Psychiatric medication and addiction
David the GnomeParticipant
- Total Posts: 3,033
Some days I’m not sure if the treatment is worse than the disease. Over the last few years, I’ve been regularly seeing a psychiatrist to manage my psych meds. The process is generally a 30 minute interview questioning my thoughts and emotions. As I answer these questions, little bits of advice are occasionally given – but generally the session ends in at least two suggested medications. I have tried so many, at this point. The latest cocktail has been sertraline, lorazepam, gabapentin and bupropion. I also tried CBD oil. Nothing really seems to work, but it sure does some funny things to my mind and body. Drugs to treat symptoms – and then drugs to treat the side effects from those drugs – and then drugs to treat the side effects from the drug that treat the side effects and so on and so forth. It is a roller coaster of trial and error… mostly error. There are days when I question whether any of them are worth taking, days when I think about just tossing them in the trash.
I know that to suddenly stop taking psych meds is extremely dangerous to both mental and physical health. The withdrawal symptoms are often even worse than the original symptoms of the disease and the side effects of the medication put together. Hallucination and seizures are probably the most extreme potential symptoms.
Some of these medications are linked in long term studies to Alzheimers and dementia. Some, if taken long enough, severely weaken your brain’s defense mechanisms. I could go into detail about the symptoms, but there is such a wide variety that it would require an even longer than usual post from the mad gnome.
Lately I have begun to wonder if there is a sort of facility in place to help someone who has become dependent on psychiatric medications. I’m tired of them and I wonder if they are actually making me more sick. Understand – I take them as prescribed, occasionally I run out or miss a dose or run out shortly before a refill, but for the most part I’m an obedient patient and guinea pig. I’m not experimenting with other stuff, I almost never drink – because every one of these medications comes with a warning about alcohol, so I’m not, as far as I know, abusing them. There is absolutely no way I could afford traditional rehab – but my reliance on the drug lorazepam (generic for Ativan) has grown. It is a tightly controlled substance, due to years of over prescription and abuse by both physicians and patients.
Perhaps not enough is understood yet, about mental health. What to do and what not to do – what works. Or perhaps it is another system that has become so mangled and tangled by greed and corruption that sorting it out is like trying to organize a single needle in a needle stack.
At thirty five, I’m running out of ideas. How do you heal the soul in the age of the brain? I can’t afford stuff like an organic life style, colon cleansing, regular coffee enemas and similar madness. Stuff like electro shock therapy is scary for those of us who have much knowledge of it (wipes out your memory base – and who knows what the hell else) and long-term therapy obviously didn’t work. I’m not stupid, but when it comes to how to fix myself, I’m clueless. It seems like the professionals, when it comes right down to it, are also clueless.
I don’t want to keep living this away – but I’m afraid to stop. In the past, even weaning down from the medications under a physician’s guidance has resulted in terrible experiences, severe relapses and… frankly, long-term battles with my own sanity that were a damn nightmare.
The medications prevent me from crying the vast majority of the time – I simply can’t do it. So that release is denied. I can’t always go to the bathroom when I want to – or I have to go too much and can’t leave the house. I have no idea what triggers my moods or panic attacks, in spite of decades of searching for all the rhymes and reasons. Major depressive episodes seem to be a regular thing… and they are growing longer.
My mind is a mess. Perhaps this is my brain on drugs. Perhaps it’s fried. Shit, I don’t know. I just know that my sense of hopelessness and despair is growing, my paranoia seems severe – even to me – and I’m not sure I really know what’s what anymore. Is it the medications? Am I simply a defective unit? I don’t know. I’ve searched for enlightenment, knowledge, wisdom, I’ve thought about everything under the sun and then some. I’ve researched so many treatments that didn’t amount to anything.
With everything else… the knowledge of how corrupt our society is, how violent, how things are getting rapidly worse in America and throughout the globe… it strains my faith in humanity, which is what has often sustained me. I’ve tried prayer, but all I seem to get from that is silence – and the feeling that no one is listening, let alone answering. Some days I actually hope I get abducted by aliens or something – maybe that would at least temporarily distract me.
