Please help, my cure was my disease, need input/help
This is a long history for a short question... but this is urgent and very important to me. lol please forgive the biography, I just hope it may possibly be useful to someone remotely familiar with any of this.
I thank anyone in advance for even reading through this. It means a lot to know someone cares, that there are those out there that will help, and know, even by just reading this and making the number of views rise, you are making a difference to me. Any suggestions will be followed up on, and it's quite possible that by making a suggestion, you will be saving a life.
Please note, although this is being written from a first person perspective, it is by no means a definitive account of this registered user's background, history, or habits, and should not be taken as such, whether it is or is not used for legal purposes.
A quick note to those taking opiates, and those trying to quit. Opiates affect your brain, possibly permanently. By substituting artificial pleasure endorphins, your kill your body's natural systems for making you happy. It's possible that they will be repaired, but after you quit you will feel depressed, lonely, unmotivated. This will pass. Therapy with Suboxone and Methadone will help with this feeling. I chose to quit cold turkey. Find support, whether it just be a friend or a support group, and keep in mind. My account is unique. I have multiple mental illnesses, and after years of searching, I have never found anyone that benefited from opiate addiction, or had a reaction like mine. I lost my job, family, and spent around 50000 dollars on drugs. I could have a house, college education, and now i will most likely lose my rented condo. If anyone thinks or feels anything in this that makes them want to do opiates, or try them, LEAVE A NOTE, and i will remove it IMMEDIATELY. I've seen friends die from them and would rather take my own life than ruin someone else's with my words.
My general question will be stated here, any additional info that may be able to help someone will be listed below.
I was recently addicted to opiates, and experienced a near-normal to normal functionality regarding social interaction, motivation, mood stabilization, and professional interaction at my place of employment (claims adjuster for an insurance company... very simple desk job that required H/S education). After a lifetime of medication, opiates are the only thing that has helped and I am interested to know if there are any antidepressants that mimic that same effect that opiates have brought to my life.
Recently, I was addicted to opiates. Everything aside from Heroin, on a mostly daily basis. I suffer from depression, and bipolar disorder, which my parents first started treating with medication when i was 10 (I still consider this to be a mistake, modifying my brain chemistry before adolescence) But, alas, my parents made my decisions. I am now 23, and since have had a hard life. I have a high IQ(160 when I was 9, 120 now) but due to my depression, and I believe the effects that being medicated for most of my life have had for me, I have trouble functioning. I was already aspiring to become a doctor when I was 6 years old, and was in gifted programs up until 11 (the year after the treatment started). I WAS, however, able to get into a gifted high school, passing an entrance exam with flying colors, but my performance there ended in my expulsion. I did not attend college, due to a complete lack of motivation. My opiate abuse started at age 21 and continued until a month ago, at 23 and 6 months. I have seen a plethora of therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists, none of which have helped[/SIZE]
Medication Majority is unknown prior to my 19th year, but am currently on 300 mg of lamictal, half in the morning, half at night, 100 MG seroquel at night. A recent reduction from a prior regimen of 600 MG lithium carbonate, 600 mg lamictal, 300 mg seroquel, and ambien
Account of differences between pre-opiate use and my time spent on opiates
Before being on opiates, I had not had a single functional relationship... One girlfriend in 21 years, for 3 months, and then 2 months. and she was an alcoholic and the relationship functional only when she was drunk, as sad as that is. I had had very few intimate relations with other women before this. I worked 5 hours a day, which stretched the limits of what I could push myself to do. I rarely cleaned, never did laundry unless it is what i was wearing the next day, and have not been able to pay rent/bills without assistance. I started taking opiates in my 20th year, but it was purely recreational and a rare occurrence, consisting of exclusively codiene and hydrocodone, which, compared to oxycodone and morphine, have an "upper" effect. By the time I turned 21, I was taking 5 loritab 10s every 3-4 days, enjoying the feeling i got while I was on them, but only did that for recreational purposes. I experienced higher than normal (for me) motivation, work ethic, ability to interact socially, increased cognitive function, and no depression whatsoever. I then switched to Oxycodone (Oxycontin, percoset), which put me into a calmer state than the codiene and hydrocodone, which had the effect of strengthening and focusing these effects. In my time on opiates, I have had sexual encounters with 2x to 3x the number of women as in my prior years, and have had relationships that have started with about 5-6 women, ending only when I was not able to get any oxycodone. These women were college educated, some in their masters education.. they