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How many people do you know on AD's?


Phil
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I thought this might be an interesting topic, because it seems that so many people in my "social circle" (friends of friends) take AD's.

I know 3 friends of friends on AD's (SSRIs I presume), and another friend is on a cocktail including benzos.

 

I just wonder will these people ever go through the same as us, or will they stay on the meds merry-go-round.

 

My friend who takes benzos said he missed a prescription and had cold turkey withdrawal, so is right back on. Even his doctor knew how bad that was.

Off Lexapro since 3rd November 2011.

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I don't know many... but I feel awful because last year a friend of mine was considering starting ADs and I encouraged her. I told her how big a difference it had made in my life. Then I quit to get pregnant and months later I was having these symptoms and problems, just when she had first gone on them. I tried to warn her, but she is feeling so much better on the ADs, she just doesn't want to hear it. It makes me feel awful and I hope she doesn't stay on them for long. I have warned at least about the slow tapering...

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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My closest friend is on two ADs. I know others, and I'm quite certain there are several who are "closet".

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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Great topic. I don't know a number or percentage, but at least HALF of the people I know are on or have been on SS/NRIs. That includes my 82 yo mother (sertraline for many years), sister (paroxetine many years), husband (Effexor, Wellbutrin+++ many years), and several friends, extended family.

I've pondered this some and it 'seems' like once someone in a family or social circle starts, it becomes more acceptable/less stigmatized to take ADs. I fought that stigma for a long time, buying into the 'chemical imbalance' propaganda, and now regret it terribly.

The person I am most concerned about is my husband's 20-something niece who was dx w/bipolar and ADD when she was about 14 and has been on AAPs and various cocktails since. She's a bright, creative artist and has had anger issues for years. As I've learned more about the artistic/creative personality, I worry that the meds are masking and bottling up emotion in her that will only lead to more problems. Not to mention the havoc to her endocrine system. Her weight has been up and down on all of the meds and diabetes runs strongly in the family.

 

Another concern I have (since you asked, DIDN'T YOU?!) are friends on SNRIs and tramadol for pain. Again, it seems that once someone in a group starts w pain meds, it becomes 'acceptable' and people start sharing, etc. ARGH!! When Ultram (tramadol) first came out, it was touted as a NONopiate, but has since been found to have addictive properties and is also SEROTONERGIC and most docs don't know that it shouldn't be used w ADs (or w/caution). Same w triptans for migraine.

And weeeeee! OT again! Sorry. Perhaps i'll start a discussion on pain meds with ADs. I've been thru that ordeal.

My final answer:

> 50% maintained on ADs. > 75% at some point

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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I know a few, my sister is on Paxil and still feeling great on it after 10 years now (although I notice some spellbound-like attitude). My other sister was on a low dose of Amitryptiline for fibromyalgic pains, and came off it without any problem.

None of my friends is on an AD as far as I know but I know several fellow hikers who are. One of them has roulated over all the SSRI's and is now on Sertraline and feels OK on it. She has the opinion that once you get into psychiatry, you will never get out. I educated her about WD and tapering, she listened to me but has no plans for getting off AFAIK.

I also know a few people who used PAxil in the past and came off without the hell we go through or suffered "only" for a few months.

I still wonder how many go through such an atricious WD for years as I and some others here do. Even the papers who take WD serious mostly state that in extreme cases it can take months! And I am now on the road for almost 4 years. I think we are the exceptions. Maype peple who are deeply traumatized by life events (as I was) have higher chance of total destabilisation of the CNS after WD.

10 mg Paxil/Seroxat since 2002
several attempts to quit since 2004
Quit c/t again Oktober 2007, in protracted w/d since then
after 3.5 years slight improvement but still on the road

after 6 years pretty much recovered but still some nasty residual sypmtons
after 8.5 years working again on a 90% base and basically functioning normally again!

 

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I've known only 1 person who had a significant positive response to ADs (Zoloft, I believe). Her depression was an anxious type.

Have you noticed any correlation between initial response (or lack of) and WD symptoms?

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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I've known only 1 person who had a significant positive response to ADs (Zoloft, I believe). Her depression was an anxious type.

Have you noticed any correlation between initial response (or lack of) and WD symptoms?

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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I've known only 1 person who had a significant positive response to ADs (Zoloft, I believe). Her depression was an anxious type.

Have you noticed any correlation between initial response (or lack of) and WD symptoms?

 

Absolutely not. I know pwoplw ahd heared several stories of tough startup effects and even the doctors admit that there is a high suicide risk during startup.

I started Paxil 2 times, in 1998 (only for a few weeks) and in 2002. Both times te only side effect was a tendency to gape, while I felt better almost immedately. I had absoltely no nasty side effects during startup, and the only side effect (gaping) went away pretty soon.

SO at that time I had no slightest idea about WD, but when I tried to quit after 2 years I found out this was impossible.

10 mg Paxil/Seroxat since 2002
several attempts to quit since 2004
Quit c/t again Oktober 2007, in protracted w/d since then
after 3.5 years slight improvement but still on the road

after 6 years pretty much recovered but still some nasty residual sypmtons
after 8.5 years working again on a 90% base and basically functioning normally again!

 

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That's interesting, Claudius. I'm glad you did notice some benefit and so quickly. I feel stupid b/c I never noticed improvement but went along with the chem imbalance theory, up the dose, switch, add, etc. for many years.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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That's interesting, Claudius. I'm glad you did notice some benefit and so quickly. I feel stupid b/c I never noticed improvement but went along with the chem imbalance theory, up the dose, switch, add, etc. for many years.

