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Medication Free

Discussion in 'Accomplishments' started by Marlene, May 27, 2007.

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  1. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    As of Friday, May 25, I am now medication free.

    This has been, for me at least, one of the most difficult parts of dealing with my PTSD. I am extremely independent by nature and having to take pills to help me, even though it did help, was really going against the grain for me. Actually it took several doctors telling me that anti-anxiety meds would help and me getting to the point where I just wasn’t functioning to even consider taking them. The latter was what finally made me capitulate.

    What was supposed to be just a couple of months of taking these meds turned into almost a year. What bothered me the most was that I had gotten where I was depending on these meds and was scared to even attempt to get off of them. Back in September/October, I attempted to get off of my meds and failed spectacularly. Recently my psychiatrist and therapist had both told me on separate occasions that if I wanted to taper down and eventually get off of the meds, that the choice was now mine. I took that to mean that I was healing and getting stronger. It also frightened me. After discussing tapering my meds with my therapist in a session, I cried as I drove home. Although that’s not unusual for me to do, the reason for the tears was. I realized that in less than one short year of my life I had become dependant on a lot of things. This too went against the grain for me. But it wasn’t strong enough to overcome my fear of losing my ‘crutches’. See…when my PTSD symptoms went out of control in July of last year, it felt like (and still does) that someone took my life and turned it upside down, shook it up for good measure and then handed it back to me. I’ve spent so much time and energy working on how I could put it back together. Even though it’s mostly put back together, it’s not like it was before and never will be. Another tough lesson I’ve learned. But while I’ve learned to put my life back together, I’ve also had to learn to rely on people and things. A very tough thing for ‘Ms. Independent and In Control’ to learn.

    Since the day I took my first pill, a voice in the back of my mind has told me ‘This WILL be temporary’. I wasn’t sure what temporary meant, other than not for the rest of my life. Silently holding onto that vow, looking forward to the day when I had healed enough to get off of the meds has helped me to get through some pretty rough times. When I first started tapering I went online and got all of the information I could about the withdrawals associated with my meds. Glad I did. Knowledge is most definitely power. If I hadn’t been expecting what hit me, I think it definitely would have made the withdrawals worse. The last several weeks have been the hardest. But I knew two things while going through the withdrawals: 1-This, unlike the PTSD, at least was temporary, 2-I had been through worse and I would get through this. The past several weeks, I’ve not been posting much. I’ve read a lot, but just trying to deal with the day to day (plus withdrawals) was just about all I had in me.

    I’m putting this under the heading of ‘success story’ because this is a success to me. I know that in a lot of instances what’s big to one person is no big deal to another. But this is enormous for me. I’ve felt like so much control of my life was stripped away and I’ve been picking up bits and pieces (sometimes crumbs) of it as I’ve healed. This, to me, is a very large piece I’ve been able to take back. And I’m totally stoked about it!
     
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  3. Grama-Herc

    Grama-Herc I'm a VIP

    Marlene

    Congrats on your success! ! ! We are all proud of you, especially me because we have met face to face. I remember when you told me you were going to stop your meds. I was actually frightened for you. But you have done so well. You have earned the right to brag and be proud. We should all have your strength! Be proud Love ya HERC
     
  4. Midnite

    Midnite Well-Known Member

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    Congrates Marlene. I know how nasty withdrawal could be. Been through it myself too. Very proud of you. After some bad encounters with medicine, I personally never like to rely on them anymore.

    That' why I thought it will be good to share my bad experience with medicine (though not for ptsd) here. I think everyone should be extra cautious on what they are consuming daily especially for long term usage. I was prescribed to this daily combo (sleeping pill + diazepam + Xanax + morphine) for my pain management. On top of these, I did occasionally taking other medicine in overcoming side effects like additional painkillers for headache, gastric, diarrhea, stress, etc. So I was swallowing a lot of them in total daily.

    After months on this combo and other medications, soon I realized that it was not only suppressing my pain messages in my Central Nervous System, but these medicines were also suppressing my mind, thinking ability, reflexes, and memory. Taking any drug for a long period is always not advisable, worst still for my case where my physician intentionally mixing them to give me better relief as not a single one was sufficient to give me a good rest at night then. Initially, I was happy and was feeling good especially for the first month as I was getting my needed rest at night but later they started to do me more harm than good. Soon I realized that I couldn’t even remember things said to me an hour earlier, I couldn’t even do very simple mental arithmetic , I couldn’t do simple calculation inside my head and I needed to use my fingers like small kids and I found that very annoying and terrifying. That’s when I decided to quit,and learning to cope the pain without them. It was not easy because I went cold-turkey voluntarily and not by phases because I did not want any further damage on myself. With a lot of perseverance, discipline, acceptance, better understanding and patience, I managed to stop relying on them. Unfortunately, the withdrawal was never easy and it messed me up a lot too, me plunging into depression

    Even now after more than a year of quitting, I am still struggling with my poor memories and mind capabilities. I used to remember things well before this but 2 years of swallowing high doses of pills daily had really slowed me down. Though I am seeing a better me now than a year ago but I am still way back comparing to the old me. Indirectly this is affecting my current life, as there were times; where others were waiting for my response and my mind just went blank or I would just stare blankly with no response. It's like there was a short circuit in my brain or maybe the message just got lost during transmission.

    I may not want to rely on medication,but I still take them during an emergency. I try to limit my usage, use only when necessary. If I can cope without them, I 'll because I rather have them out of my life if possible.

    Lesson learned: Try not to depend on medication for a long period, longer than needed. Take only when necessary; never rely on them as a permanent solution as they will do you more harm than good.
     
  5. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    Awesome, Marlene! I'm so glad it's going well for you so far. Keep at it, I've been off the meds for nearly 6 months now and if you are brave and can manage without them it's well worth the effort. Congratulations! :)
     
  6. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

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    Well done Marlene, well done. Not a big fan of medication. If you can cope decently without it, more power to you.

    Jim.
     
  7. Monarch

    Monarch I'm a VIP Premium Member

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    great, Marlene, I am right there with you, I hate being on Paxil, it has almost been a year and I am ready to kick it!
     
  8. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Herc, Midnight, Evie, Jim and Monarch,

    Thanks so much for the kind words and support. It means a lot to me. Having others understand the rough road helps a lot, too.

    Lisa
     
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