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 Post subject: Need help
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 11:33 pm 
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Hello, This Is my first post. I've been on suboxone for about 3 years now. It has been both a positive and negative experince for me. It helped me clean up. I quit wasting all my money and time looking for pills. My health has gotten better. The problem Is I've noticed my mood has been really sour the last year or so. I don't get high feelings from everyday things. I feel depressed alot. My relationship with my girlfriend Is hanging on by a thread because I can never express any feelings for her. I just feel very blah.

I'm to the point where Im wondering If should give up the suboxone and see If I can get some emotion and feelings back.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:40 am 
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Hello bluffton and welcome. I'm sorry to hear you aren't doing well right now. How can you be sure your mood is related to the suboxone? Do you by any chance attend any counseling or therapy? Sometimes when we enter recovery/remission we need to explore our lives and how we grew accustomed to self-medicating our feelings. I know I have come far with the help of my therapist. I'm not necessarily saying this applies to you, but it's something that occurred to me. If for whatever reason you're convinced it's the suboxone, what dose are you on? Have you considered lowering it a bit to see if that helps?

Again, I'm sorry things are so difficult for you currently. I'm glad you posted and I hope you find as much support here as I have. Please keep us posted on how you're doing.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:58 am 
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Thanks for the warm welcome hatmaker. I"ve weened myself down a lot. Im at 2mg everyday. I've been at 2 mg for the past year. I don't have craving that much. I just never feel myself. I don't enjoy things that I use to. I feel very cynical of everything. I can't remeber being excited about anything or getting that natural high In a long time. I have a bad feeling my natural endorphins are very suppressed. Could that be from the Naloxone In the suboxone.

I've been clean for awhile now. I'm happy my life Is back In order I just feel very suppressed emotionally.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:02 pm 
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bluffton -

I'm sorry that you're feeling cynical and not enjoying life as much as you should. I went through periods on Suboxone where I felt the same way. A couple of things really helped me with that. I went on antidepressants for a little while - Wellbutrin - though I don't take it any more, it did help me get over the hump and start doing the other things I needed to do to feel better. The other major thing that helped was exercise. Doing something every day that got my heart rate up and made me sweat really brought my natural endorphins back to life. Making it something fun that you really enjoy doing seems to increase the effect even more.

You said that you're currently on 2mgs per day. The good news about that is that you're below the ceiling level for buprenorphine, so anything you do to get your body's endorphins flowing should really make a difference in how you feel. I also recommend watching funny movies and hanging out with fun people. Sometimes just forcing yourself to do something fun can help break the cycle of feeling down.

Counseling might also be a good option for you as Hatmaker suggested. Having someone to talk to about the way you're feeling and explore whatever issues you might have is a really good thing. Many of us addicts are habitually cut off from our emotions - especially painful ones. The thing is, when you cut yourself off from the "negative" feelings, it does make it harder to feel "positive" emotions like joy and contentment.

I guess my major point here is that I wouldn't jump to blaming your situation on Suboxone without trying some other ways to resolve your situation first. Adding things like exercise, good nutrition, counseling and positive social support will only have an enhancing effect on your recovery - and if you find that you still feel you're having mood issues connected to your Suboxone dose, those added things will only help you if you decide to decrease your dose or taper off completely. I definitely don't recommend quitting Suboxone if you're not in a good, strong, healthy place mentally.

For what it's worth, I tapered off Suboxone almost a year ago after being on a fairly low dose for quite a while and then doing a long, slow taper. I can't really say that I feel all that much different than when I was still taking Sub. I still have down days, and I still have to put the effort in if I want to feel good. Sometimes we can look at Suboxone as a cure-all, whether it be that taking it will "cure" our problems or that discontinuing the medication will fix whatever we feel is wrong with us. But Suboxone is only one part of what should be a much larger program of recovering from the damage we did to ourselves when we were using.

I wish you the best of luck and I hope that you'll continue to post here - it's a very supportive community. Take care!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:19 pm 
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I really appreciate all of the positive feedback. It's just hard looking back on the time that I've been on suboxone. I feel like I'm battling everday to feel good. I workout quite a bit Im In pretty good shape. Im holding down a decent job. I just moved In with my girlfriend. We moved from N.Y to Charelston and things haven't been going well for us. I feel like It's my fault alot because I have such a difficult time feeling happy. When I was taking my drug of choice the simplest things were very fun and enjoyable for me to do. I haven't had any counselling or anything. I think it would really benefit me to join some support groups or start going back to church.

