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Discussion Starter #1
My medication history

Hi everyone!

I've not been an active poster here on the forum, but I've read a lot of the helpful and interesting posts by you guys. I have been suffering from social anxiety since I was 9(though I did not understand that before I was 18.) and was later diagnosed with ADD and depression(as a result of social anxiety). My psychiatrist now thinks that most of my problems are emotional and has it's roots in childhood trauma(In and out of hospital from 2-7 years old). I have tried these meds.:

* Seroxat - Did not help much. Made it easier to use drugs without feeling so bad about it. From I was 17-22 years old I used all the drugs I could get a hold of, except heroin and I never used needles. I used to love hallucinogens, I really miss the other dimensions ;).
* Edronax - Made me worse. Anxiety, insomnia, problem urinating, hung-over feeling.
* Sobril (oxazepam) - Once in a while. I Always feel crappy the next day. (It's what we call a "Bear-favor" in Norway. Like pissing your pants on on the north pole to stay warm. It gets gets even colder when the effect wears off :p).
* Ritalin - Enjoyed the confidence boost, but worsened my anxiety gradually.
* Dexedrine + Seroquel - New confidence boost that gradually made my anxiety worse and gave me
a temporary psychosis. Doc put me on Seroquel(quetiapine), but insisted that I continued to use Dexedrine since it had almost helped me through highschool. I quit using dexedrine after finishing highschool because I felt really exhausted both mentally and physically.
* Modafinil - I was looking for safer high, but i just gave me horrible nightmares and more anxiety. It had none of the positive effects of "Real" stimulants.
* Efexor - Small improvments, no more than with Seroxat.
* Nardil - The first 3 months were the best in my life, but it just lost some of its effect after that. It's still the best med. I've ever tried.
* Lyrica - Tried to augment Nardil. Worked great at the beginning, but made me more desperate, angry and depressed after a month, so I stopped using them. Best to take one or two when necessary. Instead of Sobril.

Currently I'm on:

3x2 15mg Nardil
2x 100mg Seroquel (Necessary to get some sleep. About 5-6 hours a day.

Any questions about any of the meds I've used or am using are answered gladly.

Please excuse any spelling errors or strange formulations.
 

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Are you happy with your current regime of Nardil & Seroquel? I have recently starting taking Parnate, but maybe I should have opted for Nardil instead. Parnate has some good moments, but for several hours after I take it I am agitated and angry!

Do you think the Seroquel has any other added benefits other than enhancing sleep?

I have had some similar experiences with Dexedrine, which I was taking until recently. It's often helpful, but not always a good thing for anxiety.

Totally aside from the questions about the med's, how many hours of sunlight are you getting in Norway right now? I imagine that insomnia might be a bit worse when you're in the land of the midnight sun! :)
 

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I don't like 200mg of an antipsychotic like Seroquel 'just' for insomnia, escpecially long-term.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Are you happy with your current regime of Nardil & Seroquel? I have recently starting taking Parnate, but maybe I should have opted for Nardil instead. Parnate has some good moments, but for several hours after I take it I am agitated and angry!

Do you think the Seroquel has any other added benefits other than enhancing sleep?

I have had some similar experiences with Dexedrine, which I was taking until recently. It's often helpful, but not always a good thing for anxiety.

Totally aside from the questions about the med's, how many hours of sunlight are you getting in Norway right now? I imagine that insomnia might be a bit worse when you're in the land of the midnight sun! :)
I'm not 100% satisfied, but it's the best combo I've tried so far. I could use benzodiazepines in addition, or only benzos, but I don't see that as a good long-term solution. The meds I take now, help me just enough to be able to work with myself, but they don't "fix" me. If I don't keep myself active, and don't do the things that are good for me, I get depressed and anxious. But when I do those things, this med-combo makes me very stable, I feel about the same way all day, except in the morning :).

I haven't tried parnate, so I can't say if one is better than another, but if you have the opportunity to try Nardil as well, I think you should. I'm not sure, but I think you can switch between MAOI's without tapering. But feeling good at first, then bad, like you do with Parnate seems exhausting. At least Nardil has a more continuous effect on me, but I had to reach 75-90mg before getting this, more or less, stable mood. Of course I have ups and downs, but not many times a day.

It's just two weeks since I tried tapering off Seroquel. I was on 100mg a day, and cut down to 25mg in 10 days. After that I tried to use promethazine(a strong antihistamine), but gave up after 5 days with about 2-4 hours sleep. After that I decided to increase the Seroquel dose to 200mg, gradually increasing the dose. I don't know if it was just the lack of sleep that made med a lot more anxious, or if it was the discontinuation of seroquel, but I feel much better after starting up again, even though I just get from 5-6 hours sleep, a day. Music sounds good again, and I'm much calmer and happier. But it's really hard to discontinue seroquel while using meds that give you insomnia. I have a buddy that used only Seroquel and he did not sleep at all the first week, and not well before after 3 months. Today he sleeps really well without anything at all.

I used Ritalin and Dexedrine for three years, and I would not recommend them to anyone with anxiety, or anyone else for that matter. I think they rob your brain for neurotransmitters, and you have to pay back every one of them when you stop using it. Dexedrine is about the cleanest amphetamine you can get, and I think it's madness to give them to people who are mentally unstable.

