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Stories of Hope out of Desparation


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I feel like I am recovering from a pretty serious situation and would like to share my experience.

I now know I have suffered from very strong depression even as a small child. I remember early experiences of thinking everything is worthless (feeling so empty even on bright sunny days, feeling sad watching TV, feeling so bad when shopping with parents). Later, I had good and bad times in my life. I remember some really bad times with panic in small social groups (feeling trapped in a room with people, cold sweats, blushing). I had some of this on and off growing up. Then after college my panic got out of hand, I got dizzy every day, felt panic in public places, I felt so desparate. Finally after 6 years of this I read a book by Dr Minrith and Dr Meyer and realized medicine could help me and that I might have a chemical imbalance. I found a psychologist who referred me to a pscyciatrist who gave me Luvox. Immediately my panic in social situations went away! I felt so relieved! For the next 10 years I took Luvox, then I became more and more depressed. I needed additional help and my new p-doc suggested going on Paxil. This helped with the depression and for the next 10 years I took it with good success.

The problem came as I started waking up in the middle of the night with panic over the past 2 years (I felt drunk in the morning and out of breath). My p-doc gave me Klonopin to help with this. I experiemented with what was causing the panic and discovered that when I skipped Paxil, I slept better with no panic and drunk feeling in the morning. I'm not sure what happened to the Paxil, but it seemed to start giving me problems. I decided to get off the Paxil, however, at the same time I was using Klonopin for the panic. I felt great for a while, however, I slowly started using more and more Klonopin each day. I started taking Klonopin routinely every night 2 times.

Then my depression came back worse than ever. I felt huge amount of dread and depression every morning. However I was sleeping well with the Klonopin. I tried many "natural" remedies such as 5-htp, Tyrosine, L theanine and they had sporadic results. However, I felt great depression. After awhile I started sleeping better and stopped the Klonopin for a few days. This was a huge mistake as I had the worse panic attack of my life. I couldn't sleep and started pacing back and forth. I felt that I was going insane. My fear was over the top. I took Klonopin and felt better.

As a result I googled Klonopin and realized that they have severe withdrawal symptoms. Also, they mess with your Gaba sensors in the brain. Now I wanted to get of Klonopin. I went back to my p-doc and asked to get on an antidepressant again. He put me on Luvox, but wanted me to stay on Klonopin. I had to fight him to not take klonopin. He didn't see any problem with benzo's. I went cold turkey for 2 weeks and felt out of breath panic all day for the first week and 2nd week out of breath twice a day. All this time I had early morning insomnia. I was now on Luvox only. For the 3rd and 4th week I still had insomnia and terrible dread and depression in the morning. I went back to the p-doc and stated the Luvox wasn't working, in fact when I missed a dose I slept better and felt happier. I remembered the Luvox never helped me with depressoin just social anxiety. The Paxil was better, however, it seems that it stopped working after 10 years. What to do now? I am thinking that all SSRI's won't work for me but the doctor put me on Lexapro. It is working very well. I am sleeping very well without early morning waking and no early morning dread and depression.

All through this ordeal I clung to faith in God and prayed for help. When you have panic and depession and it seems medicine no longer works it is easy to lose hope. I know everyone won't like this but Jesus really helped me through this problem as I put hope in him to get me out of this.

What I learned (1): Don't rely on benzo's to help you, they work too well and your body will start to completly rely on them (2) All SSRI's are not the same (3) Your SSRI may stop working or side effects may amplify over the years, don't be afraid to try a different SSRI as it may help (4) Pray and have faith God can help you through this.

Please post any other stories of hope.

Thanks!

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... I know everyone won't like this but Jesus really helped me through this problem as I put hope in him to get me out of this.

What I learned (1): Don't rely on benzo's to help you, they work too well and your body will start to completly rely on them (2) All SSRI's are not the same (3) Your SSRI may stop working or side effects may amplify over the years, don't be afraid to try a different SSRI as it may help (4) Pray and have faith God can help you through this.

You had me, right up until you stood behind the Jesus podium. So, yes, your prescience was absolutely correct: not everyone likes this.

