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Does Prescription Medication Help Your PTSD?

Discussion in 'Polls' started by anthony, Oct 12, 2006.

What Has Prescription Medication Done For You With Your PTSD?

  1. Made you worse than without it?

    49 vote(s)
  2. Made you better in some areas, worse in others?

    113 vote(s)
  3. Made you no better or worse?

    32 vote(s)
  4. Made improvements across your treated range of symptoms?

    102 vote(s)
  1. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Here is the ultimate question, one of which I am actually going to press release to the world for input once members actively vote and comment upon this. I want to tell the physicians of the world where their going wrong in regards to using prescription medication as a first line defence, believing it will fully treat PTSD and allow the sufferer to live a normal, even semi-normal, life.

    Have I already concluded the results? Well, from the above statement, yes. I am basing this from the discussions within the forums, and the issues pertained to people taking their medications with the side effects evolving, and realistically the little help it overall provides to a sufferer of PTSD. Whilst medications might solve some problems, it just does not seem to solve PTSD. Why? In my opinion, I believe it is because of the sheer number of symptoms caused and provoked by PTSD that makes it impossible for medication to even remedy too a point allowing a sufferer to partake within life.

    My experience with it, I ended up more suicidal, more depressed, numerous side effects, still locked in my house unless I absolutely needed to go out, still didn't socialise, was still stressed, still anxious, still not living life... prescription medications did me no favours. Started at a small dose, worked for a little while, then needed more to get the same effect, then more, then reached the maximum dose and my body became immune to the medication, doctors response.... you guessed it, lets change medications and dose your body with a new one, one that it isn't used too. Yey... what a great theory (sarcasm).

    What is your vote (honestly in regard to your experience with medications) and tell us your story please, so maybe physicians of the world can see positives vs. negatives and those issues surrounding the realistic problems of medications and PTSD. Let’s see if we can make them stand-up and think differently, opposed to walking in their office, doing nothing, prescribing medications and sending us on our way like good little obedient soldiers. If physicians want our money, I think it’s about time they start earning it.
    junglegirl and Britt.f7 like this.
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  3. Beachbum

    Beachbum Active Member

    haven't tried meds (other than mild sleepers) so can't vote but will watch & learn, was too scared to try meds when offered, then so desperate & asked for them and GP never faxed prescription as he'd promised - maybe i had a lucky escape?! coz that drove me to ask MIND (mental health charity) for help (as was suicidal) & they put me in touch with ASSIST (a PTSD charity) who provide FREE C.B.T. on the phone, i'm sure it helped some, & just talking to somebody who knew what PTSD was - great! here in UK the recommended treatments (by NICE) are SSRi/CBT/EMDR, but as up to 3yr waiting list for non-drug treatment, drugs are only option unless you have the money to pay or enough will to keep searching and lucky enough to stumble across people like ASSIST, big thanks to them.
  4. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

    My list... At least what pill bottles I could find empty around the home and some still full from the last year and a half. Can not find them all and this is not a complete list from over the years. This also does not include medications from ER trips or what was given to me in ER via IVs.

    This is one round I was given by a shrink who asked no questions or had me fill out forms beyond address and insurance info. Well, he did ask me why I came. I said I cannot control panic attacks. They were driving me crazy and I could not think straight. He did not know I was home bound, had nightmares, intrusive thoughts, suicidal, he did know I drank to put myself to sleep as he did ask about alcohol consumption, nor any fears or other symptoms associated with PTSD, or my history. He did not ask, and I did not just give it to him. I Just wanted these new stronger panic attacks that triggered the next to go away. My general practitioner told me that this was a regimen for bi-polar. Which I am not. It did stop those attacks at the time though. I went on that day of tapering to get off, one at a time as I was being treated for something I do not have.

    • Ativan - 2mg 3x a day = 6mg daily
    • Paxil - 20mg 1x a day
    • Neurontin - 300 mg 3x a day = 900mg daily

    The other drug of choice, by my GP who went back to treating it as he knew bi polar was not the issue either... Xanax. This just kept getting built up in my system and did bring relief again to the attacks. Still getting mixed with alcohol. He later added Buspar to the mix it was not original. After that time he started to figure out there was more to it as this still did not control after time. Suggested female shrink. Leads me to believe he knew at this point what he was dealing with but not one to diagnose. He was later relieved to see me getting diagnosed and being treated "properly". Second list was for severe muscle pains. I did not take second list as I felt it was unsafe to combine. Alcohol was removed during this as I saw the negative effects.

