Posted by Babak on October 13, 2008, at 18:15:56
In reply to Re: Do not do it!, posted by princenamor on October 11, 2008, at 17:17:44
It is like listening to myself. The way it happened to me was like this: I used to take opium on and off for fifteen years to help me with lethargy and lack of concentration and I was doing fine. But I got fed up with the hassle of street drugs and I had also developed a psychosomatic pain which wouldn't go away unless I had opiates. Anyway once when I had run out of opium, I tried Subutex which at the time and even now they don't prescribe for depression in UK.
And off course it worked not as good as opium but none the less. It stopped the pain and kind of controlled the lethargy. I was still lethargic but I could get the essentials done at least.
Then after two years the lethargy started to come back with a vengeance. It was as if my mind was split into two. One part of it knew that I should go out of the house or have a shower but it was as if I couldnt command my legs to get up. I even stopped talking to people. I just couldnt concentrate on anything. Everyone around me told me that it was the Subutex but every time I tried to give it up apart from withdrawal symptoms the pain in my stomach just wouldnt allow me.
Anyway I cant tell you for sure but lethargy was back and off course I couldnt just go back to my natural stuff because it just didnt have any effect and by then I was so depressed that I couldnt go out and score. I was living alone with a psychiatric nurse visiting me twice a week. I couldnt jolly well ask her to score for me.
Anyway finally my stash of Buprenorphine ran out and I was in hell with pain as well as withdrawals. Finally the doctor who knew nothing about Buprenorphine prescribed morphine and by then the levels of Buprenorphine were down so the morphine worked straight away. It was like being reborn again. I found my old contacts and kept asking the doctor for morphine for my stomach pain which I kept just in case I couldnt get hold of the stuff on the street.
Then I read about VNS and I decided to go for it, because although heroin allows me to function just about enough I was/am still depressed and cant work. It took me over a year because there is apparently only one person who carries out the procedure/operation. Also I was refused National Health funding for it and I had to pay for it myself which cost £17,000.00 for just the operation and then there are specialists visits once a month which cost £170.00 every time. By then I had been unemployed for three years and I was broke. Anyway cut a long story short I came to some inheritance money which I think was a miracle. I had the implant done last November. There were few complications but on the 10th of December 2007 I had an appointment and the doctor put the amplitude of the impulse to 1ma which is the lowest level where they have detected therapeutic effects. By the time I arrived home that is about an hour drive from the hospital, I was feeling better already. It is incredible but it is true. I was on top of the world, I could not believe it. I went out and bought myself a leather jacket. I hadnt bought myself any clothing for years. But unfortunately it didnt last and on the third day I crashed. Then I found out that it was quite normal and I was going to go through lots of ups and downs until my brain is used to the stimulation. Anyway I never felt as good as I did the first time but I think there were quite a few psychological aspects to that first time which obviously couldnt be recreated again. But VNS has substantially improved my general state and I am still in the process of adjusting it. So there may be further improvements to come but at the same time it could also stop working as well. It has made the worse tolerable and if I really push myself I can get the minimum stuff done, like shopping, dealing with invoices and so forth and despite my therapists claims things havent got easier with practice as she call my extra efforts. So after a while I had to go back to heroin again which is the cheapest opiate you can find. I refuse to go on methadone as a drug addict because I think methadone like Subutex is worse than natural opiates and this is not some green statement. It is a fact for me and I would never, ever touch Buprenorphine in my life again.
But it is still a lot of hassle as you would expect relying on a street drug. I have been arrested once but fortunately I didnt go to court and they just gave me a caution. Doctors continue to refuse opiates as a tool for managing my depression and my doctor refuses to increase my morphine prescription.
This meant that from time to time I had to go through withdrawals until I came across this site; www.chinese-formula.com. Now I have tried a lot of things simply because I have to keep hoping. I dont care what is in this Chinese stuff who believes me but this herbal remedy really does work and stops withdrawals better than anything else I have come across including Dihydrocodeine. Believe it or not it works, it keeps away withdrawal symptoms and it actually helps slightly with the depression as well. I still dont believe it myself but the stuff works. Off course it is nothing like heroin but I intend to keep some around in case I cant get hold of heroin and I have run out of morphine or I have to travel abroad which does happen because my family live abroad.
I still cant go back to work and suffer from anhedonia but through a combination of different thing I am a lot better than how I used to be before my VNS implant. I have run out of money and I cant see the specialist as often I would like to, in order to adjust my VNS setting but to be honest I think it has done as much as it was going to do. I just pray that it wont stop working. But I am afraid heroin remains the real driving force to keep me sort of alive.
I have even tried Ketamine and yes it does help but remission remains as far as it has ever been for the last four years.
I think the answer to depression cases like mine i.e. TRD is in deep brain stimulation but not in its current proposed formats. I think it is something which has to be adapted to different categories of patients depending on understanding the workings of different parts of the brain. I believe depression is a very real disease of the brain like Parkinsons or Alzheimers. Unfortunately the society and even the experts and academics are very far from accepting this as a fact. I think the first step has to be a differentiation between the psychological and psychiatric recognition of depressions manifestations. I have had (ten) years of therapy of different kinds and in many ways they have helped me to cope with life but none of them have had the slightest effect on my depression.
As to opiates and their role in depression, I agree that they are not the solution and can be dangerous and even detrimental but under close supervision they definitely have a role to play in management of depression and that role is relieving the pain of depression which nobody seems to acknowledge. They wouldnt deny a cancer patient or an accident victim of pain control medication, so why should they deny it to someone with mental disease?