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 Post subject: Well Hell...
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:20 pm 
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I've been trying for a few days to figure out how to say this.....I don't really want to share this, but I've been trying to be honest with everyone on the forum about my recovery because I know there are several people who want to know what life may be like when they're off of Suboxone. So, I'm just gonna go ahead and throw this out there.

As several of you know, I quit Suboxone over a year ago. I went through the acute wd and PAWS, believing that things would continue to get better, which they did, except for this one nagging symptom......a lack of motivation at work and in everyday life. It improved slightly, but very slightly, then it got bad again. On top of this, I started noticing a month or two ago that my moods were changing.....I would cycle through these low periods, then kind of back up to normal. Over the last couple of months, when I would cycle low, I would "crash" once in a while. Well, the crashes were getting more frequent and I couldn't take it any longer, I went to the doctor and he put me on an anti-depressant. That's the part I didn't necessarily want to share, the fact that I apparently suffer from depression. Honestly, I think I've been aware of the depression for a long time, but I just didn't want to admit to myself that I suffered from depression and I thought it might go away on its own the longer I was opiate free. Well, it didn't go away, I kept fighting it until it got bad enough to scare me pretty good.

The doctor gave me Wellbutrin. I've only been on it a few days, but I'm going to have to say that I'm already noticing some slight improvement. My doctor also informed me that it's not all that uncommon for former drug addicts to suffer from depression once they get clean.

I just hate the stigma attached to the word depression. I don't like to think of myself as any more "broken" than I already am. I mean, I'm already an addict, now I gotta come to terms with the fact that I have depression too. STUPID DAMN BRAIN, WHY CAN'T YOU JUST BE NORMAL?? LOL!!!

OK, I think that's about it for now. I guess I just want for anyone who thinks that they may be having some depression issues to get to their doctor sooner rather than later.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:44 pm 
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Most antidepressants take 3 to 4 weeks to really kick in. It's not in the least bit a noticable difference, as far as catching a buzz or any kind of euphoria, so don't feel like you failed your sobriety. All of a sudden the depression just slowly lifts. In my life, my paxil is as much as a life saver as my suboxone. Good luck.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:57 pm 
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I agree with Smoothy. Antidepressants don't start to show any effects for 3-4 weeks, so I doubt you're feeling better yet due to the meds. BUT - I'm glad you feel better. It's probably due to the fact that you now know you have help on the way and that alone makes you feel better. I've had that happen to me and have seen it happen with others as well. So it doesn't matter why you feel better, just be glad that you do.

As for feeling "broken" for being depressed, let me ask you a question. Do you look at other people with various types of depression as broken? Do you judge them for it? I didn't think so, so why are you judging yourself? Then cut the shit out. Opiates messed with your brain and neurotransmitters for, in your case, many, many years. Plus you numbed your emotions for many, many years as well. So I think I can safely say that your emotions are truly fucked up, whether off suboxone or not.

Don't be so hard on yourself. Depression is an illness and you're now treating it. You're not "broken". I honestly don't think there's much stigma attached to being depressed - not nearly as much as there used to be and not half as much as there is with addiction and being on suboxone. Try to keep things in perspective. Good on you for seeking treatment finally. Feel better soon.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:13 pm 
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I am just like you. I did not want to admit I had depression issues and think I have my whole life. I finally did and after trying a couple meds and finally settling on lexapro 20 mg I am feeling like my old self again. I feel motivated again and happy. It has made all the difference in the world. You have nothing to be ashamed about taking anti-depressants. In fact I think the opposite is true, you should be proud you were able to put your fears aside and seek the help you need. I think most addicts have untreated depression issues which is why we self medicated and became addicts in the first place. Sometimes it can take a few tries to find the right med but don't give up. I wish you a happy healthy opiate free life!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:33 pm 
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They say it takes SSRIs 3-4 weeks to work (although they worked sooner for me), but Wellbutrin is a dopamine booster and a lot of people feel that it starts to work right away, including me (I started it about 2 weeks ago),
I think a lot of addicts have underlying depression. I think that's why we continued to self medicate while other people who used drugs recreationally could just stop. I had a lot of fears and reservations about going on ADs, too, but honestly I don't think I would have the good quality of life I have now without them. Depression is a downward spiral (like addiction). What starts out as some low periods ends up with you not being able to get out of bed, or worse.
I don't know if you are a religious person, but in the tradition I come from being "broken" is just part of our humanity. Everyone is broken in some way, whether its physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. But it's gonna be OK. Don't ever be afraid to share your issues with rest of us broken people. We're all in the same boat, thats why we're here. Thank goodness, too, I hate hanging around with the "beautiful" people!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:24 pm 
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Thanks everyone for the encouragement and the support, it is greatly appreciated.

