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Old 04-30-2008, 01:57 PM   #1
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Angry Narcotics changing my personality?!

Hey Everyone,

Ok, I got my pump in October 07. Right away my husband and I noticed a big behavior change. I became really, really angry. I thought it was my hormone levels and opted to see my ob/gyn. She increased my estrogen but my estrogen levels came back normal so we really didn't think that was the cause. In December not only was my husband and kids noticing how angry I had become but so had my friends. My best friend said she didn't know me anymore. This prompted an appointment with my family doctor. Prior to this appointment I had met with my pain management doctor and asked her about behavior changes. She blew us off and said there was no way I was having a reaction. Ok, back to my family doctor. He was 90% sure it was the morphine causing the problems. He talked to my PM doctor who again disagreed. My husband and I met with my PM doctor and tried to get her to listen to us but she was adamant that the meds were not bothering me and refused to withdraw the morphine. Well, this went on for awhile until I finally got sick and tired of fighting with her and switched doctors.

My new doctor agreed that morphine could cause a problem and dumped it and put in fentynal. He did this on April 15th. Since that time I have been behaving like my sweet self. Until today! I had my radio frequency nerve ablation this morning. Well, this afternoon my husband took my 2 teenagers to the ortho and did not ask the questions I told him to ask. I threw a HUGE fit. I screamed and yelled and cussed like a sailor (not me at all). I called my husband names, I yelled at my teenage son for intervening and then threw the ink pen at him becasue he wouldn't shut up! I swear to God this isn't me!! I even went so far as to call the ortho and yell at the offie manager and demanded that both boys braces be removed immediately.

What has gotten in to me? Could it be the medication AGAIN? Has anyone had this happen to them? What do I do? Is there something I can take to counteract the behavior problems? I am already on 225 mg of effexor. I think I need to call my counselor and speak with her. I feel like I am losing my mind!!

Please help.

Cindy

Last edited by cindyx4; 04-30-2008 at 02:21 PM. Reason: spelling

 
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:09 PM   #2
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Re: Narcotics changing my personality?!

Oh cindy.......... I am so so sorry,,,,,,,, but you have made me laugh...... that is something i would possibly have done aswell even without the meds.............

Seriously I have noticed a change in my behaviour but its more on a bad pain day.... I am like a bear....... But what I have noticed since I am on the oxycontin I have a very very low tolerance level........ even my sister noticed it. Simple things..... set me off....... my husband claims my voice has got louder and I am easily annoyed. I used to be a very laid back person. Now I freak over things. Example......... I cleaned down the worktops with detox and had them all nice shiney and clean. Spent awhile. Husband makes coffee...... can we put the coffee and sugar into a mug without spilling it no......... can I just ignore no........... and I fly off the handle.........

So yes I can relate to it....... but i seriously believe it is down to what we are taking.
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Old 04-30-2008, 02:18 PM   #3
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Re: Narcotics changing my personality?!

Thanks. It helps to know I'm not alone but it doesn't help my husband. When I was flying off the handle I went into the kitchen and told my 10 year old son that when he get's older to PLEASE not be a wuss like his dad. I told him to stand up for himself and act like a man. Ok, now my husband is in tears. He came in here yelling at me and telling me I was to never question his masculinity and that he has taught the boys how to be men. Ugh! What do I say to the man. I did say it. I did involve my children which I don't beleive in! I locked myself into my bedroom (so mature huh?!) and one child put a note under my door saying that my husband was crying and another came outside and talked to me through my open window to tell me dad was crying as well. Boy, I feel like a wonderful person right about now. I swear, SWEAR I do not act like this.

At this point I want the pump removed from my body. I cannot behave like a complete monster for the rest of my life. My body is so very sensitive to medications and I should have known it would make me act like a real b****. Ohhhh...what to do! I did call my counselor and left a message for her. I told her I really, really needed to talk to her. I've hurt my husband really bad.

I have been sick and in pain since Sept of 03. I have the most supportive husband. He will do everything for our 4 boys when I don't feel well and guess what...I don't feel well A LOT. I really am lucky he puts up with me and I in no way want to hurt his ego or his heart both of which I did.

I hate pain. I hate that I need medication. I hate that I can't take the meds and not have them affect my personality. I hate this, I hate this, I hate this!

Last edited by cindyx4; 04-30-2008 at 02:23 PM.

