981 magazine.

Pill-consciousness

An AA member-psychiatrist looks at the uses of medication

I WAS IN AA three years before I would admit to anyone that I was a psychiatrist, and I was in AA five years before I would take an aspirin. Through my active-alcoholism years, I had been hospitalized eight times and had been seen by thirteen psychiatrists. I had been given shock treatment, which I liked because of the intravenous Pentothal, and also a variety of medications. At the time I got sober, twelve years ago, I was wearing borrowed clothes, and my wife was spending borrowed money for food. All along the way, no psychiatrist had ever suggested to me that I was an alcoholic.

I had gone from being a successful psychiatrist, a member of the faculty of a large university, and the director of two mental health clinics to being jobless, without my health, and without my family. That enormous personal loss came about with the helping hands of psychiatrists, one of whom suggested to my wife that we sell our house in order to pay his bill a year in advance. When I finally received hope, love, guidance, direction, and restored health as results of joining AA, I transferred all my allegiance to the Fellowship. I was ashamed of being a psychiatrist.

-- R. S.

Summit, New Jersey

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