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Old 04-07-2013, 07:28 AM   #1
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I feel stuck and I need help

Hi

I'm here today because I really need advice. I've been searching non stop on the web, trying to figure it all out by myself but I've hit a wall, I need help.

My situation is the following. Last December I quit cannabis, which I was using heavily for many years (please, please don't judge me). Withdrawal was horrible. I had hot flashes every 10 minutes for months (which is not normal, for most people it's once in a while and for about 1 to 2 weeks top). I had many other problems but I just ride it out, figuring I had to be patient. The hot flashes eventually faded and at one point, I started to feel much better, despite many physical symptoms which didn't get better (insomnia, having to pee all the time, no sex drive, rashes, you name it).

I eventually started to feel very depressed and still am. Since my periods also stopped, I asked for blood test. The results came back and it seems I am experiencing premature menopause. I wanted to have a child, which is one of the many reasons I quit so I am not taking this very well. I am not a candidate for hormone replacement therapy so the doctor suggested I take antidepressants which brings me to this forum. At first, I wouldn't consider it, they scare me. Many years ago, I tried taking Effexor and I had a horrible reaction to it. I quickly stopped taking it and was left with tinnitus which never went away. I learned to deal with it but there are moments where it's hard to handle. The best thing I can do is to ignore it. I did mention this to my doctor but he didn't comment. It seems the only thing he is willing to do for me is put me on antidepressants. My tests results clearly indicate that my hormones are way out of balance, which would cause someone to be depressed so I agree that something has to be done. He suggested I take Wellbutrin. After reading up a little about it, I also thought it could help me. I thought it would help with my mood and my sex drive. But then, when I read up on it more, I started to realize most people like this medication because it makes them loose weight. I am underweight and fighting very hard to gain some as I think it may have something to do with my premature menopause. I had decided to give it a try anyway, thinking I would be extra vigilant to have a healthy diet. I guess I was willing to do anything to not feel depressed and gain my sex drive back because at the moment, I have none and it's destroying my relationship. But then I stumbled upon posts about Wellbutrin causing tinnitus and so I did some research. It seems to happen to many people. If my tinnitus got worst, I don't think I could handle it, seriously, they are bad enough as it is. So, I've hit a wall. Thoughts like I might as well start using again are creeping up on me because ever since I quit, my life has gradually gotten worst. I don't want to do that, I've worked too hard but I honestly don't know what to do anymore. I am deeply depressed, menopausal, I have no more sex drive at all, the idea repells me, Something is wrong with my bladder, my body hurts all over, I can't sleep unless I take something which makes me drowsy the next day and is making the depression worst and I'm finding out that my only hope (Wellbutrin) may bring my tinnitus to an unbearable level.

I'm sorry for the long and complicated post but I need help and don't know where to turn. Going back to my quitting cannabis support forum is not an option because I would just scare everyone and my case goes beyond getting sobber. I really hope no one will judge me too harshly, I'm beating myself up enough as it is...

What would you do in my position? Is there another medication I should consider? Please help me. Thank you.

 
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:24 PM   #2
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Re: I feel stuck and I need help

Hello GenevieveC.

If I was in your position, I would do whatever I could to try to alleviate the physical symptoms you're experiencing.

I'm perplexed by your doctor's decision to not try to treat your hormonal imbalance. Is there a medical reason you can't go on HRT to try to fix the imbalance? If not, I think trying to treat the imbalance may be more effective with treating your depression than taking anti-depressants. This probably sounds obvious, but I think reducing your physical symptoms would relieve your depression, at least to an extent. I'm surprised your doctor instead decides to treat your depression as if it's unrelated to the worsening of your physical symptoms. Anti-depressants may help, but I suspect your mood would improve noticeably if you didn't have to deal with so much discomfort everyday.

Do you have any idea as to why your doctor doesn't try to do anything about your tinnitus?

The most effective anti-depressant I've tried so far is Zoloft. The reason why I quit taking it was because it made me too drowsy. This may work out to your benefit since you're having trouble sleeping.

