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About Catwoman

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    The Netherlands
  1. I'm not really sure what to expect of medication anymore. I mean, I was happy when after four years of struggling with therapy I finally found something that worked (Luvox/fluvoxamine) and after 9 weeks I was totally free of my intrusive thought. In the years that followed I had to change to another ssri because the first one stopped working. But escitalopram brought me complete remission after a few months. It was great. Then somehow, after 6 years, the med stopped working. The same intrusive word returned and nothing changed after increasing escitalopram. I began reading about ssri's and the brain. So then I thought a drug free period would reverse any changes that would have been made, so I weaned myself off (general doc recommended this as well). But I couldn't cope....the intrusive thought only became more frequent and after being off meds for 4 months I went to see a pdoc. He recommended Zoloft/sertraline. I went all the way up tp 225 mg, but still nothing. So after 8 months I switched back to fluvoxamine. After 3 months I saw some improvement, but it was not the same as the first time. My new pdoc wanted to follow guidelines first so about 12 weeks ago I was switched to Anafranil/clomipramine (75 mg). It seems to help me, but I don't see big improvements. Fortunately side effects are tolerable. On the other hand, it's supposed to be the "golden standard for OCD", so I expected more of it. To me it feels like my brain has been altered, but was it from medication or is it because my issue has become so much more refractory? In any case, reuptake inhibition doesn't work so good anymore and I don't know what to do next. My biggest fear really is that nothing shall work.... Yes, this is exactly how I feel about it. Distraction does help me a lot, but it doesn't fix the problem. And I'm so afraid there isn't anything I can fix it with and that I'll have to live with this intrusive thought the rest of my life. How to? I don't know and it scares me. Meds did help me a lot because they removed the intrusive thought. Therapy wasn't helpful, because in spite of everything that I learned, I still think the thought is unwanted. Can't ignore, can't tolerate, can't let it be. I would be fantastic to find a med with makes me feel indifferent towards the unwanted thought.
  2. I had tinnitus from setraline (Zoloft) at 200 mg (which is a high dose). At daytime it wasn't so loud, it got really bed when I was trying to sleep. It did not occur with the other ssri's I took but with my current med (clomipramine, a tca and snri) I have occasional ringing. It's still tolerable.
  3. I'm taking 75 mg for obsessive thoughts (white bears ) Not sure if it actually works. I've been on it for about 11 weeks. No big improvements just yet. Side effects were more on the emotional side for me....mood swings, rumination, crying spells and more of the same intrusive thoughts. I don't really suffer from any anxiety and feel alright in social situations. But if you do, these fears or worries can become worse in the beginning. Currently I'm feeling better and more grounded. Have to check with pdoc about increasing dose.
  4. How are you now? Did it get a little better? I think I've been struggling with the exact same thing. For me it is hard to break the cycle. I've been on ssri's for 10 years and now they don't work anymore. What happened to my brain? I keep asking myself. What helps me is doing household chores and keeping my mind occupied as much as possible. For instance, I listen to audio books while mopping the floors. I try to stay positive but I can't change the way I feel about my obsessive thought. I'm worried this is because of the long term ssri use. On the other hand i'm just as afraid that my issues are pure psychological and that Im just not smart enough to fix these.
  5. She's been working as a psychiatrist for a long time, but I have the feeling she has more experience in researching than working with actual patients. I find her difficult to talk to. Picture a patient sitting in a chair and a psychiatrist just listening and only responding with "hmhhmmm". She is not specialized in cognitive behavioral therapies, so I get that, but I'm always sharing everything I experience from the medication but not getting much of answer to my questions. Frustrating.... She likes following the guidelines, so that's why she wanted me to try clomipramine first. She had no explanation for the SSRI poop-outs I had and just says it's a shame that Lexapro doesn't work anymore. Very useful....*sigh* I'm going to have the blood test for the clomipramine levels as well, she said we'll have to see from there on.
  6. I think she'll let me go a bit higher, but only if side effects are tolerable. At the moment on this dose the side effects are mild, so I don't see why I couldn't go up. I wonder why my pdoc is so reluctant....
  7. Not sure if I'm seeing real improvements just yet. I've started with 75 mg yesterday. It can take 8 weeks to work and I'm in the eight week now. My pdoc doesn't think I need to increase any further. She doesn't want me to go any higher, because 75 mg should work for my kind of issues. I'm not sure if I agree with her. She says dosages higher than 100 mg are only needed for severe depression. I thought that high dosages of clomipramine are used for severe OCD, but maybe she meant that as well. I don't have severe OCD myself, but my issue is very chronic and refractory and I'm almost sure that the mechanism of reuptake inhibition isn't enough anymore. I don't know how I can emphasize this to my pdoc. If this doesn't work out I suspect she would rather have me go back to an SSRI and augment with an AAP.
