Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?

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Widdiful Falling

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Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
« on: May 12, 2015, 02:21:40 AM »
I haven't been asked to take any, but if I were, I would probably turn down the chance to take any psychiatric medication. It doesn't make sense, given that I've experimented with illicit drugs and alcohol, but with those, I've always made sure their lasting effects are minimal. Psychiatric meds alter brain chemistry waaay too much for me to want to mess with them. In fact, I think that if I were to start anti-anxiety medication, my anxiety might worsen for having to take them!

Anyone else feel the same way? Are my fears founded or unfounded in your experience?

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bee

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Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2015, 04:00:58 AM »
I made a point of telling my T when I started with her that I would not take any. I fear losing control of me. I feel there is so little of me left, that I have to gaurd it fiercely. She has asked a few times if I have changed my mind about it, but never in a forceful way.

Recently I had my genome mapped and found that if I would have taken an SSRI it most likely would have really messed me up. Something about how my neurotransmitters don't clear things through as fast as they should.

I know many people who say meds have helped them.

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totoro

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Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2015, 04:51:30 PM »
Hi Widdiful and Bee,

This past year was pretty rough as far as meds go, so I don't blame anyone for being frightened by the possibility of a bad reaction. Right now I'm on Lamictyl (sp?) and that seems to have no side effects that I'm aware of. Did I mention that I haven't had any side effects? Anyway it seems to be an okay drug because I haven't had any noticeable side effects...  :stars:

Seriously though I'm glad I began doing my own research on the drugs, it turns out that the Zoloft they gave me for depression made me have a manic episode that lasted for months, then fast acting ADDERALL which did the same thing, so they put me on slow release ADDERALL which was better at first then just made me irritable with a hair trigger temper. Then they found out that these reactions may indicate bipolar disorder and that the Adderall is contraindicated for peeps with that disorder. Short story long, I know but the upshot is because of a recent flashback that was worse than any I ever experienced ( it involved law enforcement) it was discovered I suffer from CPTSD.

So far the best medicine is just knowing these flashbacks are not my fault, I'm not a crazy, evil, nutcase, and I'm not alone, even when I most feel that I am.

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_Redd_

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Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2015, 01:12:16 AM »
I am so glad to read this Widdiful! I know that probably sounds very odd to you (and maybe others). I was medicated for 17 years. i went off all of my meds and am so glad I did. The meds are not a solution to trauma. Yes, brain chemistry changes when trauma occurs, but meds are not a fix for that. I read on here somewhere that the solution is not in a prescription pad. Psychotropic meds are very dangerous, yet very socially accepted. It's very odd. I am very glad you are refusing meds. My real healing came when I got off all the dang drugs. Again, N/BPD was making me the problem, the one that needed meds. Umm, no.

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DaisyMae

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Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2015, 08:21:18 PM »
Hi Widdiful & Bee,  I was like you and scared to death to take any medication for fear that I would lose control and also that it would make me appear weak, crazy.  My T never try to push or force it on me.  But I had a nervous breakdown 1 1/2 years ago (6 months into therapy) and I was actually at the planning stage of something that we will not talk about.  My T urged me to see my GP for my own safety and probably so he would not have to break the bond of trust that he had been working to build.  I followed his advice and gave him permission to talk with the GP.  Best thing I ever did.  The T was right, I need an SSRI to help me.  They both worked in my best interest and I am taking Zoloft, seemed to do the trick once I reached 150mg per day.  Also, the GP gave me Xanax for anxiety to help me sleep.  That one worried me the most because of the possibility of addiction.  Still does, so I am terrible about self-medicating with alcohol to sleep every night.  When the anxiety is at its worst, I do take the Xanax and it helps.  Not sure what goes on in my head to rationalize the alcohol is somehow a better solution than the Xanax.  My GP watches my usage closely and doesn't just issue refills for it either to make sure I do not become addicted to it.  My T has assured me that once I get to a place where I understand self worth and am confident in myself, I can start to work myself off of the Zoloft.  Guess what I am saying is that at a certain point, medication was necessary to correct chemical imbalances to help me think more clearly and to assist with emotional regulation.  I am fairly certain that it has saved my life.   

