Time to throw in the towel

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by ToBeAtPeace, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. ToBeAtPeace

    ToBeAtPeace Well-Known Member

    The depression and anxiety has gotten to me, and this time it's not going to get resolved. Now, I just want out, and there is only 1 way.

    I called in sick to work in November 2015 because I was having panic attacks. I went back to work for a couple of days, where I had really bad panic attacks, and couldn't do my work (which I enjoyed), then that was it, I never went back. I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for 3 weeks in December. I left because I felt very lonely and wanted to be with my family, especially over Christmas.

    I deteriorated.

    Then, and only then, the psychiatrists realised I was addicted to benzos - the benzos the doctors and psychiatrists happily gave me, as needed, for the 3 years previous, and I was gradually taking more and more of. I had to start taking them regularly, and wean off. I couldn't wean off, and I'm stuck on a dose that doesn't help, but stops some withdrawal symptoms only. No positive benefits.

    Jump forward several months to now, and I'm now taking 5 different psychiatric medications, seeing a psychologist regularly, and have just been told by one psychiatrist that I have been misdiagnosed with bipolar spectrum disorder (not the same as bipolar), and I'm actually unipolar depressed with obsessional thoughts. I'm now taking 16 tablets a day - all for mental illness. They're not working. I feel as depressed and as anxious as ever. All that has happened is that I've gained 42lbs in weight. Yes, 42lbs. I was an ideal weight. Now I'm clinically obese. What a shit fucking 12 months.

    Fuck this, I can't do this shit any more. There is only one way out now. There clearly is no other way.
     
  2. Striking

    Striking Well-Known Member

    I know people who have taken chantix to break addictions. Maybe it can work for benzos.

    It's your life. Decide which medications are important for you to take and which ones you feel can be eliminated.

    Have you gotten involved in any high intensity work outs to battle the weight gain?
     
  3. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    Hi there @ToBeAtPeace I really get where you are coming from, I truly do, my doctor successfully weaned me off of xanax in 2013 and valium, only 2 months ago. Maybe you have grown too much of a tolerance from what you're currently talking and as you said not working anymore. May I ask what you are on? Maybe they need to readjust your meds. I have gained 12 stone (168) pounds yes 168 from when I started psych meds a few years back. Currently on a diet and joined a slimming club. It's embarrassing I know. Please try and stay here with us and keep reaching out because you are very far from being alone in this. We will battle this together :)
     
  4. ToBeAtPeace

    ToBeAtPeace Well-Known Member

    Thank you for writing to me. I just feel like a medical experiment. These are the drugs I'm on:

    Diazepam 5mg - 2 times a day
    Quetiapine 50mg - 3 times a day
    Quetiapine modified release 200mg - 1 a day (before bed - knocks me out)
    Escitalapram - 10mg 1 a day
    Lamictal 100mg - 2 times a day (started about a month ago)
    Pregabalin 50mg - just started 2 days ago.

    Well done for taking the steps to lose weight. I hope it works out for you. You seem a strong person, so I'm sure you'll do well.

    Yes, I have a tolerance to the diazepam. I've taken it regularly since January now. Drops of even 0.5mg left me suffering from really bad anxiety. At least that's what the doctors thought. They told me to stop cutting the diazepam, but that didn't stop the anxiety and depression yo-yoing. I now feel like shit for 10 days, then I feel ok for 4, then shit for 10 days, ok for 4 etc, etc. This cycle has repeated itself regularly since June. Before that I had mood/ anxiety cycles, but it was put down to reducing diazepam or starting an SSRI or crossing from Lorazepam to diazepam.

    I exercise a lot and do my best to watch my diet, but there are days when the hunger gets the best of me, and I binge up to 4000 calories in 1 day - with about 1500 of that between midnight and 2am. Before this episode, I used to keep my body fat down to below 15%, and regularly did intense weight training, so I was a slim muscular build. I took pictures of myself then. I'm glad, as it's evidence to others that I did it, I had a six pack. I can't see me getting there again. I have so many hurdles to climb. I'm keep going backwards rather than forwards. Trying to suffer less and function without breaking down each day by distracting myself are my only goals right now.

