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First post, very strange reaction

Old 06-27-2016, 09:36 AM
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Question First post, very strange reaction

** Potential trigger warning - as I discuss using drugs and alcohol **

* Sorry for the long post. It is as concise as I could make it without losing any key points. I hope you find the time to read it. I have tried to be as light hearted as possible *


Hi everyone. I am a long time poster here (10 years) but have created a new username for a new me. I havenít been here since 2013 so I donít think many of you would remember me anyway. My story, and I will try to summarise briefly, is below:

Addictions: Nicotine 1992-2006, Nitrous Oxide 2001-2006, Heroin 2015-2016, Alcohol 2001-now
Current Meds: Modafinil, Nexium, Micardis, assorted meds for occasional sleeping issues
Previous Psychiatric Treatment: roughly 30 drugs (anti-depressants, augmentation agents, anti-psychotics), CBT, EMDR, TMS, A variety of 1-on-1s with a psychologist.

ALCOHOLISM IS MY ONLY DRUG PROBLEM, & MY GOAL IS ABSTINENCE

Social drinker from 1995-2001. Alcoholic drinker from 2001-now. Have suffered many bouts of mental illness going back to my early childhood, numerous predating any alcohol or drug usage.

Was sober for 3 months in 2009. 3 months in 2011. 9 months in 2013. 4 months this year. I have tried all the meds on offer (Antabuse, Campral, Naltrexone). I find stopping easy, but staying stopped nearly impossible. It's not because of a craving for alcohol either. It's that by about 3 months sober I have sunken to the deepest depths of the black dog (depression), which only alcohol will fix. The 9-month stint of sobriety I had, was 9 months of the most intense, crippling depression I have ever had. I'd vomit regularly due to the intensity of it. I thought there was no way out. When I restarted drinking it got much better (but was not gone) in a matter of days.

Anyway, since I restarted drinking in 2013 I have been somewhat below where I should be emotionally, and continuing to drink. Anything is better than the deep pit I was in back then I've kept telling myself. I have tried roughly 7 antidepressants and numerous augmentations since then to no avail (prior to all the mess starting I was on one that pooped out. Before finding that one I had tried around 25). I make that last point to indicate I am experienced with the psychiatric merry go round.

So a year or so ago I made a stupid mistake and started mucking about with Opiates. Within a few months I was snorting roughly 1-2 grams of high purity Heroin every day as well as drinking heavily (massively dumb as it can kill you easily. I am blessed to have made it through but you might not be). By February this year I decided I'd no longer drink as Heroin was much better. My depression was gone, my ability to live and enjoy life returned, my relationship with my wife and child grew much closer (they didn't know why), and my bank balance shrank at a rate nobody would believe (it is super expensive in Australia). That final problem led me to the decision to quit Heroin after roughly a year. Please let me say here that taking heroin is damn stupid and I recommend it to no one. I am lucky to have withdrawn safely and to not crave its use. Many are not so lucky and lose their homes, families etc. If I kept going that would have happened to me.

I have significan experience with a variety of illegal drugs. However, apart from Heroin I have touched none of them for 10+ years.

I quit Heroin cold turkey 2.5 weeks ago (not fun BTW, withdrawals suck way worse than they do for alcohol). I managed to get the flu (not a cold - the real flu) at the same time. I spent nearly 2 weeks in bed, by the end of which, I was withdrawn and over the flu, but at the bottom of another deep dark depression. So deep it took me 5 days to get the mental strength to call to see my Psychiatrist, with whom my appointment is in a week.

After a few days of depression, I decided to buy some booze to try and feel some sort of emotion. Beer was always my poison of choice, roughly 12-20 small (375ml) bottles at a time, 5-7 days a week. I managed to drink 4 and completely lost interest, with no change to my emotions. Not a quitter, the next day I decided to buy some whiskey so I could go harder and faster. I can't drink that either, it just sits on the bench looking revolting. As a last resort, I bought alcoholic lolly water, it's like drinking soft drink. I managed to drink 7 cans of that and I still felt nothing emotionally, just a bit fuzzy. So today, as the persistent guy I am, I tried another beer, and it took me 2 hours to finish it.