I live in in the middle of Norway. The sun rises at 6am, and sets at 11pm, so it's not a big problem for me, but about 350 miles north from where I
live they have sun 24 hours a day in the summer. I have a niece living up north, and she often lies out tanning in the middle of the night. There are also people walking around the city at all times. There is a very special atmosphere up there in the summer.
 

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I don't like 200mg of an antipsychotic like Seroquel 'just' for insomnia, escpecially long-term.
I'm actually quite worried about long term effects on body and brain, but I have not had the strenght to quit using them yet. I'm aware of the diabetes risk, but I'm eating healthy and avoid suger as often as possible. I've tried using antihistamines in high doses, but with no luck. Do you have any suggestions about alternative sleeping meds?
 

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It' not just about weight gain & diabetes, but there exists also the risk of irreversible movement disorders with long-term use. I can recommend Trazodone up to 200mg, if necessary in combination with Melatonin or Valerian. Of course there are also other choices like sedating TCAs, but I don't like these very much, altough more than neuroleptics for insomnia.
 

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insomnia#Antidepressants
Mirtazapine is known to decrease sleep latency, promoting sleep efficiency and increasing the total amount of sleeping time in patients suffering from both depression and insomnia [33] [34]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insomnia#Atypical_antipsychotics
Low doses of certain atypical antipsychotics such as quetiapine, olanzapine and risperidone are also prescribed for their sedative effect but the danger of neurological and cognitive side effects make these drugs a poor choice to treat insomnia. Over time, quetiapine (Seroquel) may lose its effectiveness as a sedative.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sorry. I checked some crappy site to find that info. I thought it sounded wrong, but I didn't think it through. The exact time of sunrise is 3:42AM and sunset 11:33PM :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Won't there be some interactions between Nardil and Remeron or Trazodone?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'll ask my psychiatrist if I can try them.
 

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I know this is about medication, but have you tried Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. If childhood trauma is the source of the social anxiety (which is 99.9% the case), DBT can work wonders on unveiling the cause of the problem. I am all for meds, i took meds to stabilize me, but medications never cure the problem. They just end up masking them.

Just my two cents.

Is your therapist working on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Mindfulness? Look into those as well.

As far as medications are concerned, If you haven't been responding properly to Anti-Depressants maybe you should try a mood stabilizer. ADD + Social Anxiety Disorder are common signs of Bipolar II disorder. If nothing else, mood stabilizers are starting to be used for a plethora of mental health issues (even personality disorders) and are actually working.
 

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I know this is about medication, but have you tried Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. If childhood trauma is the source of the social anxiety (which is 99.9% the case), DBT can work wonders on unveiling the cause of the problem. I am all for meds, i took meds to stabilize me, but medications never cure the problem. They just end up masking them.

Just my two cents.

Is your therapist working on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Mindfulness? Look into those as well.

As far as medications are concerned, If you haven't been responding properly to Anti-Depressants maybe you should try a mood stabilizer. ADD + Social Anxiety Disorder are common signs of Bipolar II disorder. If nothing else, mood stabilizers are starting to be used for a plethora of mental health issues (even personality disorders) and are actually working.
I also believe that meds won't fix anything in the long run, but I'm in a crappy situation, and I need the meds, at least, until I feel that my life is back on track. My psychiatrist uses CBT, but I will ask him about DBT. There is nothing I want more than to be able to deal with life without the meds, so I'll try anything.

I have actually been thinking about bipolar myself. My mood tends to swing a lot. I've been very interested in trying Lamictal, but I don't know if I'll mangage to taper off Nardil. The last time I tried everything turned black and I was considering suicide. I hate getting those thoughts.

I really appreciate that you are taking your time to read and give advice :) Thanks.

BTW, are you able to deal with/enjoy life without meds?
 

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I have actually been thinking about bipolar myself. My mood tends to swing a lot. I've been very interested in trying Lamictal, but I don't know if I'll mangage to taper off Nardil. The last time I tried everything turned black and I was considering suicide. I hate getting those thoughts.

I really appreciate that you are taking your time to read and give advice :) Thanks.

BTW, are you able to deal with/enjoy life without meds?
Absolutely! My bipolar disorder and social anxiety are 99% under control without medication. Depending on the severity of BP disorder, you can live med free. After i was diagnosed with depression and social anxiety, my doctor started me on Effexor which i responded horribly too. It made me go hypomanic. I was so wired while i was on it. Then i started developing hives (probably unrelated) and the doctor had me cold turkey effexor. Big mistake. I have never been so sick in my life. Lesson learned, for all issues relating to mental health, i see a mental health professional, not a doctor. I don't think doctors really understand the dynamics of mental health. When i saw a psychiatrist for the first time, he immediately identified some mood swing patterns and started me on a mood stabilizer (depakote) which i had a much better response to.

Anyways, it takes a lot of work to become med free. Don't get me wrong, i still have issues. Right now i am working on my codependent and people pleaser (narcissistic) tendencies. I am re-starting CBT and Mindfulness with my therapist to try and iron out these issues. Usually social anxiety is just a symptom of something greater. For me it is codependency and narcissism developed from a rocky childhood that caused my social anxiety.
 
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