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Mata
I was talking with my girlfriend tonight about one of the newer members on the board and somehow the conversation got around to issues of medication and peoples' experiences with them. I've never taken any mood-drugs but I have many friends who have and I thought it might be useful if people shared their good and bad experiences of the various ones available. For example I have one friend at the moment who is taking prozac because she finds it works well for her and helps her keep a level head, whereas a family member took prozac and took himself off it after a month because he hated having the sensations of happiness when he knew that he didn't actually feel that way.

So, have you been/are you on medication? What has helped? What hasn't?
artist.unknown
I had a doctor try to put me on Prozac for OCD, but I prefer to personally cope with my problems, not rely on drugs. It's a level of dependancy I'm not comfortable with. On the other hand, I think there are many instances in which drugs are the only way some people can can function normally. I have found, though, that natural vitamin supplements help. B-6 in particular has helped me with OCD and my sister with Asperger's, and Melatonin helps with insomnia. I think it never hurts to try natural routes first, because they don't have the side effects or addictive qualities. But I'm just a crazy hippy. *shrug*
saucy_tara
I'm currently taking a silly amount of pills for Borderline Personality Disorder/psychotic depression. Im taking a relatively new anti-depressant called Citalopram and an Anti -Psychotic drug called Olanzapine. The Olanzapine makes me a bit spaced out in the mornings, and I'm on the highest dose of Citalopram which also makes me feel wooly. But the combination of the two is really working for me I'm pleased to say :-) I've had Prozac in the past and it didn't help me, in fact I couln't yawn on it!! Or have an orgasm, which was weird. But thankfully haven't really had any side effects with the pills that I'm on.
{Gothic Angel}
I'm not on any constant "medication", unless you count the pill. My doctor is a big fan of supplements and vitamins and things, so it take a silly amount of them for hormonal imbalance and weak immune system.

edit: Incidentally, one of the things I'm supposed to take is evening primrose oil for the hormones thing. I'm being told by my doctor that "this helps to balance out and control hormone production and settle down the monthly cycle". Museum_girl looked at me in puzzlement when I mentioned this, and said she thought it was supposed to be for the purpose of making someone ovulate, which seems a little piontless if I'm on the pill. Having looked up stuff about it, I can't really find much evidence one way or t'other, so was wondering if anyone knew whether it is actually for general balance, or just for the ovulation? I'll stop taking it if it's the latter unsure.gif
Righteous
Grrr...

Well, as someone with a severe case of bipolar disorder, medication for me has been Hell and a half. Third through seventh grade, I was on Zoloft and Prozac, two highly powerful antidepressants (the previous meant only for adults). As my symptoms of hypo- and hypermania became more and more apparent, my therepists put me on higher and higher dosages. The effects still haunt me.

In the seventh grade, I was put on lithium and it worked wonderfully until I was in the eleventh grade when it started screwing with my thyroid. I was faced with a choice: Stay on lithium and take a synthetic TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) or switch to Depakote (a powerful and expensive mood stabilizer). Unfortunately, I was switched to Depakote.

Well, the Depakote didn't work worth shit (forgive the language; I'm making a point). I was then put on a combination of Depakote and Lamictil. When that didn't work, my therepist added an antidepressant (whose name escapes me) that caused a gnarly rash, sun sensitivity and delerium. Said antidepressant was replaced by Effexor. Once again, I had to deal with hypo-and hypermania and a few side effects, including the inability to climax during sex. Eventually, I went on a combination of lithium and lamictil with a TSH suppliment.

Between the ages of 17.5 and 19.5, my life went to Hell because of these medications. This is when I got into promiscuity, alcohol, weed, self-mutilation and Aderoll.

If you think that's bad, it's a cakewalk compared to my little cousin. In the course of a year, my cousin (who has OCD and bipolar disorder, which is just groovy) was put on medication, had his dosages upped and upped and upped to treat his OCD and "depression," (to the point where he as taking handfuls of pills thrice a day, and BTW, one of these pills was Depakote) had his family hide all knives and cutting tools and was institutionalized, the whole time dealing with teachers and fellow students who didn't understand him and ridiculed and berrated the poor kid. Now he's on lithium and a few other drugs and he's doing well.

What pisses me the Hell off is that drug companies are pushing these expensive-ass, powerful-ass drugs on therepists, caregivers and patients saying that these super pills will work much better than the less expensive alternatives they have been using (example: Depakote vs. lithium). Drug companies and therepists are basically playing with the lives of the people on these drugs. Aside from me and my cousin, consider my mother's uncle who has severe bipolar disorder. He was on lithium and it worked beautifully. At one point, his therepist suggested Depakote and his life went straight to Hell. He gave my mom a call recently and told her he's back on lithium (thank God) and his life is getting back on track.

I'm a big non-fan of unneccessary medication. I hate the idea of just giving people pills with the idea that they'll fix problems. Albeit, some people need them (like me, my cousin and my mom's uncle), but often times caregivers (usually parents) throw medicine down their kids mouths thinking that, because their kids lie around after school listening to Staind and Cold staring at the ceiling and feeling misunderstood, they need to be medicated (Hell, I'm twenty and medicated and I still do that). It's been my experience that people have normal ups and downs and drugs don't lead to a happy, healthy life. If you're in your teens and you're feeling out of place and your parents are thinking of putting you on pills, let them know that it's just a phase and they probably went through the same thing. If you're no longer under your parents' wing, think twice when someone suggests that you should be put on medication for your problems. Try a healthy diet, good friends and a brisk walk every now and then (I take walks whenever possible, have my boys and eat a lot of fruit). And believe-it-or-not, that crap about positive thinking actually works. Yeah, you really can do it. I assure you this rant originally had a point.
I_am_the_best
QUOTE ({Gothic Angel} @ Jan 3 2006, 04:00 PM)
I'm not on any constant "medication", unless you count the pill. My doctor is a big fan of supplements and vitamins and things, so it take a silly amount of them for hormonal imbalance and weak immune system.