Hat, ..............*sigh*...............yes, I used to view people who had depression as .........."not normal" and I did judge them. This was years ago when I held those views, but I still held those views at one time and I guess that's part of why I'm not so excited about admitting that I have depression. Dang it, I seem to be having such a hard time explaining this stuff, I want to say more, but it's just not coming out right.

As far as feeling better already, I meant that I'm no longer in "crash" mode. I had 2 days in a row in crash mode. I didn't go to work, I only left the house to go see my doctor. Felt like I was on the edge of tears the whole time. At least now I'm not in crash mode.....that's what I was trying to say. Again, I can't seem to get my words to come out right while talking about this subject. Oh yeah, and just knowing that I should be getting help from the medicine DID pick me up some, it gave me hope.......I was in pretty short supply of hope.

OK, thanks again everyone, I was going to say that y'all don't know how much I appreciate it, but I'd bet you all know exactly how much I appreciate it!!

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:15 pm 
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Before you got on meds for the depression, did you notice the depression cycling up and down?? I mean I can be kind of OK one minute, then SPLAT, I fell like shit emotionally the next minute. Usually once the splat happens, I'm there for at least several hours. I have to REALLY focus to get out of it, but then for no reason at all, it hits again?? This shit is really starting to piss me off!! I do NOT want to wait for weeks and weeks for this to get better, but I guess I have no choice in the matter.

It does help to write about it though. It's like I can feel the frustration leaving me when I write about it??

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:31 pm 
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Romeo,

I take my hat off in respect for your putting this out there. It is very personal and I do agree with you that I too believe my brain will be better after being off opiates for a long time. But if I suffer from depression too then like you, I will seek help.

Too many people have lost their lives because they didn't get help. Going to AA meetings over the years I know of several who took their lives because of the stigma of going on a medicine to help with their mood swings. My own sponsor hung himself after the doctors took him off his much needed meds. He was bipolar, which as you know is much worse. And years ago the "Oldtimers" would give anyone a hard time if they were on an antidepressant. Now they bug us about being on Sub while they drink 10 cups of coffee and smoke three packs a day. Who is really changing their brain chemistry?

So it's better to take a little pill once a day to feel normal again. It's either your brain chemistry or we addicts screw up the firing mechanisms from abusing opiates for so long. It wouldn't surprise me to be in your shoes when I get to the same time frame.

Good going, you'll feel much better once you get the med and dose right.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:28 pm 
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Hey Romeo thanks for sharing I know it was def hard for you to do but now that it is out there you can get the support you need and ask the questions you have. Like the others said it could take up to 2 months till the anti depressant meds really kick in and are fully in your system. I am on Prozac not for depression but OCD but Prozac falls in the same category and it took about 5 weeks till I started to really notice changes. But I got to say it has really helped me in so many ways even with mental health issues and have not notice any huge negatives from the medication knock on wood.


But these are the things that I am talking about with people on suboxone being lab rats!


