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India posted a topic in Introductions and updates"I've come to the unfortunate conclusion that I am in a state a protracted SSRI withdrawal. One of Alto's articles describes me perfectly in terms of a completely dysfunctional nervous system and paradoxical responses to most meds and even some supplements. The exaggerated alerting only allows me to sleep 3-4 hrs a night and my startle reflex is out of control (a bird chirping will send shivers down my spine). The most terrifying and unnerving symptom to me is derealization. It's as if I am in a dream 24/7. It breaks my heart not being able to truly connect with my wife, kids, family, and friends. The derealization has created a secondary self-sustaining anxiety/panic loop which compounds my other withdrawal symptoms. I feel trapped because no medicine seems to help (except for benzos which scare me) and I literally feel like I am dead waiting this out in hopes that I heal. " quoted from another member I could ever be a mother ( since there is no long term evidence on risk to unborn child). This seems laughable now. I live in complete dissociation and I'm unable to function. My depression is so bad I have hardly been able to leave my bed (psychomotor retardation). One psychiatrist said it was a relapse. But it is a different kind of despair.my nerves grated on - and a feeling that I cannot even describe. I only once tried to come off my meds, 2 years ago, my high-functioning partner said I should do without them. I couldn't function and felt constant emotional pain/sadness so went back on. I know it is hard to exctricate what is withdrawal and what is not. I went on them, off the back of mirtazipine and a depressive relapse ( from a traumtic indcident). I was still getting depressed on citalopram. This feels like a very different type of feeling. I feel pretty frightened that there is so little evidence about their long-term use. I have come off ssri's 3 times-- once at 17, once at 22 ( after 3 years) and do not remember symptoms like these. I feel, at 34, if I don't get off them now I never will but how long will this hell go on for? It's such a trap. It makes me think of the documentary of the same name, "The Trap" by Adam Curtis. He talks about antidepressants in it. Different family members of different generations have always been sceptical of the medical profession and especially drugs/pharmaceuticals. I think they had wisely, seen drugs introduced and then eventually recalled from the market and the medical professions role in this. I feel like I willingly went along with being a 20th century guinea pig. It always plagued the back of my mind that the drugs had been on the market for so little time, no-one really knew the long-term implications/behaviours of the drugs. We have no controls, I will never know what I would have been like living through my mid twenties to mid thirties without these drugs. I don't know if this nervous breakdown is due to the "truth" of my emotions repressed under the drugs or if this is withdrawal. It's scary to know that it may become protracted. I can't live like this- it's hell. I can't read up enough on pharmapsychology because I am so dissociated. I have been told that ssri's don't involve structural changes but like Joanna Moncrieff states, "we just don't know". Any help/ideas/comments??????????
Interesting article written by Deborah Orr on her first introduction to Citalopram. She appears to have a possible adverse reaction to her initial dose of Citalopram. Refuted by many in the comments box who have had positive experiences with ssri's and who have really bought into the pervasive pharma position . Of interest, is the ensuing dialogue it prompts, in a discussion in the comments, by a poster claiming to be a doctor, calling himself "scubadoc'. Scubadoc is interesting, he seems to oscillate his position. I got as far as his comments in relation to 'SubjectiveSubject's experience of withdrawal, in which he appears discounts and questions the validity of the poster's experience based on his mental health. This appears at the end of some of the comments I've cut and pasted. These are edited from the comment boards, so reading them gives you more context. Still, I find it fascinating to observe the way it plays out as a sort of mirroring of what many experience playing out in their own visits to GPs and psychiatrists. ARTICLE https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/08/antidepressant-effects-psychotherapy-mental-health-crisis-nhs COMMENTS FROM THE ARTICLE scubadoc BraceYourself 8 Jul 2017 10:28 8081 It's all a bit strange: I, for instance, prescribe some antidepressants as pain-killers and actually talk to my patients about them. We have written a leaflet that adds to the package insert. We see quote a lot of PTSD, and anxiety is a common feature. Dissociation is a feature of the illness, rather than of the medication, but one well-known feature of treatment is a temporary increase in some features of the illness. There is the risk of suicide, particularly in young people, for instance. It's important and it's brave to discuss mental health, but it's also important to get the