Old posts April 2002

These posts come from a depression support forum I was a member of.  They were from a section about medications.  They start from the first time I went to hospital for my depression in April when I was suicidal and just sent me home with a medication I should never have been given and at a dangerously high dose.  I haven’t included other people’s posts for privacy reasons so if it feels like parts of conversations are missing, that is probably why.

I should add I know trying the dothep without waiting to see the doctor was wrong, but I was so sick of being treated badly by psychiatrists who didn’t listen and giving me medications that made me worse and not caring.  I just wanted to get over my depression. It’s something I wouldn’t do again and highly recommend against.

Reading through these posts I’m reminded of just how severely depressed I was.  At the time I honestly believed that only those who were actively trying to kill themselves belonged in hospital.  I didn’t think severe depression and active thoughts of self harm and suicide was enough to go into hospital.    Now, from working in the system myself, I know that moderate depression or passive thoughts of self harm or suicide or just feeling like wanting to be dead but not actually wanting to carry it out can be enough for admission.  I see now that when I wrote these posts, right from the first time I went to the hospital, they should have admitted instead of sending me home with a massive dose of inappropriate medication.

I was so depressed and anxious and sleeping less than 4 hours a day.  Now I know why they didn’t help me, it makes sense, but it still hurts.  They should have been more professional and understood that not everyone with depression and anxiety are the same, that there are people like me with PTSD and aspergers who present differently but are still suffering severe depression and anxiety and desperately need help.

So here it is….

Chlorpromazine (Largactil) Posted: Apr 21 2002, 04:28 PM

I just want some information on chlorpromazine.    I’ve been to see doctors for sleeping problems and was given temazepam on several occasions over the last few years but even five times the normal dose did nothing for me.  Recently a doctor told me to try stilnox (Zolpidem).  The chemist said it would put me to sleep in five minutes  But hours later I still wasn’t asleep but the next morning I was completely wasted.  I couldn’t cope with not being able to sleep so I went to a hospital and they gave me chlorpromazine.  Again it didn;t help me to get asleep but I was extremely tired the next day and 24 hours later I still felt completely off my face.  Everywhere I read that the normal dose is 25-50mg and the maximum dose is 100mg.  The hospital gave me 150mg without any history of anti-depressants or other drugs that would effect my tolerance other than the fact that temazepam didn’t work but zolpidem completely wrecked me.  I just want to know is that a normal amount under the circumstances or did the doctor accidently overdose me?  I ask because I was hurt by an accident in my home because I was so out of it.  If any one knows the answer or anything about dosage of chlorpromazine, please email me.
Posted: Apr 25 2002, 11:57 AM

I thought it was odd too as I’m not on any other medication because sleeping my only problem.  I have had problems falling asleep for as long as I can remember – even when I really little.  I’d already decided to steer clear of benzodiazepines because they don’t work for me.  I’ve only taken them a few times (stilnox only the once) so I never developed a tolerance to them but after talking to a doctor, it turns out that I’m a slow metaboliser of them which is why they don’t put me to sleep but leave me badly hungover in the morning.  I just don’t understand why the doctor gave me such a large dose if I wasn’t psychotic, wasn’t on any other medication, just wanted to sleep but not be hungover because I hadn’t slept properly for weeks and I was exhausted.  Actually the idea of a sleep clinic sounded good.  what is it? and how do I get into one?
Posted: Apr 27 2002, 05:27 PM
Actually I went back to the hospital and they decided to try antidepressants because they thought it might be depression stopping me from sleeping.  They have me Zoloft which made me feel a little better but the sleeping got worse until I couldn’t sleep at all.  The doctor diagnosed then that I have an anxiety disorder that Zoloft made worse so now they are putting me on a new one called Avanza but I can’t find out much info on it.  I just hope it helps me to sleep without sending me nuts like Zoloft did. I have actually been thinking about a sleep clinic but part of the reason i have trouble sleeping is stress that I have no time even to do what i have to do but thanks for the suggestion.
FINALLY-OTHER PEOPLE, Discussion of avanza weight gain – coming off them

Posted: Apr 27 2002, 06:39 PM

everywhere I read that avanza puts on weight. had anyone not put on weight?  I’m really worried now because the doctor prescribed it to me for depressin and insomnia but the depression is worse because i can’t sleep but several people have said that it makes them sleepy but not able to sleep. i am so confused. i can;t even go see someone for another 5 days so do i take the avanza tomorrow when i am supposed to start them or not? i don’t have a doctor who i can go til those 5 days. i can already feel the good effects of the zoloft i was one wearing off but the bad effects like the bad anxiety hanging around and i feel like i’m going nuts but i’d rather be dead than fat and sleepy and not able to sleep

