I just got back from the docs today. I was assertive and asked for a referral to London, which doc said he didnt think the PCT would agree to but he did take an interest in what I told him about a neuro otoligist being the expert for dizziness- he said he would look into it for me - so at least it wasnt a no. Said he would have a look on the internet!! I told him about you guys all being referred and all the positive feedbacks.
I also told him that I was really down and major anxious all the time and he thought an antidepressant would be helpful. The only thing is I have gotten home and read all the horror stories in the paper today about them and scared myself to death. I have Cipromil 10mg - Im just wondering for anyone who is or has taken them, how much did you take to start with. Scot I think you said you took Cipromil, I want to give it a go as I know the anxiety with this dizziness is worse than it has ever been in over 6 years.
I know how you feel Chris as I too have just read all the stuff today in the UK papers....they are majorly anti anti-depressants, saying they can play havoc with your mood and make you worse - they think for mild depression/anxiety counselling/CBT is the answer so I must say I'm inclined to go for this route...I willl now be worried if LL says to me to take an anti-depressant. So its up to you Chris really - but what about trying CBT first?
Chris, In the same boat about antidepresants. I actually posted a thread a few days ago called SSRI-Need advice and scottsman had some very good input. These drugs do work for some people and the press changes things by the moment, their for st johns, against st johns, for antidepressants against. I don't know what the answer is but Anxeity is hard, very hard and whatever you can do to releive it and live more normally I think is important.
I agree CBT can help but it is hard when you have a medical condition creatig the anxiety.
I took an antidepressant for three years (prior to this bout of labs), and never had any problems with it, but it was an older monoamine oxidise inhibitor (dothiepin), not an SSRI. I had no side-effects, and was off it in under a week once I decided it was time. I'm not sure I'd be so keen to take an SSRI, but 10mg is a very low dose, so you should be OK.
Ive had cipramil before for my anxiety. Everyone is different how they react to these things. I had it 4 years ago for minor depression and i was fine with it, but i just could not sleep at night. This was before i had the dizzies.I had it again last year and i was in the A&E more times than out it with panic attacks. I had 4 in a row. The doc there took me straight off it and said it wasnt for me. He did say if i stuck it out they would fade but i wasnt going to stick it out. I think all anti depressants come with side effects as they sort out the brain chemicals. My doc also told me they only hide the problem but dont deal with the root of your problem, which for you is your dizziness.
I dont want to put you off, because maybe this is the miracle cure for you being down, but i just wanted to tell you my experience with it. Try it out and see how you go. Just because it wasnt for me doesnt mean it isnt for you. Let me know how you get on.
P.s thats great your doc is going to look at the net bout London!!!
I say try it. For me it's been absolutely fine. In a nutshell:
1) I take the horror stories I read on the internet with an extremely large grain of salt. We have no idea what these people were like before they started (overall health) or even what they were like psychologically beforehand. These reports are from one side of the fence only - ie. skewed information. On the internet you can find horror stories on aspirin....I'm definitely not going to avoid aspirin for muscle aches and pains as a result.
2) We're all slightly different in terms of how we react to SSRIs. Some will get mild side-effects and some get none at all. Some weight gain seems to be consistent across the board. If the SSRI you start on does not agree with you try another. Zoloft was not good for me while Cipramil was brilliant. My recovery began the day I started taking it.
3) Compensation will probably grind to a halt unless you first mop up the anxiety mess and sporadic depression created by this inner ear junk. Once sorted, the brain can then get on with it and sort out the dizziness/disequilibrium. Furthermore, there is evidence that SSRIs *promote* new neural growth in the brain - probably a necessary bonus for recalibrating the balance centre.
4) Check out the thread jade started here: http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=229956&page=1&pp=10.
She makes a very good point about the origins of anxiety when comparing a more typical anxiety disorder vs that created by the inner ear. CBT might help at stopping the really mad thoughts from taking over your life but I don't believe it will stop the trigger - the inner ear - from consistently firing off the anxiety. I also mention the dosing here as well.
I know Will100 also saw immediate benefits from an SSRI (lexapro) too.
