My Medication Miracle

They pumped me full of chemicals and got me hooked on tens of pills:

S.S.R.I.s, the first I tried, Fluoxetine then Sertraline.
Antipsychs like Seroquel, Respiradone, Olanzapine.
S.N.R.I Venlafaxine, do not forget Duloxetine.
Pregabalin, Propanolol, their uses oh-so versatile.
And benzo faves Diazepam, Temazepam, Lorazepam.
The tricyclic Lofepramine, futile attempts with Clonidine.
Add Trazadone, Moclobomide – who knows how many more I tried.

But 18 months on, free of them all, and what a bloody miracle.

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25 thoughts on “My Medication Miracle

    • Nope, not at all. They just didn’t know what to do with me, and none of the medications worked (besides the benzos, which I abused big time). It is in fact VERY common to be pumped full of drugs despite them not being helpful because it is easier, cheaper and more time-efficient than providing proper treatment to people with BPD. It is also commonly understood that BPD is generally highly medication-resistant and that for many (e.g. me), medication will not particularly help the recovery process at all. In fact, some of these meds made it harder for me to work on the things I needed to work on, plus they gave me awful side effects (including worsening my anxiety, impulsiveness and eating disorder at the time). No, I am not cured – that is not how BPD works. Feel free to read my blog, if you would like to understand more…

      I just want to check, are you having a dig at me in your comment? I perceived it as so, but it could just be me – apologies if this is the case. Thanks.

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      • This happened to me when I was 16. A doc I was seeing was trying medication after medication after medication. And unfortunately, we didn’t pick up on some of the issues. For example, a regular doctor put me on Zoloft because I mentioned I was under stress (because I was, parents were acting crazy). I was 15. We didn’t know this but Zoloft makes me even more depressed. Six months later, I made my first suicide attempt and was hospitalized. Was totally invalidated, no one figured out it was the Zoloft (this was the mid 90’s before anyone figured out that kids really shouldn’t be on anti-depressants). We didn’t figure it out until I was put on it later (at 21) and ended up in the hospital again.

        If I look at a list of them, I could probably tell you what I was on. I don’t know what I was put on right after experiencing my trauma, it may have been Respiradone. I don’t even remember as that time was insane and I was a zombie for a good part of it. I know it didn’t work because I would sit in the living room, unable to sleep, and relive the trauma over and over and over again. That I made it through that time amazes me.

        I was off meds for a long time. Husband doesn’t believe in mental illness and is very anti-medication for much of anything. But post partum depression, death in the family, and other stuff put my depression into serious overdrive. I put myself into psych to get back on meds because my husband was so against them. By then, I would go to sleep at night almost hoping I wouldn’t wake up the next day. It was this absolute black hole of misery. Was put on Prozac. I’m still on it. I’m on the lowest dose though and I have Xanax on hand for when things really get beyond what I can handle but I may go through an entire bottle in a year, I use it that rarely.

        My sister can’t take meds though. They don’t work for her and make her depression worse. Some can use them, some can’t and doctors will oftentimes do the medication carousel to find the right one but sometimes, there isn’t a right one. Took me to the age of 32 to find one that worked though, to be honest, I think it had worked before but I had some side effects as a teen that I don’t have with them now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry to hear your experience and what you have been through, it sounds like a helluva lot especially with the invalidation, I really relate and am so sorry. I think like you said, different things work for different people and the important thing really is just finding what works for each individual. I’m glad that you’ve found a combination that works for you now and it sounds like you’re really self aware as well. (Also the names are different in the UK so Risperidone is Risperdal and Sertraline is Zoloft, for example. I also got more suicidal on Prozac – Fluoxetine – when I was a teen. Scary stuff). Take care xx

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      • We have similar experience!
        One of the most hurtful things someone said to me was, “don’t they have pills for that?”
        Your comment is very well put: “it is easier, cheaper and more time-efficient than providing proper treatment”
        I’ve been drug free for about a year now due to DBT 🙂 Yay for us!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. No I wasn’t having a dig at you, I just know how difficult it is to treat those with BPD and how out of control people with this disorder can be; I just wondered why you they felt the need to say that they pumped you full of drugs, when I’m sure it really wasn’t like that at all. That’s the way YOU see it… but you are still here, so they did good !