I feel disdain for alcohol now. It makes me feel bad. I am, however, still psychologically compelled to drink it. That is waning now, which is why I ended up having only one beer tonight. The thought of the negative effects overpowers the innate craving for the drink. It is a little distressing a feeling though. This has been happening for roughly a week.

I came to the conclusion that my psychiatric meds weren't doing much of anything and cold turkeyed from Brintellix and Cymbalta 1.5 weeks ago. So far my mood has lifted somewhat, and that has been the only effect. Modafinil seems to be working better too.
So here I am now. The end of the line treatment for my depression is now either an old school MAOI, or ECT (over my dead body). My depression is lifting right now though, so I am a bit confused.

So, um, wow, that was a really long introduction. I hope everything pertinent is in there. I have some questions now.

Has anyone's brain (who was/is an alcoholic) snapped like mine and stopped enjoying alcohol to the point where you can't drink it anymore? If so, what happened long term? Did you stay this way? Is it a blessing from above? Or is it a sign that something more serious is wrong with me mentally? What caused it to happen for you? I am suspicious of the Heroin withdrawal, as it was an incredibly brutal experience that has left me scarred in a few ways.

I will ask my psychiatrist the same thing, but he's a very textbook guy, and I don't think what happened to me is in any text book. I am the guy they write fringe case studies on. I am also not asking for medical advice or a diagnosis. I just want to find someone who had the same thing happen so we can compare notes.

Thank you for your time, and <insert deity> bless.
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Old 06-27-2016, 09:47 AM
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glad youre back.

only thing I will say is going cold turkey from Cymbalta can be deadly. you had best get in touch with the doctor for proper weaning regimine.
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Old 06-27-2016, 09:47 AM
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It sounds like you've fried your dopemine/seretonin receptors to the point where they just don't respond to anything anymore.

It will get better but it takes time - sober time.

Have you tried any face to face meetings? Rehabs? Program of action?
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Old 06-27-2016, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by tomsteve View Post
glad youre back.

only thing I will say is going cold turkey from Cymbalta can be deadly. you had best get in touch with the doctor for proper weaning regimine.
Well, only deadly by way of suicide and that's not me. I also have a "sitter" to make sure I am ok, and a doctor a phone call away.

I have only ever found cold turkey to be the way to stop anti depressants. If I weaned them every time it'd take months to try a handful, and years to find a solution..

I am not meaning to disagree, I wholeheartedly agree with your advice, I've just been through this so many times I know what is and isn't ok with my mind. My Psychiatrist has the same trust and faith in me.

For anyone just getting started with anti-depressants then yes you are right. Never, ever cold turkey except on doctor's advice (and I thought I had highlighted all the dangerous stuff in my post too).
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Old 06-27-2016, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by MissNewLife View Post
It sounds like you've fried your dopemine/seretonin receptors to the point where they just don't respond to anything anymore.

It will get better but it takes time - sober time.

Have you tried any face to face meetings? Rehabs? Program of action?
This is entirely possible. All my neurotransmitters could be shot out.

I haven't been to rehab. I have managed to quit everything but alcohol through sheer willpower alone. Alcohol I can stop for longer than a stint in rehab, it's the long term stopping I can't achieve. (every time I have withdrawn I use the appropriate dose of benzos as prescribed - and no more - so I am safe).

Meetings, no, I haven't. I used to be very against the god thing, but I think I can reconcile that with "spirituality" myself. I am just not sure what meetings would do for clinical depression? My psychiatrist told me they won't help with that, so I kinda just left it by the wayside. If the depression didn't come, I'd have a fighting chance at staying stopped. Do you guys think meetings have any effect on depression? I have time to go if they will help.

My current program of action is to utilise the modafinil appropriately. I spent the last 7 months on my bed only getting up for basic human needs and then drugs + alcohol. Now with the modafinil in my system I've started going out, working out, and reading a lot. I am hoping to keep myself busy enough that depression doesn't creep in. Modafinil also seems to lift my mood even if just slightly.