I will keep chipping away at these feelings and I won't give up. It Is a such a struggle though. I can't remeber the last time I felt really happy and content.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 12:32 pm 
Hi Bluffton. I'm sorry you're having a hard time right now. I can relate. I've been on Suboxone for a little over a year now. I've been down to 2mg or less (currently on about 1mg/day) for several months. I remember when I first started the medication, I felt fantastic......normal, good energy level, reasonably 'happy.' After a time, I think especially after weaning down below 4mg/day, I began to have some disconcerting feelings creeping in. Although I don't have any history of depression (I am 46 yrs old), the depression I felt with PAWS (I tried abstinence-based recovery for 10 months before starting Suboxone) was just awful. So, as I got my Sub dose down, I began to have some of that low mood/depression slip back around me. It hasn't been horrible, but uncomfortable enough to worry me. So I start to have ask myself some questions....some that I have asked myself many times since getting into recovery. Primarily, does abusing opiates for a time, in my case 5 years or so, do something to my brain to alter it in such a way that it simply is unable to compensate chemically for those changes, thereby leading to a true depression upon cessation or reduction of opiates (buprenorphine included?) I'm pretty sure the answer is YES. Of course there is always the question of the 'chicken or the egg.' Like, did the depression really come first, then the self medicating with opiates? Or did the opiate abuse and withdrawal cause the depression? For some people, I'm sure there is clear-cut answer. For others of us, not as clear. In any case, that has been a big question for me for a long time.
The other thing I've had to ask myself is, "What else could be contributing to my mood?" Well, there are plenty of situational things going on that are stressful, upsetting, well.....depressing. I'll bet you could say the same what with having moved lately and having some issues in your relationship.
And then we have to ask ourselves what are we willing to do about it. You mentioned a support group or gettting back into church. I think that's a great track you're on. For me, just getting back into regular spiritual practices makes quite a difference. Of course, you'll find many who will agree wholeheartedly with the idea of support groups or individual therapy as well. All of these things can be huge in helping us get better.
I know I've already said a lot. But I think the issue you have raised is very important and I'm right there with you in the struggle. It really is critical that we find a way through this, especially if we hope to come off the Suboxone at some point. I am hoping to be off in the next few months, but I may find that to be unwise. And the issue we're discussing is exactly why.......I am concerned that with zero opiate in my system I will crash and burn because of mood issues and ultimately relapse.
So what do we do? For starters we listen to Diary of a Quitter and others who have successfully weaned off Suboxone and follow what they say worked for them. She is absolutely right about finding other ways to get the 'feel good' chemicals flowing again in our brains. We are at low enough doses of Suboxone right now to begin to have some natural regeneration or healing or whatever you want to call it, begin to come back into play. So we do what we can to stimulate that....the exercising, the fun activities, the spiritual practices, yoga, meditation, etc. And for me, anyway (I believe DOQ said this as well) consider an antidepressant. I have wondered for months and months if this would be something I should try as I continue to try and finish my taper off Suboxone. I saw my doctor last week and have started Lexapro. This may not sound like a big deal to very many people, but to me it was a very big deal. I really did want to start another drug. Before my addiction, all the way up to nearly 40 years of life, I was never one to take so much as a Tylenol! I just pushed through aches and pains and whatnot without using drugs. Crazy to think now.....the same gal that took home no pain meds after major surgeries, ended up with a horrible addiction to them later! Anyway....so I haven't taken this antidepressant thing lightly. But I think it's the right thing to do. The next thing on my list is to bite the bullet and start some individual therapy. I've done group, but not individual. I know that if I am to reach my goal of living life without buprenorphine and without other drugs, my mood has to be addressed. It just HAS to be.
I don't know if I've helped you at all. But I do understand what you're going through. It is very common amongst opiate addicts. I believe they call it "anhedonia" (the inability to experience pleasure with things that normally are pleasurable.) Of course, that would be the severest of depression and although I'm not that bad off, I can certainly see how it happens!
Honestly I think coming off the Suboxone would quite likely make your situation worse and put you into an even deeper state of depression. But we all have to do what we feel is right. Certainly talk about this with your doctor and keep doing what you're doing.....looking for answers. And keep using the forum here as you'll get lots of good support!
Hang in there and believe with me that this will get better! We've come a long way, right? We just have to keep working!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:06 pm 
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An example of how I feel. Yesterday my girlfriend and I went to our friends apartment complex. We hung out at the pool with them. The whole time In the back of my head I was thinking to myself god this Is boring and I feel misserable. How are these people around me having any fun. It was like an emotional pain. I would of rather of been bymyself on the couch. I feel like If I was even on a mild dose of opiates that would of been a fun and more tolerable situation.

It's gonna be a tough road ahead. I'm 26 It's hard to think of going through another 50-60 years of this. I'm not gonna give up though. I still have fight In me. I think once I get a better job and get things settled around me a little bit better my mood will improve hopefully.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:13 pm 
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I've given alot of though about joining the military. My whole day would be regimented and I wouldn't have time to think. But then I read If you have ever been hooked on anything you're not allowed to join.