Posted: Apr 28 2002, 05:21 PM

I guess some people are lucky about their weight.  I have had several lots of surgery on my knees and I have to lose weight before they are damaged any further.  I can’t afford to pile onthe weight. If the doctor had told me about the weight gain I would have said get stuffed. Every few kilos I put on makes me more depressed from how I look and from the increase in pain from my knees.  Being in constant pain will leave me depressed even if i take antidepressants.  I mean Zoloft was making me lose weight but gave me panic attacks and other anxiety problems and I couldn’t sleep.  Does anyone know anything that doesn’t put on weight, helps you to sleep and is an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety?

Posted: Apr 28 2002, 10:53 PM

I know its probably wrong to do it without seeing a doctor but I can’t wait ages before I get to see the psychiatrist I am supposed to see – I’ve decided to forget the avanza and try dothep (prothiaden) without seeing the doctor first because someone else in my family takes it and if it works I’ll ask the doctor for it when I see him or her finally.  I’ve looked in the pharmacology of endep and dothep and they are very very similar and it worked for my family member so I hope it will work for me.  As for the stilnox – I will never ever take it again – I’ve tried it twice with the same effect – it didn’t help me to fall asleep, I woke up after five hours feeling like I hadn’t slept at all and I felt out of it til after lunchtime and on top of that it made me feel suicidal which until that point I had only felt depressed. I know it is probably wrong of me to take others medication but it is too long to wait before I can see a doctor and I refuse to take a medication I know will make my life worse.

Any suggestions?, medication Posted: Apr 30 2002, 11:55 AM

I have problems with depression (which could be manic-depression) and anxiety (some combination of generalized anxiety, OCD and social phobia).  I also have really bad insomnia which makes all the other problems unbearable to live with. I am looking for advice on medications that other people have been successful with.  I need something that will help with the above but not put on weight (as I have had knee surgery and my knees aren’t coping well with my current weight as it is).  I’ve have tried Zoloft but it made my anxiety and insomnia worse (it did help with the depression though), I was prescribed Avanza but was not going to take it because of the weight gain and apparently it leaves you feeling sleepy during the day (which is what I can’t cope with from the insomnia – the excessive tiredness during the day) and now I am trying dothep.  Dothep is doing nothing for my depression or anxiety and at the moment is actually causing my insomnia to get worse.  It’s like I have a mini-manic episode that last for hours after I take it.  The doctor said to take it two hours before bedtime to help me to sleep but four hours later I was still full of energy and just want to clean and do lots of other things all at once.  Taking it during the day wouldn’t help because I actually need something to sleep or the depression doesn’t go away.  And there is no point in taking something to sleep as well as the dothep because I’ve tried most of the benzodiazipines and a few others and they all have the effect of not helping me sleep at all and most leave me wasted the next day until lunchtime or sometimes even til the next night.  I feel like I’m going nuts and all I can think about all day is hurting myself (its an obsession I get when depressed) and I just want to make it all go away and I know sleeping better and getting help with the anxiety and depression probably will make it go away.  Does anyone know of any medications that might help?

Posted: May 1 2002, 08:08 PM
Thanks *****.  I can do with all the help I can get since doctors are so useless.  I am supposed to be seeing a psychiatrist about the problems but I was told the wrong time for my appointment so I missed it and now have to wait three weeks to see the psychiatrist (don’t you love the public system?).  I’ve tried sleeping tablets before – none of them work .  It has to do with I’m a rare person who is a slow metaboliser of benzodiazipines so none of them will work to put me to sleep but will leave me wasted 18-24hours later.  Stilnox is a benzo and also had the unfortunate side effect of making my depression worse (apparently a rather common side effect).  Even the non-benzo sleeping tablets don’t work but I’m not so sure why.  I was given a really really high dose of a strong sedative one night and it still took three hours to fall asleep. As for my weight, its not a vanity thing – I’m in pain frequently with my knees from just a little weight I put on recently.  If I put on more weight, I won’t be able to walk, wasting the absolute agony of the knee reconstruction I had. I’d rather be depressed and walking then not walking and a little less depressed.
Posted: May 1 2002, 08:26 PM