edit: Incidentally, one of the things I'm supposed to take is evening primrose oil for the hormones thing. I'm being told by my doctor that "this helps to balance out and control hormone production and settle down the monthly cycle". Museum_girl looked at me in puzzlement when I mentioned this, and said she thought it was supposed to be for the purpose of making someone ovulate, which seems a little piontless if I'm on the pill. Having looked up stuff about it, I can't really find much evidence one way or t'other, so was wondering if anyone knew whether it is actually for general balance, or just for the ovulation? I'll stop taking it if it's the latter  unsure.gif

*


I used to go to a lady who tried all sorts of medicines and pills on me to treat my eczema but she was more like a therapist. I was once given evening primrose oil for a couple of weeks. It did absoloutly nothing. I always thought it was good for treating skin, but perhaps I'm wrong.
Phyllis
QUOTE (Righteous @ Jan 4 2006, 08:31 AM)
I was then put on a combination of Depakote and Lamictil. When that didn't work, my therepist added an antidepressant (whose name escapes me) that caused a gnarly rash, sun sensitivity and delerium. Said antidepressant was replaced by Effexor.
*

Meep. If memory serves, that's a really odd combination of drugs. Forgive me if I'm wrong though...it's been about a year or two since I took any Psychopharmacology courses.

You definitely have a point about the expense thing. I remember there being an entire chapter in at least one of my texts about the cost involved in newer drugs. I hope that in most cases it's a case of the therapist wanting to try new things if the older ones aren't working well in an effort to improve their patients' life...not that they're simply motivated by money.

You also have a point about drugs not solving everything. It makes things worse if say a person is just a stereotypical moody teenager and gets medicated for problems and chemical imbalances that they don't actually have. Some kids who have been put on Ritalin who didn't actually have ADHD, for instance, said it just made them feel dead inside. Whereas children who actually genuinely have the disorder often find it just helps them to focus.

And I strongly believe that pretty much whenever there are drugs being implemented for these sorts of things, there should also be therapy. And there should be at least a few sessions of therapy before any drugs are prescribed in the first place. Drugs for mood disorders can only do so much on their own. They are much more effective (and the effects are more long-lasting) when combined with therapy.

And GA, evening primrose oil helps to relieve the symptoms of PMS (or PMT, whatever). I've heard nothing about it doing that through causing ovulation. That wouldn't make any sense, because during PMS you've already ovulated. I've never heard of it being used to treat eczema, but Wikipedia tells me that it used to be used to speed the healing of wounds and bruises...which I did not know.
{Gothic Angel}
Buh? Now I'm really confused. Maybe someone got it confused with arnica. That's usually what people reccomend for healing/bruises.
Phyllis
QUOTE ({Gothic Angel} @ Jan 4 2006, 11:48 AM)
Buh? Now I'm really confused. Maybe someone got it confused with arnica. That's usually what people reccomend for healing/bruises.
*

I said "used to be"...as in, it's not used for that anymore. wink.gif
gothictheysay
Oi. Here goes.

When I was ten, my mother died. I can't remember how long it was until I went to see a psychiatrist, but I was obviously very depressed. What I found interesting was how quickly I was put on medication... I can't remember saying much at my first visit, being terrified and staring at the floor. I don't how they, mostly my psychiatrist I mean, knew I had clinical depression versus situational depression. Anyways, I got started on a little Zoloft. Now I often comtemplate what actually happened, because I felt in some ways I was getting better and others worse. I became able to function normally again, or at least appear to, but I still experienced bouts of pretty bad depression. And for, oh, say, three and a half years the dose would just go up, up, up. I can't really say I can actually blame the drugs for making me feel worse. Perhaps they just weren't working at all. Hey, they seemed alright at the beginning. I scare myself looking back in my journals, though, as I had increasingly morbid thoughts and such, and I realized days that were absolutely fine still left me depressed. I wasn't getting too much therapy at this point, but I really wasn't telling anyone how I was feeling, either... By eighth grade it was pretty much apparent we were going to need to change up some medication. I might've been on something with the zoloft... I've had so many medicine changes I can't remember. So, they started to ease me onto Effexor. At this point, though, I was an absolute mess, and began a suicide attempt before deciding that wasn't what I wanted. I was lucky my liver survived that overdose. I ended up in the adolescent mental health (or lack of ._.) ward, my medicine got switched up, and we started to think about more therapy. I was pretty much still on the rocks afterwards, and with a few outside circumstances, ended up in the hospital again - not as severe as the time before, but I had pretty much knew I needed to go. More fiddling with medicine and therapy... I can't tell you the combinations of stuff I've been on, it's insane how much my medicine's been switched. As of now, we quit therapy after a little... incident with my therapist, and I'm on 300mg Effexor (which I think is a tad bit more than the limit) and 20mg Lexapro. I haven't switched anything in a little while, which is nice, and this has been working for me.

For a long time I was rather resentful that I was on all of this, the fact that I could only seem to be happy with the aid of pills, but I've come to accept it a little more. I'm not really sure that therapy at this point would be ... well I'm sure it would be beneficial, but I don't know. I don't really have bad bouts and if I take my medicine everything's fine. I can really tell when I haven't taken it though... and even if I miss one day I already start to worsen, getting more upset for tedious reasons, and just starting to feel horrible no matter what. It'd be nice to lower my dose, maybe, but with all the medicine-fiddling I've had to go through, I'm kind of content where I am.
elphaba2
I don't have any first-hand experience with mood-drugs, but various mental disorders run in my family (strongest are probably bipolar disorder, ADD and clinical depression). I've got a brother with ridiculous ADD, which was discovered when he was in first grade or so and medications fluxuated like mad. He started out on Ritalin, as it was pretty much the only available option at the time, and moved through a whole range of drugs (Adderall, Concerta, etc) and is now on an Adderall/Concerta cocktail, one of which must be taken at nine p.m and one that must be taken at seven, with a variety of other specific instructions. One of the difficult things with ADHD is, obviously the lack of focus. He would intend to take his pills but put it off, or, forgetting, assume that he had. He doesn't like to talk about how he feels on the drugs. I get a general sense that he recognizes their importance in getting him to focus on and finish schoolwork, but that he won't take them every chance he gets.