    • Xanax - Starting point 1.5 mg 3x a day = 4.5 daily - built up to 3mg 3x a day and 1mg when awoke in panic from nightmares = 10 mg daily
    • Buspar - 10 mg 3x a day = 30 mg a day (cannot remember starting dose, it was built up to this)

    • Darvon - 65mg 1 or 2 capsules every 4 hours as needed
    • Relafen - 500mg 2x a day = 1000mg daily

    Enter PTSD diagnosis. I was taken off Xanax, except for .5 or 1 mg, can't recall. I was placed on this next list as a result and ended up back in ER a couple times and as ill as I have ever been in my life. She did though spend an hour at a time with me and asked every question she could pull in my opinion. She did not hold back and pulled it all out. New regimen... Resulted in extreme not even being a word close enough to describe the sickness and effects of this sudden switch and a couple hospital stays.

    • Xanax - .5 or 1mg a day at least a couple hours after Clonazepam drug "if needed"
    • Buspar - 10 mg 3x a day = 30 mg
    • Clonazepam - 2mg 1x at night
    • Effxor - 37.5mg to start a day (did not go beyond initial dose before hospitalized)

    Her new regimen - Which had serious withdrawals off of Xanax. And I sought out on my own at that point a therapist for weekly CBT to treat PTSD and addiction and following that found this site to further help. Meditation and relaxing tecniques. Aroma therapy. Also, back to simple chamomile and spearmint teas to ease withdrawals. CBT handbook Feeling Good. Some deep soul searching.

    • Xanax - 2 mg 3x a day = 6 mg daily
    • Buspar - 10 mg 3x a day = 30 mg daily
    • Zoloft - 25 mg a day increased to 100mg a day

    The above list... I quit the Buspar cold turkey with no ill effects at all. Did nothing except add drowsiness while taking. Had no effect on or off. Tapered Xanax down to 2mg a day as progressing in CBT and educating myself on all aspects I could find relating to the drugs, the way panic attacks effect the body and why, and PTSD. Zoloft increased depression and making me unable to stay awake hindering my therapy through CBT and my meditating. Currently cutting Zoloft. Stalled cutting Xanax to finish Zoloft withdrawals. Starting exposure aspect of therapy during cuts.

    Goal - Zero drugs and continue work to treat properly controlling symptoms with my mind and thinking process rather than drugs to try and numb it or change it.

    Benefits - For something as severe panic attacks that cycle out of control for hours on end, I can see something to control them long enough to start education on those and develop a complete understanding from the brain/mind, to the nervous system, to the effects on organs and body parts to lessen/remove fear of them.

    Draw-backs- To remain on such drugs long enough to develop addiction and raise tolerance of is counter productive. As now patient has to fight PTSD with addiction. Materials should be provided to educate person and self-help encouraged, if not strongly pushed.

    Drugs such as anti-depressants that seem to work at controlling symptoms for some do not put the person in a place where they willingly work through issues. Drug masks the symptoms that can be effectively controlled through a lot of self analysis and work.

    For those of us that it does not work, we are forced to learn this the hard way... And do so battling addiction, negative reactions to drugs making PTSD worse, and PTSD symptoms still uncontrolled. The latter group may be lucky in that aspect as we learn because we are forced to. We find we do have the strength to control this when properly treated and educated as it is a do or die. It should be made more than clear suicide that plagues our mind at times will only make those around us as we are now. That seems to be a hell of a deterrent.

    I had to select some benefit as it would be easier to start education with immediate relief to symptoms. But that is all and if proper education is provided and pushed.

