• Quote of the Day
    "Healing might not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn't you,
    all of the expectations, all of the beliefs, and changing into who you are."
    Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. , posted by Daniel

ladylore

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A question has been going around in my head for the past while so I thought I would finally put it out there and see what others think.

I have been in recovery from drugs and alcohol for a year and a half now. I have PTSD which sometimes included depression and anxiety. The addiction included pain medication and other pills.

When I was first in recovery I was on SSRI's for a year to manage depression, which I was completely ok with because they helped tremendously. However, whenever I go to the doctor it seems he wants to take out his perscription pad and I have tell him that thanks but no, that really isn't needed.

My fear is becoming addicted, mainly to pills again. It has taken such alot of work to get myself to where I am so I am careful about what I take. But I am talking about SSRI and anxiety drugs.... I am not against them I just don't know where to draw the line for myself because I am in active recovery. And maybe there is a part that still doesn't feel completely trustworthy of taking the meds the right way.

I really would love to hear what others think on this one. Has anyone else felt like this?
 

Halo

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You mention that you were on an SSRI for a year to manage your depression but from what I understand it sounds like you are no longer on them. Are you considering going back on them or maybe something for anxiety and therefore you are concerned?

While I am pretty sure that most if not all SSRI's are non-addictive, the same cannot be said for some of the anti-anxiety medications that are on the market. I think that if you are considering any medication then you definitely want to discuss with your doctor your past addiction and try and find one that will suit your needs but is also non-addictive.

And maybe there is a part that still doesn't feel completely trustworthy of taking the meds the right way

What you said here makes perfect sense but my first thought would be that there are ways to help you gain the trust back in yourself. I was thinking more in terms of only getting say a 1 or 2 weeks supply of medication from the pharmacy so that you do not have a large quantity in your house.

Another option if returning to the pharmacy all that often is not practical, is to have a trusted friend hold your medication and only give you 1 weeks supply at a time.

I don't know if these are solutions to what you may or may not be facing but they are ones that I have heard of before that have worked for some people.
 
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i can see how you might be concerned about taking medication when you're in recovery from abusing pills. in this case you can't just give them up cold turkey because in fact there are some out there that you may legitimately need.

halo is right about most SSRIs not being habit forming (at least, this is what all the literature says) but that anti-anxiety meds can be highly addictive.

i think halo has some good suggestions.

have you gotten input from your doctor and/or therapist on how others in a similar situation have handled it?
 

ladylore

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Thanks Halo.

My doctor is very well aware that I am in recovery, he was recommended by a community nurse at addictions services. He is a good doctor so I don't want to give him up.

I hurt my hand this winter and his first reaction was to take 3 Tylnol (other pain relievers) a day. I think he forgot that this was a major part of the original addiciton. I caught it after I left the office, went back and he perscribed physio instead.

I talked with him about anxiety and he wanted to put me back on an SSRI. I opted to wait for some tests to come back to make sure it wasn't something else.

Part of the main addiction for me (as is for many people in the same situation) is not being able to tolerate strong emotions. So in my adult years instead of someone else giving me something for the pain to go away, I started to doing it myself.

I had recurrance of PTSD symptoms recently and so to the craving to take something to stop the emotional pain. Hence my question about balance, recovery and dual diagnosis.

Your suggestions make so much sense Halo. I don't have that many people in my 3D world at the moment but it would be good to find someone to hold on to medication for me.

Part of this to is that I really do need to do something about the anxiety.
 

Halo

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I can relate when you talk about wanting to take something to stop the emotional pain which is exactly what I call my escaping. In the past I have used whatever form happens to suit me that day to make the feelings go away. I logically know that it is a "quick fix" because yes it will take the pain away but in the long run it actually makes things more complicated. Man can I relate so much to that.

Another option I thought of was could you talk to your therapist and see if maybe she would be able to keep them at her office and you be able to obtain a week or two's supply at a time. I don't know if she would be willing to go for that but it is always worth a shot to ask.

Also, I believe that there are medications out there such as SSRI's that are prescribed for anxiety that aren't addictive and benzos are not the only option. I stand to be corrected as I am definitely NOT a doctor however I know that a friend of mine is on an SSRI for anxiety because she couldn't handle clonazepam.

I think that it is good that you are waiting for some tests to come back first before deciding on medication but that you are not against going back on an SSRI if needed for the anxiety. I can tell you that I am on medication for anxiety and I honestly can't believe that I went so many years without it. How none of my previous doctors thought that I had anxiety...baffles me??
 

ladylore

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I can tell you that I am on medication for anxiety and I honestly can't believe that I went so many years without it. How none of my previous doctors thought that I had anxiety...baffles me??

I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me Halo. "you look great and sound great, why are you so anxious, depressed...." It all makes sense to all the professionals in my life now.

To answer your question ITL about what my therapists' and doctor thinks. Both therapists have experience in addictions and both want me to go as natural as I possibly can, especially because of my background. My doctor seems to go with how I am presenting at the time, probably due to lack of time. Its ok, I just need to reign him in every now and again. :)

I am glad I brought this up because I had no idea some anxiety meds where habit forming - :thankyou:

The other reason I brought it up is that I can't possibly be the only one having the same types of thoughts and concerns. So I thought I would put it out to everyone. And still putting it out there. :)
 

boi

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However, whenever I go to the doctor it seems he wants to take out his perscription pad and I have tell him that thanks but no, that really isn't needed.

I am not against them I just don't know where to draw the line for myself because I am in active recovery. And maybe there is a part that still doesn't feel completely trustworthy of taking the meds the right way.

I really would love to hear what others think on this one. Has anyone else felt like this?


Hi Ladylore,
I have a history of drug abuse as well and I always thought to myself what I would do if the dr. tried to prescribe me addictive prescription drugs. Even though my drug of choice was not pills I can understand where you are coming from. I thought dr's were not allowed to prescribe anything addictive if you have a history of addiction? I am on an SSRI and a mood stabiliser but my mind doesnt think they are "drugs" per se. I see them as part of my recovery in general. It is a thought I have had as well though
 

ladylore

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Hi Boi,

My doctor hasn't tried to perscribe me addictive drugs and we really havent' talked alot about the anxiety stuff - due to my own anxiety around it. :eek:

I too see SSRI's in a very different light. They are there to bring certain levels in our brain up to appropriate levels so that we can function.
 

lallieth

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Hi Lady

I have an addictive personality and so the the thought of me taking something like Celexa or ativan freaked me out..In fact I would allow myself to suffer from fear of taking these meds.

When I had a panic attack so bad that I ended up in the mental health unit of a local hospital,the therapist said to me "why didn't you take ativan,you have it,why didn't you take it"

I told her that I had such a fear of becoming addicted to it,she told me she understood but then said "which fear is greater? the thought of having another panic attack or a medication that can alleviate it" Of course the thought of having another panic attack that bad..so I took the ativan...

She assured me that unless I took it constantly that I would not become addicted and she was right...so I do understand your fears and can only say "do not allow yourself to suffer needlessly when there are safe medications to help you,which fear is greater,the fear of addiction or the fear of continued anxiety/depression?
 

ladylore

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Hi guys,

Wanted to thank everyone for yoru assistance and input. I had a session with my addiction T today with this as one of the topics. I made a decision that I feel comfortable with regarding the anxiety. Thanks again.

:)
 

Halo

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Glad to hear that your session with your therapist was good and that you have made a decision which you are comfortable with. I am happy for you :D
 

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