My mother and three aunts have depression, and two cousins have bipolar disorder. My grandmother had schizophrenia and its theorized that an aunt has it as well (she refuses to see a therapist). I'm studying mental disorders and the treatment thereof in a school-funded program that I think is lovely. (Essentially, one is given a school subscription to a website that collects millions of studies and published research papers, a school email and assistance from two halfway decent ex-scientists. One is expected to read about four of these research papers on one's decided topic per week, and to talk to current researchers fairly regularly, culmanating in one conducting one's own research. Some people build tiny surgeon robots and some identify mushrooms. It's swell.)

I digress. What I've gleaned so far is that anti-depressants (which are used to treat depression, bipolar disorder, OCD and form a basis for most anti-schizophrenia drugs) function through modulating the flow of seratonin and dopamine. Prozac, for example, is an SSRI--a Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitor. It prevents the reuse of seratonin in the brain, allowing for the seratonin to linger in the brain. As the seratonin looses strength after periods of prolonged use, this is the ideal medium between stopping seratonin flow altogether and stimulating new seratonin flow. This is thought to cause feelings of general contentment, and, as seratonin modulates sleep, allows for more ordinary sleep cycles. However, often people feel manipulated by their drugs, as though the feelings of contentment aroused by the drugs aren't real. The idea is that the drugs modify a brain that is engineered to produce depression into a brain that produces satisfaction, or at its least, feelings of "not being sad".

Altering medication is a very delicate process, as stopping it altogether often causes rebound symptoms that are much worse than the originals. Everyone responds differently to different drugs, due to the crazy variability of neurotransmitters in each brain. Because of this, lots of times therapists are forced to try out new and different drugs to see what works best. My brother's ADD meds weren't fully calibrated until midway through his sophomore year. This meant that his grades were rollercoasters, which probably was the reason he couldn't apply to any really top-notch colleges. Righteous was right when he said that therapists who prescribe drugs "play with the lives" of their users--the wrong drug can get someone expelled or fired.

A difficulty is that lots of people just beginning anti-depressents (or any mood-altering drug, really) think of them like penicillin--that, after taking them, they'll be better. But the drugs don't change the structure of the brain, meaning that one can't stop being depressed without remaining on the drugs, well, forever. Which is why, as Righteous said, drug companies often jack up the prices of new drugs (though it probably has more to do with the high cost of research). Tho Righteous, your great-uncle's response to lithium might not have been because the drug works better, but because his brain, being similar to yours and your mother's, simply responds best to it. My cousins are both on Depecote and lithium just wasn't strong enough for the manic aspect of their particular brand of bipolar disorder.

This post is miles long. It is bigger than most whales. My apologies--and one more bit of advice for people on The Anti-depressents: never, never, ever get into other drugs unless your doctor says it's alright. Alcohol plus anti-depressants led to a nervous breakdown (and a firing and an eviction) in my family last year, and cocaine plus antipsychotics nearly killed a friend of my brother's.
Phyllis
QUOTE (elphaba2 @ Jan 4 2006, 03:22 PM)
and one more bit of advice for people on The Anti-depressents: never, never, ever get into other drugs unless your doctor says it's alright.
*

That's a very good point! I got so caught up in rambling about combining therapy with the drugs and properly prescribing them that I completely forgot to mention that. Not only will it not do fun things to your mood...it'll wreak havoc on your liver. It is really, really dangerous to combine drugs or alcohol with a lot of the mood disorder medications out there. I can't stress that enough.

A funny thing about antidepressants is that in some cases if a person genuinely expects them to work, they generally will...and much quicker than they should (it should generally take about 2 weeks for their full effects to kick in). Some interesting stuff has been done with chronically depressed patients and placebos. I'm not saying that some people don't need the medicine to function...they really do. But perhaps those who respond well to the placebo didn't have a chemical imbalance in the first place, and what they really need is effective therapy rather than medication. Again, this doesn't go for all patients, just those who feel relief from a placebo.
oxym0ronical
I'm not personally on any mood-altering medication, though there are times when I seriously think I should be. I've struggled through depression for a long time, and anyone who knows me knows how moody and down on myself I get when I'm going through a fairly severe bout. Nothing brings me joy, nothing seems to be going the right way, and I'm not able to see a way out. This can last anywhere from a few days to a few months, depending on the situation.

My family, however, could quite possibly fill a PDR with all their antidepressants and other medications. My dad has been on Zoloft for nearly 10 years. Prior to that, my dad had been a very angry drunk. He went on the Zoloft because of an accident that left him disabled, and he became very depressed. At first, I noticed that he was very laid back and just didn't seem to really be 'there' - in other words, the lights were on, but it was hard to tell if anyone was home. When he adjusted to it, and when his dose was adjusted properly, he was a completely different person. 10 years out, I'd say that Zoloft is the best thing that's ever happened to my family.

My mom and one of my sisters are both on Paxil, which works well for them. My oldest sister is also on Zoloft, but it doesn't work very well for her. She's very dependent on it, and isn't able to function normally without it - but it leaves her very lethargic and just not quite with it. She's on other medications that compound the problem, but I noticed it first when she started taking Zoloft.

