I don't know about these new drugs, guys


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/27/i-dont-know-about-these-new.html


#2

Depends on the drug I suppose. I take tegretol for epilepsy but I get mood stabilization as a side effect. Without the tegretol, I am much less organized. I much prefer it this way.


#3

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#4

For me, I need to be able to organize and control my situation. I need to clean when I get stressed. When my meds work, I was up a bit.


#5

I feel you, man. It feels at times like my life and sanity are held hostage by doctors, insurance and government whim. Tried going off meds and life simply isn’t worth living. As a spouse and parent, my family also suffers when I do. The generic meds don’t work so it costs a lot more ($1600) month for ONE medication without insurance. But what can you do when the alternative is pure hell and dysfunction? God forbid some Doc wants to change or stop the only thing working for me. It makes me feel helpless and needing the meds causes me to also feel broken and like some kind of failure despite it being a physiological situation.

Hang in there. Keep reminding yourself that you’re transitioning. Put up notes if you have to. Set reminders on your devices. Stay safe and sane.


#6

Have you considered finding a different source for your medication? Maybe like flying to India once a year and buying there. You are pretty obviously in the US so I suppose you would have to look in to the legalities of importing prescription medication for your own use.


#7

Lol, if I had the money to leave the country… I’m also concerned about fakes and inferior versions. As it is, only the name brand works. When we were uninsured our pharmacy did their best to find discounts. With insurance it’s still expensive but no longer eclipses the mortgage. It’s terrifying though, the prospect of again losing coverage.


#8

Hang in there if you can @SeamusBellamy. I’ve been on anti-depressants for about 20 years on and off. While I hate the fuckers and particularly the idea of being on them the rest of my life - I’m 45 and counting on being outta here by about 60 - I’m certain that without them I’d have killed myself 20 or so years ago.

And at the very least, take comfort from the fact you’ve maintained and are maintaining long-term intimate relationships. That’s more than I’ve managed to do. So perhaps the perception within yourself of ‘damage’ is less noticeable or extreme to others than it is to you.

Also, haven’t you been struggling with fevers and chest infections lately? Could your sense of doom and gloom be in reaction to the chest infections and recovering from them, along with the new drug regimen?


#9

Yeah, swelling and chemical shifts from infections can do some crappy things to your large nerves and glands, in turn messing with your mood, thoughts etc…


#10

I’m terrified of taking anti-anxiety/depression medications, thankfully the issues i deal with are relatively benign but because its a such a low almost imperceptible constant drone of anxiety and depression it’s taken a toll on me, my family and my friends/relationships. It sucks but the stability i’ve gotten in the past few years from having a job i feel invested in and that gives me a good living has done a lot good. That being said the anxiety and depression are still there in the background.

Friends of mine that have dealt with more serious mental health issues have all told me of what they go through whenever their doctors change their dosage or when they try new medication. What they go through seems like hell and worse than anything i could experience. Also the thought of not being myself and being at the mercy of these drugs concerns me. I’d be more interested in micro-dosing or using pot to manage anxiety, but if the standard medications work for some people they have my admiration and respect because i can’t bring myself to ever cross that bridge.


#11

Obligatory:


#12

I was like that for a long time too, but I guess it comes down to what you feel you can live with.
I’m not a professional, so I can’t tell if you have dysthymic depression, but maybe talking to somebody might reveal some useful non-pharmaceutical options?


#13

That’s an excellent point. I’m giving these things another week and then heading back to see my doctor.


#14

I can’t stand myself on them and off of them. My ptsd makes me uber paranoid as well, throw in cardiac and back issues and I’m a walking pharmacy /zombie.
I envy your living situation, I live about 5 miles away from the Queens border on Long Island… I lock my self in the house


#15

I’d say 80% of the time i don’t really have many issues. Ideally i’d love to see a professional for therapy, i just need to find one that my insurance will cover but my systemic laziness gets in the way ]:


#16

I take provigil for serious sleep rhythm problems, which, untreated, make me miserable and useless. It is great, as the primary side effect when awake is being super motivated. If I decide to sleep while taking it, I have fabulous inception-quality dreams. Also very cool.
I don’t see any down side, except for the side effects of all the other medical solutions I had to go through to get to this point.


#17

Best of luck. I hope you can find a combination that works well.


#18

I KNOW, RIGHT?!?
To what all of you said.
The anxiety, the depression, the guilt about having anxiety and depression and the effect it has on everybody around me . . .
The meds that sort of work and sort of don’t . . .
The horrible transitions between med changes . . .
The financial toll of said meds . . .
I’m actually afraid to look at the lists of their side effects on my physical health.
Seamus, thank you for describing your own situation. It gives the non-depressed/etc. a glimpse of what it’s like, and comforts the rest of us to know we’re not alone.
Hang in there and enjoy the moments of peace and joy that you find. I hope they multiply for you.


#19

You’re not broken. That’s unpossible. You’re a miracle.

I think maybe we’re not meant to live quite like this. Hug and a high five.


#20

Seamus, I don’t know the source of your struggles and PTSD but as someone dealing with lifelong anxiety and depression, it’s always interesting to read about someone else’s struggles. Especially someone as eloquent as yourself.

I was a very insecure child and teen, known as “moody”, prone to big highs and deep lows. Started talk therapy in my early 20s and then tried a few anti depressants in my late 20s until I settled on Effexor/Venlafaxine (generic). A dose of 75 (or sometimes 150) mg seems to just keep my depression smoothed out and at bay.

I’ve been on these meds 20 years, and always planned to get off them some day. Last year, in an experiment of hoping I was finally able to go off them, I titrated down to 37.5 from 75 and it was hell. Venlafaxine is one of the worst for withdrawal symptoms. After 2 weeks, I was steadier but at a much less stable day to day, and suddenly face to face with my “moody” self from my teens and 20s. So I’m back to 75.

I do wonder if I’ll ever be able to go off them completely. I should be taking anxiety meds as well, as I’m unemployed right now and in a pretty big money and life panic (weird to not be able to get work at 47, despite many years of working in my chosen field of TV production, but such is the TV freelancer’s life).

I have a few things I’m going to try in the near term future as I’m curious about ways to take myself off medication and still thrive:

  1. Micro dosing LSD or psychedelic mushrooms is being looked at as a way to treat PTSD and depression, not sure about anxiety

  2. CBD oil - I’m experimenting with this now

  3. Wim Hof, the man who sits in ice water, claims that his method of ‘shocking’ oneself in this way, and surviving it using his breathing method, can cure depression. He himself was able to overcome depression this way after his wife took her own life.

  4. Truthfully, another possibility is to just change my life dramatically. Figure out some ideas of what makes me happy on a minute to minute, day to day basis and pursue one of them. Get as offline as I can be. Surround myself with a small but good community of people. That’s how humans have survived for years…but I don’t have most of that now.

As for sleep, that is a tough one - and I know how if it goes awry, it can really mess with your head long-term. I saw my father go through tremendous sleep disruption shortly before his suicide, and I’m super careful to have good sleep habits. Does anything seem to work for you better than anything else?

Anyway, those are just some musings that I came to after seeing your post.