medicine right, or it risks degenerating into simple scare-mongering... streetphotobeing 8 Jul 2017 9:28 89 Listen to this Deborah Orr : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrMPr78UpQI Then study prolonged QT interval re Citalopram, you will notice it's dose dependent, well there is no such thing as dose dependent in the context that we all have different Cytochrome P450 liver enzyme systems. You will only ascertain what the phenotype of your liver enzyme system is if you have a pharmacogenetics tes,t good luck with finding one in the UK. Also if you happen to consume one of the common food stuffs/herbs/spices that block/inhibit CYP450, you can expect to go into Akathisia, trust me, you WILL know the meaning of hell if that happens to you. Share Facebook Twitter Report PolleeD streetphotobeing 8 Jul 2017 9:46 1213 I had a cardiac reaction (short pauses, bradycardia) when I stopped taking Escitalopram (same drug essentially). I was withdrawn far too quickly (over 2 weeks after 4 yrs use). The withdrawal upset my autonomic nervous system which controls heartbeat. I ended up with a pacemaker as my ANS/ pulse would not settle back into a normal rhythm. Since then it's been determined that my sinus node doesn't work properly any more. Was this long term use of the drug at a dose of 10mg or a withdrawal reaction which was treated with a pacemaker and misunderstood? More research is needed into the cardiac effects of these drugs. Share Facebook Twitter Report streetphotobeing PolleeD 8 Jul 2017 10:24 01 Did you make a serious compliant or sue ? Share Facebook Twitter Report scubadoc streetphotobeing 8 Jul 2017 11:08 1819 Listen to this, streetphotobeing: a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, particularly if you don't understand it. Yes, cytochrome expression is polymorphic. Yes, drug metabolism is affected by the cytochromes that you happen to have. Yes, a small number of people are more sensitive to adverse effects. The answer? Stop the pill that's the problem! Simples... ... yes, I do warn my patients about problems and, yes, I do start medicines at low doses. doses. Share Facebook Twitter Report Loading… scubadoc PolleeD 8 Jul 2017 11:10 78 The drug triggered the problem, but the problem was your heart: otherwise, the abnormal rhythm would not have persisted. Share Facebook Twitter Report scubadoc streetphotobeing 8 Jul 2017 11:14 67 I'd ask an expert, streetphotobeing, before engaging in litigation. Yes, we recommend reducing the dose of SSRIs over two months after long-term use, but the likelihood of a pre-existing heart problem would be like catnip to a lawyer... Share Facebook Twitter Report streetphotobeing scubadoc 8 Jul 2017 12:20 45 ah yes, I remember you, the doctor who didn't know that akathisia is not just a movement disorder. vivify 8 Jul 2017 9:29 3536 I think there will be many many comments here with similar poor experiences. I am British but live in Austria. The reality is that most countries' mental health systems are in the same poor shape. After suffering from a few years of crippling depression that had become dangerously total I just walked in, totally broken, to the first point of help, a GP. Five minutes later I had walked out with a prescription. The sertraline gave me panic attacks and mania, feelings I had never experienced. The trazadone gave me crippling anxiety and left me with permanent cognitive loss that I'm still dealing with two years later. These drugs are so hit and miss, so random, yet are handed out without any thoughts, warnings, considerations. For some they may save lives, for for others they wreck them, or finish off an already destroyed one. That the first line of defence is not psychotherapy but medication speaks volumes of a part of the health service that needs massive funding increases to move forwards, to re-assess completely how things are done and abandon this insane model we have, and that no politician or the electorate has really cared about mental health provision, ever. Although, maybe, slowly that is changing now. Too slowly. Share Facebook Twitter Report scubadoc vivify 8 Jul 2017 11:18 3839 If you have severe depression, biological treatment works faster than talking therapies. A proper health service would offer both... ... but we don't treat mental health like a "real" illness antineoliberal 8 Jul 2017 9:34 45 Awful drugs till your system accepts them , get off them isn't pleasant either . And as for Tramodol , that drug is highly addictive and prescribed like they are handing out sweets . Lot more could be done with some of these prescribed drugs , awful side affects . Share Facebook Twitter Report scubadoc antineoliberal 8 Jul 2017 11:22 1617 Tramadol is moderately addictive, often unpleasant, and over-prescribed. It is also, sometimes, the difference between despairing disability and a normal life. Medicine is like that: tricky... mediaboy Pandamonium1 8 Jul 2017 9:48 3536 Another misinformed post. Leave it out if you know bugger all. You may as well be saying peanuts are harmless. I'm not saying people are allergic to SSRIs but messing with Serotonin has profound effects on some people or we wouldn't be reading this article. Have some common