My brother-in-law is on Lithium and another medication, though I honestly don't remember what it is. He is bipolar, and without the medication, he's hostile and can be very dangerous. The other medications he takes are taken because the Lithium causes hot flashes & sweating, lack of sleep, and a feeling of general disconnection for him - they are meant to lessen the symptoms, but they really don't. Even with the medication, he's still very disrespectful, unreliable, and he has no desire to do anything with his life. I think that's just a big part of who he is though wink.gif

Many other members of my family have been on antidepressants and other mood-altering medications. I don't think there's any one clear "good" medication to be on because bodies react so differently to different medications. I just know that I'm thankful that most of my family has found some relief in the medications they take..
{Gothic Angel}
QUOTE (gothictheysay @ Jan 4 2006, 08:52 PM)
I can really tell when I haven't taken it though... and even if I miss one day I already start to worsen, getting more upset for tedious reasons, and just starting to feel horrible no matter what.
*


If it makes you feel better, a lot of people go through phases of that regardless due to stress. I went through about a 6-month period of similar feelings, where I got so stressed out I would do things like cry because I couldn't find my keys and scream at my sister for using the last bit of milk, and I know for a fact it happens to a lot more people than just me.

And to be frank, looking at the strengths of things you're on and have been on, I wouldn't be surprised if missing a dose started a withdrawl-like stress reaction.
gothictheysay
QUOTE
If it makes you feel better, a lot of people go through phases of that regardless due to stress. I went through about a 6-month period of similar feelings, where I got so stressed out I would do things like cry because I couldn't find my keys and scream at my sister for using the last bit of milk, and I know for a fact it happens to a lot more people than just me.

And to be frank, looking at the strengths of things you're on and have been on, I wouldn't be surprised if missing a dose started a withdrawl-like stress reaction.


Yeah it's a little comforting to know that. smile.gif And sometimes that does happen to me, too, and I know it's just stress. However, when I start to get like that, usually I end up thinking "did I take my medicine?" Sometimes I have, and it's still that way. And sometimes I'm late on a dose and I don't even notice. *shrug* And that does make sense, it is a lot of stuff to suddenly miss, even if it's only one dose. Went off something cold turkey and thought it wouldn't make it difference - I had the shakes for a couple of days. x_-
beleraphon
I take lots and lots and lots of interesting things
Fortunatly none of them mess with my mind.

Still not sure why so many people have so many mental health problems these days, when I was little I knew 1 child out of a school year over 100 who had hyperactivity, now everyone and their dog has got it - or worse!

Was it just not diagnosed - or have the number of sufferers got so much bigger so very fast? Either situation is scary.
Phyllis
Some of it has to do with people being overdiagnosed, beleraphon. There are a considerable amount of people who most likely have been prescribed drugs when they just have a temporary depression rather than an actual chemical imbalance.

Another factor is that yes a lot of people who probably should have been diagnosed in the past weren't. It just wasn't as common to seek help just a decade or two ago as it is now. I don't think the number of sufferers has increased significantly...though there's no real way to tell that since they weren't diagnosed in the past to begin with!

Of course, there are also all those commercials. Erm, do you have them in the UK? I don't recall ever seeing them there, but I might be remembering wrong. Well, here we have constant commercials on TV about anxiety meds or depression meds and how you should talk to your doctor if you have such and such symptoms (not just with mood disorder drugs...there are also with things like toenail fungus or herpes). Anyway, at least in the US I'm sure that's had an effect on it. In the past, people might not've known that what they were feeling was treatable with medication. Now, whether that awareness is a good or bad thing...I'm undecided. I do think that we are incredibly overmedicated and there are a lot of people on those drugs who really don't need it, like I mentioned before. But there are also people who honestly do need it...so I don't know.
elphaba2
See, there's a massive problem with diagnosing depression in the first place, and then the backlash (primarily in teenagers, I've noticed, though also with older folks) against concepts of overmedication--the idea that claiming to need medication for a disease one doesn't have is weakness, and an inability to deal with one's problems. Generally negative concepts are associated with this behaviour, leading some teenagers who are honestly in pain to decide that they're not actually depressed; that they must be part of a multitude of "angsty teens". I think it's probably worse than unnecessary medication, but I might be biased (and maybe a little upset--a boy I have slowly cultivated a crush for recently put himself in a mental facility after he tried to end his life. One would never have thought that he was depressed, but, well, he was. He's had a real shit time since, though, mostly through people talking about it like it's this lovely sensational event, maybe people who don't deserve to know. I'm not sure if even I should talk about it, but I've abstained from telling anyone else thus far. Matazone seems like a safe spot for information like this.)
Phyllis
Ideally people in such situations should be listening to their therapist, and not the people around them who are untrained to diagnose depression. Especially relatives, who might want to believe there's "nothing wrong" with them and that they're just a normal, moody teenager. That's really difficult to do though...and it's primarily up to relatives to listen to the therapist as well so they don't make things worse. And as for friends...well, why do they have to know?

