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20/20: Getting Off Antidepressants

ABCNEWS.com : 20/20: Getting Off Antidepressants.

This article is almost a year old….however, it gives great insight into the difference between “dependence” and “addiction”.  In the article is a story about the struggle one woman had getting off Paxil, which she was prescribed for headaches.  The irony is that I am sure her doctor was giving her Paxil, instead of pain relievers, because he was so scared of her becoming “addicted”!

When talking to people about my use of methadone, I encounter a lot of questions that are hard to answer.  How long will you be on it? (I usually counter that one with “Well…how long will do you plan on taking that high blood pressure med {insert any med here} or “How on earth did YOU end up at a methadone clinic?”  But my favorite one is always “Don’t you feel like your still addicted, just to a different drug?”  This question goes right to the heart of societies false view on addiction and drugs. We focus on the use of drugs–only certain drugs we have labeled “evil”–and forget that addiction is the whacky brain chemistry left behind AFTER drug use.

So my answer is always somewhere along the lines of:

Of course I am still addicted.  I am addicted whether I am on methadone or on dope or abstienant, because addiction is not  “the use of certain drugs”, addiction means that MY brain functions differently than most peoples when it does not have opiates in it…so of course I am still “addicted”–because I will always have this messed up brain.  I will always be addicted to opiate drugs–nut right now I am dependent on methadone because it treats the addiction. Dependency is the violent way ANYONE’s body would react to not having certain drugs in it-after taking said drug for a long time.

I know some people say “oh your just using word play to excuse your use of methadone” and hey, if they think that, oh well.  BUT if you read the story above you’ll see there truly IS a way to be dependent on something, without being addicted to it.  It might seem like word play-but to me it’s the difference between a good life and a miserable one.

***The funny part of all of this is that Doctors and Pharma were so desperate to keep people from linking Antidepressants (AD’s)  to addiction in their minds, that they termed the withdrawal people experience when going off of AD’s “Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndrome”…. hoping that would stop people from calling it what it is-WITHDRAWAL. *******

  1. Susan
    October 14, 2009 at 7:30 am

    I sorry to hear of you are so sick have you looked up all you medications to be sure it was / is not the cause of the problem. I don’t want to bug you in any way but this year I was with my sister when her husband was admitted to hosp with life threatenig pancreatitis. I looked up his meds later at her house and found his blood pressure medication can cause pancreatitis the hosp was still giving him the blood pressure drug. My sister insisted they change his bp meds and they gave her trouble but eventually caved and took him off. Today he is better no more drinking ever.
    Maybe soon there will be free health care and you will get the care you need heres hoping best to you.

  2. Miguel Robbins
    July 19, 2009 at 8:07 am

    I have suffered from Chronic Pancreatitis for the last 10 years of my life.The HELL I go through every day is more than anyone should have to endure.And so far the only thing I have found that helped(not only w/pain),but Quality of life allso is the Stronger Opioids,I have only been w/out health inurance for about the last year,I have been to so many(So called Specialist”in the Opioidphobic USA),and they ALL gave me their word that if I had their barbaric#Torture test#(I call them,they would help get my pain under control)…..yeah….and a pigs behind!!If i was told,”we can put you on ******,but,you will be on it for the rest of your life”,and it worked like the ones they gave me only in the hospital,I would GLADLY,take it,but in the united states it allmost seems like they want you to suffer!!Tell me the sense in giving grade school kids with ADD powerfull HEAVILY CONTROLLED stimulants(like ritalin,adderal,etc),which by the way have NOT been proven to help them learn,and yet denying someone like me a medication I horribly need.The whole mess reaks of draconian ridiculous guidelines,And no folks,I did NOT get Pancreatitis from alcohol consumption!I don’t know…….I sure as hell cant figure it out

  3. Susan
    June 6, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    I cannot say I know the workings of methadone but I know all about antidepressants and the withdrawal from them. I have taken antidpressants for many years many different kinds. This is the scoop for anyone that wishes to know.

    First of all there is no proof that there is a chemical imbalance as there is no way to test the brain while you are still alive.
    Every antiderpessant will eventually stop working and cause withdrawal effects at this point consumers are not told this at least I wasn’t. When it stops working it is because the body wants balance and has been working at correcting the imbalance created by taking the drug and has finally won. The way it has done this is to shut down receptors in the brain that use serotonin and norepenephirine. This will cause symptoms and if you are like me you will get a new diagnaosis or be told your symptoms are getting worse and an icrease in meds or change is needed. I was on this marry go round for years. Then I got sick violently sick symptoms of parkinson and ms was tested for both some plaques in my brain were thought to be from mirgrains nothing else showed. Nuerological symptoms were the worst which included shutting down my digestion destabalizing my electorlites fluctuating blood pressure low body temp and fatigue I believe was due to the same system affecting my thyroid. So I quit cold turkey. I have lived to tell about it. Now since my body had already shut down the recptors in my brain I had severe symptoms for the first 3months completely disabled but I was before I quit do to the reaching tolerance for a few years. What I know now after being off the drugs for 2years is the body is amazing and can adapt. Most will be better after 2 years without the drug as the body will fix itself. Some however seem to take 7 years to get back to the health they had before taking the drugs.
    Some antidepressants cause mitochondria disease in the body prozac and celexa as I recall.
    This may be a much bigger issue than anyone suspects hard to say research on the effects of these drugs is sadly lacking.

    Antidepressants cause mitochondrial damage

    Medication documented to induce mitochondrial damage…&hl=en&ct=clnk

    These are just the psych drugs.

    Amitriptyline (Lentizol), amoxapine (Asendis), citalopram (Cipramil), fluoxetine (Prozac,
    Symbyax, Sarafem, Fontex, Foxetin, Ladose, Fluctin, Prodep, Fludac, Oxetin, Seronil,

    Chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, haloperidol, risperidone, quetiapine, clozapine, olanza-
    Anxiety medications
    Alprazolam (Xanaxm), diazepam (valium, diastat)
    Amobarbital (Amytalm), aprobarbital, butabarbital, butalbital (Fiorinalm, hexobarbital
    (Sombulexm), methylphenobarbital (Mebaralm), pentobarbital (Nembutalm), phenobarbital
    (Luminalm), primidone, propofol, secobarbital (Seconalm), Talbutalm), thiobarbital
    Cholesterol medications
    Statins – atorvastatin (Lipitorm, Torvastm), fluvastatin (Lescolm), lovastatin (Mevacorm,
    Altocorm), pitavastatin (Livalom, Pitavam), pravastatin (Pravacholm, Selektinem, Lipostatm),
    rosuvastatin (Crestorm), simvastatin (Zocorm, Lipexm) bile acids – cholestyramine (Ques-
    tranm), clofibrate (Atromid-Sm), ciprofibrate (Modalimm), colestipol (Colestidm), colesevelam

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