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Author Topic: Why are anti-psychotic, and other mind altering drugs given to people when...  (Read 14443 times)

Offline OldDragon

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...they simply have spinal root nerve pain and muscle spasms? E.g.  Diazepam/valium.

I know this does not suit my system at all, and has a very undesirable, negative effect on my head!

I hate being experimented upon by doctors with cotton wool in their ears, so what other similar drugs to try to control the problem need I be aware of, please? The most recent that I was prescribed was Gabapentin... Reptilian brain surfaced on that, too, and the tongue lashed well. ;) I felt very uninhibited, and took a cop to task over something silly and in which he was clearly in the wrong over. Didn't go too far OTT - but could have. Powerless over the first thought - but not over the second. Much more of some of this prescribed junk and the second won't even register before it is too late!

It can't be right, surely, for a drug to affect a person in the complete opposite way to what it is supposed to act,and assuming they are not actually suffering from the condition a drug is primarily designed to treat? Is there nothing around that can calm down inflamed spinal root nerves, so the spasms subside, but without the unwanted side effects?





 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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All drugs have possible side-effects. That is a price we pay for having them. If a particular drug doesn't suit you, see your GP and get a different one.

As for why sedatives are sometimes prescribed in what seem inappropriate circumstances, sever pain can cause a lot of distress to some people. Prescribing sedatives can hekp alleviate this.

Chris, being a doctor, can probably tell you why better than I can.
 

Offline OldDragon

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Alas, sedatives don't always have the desired effect on my system! Still waiting for a Nitrazepam to take effect... Took it over four hours ago, and still wide awake! Took two the last time, and was still wide awake at 10am the following morning.

Don't know why some folk like me keep trying the same thing over and over again expecting the result to be different? Insanity, perhaps? Would have taken two tonight, except only had one left! They never work, unless I was given placebos or some from an ineffective batch? Dare not lie down until I know I'll fall asleep withing seconds, due to the back spasming.

Be better off with another couple of aspirins - except I dare not take anymore of those at present, else I'll be bleeding all over the place. Will have to wait until Tuesday before I can try to get another short course of Prednisilone from my regular doc. That will work, but I'm in no mood to wish to stay awake for three more days! ;D
« Last Edit: 07/12/2008 04:45:06 by OldDragon »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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I've got loads of Prednisolone. Want me to send you some?  :D
 

Offline OldDragon

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The way the post is around here? Forget it! I'll have completed the course before the postie gets here.(But thanks, anyway. ;D)

Finally shut my eyes at gone 7am and managed to grab a couple of hours sleep before the hospital rang me... to see how I was! Kind of them, but did they have to wake me up to ask? Can't really recall what I answered, I was likely talking in my sleep, so could have been any old garbage! Had to be up for the blacksmith anyway, and for a change he was ahead of himself, and came about two hours earlier than arranged. Seems miracles can happen! (Anyone who knows the time-keeping reputations of farriers will understand that remark...  ;)
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Having horses of my own I do indeed understand the randomness of farrier-time  :D
 

Offline OldDragon

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But is yours ever EARLY?  :o Usually they seem to be at least two hours late, or else not turn up at all. However, in fairness, my present farrier (father/son/cousin partnership) does have the father's wife managing the telephone, so she usually calls me if there is likely to be a change in the appointment time. That's  great unless I've already left the house, as I don't have a mobile. I can't grip/easily use these dainty little modern things, so loaned mine to my son - that pleases the service provider, as my bills were often 0.00 - or perhaps up to 3 if I had a breakdown in the car. Now I dread the bills arriving, and have to plan methods of cash extraction... The threat to take just one valium/Diazepam is usually enough to get my son to cough up, though!  ;D Like I said before, I turn pure reptilian on a couple of miligrammes of that junk!  ::)  ;)

That is the thing that intrigues me most. I am normally a very calm, rational sort of person. Okay, a little ratty when I can't sleep for long periods, or have a lot of the painful muscles spasms, but on a drug that is supposed to have a calming influence on the system, it is as if my own system kicks off to counter any effect and I lose a degree of my sense of rationality and any inhibitions - almost!

It can take  a real effort on my part not to take someone apart verbally, and when influenced by that type of medication... And it doesn't matter who it is, either - Doctor's, cold-calling salesmen, DSS staff, police officers etc., have all come in for a tongue lashing, although usually with some cause, such as incompetence, ineptitude, or stupidity and so on. I don't even necessarily raise my voice or even appear necessarily angry, but understand only too well that whatever has occurred, to some extent, had put me under some sort of threat, therefore rationally my reaction is one of fight/defence - well, I'm hardly capable of flight!  :D

Okay, so I am normally a fairly assertive person, but when taking that type of medication, there is an element of agression in the directness with which I vocalise my thoughts, that I know isn't often necessary to get my point over. I don't take prisoners.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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I'm not a medical doctor so I can't give you the reasons. Maybe Chris can shed some light if he reads this thread.