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 Post subject: depression
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:43 pm 
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Hi there, I just wanted to say, well, I'm sure you have been thinking of reasons why you might want to join the military besides what you said about your days being so regimented that you wouldn't be able to think, as you put it...but...I just dont' think joining the military is a solution for depression. It's true that staying busy can help, but joining the military for that would be pretty extreme. It would be a huge step! I'm sure you know that, but I just wanted to say I hope you are looking at all your options. Since you seem like you are describing a depressed mood that has lasted more than a year, I really think you should probably consider antidepressants at this point. I've suffered from severe depression most of my life and I have learned that for me, eating well and getting enough exercise are really important. Getting some sunshine also seems to really help. Also, antidepressants have been a big help to me. In any case, I hope you feel better soon, but either way, i think joining the military because you're depressed doesnt' sound right, I hope you will think it over very carefully--it should not be an impulsive decision.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:05 pm 
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I wasn't planning on joining the military soley for that reason. I agree with you though that would be a big mistake. I have an appointment coming up in a week. I'm very scared to try an antidepressant. I've heard so many negative things. Alot of people have to try like 2 or 3 before they find something that works. I will have to do some of my own research.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:12 pm 
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I understand your hesitancy at trying an antidepressant. And you're right that many people have to try more than one for maximum benefit. But I can say for myself, my current antidepressant has greatly improved my quality of life. It was so worth having to work on finding the right one. You could start out just by talking to your doctor about it and not making any decision just yet. It's a start.

I was in the Army back in the 80's and I can tell you from my own personal experience that it was something I've never regretted. Basic training was hard as hell, but the confidence boost from it was amazing. I don't know that they disallow or reject people who've had substance abuse problems - especially now. There's one new member on here currently who is leaving for his Army enlistment in a few days. His name I believe is armytyler. Maybe he can answer that question for you.

Hang in there and keep us posted on how you're doing.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:22 pm 
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Thanks for the help everyone. I'm gonna keep on trying to improve things for myself.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:41 pm 
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not going to go to deep into convo with this one but
I was put on welburtin for awhile and it didn't work.. made me feel worse
but when they switched me over to zoloft it helped soooo much man
I only took it for a month tho.. so you never know
sounds to me like your serotonin levels are low..

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:01 pm 
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I just wanted to let you know you are not alone. I am right here with you. I feel exactly the same way.
I look back on the person I was before suboxone and the person I was on opiates, yet then and before addiction is no comparison to who I am today. I have been on suboxone for 18 months and I have completely lost everything that made me, me. I am depressed, I don't find enjoyment in anything. I can't find enthusiasm to save my life and I use to be the kind of person who could buy a new throw pillow and decorate my house around it, that person is gone. Everyone in my family is suffering, especially my daughter. I use to do stuff with her all the time, like going to the mall, vacations, even just a trip to walmart...It's all gone. My husband took my car for an oil change and the Honda guy said, "wow, you have only put 200 miles on this car in three months" WHAT? Then I thought, ya know, I haven't left this house in months, I probably didn't put the 200 miles on it, my teenage son did, that's just freaking depressing. I've tried anti-depressants, several as a matter of fact and nothing, nothing brings back my enthusiasm. It's like I'm walking through wet concrete just to make my bed in the morning. I have horses, I use to love to ride, now because of my depression I am thinking about giving them away just so I don't have to walk outside to feed them anymore. It hasn't always been this way, the first six months I didn't notice a change, maybe it just crept up on me slowly. I've gained 25 pounds, I've become very irritable, I'm depressed beyond words and this med breaks my face out like crazy. Does it get worse? I hope not. I'm trying to taper off, I've tried and failed before so I'm trying to do it very slowly and I'm terrified of becoming even more depressed than I am now.
I hope you find an answer.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:05 am 
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I have actually done some research on this very issue on the internet. When we use opiates of course we all feel great and everything is okay. I mean cleaning my house was even fun. So when I went on subs I noticed how evrething was just kinda level I could say. Even going to see my fav concert, taking the kid to kings island, being at home evryhting just felt the same. I think I read that your brain works differently. It quits making dopamine. It said it can take years to get back to normal. Some people might feel worse but I was just commenting on what I have read. I cannot remember the last time I was truely excited about doing something. My husband is on subs as well and he is the same. If it was not for having a little boy and wanting to take him places we would probably just stay home all the time.
Hope everything goes well.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:26 am 
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I've posted my experience regarding this issue on different threads, so I thought I'd do so on this one now. Obviously everyone is different and I won't try to say someone isn't feeling what they say they're feeling. I just want to point out that the experience of one or two people doesn't make it the experience of everyone or even the norm.