I don't think that it lessens the problem of overmedication, though. It's still a problem in its own right. It's like taking vicodin for some horrible chronic pain your whole life when really you just had a sprained ankle when you were 14. Those drugs are powerful stuff. Giving everyone who is having a rough time a heavy dose of medication isn't accomplishing much other than creating a generation of people who are dependent upon said medication. Yes, it does need to be used in many situations. But in my opinion, from what I've learned through my studies (I did a double major - Psychology and Business), it should really only be used in conjunction with therapy in most cases...and some doctors should be a bit more wary of prescribing it so freely.
Aria
I'm on zoloft and wellbutrin. Started on them just over a year ago. I'm apparently dysthymic, although I have no clue if that's the right spelling. They've worked wonders for me, although I am utterly NOT happy with the fact that I get withdrawal if I don't take my zoloft. Having said that, I'm trying to wean myself off of zoloft onto wellbutrin-- less side effects. Whee.
artist.unknown
There are also some theories that the sharp increase in mental disorders is partly due to nasty chemicals and heavy metals in the water, although I believe that it's become trendy recently to diagnose a mental disorder. Our society believes this relieves people of responsibility for their own/their children's actions. Last time it was ADD, now it's bipolar disorder. I'm not comfortable with little schoolkids being put on heavy antidepressants unless there's a very significant need to (if they endanger themselves or others). The brain's still very undeveloped at that age and it just seems irresponsible, especially when there are other routes to explore. I'm not a doctor, though, so what do I know?
gothictheysay
QUOTE
he brain's still very undeveloped at that age and it just seems irresponsible


Which is the challenge giving adolescents drugs. I'm pretty sure I need mine, but it's a little unsettling to read about the same type of anti-depressants as the ones that you're taking are backfiring and having the opposite effect. Especially when you never had suicidal tendencies before and then... did. =S
voices_in_my_head
I was on anti-depressents when I was 11-ish. I Don't remember the exact name of it, but I do remember that it started with a P and was a bright blue color.

Anyway, I was only taking it for half a year before it started making me dizzy and giving me these horrible headaches. So I stopped taking it and that's it. I don't really know if I needed it in the first place or not. I just went into the doctor's office because I had been extremely dizzy (To the point where I couldn't stand up for too long) and had some bad headaches. They ran a blood test and gave me some medicine. I never mentioned being sad or stressed or anything.
Righteous
QUOTE (candice @ Jan 4 2006, 02:07 PM)
And I strongly believe that pretty much whenever there are drugs being implemented for these sorts of things, there should also be therapy. And there should be at least a few sessions of therapy before any drugs are prescribed in the first place.  Drugs for mood disorders can only do so much on their own.  They are much more effective (and the effects are more long-lasting) when combined with therapy.
*

Agreed. I've found in my life that with my mania and depression there are two sides: The biological side and the cognitive side. My guess is that my mind is just used to acting that way. Because I'm on lithium and am no longer a numb emotional catatonic, my mind still has remanents of an up-and-down cycle. For that, I've gotten into meditation, music and other healthy outlets. My attempt is to not be completely dependednt on pills to feel stable.
QUOTE
Tho Righteous, your great-uncle's response to lithium might not have been because the drug works better, but because his brain, being similar to yours and your mother's, simply responds best to it.

That was what I meant. Different drugs work differently with different people and lithium works spectacularly with my mother's family. There are people who have been on lithium that hasn't done jack, so it may not be the "best" for them.
QUOTE
I Don't remember the exact name of it, but I do remember that it started with a P and was a bright blue color.

Prozac?

My experiences on the various drugs led me into self-medication (i.e. drugs, alcohol and sex). Also, between 17.5 and 19.5, I cut myself and attempted suicide more than in all the years prior (which cost me two relationships). If you were to go along with the bottle-up model, while on Depakote and the other drugs, my "bottle" was really big and when it filled up and spilled, bad things happened (more than just holes punched in walls). I'm not the only one who's experienced this. I've met plenty of people who get into drugs and alcohol to treat their depression, bipolar disorder, etc.

I am proud to say that I've been without alcohol since March and now smoke weed occasionally instead of habitually.

One good medication story I've had recently is this: I tremble and it gets in the way of things. My girlfriend suggested to me pills that her mother takes. I've been on them for about about a month and a half and I've stopped shaking! biggrin.gif
Phyllis
QUOTE (Righteous @ Jan 10 2006, 10:47 AM)
My experiences on the various drugs led me into self-medication (i.e. drugs, alcohol and sex).

[other stuff]

I am proud to say that I've been without alcohol since March and now smoke weed occasionally instead of habitually.
*

You are really lucky you're not dead, then.

With as much medication as you're on, it's amazing your liver can handle even a little bit of drugs or alcohol.

Perhaps the reasons those other medications had such a bad effect on you was at least partially because you were messing yourself up in a serious way by doing drugs and alcohol. Just a theory. I'm not a psychologist or anything, have just been studying it for the past 4 years is all...so what do I know?
Righteous
QUOTE
You are really lucky you're not dead, then.

Regarding my drug use and its effects on my system, you are the only person who has ever said that.

But yeah, my liver doesn't work too well. I'm sh*t-faced drunk after three beers and quite stoned after four hits of regs (and I'm not sure if this has anything to do with anything, but I also piss frequently; according to the guys, I have a "bladder like an infant"). I will also say that it takes me a long time to come off of a high and by that I mean I can get high at ten PM and feel groggy the next morning.

My liver is monitored because of the lithium I take. Right now, it can function at a nominal level, however I am (and have been) forbidden to drink alcohol; that's the big thing and I'm glad I'm being more responsible than when I was nineteen. I don't know how long I'm going to last, but I'd like my liver to last just as long.

I'm sure drugs and alcohol were affecting the Depakote in some way, but at the time, they were the only things that helped keep me sane. The drugs and alcohol came way after the meds, not the other way around. I never needed to self-medicate while on lithium, which is one reason why I say it works better.
Mata
QUOTE ({Gothic Angel} @ Jan 3 2006, 04:00 PM)
edit: Incidentally, one of the things I'm supposed to take is evening primrose oil for the hormones thing. I'm being told by my doctor that "this helps to balance out and control hormone production and settle down the monthly cycle".
*

Well, I don't know about that, but I had a girlfriend who was prone to mood swings and they helped her a huge amount. I could tell just by talking to her whether she'd taken any evening primrose oil that day or not! I guess it stabilises the way the hormones effect people to stop them going up and down all day. Speaking as a boyfriend, I love the stuff! biggrin.gif
Phyllis
QUOTE (Righteous @ Jan 11 2006, 09:12 AM)
QUOTE
You are really lucky you're not dead, then.