More than anything romeo i just hope you start to fell better man good luck and please if you need to talk to someone you can contact me.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:40 pm 
Well, Romeo....shoot! I think I know how you feel. I think I mentioned somewhere among my many posts here when I finally went ahead and started an antidepressant. Even when I started it, I still wasn't convinced deep down that I needed it. It was during an attempt to come off Sub, and I was terrified of PAWS and the depression and amotivation I experienced when I got off agonists. So that's how I ended up starting Celexa. I didn't even take the full dose for the first several months I was on it, but I began to notice that maybe it was helping. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I had been severely depressed during that PAWS phase, and to a lesser extent, even after I started Sub. Why wouldn't I have been?! Good cow, my whole life had crashed and burned!
I still don't believe that I was ever clinically depressed prior to my opiate use, then abuse. I firmly believe that opiates jacked my brain chemistry something fierce! At times, I wonder if it will ever be the same. I certainly don't believe it will be until I've been off Sub (if I ever got off) for a long time. In the meantime, I feel it would be unrealistic to think I could get by without an AD. It's just something I have to accept.
I was going to bring up the fact that it is possible to feel better much faster with Wellbutrin as opposed to many of the SSRI meds, but Lilly did a nice job of that already.
Anyway, Romeo, thanks for sharing that with us. I'm glad you're feeling better and I think it will only get even better from here!


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 Post subject: mood swings
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:18 pm 
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Yes Romeo, I think I know what you are talking about when you say your mood just suddenly plummets. I've experienced rapid-fire mood swings a lot. For me, some of it seemed to come from my struggling with my depression--I would find myself consciously trying to pull myself out of deep depression but it really wouldn't work for more than a minute or so at a time. I am on wellbutrin too and it helps me a lot. Of course i had depression long before my opiate addiction, in my case it may be the opposite of most in that if anything my depression has been less, not more, after addiction and then remission. In face my life long depression even went into an unexplained remission for a couple of years. However, I do think that opiate addiction and then PAWS can cause depression in people who didn't have it before. Also, though, depression can hit anyone at any point in their life, even people who've never had it before. the good news is that the ADs do help a lot of people. and wellbutrin DOES seem to work a lot faster than the SSRIs.
It sounds like you didn't really understand what depression is before. Well, too bad you had to learn by experiencing it but most of our experiences, even negative ones, have some value, so hopefully this one will too. But I'm glad the wellbutrin is working for you, hopefully it will continue to help, and also, sounds to me likely that you won't have to take an AD forever. One more thing--regarding the mood swings you described--if that continues you should talk to your doctor about it--he or she might recommend another medication instead or in addition to the wellbutrin. I have never tried them myself but I know that many people are helped by taking a mood stabilizer, which is different than an AD.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:46 am 
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Good for you Romeo.........................I learned a long time ago to embrace my depression............as a matter of fact my username mg113 stands for mentalgoddess and the 113 is by birthday... I was on seroquel before I was on subs and never even thought of going off it..........I will admit I went thru HELL trying to find a medication that worked for me, literallly years ,, and seroquel was the one drug that has really made a difference in my life.

For whatever reason I dont feel the same about my phsyc drugs as I did about suboxone. My moods used to swing from really really up to really really down and most of my life I had no middle, since I have been on seroquel I finally have a middle.. I remember when I first started taking it the people I worked with were like " your so calm lately whats going on" they would kiddingly ask are you on something..... I think my mood swings were hardest on the people I work with ( been there 12 years) I was known for "not holding back what I had to say to coworkers", and it caused more problems then opiates ever did, looking back I wouldnt have put up with my mouth

Hey we are all perfectly imperfect..........thats my story and I am sticking to it :)

HAPPY FRIDAY


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 5:24 pm 
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Thanks again for the responses, I have read every one of them......multiple times!! The comfort of knowing that others care and/or have gone through what I'm experiencing is very nice to have. Not feeling like quite such a mis-fit is very reassuring too.

A quick update, I noticed my "mood cycling" was minimal today, Hallelujah! However, my mood remained below par, but at least it was kind of in the ballpark.

I experienced an ever so brief moment of giddyness this morning as I was driving to work, my drive to work in the morning usually does NOT cause that particular emotion!! It was a fleeting emotion, but it happened. I wish I could come up with a better word than giddyness, saying that word sounds so......unmanly?? :lol:

BTW, this medicine apparently has a side effect that I was not prepared for, it makes my cigarettes taste like crap!! Yeah, cutting back on my smoking ain't the worse thing I could do.