    Had to add now as this thread was bumped up during my move and finding even more pill bottles. Well, add Lexapro and Zyprexa to the list. Zyprexa was years ago when I could not sleep due to intrusive thoughts. I cannot recall who gave now or why I got Lexapro, just remember finding the bottle with my name on it. I really feel like there is not a pill out there they have not put me on. As of the date of the edit I am on 3/4 mg xanax a day. 1/4 mg 3X a day now and the only drug.
  5. darkskies

    darkskies Active Member

    my prescibed experience

    Don't know if you know, but some drug and (obviously) brand names are different in each country when the actual drug itself is the same.

    I was prescibed Escitalopram (with berevement counselling) 2 or 3 months before ptsd began.

    A week after 'my trauma' it was changed to Venlafaxine (Exfexor XL) 150mg od which was a lot better. For the first two weeks i was also prescribed Lorazapam, which helped at work by taking the edge of anxiety and fear. However ruined my concentration and immediate short term memory. I also felt exhausted - ?combination of medication and trying to cope.

    I continued with venlafaxine 150mg od until may 05 then increased to 225mg daily in divided doses for 2 months. I thought at the time they took the edge off things but now ?their benefit as things got worse before they got better.
    I was also self-harming, mainly cutting, after my trauma as a way to cope.

    Anxiety was a problem so i was prescribed Olanzapine 2.5mg tds. It's an anti-psychotic but worked really well for anxiety. My little 'to feel normal' pill. I loved it, too much, and got psychologically dependant on it, even now i feel happier carrying a few around with me, just in case i need them and won't 'give in' my supply.
    I took it, as prescribed, 2.5mg tds for 2mths, then 1 mth prn-usually 1-2 doses a day. I was then advised by psychiatrist to stop taking it.
    I told this to my Gp - he said he would give me one last supply of it, to take when you think you need it. He gave me three months supply unstead of the usual 1 mth!
    So i continued to take it for another 2 and a half months 0-2 doses at 2.5-5mg during the day but always took 2.5mg to sleep at night. Was this technically self-medicated?
    I developed diabetes mellitus in sept 05 as a result of my Olanzapine use.

    I was precribed in June 05 diazapam 2mg at night to help with sleep but self medicated 2-16mg, as inital dose didn't work. I would also combine this with Olanzapine 2.5-5mg 2-3 times a week.

    I was diagnosed with ptsd end May/early June 05 - no medication change.

    The person who caused my trauma had to appear to court on several occasions and sentancing was delayed 4-5 times. With each appearance (i didn't go) and subsequent delay my mental health deteriorated, to the point of being actively suicidal therefore admitted to hospital june 05. My self- harm was on a daily basis by this point. So the anti-depression meds didn't work.

    In Hospital my medication was changed from Venlafaxine to Mirtazapine 30mg nocte. I was still having problems sleeping so was prescribed Zopiclone 7.5mg nocte also. I improved so came out of hospital 2 weeks later July 05.

    My self harm improved, i was still getting thoughts but learnt not to re-act to them every time. My suicidal thoughts happened a few times, but remained just thoughts. In dec 05 they both were getting out of control again so Mirtazapine was increased to 45mg nocte.

    Currently i am prescribed and take mirtazapine 45mg nocte,od Zopiclone 7.5mg nocte od prn up to three times a week, (but usually only take it 2-3 times fortnightly)

    Ultimately, i am happy to take this because the increased dose of Mirtazapine controls suicidal and self harm thoughts for me, and enables me to sleep better.
    On the depression, anxiety, and other ptsd symptoms i don't think it does anything to improve or hinder.

    The head consultant where i have therapy describes mirtazapine as a 'life jacket' keeping a person afloat while therapy helps the waters receed so a person can touch the floor and walk to the shallow end and out the water completly.
  6. trisha

    trisha New Member

    cylexa-60 mg
    ativan 2 mg
    topomax 50 mg
    seroquel 25 mg
    remeron 30 mg

    so far so good, only 3 1/2 weeks out of hospital
  7. piglet

    piglet Well-Known Member

    OMG! I would just like to say that I'm in awe at the amount of meds some people need to take. I'd never be able to keep track of it all!
    recoveryqueen11 likes this.
  8. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

    My god that's alot of drugs!!

    Anthony I can't answer this right now, since I just started and am on baby doses (which I will be kept on, the size thingy). As soon as they stablize the dose and I've had a few weeks, I'll let you know.

