Been told I'm an addict, so upset.

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by hermitlady, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    I took a serious mental bashing about my "drug abuse" from my husband and a few family members the day after Christmas. Due to my FM/CFS and mitochondrial disorder, I am on several prescription meds and have been for about 10 yrs.

    My physical/mental condition has progressively worsened quite a bit over the past 4 yrs or so, much more pain, fatigue, depression, anxiety. When this whole thing started, I was first diagnosed w major depression and a psychiatrist prescribed ADs until I finally found one (Prozac) that seemed to help. Unfortunately, I seem to have more bad days than good, even while on ADs, Ativan, Methadone and Norco (I went thru all of the non narcotic pain meds first before practically begging for relief w Vicodin)...they just aren't fixing the problems anymore.

    Long story short, my dh is just about ready to send me packing. He told me that if I don't do something to change the way I live (feeling sick and tired and depressed all the time, isolating myself the majority of the time, never wanting to do anything or go anywhere), then he wants a divorce. I know he's had to put up w a lot since I've been sick, I'm not the same person he married almost 25 yrs ago, I'm not fun to be around, I have no motivation, nothing interests me, etc. etc. (but he's not the same either, and I've taken care of him when he's had some major medical problems).

    So, in the midst of visiting relatives 8 hrs from home, he blows up over some silly thing I did/didn't do and completely flattened me emotionally. Then a couple hrs later he comes back to talk some more and says he thinks I'm an addict and need to clear all the meds out of my system since they don't seem to be helping. I do tend to agree w the clear out and start over plan, but I am not a drug addict. Dependent? Yes, as many of us are on our pain meds....

    I currently take these meds daily: 10mg Methadone, up to 3 Norco (10/325), Prozac 40mg, Trazodone 50mg (for sleep), Ativan 2 mg, 2 prescription amino acid supps, and an occasional Flexeril at night (maybe 3x a month). Dh, his BIL who is an AA member/recovering alcoholic, SIL, and my sister and mom think I need to go to inpt rehab and get off of all of this stuff.

    I have always known I would end up needing to get off the pain meds, and it may not be easy for me to do at home. In fact, that's one reason I take the be able to take less Norco daily. Dr. is very supportive, and we have talked about this before.

    Well, I have a Dr appt Monday so dh and I can talk to him about all of this. I'm so tired of feeling judged by the pills I take to try and have a better quality of life. But, at the same time I realize I still feel terrible 90% of the time even while on these meds.

    My dr is working on figuring out this whole mess of diagnoses I have, trying to add supplements and all that good stuff. But do I really need to go into drug rehab? Would they laugh at me if I told them the amount of drugs I need to wean off of?

    I went back and read some old posts where other folks here were in this same position. I know someone here may have some good advice, without making me feel like such a loser. My dh is being very kind and wants to help me feel better, wants to work on marriage, because I simply cannot do it on my own.

    I dread every day and can't believe how much time I've wasted just existing with these stupid illnesses. I've become someone who I don't recognize physically or mentally, I'm such a mess and so afraid now that I may be on my own soon if dh decides I don't change enough, get better or whatever he wants to call it. My dearest sister is supporting this idea of rehab because she's seen my health continue to decline even tho I'm taking these meds...she knows me better than anyone and knows how horribly depressed I've been getting.

    I'm just not even seeing a tiny light at the end of the tunnel anymore, hopeless and unable to help myself. I forget things, can't keep up w the house, can't work, can't successfully parent my kids who have special needs and serious behavior problems. I'm pretty much bottomed out right now, please help me if you can. I know my dh and family want me to get better, but it's hard because I always have no self esteem and take everything so personally. I always feel everything is my fault, altho in reality it's a mixed bag of many problems here. HELP!

    Thanks for taking the time to read this, I don't know where else to turn!

    xoxo Hermit
    [This Message was Edited on 01/02/2010]
    [This Message was Edited on 01/02/2010]
  2. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    That is a lot of prescription meds to be on at one time. It sounds like your husband and family members are very concerned about you. If you were an addict, you would be fighting this every step of the way. As you yourself recognize that you aren't functioning at your best, and that the pills aren't helping you, then it probably is the right time to get some help as far as the meds are concerned.

    Talking with your doctor first of all makes a lot of sense. He can help you to slowly decrease your meds so that you don't go through withdrawal. Once you have the meds cleared from your system, it will give both of you a better picture of what is going on with you at this point in time, and what direction to go in next as far as prescription meds are concerned. I think some times doctors tend to prescribe extra meds to combat side-effects which then in turn just makes an already bad situation worse. It sounds like this could be going on with you right now.