 
Old 04-30-2008, 02:25 PM   #4
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Re: Narcotics changing my personality?!

cindy:
I know exactly what you are talking about and there could be many, many things going on right now. One problem is that people with mental problems, I'm assuming you do since you are on the Effexor, can really have it VERY HARD. I have 3 diseases and they are all constantly at battle over one another as to which one will try to get me to do things that are not like me. I know that when my bi-polar gets out of control, I go into huge rages, get mad easily, throw things, etc. I hate to be like this and thankfully my meds keep me mostly under control. Anger and rage can come from your meds, Effexor, not controlling your depression. If your depression becomes worse, it can result in anger, rage, irritability, etc. It's like you don't care any more and just say **** it. I am kind of that way today although since i took my sublinguial b12 vitamin and drank some fluids its better.

You should realize that you have been under A HUGE AMOUNT OF STRESS over the last couple of weeks.
1. You have switched from morphine to fentanyl
2. You have been through withdrawal(and possibly still going through a little bit), since morphine hits slightly different pain receptors than fentanyl
3. Your body and mind have been through alot and you need to give yourself time to rest and recooperate
4. Tell yourself that even if things don't go exactly the way you want them, that everything is still alright(in the big scheme of things)
5. If you believe in God, then say the serenity prayer, which helps(God grant me the SERENITY to ACCEPT the things that I CANNOT CHANGE, the COURAGE to CHANGE the things that I CAN, and the WISDOM to KNOW the DIFFERENCE). Say it over and over if you have to.
6. You just need to give yourself time to adjust to the fentanyl. If things are not getting better(mood wise), then call and have your Effexor dose adjusted

I definitely have been where you are at. Also, being in chronic pain can have a HUGE effect on your mood. Maybe you could start writing a journal and put down all of your feelings in there. Getting your feelings out on paper instead of taking them out on the ones that you love is much better. It's strange how we can go from Love to Anger and hate to the ones we love. I know it is not the real you. Please make sure you call your doctor that prescribes your Effexor if things don't get better. And feel free to get your feelings out here. Go ahead and throw as many things as possible at me, I dare you

brian

p.s I just realized that you had the radio frequency procedure today. Oh my please please realise that you are going through alot. You are doing an amazing job. I am proud of you at how much you have been through the last couple of weeks and not completely lost it. You are so much stronger than you realize. Tell your husband that you are sorry and that the stress of everything is just starting to get to you. Tell him that it was all of the anger, anxiety, and depression expressing itself. Ask him for help. Ask him to help with the kids and you just rest, rent some comedy movies or whatever movies you like, get your favorite ice cream, and let there just be some YOU time.

Last edited by brianpain33; 04-30-2008 at 02:40 PM.

 
Old 04-30-2008, 03:57 PM   #5
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Re: Narcotics changing my personality?!

cindy,

I think it's critical that you see your counselor, and the doc that prescribes your effexor. But the counselor first. You've got something inside that's got to come out. I know this isn't the real you. But this "other you" needs exorcising.

Also, there could be more that's going on here than just the opioid meds. It could be a combination of meds. Maybe it's the effexor. Who knows? But in light of these events, it makes sense to get the whole group of meds re-evaluated for interactions. It might also be a good idea go get and blood test and check hormone levels, amongst other things. I wouldn't chalk this up to personality. I think that there may be something medical going on here.

Please don't beat yourself up over this. That would just compound the problem. And for sure, bring your husband in on this. Get him to team up with you to determine what's wrong. He sounds wonderful and I bet would love to lead you through determining the cause of these outbursts.

Best of Luck to you.

steve

 
Old 04-30-2008, 04:49 PM   #6
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Re: Narcotics changing my personality?!

Cindy: Sorry you are dealing with this right now. I know how you feel. Really. I am assuming you and I are around the same age, since you mentioned estrogen levels, etc. (I'm 46) I have gone off on my dear sweet hubby twice in the past 6 months, and if you knew me, you would know that it is not my usual temperment.

I haven't had any med changes or procedures, but I do know that even though your last hormone levels came back "normal", this may only mean that they were normal on the day they did the labs. I am in peri-meno, about 4-5 years now and my OB/GYN said that he never relies on hormone levels at this stage. They fluctuate way too much. I know that my "melt-downs" were/are hormomal rage. And considering all you have been going through, the pain, the med changes, the procedure.....I would not doubt that this is the same for you.

I have found that Xanax, which my psychiatrist prescribes for me, has helped considerably. I take low doses and only as needed, but it has made a huge difference. It is possible that your Effexor is having an effect on you, because of the hormones, that you didn't have from it before.

I wish you luck and can definitely relate. I would, as Steve suggested, call your counselor and whoever Rx's your effexor. This along with the hormone fluctuation could be what is causing this. Take care and keep posting, cmpgirl

 
Old 04-30-2008, 05:20 PM   #7
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Re: Narcotics changing my personality?!