I just got back from my therapist and we talked about the SSRI/anti depressant thing. She reminded me that these drugs are not supposed to make you feel different but more normal and if not you come of and try something else. The dosages are small enough that the brain gets to adapt to them slowly. We also talked about the inconsistency of knowing how you feel from moment to moment, the lack of trust you have with your body due to these sensations and if you can even out some of the emotional upheavel that comes with that it is worth it. She said look this is hard enough as it is why let it be any harder, its no different then medicinal marijuana for pain. Its about alleviating suffering and gosh knows with an inner ear thing its about suffering.
Hi Jade...your therapist hit the nail right on the head with that comment. A great deal of the benefit is about stopping the psychological suffering that comes with this thing.....and I think there's a few on here who are putting up with far too much suffering for sure. I can really relate to the "lack of trust in your body" thing. That stopped too thank God. Sounds like the psych is a good one and understands this thing afterall!! Nice surprise. Think you're well on your way now to sorting this out.
Thanks Scott, The therapist is really trying to understand and its a hard one to wrap around. She has been amazing. I would recommend that anyone dealing with this try some sort of therpay because at times it is a disability you are dealing with. She has been great too because she really listens to what the Neurotologist says and will question him. She also emphasized the importance of doing things for yourself that make you feel more incontrol because this is such an out of control thing and thus again the antidepressant.
By the Way, I decided to go expensive route with psychiatrist (I got an emergency Appt for friday these guys are super busy) because of her referral and he is constantly on call and apparently really nice and also because of my history of PA attacks. Also I don't have a GP just my neurotologist who called me young and sprightly, I am so much younger then most of his patients he does not get the angst I am in. When I asked him for SSRI he asked me if I was depressed, I said anxious, thus more Xanax.
By the way I read what you said about the PA last christmas at your friends. I can really sympathize.. I am soooo glad you got most of the anxiety under control because that stuff realy is noooooo fun. There were so many social events I went to just gripping the floor.
Also talked to a friend who is a western herbalist and really suggesting sculleria and St John's for tonifying the Nerves, as well as Oats and Valerian. Also the adrenal supporters like Rhodiola (goes to head and helps with memory) or even Reishi. I think whatever you can do to Tonify the nervous sytem and not just sedate will help when you come of the SSRI and lessen your sensitivity.
Just wanted to add a possible thought to this thread. If anyone, for whatever reason, feels too worried to take an SSRI- another route is to take a beta blocker - propanonol. This doesn't work in the same way as an anti depressant - I think (my memory is hazy here) it stops the adrenalin surge you get when you get anxious - people often use it for public speaking - driving tests etc, to stop them sweating, dry mouth etc... If the anxiety experienced with vestibular disorders works at an unconscious level, your body simply physically reacts to to the dizzy sensations, it could be really helpful, as that's what it impacts on. Although I agree with all Scott says, it's just something to bear in mind if you're struggling. with anxiety and SSRI's aren't for you.
I think Scott has said this elsewhere, but I once considered SSRI's and spoke to a friend of mine who is a scientist. She had taken them, and said start on a teeny dose. The smallest available and work your way up to a larger dose if needed. The body can acclimatize to the new drug and it's less likely to cause side effects. I think sometimes the side effect problems happen because doctors are too eager to kick people off on too high a dose. With most drugs, because I'm sensitive to them, I insist on a low dose to start. It's basically the same philosophy in reverse with regard to coming off a drug - people are rarely told to just stop am SSRI, it's a good idea to taper down slowly, again, this way you can avoid the side effects of withdrawal.
i have been on an a/d for the last 18 months, i take zispin/remeron i have no worries, side effects, dry mouth and weight gain...i was on 30mg and a month ago came down to 15mg with no probs......everyone is different....usually i wont take any meds for headaches colds , ive had 4 children with minimal pain relief so i did feel uncomfortable about it to start, but the way i felt back then i would have taken anything to feel some normality again, if its a low dose it may be enough for u , i was up to 45 mg but could hardly keep awake so i cut it down and was fine at 30 mg, they take about 6 weeks to get into your system before u will notice any improvment.....good luck
One other thing. I noticed St John's Wort mentioned. Just wanted to say it's dangerous to assume that chemicals = bad and herbs = good. Herbs can have wild side effects. To illustrate my point - opium comes from a natural source.