I am glad you find solace in your religious convictions, but am always confused as to why Jesus helps one person of faith and turns his back on another. Why god helps one and leaves scores trapped in vile conditions: emotional cesspools, physical carnage, and intellectually deprived. How prayers are seemingly answered for you, yet the prayers of other earnest, god-fearing people are ignored. It seems that only some few of the faithful are worthy of having their prayers answered. How fortunate for you that you are one of the few.

Cheers, best wishes, and good luck. Indigo

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What I learned (1): Don't rely on benzo's to help you, they work too well and your body will start to completly rely on them (2) All SSRI's are not the same (3) Your SSRI may stop working or side effects may amplify over the years, don't be afraid to try a different SSRI as it may help (4) Pray and have faith God can help you through this.

You're right, your religious reference is offensive to many of us here. (See my avatar.) But leaving that aside, there are lots of meds out there to try besides SSRIs and benzos. You might want to research other available medications that may be useful to you.

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bytor123 wrote

"I'm not sure what happened to the Paxil, but it seemed to start giving me problems. I decided to get off the Paxil, however, at the same time I was using Klonopin for the panic. I felt great for a while, however, I slowly started using more and more Klonopin each day. I started taking Klonopin routinely every night 2 times."

You say you started using "more and more klonopin" How much more and do you think it caused your depression to worsen? I was not clear on that. I guess where I'm leading is if you have all this dread and panic why not use benzos? If your reason is simply a fear of dependence that IMO is not a good reason-why live like that if a drug can help. Then get some therapy for it and at that point when and if it succeeds wean off the drug. Your doctor was very reluctant to take you off klonopin-I think he was very wise!

ColinMichaels

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Hey, so glad to hear someone say that SSRI's might loose effect over years. I've been on Paxil for over 10 years and it has started to loose it's quality for me too. Thank you so much for sharing your story!!! It's going to help me go to the pdoc and request a change in meds.

Also, I believe working on our mental health means looking to spirituality to help us along the way. If it gives you strength, good on you! I don't personally practice the christian faith but I do believe in the power of spirituality to help along the way.

love

and

blessings...

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what I learned:

1. benzos can be very beneficial if one works closely with their pdoc. In my history I've gone from .5 to 5 mgs of xanax a day...fluctuating depending on where I was at and what pdoc thought would be best. I've never abused my meds.

2. you are right, SSRIs are not all the same.

3. you are right again, trying different SSRIs might be helpful.

4. I dont know how much God has done for me, much less Jesus. I find I get more help by asking people directly.

db

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Bytor123, I am glad you have something to pull you through. As a nurse, I see many people who struggle with mental illness and come from different walks of life, and have different beliefs. I know for a fact (in my case), I would have tried to end my life (or succeeded in doing it), if it were not for my faith. My meds just don't keep the misery, struggle, and immense burden of my life at a tolerable level (most times).

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bytor123 wrote

"I'm not sure what happened to the Paxil, but it seemed to start giving me problems. I decided to get off the Paxil, however, at the same time I was using Klonopin for the panic. I felt great for a while, however, I slowly started using more and more Klonopin each day. I started taking Klonopin routinely every night 2 times."

You say you started using "more and more klonopin" How much more and do you think it caused your depression to worsen? I was not clear on that. I guess where I'm leading is if you have all this dread and panic why not use benzos? If your reason is simply a fear of dependence that IMO is not a good reason-why live like that if a drug can help. Then get some therapy for it and at that point when and if it succeeds wean off the drug. Your doctor was very reluctant to take you off klonopin-I think he was very wise!

ColinMichaels

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I am worried about Klonopin causing a dependence. I noticed I needed more and more of it to be effective. I started with 0.5mg once in a while to needing 0.5 mg when I went to sleep and another 0.5 mg when I woke up around 2am. Then when I got off of it I had serious withdrawal symptoms. I don't think this is good for long term use.

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Bytor, I am sorry it did not work for you, but there are many people on the boards who safely use benzos long term with no difficulties. If I had to stop, I would need to titrate off very slowly under p-doc supervision. But you have to titrate off of most psychiatric medications anyway.

I have been on Xanax for 5 years without needing to raise dosage, which is 1mg AM/PM, with another mg PRN . In fact, I don't use my PRN dose enough, and my p-doc keeps telling me I shouldn't be so cautious, because I obviously am following directions. I always have a ton of it left over at the end of the month.

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