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SSRIs or betablockers to treat acute C/PTSD?

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by plates, Dec 12, 2009.

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  1. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    Personally SSRI's made me dissociate badly and I didn't react well to them.

    But I was wondering if anyone could share their experience of either drugs who suffer from any trauma syndrome and how much it helped?

    My therapist was telling me about new research coming out about 'the positive effect of SSRIs and beta blockers for women with acute PTSD'- the whole subliminal message was trying to let me know that medication might help me.

    I 'm already currently on diazapam that I take PRN, very infrequently and it seems to be doing the job. As for anti-anxiety medication- I mean, I'm dealing with things great, much better than before. If I found coping strategies to deal with agitation (exercise and now I need to paint), that works without medication than go me right? She kept on saying that what I'm doing is the hardest way to heal, rather than sitting back and taking medication (which she has so much respect for), so did my first therapist- but I feel like I'm dealing with things so much better than in past years. And I'm not surviving any more I'm living. From my experience SSRIs heightened dissociation/floating/feeling of dead-numbness, which I'm trying to avoid.

    And my heart rate is naturally slow. I don't suffer palpitations.. I suffer agitation and voices..I'm not taking the stuff. :dry:
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2009
  2. Brighid Moon

    Brighid Moon Member & Antiquities Friend

    Hey ggg4567!

    Everyone reacts differently. My experiences with SSRIs are pretty much a horror story. Not only did I get almost every side-effect (such as in the first paragraph of this link), but my emotions and psychic energy was completely numbed (like a chemical lobotomy). This, however, didn't effect my depression in the least. If anything else I was more depressed, and it certainly didn't help my anxieties. This is probably because my depression and anxiety are situational, and unless I fix the situation, it doesn't go away. Which makes sense. (This is what doctors have told me.)

    Coming off of the SSRIs, I also had every symtom imaginable, even coming off at 5 mg every 10 days. This only prolonged the agony of the addictive quality of these medications. The worst was heightened anxiety, and "electric zaps" throughout my head and body.

    I have done my best healing, though it takes a long time and I'm definitely (obviously) not perfect at it, and may never be, by myself, without medications (except for my Clonopin for panic attacks, which I haven't had to take in several months). This is using cognitive therapy techniques, self-talk, and pure stubbornness. I fail often, but its still better to feel than be a zombie, and I don't have to go through withdrawals when I f*ck up.

    I hope this helps.
  3. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    Hi Brighid Moon,

    I've had such similar experiences to you and am very much like you in how I deal with things. SSRI's definitely don't suit me.
    What you went through sounds horrible and I empathise. I myself, didn't go through every single side effect but that must have been awful. The minute people suggest anti-depressents it's NO WAY! It's exactly like you said, it's like I've become so numb and floaty I hate it cos I struggle with that a lot without medication.

    The self talk thing is what I do too. The self soothing type stuff. I'm glad you're healing, it's really good to hear from you. I love reading your posts.

    Thank you for sharing. :hug:
  4. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

    Brighid Moon is right, all these drugs affect people in different ways. Guess the only way would be for you to try them and see what happens. But here is my story with SSRIs and beta blockers.

    I was effectively IN a trauma situation, - with full on physical effects like extreme muscle tension (my mouth and tongue got ripped to pieces with the tension in my jaws), shaking all the time, and couldn't breathe properly (every few inhalations had to take deep breaths) - this went on for months with no reprieve. Psych eventually put me on beta-blockers (and like you I thought but I've got low blood pressure this isn't going to help) only it did, really helped - a lot of the physical symptoms diminished especially the shaking and permanent tension (and a bonus was getting good circulation, had warm feet for the first time in my life!).

    But it was the SSRI (Seroxat) that really helped - I took it to try and help with a psychotic state and am so grateful for that little pill it literally saved my life.

    Having said all that, I wonder whether you aren't on the right track anyway following your own healing path. Regardless of how good these sorts of drugs are, they do still mess with your mind and body and unless you had no other way of dealing with things I'd see them as pretty much a last resort. (Also, I found that Seroxat stopped being effective after it had done its initial job - result I got REALLY fat - though luckily I didn't have any withdrawal problems with it).

    I hope you make the right decision for yourself :smile:
  5. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing Tam, :hug:

    I have muscle tension but not to the extreme that you suffered which was frightening/ traumatic itself. That sounds so painful! I keep feeling like my whole face is tense recently and need to really focus on breathing, realising I have muscles in my face that need to loosen up, it's involuntary but mild compare to what you describe. And I've found ways to cope, and have loads of ideas of what could help me.

    It's good to hear that beta blockers and an SSRI helped save your life with the psychotic state you were in. It's also good to hear that SSRI medication helped you, unlike myself! :biggrin:

    It's good to hear from you.

    Yeah, like my therapist said- she said... I'm like this boy a book called the Alchemist. I'm on my own path kinda thing and I know what I'm doing. But I was thinking of contingency, if worse comes to worse, what medication would I take? And I'd only take an increased dose of benzos for a short while until the period eased off.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2009
  6. Little_me

    Little_me Well-Known Member

    Zoloft has helped me coping with PTSD, but I've heard horrible stories as well. It's so different (how you react)... I got worse in the beginning, but then I started to improve. The depression, the anxiety AND the PTSD improved, that was good.

    I haven't tried betablockers though.
  7. plates

    plates Well-Known Member

    Hi Little_me. It's good to hear that works for you, that stuff didn't sit well with me. I went manic.

    Do you think your depression and anxiety was separate from the PTSD or part of it?
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