    I can't think of what there is left for me to beat this. Medication - done/ doing, Psychotherapy - done/ doing, Diet - done/ doing, Excercise - done/ doing.

    I feel as anxious, depressed and withdrawn as I have ever done, just less functional than ever before. The pain is so real and so constant, unrelenting. I can't keep putting up with it.
     
  5. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Alumni SF Supporter

    That's a lot of meds, lyrica (pregabalin) is a great medicine and has worked really well for me for anxiety so give it a chance then see how you feel. I know yeah it does feel like we're in an experiment, I hope you find something soon that works for you.

    If you put on the weight then you can definitely lose it, however the meds can affect your metabolism. You can lose those pounds and feel good about yourself again.

    Good luck to you :)
     
  6. JustCan'tQuit

    JustCan'tQuit Well-Known Member

    I write this with immense hesitation, because I don't want anyone to be put at risk or to take inappropriate risks.

    As briefly as possible, the story is this: I was diagnosed years ago with a mood disorder I didn't actually have. What I did have was a pretty reasonable response to a huge amount of trauma. The professional I'd consulted didn't know anything about trauma, however, so he gave me a diagnosis and medicated me to the eyeballs. I felt sure he was an expert and I wasn't, so I very carefully complied. I did everything I was supposed to do--meds, counselling, behavioural interventions, the lot.

    My functioning deteriorated until I could no longer work, lost my relationship, lost my home, my savings and my health. I lost the few shreds of self-esteem I'd ever had. I lost all hope. It was clear I had a terrible illness, and that illness had destroyed me. I stayed in treatment for many years, needing a miracle that never came. I spent all of those years wishing I were dead, though I made no attempts as I figured (correctly) that a failed attempt would only make my situation worse.

    Eventually, the drug side effects grew intolerable, and there were no benefits that I could see. I'd tried so many things, so many combinations, I no longer believed that we'd find the "right" one. I decided I would never get any better, but at least I could reduce the side effects. I very carefully weaned myself off all the drugs. Because of my previous line of work, I knew how to do that safely, but I made sure I was monitored anyway.

    I had no illusions that I was coming off the drugs for good. I imagined I was taking a break, maybe for a month or two.

    There were withdrawal symptoms, yes. Mine were much less severe than many people's, though, as I'd never been able to tolerate high doses of any of the drugs. (I know not everyone is in this category.) Within a few weeks of stopping the last drug, I was past the withdrawal.

    My unremitting depression disappeared. So did the chronic fog in my mind, the near-constant low-grade headache, the profound fatigue, the inability to experience pleasure, the complete absence of motivation and initiative. I waited all year for my symptoms to come back, but they never did. Not that year, nor any year since.

    I finally had to face that it was the drugs, not my so-called illness, that had caused most of my dysfunction. That was a sickening discovery, one that caused a huge amount of grief--but there it is. Even my doctor admitted it eventually.

    Yes, the original trauma history is still an issue. Triggers still sometimes give me flashbacks and throw me into a state of despair. That's what brought me here a couple of weeks ago. But the despair didn't last, and I'm okay again.

    As I said, I write this reluctantly. I'd hate for someone to stop a treatment that was helping. I'd hate for someone to take a foolish risk. But I know from personal experience that the drugs aren't always beneficial. Meta-studies are showing this, too.

    So I'm putting my experience out there, just as an FYI.

    Whatever choice you make, please be as careful as you can possibly be.

    JCQ
     
  7. ToBeAtPeace

    ToBeAtPeace Well-Known Member

    Thx JCQ. It would be great to be drug free, but I've suffered so much doing that in the past.

    I've come off the drugs twice now - both times very slowly. The first time, I took escitalapram only for 6 years, and when I took it, it was the best I'd ever felt. After coming off it, I soon suffered terrible anxiety and panic attacks and had to restart it. This time, when I restarted it, the start up symptoms were so horrendous I ended up in a psychiatric hospital. A month later it seemed I fully recovered, but I hadn't. It seemed the escitalapram was causing me to 'rapidly cycle' - every few months. I then had to add Quetiapine 200mg, and it really helped. It stopped the cycling. So for a long period, 3 years or so, I felt well again.