sense. If you take a pill that alters your SSRI balance, it begins straight away however small. If someone is at a tipping point it doesn't take much to have a dramatic effect on your state of mind. I know from experience, so don't spread false information. I know from experience, so don't spread false information. Share Facebook Twitter Report Pandamonium1 mediaboy 8 Jul 2017 9:54 1920 I also know from experience of being on it for 2 years so don't spout rubbish. Share Facebook Twitter Report mediaboy Pandamonium1 8 Jul 2017 10:02 3233 Ok. But that doesn't mean everyone reacts the same. You find it works and I'm glad. Don't say it can't do things in this article. You may well not have the effects described by the author, or by other posters, but everyone is different. Don't discount other peoples' experiences just because they don't reflect your own. Share Facebook Twitter Report scubadoc mediaboy 8 Jul 2017 11:23 1011 Another misinformed post... ... ad nauseam. Share Facebook Twitter Report scubadoc ID0570124 8 Jul 2017 11:25 1112 mediaboy implies the drugs are bad. It's not true: the drugs are bad for some people. That's a very different thing... ... as reflected in the comments. PlanetGeli 8 Jul 2017 9:40 12 One mistake you're making is assuming a GP will even know, in any useful way, about the effects a drug will have (have they taken it themselves? of course not, so how could they really know). Another mistake is thinking the GP thinks you are worth consulting about any of this. They often simply play God with our lives. (disclaimer; some GPs are obviously brilliant yada yada, still doesn't mean they aren't affected by the zeitgeist, or even the latest salesman, when prescribing). Different drugs do different things to different people but I've heard many a nightmare from Citalopram. And if you think that's bad wait until your GP decides they'll try you on Mirtazapine. And by the time you're some way down the line you'll think that popping pills is a hell of a lot of it, as opposed to there being "very, very much more to it" as your addiction replaces your mental health as your major nightmare. SSRIs? Just say no. Or even just say know. Don't get me started on Seroxat. Don't get yourself started on any of them. Share Facebook Twitter Report floripakid1 PlanetGeli 8 Jul 2017 10:03 1314 nnn Silly, ignorant comment on many levels. 1. So, don't take any medication that your GP hasn't tried first? 2. GPs often spend as much time as they can on a consultation, but they are limited by the NHS appointment system, plus they are general practioners, not specialists. 3. Many GPS resist the "incentives" to prescribe certain meds (many do not) and genuinely try to give the patient what they think will actually help the patient. 4. "Just say no". Who tf are you to assume you know about others' mental issues and whether mediction would be of benefit? One thing you are obviously not is a doctor! Share Facebook Twitter Report scubadoc PlanetGeli 8 Jul 2017 11:50 1213 Doctors are especially trained never to read anything, never to think and never to talk to patients about their experiences. We don't study pharmacology and physiology and we have never, ever discovered that drugs have side effects. We do not understand, and this we appear to have in common with our patients, that all treatment is a balance between good and bad... ... I never, ever warn my patients. I never, ever start at a low dose. I never, ever, give advice about when to give up on a drug, and how to stop it. Perhaps it is because I'm not a GP? Or I'm a sarcastic SOB? Share Facebook Twitter Report OutOfOptions scubadoc 8 Jul 2017 12:27 1011 I'm feeling excruciatingly irritated by some of the comments here and I'm just a person on SSRIs. I can't imagine how much worse it must be for you!!!!! Share Facebook Twitter Report Show 2 more replies PolleeD 8 Jul 2017 9:40 56 This drug produces feelings of intensified worry/anxiety when it is first taken. I found that on a 10mg dose - the starting dose - I felt much worse initially. Those feelings of numbness and being unable to access your feelings will eventually return because that is what the drug does - it numbs you. It won't help you heal, and all of those feelings you couldn't access in therapy will likely come back when you eventually come off it. Problem is, unless you receive helpful tapering advice - which isn't currently available via the NHS - you will struggle with even stronger emotions when you come off which mimic your original symptoms but which are actually your mind reacting to the withdrawal of the drug. For many people this looks like their original symptoms have worsened and they get put back on the drug again. It is this cycle of what is essentially chemical dependency which keeps people in services and which persuades them that they are either more "mentally ill" than before or destined to suffer long term. The issue of chemical dependency and repeat prescribing needs to be addressed ! Share Facebook Twitter Report FleurBaladine PolleeD 8 Jul 2017 10:11 12 Check the half-life of the drug. Some you can come off quite quickly. Share Facebook Twitter Report scubadoc PolleeD 8 Jul 2017 11:53 56 I suggest looking at