P S H and Addiction

I've spoken about addiction before.  It has a high comorbidity with mental illness because self-medicating is a way to stop the emotional pain that many addicts also suffer from.  I'm not sure what Philip Seymour Hoffman was suffering from aside from addiction.  No matter what the cause, any person who dies by their own hand, whether intentional or not, is still a tragedy.

Philip Seymour Hoffman was a very talented actor.  I know that he went to rehab for addiction when he was in his 20s.  He went to rehab last year for heroin.  Just because someone goes to rehab, doesn't mean that they are cured.  Recovery is another thing that has to be managed.  Whatever your drug of choice is, it's a daily struggle to stay clean.  One slip doesn't necessarily constitute a full blown relapse, but the drug is a bad coping mechanism. From my own experience with cutting, and I'm sure drugs are the same way, when it's a bad day or you're bored, you're always going to want it.

I have to agree with Russell Brand that it's so devastating to get that other call, the call the says the addict is dead.  One has to reach bottom before they ask for help and kick their habit.  Life has a way of changing and the allure of your own personal demon creeps back in, most times without the person even realizing it.  I think everyone is so shocked because Hoffman was not a tabloid train wreck like others, so it wasn't expected.

At the end of it, we have lost a very talented actor and a human being to addiction.  I feel for his family because addiction and mental illness affect the entire the family, not just the individual.  It's another person that addiction has claimed.  Remember Philip Seymour Hoffman as the actor he was, not as an addict or as another statistic.  Not everyone ends up the way that we like and we never know when our time is up.  We all end in death, but dancing with your own demon may hasten that end.  That doesn't mean his ability won't be missed or that his dying isn't any less sad because he died from an overdose.  It's reality and it will be another memorial and empty chair.  It breaks my heart.


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