Are neurological painkillers worth it?

I’m wondering why the hell I’ve been put on a drug that messes so wildly with my mind.  I hear lots of conspiracy theories about big pharma and government control, and to be honest I’ve brushed them off.  I think the reason for this is many of the people who are vocal in the subject promote the use if cannabis.  I’m against cannabis massively, I’ve experienced first hand the damage it can do when misused, and I don’t trust it.  I know it’s natural, but so is opium right? 
Anyway I’m not here to debate cannabis use.  I’m here to debate neurological pain killer use.  Now I didn’t start out taking these drugs for a mental health problem as many people do.  It was for pain, for serious nerve and muscle pain caused by whatever gives my fibromyalgia symptoms.  I would have tried anything.  I’ve been bed bound, isolated, worried that I’ll never work, have a family of my own or even see my friends again.  I took amytriptaline, then nortriptaline, then pregabalin.  All of these treatments failed to help much at all and have only left me with huge weight gain and cognitive problems (mainly my memory).  I eventually was prescribed Duloxetine (or Cymbalta).  Now this did make a difference, I worked my way up to 90mg.  I still have pain but I can function semi normally, and get through most days if I take it really easy.  At 120mg I suffered the most awful bone pain, I felt like my bones were twisting, it was hell and I immediate reduced to 90mg. 

When the problems started.

I went on holiday and when I got to my destination realised my repeat prescription had been totally messed up.  I had received one completely empty pill bottle, in the middle of mountains, no phone reception, and we were travelling around so no way of organising a chemist, it was a nightmare and I lived on tramadol.  Tramadol is a drug I have tried to limit my use of, but it’s very valuable in keeping me mobile especially in times of no meds crises like these.  

After I got back my next prescription was messed up and delayed further.  I wrote copious shirty complaints that I fear got me nowhere.  Since then I struggled to get back into a routine of taking my medication properly.  I started a new job and moved home, I didn’t feel much different so I thought it would be ok if I missed a day or two here and there.  As someone who worked in mental health over a decade, yes I should have known better.  Sometimes the rebel in me takes over, I don’t know, I don’t know why I can’t follow the rules sometimes, but I didn’t.
So?

I started getting horrible images in my mind, like short nightmares or scenes from graphic horror films flashing in my mind.  My phobias that I’ve been dealing with are worse, I won’t type about them as I can’t fixate at all, I can’t give them air time in my head, they will abuse it. It’s like a power surge of anxiety presenting itself in day dreams, or day nightmares.  They make me feel sick.  They are torturing me.  I told my husband-to-be tonight, the first person I’ve told.  I suddenly feel that I’m not suffering by myself, it’s still horrible, but just knowing that he’s there for me is huge.  

What is Cymbalta?

I don’t know but I’m sure these visions are a withdrawal symptom.  I have had anxiety before and I do tend to fixate on negative things, like massacres in the news or images online of horrific events, it oddly calms me.  I think the knowledge that it could be much much worse, makes me feel normal, makes me rationalise things.  I know that my brain may be creating images as a warning or a distraction, that I need some intervention to get that balance back.  Maybe it’s just my prefrontal cortex crying out for more cymbalta.  

They says it’s ‘non addictive’

I’m sorry but that’s bullshit.  I have recently read online people reducing Cymbalta 1mg a week, yes 1!  They open the capsules and take out 1 bead each week.  I thought that was madness when I read it.  Alas, no.  This is madness, imagining your whole face being crushed in a machine whilst you are eating your breakfast.  

Why?

Why prescribe something with such horrible withdrawal affects?  

Then I remember that pharmaceuticals is big business, some fat cat is sipping champagne and smoking a Cuban whilst my brain ties itself in shitty knots and the NHS are funding that wanker.  Is that it?

I’ve read Brave New World.  

And I think I’m becoming a ‘conspiracy theorist’… The name given to people who have the nerve to question what they’ve been told to believe.

So I’m back on it.

60mg this time, and I then need to make a decision to reduce or stay on it.  I’m dammed if I do, and I’m damned if I don’t. I think I’ll stay for the time being.  I need to get over this trauma.  I hope it goes away again.  If it doesn’t things could get tough for me.

Any typos or grammatical errors are the fault of autocorrect and Cymbalta.



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2 thoughts on “Are neurological painkillers worth it?

  1. It seems that almost all of the new “pain medications” affect neurotransmitters these days and for those of us with preexisting anxiety disorders or depression, it can be dangerous, especially if we are already medicated for it and doctors and pharmacists fail to check for drug interactions or choose to ignore or downplay obvious ones. I can’t count the number of times that I experienced symptoms of early stage Serotonin Syndrome before finally becoming diligent about running my own drug interaction check prior to taking any new medication. Doctors, pharmacists, and the FDA are all so concerned with opioid pain medication use and addiction, but they ironically have no problem prescribing antidepressants and other new “pain medications” which affect neurotransmitters, most of which do very little or nothing to improve pain levels, with the exception of a few lucky patients. Even those patients who experience relief from them really aren’t lucky because they are stuck in the SSRI trap, unable to stop taking the meds if they have a low pain day or temporary remission due to the unanticipated physical dependencey, which doctors fail to warn about, and the horrific SSRI withdrawal. I experienced the terrors of SSRI withdrawal many, many years before my chronic pain became severe enough to require medication, so luckily I was prepared and armed with first hand knowledge and experience when my doctors started trying to treat my pain with antidepressants. It took me nearly 5 years to find a way to successfully stop taking Celexa, which I had been on for a decade for Panic Disorder and Depression. Unfortunately, within 6 months, I was back on Zoloft due to the return of my symptoms. I believe that these newer meds, such as Cymbalta, are just as dangerous, and likely to cause physical dependency, as narcotic pain medications, only they don’t work nearly as well and no one warns us about them! If our doctors, pharmacists, and the FDA would simply educate patients on what to expect, it might not be as traumatic of an experience. Don’t worry about feeling like a conspiracy theorist, because this issue alone doesn’t make you one. These medications are strange, make us feel strange if we take them, and even more strange when we stop. It is the medications and not our minds creating the problem (or perhaps a combination of the two). Scratch that, it is the government, big pharma, doctors, and pharmacists creating the problem by not warning us of the new warped reality that we’re about to enter by attempting to treat pain with psych meds. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for such a detailed reply 🙂 I just don’t understand why we need to go through this at all. I feel like I’m better off with an opioid addiction. At least with that I get pain relief. Is that naive? Maybe it is.

      At the moment it feels very much like I’ve been trapped inside my own neurosis by these doctors who I am supposed to trust, and work with to get better. I’m worried that long term use will lead to some long term withdrawal symptoms. I can’t go through that. It’s been like I’ve been having constant waking nightmares.

      I think if they had warned me up front I would have declined them!

      Liked by 1 person

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