Cindy
I hate to say it but I had a good giggle off of your threads. I dont know if its a pattern here or what but I am 40 and I can also be the mean ***** you describe. I was almost crying to when I read it. Its so odd how we go from one extreme to the other. Not long ago I thought I was completly losing it. My temper and outburst got so bad it was unreal. While I was doing the cusing and the screaming in the back of my mind I was saying what in the hell are you doing dummy but couldnt stop myself. I am not sure what causes it but I wouldnt mind knowing whats going on myself. My poor husband whew I feel bad for him. I feel like such a you know what. I wish I could help but I just wanted to let you know your not alone. Also going through all the stuff you have lately doesnt make matters better. I know when I recently found out I had two more buldging disc narrowing of the spinal cord and facet disease all in one day it did intensify my behavior so I think it could be that we are always under so much pressure. My husband also has lost hope in me. I know how it feels. Maybe its just an outlet because we really dont have anyone to talk to about our problems, ya know, someone who really understands. Maybe its just our pent up anger of our situations. I wish only the best for you. I know its a daily struggle....be strong.

mshatch

 
Old 04-30-2008, 06:23 PM   #8
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Re: Narcotics changing my personality?!

Well, I'm glad that I am making some of you giggle!

Ohhhh...it isn't funny here though. I am evil! I need a red smiley with horns!!!!

I did apologize to my husband. He accepted. He also told me not to think this is something I can expect to happen all the time. Afterall, I've only had the medication in my body for 10 days and this has only happened once. He told me to cut myself some slack. Sounds good but then my 8 year old was absolutely refusing to brush his teeth and get in bed and I lost it AGAIN! Holy crap I think I need to take ambien and end this day before I have all four of my boys sleeping on the front porch and my husband as well! Or maybe that would be ME on the front porch.

I have decided that I want to go and meet with a psychiatrist and have that person explore all my medications. I want to see if there is somethign else I should be on to help with my moods. Obviously my child like temper tantrums aren't normal.

Some of you responded that I have been through a lot lately, well, I really have. The biggest is that my dear, dear mother-in-law died on March 11 from Alzheimers. She was like a mom to me and I miss her dearly. I am having a very hard time dealing with her death. During this same time I was trying to find a new pain managment doctor only to be told no-one would take me on due to the fact that I had a pump. It was a horrible time. I'm dealing with a father-in-law that I can't stand and couldn't stand during my MIL's illness. I'm dealing with the pain. I'm dealing with all these stupid tests that I am having done. Then yesterday my family doctor found a breast lump. He thinks it is fibrocystic disease but none-the-less one more thing to worry about. So, maybe these are exscuses or maybe they are really affecting my behavior. Who knows! I just know I need help and I will be seeking that help tomorrow when I speak with my wonderful counselor.

Thank you all for being here for me. I'm sorry if I sound like a raging lunatic. I really am a very quiet, gentle person.

Cindy

 
Old 04-30-2008, 08:06 PM   #9
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Re: Narcotics changing my personality?!

Sorry to hear about your problems.....But, I can definitely relate!

I think what you're experiencing isn't all that uncommon. First and foremost, it's probably the narcotics....One of the side effects that come with the territory. Although you specifically blame the pump, it's the med in the pump of course. And, since you're on fentanyl, finding something proportional to control your pain is going to be tough....The patch would be the closest thing as it's also fentanyl.

I honestly think that by significantly reducing or maybe even eliminating pain meds would do the trick. HOWEVER, at what COST? Your pain would probably skyrocket and then your personality / mood would get even worse. Consequently, I don't think it's the answer.

In order to solve this problem, you have to get to the root of it. Pain meds affect the serotonin levels emitted by your brain on your receptors. Because narcotics occupy these receptors, your brain either slows or stops the natural release of endorphins. You can somewhat increase them naturally via moderate exercise....Walking or whatever increases your heart rate. Light weight lifting (if applicable) is the absolute best. Universal machines @ your local Y or gym are PERFECT, if one is physically able. You can select almost any weight and exercising the muscle in your body produces the most endorphins. And remember, your legs contain your biggest muscles, so exercise the most.

Ever notice that almost all PM offices are full of pamplets for depression? That's because it's a very common side effect of pain meds. Thus, you might want to see an appropriate Doc about this....Depression is also the result of your natural endorphins and serotonin levels.

As we've recently discussed on this board in a related thread....Chronic PM people have to ACCEPT who they NOW ARE and deal with it as best they can. Unfortunately, you are NO LONGER the person you once were...I know that in itself is depressing, but it's a FACT.

I truly hope you find the answers you're looking for. However, be cautious as you don't want to cause MORE problems than you already have.....In other words, be careful what you wish for....You might get it.

Best of luck to you!

