Tuesday, October 2, 2012

No More Benzo's!

Over the weeks preceding my hospitalization, I had started taking klonopin on a daily basis. Not a lot, maybe half a milligram a day most days, but that is a lot for me. Part of the reason was I stopped the Ambien due to morning fogginess- and the Lunesta that my doctor gave me in it's place was even worse (so I took klonopin- makes no sense). And part of it was the growing anxiety I had- which was really secondary to the depression. I was too depressed to do what I needed to do- so I was anxious about things. I wasn't happy I was taking it, but it seemed to get me through the moment.

I took my last klonopin my first night in the hospital- at 1am because I couldn't sleep. The next day I had switched back to ambien. And I no longer had to function- if I felt anxious, I could just pace (which I did). And as the lithium has been raised, I think that it has also had an anti-anxiety effect.

So I decided while in the hospital, no more benzo's. Ever. They make me depressed in the long run, they have cognitive side effects, they have rebound effects. So no more. So far, it really hasn't been much of an issue- I haven't really wanted to take any klonopin- but I know that I haven't been tested. Also, I am taking Ambien, so I am sleeping really well.

I also came off the Wellbutrin. I told my doctor in the hospital that I am on so many drugs that if I am going on one drug (lithium), I have to get off of something else, and I wasn't sure if the wellbutrin was doing anything anyway.

Still too many drugs. If I had more courage, I would use this time away from work to try to get off of my Zyprexa. Or at least to reduce it. I don't think I will. I just got off of benzo's, I can't get off of two "downer's" at once!

But we are trying to reduce my Effexor, and I don't know if I am out of my mind for doing this or not. I was just hospitalized for depression, why try to reduce my antidepressant? Because I take an incredibly high dose. And less meds sounds good to me- and I am not working, so now seems like the time to try it.

What I really need to decide about is the ambien. I tried taking 7.5mg a couple of nights ago, but my body wasn't having it. I didn't fall asleep until I gave in and took another 5mg pill. Perhaps I gave in too soon. Perhaps I just need to have a few sleepless nights and then ambien will work great at 5mg. But my other plan is to try Sonata, which has an extremely short half-life, and is much less likely to make me fuzzy the next morning.

Other meds- I will probably stay on for the moment. Just the effexor and the ambien I will try to reduce for now. And the lithium- I am not sure about my dose. My doctor at the program raised my dose from 750mg to 900mg because my level was so low. I said sure, because I figured having a therapeutic lithium level would put me in a better position to someday get off of the Zyprexa and not get manic. But since the increase my stomach has not felt good- and I don't know if is the reason. I don't think I need 900mg of lithium for antidepressant augmentation purposes, and if I am going to have side effects- and I'm not trying to get off of the Zyprexa right now anyway- then it is just not worth it to be this high.

So I put in a request to see the psychiatrist today at the program, but I was not seen.

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