Dear *****, I’m not quite sure what a mood stabiliser would do.  Actually to be honest, after a week on dothep I don’t get the high after I take them anymore – just a relaxed calm.  But they don’t help me to sleep though because although they are supposed to make normal people sleepy, no matter what dose i take, they don’t.  At least there is one good thing about that though – I can take them during the day which is good because their effect only lasts 6-8 hours.  But that’s why I really needed to see a psychiatrist.  I can only take them three times a day but I still get left in between when they are wearing off with thinking about hurting myself and being depressed and not able to cope.  I think a stronger dose would help but even if i was willing to do that without seeing a doctor I would run out before I could see them.  I just don’t know anymore.  When I take them I feel fine for a few hours and I wonder if i need them, then they wear off and I know need more than what I got. I’m just so confused and miserable.  And to be honest just angry at the whole system when someone desperate for help gets turned away because they aren’t bad enough to be seen straight away or can’t afford to go privately which are the only two options.

Posted: May 2 2002, 10:29 AM

Thanks *****.  Actually it appears the highs was just for the first few nights – its worn off now.  I have actually decided to split the dose of the anti-D because the doctor said to take 1-3 at night but it hasn’t mattered how many i take – the effect only lasts til lunchtime and still doesn’t make me sleepy at all.  Which is good because i can take it during the day without feeling sleepy.  The only problem is Im not sure when is best to take it because no matter how i space them out there is still some times of the day when i feel lousy.  About Valerian, I was going to try some and then I found out last night that the herbal sleeping tablets i had tried many times without success at sleeping were Valerian (called Nytol).  I’d also tried kava kava and a few others over the past few years.  It seems I have a sleeping problem that can’t be fixed by anything unless I want to spend the next 24 hours sleeping it off.  I don’t think Tegretol would help me to sleep because I really have tried heaps of different things and even at really high doses nothing helps me to get off to sleep (even when having operations, it took extra long to knock me out).  Actually that’s not entirely true – I have found one thing helps me to sleep – Marijuana. But I’m not willing to do that because firstly its illegal here, secondly my husband has had a drug problem and would go back to it i started using it to sleep and thirdly – it really stuffs up my memory and motor skill for several weeks afterwards. I’m actually trying to find a GP that knows anything.  My regular GP knows nothing about mental problems, one I tried out that was supposed to be good with them knows nothing about the medication side of things, one i went to recently knows nothing about anything other than to refer me to a psychiatrist.  I have one left which the community mental health nurse suggested when they stuffed up my appointment day and i didn’t get to see one of their psychiatrists (not for another three weeks).  But she is very hard to get to see because I’ve actually been to her before when I needed to see a female doctor – you have to book weeks in advance.  I guess I’ll just experiment with the best time to take what I’ve got until I get to see the psychiatrist.  I think I know the answer which is take the three at night and take one twice during the day but that means I’ll run out before is see the doctor so nothing helps.  Sorry if i sound bitter but the story of my life is no matter what i do, i always have to choose between things and no good thing can happen without a bad thing or in the case of my sleeping – there is simply nothing that can be done and i’m tired of being my doctor’s guinea pig for every sleeping tablet under the sun.

Posted: May 2 2002, 12:54 PM

me again. I’ve done some research myself (because I have access to a really good database about medications for everything through uni).  It looks like nothing will help me because there is not one single medication that can help and once you start taking more than one either they work against each other or the side effects work together.  I mean I really believe now that the dothep may work because I’m more relaxed and less depressed and I am sleeping a little more even if its not enough.  But I still have thoughts that just won’t go away especially about cutting.  I know the dothep probably won’t help because it’s not designed to help with OCD.  All the meds listed for OCD are either incompatible with taking dothep and don’t help with depression, or the only other ones that help with depression are the SSRIs which I already know lead to insomnia and agitation and anxiety in me so they wouldn’t work.  I feel like i’m going crazy here, I know i really need to see someone but as I can control myself for the moment, i’m not bad enough for a hospital to see me, but i don’t want to live with constant thoughts in my head for another three weeks until i can see someone who knows what they are doing.  i mean what kind of choice have i got i can cure the thoughts but be depressed, anxious and not sleep or i can cure the depression and part of the insomnia but have to live with constant thoughts and a bit of anxiety. aarrghhhh!!!!!!!!

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