If that doesn't work it'll be old school MAOIs, Parnate probably, but that interacts negatively with alcohol and therefore scares the alcoholic part of my brain quite a lot.
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Old 06-27-2016, 10:17 AM
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Yeah, I can relate to a lot of what you describe JimmyS, except I never went on the psycho-meds. The psych-docs do what psych-docs do, and unless they have the addictive-ism I have, and have experienced the psychic change I have, I just don't care to go there.

I was able to quit the drugs (mostly) after 30 years of chasing what I thought was my choices to get 'high'. Alcohol however remained a constant. Then after 10 more years of the 'consequences' from my ' friend' alcohol, it got real bad inside, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually (although I always blamed 'it' on other people and outside circumstances).

Then, after 'trying' to quit repeatedly, I hit the VOID place you describe. I didn't like drinking anymore, but insanely I would kind-of 'watch' myself drinking a couple drinks anyway, mainly out of the 'boredom' and 'insanity' of just being myself. Then I would 'watch' myself keep drinking until ...

I am now completely Free, and after the Miracle of becoming Free, I realize I was completely Spiritually Diseased. Living Life on Life's Terms was a ridiculous concept back when I was completely gutted by my active addictive-ism, and the inherent manifestations of my Self-Will-Run-Riot. Now, my Life has meaning and I consider myself a decent representation of Humanity. I could not have imagined my Life any different back then, and I cannot imagine anything in me Not being whole-heartedly invested in my Life now.

The 12 Steps of AA, when worked thoroughly and without reservation, are a definite path to Personal Wholeness, and was the cure for my previous Spiritual Disease.

RDBplus3 ... Happy, Joyous and FREE ... and I KNOW anyone can B 2.
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Old 06-27-2016, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmysheens View Post
Well, only deadly by way of suicide and that's not me.
that's misinformation. the side effects of withdrawl can be deadly.

ive been on Cymbalta for 10 years now. felt I wanted to get off them once. went cold turkey.
the withdrawls amost killed me.
and I wasn't suicidal.

but it was only my doctor that told me it was deadly, which I looked into and found him to be right.
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Old 06-27-2016, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by tomsteve View Post
that's misinformation. the side effects of withdrawl can be deadly.

ive been on Cymbalta for 10 years now. felt I wanted to get off them once. went cold turkey.
the withdrawls amost killed me.
and I wasn't suicidal.

but it was only my doctor that told me it was deadly, which I looked into and found him to be right.

I must admit, I only did a quick Google search and didn't find anything to support that position. I should have been more thorough. I will look deeper so I am better informed and safer if there is a next time. I never meant to imply it's good to go, I was just painting a picture of exactly where I am now.

FWIW -- I am 8 or 9 days off the Cymbalta and Brintellix and the only side effect I have had has been a brain zap every few hours. They are more fun than a negative. Kind of like a tingly zap of fun in my head. It's nothing like the time I withdrew from Effexor.

Apart from that I am fine. Better than I was when on the mdicaton to be pefectly honest. Even my wife said I'm friendlier. I just hope this holds out and I'm not in for a collapse. I am very scared of having to go on Parnate, but I am at the end of the line pretty much.
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Old 06-27-2016, 10:58 AM
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Hello, JS.

If you wanted to demonstrate that antidepressants don't work, you'd take a variety of psychoactive drugs and drink alcohol, with brief periods of abstinence, while taking them. Even longer periods of abstinence would nullify the effects of virtually all antidepressants, if only because your brain and nervous system are undergoing dramatic adjustments while not using or drinking.

It's like dropping a fishing line into a whirlpool and expecting to catch something.

I don't know whether or not you've been completely honest with your doctor, but if you are, then it may be time to seek a second opinion.
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmysheens View Post
I must admit, I only did a quick Google search and didn't find anything to support that position. I should have been more thorough. I will look deeper so I am better informed and safer if there is a next time.
I'd also recommend you involve your doctor in this process Jimmy. You've got way too much going on to do this alone.
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by RDBplus3 View Post
Yeah, I can relate to a lot of what you describe JimmyS, except I never went on the psycho-meds. The psych-docs do what psych-docs do, and unless they have the addictive-ism I have, and have experienced the psychic change I have, I just don't care to go there.

