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Author Topic: I'm Not Sure Why I Shouldn't  (Read 531 times)

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Offline wrstone

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I'm Not Sure Why I Shouldn't
« on: April 21, 2014, 12:36:44 PM »
I'm a 49-year-old life-long GAD sufferer.

I've been on every medication known to Man.  Nothing helps.  Sometimes benzos give temporary relief, but that's all.  About once a year, it gets so bad that I spend a week in bed trying not to scream because it feels like I'm going insane.

In 2000, I had surgery and was prescribed hydrocodone for pain.  It flipped my anxiety off like a lightswitch.  While I was on it, I could function, I had drive, I could cope with life.

It's been 14 years, and nothing has gotten better.  I'm trying to think of a reason to not intentionally put myself on an extremely addictive opiate.

I know it has negative effects, from the addiction to other problems.

But the damned thing works.

It might shorten my lifespan.  It would absolutely be addictive, requiring higher dosages over time to achieve the relief.

But while I'm on it, I'll be normal.

I'm trying to think of a reason not to intentionally addict myself.  Given how the first 49 years of my life have been, I'm honest not sure that being an opiate addict is a bad thing.

Questions, comments, nasty remarks?
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Online MobileChucko

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Re: I'm Not Sure Why I Shouldn't
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2014, 02:55:26 PM »
Hi Wrstone, and welcome to Anxiety Zone!  My name is Chuck, and I am one of the Global Moderators here on the site.

You are now a member of our community, where you will find support and advice from other members in similar situations.   It's always nice to find someone else who understands, and to know you're not alone.

We have sections in the forum that address specific concerns, so feel free to post or start a new topic in the section that best fits your situation.  Feel free to explore the rest of the forum.  You may find the other topics helpful, and you may be able to offer advice or support to someone else.

We also have a chat room for members over the age of 18.  Once you have made three meaningful posts, you will be allowed access to the chat room.

Regarding your considering using opiates to treat you GAD, first of all you would have to find a doctor that would be willing to prescribe pain medication for your anxiety disorder.  This might be harder than you think as doctors are under the microscope these days, when it comes to prescribing pain medication.  And opiates are not a known treatment for psychiatric disorders, not even considered "off-label", so again, any reputable doctor will not write you a script for an opiate to treat your GAD.

Also, as you seem to be aware, long term use of opiates causes one to build up a tolerance to them, requiring more and more medication to achieve the same results.

And there has been lots of stories here on Anxiety Zone, of individuals that were prescribed benzodiazepines, got hooked on them, and then their doctor suddenly pulls the plug and won't write them another script.

I'm really sorry for what you are going through, Wrstone.  Lots to consider here.

The very best to you!...  Chuck :grinning-smiley-003:
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Offline wrstone

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Re: I'm Not Sure Why I Shouldn't
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2014, 04:33:40 PM »
Thanks for the reply, Chuck.

To be honest, if one is creative, one can obtain opiates whether a doctor prescribes them or not.  That's actually the least of my worries.  'Nuff said.  ;)

I entirely get that I'm getting into a very dangerous area.  However my choice seems to be:

Spend the rest of my life waking up with debilitating anxiety that never really goes away; or mask it by self-medicating with opiates.  My life may be shorter, but really, what I have apparently isn't treatable.  I've been trying to treat it for decades with no success.

I'm an old-school Trekkie.  Near as I can tell, this is a Kobayashi Maru scenario.  That means there is no version of this where I win.

After half a century, I'm at a point where I would prefer to live a shorter, happier life rather than a longer miserable one.
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Offline abeja_reina_1989

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Re: I'm Not Sure Why I Shouldn't
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2014, 05:07:41 PM »
I'm so sorry to hear about everything you've gone through. I can't even begin to imagine personally because I am not you and I know everyone experiences their anxiety in different ways. I myself just turned 25 years old and struggle so much just to get out of bed lately. I don't know what to do and I don't know how to care so much of the time. I know deep down I care to a degree but finding a purpose in life is something I struggle with. I'm just.... bored and struggle to find my purpose and meaning in life to put it simply.

I can completely relate to wanting to do whatever you can to feel better, but there has to be another way. Have you spoken with your doctor about how you're feeling? Maybe there is an aspect of that drug that helps you that something else could offer? I wish I knew more and could help you out.

If you ever want to talk, feel free to message me. I know how important it is to have someone to talk to and sometimes just speaking with someone else who goes through similar things can help.

