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#70023 - 03/21/06 03:27 PM My T said: Anti-D
pbfurm Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/12/06
Posts: 25
Loc: Los Angeles
It was two years ago that I was rushed to the hospital with a bleeding colon. It was also around that time, I just realized, that I told my therapist about my memory of being molested by a pediatrician when I was 8.
My biggest trigger is coming up next monday, when I have to see my Internist for my 4 month check-up for Crohn's disease. I never had a doctor till two years ago, when I was forced to. My fears of illness all these years could have been related to the abuse incident giving me the message, if you go the doctor, he's going to touch you inappropriately, because you were a bad boy, etc. Even though I'd been in therapy my whole life, this key factor had never come up. So, with this acknowledgement, the fears and anxieties are still strong, so my T has suggested medication for fear.
Who has had any experience with Anti-Depressant/anti Anxiety meds? Thanks.


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#70024 - 03/21/06 04:35 PM Re: My T said: Anti-D
phoster Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/21/03
Posts: 758
Loc: ohio
i think you'll get a lot of replies to that. i was on zoloft at one time. really not a big deal. it seemed to slow my mind down, as i am the type whose mind runs non-stop at full throttle that was kind of nice. i'm not on any currently, but i am in a healhtier place and don't really need them.

_________________________
compassion is a light even to the darkest soul

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#70025 - 03/21/06 04:48 PM Re: My T said: Anti-D
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
pbfurm,

I think you will find that a lot of guys here are under medication for depression.

My own experience was that I was pretty much out of control before I was willing to admit that I needed help with that. I was just so scared of ASKING for help, because I feared (correctly of course) that this would just be the thin edge of the wedge and soon everything would come spilling out. What I never thought of was that all the bad feelings I had about myself were erroneous, and that by asking for help I would get precisely that - help, and not judgment, scorn, contempt, or whatever.

Medication regimes for depression depend a lot on the patient, and there is no sure way to predict what will work and what won't. I was lucky. The meds prescribed for me were the right ones from the start, but you may find that you get side effects or other problems that require that the doctor adjust the meds a few times before finding the combination and dosage of meds that's right for you.

There's also the problem that the meds take awhile to kick in. You may not feel any improvement at first, and in my case I felt over-medicated and worried about that because of my drug abuse problems in my youth.

The bottom line, though, is that the meds have made a world of difference for me. And as I make progress with my T she keeps in close contact with my doctor, and eventually they hope to reduce and finally eliminate the medication.

There's a big temptation to judge yourself when you start all this. There is a huge stigma about having emotional problems in the first place, but in reality the meds are just like any other. You are taking them as a contribution to your health.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#70026 - 03/22/06 05:53 AM Re: My T said: Anti-D
pbfurm Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/12/06
Posts: 25
Loc: Los Angeles
Hi Larry,
Huge stigma, in whose universe? I don't understand what you mean. Are you talking about hetero men who are afraid to express their innermost feelings, for fear their peers might consider them a sissy-man? Is there anyone who doesn't have emotional problems, and is so well-adjusted they carry no emotional baggage? And what administrative hierarchy dictates such rhetoric for you to make such a sweeping generalization about mental illness? If we could just kill off our Limbic Systems, our lower brain, maybe we could just forget about anti-depressants altogether. There is current research about suppressing the evil Limbic brain.

I guess your comment may have ignited and fired a raw nerve....


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#70027 - 03/22/06 08:10 PM Re: My T said: Anti-D
Steven Heath Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/06/06
Posts: 81
Loc: New York City
pbfrum.......i believe there is a difference between antidepressants and anti anxiety meds......i have been on both at one time or another.....i am now not on either.....they have a definite clinically correct application.....sometimes we need a chemical (medication) introduced to our system because we need it chemically.....sometimes we need them because we are going through a period where we need something to help us get through the strong emotional journey we are on.....i think with the correct doctor these meds can do wonders for a while......steve


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#70028 - 03/24/06 09:56 PM Re: My T said: Anti-D
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
pbfurm,

Quote:
Huge stigma, in whose universe? I don't understand what you mean. Are you talking about hetero men who are afraid to express their innermost feelings, for fear their peers might consider them a sissy-man? Is there anyone who doesn't have emotional problems, and is so well-adjusted they carry no emotional baggage? And what administrative hierarchy dictates such rhetoric for you to make such a sweeping generalization about mental illness?
Sorry I triggered you with my post, but I think we are missing each other "in the night", as it were. What I mean is that men (straight, gay, or whatever) often feel that they ought to be able to face their emotional problems and "get over it" somehow. I don't think it's a sexual identity issue, but rather a gender issue. I think men have a greater tendency to see themselves as failures if they admit they need help with emotional issues.