I do know, however, that drugs can affect people in different ways. A few years ago I was on mood suppressants. Unfortunately, they didn't so much suppress my moods as make me not care about any consequences of my actions. I got the doc to change them pretty damned quick before I got into serious trouble.
 

Offline OldDragon

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That's it! Caution to the wind, stuff, and to hell with the consequences!  ;D

With my training etc., I have absolutely no excuse (other than the medication as a reason) for behaving in that way, because if anyone should now how responsibility for one's actions lies with the self, and therefore accountability for the consequences, it is me!

I have to err on the side of caution, and take precautions if I am trying a newly prescribed medication for the condition I have.

One of the reasons that I can identify and empathise with substance misuse clients, is because of the way my system reacts to medications such as this. In some of the groups, clients and colleagues have actually thought that I've been using speed!

Sometimes, even without any medication, my system can react with an adreneline (or similar) rush when experiencing the electrical-like spasms in my spine. It can take one heck of an effort to bring myself down and relax afterwards. Add some of these medications and it becomes even worse. At such times, I sometimes don't sleep at all for several days at a time.

 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Do you work in the field of substance abuse? That, allegedly, is my field of expertise.
 

Offline OldDragon

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Yes, mainly with ex-military lads/men and male civilian offenders - although nowadays only on the outside of HMPs, as I found the travelling difficult and regular hours impossible to adhere to due to my health problems. I felt that it was unfair on the lads if I could't work consistently and at the same times and hours each week.

On the outside, I can be at the end of a phone or email/msn chat, if necessary, too.

You?
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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I was Outreach Projects Director for a charity dealing with addicts/dependents in the community.
 

Offline OldDragon

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 ;D We could share notes/observations. Have some articles from back in the early 90s written by some of the lads I've worked with and that you might find interesting - if a little colourful - reading. Might even be able to get consent to reproduce those here. However, some can already be read on the net at:
Substance Misuse Shares from a 1993 Triune Journal - Those two chaps are still clean and sober, too, but both have some serious physical health problems now. Think Snakeman's about 59 and Moose well into his 60s.



 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Thank you. I'll read that later when I have more time.

I'm pleased to hear they're both still clean & sober. It's not easy.
 

Offline OldDragon

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No, it's not easy - but it is simple!  ;)

I found that the youngsters were the hardest to get through too, and because they simply hadn't hurt or lost enough. Some simply have to lose everything before the penny drops, and it takes what it takes. Tough love, usually, and plenty of it. It takes a lot of courage and much self-honesty to get into recovery.

It is sad that so few actually ever get into proper recovery, so many just talk the talk and don't lern to deal with their heads - and of the ones that do, only a tiny proportion stick with it.

All one can do very often is to simply sew the seeds and in the hope that one day they will germinate. In the mean time, they just keep spreading the effects of their behaviour in ever-increasing circles.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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...because they simply hadn't hurt or lost enough

Unfortunately, though, many don't reach that stage until it's too late. They fall into depression & despair as a result and become even more dependent.
 

Offline LeeE

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It is sad that so few actually ever get into proper recovery

For a lot of people, recovery isn't worth the effort, not when life seems to be a choice between exploit, or be exploited, with no alternatives.  When it's perceived that recovery will only lead you to a place that is fundamentally unfair, why bother?  You're damned if you do, and damned if you don't, so what's the point of trying?  (A rhetorical question, and not my current problem - I'm just standing up for those people who have come to the conclusion that being depressed is a reasonable and appropriate response to their current environment and place within it)
 

Offline OldDragon

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This is where the ability to turn one's thinking around becomes so important, and the most frustrating thing is that so often it is not possible for the support worker to be in a position to make that breakthrough or even be available at the right moment. So often, especially when working with prison inmates, the clock has just beaten us and the moment is lost. It takes as long as it takes, and I used to try and encourage inmates to keep a personal journal or diary to record their thoughts or even a tape recorder, if they couldn't read or write.

One of the chaps - Snakeman, in the second piece at the link in my earlier post - used to record shares for the inmates that someone would type up and I'd take into the prisons for those inmates who wanted to read them.

Having been in and out of prison himself for many years, he knew exactly where many others in that position were coming from, and his words were welcomed by a lot of the lads I saw. He inspired others, and at the same time reminded himself of where he'd come from, the progress he had made, and where he could return to, if he chose to return to his old lifestyle and way of thinking.

If nothing else, if kept him clean and sober.