were not easy women nor stupid. My understanding of things increased, and I began making plans for my future that only ended with the day or two that I was not taking opiates, and my post-addiction month. While on opiates, I purchased medical textbooks, reading my way though them in independent studies of medicine, holistic medicine, memorizing a decent amount of anatomy and pathology. I assume I may have been able to manage my money better, but I was spending appx $2000-2500 a month on my addiction. Negative effects are minimal, including memory lapses while off, occasional mania, although it was recognized during and post-mania. My decision to quit was a hard one, but since, in the last month, 2 budding relationships have ended, and I have spent most of my time at home. Right now I have unfinished laundry sitting by my side that I have yet to fold. I am aware of the effect opiates have on the receptors of the brain, and the fact that my brain still needs to start producing natural chemicals to recover, but this was how I was even before the opiates took hold. The decision to quit was a hard one, but I am needing to know if there are any antidepressants or alternate medication that may be able to duplicate the effect I experienced on opiates. ANY questions, please feel free to post or email me, I will answer to the best of my ability. Thank you
Afterthought: No matter the amount of knowledge you have, even if you only understand part of this, I still appreciate ANY input or suggestions. I will look into anything that is posted after this, no matter how simple or complex the suggestion is. Also, OPIATES ARE BAD I am not a normal circumstance, It almost always ruins people's lives, i've seen it happen, so be very, very careful with what you do
Anyone with even a brief thought on a site I should go to or forum to refer my question to, please note it here. You more than have my permission to reprint or send to someone that might be able to help. To anyone reading this, make sure to trust yourself over any doctor. Read up on any suggestions of medication for you or your loved ones. My thinking on my situation is that my hyperactivity that resulted on my first prescription to ritalin, then adderol, then a plethora of different meds, was an outlet of a hyperactive, inquisitive mind.. and my parent's choices to try to tweak me into something more acceptable messed up my brain chemistry. Look at any of the sites for any of these meds. Almost, if not all of them, it's still unknown how they affect the brain, find out more about it, and realize that there is a high possibility you may be playing with fire, and a chance that it might permanently affect the brain chemistry, and turn into a crutch for an atrophied mind.
If you need meds, fine... take them. it's better than suicide, I'll be the first to say it. (been there, tried that) but simply to make one more acceptable in society is killing the very thing that makes each of us human, and individual, special and unique. We were born to function a certain way,most if it is programmed in our genetic expression and trying to alter that with medicines that "somehow work" to correct a simple behavioral problem can be dangerous and destroy that. I am fairly sure my depression and bipolar illness was a result of the alteration of my mind at such a young age before it was fully developed, and I will have to bear this cross for the rest of my life. Rapid changes in medicine before adolescence set my mind to consider the rapid changes normal, and after such time, tricked it into acting that way. I hope my story can help me, and serve as a note of caution for anyone considering medicating. I have been to about 6-7 psychologists, and each has their own idea of what I need. Take advice for what it is, not as undeniable truth. Mental illness is an illness, get second, third, fourth opinions as you would for any illness.
Last edited by Administrator; 01-13-2010 at 03:11 AM.
Re: Please help, my cure was my disease, need input/help
I'm not sure what to say about your lengthy and detailed post except that I very much relate to you. I suffered my first bout of major clinical depression at the age of 17. I did not know what it was at the time so I struggled through it thinking that I just had a very "deep, philosophical personality" and was more sensitive to worldly things than others. I just accepted it and after a few months I was "better", meaning I was not catatonically depressed but mildly depressed and able to function though I did call in sick to work at least 1 to 2 times a month or more.
When I turned 28 I had been in a relationship for 4 years and it was a wonderful relationship. I began having symptoms of depression again and quickly deteriorated and if my partner had not been there and been supportive of taking me to a dr. to help find out what was wrong with me, I'd probably not have the life I have now. Fast forward to 11 years ago when my partner had back surgery and just out of the blue I asked to try one of her percocets (mind you, I was never a drug user in HS or college, drank socially but really didn't find interest in trying all sorts of drugs). The percocet hit me and immediately I KNEW it was the answer to my prayers, my depression, my catastrophic thinking and negativity and thus began the last 10 years of my life struggling with opiate addiciton.
I have a wonderful psychiatrist and am now on Suboxone for a 2 year binge of hydrocodone 180-200mg per day every day for 2 years. I couldn't bear to stop on my own CT so he offered me this option as he is also an addiction medicine specialist.