Regarding my drug use and its effects on my system, you are the only person who has ever said that.
*


That's surprising. It's pretty basic psychopharmacology. I was referring more to the drinking than the drugs, however, since I don't recall you mentioning that you'd ever done any hard drugs. I only know roughly how much you drank based on having known you on the forums at that time and seeing how much you talked about it here. I might be overestimating it based on that.

How long had you been on the Depakote before you started drugs and alcohol? It takes about two to three weeks for the drugs to have their full effects, at an absolute minimum. If it was only between several weeks and a month, you could still have been feeling withdrawal symptoms from being taken off of the lithium so suddenly.

And in any case I'm sure the drug and alcohol use definitely made the problem worse. Recreational drugs seriously mess up the effects of antidepressants (talks of livers aside), because not only do they often affect the same neurotransmitters as antidepressants...they also cause a kind of depression themselves. They cause a withdrawal feeling once the effect of the drug has worn off. With milder drugs it often amounts to just feeling depressed in comparison to the mild euphoria present when you take the drug. The exact term is escaping me at the moment (and I can't be bothered to find my Fundamentals of Learning textbook), but it's a big part of what makes drug addiction so difficult to beat. For every high point induced by drugs, there is a corresponding low point once their effects wear off. So yeah...you may have taken them after getting on the Depakote, but I am almost certain that they just made things worse.
Righteous
QUOTE (candice @ Jan 11 2006, 01:05 PM)
How long had you been on the Depakote before you started drugs and alcohol?
Longer than I thought. Holy crap. I was on the suff for almost a year. I got on it in late April of 2002 and didn't smoke pot or drink heavily until mid to late March of 2003.
QUOTE
They cause a withdrawal feeling once the effect of the drug has worn off.  With milder drugs it often amounts to just feeling depressed in comparison to the mild euphoria present when you take the drug. [...] For every high point induced by drugs, there is a corresponding low point once their effects wear off.
When I was on Depakote along with the other drugs, I very rarely experienced a "low," as you put it. I recall one time snorting my nose raw and my "friend" kept telling me, "Dude, you're gonna crash so hard," and I never did. These days, I feel lows a lot more and my highs aren't as high. This is primarily why I smoke in moderation.
QUOTE
So yeah...you may have taken them after getting on the Depakote, but I am almost certain that they just made things worse.
*

Probably, but not all that much. I quit for about four months and my temperment really didn't change. I still cut and still lost my temper just as much. Similarly, my little cousin (who's sober) and my great uncle (who's sober) acted similarly and were both institutionalized. I have my theories about how drugs affected me, but I don't think it was all that radically. In any case, I'm on lithium and am more in control of my emotions and no longer need drugs to feel happy or alcohol to deal with my depression. biggrin.gif
{Gothic Angel}
QUOTE (candice @ Jan 5 2006, 09:50 PM)
Of course, there are also all those commercials.  Erm, do you have them in the UK?


We don't even have them in pharmacies. We have occasional posters in GP surgeries and school matrons' offices and stuff talking about seeing a doctor if you're feeling depressed, but it's actually really difficult to get psychopharmaceutical drugs out of UK doctors. Which is a little weird, because the majority of the UK is stupidly overmedicated for everything else anyway - I know a lot of doctors who just prescribe to stop people coming back and whinging about things.
ladysan
I've been dealing with severe depression [which runs in my family] for most of my life. My mother's side of the family has a whole host of mental disorders, and my father's side has a bit of an anger problem.

I was lucky enough to escape from this geneology relatively unscathed, although I can chalk many of my behavioral nuances [being utterly terrified of christianity, for example] to my mom. Being raised by a cult-christian schizophrenic until you're fourteen will do it to you, I guess.

Currently my mental disorder list has ADHD, Depression, Paranoia [though not badly, thankfully], and Anxiety taped to it. The ADHD was espescially fun since my mom never bothered to get it treated and upon my custody change to my father he refused to believe I had it. I was seventeen and halfway through my senior year when I was finally diagnosed, and the doctor actually looked at my father and asked him how he could've not noticed the classic signs. That was one of my more warm memories with a doctor.

I was then taken off of Trazodone, which I had been on for two years at that point for depression- which had worsened into three serious suicide attempts by the time father finally took me to a shrink who put me on it. Traz was actually a lifesaver [somewhat literally] for me, and kept my mood for the most part more towards the angst side of "I hate my life." rather than the suicidal end.

ADHD I learned to somewhat cope with on my own, but I know firsthand just how horrible it is. People who scoff at those who truly have it are quick to get the sharp side of my tounge, although I'll readily admit that it is overdiagnosed in young children.
This scinario was my daily life through school:
Teacher assigns work. I, being one who appreciates an education, want to do my work. I fill out two answers, then notice how cool my pen's ink flow is. I play with said pen for four minutes, then give myself a mental slap and fill out half of another question before becoming enthralled with the surface of my desk. This pattern repeats until the end of class, where we are allowed to take our unfinished work home. Out of thirty questions to be finished, I have four done. I then scream at myself when I get home for not just *doing* them, and force myself to finish the work, despite my wavering interest. Somtimes I got it done, sometimes I didn't. It all depended if I could snap myself into a certain "zone," an elusive feeling of complete focus that allowed me to work on one thing for an extended period of time.

I was put on Stratterra for ADHD, and almost immediately found that the drug gave me that "zone." It also spaced me out quite a bit, though, and made me feel like I hadn't slept for four days, even though I was very awake. The amount that it calmed me was unnerving, but what was even more frightening was that four to seven hours after I took it my heart began to race and I had dizzy spells that planted me on the floor as soon as I stood. Still, my grades had been steadily improving through out the nine weeks, and I was reluctant to go off of it.
It wasn't until I had an athsma attack and passed out on it that I stopped the medication altogether, hating the fact that I got to watch myself go back to not being able to focus a good 80% of the time.