  9. motorjack

    motorjack Active Member Premium Member


    :loopy: :loopy:

    I was on wellbutrin 150 mg pills and effexor 75 mg..

    Well let me tell you Effexor was ok until i went above 300 mgs a day or should i say over two pills.The Effexor made my heart feel as if it was clawing its way out of my chest, skin crawl, and someone had parked a jet in my head. The headaches became worse than any migrain...50 fold. Always felt tired even tough i felt wired. They dropped the level back to 150 and it became somewhat ok. I didnt sleep more than 3o mins and the longest up was 21 days striaght. Eating became a none issuse as i was never hungry. I dropped 45 pounds in under 6 weeks.
    So the brought down Effexor and added Wellbutrin . It seemed to balance me out but when i started taking 600 mgs a day, after one week the benfits disappeared. My anger became scary, as it became uncontrolable. My heart began to race again and the skin crawled all the time. I felt like i was attached to a power generator. sleep sucked and life became very close to being totally out of control. It was Mr Jecuail and Mr hide...

    Upon attending the hospital due to feeling out of control, as i wanted it to end . The er doctor advised i was over the daily limit and the Effexor was not a good mix in his opion.:loopy: He suggested the reduction and i went cold turkey. I became so dehydrated it was out in hospital again.

    I hate meds
    :drugs: not total daily was 600 well and 150 effex dont do it
  10. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member

    I take klonopin to help keep the anxiety under control. When the anxiety goes up, so do my other symptoms.

    I was feeling good, anxiety was under control, hadn't had any panic attack in a while so I tried to taper off. I was ok for a few weeks and then everything came roaring back so I'm back onto the full dose the doctor gave me. *sigh* Well, I had to try and see if I could do it. Guess it was too soon. But I hope one day I'll be able to feel like 'me' without the pills
  11. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

    These are a lot of different drugs. Is it typical to take so many? My niece was on one only until 3 weeks ago, was cut off it cold turkey and is now on nothing.

  12. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Jim, doctors get on a labelling frenzy basically, to help them justify prescribing so many drugs to unsuspecting patients. It is no secret that most doctors get kickbacks from the pharmaceutical companies for their written prescriptions, as its just the business side of being a doctor really. If you read this thread on [DLMURL]http://www.ptsdforum.org/thread1097.html[/DLMURL], you will see that many off what you see people write here in regard to multiple diagnosis, is actually the lesser professional doctors who rort this system in favour of themselves, by using multiple labels in order to justify medication prescriptions, as that is pretty much the law to cover their arse, in that they couldn't prescribe a medication if they didn't have the label attached to the patient.

    When you look in that list linked above, you will see all the labels that people often mention here in regards to PTSD, being diagnosed uniquely, when infact, there are several labels contained within PTSD itself, hence when you are diagnosed with PTSD, you at the worst end of the scale by now, and there is no further basically, as PTSD is not curable once it has formed, though most of the symptoms by themselves are curable with treatment.

    Basically, you see people dosed to the hilt mate with medication because doctors are abusing the business side of their practice. Instead of prescribing one or two medications to treat PTSD itself, they prescribe one for anxiety, one for depression, one for OCD, one for sleep, one for social phobia, etc etc... the list goes on. They make more money, the patient gets addicted to a shit tin of drugs, the doctors solution is too simply keep pumping drugs into the patient with no real therapy as such. The same story repeats itself here over and over for most members experience thus far.

    Hence why this place exists, to cut the bullshit and get people better, because the very people we rely upon to do that job, have simply failed to do so anymore for nothing more than often personal greed. Within the 100% of physicians available to treat mental health, I estimate less than 10% actually give a shit about their patients enough to treat them properly, and not for capital growth.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  13. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

    Very interesting anthony, thank you. I suspected as much.

    The psych doctor at the hospital tried to tell me she has comorbid conditions, diagnoses of major depression, OCD, social anxiety and an eating disorder not otherwise specified (?), plus the PTSD, and that she is non-compliant with regards to her meds. I think it's all bunk. She had none of these before the shooting, that is a fact. I figure all her symptoms stem from the PTSD, and the stomach problems stem from being shot, christ the surgeon told me that directly. Wish these damn doctors would keep their stories straight.

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