I have asked him again and again, why can't I take opiates for depression? It's the best and most effective antidepressant I've ever had....up until a point. And, that's what he said is the problem. For many decades Dr.'s have been researching opiates for depression but can not seem to get past the tolerance and dependence issues which, as we all know, end up making our lives more miserable than they were prior to our first pill.
I, too, wish there was a drug that could give me what opiates give me, that was safe, that I didn't build a tolerance to, that I didn't get addicted to...I think, what would my life be like if I had something like that. I am also bi-polar, have OCD, PTSD and panic disorder. I take Lamictal 200mg, Effexor 225mg, Suboxone 16mg/day, and ativan as needed. Some people have found that the Suboxone gives them kind of an opiate buzz and helps with depression. It does not do that for me. It has, thankfully, saved me from the suffering of withdrawl and has helped immensely with physical cravings and with allowing me to go on with my life and work, be a mom, function fairly normally and go to outpatient meetings without being in a state of mind-numbing panic or disabling depression which happened to me when I went to rehab in 2005 and went cold turkey off of hydro & ativan.
So....sorry to get off topic there but I wish, too, that I had an answer to your question because I would very much like to find something, a miracle thing, that could cure or control my depression and allow me to function at the peak of who I am like I do when I first start taking the opiates.
My next step in researching is Deep Brain Stimulation, where an electrode(s) are implanted in the brain and a Dr. can control which part(s) of your brain are stimulated to regulate mood....I really am quite interested in that. My antidepressants and other meds work to the point of me not being totally incapacitated but my life is not what I would wish it to be and I can't seem to make it different by myself and my thoughts, and support groups, and counseling....I do feel as if the answer lies in my brain chemistry or anatomy and would like to explore these things more. I'm happy to talk to you and your post really did hit home for me. Thanks so much and take good care!
Re: Please help, my cure was my disease, need input/help
I encountered your post while looking up medications which my stepmother is taking. She takes more than 20 meds, mostly to manage bipolar disorder and side effects of meds, which she has had for 30+ years.
I read in your message a call for help. Let me say up front I do not know a lot about the meds you have taken, or your overall neurologic condition. It does sound as if you are depressed and probably lonely, isolated. And you are plenty intelligent to see clearly so much that could make you feel more disappointed about your condition, your isolation, work issues, medical diagnoses. My issue has been depression all my life, and finally learned about and started taking SSRI types 12 years ago. Good initial response to SSRIs, like the curtain was parted. Have gone off and returned, changed meds a number of times. Currently on lowest dose of Prozak.
And finally finally on a careful dosage of thyroid (T4). Managing my TSH has best part of feeling better over the long run for me. Also, eating really really well. Don't dismiss good nutrition, proper sleep and exercise!!! YOu are an adult now and you must take care of all parts of your self. Sorry - I know you are trying to get there. BTW I am 59 yo. Father was autistic we believe, as is sister's son (aspergers).
But about you: do you exercise? You need to get into a fitness program for several parts of your body:
lungs; brain; upper body - arms, shoulders, waist, ribs; and lower body - all of it!. Can you afford a daily visit to a gym with stationary weights? Can you get into either a swimming program or speed walking with others? Group activity for your need to connect. Exercise that increases serotonin levels in the brain must be sufficiently sustained and aerobic!
Next. Please do not assume that where you are now is where you must always be, or that the limitations you experience are a permanent given. There is amazing research about the brain, going on still. Find the book by the neurosurgeon who spoke with people who recovered from vegetative states in hospital (the ones who were brain dead and recovered) "Cheating Death...." part of title. Read Oliver Sack's writings. Pray - there is a tremendous power greater than us that I do not understand but that will at some point become clearer to each one of us, in turn.
Next; get hold of a homeopathic doctor!!! I don't mean to suggest you dump allopathic medicine, but see if there can possibly be other ways to communicate with your own healing potential.
Next; join a support group, basket weavers, volunteer at a library shelving books; go meet seniors at a nursing home and 'adopt' someone there who is hungry for regular visits. There is a local Kiwanis shop where troubled teens and adults repair bikes for underpriveleged kids. Whatever! Our local paper often lists community needs for volunteers (I know that money would be nice...). I say this not cavalierly, but there is ample research on connecting with others and its affect on the brain. I mean physical contact - whether verbal, eye contact, body contact. NOT merely emailing or blogging. There is animal research about the part of the brain that makes us social beings.
Get connected in some way with other people. YOu are still smart, still very, very smart; I know that you will regain your brain functioning inspite of any altered states you experienced as a medicated child. But I suspect your heart is what needs addressing.