 
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:57 PM   #3
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Re: I feel stuck and I need help

Flamesabers, thank you very much for taking the time to answer me, I really appreciate it.

HRT doesn't seem to be an option partly because the doctor wants to wait and see how my body (my hormones) react on the long run. He doesn't seem confident the premature menopause can be reversed (my fsh levels are so very high) but then again, he knows nothing about the effects of cannabis, no one does. Since I am in total denial about the fact that I may in fact be dealing with menopause, I want to believe things will get back to normal, eventually, if I just hang on and take care of my health. There is definatly a link between the two, I'm just very confused about how and why; so is he which makes me very nervous. But I can testify to the fact that there is a clear link. Everyone who quits goes through hot flashes but no one pays any attention as to why this happens. We say it's "withdrawal" and I had always assumed it was the body flushing out the drugs out of our body. I'm starting to think it's hormone related. Maybe I'm just not lucky and went through withdrawal and menopause but what are the odds?? Slim to none I think. Anyway, the other reason I don't seem to be a candidate is because my grand mother died of breast cancer, my father recently had cancer and I have fibroids in my breasts. I didn't ask as many questions as I should have because I was in a state of shock when he told me I was in menopause. He certainly is not going to be the one to bring up concerns because he always wants me to get out of his office as fast as possible so in a way me being in shock suited him fine... Also I have reached such a state of depression that something in me has given up fighting his instant reaction to put me on meds.

However, I think you are right. I can't give up on trying to go to the root of the problem and fix my body; I'm just not sure how to go about it. I wish he would help and guide me but he won't, I know that now. That in itself makes me feel depressed. I feel no matter what I do, I loose. If I try to educate myself, that will bother him (doctors hate it when we do that) and he will be less inclined to help me. But if I don't do that, who knows what will happen. I feel overwhelmed. I haven't even begun to understand the pros and cons to HTR, I'm very confused. Menopause happened overnight at an age which I wasn't prepared to deal with it. My mom is still going through her's... I'm also reading about antidepressants, trying to figure out which ones could help, the side effects and so on. I'm reading about natural alternatives both for early menopause and depression. I must have bookmarked 500 pages... It's all very overwhelming and confusing. I'm also learning how to be sobber, I don't have many tools to deal with reality in the harsh light of day, especially with all that going on; it's a bit much. I'm hanging on because part of me feels this all my fault. I did this to me and I feel I'm paying the price and that In a way, I deserve it. I know it's not a good way to look at things and it's probably contributing to my depressed state but I can't help it. I have no idea at this point if I can't help feeling ths way because of the hormones, because I'm learning to be sobber, because I have a doctor I have to guide through the blood tests that have to be done or all of the above. It's very confusing.

I will admit that if I had a garantee that cannabis didn't cause all these problems, I would most likely relapse. I wasn't happy in general with my life when I used but I had happy moments and I miss feeling happy. The only things I got from sobriety are menause and depression; although there is a possibility I was depressed before but sort of self medicated with pot, I'm willing to consider the possibility. That is one of the reasons I am open to the idea of antidepressants. But then there is that fear of tinnitus and the fact that if my hormones where under control, maybe I would be feeling fine. Again, it's all so very confusing and I'm not in the best state of mind to see clearly through all this. By the way, about my doctor not addressing the tinnitus, it's partly my fault. I only mentioned I had that problem but there where so many other issues to deal with I didn't press the subject. And the last time I saw him, I was mostly overwhelmed to learn about the menopause, I didn't even think to mention the link between Effexor and tinnitus.

Thank you again Flamesabers for your advice which I will definitely take into consideration; in fact I already have as I am now searching for alternative ways to help my body balance itself out.

Sorry for the very long post but I have a lot on my mind and it helps to share like this. On the upside, I can tell you that if I can just manage to feel a little better, I'm the type of person who sticks around after to help out other people. It's what I quickly did on my cannabis quitting forum (because for a while there, I was feeling much better) and I had made it my mission to pay it forward and help those in need and for many months and I did just that, every day. I am already tempted to answer some posts here but I'm not ready yet, I still have too much on my mind.

