Working On Us ~ #23

Its week #23 of Working On Us, hosted by the kind and talented Beckie of Beckie’s Mental Mess. The topic this week is Medications. Oh boy, I am familiar with medications!

Most of my medications have been for my Fibromyalgia but I did take antidepressants in the past, and since this is about mental health, I’ll stick to those meds.

 

Q & A Time

 

When you first were diagnosed with your mental illness/disorder, did it take a while to get used to your medications that were prescribed to you?  If you answer the question, (YES), How did you feel initially?

I was first diagnosed with depression in my early 20s. The psychiatrist put me on trazadone. I don’t remember the dosage but I remember feeling like I was wrapped it cotton and stuffed with it too. That was just fine with me! I needed all the jagged edges of life to go away. I needed to stop bursting into tears the minute I woke up every morning. I needed to be able to sleep better too.

It took a few weeks for the zombie zoned out feeling to go away. I continued the medication for about a year and then tapered off of it.

Then I had a complete deconstruction event happen in my mid 20s. I held on for the crisis year and fell apart as the event was sorting out. I knew I needed medication. I was in therapy at the time but with a LCSW so I went to my primary doctor and asked him to prescribe trazodone again. I was on it about two years that time, then tapered off.

I haven’t had to take medication for depression since. Knock on wood.

Depending on how long you have been on medication, how many times do you think it has been adjusted to make you feel stable?

The only adjustments were when I was tapering off.

Have you ever had a bad reaction to medication?

Not to trazodone. Other, non-psych meds… yeah!

Have you ever suffered withdrawals from a certain type of medication, and if so… What type was it?

Not with trazodone. Big time on the opiates and benzos.

Do you work closely with your doctor in regards to your medication intake?  (In other words, do you have a good relationship with your doctor?)

I’m not in therapy currently. My depression has been managed with awareness and attitude. I know that if it ever gets severe again that I can ask for medication to help. I have no problem doing that. No shame.

Since your diagnosis, have you ever tried to not take medication and see if you can handle your symptoms of mental illness/disorders on your own?  If so, how did that work out for you?

I’m doing really well. When the Depression Monster starts creeping around, recognizing that its depression helps me a lot. When I realize why I’m so unmotivated or sad or just blah, I can go to the beach or watch a funny movie or chat with my WordPress buddies… I can do things to change my outlook, change my attitude. It works for me.

Tell us briefly how medication has affected your life?

The two times I was on trazodone helped stabilize me. The medication helped me be able to function and do the daily things and do my job. I dont think I would have been able to work so hard in therapy without the medication keeping me on an even keel.

 

(featured image snagged from Beckie)

22 thoughts on “Working On Us ~ #23

    1. I probably could have kept on going the 2nd time but I was exhausted from the sleep disruption and still dealing with the tail ends of the crisis.
      I probably should have been in counseling and taking meds when my marriage exploded, but I was already on so much pain stuff…

      Those packages may be dented and damaged on the outside but they’re usually okay when you get beyond the outer layer😘

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Glad you found a medication to help you through the dark times. I like how you tame the beast these days. I am always amazed at how some of the things I do help me when the beast makes me feel like doing absolutely nothing. Self-care is important, but sometimes you needs meds and you’re right, there is no shame in that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Robyn🤗 Depression is debilitating for a lot of people. Some people need the meds every day forever and I wanted to make sure that it didnt seem like I was saying that everyone should be able to use self care.

      It’s funny that trazodone is one of the meds Ben takes to help him sleep. Ha! When he sleeps 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, Angie! Welcome back to “Working on Us”, Week#23. I love your analogy of being wrapped in cotton being on Trazadone. (I’m on 300mg of it), not to mention several other medications and I feel fog and cotton all rolled up at once.
    It’s great that you only had to take it twice for short periods of time. However, you mentioned Benzo’s, what types were you on and for how long? Was that also a means for depression and/or anxiety?
    Opiates are extremely scary, My mother is addicted to them. There really isn’t much anyone can do to help her and manage her chronic pain and although she takes them, she is in excruciating pain anyway.
    I have always viewed you as a strong person for all that you have been through and certainly understand that taking the edge off by taking Trazadone. At least you didn’t self-medicate like I had. You seem like you have better control and grip on how to handle the monster of depression. Between walking on the beach, blogging, and naturally taking care of the King of the house, you are always kept busy. That’s a very good thing.
    Thank you again for participating!
    God Bless 💚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Beckie🤗 Your kind words make me feel warm and fuzzy! A better kind of cotton. I may have strength but there is no way I could have done the work in therapy without the trazodone. I was barely functioning.