It's been a year since I was on any meds, and I find that while depression is still an issue, living with my boyfriend and not being screamed at every day [a common occurance in my father's house] helped it greatly. My boyfriend was diagnosed with ADHD in middle school, so he understands what I'm going through, but I have it much worse tha he does, since mostly he grew out of it while mine turned into Adult ADD.

Anxiety is still a problem - I broke down crying today over a $300 deficit in bills we owed today, and he helped me put things back in perspective. I tend to let things get worse in my mind than they really are.
As far as the paranoia goes, I'll sometimes [say, once a week] have a "Oh dear god cameras are in all the mirrors, THEY'RE WATCHING US!" moment, but my mind tends to give that thought a good mental slap and reply with "no one is watching you, you dolt. Now go play video games." And that's the end of that.

o.o Sorry. Fairly long post.
little_bear
I take Budesonide and Terbutaline Sulphate.
elphaba2
Not that that was a particularly exhausting Google search, but why not just say what the meds are for? The thread was started as a reason to explain what effects different meds have on people, so why not respond to that instead of just naming the ones you take?
Righteous
Lithium- Mood stabilizer commonly used to treat bipolar disorder
Lamictil- Mood stabilizer commonly used to treat bipolar disorder
Depakote- Antisiezure (I believe) commonly used to treat bipolar disorder
Effexor- Antidepressant
Welbutrin- Antidepressant
Synthroid- Artificial TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) to help regulate thyroid activity
{Gothic Angel}
QUOTE (elphaba2 @ Jan 23 2006, 02:01 AM)
Not that that was a particularly exhausting Google search, but why not just say what the meds are for? The thread was started as a reason to explain what effects different meds have on people, so why not respond to that instead of just naming the ones you take?


Wasn't the original question "What medications are you on?", not "Please tell us in great detail about your possibly uncomfortable and unpleasant personal life and mental health problems?" tongue.gif
believe
I've been on.. Zoloft, Prozac?, Depakote, Trazodone and finally EffexorXR. I started at 12 and I desperately, desperately needed said medications. In fact, I'd wish I'd been on more and stronger ones, as the need would have well outweighed any risk in my case. I was not functional with extreme panic and depression.

Unfortunately, I also don't swallow pills. Asking a depressed teen to take a daily crushed pill (ie aversion) therapy, doesn't work so well. For years after I couldn't handle the taste of anything I'd taken the pill with. My dose was so irregular that I can't fairly discuss the effect of Zoloft. >_o Tried prozac briefly, not sure why I stopped that. Depakote.. I don't remember it doing so much and I finally stopped it do to increased appetite/not thinking it worked so well. Trazodone did work at putting me to sleep, but that was about it. EffexorXR is the latest and I wish to God that I'd done it soon. Its worked beautifully and I've never felt so sane. I have Xanax on as needed basis and thats worked well for panic attacks/anxiety.

Edit- I forgot to mention that EffexorXR was for generalized anxiety disorder and depression, the difference between that and regular Effexor.
elphaba2
QUOTE ({Gothic Angel} @ Jan 28 2006, 03:40 AM)
Wasn't the original question "What medications are you on?", not "Please tell us in great detail about your possibly uncomfortable and unpleasant personal life and mental health problems?" tongue.gif
*

Oh, no, I didn't mean it like that! I do realize that people's personal problems aren't to be bullied out--but Little_bear posted sort of allergy/asthma meds. My apologies to the bear if I've offended: I was merely confused as to why such seemingly innocuous meds caused such a brief post. But now that I've seen Righteous's post it's clear I haven't made myself understood. Sorry, all!
ezfriday
QUOTE (Mata @ Dec 30 2005, 04:19 PM)
I was talking with my girlfriend tonight about one of the newer members on the board and somehow the conversation got around to issues of medication and peoples' experiences with them. I've never taken any mood-drugs but I have many friends who have and I thought it might be useful if people shared their good and bad experiences of the various ones available. For example I have one friend at the moment who is taking prozac because she finds it works well for her and helps her keep a level head, whereas a family member took prozac and took himself off it after a month because he hated having the sensations of happiness when he knew that he didn't actually feel that way.

So, have you been/are you on medication? What has helped? What hasn't?
*


I was prescribed welbutrin but stopped taking it because it had an effect almost like speed ... so darn happy I couldn't sleep! Doc thought it would help because I am extremely forgetful and he attributed the forgetfulness to depression ... Heck I'm to forgetful to remember if I'm depressed or not. Now I'm told I've got ADD ... not sure where thats headed yet?
Icey
Right...

Currently I am on a wash out from Fluoxetine to be able to start taking Mirtazapine. I have been on 3 different medications in the space of 5 months. I currently have to see a doctor every month, and I have been signed off work for nearly 6 months.

As well as receiving medication, I also receive counselling every Friday from 'MIND'. My doctor referred me to a psychologist, but the practise doctors refused, I'm not getting too much help from them, only person who really is helping is my personal doctor, of which she was very annoyed at the refusal of proper psychological treatment.