We live in a very isolated time. Being able to verbalize with others, in their presence, to feel connected to something bigger than yourself in real, tangible ways, may be part of your future salvation.
This is all rather redundant and preachy. I apologize. Its just that I read your words and I know you are very bright, and I want you to push beyond what you see and experience as limitations, and find the way to chart a new and truly realizable future for yourself.
Last edited by Administrator; 10-12-2009 at 02:27 PM.
Reason: don't assume you know what anyone needs...read the rules.
Re: Please help, my cure was my disease, need input/help
[QUOTE=southmadduxgal;4098274]This is all rather redundant and preachy. I apologize. Its just that I read your words and I know you are very bright, and I want you to push beyond what you see and experience as limitations, and find the way to chart a new and truly realizable future for yourself.
I'm a newbie but I have a few posts on this site and am struggling with all these same things. I need as much help as anyone also. I just had to comment on this last section of your post. NO....that was not rather "redundent and preachy". And please please DON'T apologize for it. Ill tell u why I feel so strongly about it....as I was reading the original post and then the replies, I was thinking about GOD, and wondering if anyone here had ever considered JESUS to be our solution to our addictions...jst then I came apon where u mention about a higher power greater than us. I won't apologize for sounding like I'm preaching simply because I do believe in Jesus and that He IS our solution but, that is easier said than done. I am by no means any better than anyone on earth simply bc I believe in Him, like so many other ppl think they are bc they believe or call themselves "christian". So please don't perceive me as such. I don't knw if I can even call myself a christian but I would like to. I'm more worse off than a lot of the posters I've read so I have no right to in any way to tell them wat they should do in terms of their spirituality bc its their decision alone. I don't know myself. I guess I just needed to say this for myself if no one else. And I would love any comments good or bad on this bc I need help so badly with my addiction an sometimes the only solution that comes to my mind is JESUS. Please help, anyone out there. Thank u for all your posts.
Re: Please help, my cure was my disease, need input/help
Man, you sound almost dead on like a friend of mine that also has bipolar disorder. He had the girlfriends, some sober and decent, others that were just a walking wreck. He ended up getting married to some gir that was almost as bad as he was with drinking and drugs. which of course ended in divorce. He was so all over the place with his moods being up and down that he doctor actually prescribed, on top of the Lithium, both adderall and Temazepam, which of course mixed with some alcohol was all sorts of fun for him. Eventually he got tired of it all, the not being able to function normally, and ended up actually going and entered into a medical study. The study went and surgically implanted a stent that delivered medication directly to his brain. Originally he had a hard time adjusting to the medication. There were problems with the amount of medication, and some side effects. In the end though, he ended up being a lot more evened out then he was at any other time.
Now the reason I mentioned all of this is that with him (and almost all other people with Bipolar disorder) the drinking and drugs all revolved around the manic and depressive episodes that he went through. Which also drove a lot of what he had done with the women in his life, both the bad and good choices. Essentially once he had gotten the issue he had with medication under control, where he found a medication, and amount that seemed to work for him, all the other problems with drugs, alcohol, women, poor personal choices, and actions that were completely out of control, all of that disappeared. I said this to someone else before, when someone has bipolar disorder the same rules as far as addiction dont necessarily apply. Should you go to AA meetings, yes it probably wouldnt hurt, but it just should be known that your cause and reason for drinking and taking drugs, is all together different then that of the normal addict. Your reason is more of a chemical imbalance driving your actions, while a normal addict has had experiences, and exposure to situations in the world that drive them to use drugs and alcohol as a crutch to deal with the issues in the world that they feel the normally couldnt deal with.
Essentially I'm saying that maybe by taking care of the main problem (bipolar-disorder) and finding a doctor that you like, and medication that works, everything else will slowly fall into place, and be like you want it to be. This is what happened with my friend, and he is doing A LOT better now, he still has little glitches and episodes, but they are small, and a lot more like a person just having a bad day, then someone in a manic state just going off about something. I'm mentioning all this because you sound very much like him (suicide attempts and all) and he was like you for a while, feeling like there was no way out, and no place for him in the world where he could fit in where everything was normal. The thing is he seems to have found that exit and a place to be where he fits in (working as an electricians assistant). Things are not exactly where he wants them to be, but they are close enough that even I can see that he really seems to be.......I guess the word would be content.
Finding your place in the world isnt impossible, its just a little more difficult for some people to find there way home, then it is for others.