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Was The Med The Problem For You?

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I have been looking back on my history with AD's.  Trying to figure it all out.  Has the medicine caused more problems for me and for you?


I think it has.  I needed medicine when I was first put on it.  I was in a bad way and I needed something to calm me down so I could be a Mom, wife, and get on with Therapy and yes, function without crippling anxiety/depression.


In hind sight, if I knew then what I know now what could I have done differently.  Maybe I shouldn't even go there.  It's over.


Pamelor was good for me and then I went on Paxil and it helped very much. 


I think the problem was the tapers, WD and and trying different meds to stop anxiety.  None of them really helped after Paxil.


The tapers brought on trauma.  For me it did.  It was grinding dread.  And the thoughts that I would never be okay.  They caused so much fear and discomfort that when life's problems rolled around the anxiety was 100 times worse.  There wasn't a calmness to deal with problems effectively or without raging anxiety.


And that is how it has been for a long time now.  I had hoped that I could find 1 medicine to be able to take in a small dose to take the edge off.  In hell once again.


Not sure what to taper next.....Nefazadone or Imipramine.  Probably Imipramine.  Been on it for years and it really doesn't do anything anymore. 

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I used to believe the chemical imbalance thing.

When I was young the gp gave everyone on his list valium, 'mothers little helper'.

I took them occasionally when I had a trauma to deal with but almost everyone I knew

tookit regularly. The only reason I didn't was because I didn't want to go for a prescription

and would make them last. My intense dislike of queues and waiting rooms probably saved

me from addiction! Because I had this pill to pop when I was stressed I didn't learn to deal 

with stress, just the pill to dull it.

Years later when I was under extreme stress I broke down and was

admitted to a psych ward. One nurse told me I shouldn't be there, that I needed counselling.


But the doctor knew better, she was a doctor after all, she said I was sick so I laid back and let

her take care of me.............the rest is history. 


First one drug, I got worse, much, much worse and became suicidal. Then another. then another

and so on. Antipsychotics, benzos MAOI tryciclics  ssri snri and more. In just 3 years I had them all.

Every single one had different side effects and mentally I was very unstable. Following all those and

in desperation I had 2 courses of ECT, 20 in all while suffering what I now know was withdrawal.

I was drug free for maybe 2 years but still suffering terribly so was given effexor. I thought it was the

greatest thing since sliced bread. I felt AMAZING, could do anything, go anywhere and speak to anyone.


I was FLYING, and my psychiatrist was delighted that she found something that was good for me.

I hardly slept, I had wasted so many years I didn't want to waste a another minute of my amazing

new life by sleeping! Eventually came....no crashed...back down to earth and had possibly 2 years 

feeling mentally stable but physically became more and more ill. 


Now I am educated ( HUGE thank you to Alto for sharing all her knowledge ) I KNOW that all I

needed when I was taken to that ward was rest and TLC. That doctor could have given me that,

but instead pumped me full of drugs. that led to many many more hospitalisations and sections.


NONE of those drugs were good for me, I needed to learn how to deal with things when I was 21

instead of popping a pill. 

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OMG MamaP what a story.  You really were harmed and your symptoms were from the pills not you. 


Thank God you are here and with us.  I look forward to hearing from you and you have been a voice of reason and comfort for me.


You have come a long way.  Very strong woman you are.


I do have to get off the Imipramine....and then maybe the nefazadone.  I am disgusted at this point with meds.  As you said they all have their own side effects.


For me I went on them for severe panic and depression. I had not idea how hard is was going to be to get off of them.  The panic and depression from WD is identical to the panic and depression I had before I went on them BUT I know it is WD.


I have to remember that Just For Today.....I am feeling better, but I don't like the way I feel.  It is not normal.  And that I can stabilize and then begin to taper the imipramine or nefazadone.  Have not decided which one.  God help me it is a living hell to do this.

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I had originally gone to the pdoc because I couldn't sleep from a serious auto accident. The anti-depressants,  benzos, sleep meds, anti-psychotics, MAOI tryciclics & mood stabilizer drugs started coming, my world became surreal and the wrong diagnoses kept coming. I almost had ECT but had a seizure the night before and was told I wouldn't be a good candidate. Years of drug induced craziness and physical deterioration.  Now psych drug free and seeing my world through clear eyes as it should had been.


This weekend I had a heart to heart chat with a family member and she apologized for not knowing at the time it was the psychiatric drugs causing me to behave so oddly. Twenty even ten years ago who knew what we now know about the horrific incapacitating elements of psychiatric drugs??


So much to be thankful for after years of ridiculously wrong drugging and finding myself again.

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The most insane thing is that I believed it....all of it and even thanked my psychiatrist for saving my life .


Everyone else believed it too and many of my friends and family were waiting for me to relapse because

I've decided to come off my medication. As time has gone by they are seeing the difference and those who

knew me pre-drugs can see me returning. Older yes but still me in there. 


It is my youngest daughter that I feel most for, she never got to know me. She has no memory of me pre-meds.

All she remembers is a lifetime of me and her dad being ill. She listens to stories from her older siblings of the

things we use to do when they were growing up and she feels jealous because she has no memory of any of it. 


We are close but I want her to really get to know me, the real me and not the drugged me. 


Nikki. I think you are probably afraid of  your depression returning. I was too and even just a few months ago was

frightened and almost went back. It's normal to feel that way when you have suffered, but now, I would not 

use another drug to make me feel better mentally, ever. Withdrawal is hell for most of us and makes us depressed,

I saw a video the other day, can't remember where now, think it was one of the links here. The person on it

said that the drugs being prescribed for depression are CAUSING depression. He also said that they are costing

billions of pounds by keeping people on disability with mental illness. He is right. 