Anyway, I'm going thru hell and back with life and medication.
Clatterpop
I spent about eight years on various anti-depressents, and it all ended in tears after they tried me on seroxat. After taking it for three months I went completely out of control and came very close to killing myself. My doctor eventually realised that anti-depressents don't make transgender issues go away. Ho hum. Things have improved a lot over the last few years, despite the medication. I've since had reassignment surgery and I self medicate with lots of kayaking on my local rapids. smile.gif
artist.unknown
Agreed Clatterplop--that's my problem with over-medication. Meds aren't a panacea. Instead of treating the underlying problem, they mask the symptoms. Sometimes that's what someone needs in order to keep their head above water; other times it just allows the actual problem to grow unchecked under the surface. I'm glad I never took my doctor up on her offer of Prozac for my OCD, because when it came to the point where I was destroying my health I had to come to terms with myself. And I'm pretty proud of myself when I do brave things like use a metal spoon or shake someone's hand, because I can feel like it's a personal victory.
believe
I like to think of as the medicine enabling me to be able to deal with my actual problems, rather than the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Its hard to come to terms with whatever the actual issue is when the disease has me going about in pointless circles. That said, I agree its definitely not for everyone and some doctors seem quite overeager to medicate.
Aria
QUOTE (ezfriday @ Feb 6 2006, 08:17 PM)
I was prescribed welbutrin but stopped taking it because it had an effect almost like speed ... so darn happy I couldn't sleep! Doc thought it would help because I am extremely forgetful and he attributed the forgetfulness to depression ... Heck I'm to forgetful to remember if I'm depressed or not. Now I'm told I've got ADD ... not sure where thats headed yet?
*



I'm on (more) Wellbutrin now, and yes, it really does make me crankers. But I figure it's a lot better than being so tired I couldn't get out of bed. So yes, I am constantly hyper now, but on the upside, it's easier for me to exercise, which also helps with the whole depression thing. Unfortunately, now I get to worry about having more frequent panic attacks, but I've taken to carrying valerian around with me, so hopefully I don't have to run home-- I can just hide in the toilets until the valerian kicks in.
Rose
[Spam deleted - Mata]
spiffilicious05
This is an odd subject for me. Just about everyone in my family (mom, dad, aunt, uncle, grandmother) is on some type of drug.

I know my grandmother is on zoloft - which seems to work for her. However, everyone else in my family who has tried it says that it doesn't do much for them.

My father was on zoloft but still had violent mood swings and was constantly depressed. Just recently I believe he was switched to lexipro which seems to be working for him. My mother is on lexipro as well.

My aunt is on some random cocktail of drugs for ocd, adhd, and depression. She swears by these drugs, whatever they are. I know one of the names sounds oddly like zimbabwe.

As for me, doctors have tried to put me on drugs and I have refused. I don't believe that there's anything necessarily wrong with medication - but I don't think that it's right for everyone. I was being treated for post traumatic stress disorder and clinical depression - but I didn't like the way they were treating me. The doctor said that the pill would basically solve my problems, make me happy - and make me forget. I however felt that I need to come to terms with everything that has happened and not be filled with fake emotions. If I am to be happy it shouldbe because I truly am happy.

Although, considering that many members of my family are on some sort of anti-depressant I wouldn't be surprised if I will need to be medicated some day.
raech_mad_cow
Hey,
Medication? I've been on all sorts of drugs to try and combat my depression. When i was first diagnosed they put me on Citalopram, which i hated as i felt like i couldnt think straight. I remember one day i was crossing a road and i thought, 'I don't actually remember looking for cars.' That scared me a bit!
When the Citalopram was making me worse they realised that i have bi-polar disorder and so i tried lithium which worked really well, until something happened which to this day im still not sure what and it just wasn't helping.
Now i'm still depressed, but have given up on the antidepressants for the first time in 5 years! I honestly can't remember if i was better off without the drugs so i'm still waiting to see what will happen. I'm hoping i'll feel better soon laugh.gif
I'm angry at the professionals when i was first diagnosed because they diagnosed me wrongly and so i was confused for years until they realised they'd made a mistake! Grrr dry.gif
All i know is that depression sucks and is an ongoing battle for me which can be frightening and can ruin your life. I have really bad panic attacks but i find that Rescue remedy is helping.
Gotta keep on trying and biggrin.gif

Raech
xxx
Icey
I feel so sad, I've had my dosaged upped again, I don't really know if its worth it anymore sad.gif
zivane
While I was gone... I was tried on various antidepressants/antipsychotics. I don't recall half of them but the ones I really noticed... (keep in mind, these were half or quarter the amount a usual person would take as I was quite literally starving at the time).

zoloft - SSRI, made me a zombie. seriously, no emotion. just kind of dragged on through the day.
paxil - SSRI, at quarter the usual dosage, perked me right up however suppressed my appetite causing me to drop another 7lbs and landing me in the hospital
remeron - atypical antipsychotic/antidepressant, made me absolutely exhausted and dizzy as I don't know what, also increased my appetite insanely (also causing my anxiety levels to skyrocket)
lexapro - atypical antidepressant/antianxiety, made me too dizzy to continue longer than a week. didn't really feel any better on that either

Then my therpiast left town. And left me to fend for myself. Yay.

I've also been on imitrex for cluster headaches/migraines. Works wonders.
lyfgozon
I used Prozac too,and in fact being on this site is my aim of telling you guys to use it! When I was very depressed after my divorce, I used it as a way to feel stress-free.. I was taking medications from my shrink at 1st ( because I was very very depressed, had to consult a shrink).. and had to take lexapro, lexotanil, but after some time, some friends told me that Prozac is widely known for its numerous prescriptions. So, am sure it will help you to calm down you mood swings, and make you more positive about life..
Phyllis
QUOTE (lyfgozon @ Jul 17 2006, 05:13 AM) *
I used Prozac too,and in fact being on this site is my aim of telling you guys to use it! [other stuff] So, am sure it will help you to calm down you mood swings, and make you more positive about life..

Whether or not an antidepressant works largely depends on the person taking it. What worked for one person won't necessarily work for others. There's no way you can be sure that it will help someone's mood swings. It's not a miracle drug. Such a thing does not exist. Additionally, remember that in order to be most effective, drugs should be combined with therapy.
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