Remember that what we are talking about isn't a willingness to discuss personal and sensitive feelings, but a willingness to seek medical help for emotional difficulties. In the latter case the fear of being ridiculed as a sissy doesn't arise, since a guy can keep his medical issues private if he wants to do so.

I think the problem is especially acute where survivors are concerned. Again, I don't see the problem as one of adult sexual identity, but rather the heritage of low self-esteem - even worthlessness -left to us as boys. A man struggling against that already just won't be in a good position to ask for the help he needs.

Perhaps gay men do find it easier to deal with emotional problems like depression, in which case I am off the mark. At the moment I just don't see how sexual identity would figure into this. But hey! There are lots of things right in front of my nose that I don't see!

Let me know what you think, okay?

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#70029 - 03/25/06 04:48 AM Re: My T said: Anti-D
pbfurm Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/12/06
Posts: 25
Loc: Los Angeles
Larry,
Speaking for myself, I consider myself an amalgam of male and female characteristics. I've always been in touch with my feelings. I never caved to peer pressure in school, or followed anyone other than my own sense of how I should think and feel. I think this issue could never be pigeon-holed into one right answer. I think it is pure rubbish to let men off the hook because they are egoic, testosterone freaks. It's their loss if they want to "lead lives of quiet desperation." I think most gay men have an advantage over straights as far as the way each deals with their mental health.


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#70030 - 03/25/06 05:14 AM Re: My T said: Anti-D
Don-NY Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 546
Loc: Long Island, NY
I can't and won't speak about anti-depressants as I have no experience.

Anti-Anxiety medications I know a little about. I've had them prescribed 2 or 3 times in my life - Valium and Xanax. They were helpful for getting through some very tough times.

I know I ended up throwing out most of these pre>
_________________________
If you understand everything, some things are just as they are. If you understand nothing, things are still just as they are.

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#70031 - 03/25/06 05:27 AM Re: My T said: Anti-D
pbfurm Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/12/06
Posts: 25
Loc: Los Angeles
Don,
Thank you for your encouraging words. I will be more assertive with my internist. His response in the past was to suggest blood pressure meds, since it is high at my appointments.


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#70032 - 04/03/06 04:05 AM Re: My T said: Anti-D
blueelectron9 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/07/02
Posts: 387
Loc: Victoria, BC Canada
FWIW, I have had a lot of experience with psychopharmacological drugs, since I have been on and off numerous ones during my lifetime.

I can't tell you which is right for you. From my experience, anti-anxiety drugs can be useful for the type of situation you described--seeing the doctor. Anti-depressants tend to take a few weeks to take full effect.

Some of the "older" anti-depressants (Elavil, etc.) and "older" anti-psychotics (Haldol, etc.) have been replaced with drugs with fewer side effects and perhaps better performance.

I seem to respond best to Lexapro (Celexa) as anti-depressants go. For anti-anxiety, I use Klonopin, although I've used Xanax and others.

Taken periodically, anti-anxiety meds are helpful for me, but if I take them all the time (like my doctor recommends for me), then if I stop I end up having withdrawals.

Some hypnotic drugs seem to have an effect of being able to not remember what's happened. I was told by my Orthopoedic surgeon that he could give me something before I got an epidural that would make my forget the experience. I haven't experienced that yet.

Regards,
Scotty

_________________________
An odd duck who likes even numbers.

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#70033 - 04/16/06 11:55 AM Re: My T said: Anti-D
sophiesdad Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 462
Loc: Florida
PB:
Let me first say that I am NOT a doctor or pharmacist, but the information that I present here is from personal experience and from LOTS of reading and research.

Anti-depressants are a class of drugs that work basically on any or all of three chemicals in the brain - Seratonin, Norepinepherine, and/or Dopamine. The way that they work is not exactly known - there are as many theories out there as there are medications. But they DO know that these three chemicals are responsible for our general sense of well-being and our ability to cope with the day-to-day stresses of life.

