Posted by androog on October 27, 2002, at 20:04:14
In reply to Re: opiates and major depression, posted by Ed O`Flaherty on October 27, 2002, at 16:47:49
I'm the fellow that posted the initial thread concerning tramadol and depression. I've been taking the tramadol for almost a year and have been greatly helped by it. Why I had to go and do all the research and twist my doctor's arm before he findly relented to prescribing it, I'll never know.
I realize that I'm prosletyzing, but it is inconceivable to me that the stigma of addiction outweighs the likliehood of suicide in the treatment of the severely depressed. That anyone can sit on their high horse and dole out useless drug after useless drug, all the while telling the patient to come back in three to six weeks, is nothing short of malpractice in my book. If I were to go to my doctor with a compound fracture and he gave me a couple of aspirin and told me to be on my way, he would certainly be guilty of negligence. This situation is hardly different. I would expect somebody who was trained in a specialty such as psychiatry would have some sort of clue as to just how dangerous depression can be. I had repeatedly told three different psychiatrists that opiates worked for me, and got the same dull stare every time. Nobody batted an eye when it came to giving me ECT 17 times, often when I was drunk. Nobody cared much when the ECT did nothing for me other than wipe out years of memories ("there was nothing else we could do" i was told). But eyebrows certainly shot up when I brought up the subject of opiates!
It's been about a year since I posted the original thread (seems much longer than that) and I'm happy to say that tramadol has saved my life. I started taking it on my own when nobody would prescribe it for me, and would continue to do so even if I didn't have a valid prescription. My psychiatrist only prescribed it when I asked him for a referral to someone with a more open mind concerning the subject. To this day he shows little interest in it and doesn't even know what dosage it comes in. Why do I continue to go to him? Tramadol, pure and simple. I've long since given up the notion of anybody in the business (and I mean business) of psychiatry actually being useful (pardon me Dr. Bob). I'm sure there are many out there, but I haven't the time or money to go seeking them out. I pay $150 every month to get a prescription written -- a prescription I had to instruct my shrink to write. In return, I get to stay alive.
That said, I can tell you for a fact that tramadol works for at least one person with refractory depression. I have not built up a toerance to it, the side effects are negligible and increased dosages (yes, i've tried it) only make me dizzy. I would suggest its use for anybody with treatment-resistant depression.
Sorry for spewing forth like this, but as you can see, I'm very bitter about the whole experience. Major depression is a force to be reckoned with and sometimes you have to pull out the big guns to do it. Better sooner than later. Sometimes you only get one chance.