    Good luck with your appointment on Monday. Let us know how it goes.
  3. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    You sound very supportive, thanks. I do know that something has to change in order to get my life back, so starting w the meds is a sensible place to start. I have often wondered if some of my problems are due to the meds I'm taking, it gets a bit confusing with so many variables going into your body. I had been w the same psychiatrist for several yrs and she never believed I should go off my ADs, she knows my history of being hospitalized for depression in the past. Honestly I've been afraid to go off my meds for fear I'll get worse, but I feel so terrible lately that I'm changing my thinking. I just switched all my care over to my Primary Care doc, so hopefully we can clear the slate and start over.

    Yes, I know all too well that I don't need any added stress, but this is mild compared to other things I've been thru over the past 15 yrs or so (my profile tells a bit about the struggles w my sometimes violent, bipolar, autistic 17 yr old daughter). I was very angry and hurt by the way my dh blew up at me, but he really is a very good man. He's burned out from my constant negativity, complaining and always feeling sick. I'm pretty fried myself, believe me!! I honestly don't blame him, he's put up w a lot of stress too. I really do love him and couldn't imagine going thru a divorce for many reasons, there is a lot to fight for here even tho I just vented about a lot of bad feelings. I would be terrified for one thing to be out on my own, not able to work, no disability payments, I just am not strong enough to go thru that. I truly believe I'd fall apart and never recover, I know that sounds lame, but I like being married. My family cares about me, but at the same time it hurts to hear some of it. See, I've been sick for so long and have pretty much given up hope, just lying around all day feeling sorry for myself. My mom (who is the sweetest little 86 yr old lady) even told me to "buck up" and get out of bed, stop hiding in my bedroom. She's worried about me and only wants to see me feel better and become a happy person again. I wish for that everyday, but will I ever get there? Not by myself, I'll need all of my family to help me however they can. I'm grateful for your input about the meds, but I have been on just about every AD out there including Effexor like you mentioned. It did nothing for the depr, and had awful side effects. I'm very sensitive to meds and always get terrible side effects, Prozac is the only one that doesn't make me feel tired, wired, nauseous, nervous or any of the other side effects ADs have. It makes it so much harder to find a compatible med when dealing w such sensitivities, I'm glad to hear your AD is working for you...lucky girl:)

    I have a great Doctor who puts in extra hours researching my rare metabolic disorder, unfortunately no other docs seem to even know what it is (it's called MTHFR and can cause all kinds of different illnesses). So, I'm calming down and realizing I need to let people help me. I am still so depressed, but looking forward to talking to my doc on Monday. I cannot imagine living like this much longer, this is NOT living! I'm sure there are others here that know what I mean...CFS/FM/Depr are cruel conditions to wake up w everyday! Thanks again for reading my rambling vent...Hermit

    Sorry, I missed a couple of you who were posting at the same time I was.

    GB66, thank you for sharing your story. I am very curious to know what my head will feel like when cleared of all of this stuff. Did you have to stay long inpatient for your withdrawal? Just curious how much you were taking and how long it took to get off of it.

    My dh will be with me for my dr appt. All of my family and inlaws live several hrs away, so I don't have them nearby to help or take me to appts. I really don't have many true friends, I seem to have lost the few I had since I've had my kids w their problems, and became ill myself. My sister is my best friend, in fact she's on the phone right now, so gotta go. Thanks for your support my friend:)

    [This Message was Edited on 01/02/2010]
  4. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    Hermitlady needs to thank her husband and family for caring enough about her to be concerned. It sounds like her husband wants to save their marriage, not throw it away. Divorce is NOT the answer. Getting her meds reevaluated is. Even Hermitlady realizes that she is in a bad place right now and that her meds aren't helping her.
  5. lynncats

    lynncats New Member

    i could have wrote this, but the best thing that I got out of it all is your sister. thank GOD for sisters, mine is my saviour, I could go and go on more how, mine has hellpled me, and does to this day, WORDS.


  6. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    Just coasting along without the energy or motivation to help myself or think logically. My fog has gotten so thick, I have terrible memory and zero organizational skills. Now I'm realizing it's probably not just fibrofog alone that's causing this! DUH.

    Nothing about these dds is easy, I think we all know that. I have been in a psych hospital due to depression for a 4 wk stay, about 5 yrs ago. It was a good experience, but I wouldn't want to go back to that particular hospital for my med detox (from what I heard it wasn't as good of a program as the psych side was).

