Posted by JohnL on October 18, 2001, at 2:27:48
In reply to opiates and major depression, posted by androog on October 16, 2001, at 16:49:58
I think that's great that you do so well with Ultram. It got my curiosity up, since I didn't know much about it, so I went and did some research on Ultram. As it turns out, it is a lot more than just an opiate. It apparently is similar to Effexor, in that it inhibits the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine. There were a surprising number of cases of serotonin syndrome when patients combined antidepressants with Ultram. I saw one study where a patient with refractory major depression was treated successfully with Ultram monotherapy.
Since you already know what works well for you, it could actually make finding a doctor easier. Simply tell a potential doctor that you are experiencing success with Ultram and that all you need is someone who will provide maintenance prescriptions and monitoring of progress. A lot of docs might not be comfortable with it, but there are definitely some out there who would be happy to help you stay well and not have a problem with Ultram. You'll just have to let your fingers do the walking in the yellow pages, call a bunch of doctors and briefly explain the situation and what you need. If they aren't comfortable with it, move on to the next phone number. You'll find someone cooperative. All you need is someone who will maintain you on what is already working. You definitely don't want someone who is going want to change things. In your shoes, I would pull out the phone book yellow pages and start calling.
> Does anybody out there know of a psychiatrist in the Chicago/Oak Park area that has experienced major depression firsthand, and/or is open-minded enough to try opiates in the treatment of major depression?
> I have suffered from depression for over 30 years and have tried about every antidepressant on the market to no avail. I've even had 17 sessions of ECT which left me with nothing more than a bad memory and a huge bill.
> About 2 years ago during a root canal, I was prescribed the painkiller Ultram. I discovered that it alleviated my depression almost entirely, and did so within 2 hours. I can't tell you what a relief this was. After my script ran out I found a source on the internet where I could buy Ultram with no prescription. Since the psychiatrist I was seeing wouldn't prescribe Ultram for me, I took matters into my own hands and started self-medicating with the online Ultram. I figured, and still do, that I'm better off with a drug habit than I was when I was constantly crying, contemplating suicide and withdrawing from life.
> When I bring up the topic of opiates, synthetic or otherwise, with any of the 4 psychiatrists I've recently seen, the room fills with an uncomfortable silence followed by a refusal to consider this topic any further.
> I would simply continue to self-medicate were it not for the customs crackdown on packages originating from outside the USA. I'm hoping that I can find a doc that has experienced major depression and knows the measures that one will go through to alleviate this awful disease.
> I'd appreciate any feedback I can get so that I can stop paying $150 only to be told by various psychiatrists that opiates are not an option. Period.
> PS- With the exception of one person here in the States, nobody knows I've been taking the Ultram. But those people who know about my depression comment constantly on the fact that I'm doing so well. My work, my social life and my interest in life have all improved a hundredfold.
> Thanks for taking the time to read this rambling letter and for any advice you can give.