    Then I weaned off the antidepressant for the 2nd time. My depression started to deteriorate over the course of a year, by the end of which I couldn't see the positive in anything and was really suffering, I could feel that the escitalapram was missing. To offset this, gradually my dependence on Valium started - I didn't see it coming and still thought I wasn't taking regularly enough to become dependent on it.

    So coming off escitalapram clearly hasn't worked for me - twice. Additionally, I have found the last 2 times of getting onto escitalapram really tough. Theres no point in coming off it again.

    Whilst coming off escitalapram, I got down to just 150mg on quetiapine, but I could feel my anxiety symptoms flaring up, so I never went lower than that.

    Since November, the Quetiapine increased from 150 to 350, then the lorezepam became regular - once my hallucinating became attributable to benzo withdrawal syndrome. Then the diazepam replaced the lorazepam. Then, by April the escitalapram was added back - what an awful 8 weeks. It's only very recently that Lamictal and pregabalin were added.

    Right now, I feel damned if I do, damned if I don't.

    I thank everyone for their suggestions, but so far I've not seen anything I haven't tried before. My brain is clearly fucked and it's never going to function as it should again. It's not like I haven't tried to resolve my situation. That's all I've tried to do.

    Like the title says, it's time to throw in the towel.

    I've come to the end of the line. I'm a broken man and can't be fixed. I can't keep facing this unrelenting emotional turmoil.

    I wish you all peace, contentment and happiness.
     
  8. ToBeAtPeace

    ToBeAtPeace Well-Known Member

    Given my circumstances, and the attempts I've made to get well, is there any hope for me? I don't want to die, but I can't exist like this. Is it really time to say goodbye?
     
  9. JustCan'tQuit

    JustCan'tQuit Well-Known Member

    Hi, @ToBeAtPeace,

    I'm terribly sorry to hear of all that you've gone through. It's clearly been excruciating, and it makes me angry that the drugs are quite possibly part of the problem. That said, withdrawal from them is not, apparently, an option--at least not right now.

    Is there hope? Yes. Yes, I think so. Because we don't know what the future holds, what improvements may appear in the treatments and in our understanding of the brain and mind.

    I didn't mention that I, too, tried one withdrawal from the drugs that failed. I was off them for several months, but I was so miserable and non-functional, I went back on them again. I was under tremendous stress at the time due to external factors, and I also had an undiagnosed medical condition. Unfortunately, that first failure kept me drugged for many years, because it had taught me that I couldn't do without the drugs.

    Having said this, I don't know how your brain has adapted to the drugs and whether there will ever be a possibility for you to be off them. It may be that the future will bring a greater understanding of how to protect people from withdrawal.

    This isn't much comfort, I realize. All I can say is, if there had been a foolproof exit for me years ago, I would have taken it. I felt exactly as you did: My brain is clearly fucked and it's never going to function as it should again. Like you, I felt I had tried absolutely everything. I considered life--if what I had could even be called life--to be a torment that no one should have to endure. If euthanasia for my condition had existed, I would have signed up.

    And yet--against all odds, I'm here now and healthier than I've ever been. I've got lots of losses still to live with, yes. I missed out on a lot I once hoped for. But today I'm focused on making my life as rich as I can, despite the occasional bad periods that still appear. I'm grateful for every day that isn't as bad as the ones I once knew.

    I hope that one day you will write the same thing.

    I wish you peace and an end to your suffering--but in this life. And sooner rather than later.

    I see immediate hope in one thing: it's clear that your symptoms fluctuate. If some periods are better than others, then it shows that your brain is capable of functioning better at times, under certain conditions. The trick is figuring out how to trigger those conditions.

    Please hold on.

    JCQ
     
  10. DrownedFishOnFire

    DrownedFishOnFire Quieta non movere

    Hi Peace:

    The good thing is you are acknowledging the weight gain. Been there and done that. Currently noncompliant on medications myself so i shouldnt be giving you advice but i was on a cocktail of meds. Losing it is harder than gaining it, just take the weight loss journey as a personal journey discovering about yourself and forget the weight scale but focus on what and why you eat and keep a journal of it like myfittnesspal app etc

    Anyhow good luck!
     
  11. ToBeAtPeace

    ToBeAtPeace Well-Known Member

    Thx for your very thoughtful message. You care. That's a good thing about you.