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taurean

Medication Benefits - My Experience

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During the full healthscreen which I had today, the doctor and I were talking about my medications and what benefit I felt I received from taking the 20mg Citalopram per day. 

It gave me an opportunity to give her some feedback on the nature of my OCD, the difficulties I had with constantly repeating intrusive thoughts and how I tackled them, and how I think the Citalopram helps. 

I had suffered vastly different moods, outside of an OCD episode, and when in one - and was at my least resilient to an OCD relapse when I actually felt at my strongest. 

I believe the drug helps me keep the mood level more balanced, helps keep secondary depression at bay, and bolster my resilience capability. 

The combination of the drug, CBT, The Four Steps, Mindfulness, meditation, exercise and having a structure to the day have kept me in a good place now for many months. 

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If i still had the prescription for antipsychotica i would have tried it for the first time - was my thought today. 

 

I was on 25mg lexapro but i stopped because it numbs me in a couple of ways. And it took me 3-4 years to stop it, because i got horrendous withdrawls. But yea i would try antipsychotica if i had the opportunity. To me it feels like i am getting incerasingly paranoid, i actually had a person in my life who said i was psychotic, she was however not a very kind person and i went no contact with her, which i need to keep up. 

 

Do you guys think it is possible without drugs?

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I wanted to explain my own personal considered benefit, because many people do get benefit, but others do very well without medication. 

I don't have any experience of using an anti-psychotic, but believe some have found them beneficial used in conjunction with an SSRI. 

It's a bit of a lottery though, since different meds work, or don't work, for a variety of different people. 

And as you say, withdrawal can be difficult and in any case needs to be phased in slowly. 

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1 hour ago, taurean said:

I wanted to explain my own personal considered benefit, because many people do get benefit, but others do very well without medication. 

I don't have any experience of using an anti-psychotic, but believe some have found them beneficial used in conjunction with an SSRI. 

It's a bit of a lottery though, since different meds work, or don't work, for a variety of different people. 

 And as you say, withdrawal can be difficult and in any case needs to be phased in slowly. 

I am happy for you and others who have benefitted from specific medicines. My doctor recommended me to try antipsychotic in low doses, i was actually adviced to take it by another doctor too. But i never did.

But yea SSRI, i have also find relief from them, i remember one period when i feelt like someone got my back covered, it feelt like that, the need to analyze was simply not there. But it went away and i decided to stop. Everybody needs to try out for themselves

Edited by OCDhavenobrain

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31 minutes ago, OCDhavenobrain said:

My doctor recommended me to try antipsychotic in low doses, i was actually adviced to take it by another doctor too. But i never did. 

Hi,

Was that recommended for your OCD, or some other condition?

I gather they sometimes recommend it for those that are treatment resistant.

I am on a small dose myself, and it helped hugely! So much so, that I was able to progress with CBT, and also reduce the amount of SSRI that I am on. 

 

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2 hours ago, felix4 said:

Hi,

Was that recommended for your OCD, or some other condition?

I gather they sometimes recommend it for those that are treatment resistant.

I am on a small dose myself, and it helped hugely! So much so, that I was able to progress with CBT, and also reduce the amount of SSRI that I am on. 

 

Because of OCD! I never took them because i was afraid of getting tics, it was one  possible side effect, i thought if i have tics now because of OCD then i can get rid of them but if i get tics like in tourettes i can't. I would probably try them now, but i don't have any doctor now.

It is good that it helped in your case, i have read that there could be a link between schizophrenia and OCD, when it comes to genes, i am not saying that we are delusional in the sense of being schizophrenics. So i guess it makes sense that it could help. And even if there is no link whatsoever it is great if it works! Did your thoughts decrease or was it easier just to ignore them? Would be intresting to hear.

The reason i stopped SSRI was also because i had a crazy need of sleeping, i sleept and sleept and sleept and i still feelt tired. I sleept 9hours every night and i got totally devastated if i didn't, i got soooo tired if i didn't get 9 hours, itchy and warm and irritated. Now do i sleep 7hours, i never thought i could sleep less and still be ok with it. Could be that i am aging (i have read that we need different amount of sleep through life) it could also be something else. But i do think it was because of SSRI. I am obviously still obsessing so it is not like i have find a cure to my anxiety, so it is not less anxiety which makes me need less sleep. Anxiety and depression usually makes people want to sleep much more. 


 

Edited by OCDhavenobrain

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For everyone who benefits from medication, there are also those who don't and may suffer adversely from them, I being one of them.  

Medication doesn't cure OCD and it saddens me how it is often used as a first solution, often prescribed within a first 10 minute appointment.  It rather presents as being "seen to be doing something" and I'm not sure that's a gòod solution.

For what it's worth Roy (and I may well be wrong).....but my observations of your progress are more down to your determination to put the work in and challenge your fears rather than medication, that and an adjustment to your retirement and changed circumstances co-inciding with medication.