DM

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Boatsetsailrose

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Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2015, 06:55:57 AM »
Seems like a healthy fear to me -
Psych meds are powerful and not to be taken lightly -
In terms of making things worse in my experience side effects can be bad and they are a signpost that the drug isn't working

I have been on citalopram anti dep for some years on and off -
They have lifted me out of very dark times when I couldn't really function because of my mental health -
So for me they have been very helpful and I could start functioning again and seek further help with 'my' issues
On the flip side I do think they are handed out to readily here in the UK ..
I also suffer side effects and have to live with those
I am looking at reducing dose soon and seeing how it goes - I do want to be off them but am fearful I won't be able to function .. But I know all too well I don't let fear rule me ( fear is not always fact ) and will attempt withdrawal
Living with internal cotton wool can be good but by the same token feeling bit numb and sedated is not



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arpy1

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Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2015, 10:33:19 AM »
oh yeh, boatsetssailrose, i know what you mean, they do seem to hand 'em out like sweeties over here.
having said that, i have been on antidepressants (Citalopram, Sertraline) for decades, and when i was in my (extremely stressful n abusive) marriage, they enabled me to survive and raise the kids etc. and not resort to the unmentionable when tempted.
as a bit of a last resort, after some very traumatic stuff that went on the last few yrs, and not being able to find one that worked, am now on mirtazipine, which is not too wonderful, in that it piles weight on (bad bad bad for low self esteem, seriously) and it doesn't really do much for my mood. ho hum. the T i see now is actually the thing i find most helpful.

so like most of you guys, mixed feelings re meds, but i certainly wouldn't have survived without 'em so am grateful for them. and for a GP who took the trouble to try and find one that would work.

DaisyMae, know where u r coming from re alcohol v. valium. my dad's an alcoholic so i am very wary of getting addicted to anything. but sometimes one or other helps. which is the better? no idea. tho' alcohol makes me feel really low the next day, so maybe on balance the valium if i have to.

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serkinglight

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Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2015, 08:24:31 PM »
I'm so glad there's finally been a backlash against medicating everyone who comes down the pike. For years it seemed I couldn't see a doctor or therapist of any type
who wouldn't try to strong-arm me into taking medication once the fact of my depression was out. The line I so often heard was "If you were diabetic, would you refuse to
take insulin!?", usually uttered in a most exasperated fashion. Very grateful the medical climate has changed.

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woodsgnome

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Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2015, 06:16:43 PM »
Okay, I'm hesitant advising anyone or suggesting anything re medicine. I know they can be used legitimately and that they've helped many people here and in the general public.

But, I'm also aware of how "Big Pharma" gets in the mix with doctors from md's to psychs and even T's. And it seems to happen under the radar quite a bit.

Here's how it can easily come about, though. Doctors are usually very busy; some long-time practitioners (remember--it is called a PRACTICE) have long been out of their idealistic start-up when they were fresh out of learning the trade and eager to just help people.

And then more info comes along. They miss it; too busy. Meanwhile, the drug co. reps are happy to fill in the new need for info with their latest products. I've literally seen this happen in a doctor's office; the md even left an appointment to service the reps ahead of the  waiting patients.

Plus we live in a society where answers are demanded. Patients demand prescriptions, and docs, even if they're out of the loop themselves, might recall the latest samples left by the last drug company reps. The same doc I referred to above had a room full of samples and would sometimes make no bones about "here, try this" when he didn't have a clue himself. Once I ended up with some samples that set off my asthma big-time; he was surprised, and I even had to point to the product warnings themselves online, as they weren't in the actual sample he handed over.

So okay, what can a wary person do? There is a website that has tracked doctor payments. It is:

https://www.propublica.org/

On the opening page, if you scroll down there's a box you can fill in with docs name, etc...it's labeled "Has your health professional received drug company money?"

Elsewhere in the site, they have a page of several of their reports on this. That page is;

https://www.propublica.org/investigations/

There are several relevant articles there about lots of shady dealings, not all of them concerning meds, but many are; one's aptly called "Dollars for Doctors".

Again, I'm not on some high-horse about this, but I'm aware of what can happen--I had a close friend who was a victim of incorrect drug interactions that probably contributed to her sudden death; the meds in question were psych drugs she was using for depression. But her husband says she was never advised that they would affect other meds she was taking.

That brought this problem very close to me, and it scares me to think how hidden this problem has become, where some of us who legitimately need relief were taken advantage of. :'(

 
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 06:27:18 PM by woodsgnome »

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arpy1

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Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2015, 06:45:38 PM »
that's why i always check anything i am prescribed with an independent website or two, looking at interactions between drugs as well as individual side effects list that is found in the pack.
i got caught out once with a former gp who airily prescribed a drug whose interactions with another that he had already prescribed me was actually stated in the pack. when i called him to tell him, he was so unapologetic, just said, oh well, try this other one instead. 

i changed doc immediately. like you say, doctors get busy and don't always keep up with developments. i don't take chances any more.

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tired

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Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2015, 12:17:42 AM »
I am very sensitive to medications.  I've tried antidepressants and ritalin and the tiniest doses give me amplified side effects as compared to other people. 

I find that strict rules for exercise and foods I eat including selected vitamins are my best bet but it's hard to stick to the rules when I'm depressed and don't care sometimes. 