SSRIs on "NHS Choices" before saying what the NHS doesn't offer... KEY COMMENTS: ID2411130 amymcm 8 Jul 2017 10:14 45 I have to disagree strongly with this and other statements that one or two tablets of an SSRI can't have that effect. My life was almost completely destroyed by two doses of citalopram 9 years ago. The first dose left me, within hours with intense akasthesia that didn't go away for about two years. The GP said 'side effects were normal' in the early weeks and urged me to continue, so I took another. I then spent the entire night awake in hell begging my husband to never let me take another no matter what. I never took another one, but it took me years to recover. I couldn't sit down to eat or watch TV for a very long time as I was so agitated. It was like prolonged torture and the worst years of my life. It sparked off years of severe anxiety and agoraphobia. The irony was that I wasn't even depressed. I felt really ill with some minor psychiatric manifestations alongside many physical symptoms. Rather than investigate what was actually wrong with me the GP saw late 30,s housewife and thought I needed antidepressants, despite me saying I was not the least bit depressed. The years after the citalopram where the darkest of my life, and o am still now only getting to the bottom of my health issues and understanding what went wrong. It turns out I had Lyme disease with co infections, and we now know I also have a rare disorder- mast cell activation disease- which may have caused the severe reaction. The internet is full of support groups for people who had severe adverse life changing events from this and other antidepressants. Share Facebook Twitter Report scubadoc ID2411130 8 Jul 2017 12:05 78 The internet is also full of people who think that Donald Trump is the Hand of God... ... it doesn't make it true. Antidepressants are both life-saving and horrible. Depression comes in many shapes and sizes: there is evidently a fear of admitting to depression. There is also a real confusion, related to the way in which some symptoms of depression are initially exaggerated by treatment with antidepressants, between the illness and the medication No-one should be afraid of reporting depression; no-one should be afraid if it's diagnosed. Drugs should be respected, but not feared: other treatments should be much more widely a available. Depression without drugs is the horror of Bedlam that we do not want back... may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs. DAW188 8 Jul 2017 9:54 1112 I too have been diagnosed with PTSD which in the past has led to periods of prolonged anxiety symptoms (to the point I couldn't even open the curtains in my home for fear of something intangible awful thing befalling me) which in turn caused severe depression. Twice I have been give SSRI's to 'help' by my doctor. Citalopram the first time, Sertaline the second time. All I would say to anyone who is taking these drugs is to be very very careful! I have never normally been suicidal, even at my most ill (just doesn't seem to be in my nature) but two of my paternal uncles and my Father all killed themselves before the age of 40. I was asked about this by both the GP's who prescribed me drugs and they still went ahead with the prescription. By the end of a four week course on Citalopram, I couldn't even get out of bed, which frankly even when I was at my most ill was not like me. So I stopped and recovered and was fine for around 7 years. Then I had a severe relapse and got to the doctor (new GP as old one had left the surgery) again and explained the problems I had had with Citalopram and so was given Sertaline instead. Well by the end of a four week course of that I was suicidal, for the first time in my life. In the end the police turned up as I had been reported as a missing person by my employer and I was very close to being carted off and sectioned. So again I stopped taking the medication. Within days I was no longer wanting to die and had begun to recover just the tiniest part of myself. When I finally got dragged to my GP (by my boss no less as she was so concerned about the state of me) I explained what had happened and also what happened previously with Citalopram and got the response "It can't of been the medication, it must have been a decline in your mental health that would have happened anyway, the SSRI probably stopped it from being worse" which is exactly what every mental health paitent wants to hear 'it's all in your head'. Hasten to say I swapped GP's at the same surgery, when I explained my family history to the new GP she recoiled in horror at what the previous GP's had put me on. She explained that for anywhere between 1-10 and 1-100 patients (apparently research is still undecided as to exactly what the number is) SSRI have almost a polar opposite effect to the one they are designed to have, leading to increased symptoms of anxiousness, depression and suicidal thought. One of the warning signs is a strong family history of suicide. I've learnt over the years how to manage my condition. Talking therapy, a good well rounded diet and exercise, meditation and being as open and honest with the people I trust about what is really