Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 269444

Shown: posts 1 to 14 of 14. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

PTSD and drug withdrawals

Posted by bertie on October 14, 2003, at 19:03:41

I recently had a descent into physical and psychological trauma precipitated by trying to take myself off of Effexor, then compensating (under doctor's orders) with a heightened dose of Zoloft, which I had been on previously. Who knows which drug really caused the worst of it, but after literally losing touch with reality for a few days, and having a heart that nearly exploded for racing too fast, I feel lucky to have come away from the experience with nothing more than a bad case of tremors which won't go away. My doctors are very puzzled by them. It was supposed that once the drugs got out of my system, the tremors would resolve, and they did, for a time, but now they are back. They've given me a cat-scan and MRI, as well as a battery of blood-tests, but have so far come up blank. In an effort to take control of my own destiny, I started surfing the web to look for possiblities for myself, and came across postings on this web-site related to tremors and post-traumatic stress disorder. I've been realizing that, with the return of my sanity has come a host of - not exactly memories, but impressions - about an experience in my childhood when I disappeared for a day. My parents have always been very close-mouthed about this event, saying little more about it than what I just related, and I have no clear recollection of it myself, but the memory - or impressions, rather - of it has been so distracting for me of late that I am becoming dysfunctional with my spouse and children. I worry that this may be imagined somehow, that this is not, in fact, a case of repressed memory or whatever. But the impressions are so vivid, and so viscerally real to me, and create such a physiologically palpable response, that I must conclude there is something to them. I have heard of the use of EMDR, and wonder if it might be of value to me or not. I am extremely leary, at this point, of trying any other psychotropic drugs. Zoloft was a godsend to me for a couple of years, but the increasing dosages and sexual side-effects, which led to my trying the Effexor, almost weren't worth the benefits, and I've thought there must be a better way. I'm intrigued by the possiblities of supplement use, but cautious, as a background in biochemistry inclines me to regard herbal remedies as unrefined pharmaceuticals with potentially more, rather than less, capacity for side-effects. I'm weary of pill-popping anyway, and want a more sustainable solution. Maybe this will be with me all my life, but I need better ways to cope with it.

 

Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals

Posted by Sebastian on October 15, 2003, at 12:08:39

In reply to PTSD and drug withdrawals, posted by bertie on October 14, 2003, at 19:03:41

Why not try a small dose of a realy good drug? Like the zoloft again. Just don't let the doc give more than you apreciate?

 

Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals Sebastian

Posted by bertie on October 15, 2003, at 13:04:59

In reply to Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals, posted by Sebastian on October 15, 2003, at 12:08:39

Thanks, Sebastian, but both my doc and I are a little leary of the ssri's at this point, not knowing for certain if their reaction in my body is what brought on this mess to begin with. I have a nervous system that doesn't always respond to med's like the average population, and if I had a buck for every time a doctor has said, "I've never seen a body do that before," I'd be, well, not rich, but a little better off. In all my net surfing the last couple of days, I've discovered that it is not entirely unprecedented to have tremors follow treatment with ssri's, as well as dopamine reuptake inhibitors (like Wellbutrin). Furthermore, both types of drug therapy can mask symptoms of PTSD, making it difficult to get to the real heart of the matter. I'm still leaning towards EMDR therapy, but have also learned there are a lot of hoops to jump through to get it (especially in my neck of the woods - Montana). In the meantime, yoga has been helping a little, but only while I'm doing it. Same with hot showers. I'm lucky to have support people right now who have been helping with running the kids to school, shopping, etc. Would still like to know if anyone out there has any other ideas.

 

Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals

Posted by Sebastian on October 15, 2003, at 21:30:14

In reply to Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals Sebastian, posted by bertie on October 15, 2003, at 13:04:59

Have you tried group psychotherapy? I have often wondered if it would work on my PTSD. Watching a virtual death, quite grafic.