There is a part of me that wants medication.  It's the part of me that wants someone else to fix things for me.  The part of me that wants someone to really see that I have a serious problem.  Not taking medication is not a sign that I don't have a problem; it's just that I don't think they are going to work.   

I don't feel as bad about shorter acting things like stimulants and coffee, because I can use them to get through a day and if it's a bad idea I can move on from it, and also because I can recognize that I"m not trying to fix my life with drugs.  The problem is more involved and I"m not in denial about that.  Giving up  on life is  a bad habit and I keep indulging in it because it feels good for a few minutes.

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KayFly

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Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2015, 02:26:08 PM »
I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder in 2010 and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital because of my instability and I started taking really is sedating antipsychotics. I gained 30lbs in 2 months from Risperdol.

SSRIs as antidepressants were weird. Gave me like brain hiccups. Or I would become aware of my blood stream going through my veins quickly and it would go up to my head and make me have like brain pulses that would almost make me want to pass out.

I've tried several psychiatric drugs. Some helped. Many had side effects my body was too sensitive to handle. I was taking Wellbutrin recently, with a beta blocker for anxiety and i developed adult onset Asthma. So I guess you could say I'm a little afraid of them. And I refuse to take many.

With my experiences though, I have a good spectrum about which drugs are less harsh in side effects. I also have experimented with many illicit drugs, and mind altering drugs...some that left a long term in print or effect, so at times, anxiety medication was helpful.

But I don't think ill ever be on psychiatric meds again after all this. I think part of me always wanted off them, which is why I made several attempts off, then back on. But I am finding stability through therapy and hard work and never want to rely on a drug for that again. I think empowering to be in control of your self and not feel like you need a drug to do it for you.

But i do understand being so unstable that you need to be like sedated. THATS how I feel :)

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tired

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Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2015, 05:20:03 PM »
I do think, after reading some of these, that sometimes it's my tendency to not help myself that keeps me from taking medication.  It's hard to tell because medications aren't always helpful and are often dangerous.  But I do tend to think, I should be superhuman and not need help at all.  I don't accept other types of help either.  I guess in general I feel I can do things myself or that I should.

On the other hand,  I have a single friend that I trust in this world and he believes that I can do things myself. He also has ptsd and is very independent and competent and compassionate. So when he says you can fix yourself right here right now if you get up and do things that you need to do, I tend to believe him and it feels so much better than hearing that I can't do things without medication.

It also helps to think of short term vs long term solutions.  Short term solutions can be ritalin, coffee, drugs, and food.  But cognitive solutions can also help instantly if you really understand the concepts.  Long term solutions can be SSRIs, psychoanalysis, and just plain waiting it out. But again, cognitive solutions work here too.

One thing that makes this hard for me is lack of structure in my life. I never learned any life skills and my childhood had no supervision or structure.  No matter what I decide to do to help myself on any given day, it's hard to implement without a very involved structure. For example, I was in analysis for a long time which had a strict schedule.  I joined a gym and hired a trainer which gave me structure.  I had children which made me get out of bed and at least do something.  I think without children I would probably be homeless or living in my sister's basement. 

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Boatsetsailrose

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Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2015, 11:12:35 PM »
Hello tired
Thank u for saying what I've been feeling

Yes structure - I need it or else my head feels unmanageable
And cognitive solutions - I was just thinking about this today

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tired

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Re: Anyone else scared of psychiatric medication?
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2015, 10:05:42 AM »
I am afraid of drugs. I have a stockpile of celexa i'm afraid to take. I take short acting ritalin because i know in a few hours it's gone.
I think your fears aren't unreasonable. Science hasn't figured out how these work exactly. It's the best we have, so I don't criticize doctors who are trying to help us in the only ways available to them. But what is available through research and drug development isn't great. 

I'm on the forum because I just got up and wrote a list of what i have to do this morning and how long each will take, written lying down in bed on a scratch piece of paper, because i don't want to wake up.  I needed a transition from planning to doing so I came online.  what has helped me lately is having extremely rigid structure down to the minute.  i got one of those school planning things you hang on the wall. my kitchen looks like kindergarten.  it has everything written out because i actually forget what i'm supposed to do. i forget socks. i forget to shower. so the structure of the day is written and posted whether i follow or not.  at least i can look at it.  it doesn't go into great detail so i have to wake up and write details like shower, brush teeth .  then when i'm up i look at the wall and see that breakfast is at 8 etc. 

basically i gave up on the idea that i shouldn't have to write this down and it's weird or militant or ocd. i just thought, it's necessary so i'm doing it.

also lately my mom is giving me anxiety so structure is critical.  action is critical.  maybe that's why celexa doesn't help because it sedates me but stimulants make me do things and doing things makes me feel useful and not so depressed.