      Ben takes trazodone and seroquel. Both off label to relax him, calm him. Whether it’s the autism or the ADHD, he’s unable relax, focus, sleep without meds. We tried until he was 5 and it was bad for all of us. The funny thing is, you cant tell he’s on meds. He doesnt get dopey or sleepy until he takes his mega dose at bedtime.

      Benzos… I took valium for a while for muscle relaxation. When I was labeled “addict” by Dr Jerkface, I was taken off the valium and my current doc wont prescribe it. Other muscle relaxers like flexeril, soma, baclofen etc dont work for me so no muscle relaxation ☹ The med I take for sleep, Restoril is a benzo. I can miss one night, but if I miss two I start withdrawal. I’m on max dose so if I ever dont need it, coming off will be easier.
      A lot of the best meds, the ones that work, are habit forming. There’s a difference between addiction and dependence though. I’m very very lucky that I dont have an addictive personality.

      Your poor mama! I remember the opiate rollercoaster. It’s awful. This intrathecal pump gave me back my life. I could write SO much about pain meds but I didnt think this was the place to do it. Maybe another post… someday😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re so sweet, Thank you, for your kind words. 😘
        My roommate is addicted to Valium. Her doctor never does anything to change this… It’s been over 15-17 years.
        Because of all the issues I have with sleep and anxiety, I’m on such a strong cocktail of medications. 300mg Trazadone, 1.5mg Clonzapam, 100mg of serquel at night, another 50mg if I need it during the day, 50mg of Vistiril, 200mg Lamicatl, and 10mg OTC Melatonin. I take enough to knock out a horse, but still have trouble falling asleep. Go figure?
        I do have an addictive personality and 2 of these meds are addictive. I hate it, but nothing else has worked over the last 4 years.
        Funny thing, you mentioning the muscle relaxers, when I see my GP in January, I’m going to request something. My orthopedic gave me a script of Naproxen, which did zilch. He won’t prescribe anything until I do physical therapy 3x’s week at $25 a clip in co-payments. Naturally,I can’t afford that based on SSDI income only. So, I basically have deal with the chronic pain.
        I’m still a bit shocked that Ben is not calmer on the meds you listed. He’s still a young boy and that’s some strong stuff.
        How often does he see a doctor for scripts and/or tweaking of meds?
        Plus, if you miss one night of your Restoril, you start having withdrawals… That’s quite scary.
        My mom has been through at least (damn, I don’t really even know) withdrawals. For her age, she is playing Russion Roulet if she misses her meds. The last time was only two weeks ago, she scares the daylights out of me, because she could go into cardiac arrrest.
        Yes, one day in the future I’ll do a segment on opiates/benzo’s. Not right away, since I’m doing this segment on meds now.
        💚 I’m so happy that you are a part of “Working on Us”, you not only write about yourself, but add Ben to the mix which is helpful to those with children. Thank you so very much!!! 💕

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s funny with Ben. Every new doctor looks at his meds… 350mg Seroquel, 250mg trazodone, 0.4mg clonidine throughout the day and they ask ” isn’t he drowsy? Isn’t he zoned out?” and we just laugh.
          His med doc works at his fabulous school so she sees him once a week if needed and we meet with her every 4 to 8 weeks depending on how he’s doing. He weighs 110lbs and he’s 11 years old. He’s pretty much maxed on these meds. The two meds approved for autism, risperdal (made home grow breasts, a side effect) and abilify (didnt do anything) dont work.

          I can go one night without the restoril. The second night without I begin to feel twitchy and anxious and cant sleep, obviously. I haven’t gone three nights without but I’ve done full cold turkey withdrawal before and know all the symptoms.