I've been on sub for over 19 months now and I'm on what some would say is a high dose, as I take it for pain, too. I feel every emotion under the sun, from deep sadness to great happiness and excitement; I get nervous, scared, and have anxiety, too. I don't feel numb or apathetic in the least. It is my opinion that when I person stops coping with life by getting high there are many reasons aside from suboxone that can account for some of the feelings (or lack thereof) that are being described here. Also, I'm exploring every part of me and my feelings, past to present pretty heavily in therapy. I personally feel it's necessary when we give up the only coping skill we've been using. I'm also not the only person taking suboxone who has had my experience. I just wanted to point out that someone just starting sub treatment isn't necessarily going to have this negative experience. I think it's important that we describe things from our own individual point of view rather than giving people the impression that everyone else will have the same experience. (I'm not saying that's being done here, just felt the need to reiterate that.)

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:16 pm 
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Hey Bluffton,
I just felt I needed to say I agree with all the other things that have been mentioned already. Diary, hatmaker, and setmefree always have inciteful things to say, at least in my experience here. Exercise= good, Counseling=good, Spirituality=good, spending time with friends who are more upbeat and comical=good, etc the list goes on and on and again as has previously been mentioned and I'm sure you already know that we all have different things that work for us that may not work for someone else.

Anywho my main point in posting was to say that what has seemed to work best for me was an antidepressant. I was EXTREMELY skeptical as I had tried another SSRI before and it didn't work but looking back on it I realized it was perhaps due to the fact that I only took it for a handful of days all the while missusing a handful of other drugs including several depressants and sadly enough I really thought I had given the SSRI a real chance lol! Without getting too personal here that was back when my brother died 6 years ago and I was so depressed that I was very close on several occassions of giving up on life completely. I guess what I'm saying is that I really wish I would have actually given the medication a chance back then. I finally agreed to give an SSRI another chance a little over a year ago and my life isn't perfect and I don't feel great all the time but I am now able to feel content and happy. I started working out daily I quit smoking after failing so many times before I lost count I even felt good enough to take a chance and give a relationship a shot and now I couldn't be happier about the decision :) we've been living together now for around 5 months and dating for over 7 and I'm just very excited about where my life is now.

Now I don't want you to think I'm saying that what worked for me will work for you but I'm just saying I can empathize with how you seem to feel now. I'm hoping that just sharing a little bit of my story will help you to realize there is hope :) And if I can find a way to have a relatively happy life then so can you! Trust me I was really miserable for a long time, well most all of my life as far as I can remember.

Welp I need to get back to work I've taken way too long of a break. Hang in there and I'm looking forward to hearing from you :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:13 am 
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Hi blufton21-
Not sure if your still around but I wanted to give you a little hope regarding the mood on subs topic and how your feeling. Since I've had such a difficult time with subs i.e not wanting to leave my house etc etc I have done a lot of research on it, obviously when something impacts you, your likely to do everything you can to learn what's caused it and while I did find a whole lot of folks going through this, in fact your post is text book, literally. I'm not sure why a lot of people here haven't figured that out after reading post after post after post of people saying "WTF is wrong with me...." lol Anyway, I wanted to give you some hope. I'm currently on day 8 or maybe 9 my heads foggy as hell but eitherway, I'm totally feeling me coming back, it's not all the way by far but my daughter, shes 8 had been going through her supply list from school, I know she's dying to go get her stuff and I actually offered to taker her tomorrow!! I know this may not sound like a big deal, but I have had no desire to leave my house in the whole 18 months on subs, so this tiny baby step is a huge break through for me, I find myself really bored with watching tv the past couple days which is another amazing moment for me cause that's all I ever do, laptop tv laptop tv, oh it's been a mere existance. I can't wait to get back into my life!!! Just wanted to pass you some hope :)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:07 am 
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I have an update. The last 4-5 days I've been takin 5-htp before bed. When I wake up In the morning I take a multivitamen, fish oil, and 300mg of St Johns Wort. The day after I took the 5-htp I had an immediate lift In my mood. I swear to god I felt ten times better. I was actually singing In the shower and I felt really goofy. I think the suboxones are driving my serotonin and dopamine levels so far down I needed a pick me up. I will continue with a low dose of the two and try to taper my suboxone.

Any one else have experince with 5-htp and St johns wort?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:15 am 
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I'm so glad to hear you're feeling better. Be careful though, I don't think you're supposed to take the 5-htp together with St. John's wart. It can cause serotonin storm/syndrome. You might want to just check it out to be safe.
Again, yay for you that you're feeling good again - or at least better. Hang in there and keep up posted.

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-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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