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really was like that. Believe me. If they didn’t see an improvement, it was like “Okay well let’s see what other drug we can add” even when it was clear some meds were making me worse (eg. increasing dissociation or anxiety).

      I don’t think “they” did good at all – the only psychiatric facility that did me any good was the ONE that supported me in getting off all my meds. And the reason I’m still here is not at all thanks to meds, considering I only started progressing properly after weening off them, but thanks to the therapy I’m working my butt off in!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ugh I feel your pain. And it IS just like you say- they love to just increase, increase, increase until you’re taking the highest dosage possible, and when you tell them it’s not helping or that you’re feeling even worse than before the new medication, they just add more drugs to the mix! My previous doctor was absolutely awful. I would tell her how I was feeling and she would just nod her head in silence the entire time and then when I was done her only response, every single time, was this: I’m going to prescribe you this…that should take care of it. No questions for me. No explanation as to what it is she’s giving me, why she’s giving it to me and how it’s supposed to “take care of” my problem. I was eventually on so many different medications for uppers and downers that I ended up in the hospital, and of course, the first thing they wanted to do was INCREASE the Effexor, as if already being at the highest dosage wasn’t a sign that maybe something wasn’t working right. It wasn’t until I demanded to be off the Effexor entirely, with my therapist vouching for me, did they agree to get me off it. That was at the very end of my stay, and I was required to go to an intensive outpatient center where I met with a new doctor for 10 minutes who somehow had enough information to conclude that I needed to add a mood stabilizer to the mix. I quit the treatment when I was finally connected with a new psychiatrist recommended to me by my therapist. When I told her all of the medications I was on, she was horrified. She called it a “medication cocktail” that was mostly unnecessary drugs. She was the first one to actually reduce the number of medications I was on and adjust dosages, even lower them, based off of the information I gave her. Though this also meant having to suffer through the withdrawals of several meds thy had decided to pump me up with. Effexor withdrawals are a bitch. But now that I am no longer taking it and other drugs have been adjusted or quit, I’ve actually had moments where I feel like my “old” self, before my depression and the medication chaos ensued. I’m so happy you decided to do what was best for yourself and I’m sorry they put you on so many different things. Sometimes meds help sometimes they don’t. And when they don’t, doctors should listen to us and take into account what we have to say about how the drug is working or not working and what we are feeling. Increasing and adding are not always the answers and it shouldn’t require reaching the very highest dosage possible to finally conclude it doesn’t work because now we’re the ones who have to suffer through the unnecessary withdrawals. I’m glad to hear you did what you knew was best for you and that therapy is helping you cope. Just gotta take things one moment at a time. (I purposely don’t say “day” anymore because sometimes one day doesn’t even feel possible. I more so believe that we live moment to moment, not day to day. Moments feel more manageable.) Good luck in the future!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Yes!!! So similar to my experiences and only one place really tried to get me off meds – off the cocktail they also referred to! I also had to come off Effexor (Venlaxafine here), so I understand 😦
        I’m really glad for you as well that you finally (!!) found a more effective psychiatrist who actually listened and that your meds are more sorted than they were. I also am not worse off for it, for sure. If anything I am doing better off them than I ever was on them. Best of luck to you as well and keep it up (exactly, a moment at a time) xxx

        Liked by 1 person

    • I believe her use of “they pumped me full of chemicals” was poetic…and yes, BPD is well known as not having any “miracle drug” that can fix it. Instead, they try to treat the symptoms and use all different classes of drugs to try and do so. The problem is that the effectiveness of each depends on the person, so you can run the gamut of drugs and still not find anything effective. Benozs are the most effective class of drug, so of course they are also the most harmful as well as the most dangerous as far as addiction. I’m an outsider, it’s my daughter with the BPD. She is only 16 and also feels “pumped full of chemicals.” Wonderful piece, BorderlineBabbler, I feel you.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Thank you so much Celena I really appreciate this, especially as I was feeling invalidated etc after the previous comment. Thanks for writing down your experience and this explanation. It’s sad how common my story with meds is… I’m so sorry to hear that you and your daughter are going through similar. Wish you all the best xxx