I was able to quit the drugs (mostly) after 30 years of chasing what I thought was my choices to get 'high'. Alcohol however remained a constant. Then after 10 more years of the 'consequences' from my ' friend' alcohol, it got real bad inside, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually (although I always blamed 'it' on other people and outside circumstances).

Then, after 'trying' to quit repeatedly, I hit the VOID place you describe. I didn't like drinking anymore, but insanely I would kind-of 'watch' myself drinking a couple drinks anyway, mainly out of the 'boredom' and 'insanity' of just being myself. Then I would 'watch' myself keep drinking until ...

I am now completely Free, and after the Miracle of becoming Free, I realize I was completely Spiritually Diseased. Living Life on Life's Terms was a ridiculous concept back when I was completely gutted by my active addictive-ism, and the inherent manifestations of my Self-Will-Run-Riot. Now, my Life has meaning and I consider myself a decent representation of Humanity. I could not have imagined my Life any different back then, and I cannot imagine anything in me Not being whole-heartedly invested in my Life now.

The 12 Steps of AA, when worked thoroughly and without reservation, are a definite path to Personal Wholeness, and was the cure for my previous Spiritual Disease.

RDBplus3 ... Happy, Joyous and FREE ... and I KNOW anyone can B 2.
Your post resonated with me.

For me I have the ability to abuse highly addictive drugs, get hooked, and then get off quite easily.

Except alcohol. Alcohol is a constant. Alcohol is my rock. It's there to make me happy when I am sad, to put me to sleep, to soothe sore nerves etc. etc. And it's killing me and I can't stop.

Intellectually I know it is doing me a whole world of harm, and the benefits I get from it are not real to anyone except my diseased mind.

I too, believe I am lacking spirituality in my life. I separate spirituality and religiousness which I think you are implying too?

But please tell me, how does AA provide spirituality? I understand in principle how the steps work, but they seem more like they are designed to heal your negative thought processes and damaged human relations.

How then, does it put me in touch with my spiritual side?

I was thinking more of doing meditation and the like than going to AA for my spiritual wellbeing.
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by ScottFromWI View Post
I'd also recommend you involve your doctor in this process Jimmy. You've got way too much going on to do this alone.
I wasn't clear. My doctor knows I am cold turkeying and is a phonecall away. I am seeing him in less than a week to decide next steps.

I just did a Google search to corroborate the story about people dying from Cymbalta withdrawal as I never heard that before.
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:15 AM
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My psychiatrist told me they won't help with that, so I kinda just left it by the wayside.

Meetings won't completely cure clinical depression, I'm sure that's true. But if some of your depression is from addiction (and I'm going to assume it is) it can help. Being with others who understand the addiction side (I find it best not to share too much about mental illness specifically as many are ignorant) and support each other helps lift the mood. And doing the steps, to uncover and discard 'issues' can help also. So I wouldn't completely discard a meeting based recovery approach.

For me to feel 'balanced' I have to look at my health holistically. Mind, body. spirit and different actions address different aspects of my health. AA, counseling, yoga/exercise, good diet, sleep all support abstinence.

Good luck.
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmysheens View Post
I wasn't clear. My doctor knows I am cold turkeying and is a phonecall away. I am seeing him in less than a week to decide next steps.

I just did a Google search to corroborate the story about people dying from Cymbalta withdrawal as I never heard that before.
I'd again warn against using google to find medical advice. You can find stories to corroborate anything really.
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by EndGameNYC View Post
Hello, JS.

If you wanted to demonstrate that antidepressants don't work, you'd take a variety of psychoactive drugs and drink alcohol, with brief periods of abstinence, while taking them. Even longer periods of abstinence would nullify the effects of virtually all antidepressants, if only because your brain and nervous system are undergoing dramatic adjustments while not using or drinking.

It's like dropping a fishing line into a whirlpool and expecting to catch something.