I took St John's Wort a few years ago and that stuff nearly sent me mad. I was only on it for a few days before I realised that was why I was in a rage - I literally felt like the Incredible Hulk, I could happily have punched people in the street, and I am not and never will be a violent person. It was awful. Once I realised what was going on I couldn't wait to get it out of my system. Obviously, again, I wouldn't say don't take St John's Wort, everyone is different, but don't assume just because you've bought it at your local herbalist it isn't going to have detrimental effects. Also if you do take an SSRI, I would be wary of taking something like St John's Wort alongside it. It's best to try these things one at a time, so you can assess their impact on you.
I realise everyone is has different reactions and experiences with these, but I think I might just give it a go. I tried St Johns Wort a few years back thinking it was a safe option and had the worst rash all over my body and itched like crazy for 3 days - it was hell - so it just goes to show.
Jade I know what you mean about this being hard enough already - why make it harder (that makes sense) thanks for your input - I read your thread on SSRIs which was really interesting.
Scott - how much cipramil do you take? are they 10mg tablets?
Hbep - hope you are doing OK, I will bear in mind the propanolol if I dont get on with the cipramil.
Thanks again everyone - will let you know what I decide to do,
I took st johns wort about 4 years ago when I went through a low patch at uni due to family problems...must say it really helped me. I took it again recently for this blimin monster - and did notice my anxiety increased but I think it was coincidence. Kp taking it off and on but I guess it wont work that way. V interesting to hear about your angry experience and your rash chris. Shocking. And a tad worrying.
St John's Wort didn't agree with me either! Made me feel as if my thoughts were really fragile and could shatter - very, very odd and hard to describe! I get all my natural remedies from my herbalist now and don't take anything without her say-so. *Definitely* don't take St John's wort with an SSRI, as they have essentially the same effects on brain chemistry!
If you opt for Cipramil, start on a half tablet before bed - or 10 mg. Stay there for a month or so and see how you feel. It might be enough. If you think you can do better (ie still don't feel quite right), go up to 3/4 or 15 mg. That should do the trick. Lexapro is also an option. It contains exactly the same active ingredient in a cleaner form actually (an inert molecule has been removed). It's more concentrated and you could start on 5 mg of that. The idea here is to get your body used to feeling normal again and away from the constant fight or flight feeling which can become harder and harder to undo the longer nothing is done about it - that I learned from a top specialist here at the university. When I heard that the anxiety can become entrenched in your nervous system I was freaked out and took the bull by the horns *immediately*.
Let us know how you go....looking forward to hearing that you feel lots better.
Really appreciate your help on this, the tablets I have are Cipromil 10mg, so at least doc did start me on the lowest dose. Ive had these tablets in the cupboard for a year and just darnt take them, but I really need something as I feel so anxious and jumpy all the time. I feel like Ive permanently overdosed on caffeine or something. I did a 24 hour saliva stress test about a year ago and the stress hormones my body was putting out was unreal, way way over the reference range, so Ive been like this for a long time.
Is there a reason you said to take it before bedtime? My doc said take it in the morning and the leaflet in the box says morning or bedtime, just wondered if it would make any difference.
Anyway thanks again Scott, gonna give it a go after the weekend. Hope you are having a good day,
I wasn't aware there was a 10 mg version of Cipramil. What country are you in? Maybe they have different packaging. Anyway, doesn't matter as long as you start on 10 mg. I take it at night because it supposedly makes you a little drowsy at first (I never felt this though) and I thought I may as well get drowsy before bed! Also, I was getting some bad symptoms at night too (waking up with the 10 cappuccino feeling) so figured I might as well hit it at bedtime.
BTW, don't worry too much if you feel a little weird for the first week or two. It passes quickly as you adjust to the stuff and then it's all uphill from there. You might even feel a bit of nausea at times in the first week....it will vanish.