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Your meds journey is so familiar. In our case a year of no diagnosis followed by a year of mistaken bipolar diagnosis led us thru a long period of trying one med after another. We’ve tried many of the ones you mentioned, plus lithium. None worked, some had terrible side effects. In the end a complex case review recognised the meds weren’t working (just as depressed, anxious and suicidal) and were damaging health (weight, thyroid, blood pressure, PCOS, tremors) and moved to the BPD diagnosis. Took 3 months in hospital to wean off and now on no psych meds. DBT and therapy are the only things that have worked for my girl, the only things that have helped with suicidality, anxiety, depression and all those things meds are supposed to treat. Would have been lovely to have had a med that helped but reality for my lass is that hard work and DBT will be what brings her thru.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is exactly fitting for me as well and I relate hugely. I really hope she has that therapeutic support available and that things start/ continue improving for you all. Take care and thank you for relating, it means a lot especially as I was questioning myself after previous comments on the post! Thanks 🙂

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  3. It wasn’t just you, I felt she was a bit snarky and flippant, perhaps she didn’t mean to be. In any case, you did a fantastic job with your replies. It’s hard to not get prickled and come off as rude during misunderstandings, but you were very classy about it. Have no self doubt here!

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  4. Maybe like me Joanne is a member of the medical profession working with inadequate resources, trying to cope with – an prevent the death of -people like you. That might be why she is reading your blog. Our intentions are to do the best we can with what we have. I also felt attacked by the tone of your blog I think you are doing great, I am doing my best too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I really don’t understand why you feel attacked I was literally saying that I was pumped with a lot of medication not referring to anyone in particular, it could have been referring to my parents for example! Anyway I’m sorry you feel that way it wasn’t my intention, this is my outlet. The thing is, it is very much an issue that needs to be addressed and one which is very common amongst people in my position. As a reality, even if it offends people, it needs to be heard and validated because it is very much an issue. I have to say I was let down so many times by services but I do not express my anger inappropriately by putting people down etc, it’s just very very sad and some of the ways I was treated were unacceptable. That doesn’t mean you personally aren’t doing all you can but I would be surprised if, as a medical professional, you do not see the mass failings within the NHS mental health system? I never would attack anyone that’s not my intention. I know everyone is trying their best. Unfortunately when people’s lives are at stake, sometimes trying one’s best isn’t good enough. I know people who have died due to failures of medical/ psychiatric professionals/ the system as a whole. It’s the sad reality and does need to be spoken about! 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is babbles blog and she should be able to say what she likes without getting negative responses. It’s obvious she was just saying about her experiences and wasn’t attacking anyone specifically. Well done on those people who just made her feel invalidated and bad about her post…. If dragging people down is your aim find another blog to do it on. You aren’t welcome here. Also, before anyone feels the need to point out that it was just their opinion, that’s fine. But have a little bit more sensitivity about the way you phrase things. Or maybe even send a private email to babble if you aren’t clear on what she is trying to say rather than making a public show of things.

    Keep up the blog babble. I find it so amazingly helpful and really appreciate your honesty and insight as a fellow BPD sufferer.

    Much love. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw Gemma this is so very touching and considerate. I really genuinely am so grateful especially as I know you understand. Sometimes people seem to act like we can’t know the “truth” because we are ill, when actually we often make the best advisors/ advocates/ voices of experience regarding anything related within the field. I certainly did not mean to offend anyone on my post and was so surprised how personally and negatively it was received by some people. I don’t have many positive things to say about myself but one thing I know is that I always try my best to lessen the pain of others, not increase it, and to be the kindest person I can be. I would never mean anything cruel or hurtful at all; I was merely expressing my experience, and was shocked at how unaccepting that apparently is – especially on a place that is my blog, my outlet, my safe place, etc!
      Thank you again I really appreciate it Gemma. It means a ton to me and I hope you are doing okay….. xxxx

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  6. I cant see the rest of this post?

    On 3 Jul 2016 10:29 am, “Living with Borderline Personality Disorder” wrote:

    > BorderlineBabbler posted: “They pumped me full of chemicals and got me > hooked on tens of pills: S.S.R.I.s, the first I tried, Fluoxetine then > Sertraline. Antipsychs like Seroquel, Respiradone, Olanzapine. S.N.R.I > Venlafaxine, do not forget Duloxetine. Pregabalin, Propanolol, the” >

    Like

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