          This series is so awesome Beckie! I join when I feel like I have something to add to the discussion. Most of my problems are physical health more than mental health. But I DO still have some mental health issues. I think if we’re honest, everyone has problems here and there…like getting the flu or breaking a bone. And some people have chronic mental health problems like chronic physical health problems. This series is great for bringing awareness, destigmatizing and creating community! 🤗💃🏼🎉🏅

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Wow! All that medication and Ben is still hyped up. That really is astonishing, and that the other meds don’t work at all. That’s just nuts.
            Does his Doc ever think of something else for the autism? Or, is it because of his age the Doc doesn’t want to try other meds?
            No, never stop your meds cold turkey. That is the most frightening thing.
            Do you remember that Doc I had the Summer before last, when that fool took me off seroquel enitrely, (Cold turkey)? I was so violently ill and I honestly thought I was never get through it. When I called the head of the Mental Health facility… They not only prescribed something to help me ease from the withdrawals, but that Doc went, Bye-Bye. Apparently she did this to a few patients… I hope her license was taken away.
            It’s funny you mention the chronic pain. I was thinking of doing that topic for next week and how it interacts with depression. What do you think?
            I really appreciate your kind words and encouragement with regards to this series. I’m still blown away on how many new people wrote in the week,
            I love that people are talking to one another and sharing eperiences. It’s so good to know that others are not suffering alone, that there are people to discuss mental illness… Like you said, and how I introduced it. It’s a blogging community-based series.
            😍🌻 😘🌼 🥰

            Liked by 1 person

            1. With Ben it’s mostly his age. We tried ritalin for the ADHD but it made him more aggressive, so we stopped that right away. The thing about autism is that it’s not a mental illness or disorder. The meds are just to help him slow down enough to focus. Neither the doc or we want to keep adding more meds. He’s got a super fast metabolism too and meds that should last 4-6 hours only last 2-3 for him. We want to try cannabis but there isn’t enough research for a doctor to prescribe it. Yet. And with the doc giving the okay, the school probably wouldn’t give it to him, so we stick with seroquel (the one med he takes during school)

              Chronic pain can definitely have mental health repercussions. I’m not familiar enough will all the peeps that participate in this series so I dont know how many other people would participate.

              It all kind of ties in. Addiction is self-medicating for mental and/or physical pain a lot of times.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Oh, no… I know that autism is not a mental illness/disorder. I was just curious if it was an age thing, or meds that he could take down the road to help with him calming down.
                It’s always a crap shoot how many people will respond to a post. So far, I’ve only had two posts that were ery few people. However, the rest of them seem to be going pretty well. Not that I wish anyone had issues, mind you.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. I know you know about autism😘, I just meant in general there’s no medication to treat it. We can only try to reduce the symptoms, like agression, obsession, hyperactivity, insomnia… it’s not like some disorders where they know certain chemicals in the brain are wonky and the meds can target those chemicals or receptors or whatever. Nevermind.😂 We’re talking about the same thing anyway.😂🤣😂🤣

                  With posts and topics, we never know what is gonna be popular and what isn’t. I know I’ve been surprised at how popular some of my posts have been when I thought others were better. I guess you put something out there and see what happens 🤷🏼‍♀️

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. Yes, we agree that we agree on understanding autism. I don’t know if you remember me telling you, I had a second cousin that has autism. When we were little kids, we saw each other often and played together. I had never seen or acknowledged anything was wrong… She was just my friend. 👯‍♀️
                    Yeah, I think it was only two weeks ago where 2-3 people responded. That’s fine with me, as long as other people know that their not alone, and perhaps introduce them to one another… To me that’s great. 🙌 👏

                    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you.🌻 At the time I needed to be numb, like a zombie. Everything in my life felt too sharp and jagged. Like I was wrapped in barbed wire. The Trazodone wrapped me in cotton. Then I was able to take advantage of the therapy.

      My grandson Ben takes Trazodone “off label” to help him sleep and to calm down his ADHD. He also takes Seroquel “off label” for Autism and ADHD. Neither of the approved autism meds work for him. The Risperdal made him grow breast tissue (a side effect). We tried ritalin for the ADHD and it made him aggressive. NOT a good idea😉

      Like

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