I feel badly broken today. Not just disabled, but… I don’t know, incapable of even handling the regular daily functions.
June 10, 2019 at 10:28 PM #75466GZeusHParticipant
- Total Posts: 3,858
Perhaps listening to a different take on the subject could give you some new ideas to try:
(Be sure to get parts 2&3 as well, he’s very good.)
Corporate America consists of totalitarian entities laser-focused on short-term greed.
June 11, 2019 at 1:20 AM #75518AwknidParticipant
- Total Posts: 102
Hang in there. Don’t give up! I went through a similar time many years ago. I stumbled over a good doctor who helped me. It took a long time, but I got better and have had a wonderful life.
You’ve got your whole life ahead of you! You will feel better. Just keep at it and never give up.
June 11, 2019 at 2:53 AM #75538Babel 17Participant
- Total Posts: 4,904
It seems likely to me that you’re far from alone in the situation that you’re in. I read Facebook posts by a mental health professional who has some similar issues, although to a less severe degree.
I hope there’s a support group for this, and close by to you. I think it would be a relief to get it confirmed by others that they know what you’re experiencing.
June 11, 2019 at 4:52 AM #75558glindaParticipant
- Total Posts: 824
While you are searching for some solutions to this I have to wonder if there is not a meditation group near you at all. So that you start to build a platform for being stronger as you address this.
I am sorry that you are are going through this but like was said above, hang in there. Hugs.
Animals know more than we do.
June 11, 2019 at 12:01 PM #75590David the GnomeParticipant
- Total Posts: 3,033
Thank you all for your compassion. Just knowing that you all care enough to read and offer your empathy really does make a difference. Somewhere along the way I lost myself, but we’re all social creatures – and perhaps what I need to bring me back really is the empathy and compassion of other people. Most days I spend alone, I hide away because I’ve got these weird conditions and sensations that make me uncomfortable around people, even though, like all other human beings, I am a social creature… agoraphobia and anxiety disorders make it hard to get out, to go anywhere, to do anything.
I try so hard to manage everything on my own. Most of my hobbies are solo things. Reading is great – but there is something lost when there is no human expression to be seen, no emotion to be heard in the voice of another. I’ve spent the last couple of months just reading books for the most part, kindle unlimited… I hate Amazon – but I love books.
Honestly, I feel a little bit better today after watching the video in “Food for the Soul” over in general discussion. @iwillnevergiveup
Some days I think that it may be all of this thinking that really does me in. It’s hard to get outside of my own head, hard for me to indulge that side of myself that is more playful or light hearted – because most of the time I’m too focused on problems that don’t seem to have solutions. It is… strange, to say the least, that a lot of today’s closest relationships are found online. I’m (barely) old enough to remember what it was like when kids could play outside, or walk to school without mass hysteria taking place. I think that’s why so much of my generation got lost in drugs and alcohol, the party scene – because there was little else available that really promoted social interaction.
Life is so much just going through the motions, whether it be going to class, or to work, or just following your own daily routine. One of my favorite songs says “We were meant to live for so much more.” I really believe that. I dream of a world in which people don’t have to be afraid of each other, in which we can celebrate each other’s shared humanity and individuality at the same time. In which we are separate – but still one. What can I say, the mad gnome is feeling rather philosophical this morning.
I do deeply appreciate each of you that has taken the time to comment in my thread here – those of you who have reached out to me in private messages – and those of you who simply read and relate, even if you haven’t got anything to say. There really aren’t any support groups in my area for my type of condition/s, there is a lot of AA and some NA, but as for support groups for anxiety, depression, PTSD, agoraphobia and so on… well, I haven’t come across any. I have thought about starting one myself, but I really lack the organizational and/or social skills to manage it.
Perhaps I just need to get my passport and cross the border into Edmunston in Canada (throwing distance away), perhaps there is something there. Most of the time, just getting up in the morning requires a tremendous effort from me. Some days it’s not worth chewing through the restraints.
Ah, hell, I don’t know what I’m saying. My gratitude to each of you.
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