 

Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals bertie

Posted by judy1 on October 18, 2003, at 13:51:52

In reply to PTSD and drug withdrawals, posted by bertie on October 14, 2003, at 19:03:41

I also am diagnosed with PTSD, but as a result of prolonged childhood abuse. If you have a specifice event that led up to your symptoms- then EMDR can be very effective (my son has benefitted from EMDR, but again this was a singular event). Otherwise there are really no meds (except benzos perhaps for anxiety) that help PTSD- only therapy. Best of luck getting approved for the EMDR and let us know how it went- judy

 

Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals

Posted by bertie on October 19, 2003, at 1:48:41

In reply to Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals bertie, posted by judy1 on October 18, 2003, at 13:51:52

Day ten of the tremors and still no sign of improvement. My docs (GP and Psyiatrist) are afraid the Effexor/Zoloft experience may have done some permanent damage. Oh well, I guess. Meanwhile, pursuing the EMDR route is slow going, but my GP seemed optimistic. Even if it doesn't help me stop shaking, maybe it will at least put this inner fear tempest to rest, make it easier to deal with my family. Thanks, Seb and Judy, for your input, and stop watching that death stuff, sebastian - can't be healthy. :S

 

Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals bertie

Posted by Sebastian on October 19, 2003, at 12:03:18

In reply to Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals, posted by bertie on October 19, 2003, at 1:48:41

Was by no means my choice to watch. My freind was blown up right next to me, quite sickening and not fun to watch. All my simptoms came after this event, 8 years ago as of yesterday.

 

Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals Sebastian

Posted by bertie on October 20, 2003, at 1:39:36

In reply to Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals bertie, posted by Sebastian on October 19, 2003, at 12:03:18

So sorry, Sebastian. Totally misunderstood, you know - there's a lot of crap on the internet. Deepest sympathy. Have a friend who watched his mom die, so I have some idea of what you must be going through. Just when you think life sucks, you always find somebody sadder. Not that it's really a comfort... I'm babbling, its late. Anyway, hope you find answers, comfort, healing.

 

Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals bertie

Posted by Sebastian on October 21, 2003, at 21:27:02

In reply to Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals Sebastian, posted by bertie on October 20, 2003, at 1:39:36

Realy just trying to heal myself. Mentaly, I put up social blocks that I need to ease off doing. Can't say the meds help that, just make life nicer while i look away from people. Sorry the aniversary was the 18th I used to go into deep-psychotic-depression for the 4 months around that time, not to mention rebelling against meds. My mom is a social worker and tries to help. I don't see a psycholigist because I didn't think he helped. Kind of though he was a joke at the time. Now my psyciatrist does the talk part some times, when I'm up to it.

 

Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals Sebastian

Posted by bertie on October 23, 2003, at 1:09:22

In reply to Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals bertie, posted by Sebastian on October 21, 2003, at 21:27:02

Sebastian, i feel for your pain, really. I've heard miraculous stories about the effectiveness of EMDR. I, too, have had less than truly productive experience with psychoanalysis/counseling in the past. Nothing negative, just nothing especially helpful. And of course the medication route has not gone well for me. But by all accounts, EMDR seems to be the best hope for sufferers of PTSD. I have two traumas, the childhood experience and a rape when I was 20 years old at a bus stop, and my experiences with childbirth might qualify as traumatic too, since the pain was horrific and I nearly died. So there's a lot of baggage there, i guess, that needs to be dealt with one way or another. Maybe the answers lie within us, and not in the medical community. There has to be abetter way. Sorry so longwinded, must go.

 

Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals bertie

Posted by Sebastian on October 23, 2003, at 12:32:26

In reply to Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals Sebastian, posted by bertie on October 23, 2003, at 1:09:22

Wow, rape, can't imagine what that must be like. I've seen a lot of movies on TV about it, but I'm a guy, and never raped, maybe beaten up, that might be somewhat similar. Do you trust dating and going in pubic. Where was this. I had gay sex when I was young, not realy wanting to, maybe similar.

Medication seems to work, but I wonder if it will work after the medication, and if there will ever be an after, the numbers and doses just rise.