going on inside my head. They've learnt the warning signs and so have I and it means now if I start to fall off a cliff, I or someone else can grab my hand and intervene to save me. I'm not saying medication doesn't work, it does, some people find it helps them in no end of ways to get that boost to overcome the obstacles that mental illness lay in their path. But I would recommend have a proper in-depth discussion with your GP before taking them (some GP's seem very quick to go 'let me write you a prescription' the moment you explain your symptoms). Also make sure someone you trust and who knows you well is aware of what you are taking and checks on you regularly (daily at least I would say) to make sure they don't see you declining. Often a friend, family member or colleague can pick up something isn't working before you can. Share Facebook Twitter Report BraceYourself DAW188 8 Jul 2017 10:05 78 I'm sorry but it can't have been the medication. Citalopram is not known anywhere to create issues like you had. I suggest other things were at play Thanks - take good care of old sport - a fellow traveller!!? Share Facebook Twitter Report DAW188 BraceYourself 8 Jul 2017 10:26 56 Citalopram actually now carries warning labels about its possible risk of increasing suicide rates (as do other SSRI's) and having now volunteered for several mental health charities over the years I have found my experience is far from a one off. As I said it does help plenty of others though. However I notice you seem very defensive about SSRI use (particularly citalopram) not a drugs rep by any chance? Share Facebook Twitter Report Loading… BraceYourself DAW188 8 Jul 2017 10:33 23 Paracetamol carries a label now. No not a drugs rep and hate the stronger anti depressants, they are soul sucking. There are many people who are a bit more up and down than others, more and more as the years go on. There is a valid place for this mild mood stabiliser. I'm defensive on something I've taken for 20 years and the over reaction and exaggeration contained within Share Facebook Twitter Report AonOlc DAW188 8 Jul 2017 10:37 12 Very sensible advice. Share Facebook Twitter Report mediaboy BraceYourself 8 Jul 2017 10:53 45 Thanks doctor, for your utter cluelessness. Share Facebook Twitter Report scubadoc mediaboy 8 Jul 2017 12:28 23 We are trained in cluelessness... ... although if Brace is a doctor, I'm Charley's Aunt... Report SubjectiveSubject 8 Jul 2017 10:01 12 After Grenfell, I had the symptoms of PTSD. The correct treatment for this is psychology and drug-free cognitive behavioral therapy but, psychiatrists will deceive people and give them addictive and dangerous drugs. Never trust a psychiatrist, unless they tell the truth about medications. scubadoc Wiltsbloke 8 Jul 2017 12:35 56 OK: but it is likely true that PTSD can be triggered by a perceived threat as well as by a real one, so objectively minor trauma can actually generate the syndrome. placebo effect. Share Facebook Twitter Report cassandrasshrink 8 Jul 2017 10:06 23 Dear lovely Deborah. If you're not already working with a sensorimotor therapist and doing some EMDR work it really really helps. Not a quick fix but the safest thing you'll find. Take care, be well. Share scubadoc cassandrasshrink 8 Jul 2017 12:39 45 Good grief! That took a long time to appear, despite being one of the major therapies: there seems to have been little mention of the importance of combining drugs with other treatments. My practice includes a lot of reactive depression and we rarely use antidepressants for it: GPs seem to use them a lot. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs. SubjectiveSubject 8 Jul 2017 10:11 12 Akathisia from poisoning and/or withdrawal is horrible and dangerous and often causes suicidal ideation and high risk of suicide. The fact is many people do not have the chemistry to handle these toxic drugs and here in the UK, they bypass the testing to see whether it is safe to give patients medications. Share Facebook Twitter Report scubadoc SubjectiveSubject 8 Jul 2017 12:53 45 I don"t mean to be nasty, but I'm worried about you: you seem agitated and unwell. I know that you are worried about medication, but could you contact local help, like Healthy Minds or the equivalent, of you can"t face your GP? If you were involved in Grenfell, then there has been more than enough stress to go around. You can refuse drugs, it's your body and your mind, but things sound very difficult for you. A discussion about the comtroversial subject of drugs in mental health isn"t a good place to get advice, as you are getting extremes of opinion and garbled evidence, even "fake news". Share Facebook Twitter Report SubjectiveSubject scubadoc 8 Jul 2017 12:57 12 My experience of Grenfell is being treated by professional therapy that has worked. My experience of medication goes back years when I was coerced and poisoned, suffering near-fatal side-effects. This is how I know the industry is a scam. Please don't patronise. Share Facebook Twitter Report SubjectiveSubject scubadoc 8 Jul 2017 13:01 This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn't abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs. Facebook Twitter Rep