  8. I have a stuck thought myself. It is my main problem. I obsess over it. For years... The same two words. It annoys me that I think these two words all the time because I don't want this thought in my head. It doesnt make me anxious though i have the fear that this problem will never go away. I don't have the classic Pure O...I can relate better to sensimotoric ocd actually. It seems like perseverance (for example getting stuck on names or words) is a known issue with autistic people. It also had similarities with 'earworms': pieces of music you hear in your head and which keep repeating itssel. Have you ever heard of the ironic process theory? The white polar bear effect? If you don't want to think of something then you start thinking about it all the time. I think I have this in the extreme. I sometimes get stuck on words or names. They don't mean anything. I try not to worry because the word or name isn't important to me. Most of the time, the stuck thought will go away on its own.
  9. Yes but it doesn't say how she found out about it. How can you know? Except for trying out first and second line treatments. Or she has a doctor who thinks outside of the box.... I've tried high dose NAC and magnesium for a few months while being off antidepressants. Did not feel anything from it and wasnt effecting the "O". No physical effects either. On the other hand...both are OTC. The meds I mentioned aren't...
  10. I've read an interview with a beautiful Dutch actress today. She was asked about her OCD and she said: ‘Over obsessive compulsive disorder: We namen schuimgebakjes mee naar mijn moeder in het psychiatrische ziekenhuis, waar ze was opgenomen wegens smetvrees . Ik was twaalf. Smetvrees ken ik zelf niet, maar ik heb wel allerlei dwanggedachten en dwanghandelingen. Gehád. Want ik heb nu medicijnen, hè. Depakine, eigenlijk een anti-epilepsiemiddel. Het is gewoon iets chemisch wat er misgaat, een weeffoutje; we zijn nu eenmaal niet het perfecte eindproduct van de evolutie. Wat ik heb, is moeilijk te omschrijven. Mijn hoofd slaat op hol.’ I'll translate: 'About obsessive compulsive disorder: We brought meringues to my mom who was admitted in a psychiatric hospital because of her germophobia. I was twelve. I don't have germophobia, but I have various compulsive thoughts and behaviors. Or had these. Because I'm on medication. Depakine, which is actually an anti-epileptic drug. It's just chemical thing which has one wrong; a flaw; we're just not the perfect end product of evolution. It's difficult to describe what I have. My head goes crazy.' I'm wondering how her doctor came up with depakine. Very interesting. Maybe she did try first line treatments like SSRI's. I've also read on the Dutch OCD support website that sometimes Pregabaline or Gabapentine is used as an adjunct therapy.
  11. Yes, you probably read too much But in contrast to me you understand all this stuff better than I do ;-) As people might notice I've been breaking my head over this issue. Why did SSRI's stop working for me? I think no one really knows....which is annoying because insecurity is almost unbearable. Have to wait for the clomipramine to kick in....stuck on 50 mg for a while untill pdoc is back from vacation.
  12. Yes, cold turkey isn't the best way to go ;-) But I did that twice with Luvox in the first two years that I was taking it. I was doing so well and one day I forgot to pick up a new prescription. The next day everything was still fine and a week later I wasn't feeling bad at all, so I just thought: "oh well, I'm cured" ;-) Nowadays I would go slowly. Coming off Lexapro was much harder, it took me about two months.
  13. I'll follow your topic Brian! I'm very interested in what aripiprazole does for constant intrusive thoughts (well, in my case, I've been having the same one for the past two years) and I'm now in the process of increasing clomipramine to a therapeutic dose. At this point (I'm only 5 weeks in) I don't notice a big decrease in obsessing, so I'm looking at other options as well. I just like having a Plan B ready. I'm a good sleeper (phew....) but in the morning the symptoms are at their worst.
  14. Drug holiday

    I took a drug holiday for 4 months. I was taking escitalopram but it stopped working. My gdoc advised me to quit meds entirely and I started with therapy again. Coming off escitalopram wasn't easy and tapering took about 2,3 months. So i was med free for 4 months but the Pure O did not improve. Eventually went op sertraline but it didn't work....
  15. Interesting article! I knew that my RLS is caused by increased serotonin, directly coming from using SSRI meds. The RLS went away when I quit SSRI's. But what I didn't realize is that dopamine signaling changes due to the inhibition of serotonin. What I would like to figure out is what relation there is in the change in dopamine signaling is and my intrusive thought. I know it disappeared after being on Luvox for 9 weeks. Same thing with Lexapro. We've always concentrated on serotonin, we know that OCD and related disorders are helped by inhibiting serotonin. But somehow things have changed 'inside' and some people stop responding to this method of action. Resulting in a relapse and less or even no response to other SSRI's. What happened with dopamine when we're relapsing?