Anyway... I wish you the best of luck! Keep fighting through this and know you are not alone in any way, although I know it can feel that way.
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Offline wrstone

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Re: I'm Not Sure Why I Shouldn't
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2014, 05:41:05 PM »
Thanks for the reply, Abeja.

I've spoken with my doctors (plural -- after half a century, you run through a lot of them looking for relief).  No ethical psychiatrist would dream of prescribing opiates for anxiety.  They simply find more or newer drugs to try that never work.

Throw out the name of a drug:  I've been on it.

I'm sorry to hear about your symptoms:  unsurprisingly, I'm intimately familiar with them.  On the positive side, psychiatric medications are getting very, very good.  I suspect that if I was your age, this might well be treatable.  Unfortunately, at my age, your brain has gotten used to operating a certain way and changing it is very, very difficult.

The thing about opiates is ... well, they're opiates.  They're designed to mask pain, so unsurprisingly they make you feel pretty damned good.  I suspect I could have a girlfriend break up with me via text message and I wouldn't care.  ;)

Unfortunately, there's no synthetic opiate that isn't an opiate at the end of the day.  The same thing that makes me feel good is the thing that's addictive, and there's just no getting around it.

Thanks very much for your offer of a shoulder to lean on.  To be honest, I'm unlikely to take you up on the offer, but not because there's something I dislike about you.  The problem is that after a couple of days with the anxiety roller-coastering, I can no longer trust my own judgement.

I don't know that I wouldn't do or say something inadvisable, so I essentially sequester myself.  I let the anxiety run its course without too much communication simply because I don't know what kind of trouble I might get into if I said anything to anyone.  It's caused me problems in the past.

Again, I appreciate the support and I'll PM you if I seem sane enough to trust my judgement.  Thanks!
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Offline Buddy122

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Re: I'm Not Sure Why I Shouldn't
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2014, 06:23:10 PM »
Perhaps you can mimic the effects of the opiates by making some lifestyle changes? Not to say that you haven't already, seems like you've had your fair share of time attempting to cope. But the lower blood pressure, heart rate, and other CNS depressant effects that opiates produce can be achieved through a healthy diet and taking heart conscious supplements such as fish oil and magnesium. Then you have the issue of rhe euphoria produced by opiates, which I can only assume just puts you at a normal, or baseline level of feeling because of your anxiety. I've been there so I understand. Maybe try some holistic like kava kava tea. Something that is legal, anyways. Before you think I'm bashing your idea, understand that I self-medicate with things I am not prescribed as well and am still offering this advice. You should probably talk to your doctor and let them know that opiates have worked for you in the past. I mean, they could either trust and give it a try, or not. At this point, could it get any worse?
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Offline wrstone

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Re: I'm Not Sure Why I Shouldn't
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2014, 12:45:45 AM »
Thanks for the reply, Buddy.

In fact, I've mentioned it to a variety of doctors.  Again, no ethical physician would prescribe it.  They would be participating in creating an addiction to something that's clearly not indicated as proper care by any scientific literature.  At the end of the day, they could be sued for malpractice -- and would certainly lose.

I've tried most of what you suggest and worked with Kava Kava very extensively.  It gave me interesting dreams, but not much real relief.

One of the things in my background is formal training in progressive relaxation, breathing exercises, etc.  I mean really formal:  I trained in it for a couple of years.  It can occasionally take the edge off, but when I start climbing the walls, it's not much help.

I appreciate the suggestions, however, and will look at the fish oil and magnesium as I've yet to give those a try.

Thanks!
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Offline algeus

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Re: I'm Not Sure Why I Shouldn't
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2014, 02:58:47 AM »
Hi wrstone,

I'm pretty sure you've tried it,but I will take a chance - what about SSRIs? For me Lustral was most helpful to mitigate my anxiety issues in the past...
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Offline wrstone

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Re: I'm Not Sure Why I Shouldn't
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2014, 03:14:35 AM »
Thanks for the reply, algeus.

Yes, I've been on every SSRI known to Man, including Listral.  I've been on everything at one time or another in fifty years.

I have unfortunately come to the conclusion that this isn't going to resolve itself by conventional means.

Or in other words, I guess I'm just going to have to do this ***** myself.  ;)
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Offline Potatoes

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Re: I'm Not Sure Why I Shouldn't
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2014, 03:22:02 AM »
Thanks for the reply, algeus.

Yes, I've been on every SSRI known to Man, including Listral.  I've been on everything at one time or another in fifty years.