It is very important (IMHO) that you have a psychiatrist be the one who prescribes the medications. Yes, regular MDs are able to do this, but the psychiatrists are the ones who specialize in this area and are masters at getting the right medication and/or combination of medications. I have found, over the years, that it is almost an art. Where Prozac works for one person, it may not work at all or have negative effects for someone else. AND, there is a whole new field of expertise where doctors have started working with combinations of anti-depressants to get the benefits of each compound.

Personally, I am on Cymbalta which is a fairly new one from Eli Lilly. The doctor wanted to try this one because it works on Seratonin and Norepinepherine AND has been shown to work with neuorpathic pain in some patients.

So, you will find that finding the right anti-depressant will be a trial-and-error process. A prudent doctor will start you on the lowest dose. If you respond well, then there is no need to raise the dosage. Sometimes they may raise the dose to get the optimum response. If it doesn't work in a few weeks, they may suggest trying another one. Don't get discouraged.... once the right one is hit, you will notice after several weeks that the weight of depression is slowly starting to lift. It isn't a "high" - you simply find that you start to feel like your "old self" - your ability to cope with the small things that life throws you has returned - the emotional ups and downs tend to smoothe out from a roller-coaster to a gentle ride.

There are some who are afraid of anti-depressants. I look at it this way - if you were a diabetic, you would readily take insulin which is a substance that your body needs to function properly, right? Well, the same goes with depression.... our bodies are not producing the chemicals necessary for a decent quality of life - chemicals that are normally produced in the brain.

Now - to the anti-anxiety drugs - these are a whole different group of compounds. They are the tranquilizers - most are in the same family as Valium, Xanax, Ativan, etc (Benzodiazipines). These drugs are useful on a SHORT-TERM basis - they have the potential for addiction and abuse. Most times, they are useful for people who have severe panic attacks. The problem is that the short-acting ones like Xanax and Ativan can cause physical dependence in a very brief period of time.

AFter taking them for a long time and consistently causes the body to be dependent on them... stopping abruptly can cause very unpleasant withdrawl symptoms and/or seizures.

But, if you are experiencing panic attacks, they can be very useful when properly administered.

I guess in the end, I can't stress enough how important it is to make sure you have a doctor prescribing these medications who has a lot of knowledge and experience with this genre of drugs. They can be life-savers and, when prescribed properly, restore a quality of life that we all deserve. They don't change the problems that we face every day, nor can they erase the past, but what they can do is to improve our ability to cope with everything and make rational decisions to improve ourselves.

I hope this info has been helpful - again I repeat that I'm not a doctor, but have done a lot of personal research so that I could make informed decisions with my own life.

SD

EDIT: Also, I wanted to comment on your reaction to Roadrunner's posting. I think that you may have misunderstood where he was coming from. If you notice, his postings come from Germany. In Europe (more so than the USA), it is a HUGE stigma to have any emotional problems whatever their nature. I have a friend in England who was terrified to see a psychiatrist for depression because she said that employers and financial institutions have access to these records - psychiatric treatment can have negative repercussions such as being denied a mortgage loan.

In the USA, things are improving, but there is still a lot of prejudice against any mental illness. People are more inclined to be understanding of someone who is suffering from cancer because it is something "physical". There are still people, unfortunately, who look on mental illness as a "weakness". For example, not more than 20 years ago, alcoholics were viewed as weak people who had no self-control. Medical science has proven otherwise - that it is a physical illness.

So, I guess I'm saying that Roadrunner was not referring to gender or sexual stereotypes.... I think that his statement was more general. Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go in regards to attitudes towards depression and other mental/emotional issues. I'll leave you with one last example which may bring to light what I'm trying to say:

I have a dear friend of 25 years - a colleague who has known me very well. She is a good friend and a compassionate human being. At one time, she saw that I was deeply troubled - it was when the first memories of abuse came flooding back. I confided in her as to what was happening. I could tell that she was trying desperately to understand, but came out with the statement, "But that was 30 years ago - maybe you should try to forget." She just didn't get it...... and this was someone who would never hurt me. But somehow, I got the feeling that she looked on me as having a "weakness" because I couldn't just "get over it".

_________________________
There are no unresolved issues - they just didn't resolve themselves the way we would have liked. "Grinder and Bandler - Neuro-Linguistic Programming"

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