Posted by androog on October 28, 2001, at 14:35:18
In reply to opiates and major depression, posted by androog on October 16, 2001, at 16:49:58
My recent trip to my current pdoc did, indeed, yield some results. After rapping me on the knuckles for my "deceit" (not telling him that i was taking ultram on my own) he proceeded to write a script for 400mg of ultram a day. he was very angry that i had been self-medicating. of course, my telling him about my self-medicating would be akin to telling the warden that i had a nice little tunnel from which to escape my impending death sentence.
i told him that i had walked the straight and narrow for over 15 years, taking only those medications prescribed to me by a doctor. after shelling out thousands of dollars seeking a solution to my problem with no results, i decided to take matters into my own hands (and will continue to do so). i told him that i felt like i had reached the end of a long corridor and was faced with 2 doors: one marked "suicide", the other "drug dependency". i told him i didn't have to think long before selecting the "drug dependency" door. he didn't care much for my analogy, probably because it only left him with the "suicide" door to recommend.
at any rate, he said he would only write the ultram prescription once a month upon my seeing him, and that there would be no refills. if he found that i was deceiving him in any way, the game was over - he was taking his ball and going home.
this was interesting to me in two ways: 1) he was writing a prescription based on MY recommendation while at the same time chastising me for taking said drug and 2) he was treating me as a common criminal for having a history of substance abuse.
i've found over the years that although major recurring depression and substance abuse have been found to have strong physiological ties, many doctors acknowledge this only superficially. inwardly they harbor the same antiquated images of a bowery bum as do many other unenlightened people.
having had a substance abuse problem for many years, i've given a lot of thought as to what might be the best course of treatment. not once has a doctor asked me what makes my natural state of conciousness so awful that i need to self-medicate. and that's basically what it gets down to. address that problem and the rest will likely take care of itself. the catch is, at least in my case, that treatment would involve the use of opiates, and that doesn't sit well with most docs. i have tried countless antidepressants over the years to no avail. opiates work almost immediately on me and leave me perfectly capable of going about my everday duties. i've tried opiates in the past without telling anyone, and have received only positive feedback concerning my ability to get things done, to socialize and to have a pleasant, sunny disposition. i don't stagger, nod out, drool, dress only in black and come out at night, or any of the other pre-conceived notions of how a drug addict behaves. there's a reason we have opiate receptors.
it is SO frustrating to me to know that there is something out there that will free me, but that our society has placed such powerful sanctions against it that one needs to become a criminal to obtain it. why should society care what i put in my body? we can place liquor. tobacco and double cheeseburgers with fries into our systems anytime we want, and well we should. but when it comes to opiates the attitude is stick 'em in prison or refer 'em to another doc.
Kristi, if taking 100mg of ultram a day relieves your depression slightly, i'd guess that 2, 3, or even 4 times that much would almost entirely eradicate it. of course, i'm not a doctor. but i have had more personal experience with the drug than do most docs. additionally there are now studies that back up my layman's hypothesis.
well, i've spewed forth yet another manifesto in defense of the more liberal use of opiates for those who find that their minds and well-being crave it.
best of luck to all who live in the pit of despair.