    Some R and R is sounding better everyday. I know I enjoyed my hospital stay because I was able to focus on MYSELF and not have to worry about the daily stuff w my kids, housework, etc. A few massages sound awfully enticing too.

    My sister (a different one from the one I mentioned before, I have 3...confused??) has offered to pay the 20% Copay for me since we're rather short on $$ right now. She's always been a lifesaver cuz she's financially well off, single, no kids and always offers to help w $$ when needed. As you might notice, we're all very close even tho we live far apart, and I'm sooo thankful for that!

    Thank you all so very much for your support and input. This place has eased my mind so many times when I feel like I'm losing it, I am so grateful to everyone. It's such a comfort to hear from others who truly understand! I hope I can repay you all in support when you need it!

    Love you all, Hermit
  7. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    Good hearing from you, you are always the rock around here and I love you for it!

    I do worry about what my pain will be like if I get off the pain meds. I remember how I felt before I started taking them, how I'd curl up under a warm blanket and cry while waiting in the exam room for my doc to come in. No fun. I will most certainly bring this up w him, in fact he once told me the same thing your dr did, that I might always need some type of pain meds unless my FM improves (I wish).

    I think everyone pretty much understands my dds and why I take the meds I do. I've researched so much and emailed many informative articles to them. They just want me to get healthy, and know how miserable I have been for so long even tho I'm taking these meds.

    I don't think I'm taking that many meds either, it always gets to me when people make that comment about the quantity of meds i take. I've seen others who have much longer lists than I do, and usually for a good reason. Oh well, if some folks could just walk a day in our shoes, eh?

    I'll keep you posted, I'm sure I'll be asking for more support nearly everyday. Hope you're doing well, thanks again....H
  8. mafusula

    mafusula New Member

    My Dr had me on Oxycontin for my pain as I couldn't function at all, as well as Effexor XR. I was coping so well that I asked her if maybe it was time to stop the Oxy but she said that the reason I did feel good was because of the Oxycontin, even though I wasn't on a very high dose.

    Unfortunately, she left about 6 months ago and I had to see another DR. He told me that oxy was very addictive and that I should start decreasing it slowly and then try Panadiene Forte. Stupid me agreed with him and I slowly decreased it until I wasn't taking any. I had started the Panadiene Forte and a fortnight later he left as well.

    My pain is a constant 7-8 daily and I now cannot find a dr who will give me anything stronger than panadiene Forte!!! this pain has increased my depression as well and I'm now booked in to see a psychiatrist next Wednesday.

    What I'm trying to say is for you to think very carefully about stopping your meds, if you are having trouble coping now, how will you be with no meds at all!!! I think you family are being selfish to ask you to do this, you are the one suffering, not them!!

    Just because some of us need stronger meds than others for their pain does not mean we are drug addicts. Think about this - what would happen if a diabetic decided to stop her meds, or someone with heart or blood pressure problems, if they all stopped their meds it would probably kill them at the very worst! Fibromyagia and Depression are diseases too, most people need meds for them to be able to cope with their daily lives!!

    I hope this helps in some way!!
  9. jole

    jole Member

    I'm on 5 fairly potent meds per day, plus supps, and have tried to quit several of them by slowly cutting back. Totally quit two of them and was sooo proud of myself. So was my doc. Then my symptoms came back, and I had to be restarted on them.

    Sometimes we take so many prescriptions because our bodies actually NEED them. But it's definitely worth a try to stop them...or change them to something that works better. That would be the only reason I would even try!

    Just make sure you're doing it for yourself and not for others, okay??? YOU are the important one here!! Yes, it's great that your family is concerned, but at the same time, they are not living with your pain/fatigue, etc. I hope you find help, and perhaps even better meds to work for you! Wishing you the best of luck! ...................Jole
  10. shari1677

    shari1677 New Member

    Hermitlady, I know what you are talking about. I'm 42 and have been on meds for the past 20+ years. I was diagnosed with FM about 5 years ago at which point my meds practically doubled and/or tripled.

    I am divorced, so, I dont have the whole husband being on me about my medication problem.

    However, I do have family and friends who have been on me about it and, you know what I did? I QUIT TELLING THEM.

    Nobody, except my children, know how many pills I take. EVER.

    I dont even talk about my disease anymore 'cuz according to them, I just dont try hard enough. (Of note, I've literally been housebound for a little over 2 years now due to fatigue).