I don't know whether or not you've been completely honest with your doctor, but if you are, then it may be time to seek a second opinion.
I am always completely honest with my doctor, otherwise he could not treat me appropriately.

The only antidepressant I ever responded to was Aurorix, and it worked no matter what I did to myself. It just happened to poop out after about 8 years.

WHilst I appreciate your post, it does sound like your saying its my fault antidepressants havent worked because I can't get long term sobriety under my belt. Maybe this is so, but it is a chicken and egg problem. Getting sobriety while under serious mental distress is tenfold harder, and it's not through lack of trying that I am in this situation.
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by ScottFromWI View Post
I'd again warn against using google to find medical advice. You can find stories to corroborate anything really.
I'm going to respectfully disagree. If you know what you're doing you can find solid backed up information on medical issues on the Internet. Don't believe everything you read, and be smart about it.
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Frickaflip233 View Post
My psychiatrist told me they won't help with that, so I kinda just left it by the wayside.

For me to feel 'balanced' I have to look at my health holistically. Mind, body. spirit and different actions address different aspects of my health. AA, counseling, yoga/exercise, good diet, sleep all support abstinence.

Good luck.
This is what I am trying to do now. With depression, it is so hard to motivate myself to exercise, cook, get out the house, see people etc. It also messes with my sleep.

I have a window of normality opening in front of me right now, if it doesn't slam closed in the next week or two I hope to be further along the right track.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:42 AM
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You might look at AA, or at any sort of program or activity, from a neurochemical perspective. From that point of view, everything is a neurochemical experience. Jumping into a crystal pool of water relieves depression; having a new experience with other people is stimulating and relieves depression.

In this sense , what AA arguably does for many who go to it every day is that it creates an altered chemical state. There are also regrettable extremes in any sort of natural neurochemical experience. There are moderate drinkers and there are binge drinkers. There is the sort of benign communal experience of AA and mild organized religion, to Charles Manson. In my experience though it's easier to strike a balance and you run less of a risk with natural experiences in and of the human condition pre-selected wisely than narcotic experiences which you ultimately will can take you rapidly into extremes.

As evidence, I recently did 90 meetings in 90 days and stopped. There was a definite chemical come down from that daily source of stimulating activity. Having rebounded, I feel like I acquired something positive.

This is all my personal theorizing.
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by davaidavai View Post
You might look at AA, or at any sort of program or activity, from a neurochemical perspective. From that point of view, everything is a neurochemical experience. Jumping into a crystal pool of water relieves depression; having a new experience with other people is stimulating and relieves depression.

In this sense , what AA arguably does for many who go to it every day is that it creates an altered chemical state. There are also regrettable extremes in any sort of natural neurochemical experience. There are moderate drinkers and there are binge drinkers. There is the sort of benign communal experience of AA and mild organized religion, to Charles Manson. In my experience though it's easier to strike a balance and you run less of a risk with natural experiences in and of the human condition pre-selected wisely than narcotic experiences which you ultimately will can take you rapidly into extremes.

As evidence, I recently did 90 meetings in 90 days and stopped. There was a definite chemical come down from that daily source of stimulating activity. Having rebounded, I feel like I acquired something positive.

This is all my personal theorizing.
It almost sounds like you're talking about epigenetics which is a very interesting topic to read about if you're bored one day. Just ignore the interpretations by Bruce Lipton and Deepak Chopra

Alrighty, I'll see if there's any meetings around here where I am and give one a go. I hope it's full of decent people and not the opposite. I don't have much tolerance for the latter.
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Old 06-27-2016, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmysheens View Post
Alrighty, I'll see if there's any meetings around here where I am and give one a go. I hope it's full of decent people and not the opposite. I don't have much tolerance for the latter.
The recovery community is made up of people of all backgrounds, whether it's a virtual community like SR or an in-person AA meeting. Each meeting has it's own dynamic, but that's just because every group of people on the planet is a little different from the next. Doesn't matter if it's an AA meeting, a business meeting or a basketball team - we are all people, and we are all different.
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