 
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:08 PM   #4
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Re: I feel stuck and I need help

You're welcome GenevieveC.

Is it possible for you to get a new doctor? Such as one who is more helpful and wants to help you resolve your health concerns rather than get you out of his/her office as soon as possible?

I think trying to figure out what anti-depressants would work best for you is a very difficult task. Much of my knowledge of anti-depressants comes from first-hand experience rather than reading about them first. People can respond so differently to an anti-depressant that I think it's challenging to figure out beforehand whether a particular one is going to work for you or not.

Have you also considered seeing a therapist for help with being sober and coping with your depression?

 
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:08 AM   #5
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Re: I feel stuck and I need help

Yes, I would like to see another doctor but it's a little complicated. I live in Canada (and my first language is french so excuse the grammar sometimes!) which means that as far as health care is concerned I'm both blessed and cursed. Blessed because it's free and I don't take that for granted, I do appreciate it. Cursed because it's very hard to get proper treatment unless we are on the verge of death, or if we're very lucky and have a good doctor. Having a family doctor is a problem here and recently the government started assigning them to people, which means we have no say in the matter. He is the one who was assigned to me and he's not very good. What I can and will do is ask to see a specialist. The problem with that is that we have to wait months (sometimes it can take up to 6 months, sometimes more) to see one. When we finally get to see them, we have to pray and hope they are good or else we have to start the whole process again... I now realize that the second we found out what type of problems I had, he should have sent me to see one but he didn't, which goes to show how seriously he takes me.

Your suggestion to se a therapist is a good one. If money was of no concern to me, I suppose I wouldn't have thought twice about it and would already have one. I am taking care of my grand mother while my parents are away at the moment but when I get back home, I will go see what help is available for people like me. I guess I was convinced that my life would be so much better once I quit I didn't think I would need outside help. I'm also a little ambarassed because my addiction is not something like say, heroin. Many people still think withdrawal symptoms from cannabis are all in our heads but my hot flashes and hormones fluctuations beg to differ.

Anyway, once again Flamesabers, thank you very much for helping me out, I appreciate it. I am taking what you suggested on board and will seek help (some form of therapy) when I get back home. Thank you.

 
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:09 AM   #6
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Re: I feel stuck and I need help

Yes, I would like to see another doctor but it's a little complicated. I live in Canada (and my first language is french so excuse the grammar sometimes!) which means that as far as health care is concerned I'm both blessed and cursed. Blessed because it's free and I don't take that for granted, I do appreciate it. Cursed because it's very hard to get proper treatment unless we are on the verge of death, or if we're very lucky and have a good doctor. Having a family doctor is a problem here and recently the government started assigning them to people, which means we have no say in the matter. He is the one who was assigned to me and he's not very good. What I can and will do is ask to see a specialist. The problem with that is that we have to wait months (sometimes it can take up to 6 months, sometimes more) to see one. When we finally get to see them, we have to pray and hope they are good or else we have to start the whole process again... I now realize that the second we found out what type of problems I had, he should have sent me to see one but he didn't, which goes to show how seriously he takes me.

Your suggestion to se a therapist is a good one. If money was of no concern to me, I suppose I wouldn't have thought twice about it and would already have one. I am taking care of my grand mother while my parents are away at the moment but when I get back home, I will go see what help is available for people like me. I guess I was convinced that my life would be so much better once I quit I didn't think I would need outside help. I'm also a little ambarassed because my addiction is not something like say, heroin. Many people still think withdrawal symptoms from cannabis are all in our heads but my hot flashes and hormones fluctuations beg to differ.

Anyway, once again Flamesabers, thank you very much for helping me out, I appreciate it. I am taking what you suggested on board and will seek help (some form of therapy) when I get back home. Thank you.