    I dont know if this will help you, but, I wanted to let you know that you are not alone in this!
  11. areseauu

    areseauu New Member

    You have an invasive disease. As you know, stress of any kind worsens the symptoms. Do nothing, change nothing until you talk to you doctor. The suggestion to take your husband to the doctors appointment is a must. If you haven't already, do you own research, and print out the info. Have your husband read it. Fibro is a disease that take a combo of meds to even feel human. There is no one pill that makes it all better. If your doctor says you are on the best combo for you then trust him. A rehab will only do you worse. Rehab is not the answer. And I agree about the is the wrong AD for Fibro. Citalopram is better. Zoloft is a good one, too. But some AD become less effective after several years of taking them. It sounds like you have a serious case of FM. Therefore, your symptoms are severe. If you live in an area that has winter seasons, then your symptoms will become worse during those months (new research 02/2009). What happened to the promise of for better or for worse? If he insists on divorce after he has gone to the doctor with you and you have ADJUSTED your meds, not quit them, then let him go. Perhaps he will agree to a separation instead. This will be less dramatic and less stressful as it suggests that the both of you are 'working on it' rather than stating, 'this is it-it is done'.
    It took my husband several years to fully get the picture of my disease. I did as many of the FM sites suggested: talk to everyone you spend a lot of time with; co-workers, bosses, husbands, kids, mothers and fathers, friends. I lost many friends due to this disease. I now have one friend that is awesome. She understands and isn't mad because I cancel on her. She is supportive. I gave her printed out info, too. I gave printed out info to my mom and it took her several years to even get an idea of what I go through everyday.
    So, you must minimize stress as much as possible. Somethings you just cannot cancel out of your life. You need to include your husband in your doctors appointments. You need to understand how serious your disease really is. You must build boundries for your health. This may include, for instance, not taking any phone calls after 7:00pm in order to focus on your family at night.
    Perhaps you might want to let you husband read some of the answers you received here. You have the option to censor which ones you want him to read.

    Have you been to FibroHugs?
    Or National Fibromyalgia Association?
    There are so many sites for support and info.

    Best wishes to you.
    Be good to you.


    CATHYRG New Member

    I think you are bottoming out from either your FM/CFS,prescription drugs or both. I would if it were me, go into a inpatient addiction clinic get cleaned up from the precription drugs with alot of help and support, and then reevaluate your illness with an enlightened medical person. sometimes we end up chasing our tail and what use to help us makes us sick and we need to stop all treatment (under medical advisement acourse)and find out what is causing what. God bless you and I hope and pray you find a solution for you. momacats
  13. pumkinhead

    pumkinhead New Member

    In my humble opinion i beleive the methadone could be causing most of your problems. My sis
    & bro weree both on methadone for pain. We could all see how thier personality changed dratically. Since then they are off that drug and it seems that everything changed.
    Methadone can make people look and feel like a zombie.

    I too suffered alot of judgement over meds. With my pain level it is impossible to think of not
    having any help with the pain.

    My doc is weaning me off cybalta and on to Sevella. I hope it works. Cymbalta used to work well for me but not now.

    You need to do what is best for you. I am glad you have a good doc.

    Best wishes
  14. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    It was me who said "wow" and I stand by that. I believe I counted eight meds that Hermitlady is taking. That is a lot, even for someone who is in incredible pain, whether from CFS/FM or depression. When you consider a lot of her meds have side-effects, and then you pile side-effect on top of side-effect, is it any wonder that she feels like crap at the present time?

    As someone who has watched a family member go through hell while on three meds, I can understand why her husband is concerned. My sister and I eventually took our concerns to this person's doctor and he agreed. The doctor wasn't aware of the fact that they had become a complete zombie while taking the three meds together. Once the meds were stopped, a whole different person emerged. Did he need to be on meds? yes, absolutely he did. However, he needed to be on different ones than he was originally prescribed.

    If a person can't function while on prescription meds, then something is very wrong. What better way to start the new year than to get this resolved :)
  15. FibroFay

    FibroFay New Member

    I just want to wish you good luck with your doctors appointment on Monday. I'm eager to hear what you and your doctor decide to do. I'm so glad you have a loving, supportive family. You're going to make it through this. You have a strong support network and a good doctor. I know how hard it is when you need alot of medicines and you still feel awful. I hope this all turns out that you are feeling much better, whether with fewer medicines or with different medicines. Please keep us informed how you are doing.

    Warm Hugs, Fay
  16. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    Sorry, I haven't been able to use my laptop today cuz my son has been using it, working on a project for school.