He started recording those thoughts back in 1988, when he was last released from prison. Since then, he has rebuilt a relationship with his children from his first and failed marriage, married again, and has a young daughter who must be about nine or ten now. The family now own their own home and, until very recently, he worked full-time. It is only since his health has caused him problems that he's been forced to give up his job.

He now does some voluntary work with organisations such as the one I work for, and with offenders and substance misusers - and enjoys it, too. It helps to keep him clean and sober-minded, if nothing else.

Learning to be assertive, and to recognise when one is being exploited, or in danger of becoming an exploiter, can be a fascinating subject for study, but self-awareness is an essential part of that. Fear of the self and what one might discover holds many people back, as much as fear of the unknown, and keeps them in a state of suffering. Whereas pain promotes the opportunities for growth, suffering is optional, I find.

There are alternatives, but not always on one's own terms, and we have to be open-minded. Willing to play the cards as they are dealt - and before you assume that I've never experienced the level of depression that you might refer to, believe me, I have been there. That largely through trusting that the doctors treating me knew what they were doing when they had me dosed up on some 26 pills a day - none of which dealt with the physical pain I was in then, but simply added an array of negative side-effects, and took me to the very point of no return. That was my turning point, and it happened fourteen years ago.

Physically, my body may well be wrecked, but emotionally and spiritually, I am still hanging in there and fighting, and really quite content within myself most of the time. I CHOOSE to be as I am, and for today.

Today I have that choice, and for that I am grateful.

« Last Edit: 16/12/2008 02:07:57 by OldDragon »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Fear of the self and what one might discover holds many people back, as much as fear of the unknown, and keeps them in a state of suffering.

That is very true.
 

Offline OldDragon

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It is a strange old world, where the key to freedom comes by admitting defeat - but it takes courage to do that. Not easy for someone who has resorted to escaping into an altered state of consciousness through drink or drugs as a means of coping with the reality or accepting life on life's terms, and not their own. Perhaps that is why substance misuse is so rife within the prison system? (Or does it just reflect what is happening outside and in society, too?)





 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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I think it's just a way of coping with prison life
 

Offline OldDragon

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But it is no different on the outside, so that surely proves those who use on the outside do so to cope with life - and in doing so, bring about their own premature death very often. (Or else wind up escaping life on the outside by being given life on the inside.)

Recall one inmate saying 'I used to escape reality until reality hit me in the face with a baseball bat and fractured my skull.'
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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It's true that a lot of people do have trouble coping with life. Drugs are used to help forget the realities of the world for a while. Unfortunately, though, all that happens in a lot of cases is that the drugs make matters worse. Being "straight" seems even worse after they've been high, so they want to get high more often. It's a vicious circle; the more high they get, and the more often, the worse reality seems.

However, it's not just those who are less fortunate or depressed who resort to drugs. Look at the level of cocaine use among money traders in the City. In their case it is used mainly as a means of coping with the pressure of their work.

One must also take into account that there is a lot of difference between a person who is physically addicted, one who feels they cannot get through the day without drugs (psychological dependence), and someone who sits down with a spliff after work to relax. The latter I view as being no different to relaxing with a glass of wine.

But back to the prison problem, I see that as largely being a way of alleviating the boredom & mind-numbing monotony of life behind bars. I haven't seen any official figures, but I'm willing to bet that drug use in open prisons, where prisoners have more freedom to move around and do things, is less than in higher-security institutions where the inmates are locked in their cells for hours on end day after day.
 

Offline OldDragon

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Don't forget that, inside any prison, things like drugs, cigarettes, and almost anything not openly available is treated like currency. It is possibly easier for inmates to get such things into an open prison than it is a closed one. I learned of some very inventive means of smuggling things into the prisons when working there, and from the ex-inmates.

Whether someone is physically addicted or psychologically so, the emotions are what those concerned are unable to deal with - or even cope with - and those emotions are the same.

It isn't how much, or how often a person uses some substance or another that is important, but why, and what effect it has on their lives and the lives of others around them.

Look and listen for the similarities, not the differences.

You mention stress and city money traders... Could be a connection there with the recession/credit crunch. For sure some very irrational decisions have been taken there! Makes one wonder???

Nowhere is exempt from the influences of the 'addictive personality' - not even Westminster or the White House, so let's not kid ourselves. When one listens to what some say, listens to how they say it, and watches what they do, it can be quite educational. (And it can hit one in the pocket, too - including one's pension fund!)

 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Whether someone is physically addicted or psychologically so, the emotions are what those concerned are unable to deal with - or even cope with - and those emotions are the same.

The last part of that statement is a bit ambiguous. Do you mean emotions that have caused the addiction/depndence or emotions in general?
 

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