Ex

Last edited by Executor; 04-30-2008 at 08:10 PM.

 
Old 04-30-2008, 10:19 PM   #10
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Re: Narcotics changing my personality?!

Cindy
I hope I didnt offend you by say I giggled. I giggled because I know where you are coming from. It is hard everyday for me. Unfortunately through the yrs I have learned that this ride called pain is a very bumpy one. You will have good days and bad and yes we are more stressed out than a normal person. I still try to shove my feelings down. I could never express the pain I felt. Not through crying or closing myself off from the world. maybe anger might express it I am not sure. I even tryed going back to work after my 2nd surgery. I put everything I had into it but my dear old friend PAIN never went away. I just want to say I am truly sorry for saying I giggled. I hope things get better for you. I am sure they will.

mshatch

 
Old 05-01-2008, 08:05 AM   #11
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Re: Narcotics changing my personality?!

Hello Cindy

I very seldom post here, but I do read the board.

I just wanted to share with you... As i went through the gamet of pain meds for many years, I don't think there are many that were not tried for me. There was a point a few years back when my oncologist switched me over to morphine because my pain levels were getting out of control and Percocets were no longer effective at all. Within 2 weeks, I really underwent a big personality change! I knew I felt grouchy ( that is putting it mildly!) and small things were setting off anger that was out of proportion to the situations. I had shared about the med switch with the school nurse and one collegue. Both, on the same day, bluntly told me that I needed to get off the morphine because I was a miserable person on it. Both told me that my behaviour ws really amiss. I am so glad they were true friends and gave it to me straight. I went back to the doctor who moved me back to percocet and then eventually to oxycodone. I regained my sunny little disposition again fairly quickly.

Also, your post made me understand something that happened a long time ago to me when I was first beginning pain meds. I had had some pretty drastic cancer surgery and a large portion of my thigh was removed. The pain was pretty horrible in the weeks following surgery. I was put on Duragesic patches. I was also put on Prozac because of depression and Xanax for anxiety and for nerve damage. I remember finally having rage in me rise to such a peak, that I threw away all the meds I had been prescribed. Of course, I went into bad withdrawals, although I had no idea what withdrawal was at that time in life. In retrospect now, after reading your post, I think that it is a real possibility that it was the fentanyl in the patches that caused the rage.

I went back on the Prozac, the Xanax and on Percocet and was fine for many years on that. The meds help with the pain, but do each have their own set of side effects. Keep working with your doctors, Friend. Sometimes it just takes a lot of time to find the best combination for us as individuals. I am truly sorry you are dealing with this and hope it can be resolved quickly.

With good wishes
reach

Last edited by reachout; 05-01-2008 at 08:07 AM.

 
Old 05-01-2008, 01:21 PM   #12
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Re: Narcotics changing my personality?!

Cindy,
Oh you are so not alone before I started taking narcotics I was really easy going and laid back, however the littlest things annoy me know and sometimes although I dont flip out (only because Im the type to hold it all in) in makes my insides curdle in anger). Hang in there and someone mentioned a counselor Hum......not a bad idea Good Luck....JoJo

 
Old 05-01-2008, 01:28 PM   #13
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Re: Narcotics changing my personality?!

Cindy,
I definitely see changes in me also. After my second fusion I got anxiety, was very hard to deal with it.
My Cardiologist says that many opiates can cause anxiety, very damaging to our nervous system.
That is why he suggested anti-anxiety medication called Lexapro. In higher doses it may work as anti-depressant, on low dose (like mine) works great for anxiety problems. I am so happy since I start taking it; I don't feel any anger, irritability, heart palpitations due anxiety - this is no longer my problem.

All the best to you!

 
Old 09-28-2010, 11:20 AM   #14
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Re: Narcotics changing my personality?!

I'm bringing this back up, as I find that after I take a certain painkiller for a time, a month or so.. I get SO irritable, even just hearing the dog breathe makes me want to kick him out of the room. I end up changing meds from vicodin to percocet to morphine back to vicodin to percocet to morphine.. round and round....I don't know how much longer my husband can put up with me. I'm also on Celexa for depression and have been way before my back pain issues.

My pain management DR appt is next week. There has to be something that can be done. I'm really over being a b****.

 
Old 10-06-2010, 05:46 AM   #15
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Re: Narcotics changing my personality?!

So I talked with my Pain Mgmt Dr and he said that narcotics can definately cause irritability and may not be for me. He did up my anti-depressant dosage, and gave me a sample of Nucynta to see if that will work for the pain. I tried it about 2 years ago and it didn't, but he wants to try again. Never know I guess.

I'm just tired of being short-tempered and irritable when I take the pain killers. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

 
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