 
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:15 AM   #7
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Re: I feel stuck and I need help

My last reply didn't seem to go throgh so ths might end up to be a double posting...

Yes, I would like to see another doctor but it's a little complicated. I live in Canada (and my first language is french so excuse the grammar sometimes!) which means that as far as health care is concerned I'm both blessed and cursed. Blessed because it's free and I don't take that for granted, I do appreciate it. Cursed because it's very hard to get proper treatment unless we are on the verge of death, or if we're very lucky and have a good doctor. Having a family doctor is a problem here and recently the government started assigning them to people, which means we have no say in the matter. He is the one who was assigned to me and he's not very good. What I can and will do is ask to see a specialist. The problem with that is that we have to wait months (sometimes it can take up to 6 months, sometimes more) to see one. When we finally get to see them, we have to pray and hope they are good or else we have to start the whole process again... I now realize that the second we found out what type of problems I had, he should have sent me to see one but he didn't, which goes to show how seriously he takes me.

Your suggestion to se a therapist is a good one. If money was of no concern to me, I suppose I wouldn't have thought twice about it and would already have one. I am taking care of my grand mother while my parents are away at the moment but when I get back home, I will go see what help is available for people like me. I guess I was convinced that my life would be so much better once I quit I didn't think I would need outside help. I'm also a little ambarassed because my addiction is not something like say, heroin. Many people still think withdrawal symptoms from cannabis are all in our heads but my hot flashes and hormones fluctuations beg to differ.

Anyway, once again Flamesabers, thank you very much for helping me out, I appreciate it. I am taking what you suggested on board and will seek help (some for of therapy) when I get back home. Thank you.

 
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Old 04-10-2013, 11:17 AM   #8
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Re: I feel stuck and I need help

My last reply didn't seem to go throgh so ths might end up to be a double posting...

Yes, I would like to see another doctor but it's a little complicated. I live in Canada (and my first language is french so excuse the grammar sometimes!) which means that as far as health care is concerned I'm both blessed and cursed. Blessed because it's free and I don't take that for granted, I do appreciate it. Cursed because it's very hard to get proper treatment unless we are on the verge of death, or if we're very lucky and have a good doctor. Having a family doctor is a problem here and recently the government started assigning them to people, which means we have no say in the matter. He is the one who was assigned to me and he's not very good. What I can and will do is ask to see a specialist. The problem with that is that we have to wait months (sometimes it can take up to 6 months, sometimes more) to see one. When we finally get to see them, we have to pray and hope they are good or else we have to start the whole process again... I now realize that the second we found out what type of problems I had, he should have sent me to see one but he didn't, which goes to show how seriously he takes me.

Your suggestion to se a therapist is a good one. If money was of no concern to me, I suppose I wouldn't have thought twice about it and would already have one. I am taking care of my grand mother while my parents are away at the moment but when I get back home, I will go see what help is available for people like me. I guess I was convinced that my life would be so much better once I quit I didn't think I would need outside help. I'm also a little ambarassed because my addiction is not something like say, heroin. Many people still think withdrawal symptoms from cannabis are all in our heads but my hot flashes and hormones fluctuations beg to differ.

Anyway, once again Flamesabers, thank you very much for helping me out, I appreciate it. I am taking what you suggested on board and will seek help (some for of therapy) when I get back home. Thank you.

 
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:28 AM   #9
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Re: I feel stuck and I need help

Well, twice I tried to reply and either I did something wrong or my post was not approved. I don't see what I could have done wrong since I was able to post before. As for not being approved, well I suppose my problems could be viewed as not belonging on a depression forum, but they do. I may be recovering from addiction, I may have hormonal problems, but the end result is depression so I'm a little puzzled as to why my posts where not approved (if that's what happened of course).

Anyway, I'm trying to post again, one last time, mainly to thank you. I will keep it at that because I am afraid of saying something wrong which will not be appoved. So Flamesabers, thank you very much for your help and advice . I agree with everything you suggested and will look into it.

 
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