Posted by bleauberry on June 29, 2012, at 18:49:10
In reply to Annihilating the Beast-SLS, Bleauberry, thoughts?, posted by Bryn B on June 29, 2012, at 10:04:37
I don't know that much because if I did I would be all better! :')
Feeling like dirt myself lately so I can relate to where you are. Sucks.
Ok well, the tramadol is a huge clue. That makes it easier to whittle a long list of med choices down to a manageable amount. Whatever is going on, a positive response to tramadol would suggest to me the norepinephrine and/or opioid system are involved. So off the top of my head I'm thinking Rhodiola, Nortriptyline, Savella, LDN, tyrosine and/or tryptophan and/or DL-phenylalanine. Definitely rhodiola with or without any of the others. Adrafanil, Modafanil, Ritalin. ???
Lots of people at med rating forums were helped so much by tramadol....accidental discoveries just like you. When they tried to wean off, the withdrawals are really bad. I think the longest I ever took tramadol was 3 days in a row. After stopping it I felt darn sick for a couple days, physical and mental, like a really bad flu and really bad depression together. It's hell, but it is not as long as ssri withdrawals. Mileage varies, so it's not so bad for some people. It worked very well for a lot of people with long histories of treatment resistant depression.
Pain and inflammation. Well, ok, something's up with that. If you wanted to sort of probe the infection possibility and make an effort to rule it in or rule it out, you could do that with a few herbs. Cat's Claw, Resveratrol made from Japanese Knotweed, Oil of Oregano. If you take these for 2 weeks and nothing happens, I will be surprised. You would most likely have one of these scenarios happen:
1. Within a day to 3 you feel better than you have in a long time, but then you crash into something worse than where you started.
2. You feel a lot worse right away.
3. No matter what happens, you notice pain and inflammation have really improved toward the end of the 2 weeks.
Any of those scenarios paints a pretty good picture and sort of narrows things down a bit. We still wouldn't have any clue what sort of thing we're dealing with, only that this or that particular substance seems to hit it pretty hard. Those herbs are good for wide spectrum antimicrobial, immune enhancement, and anti-inflammation, so it would be hard to know if all of those issues are happening together or whether it's just one, for example maybe an unexplained autoimmune response versus a candida overgrowth thing versus chronic lyme, etc. There are at least a dozen other really good plant medicines for pain and inflammation, and some of the amino acids.
> SLS & Bleauberry, I included you in my header as I've seen so many knowledgeable posts/feedback from you. Long story long, my depression is beyond control and has been for the past 2 months. I'll be 38 on Sat., and this is something I've struggled with since I was 14.
> I've been taking Lexapro 20 mg for the past 6 months. Prior to that I did a washout and found that being off psych meds was a lot worse than being on them. I also tried Wellbutrin, emsam and some others (pretty much monotherapy) to no avail. Those drugs in particular made me nervous and very irritable, which adds to my suspicion of maybe being bipolar 2. (Neurontin is one drug in particular that puts me over the edge into maniaville.)
> Bleau, you had written in a previous post that I should look into possible causes related to Lyme disease, inflammation, etc. I know that finding this out is not easy or precise, but my bloodwork is seemingly normal (though it's never been looked at by a pdoc, surprisingly). By chance, I started taking Tramadol last weekend to combat severe leg pain ( and headaches and arm pain that is most likely Fibromyalgia and definitely flares up when I'm super depressed). Though I don't feel okay or in remission, Tramadol has made me able to function. I couldn't care less if it's an opiod or off label or that I'll have to deal with withdrawal if and when I decide to not take it. In my effort to annihilate this friggin beast of burden, I am at a point where nothing is out of the question.
> I basically have been occasionally seeing a pdoc who is pretty nice, but a bit older and somewhat rigid. He quickly dismissed Tramadol as not being a "psych drug" blah, blah, blah. His solution to everything is Abilify (yeah, he's got tons of samples). Abilify didn't do anything for me in the past, nor have other APs--they just make me feel like I'm 500 pounds and more sluggish than usual. (To be clear, thats a metaphor--Im 5'4 & 108 lbs).
> I never gave protriptyline a fair shake as it just takes so long to work, but if tramadol works, I'm sensing that a TCA with my Lexapro might be good, possibly w/ Trileptal or another somewhat benign mood stabilizer in there for good measure.
> (Trileptal and Tegretol are the only stabilizers I've done well w/ in the past, but they do make me gain weight and add to my fatigue.)
> So, once again, I have no idea if I'm dealing w/ MDD, bi 2, or maybe even MDD w/ BPD. I'm searching for a good doc who is compassionate and thinks outside of the box. Seeing as I live in NYC, Woody Allen-ville where neurosis is standard and pdocs are as common as nail salons (one on every corner), this shouldn't be difficult, but after years of struggling, I've found this to be quite a problem. I spoke to 2 different new docs and have 2 separate appts setup for next week at $500 an itial visit (no insurance, I pay out of pocket).
> Basically just wondering if you (and others) have an thoughts or suggestions. I may sound somewhat plucky, but I've been suffering horribly and need to get a good diagnosis, regimen and doc in place.
> Is it worth mentioning that I have a history of substance abuse in the past (not alcohol, just drugs which has usually been an attempt to self-medicate). I'm clean now (have been for 2 years) and I dont drink. That said, my depression has worsened as I've gotten older, and I need to start dealing with this head on.