Also the internet is very conflicting, different support forums, all invaluable, but this is by far the very best.It is structured

and provides real information, not just theories but solid research and studies from many health professionals and 

scientists. Alto has done an amazing job of making it all available to us. I am very grateful to her for this but I would

not have had the benefit if I hadn't looked at the links to reports. It can be very confusing on the net, some are still

selling the chemical imbalance theory, and doctors are still believing it too. Most really do believe it and believe they

are doing the best by their patients.  I just wish they would all do the research that Alto has done, or just come here 

where it's all been done for them! 


Sorry I've hijacked your thread for a rant, I'm climbing down from my soapbox now!! 

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I had other long time pals who knew me pre-drug and they welcomed me back after I got off the drugs. Others who hadn't known me pre psych drugs were astounded at how clear and calm I was off the drugs.


Now we can spent quality time psychiatric drug free with family and friends but what a hell we had to go through. Thank goodness getting our lives back again. :)

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Hi Niki, 


Mamma P what a story you have to tell, well done you !!!

Niki, like you i did paxil for a long long time too, over 14years by the time my long long taper was through, and like you i still have to deal with the anxiety that these drugs left me with , for those that dont know me, i was medicated for grief issues- had no symptoms at all - didnt know what anxiety was until i tapered - and know 2.5 yrs paxil free im still having to deal with this, and that internal tense stuff we all seem to get in wd -----  all i do know is, yes i was made very sick by paxil - but had no choice but to ditch it, as i was having symptoms i know now to be wd at full therapeutic dose.  Its gotten better in many ways -- there are lots of things i can do now since i got off, but when the anxiety ramps and its really intense i still suffer and go through bouts of not wanting to go out.

Does this seem normal to those that understand paxil wd ?????  I also forgot to say, i am dealing with a stressful situation at home too, which came at the wrong time for me, as its been long standing ie about a couple of yrs now, which doesnt help, as i know i dont handle stress anywhere near as well as i once did pre med - can anyone relate ??

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Was the med the problem?


I was weird, off kilter, erratic, selfish, and emotional before I ever took meds.


But I didn't respond well to every med they tried until buproprion.  Had SEVERAL 1-3 month trials of different ones.


At the time, my best friend was in medical school.  At first she wanted to be a psychiatrist, because her life was helped immensely by a psychiatrist.  She had impressive discipline for a depressive.  We talked about the meds, and she taught me the difference between just flooding with serotonin and stopping the reuptake of serotonin.  Prozac was the only one available at the time, we both tried it in order to cope with our varied situations, and over the years, we both "sampled" or did trial runs of different ADs.


The image we came up with was "Giant finger in the brain."  Taking a new SSRI (and sometimes SNRI like Effexor) was like having someone stick a giant finger in your brain, piercing your frontal lobe, and then wiggling in between the hemispheres, messing it all up.  If you stuck with the SSRI long enough, you might forget that it was there, and the feeling subsided (but did the finger go away?  I think not, as long as you were taking the meds)


So yeah.  Finger in the brain is not good.  BUT - what I am learning in this forum, is, if the finger going IN is atrocious, pulling the finger OUT is catastrophic!  Those who came off cold turkey had that finger yanked out abruptly, shockingly, traumatically.  Those of us who are tapering are pulling the finger out a centimeter at a time, sometimes a millimeter at a time, to make the transition easier.


But the bottom line (for me) is:  Once that finger has been in, it has changed the shape of your brain.  Not the physical shape like on an MRI, but the neurotransmitters, chemistry, communication patterns, firing lines of the brain have changed.  FOREVER.  


Thanks to neuroplasticity, you can still hope to live a clear and functional life.  I believe that anyone can get better than the original trauma of the finger in the brain, and better than the terrible pain of the withdrawal of the finger from the brain.  But I'm afraid that only a few of us will ever get to be more dynamic, healthier, and more functional than before (bigger, better, stronger than before!) we ever took the meds.


So maybe the best I can do is get back to weird, off kilter, erratic - I've already worked on the selfishness (more to go there) and emotional instability (more there, too, I think it's suppressed).  Who knows, maybe now that I'm grown up, I"m not a kid anymore, I no longer have the swing of menstruation,  I can be better than I was beforehand.  But I also know that I've lost stuff, too.  Like chess.  I used to see 16 moves ahead, and that was exciting.  Now, I think watching paint dry would be more exciting because my brain won't go there, and it hurts to force it.


That's my take on the meds.  It's hardly scientific, but the image, once you "get it" fits.  For me and my friend, at least.

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The meds were definitely the problem for me. I was dealing with an undiagnosed LD which by the way, I wonder how much of an effect having untreated sleep apnea caused.


Anyway, if I had access to a professional or the internet for learning coping skills, I feel I would have avoided psych meds. Instead I begged a psychiatrist for Ritalin and he gave me Prozac as an additional "gift". When this drug combination caused suicidal ideation, instead of taking me off of the drugs, he doubled the dose and of course, I got worse. Then I was cold turkeyed off of the meds onto Serzone.


As I type this story, I realize it was a miracle I didn't end up in the hospital. But I had a great therapist and friends who really cared about me. And while the psychiatrist I finally ended up long time was definitely biologically oriented and much too pro meds, I also now realize that he kept me out of the there with his attitude.


I suffered alot but at the same time, I realize that after reading other stories, I am actually quite fortunate in many ways. Still I ended up on psych for 15 years due to what were withdrawal reactions that all the 8 psychiatrists I saw essentially denied.



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