I have unfortunately come to the conclusion that this isn't going to resolve itself by conventional means.

Or in other words, I guess I'm just going to have to do this ***** myself.  ;)

It just goes to show the uniqueness of the Human Body. We are all, by species, the same but yet we are all incredibly different. It's very complex and I am without a doubt sure it's rather frustrating, But even though medications that you've tried had let you down, you have the confidence and the mindset to continue to push on. I'm rather young (22) and I'm new to a lot of things... sometimes I think anxiety has got me down and has straight kicked my butt... But I know there are a million people out there that has got it more bad than I do. Not all of those million people decide to push further. some of them succeed. And lastly, they all share a seperate perspective on what works and what doesn't. Glad to hear that you've got that drive to know who's on the saddle 90%+ of the time. Somethings are unfortunate as unfortunate can be.... it's more in a sense of "inconvenient".

best of wishes.
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Offline wrstone

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Re: I'm Not Sure Why I Shouldn't
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2014, 04:18:45 AM »
Thanks, Potatoes.  My issue is that my parents are both in the psychological field, which means I can "speak the lingo" with my doctors.

When you can do that, you discover that medical care is a lot more frakked-up than you think.  The stories I could tell ...

I long ago decided that the only way to get this done was if I do it, and nobody else.  I'm not a doctor, but I've lived around them my whole life and know how to look things up and educate myself.  I know more about brain functioning and affects of medications on the brain than a lot of GPs.

As I say, I finally got it:  if I want this to get handled, I'm just going to have to do it myself.  If that means I have to be my own guinea pig, so be it.

You're a lot younger than I, so I wouldn't despair just yet.  When I first started on this journey, medications were incredibly sedative.  While they might have an effect, they also made it impossible to concentrate.

We've now got extremely targeted, advanced medications.  At your age, there's every reason to believe you'll find a conventional medication that will help.

Me, I'm 50.  The reality is that clinically, after about age 45, your brain has become very wired to respond a certain way, making it much more difficult to treat.

Hence, if I'm going to get this worked out, I'm just going to have to do this crap myself.  ;)
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Offline Lunatone

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Re: I'm Not Sure Why I Shouldn't
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2014, 04:20:49 AM »
Be careful using that stuff. I had to take it for years when i was going through massive dental work. The unintended side effect was bowel problems. And let me tell you, week long constipation triggers anxiety like nothing ive seen before.  ive been off the stuff for five years now and I'm still not fully recovered.
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Offline wrstone

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Re: I'm Not Sure Why I Shouldn't
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2014, 04:39:51 AM »
Lunatone, my understanding is that this is due to the large amounts of acetaminophen present in the tablets.  It causes GI problems as well as potential liver damage over the long term.

The acetaminophen can be removed fairly easily.

But I do appreciate the warning and will definitely keep it in mind if I decide to go this route.
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Offline Potatoes

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Re: I'm Not Sure Why I Shouldn't
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2014, 05:19:50 PM »
Any high school kid now adays knows how to extract the acetaminophen from opiates. So in the mindset that it's easy to do, that's true. But how long do you think a person can go with an opiate-based regimen? How would you dose yourself to where in 3 weeks from the day you started you won't have doubled the amount you're taking in? Is it the euphoric feeling of it that causes such freedom and reduced anxiety? I just am not sure if it's a successful long-term approach.

I mean all addiction aside...

You've got to look at the tolerance that your body will soon build from it... the bio-availability and how it's absorbed. I mean I knew 20 year old guys who were up to 10-12 hydrocodone 10's, (Yellow jackets) as they called them, easily. You're only looking at about 4 hours of relief. then it's going to wear off. I'm not giving you any ideas but a Fentanyl patch would seem more reasonable than hydrocodone. I just think you're going to get used to the feeling of your first few doses in a matter of days... two weeks max... and you're going to want to up.. The sky isn't really the limit when it comes to that. financially, physically, psychologically.

Just some food for thought, you're welcome to counter on that.
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Offline wrstone

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Re: I'm Not Sure Why I Shouldn't
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2014, 09:43:50 AM »
Thanks, Potatoes.  In fact, the tolerance issue is precisely why I've not jumped right into it.  I can't counter your argument, it's perfectly true.

That's what I'm struggling with.  I know that this will be a long-term problem.  On the other hand, I've spend 49 years screaming under the sheets for days and occasionally cradling my M1911 just to remind myself that ultimately there's a way out if I need it.

I'm no longer clear that tolerance is worse.
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