My personal belief is that (in many/most) the offer of medication is given as an available fix, as to be seen to be doing something......especially when good, quick availability to therapy isn't there.

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2 hours ago, OCDhavenobrain said:

Did your thoughts decrease or was it easier just to ignore them? Would be intresting to hear. 

Hi,

Once I started the medication, there was a definite decrease in the amount of intrusive thoughts, but the remainder has become so much more easier to accept following good quality group CBT/ERP. 

I have had severe OCD since 2004, and have been treated with both CBT/ERP and meds, but things got a whole lot worse in about 2014, so it was a kind of last resort, but thankfully, I have made a huge improvement!

Edited by felix4

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11 hours ago, Caramoole said:

For what it's worth Roy (and I may well be wrong).....but my observations of your progress are more down to your determination to put the work in and challenge your fears rather than medication, that and an adjustment to your retirement and changed circumstances co-inciding with medication.

I agree - the medication is assisting in some regard, but more as a mood stabiliser and anti-depressant, by doing which it enables me to keep in touch with my CBT ,and on top of my resilience. It doesn't do anything with regard to degrees of intrusive obsessional thinking - I have dealt with those by not giving meaning or belief to intrusions, or allowing OCD to make connections. When we do that as learned behaviour, not OCD thinking, stop carrying out compulsions, and work ERP correctly,   the intrusions will eventually ease down and away  

11 hours ago, Caramoole said:

Medication doesn't cure OCD and it saddens me how it is often used as a first solution, often prescribed within a first 10 minute appointment.  It rather presents as being "seen to be doing something" and I'm not sure that's a gòod solution.

 

11 hours ago, Caramoole said:

My personal belief is that (in many/most) the offer of medication is given as an available fix, as to be seen to be doing something......especially when good, quick availability to therapy isn't there.

It doesn't work on its own. And I am sure many people may not need it if they access and work on CBT. It's why my preference would be for people to utilise self-help, especially an OCD workbook, whilst awaiting CBT.

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I plan to seek to ease gradually off the Citalopram if I maintain my gains. 

Now isn't a good time after a major downsize move to a completely different, but very lovely and suitable, location - plus major health problems my wife has been experiencing. 

For me, Jeffrey Schwartz had a good take on the potential benefits of meds in OCD treatment. In his Book "Brainlock"  he referred to them as "water wings",  helping to keep us afloat and able to engage with CBT. 

Some people do experience dramatic symptom improvement in OCD after taking meds ; and if they were in an extremely poor place before, then maintaining their gains may need them to keep taking the medication. 

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I'm pleased that medication worked as Water Wings for you.  For me they were a lead-weight, a guarantee towards drowning.  I suppose it 's Horses for Courses and being open-minded, yet honest about our appraisal.

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I hope i am not making anyone believe that they should stop or start something on there own. Do what you need to overcome OCD and then revaluate. Overcomming OCD Is prio 1. 

Something i noticed from SSRI was my hunger, it increased. I am still not sure if i naturally have a big or low appetite, when i was really small i ate very little, then did my parents get scared so they feed me and i get chubby. THen in my teens did i get small again because i choose myself what i should eat. 18 now have been on and off from SSRI, even if i am on very very low doses, a doctor would say i am off. My appetite is much lower now, i really had to struggle not to overeat before, i was more hungry. And i haven't changed anything significant and there is no doubt about it now when i have been on low doses for 2 years.

The most important thing is to change how we see the thoughts, do not try to find a solution outside of that, not even when it is prescribed to you, there is not enough evidence to say that medicine will do a big difference if one doesn't change the thinking about their thoughts. 

Edited by OCDhavenobrain

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6 hours ago, OCDhavenobrain said:

The most important thing is to change how we see the thoughts, do not try to find a solution outside of that, not even when it is prescribed to you, there is not enough evidence to say that medicine will do a big difference if one doesn't change the thinking about their thoughts. 

Maybe I might like to see, instead of doctors rushing to prescribe meds straight off without more clinical appraisal, them rather prescribing CBT self-help as well as suggesting referral for CBT therapy. 

Where there is obviously clinical need for the medication, that is of course another matter - sadly some of us are in a very poor place when we seek help. 

That concept of using a drug for "water wings"  sits nicely for me. If it happens to do more than that that's great. 

I am glad I wasn't put off by my initial attempts with Citalopram and Fluoxetine (both gave me diarrhoea as an initial side effect,but with Fluoxetine it also made me intensely sleepy and unable to function mentally). 

For some they don't experience side effects, or they are just for an initial time. Others don't experience any perceived benefit from the drug. 

I still experience smelly stools from the Citalopram, but that is a minor inconvenience against the gain it is providing. 

 

 

Edited by taurean

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I have hit a rough patch at the moment and with my doctor’s approval I gone back on SSRIs and a very - the lowest- dose of antipsychotic. The water wings notion  is a good analogy it allows me to float. 

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