 

Glad that you are glad... ;) but in fact the improvement I felt after starting PAxil was the entry point for the most deadly ride of my life. I know people who got sick after starting and then realized this was not the right thing to do. But I had aabsolutely no reason to doubt the safety of medicine at that time (my father was a doctor and doctors saved my life and my mother's life).

I did not switch, only got off c/t for about 5 times, just to enter the hell of WD and got back on it. Only to make the same mistake again and again. I think one drug ij just as capable of destroying a person as a cocktail of drugs.

10 mg Paxil/Seroxat since 2002
several attempts to quit since 2004
Quit c/t again Oktober 2007, in protracted w/d since then
after 3.5 years slight improvement but still on the road

after 6 years pretty much recovered but still some nasty residual sypmtons
after 8.5 years working again on a 90% base and basically functioning normally again!

 

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I'm so sorry, Claudius, for your ordeal. 'Glad' was perhaps not the best choice of words. I haven't read your history yet. Will do that. I've been traveling and using Droid for messages, so have not yet put my history in.

You are surrounded by doctors as I am. It seems that those of us closer to the medical community have fallen into this downward spiral more strongly. Perhaps because we trust and have better access?

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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I've also wondered if there is a relationship between how one first responded to an AD, then if it helped or not with the original symptoms one took it for, and then withdrawal. I hope that the fact that I didn't have much trouble first taking ADs (only some jitteriness) and had very minor side effects (delayed orgasm but only at high doses), and then my initial withdrawal (first three months off) was bearable means my current withdrawal symptoms will last less time. But it seems like a pretty naive hope.

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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You are surrounded by doctors as I am. It seems that those of us closer to the medical community have fallen into this downward spiral more strongly. Perhaps because we trust and have better access?

That is precisely it. I wish I could remember where I got this statistic, but there is actually evidence that Americans who have greater access to health care can actually have WORSE health outcomes than those who don't! The reason is largely because of that greater access and the way insurance benefits are set up: prescription drug copays are cheap (so people are more willing to go on drugs they don't need and may cause harmful side effects), and so are copays for doctor's visits and surgeries, which can also be unnecessary and even disastrous. I've been saying this for a while now: for those that have excellent insurance, it gives people the incentive to go to the doctor WAY too much. We go to the doctor much too much in this society. Why? Well DUH: it's the pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies! They have convinced Americans that their mind/bodies are faberge eggs and require a constant stream of drugs (and surgeries and diagnostic tests) to prevent catastrophic damage. In fact it's the opposite: if a body is taken care of through natural means (good nutrition, exercise, a good social life, a good family life that acts as a natural support system, fresh air, meditation, a rewarding job), then there's no reason the body won't provide 70 or more years of mostly reliable service, which can't be said for nearly all man-made machines. And I just love how doctors brow-beat patients into taking meds and then are shocked, SHOCKED when the patient comes back months later and is miraculously healed through simple lifestyle changes! It's not that it's miraculous, but that the medical infrastructure tragically underestimates the body and mind's ability to heal itself.

 

But of course these natural means of health make exactly 0 profit for pharmaceutical companies. Hmmmm....

Been on SSRIs since 1998:

1998-2005: Paxil in varying doses

2005-present: Lexapro.

2006-early '08: Effexor AND Lexapro! Good thing I got off the Effexor rather quickly (within a year).

 

**PSYCHIATRY: TAKE YOUR CHEMICAL IMBALANCE AND CHOKE ON IT!

APA=FUBAR

FDA=SNAFU

NIMH=LMFAO

 

Currently tapering Lexapro ~10% every month:

 

STARTING: 15 mg

11/7/10: 13.5 mg

12/7/10: 12.2 mg

1/6/11: 10.9 mg

2/3/11: 9.8 mg

3/3/11: 8.8 mg

4/1/11: 7.8 mg

4/29/11: 7 mg

5/27/11: 6.4 mg

6/24/11: 5.7 mg

7/22/11: 5 mg

8/18/11: 4.5 mg

9/14/11: 4 mg

10/13/11: 3.6 mg

11/9/11: 3.2 mg

12/7/11: 2.6 mg

1/3/12: 2.1 mg

2/2/12: 1.8 mg

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That is so true, Cinephile... and perhaps it would not be so bad if we went to the doctor often if it meant getting better advice about exercise, nutrition, prevention, etc. INSTEAD of drugs! The whole approach needs to be refocused. Alas, it seems unlikely to happen soon, with everything controlled by big pharma and insurance companies.

'94-'08 On/off ADs. Mostly Zoloft & Wellbutrin, but also Prozac, Celexa, Effexor, etc.
6/08 quit Z & W after tapering, awful anxiety 3 mos. later, reinstated.
11/10 CTed. Severe anxiety 3 mos. later & @ 8 mos. much worse (set off by metronidazole). Anxiety, depression, anhedonia, DP, DR, dizziness, severe insomnia, high serum AM cortisol, flu-like feelings, muscle discomfort.
9/11-9/12 Waves and windows of recovery.
10/12 Awful relapse, DP/DR. Hydrocortisone?
11/12 Improved fairly quickly even though relapse was one of worst waves ever.

1/13 Best I've ever felt.

3/13 A bit of a relapse... then faster and shorter waves and windows.

4/14 Have to watch out for triggers, but feel completely normal about 80% of the time.

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