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 Post subject: Smoking
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 7:37 pm 
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Hey Romeo,

I forgot about that part. My doctor gave me Wellbutrin to stop chewing that awful nicotine gum. After a few days I could take it or leave it. I left it. And then the fun began......w/d from a 52mg nicotine daily habit was very hard on my friends and family. I forgot just how bad it was. I quit smoking back in '90.

You might as well quit smoking while you're at it. One more bad habit to let go. Think you can do it?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:23 pm 
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Romeo wrote:
I experienced an ever so brief moment of giddyness this morning as I was driving to work, my drive to work in the morning usually does NOT cause that particular emotion!! It was a fleeting emotion, but it happened. I wish I could come up with a better word than giddyness, saying that word sounds so......unmanly?? :lol:


I think ive had that feeling recently. I dont know if its the same you are feeling - but its almost like ive been smoking some light weed and will start giggling of small things. Awesome feeling btw.
OT - i had a rendevouz with 20mg`s Paraxotin ( i think its the same as lexapro?) some months back. I stopped taking them after a few weeks because they gave me headache and other weird sideeffects. Im not really sure if they had time to work, couldnt tell much difference in mood.
I still have them but dont feel the need for them pt.
Btw, my friend gave me something called 5-htp Triptofano - he claims that its "natural" ssri. Havent been taking them either cause im a little sceptic about them( think he ordered them on the internet).


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:11 pm 
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Hey rule62,

Can I quit smoking?? Can I quit smoking?? I quit opiates, I sure as hell can quit smoking.........just don't want to!! :D Actually, it's been on my mind to quit smoking for a while. I tried here a few months ago and the wd's I got reminded me TOO much of my sub wd........my brain said, "Eff this noise, try again later, dude."

Hey filur, it's good to see you again. You sound like you're doing OK?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:05 pm 
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Romeo wrote:
Hey rule62,



Hey filur, it's good to see you again. You sound like you're doing OK?


Defenately ok. Less anxiety, less feeling restless, more generel motivation, no desire to take drugs, enjoying social life alot (didnt enjoyed it at all the first few months after quitting tbh, felt like it was something i had to drag myself through because it was worse not socializing). There are still those moments where everything seems fucked up but on the other hand you have those moments of giddyness you mentioned- where you cant take anything seriously for hours -pretty damn nice to feel like that.
I dont wanna jinx myself and say that things cant turn to the worse, autumn gonna be a melancholic bitch for example, but pt things are defenately ok.
If the depression should come back, i doubt i would think to hard about trying some type of ssri (prolly not paraxotin)again though.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:16 pm 
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Man, I'm so happy for ya. You da MAN filur!!!!!!!!!!!

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:00 am 
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So, I noticed an hour or two before bedtime last night that I was feeling pretty decent.....actually, I was feeling better than decent. I laughed spontaneously several times and it felt great.

I woke up this morning and I actually WANT to go outside and mow the lawn, I WANT to take my daughter down to the local lake later.......I want to do some things again and that's a nice feeling. The last SEVERAL weekends, I didn't do crap, I sat inside the house and slept all I could. Our frickin' lawn has got to be a foot high, the poor kitten we got for my daughter get's lost out in the "jungle" and I'm starting to hear it from my daughter......daddy, Jasper might get lost and not be able to find his way home. That'd be OK with me.......DON'T tell my daughter I just said that!! :lol:

Anyway, the Wellbutrin seems to be working rather quickly and after talking to a few people who have taken Wellbutrin before, this is fairly common. Thank goodness it started kicking in, I've been sitting there looking at those stupid little pills wondering if I could snort the thing, maybe I could figure out a way to smoke them to get "results" quicker......Yikes, I am such an addict!!!

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:24 pm 
Romeo, you are such a great person and one of the first to welcome me, thank you so much.

Wellbutrin helped me a lot and within a few days. I have to put it on hold for a few weeks because it gave me increased anxiety while doing the quick med detox. I fully intend to restart it when I am off the suboxone for a couple of weeks!

I hope you have a FABulous day doll!

Robin


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