I was raped of my sanity too. With people distrusting me, accusing me, punishing me; for the accident I did not do. I was run right out of my home town. Never wanting to return.

 

Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals Sebastian

Posted by bertie on October 28, 2003, at 10:14:09

In reply to Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals bertie, posted by Sebastian on October 23, 2003, at 12:32:26

I understand your feeling raped of your sanity. Must confess that the last couple of months, I've felt more violated in my mind than I felt violated in body when I was raped, and that's not an insignificant thing. It was at a bus stop, in Hawaii. No, for a long time I couldn't go out in public without having panic attacks, and my relationships with men have pretty much sucked across the board ever since. But I thought I was past all that until recently. Mental illness is still so misunderstood, especially when it is thrust upon us by circumstances beyond our control, like trauma. At least we won't be subjected to electric shock therapy and torture based institutions, but I feel like my friends and family just think I'm fundamentally flawed now. I didn't ask for any of this, and I imagine they'd be more sympathetic if I had cancer or diabetes or something. I don't know why a dysfunctional mind engenders less empathy than a dysfunctional body, but it does, it seems. I believe that being violated in a gay way, if you didn't really want to, is every bit as much rape as any other kind of date rape type scenario. It's so NOT black and white, there are so many forms of threat, fear, intimidation. You don't have to have a knife to your throat to fear for your life, or your loved ones, if you don't cooperate. And as for being run out of your hometown... what can I say.... people will believe what they want to believe, and I guess we can't change them, we can only change ourselves. And on that note, I encourage you again to seek out EMDR therapy, because the cycle of increasing dosages and increasing risk of something like what I experienced happening is just too great to trust in medication for long. Take care, Sebastian, I mean, REALLY take care (of yourself).

 

Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals bertie

Posted by Sebastian on October 29, 2003, at 12:34:27

In reply to Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals Sebastian, posted by bertie on October 28, 2003, at 10:14:09

Can you remind me of what EMDR is. What happened with you and increasing medications?

 

Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals Sebastian

Posted by bertie on October 31, 2003, at 16:05:32

In reply to Re: PTSD and drug withdrawals bertie, posted by Sebastian on October 29, 2003, at 12:34:27

(warning: this is a wordy response :))EMDR is eye-movement desensitization and regression (I think, can never remember the R part). It is a therapy that is related to hypno-therapy but with a significant clinical twist. The idea is that when the brain is in REM sleep, it taps into a unique ability to heal and to access parts of the memory that are otherwise hard to get at, and by stimulating the rapid eye movement response artificially while regressing a patient's memories, the therapist is able to both dig deeper and facilitate more healing than with traditional therapies. It's rather more complicated than that really, but I've had some friends who had horrific childhood experiences and what not who came away from this therapy with far better results than any other kind of behavior therapy or drug therapy or anything else. One of the truly miraculous things about it is that it can begin to have healing benefits in a very short period of time (like 8 sessions). As for playing the anti-depressant ruoulette game, I was on Zoloft for over three years, and kept having to gradually increase my dosage until I was getting these buzzy sensations almost daily, and had some other unpleasant side effects (which were better than being cripplingly depressed, but not fun). My docs tried me on Prozac, Celexa, Paxil,Wellbutrin, and Effexor, all of which had either no benefit or extra nasty side effects (most notably, a a descent into hell and a psychotic break with the Effexor withdrawals - its important to note I have no history, and no family history, of schizophrenia or anything like it). Anyway, I've just come away from it all thinking that, for me at least, the benefit of medication is far-outweighed by the long term bad effects. Don't know if I'll ever be able to be tremor free again. They've ruled out Parkinson's, essential tremor, epilepsy, lupus, MS, and various other potential causes that might not be drug/trauma related. Near as I can tell, the whole drug withdrawal thing just tipped an avalanche of emotional buildup that drug therapy has really just suppressed, and the only hope I have of getting my life under control again is the EMDR. Or maybe bio-feedback (heard some promising things about that too). Anyway, I'm pulling the plug on all medical - or rather medicinal - intervention.


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