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Re: Opiates for depression?-Elizabeth

Posted by Elizabeth on May 15, 2001, at 9:02:31

In reply to Re: Opiates for depression?-Elizabeth, posted by Cecilia on May 14, 2001, at 3:54:18

> Thanks for your answer, Elizabeth. Yes, I was definitely depressed at the time of my surgery, I`ve been depressed since childhood, severely depressed (though I do my best to hide it)since college age (I`m 51 now). So I guess if my post-op meds did nothing for my mood, that`s a pretty clear indication that opiates would not be the answer for me.

Probably not. Although, IME, pain seems to "eat" opioids, just as anxiety "eats" benzos. When I'm in pain of some sort (like menstrual cramps or something), I typically need a higher dose of buprenorphine than usual. (Similarly, when I take Xanax for a panic attack, it's completely nonsedating, whereas the same amount would make me at least a little drowsy under relatively normal circumstances.)

> I remember at the time thinking "aren`t these drugs supposed to make you feel good-all they do is make me itch."

Yes. Most opioids (I think fentanyl might be an exception) cause histamine release, resulting in a lot of itching. Benadryl or any other antihistamine will do the trick (I've found that I need relatively large amounts, though, like 75-100mg of Benadryl).

> Though ironically I kept pushing the morphine pump button over and over in the vain hope that it would help me sleep-I have severe insomnia under the best of circumstances and lying in a hospital bed with tubes attached to your body is not the best of circumstances.

As you discovered, morphine isn't sedating for everybody! Do you know how much you ended up taking? (I take it you had PCA. Apparently when I was in the hospital recently they had me on IV morphine for a while, but I was comatose and don't remember anything about it!)

> I had nitrous oxide at the dentist once too and certainly had no "high" from it; they told me to push the dial up until I felt relaxed, so I kept pushing but never felt relaxed until all of a sudden I was at the highest dose and feeling sick as a dog.

N2O is a general anaesthetic...some people get nauseated on it, most get very dizzy and spaced out. (It used to be a popular party drug when I was in college, believe it or not.)

> I don`t really get any pleasure from alcohol either or have any desire to drink it.

Me neither; I think that by the time I take enough to be intoxicating, I'm already asleep/passed out! I did manage to get truly smashed once in college (right after my number theory final < g >), but even then...well, I won't get into the gory details. ;-)

> Is it possible to be born without the ability to feel good? I`ve tried so many meds and the only one I could say did anything at all for my depression was Xanax for a few days during a period of extreme anxiety.

Did you know that Xanax sometimes works -- in *very* high doses (like 10mg/day) -- for depression? You'd definitely be physiologically dependent if you were on that much, though, and benzos are *hard* to get off of (some say harder than heroin -- certainly more dangerous).

> Right now I`m on clonazepam, trazodone and celexa and they maybe help a little with anxiety, but the depression is still there. People write about feeling their AD "kick in" and it`s like a foreign concept.

God, I'm sorry. I hope you get to experience it one day. You know that scene in _The Wizard of Oz_ where Dorothy steps out of her house and suddenly everything is in colour? It's like that.





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