    I appreciate all of the input. I am not up for arguing over which med I shouldn't be taking or should start taking. I have tried sooo many meds of all kinds that I couldn't tolerate due to the side effect sensitivity I have. The Prozac has been prescribed for my chronic depression, not for the FM. I've tried other sleeping pills, ADS, etc, but these were the best I could tolerate. Traz has been a life saver and always holds constant w helping me sleep, it's a very small dose so it doesn't act as an AD, just helps me sleep more solid.

    I've been to so many drs and tried so many meds over the years that it just got so frustrating. Thanks for some of the suggestions on meds, but most that were mentioned did not agree w me. Sometimes the "dinosaur" meds are the best fit for people.

    My dh is not just going to file for divorce and throw me to the curb. It was just the initial argument we had and we both overreacted. Now I'm kind of sorry I posted what I did in my first entry, I was upset. He loves me and wants to work things out for everyone. I will not do anything that I don't want to do, I am a very independent woman and do not feel I am abused at all. However, my self esteem issues began as a child due to verbal/emotional abuse from a very controlling father (who is no longer living). Old habits die hard.

    I always take info I've found when I go to the dr and he is always receptive and eager to learn more about these dds. He's one in a million.

    Janalynn knows me the best I think. She made some very good points and knows the hell I've been thru dealing w my daughters violent, aggressive behaviors for the last 16 yrs. The stress has been unbelievable, and I'm sure it is one of the factors that led to my dds. I was depressed as a child and throughout my life, but didn't realize it or get treatment until I was in my 30s.

    This life is not what I expected, I've been so miserable the last several years. Anyone who has to deal w children w major mental and developmental problems is up for a huge fight. I've been fighting w her and for her until I am exhausted emotionally and physically. It is almost impossible to find help for children w mental illness and autism etc. She will be 18 in March and we are planning on placing her in a residential facility to see if it helps. Nothing is ever laid in stone, we take it hour by hour w her.

    I thank you all again and probably won't be back until tomorrow after my dr appt. I'll let you know what I decide, along w support from my dr and dh and family. Gotta go help son w his last minute work on this project of his (he is the world's worst procrastinator and sooo stubborn, with lots of learning disorders, arg!)

    See you tomorrow,
  17. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I take Trazadone and if I did not my RLS and sleep problems would be worse. But that is my experience and not the real reason I am writing.

    Make sure your doctor gives you a through physical with bloodtests. Sometimes we attribute everything to our DD.

    I am glad you have a supportive doctor. You are dealing with a lot.

    One other thing I will mention and this may not apply to you I had a problem with the SSSI's wearing off after a while. I can't take SNRIs as they made me manic. So my doctor added Lamictal to the Zoloft I was already taking and it really helped. It was originally for bi-polar but is now used for other reasons.

    You may already have thought of the above and hope I have not repeated what others have said.

    Let us know how your appointment goes. I am also going to bump up an article that I found that explains how physically harmful pain can be for your body.

    Take care.

  18. justdifferent

    justdifferent New Member

    I've had two marriages break up in part due to my CFS. My second husband said literally that he did not want to take care of me.

    I wax and wane but manage to hold down a full-time stressful job and coparent my kids. My quality of life sucks; stress through the roof, pain, exhaustion; but that's life in America. Someone has to pay the bills, and right now that's me. I have to have insurance, and that's only through my job. I'm not yet sick "enough" to get disability, so on I trudge in misery.

    My doctors don't want to give me pain drugs, but as a panic disorder patient I can get benzos no problem. Unlike the other benzos, Xanax (alprazolam) can slightly enhance mood. However, it is harder to discontinue, and causes me severe short-term memory loss. Klonopin is better for maintenance of the panic disorder and is also recommended for RLS - which I have.

    aussiewoman - part of the reason American doctors may prescribe cheaper medication is that it's mandated by an insurance company or it's what their patients can afford. We have huge problems in that we have NO safety net - no universal health care, no real disability without a huge fight, and even then a much decreased standard of living, etc. The entire system is set up to favor those who work and punish those who do not. If one has a supportive family with money, then perhaps one could keep a semblance of the standard of living they once had; otherwise - it's either continue to work despite killing yourself slowly by doing so, or going into the poorhouse. We also get next to no holiday time per year off work.

    It's cruel to be sick in America, even more crueler to be ill with something that people don't understand and don't believe in.

    This *is* a hard time with low temperatures, short day lengths, demands on us for "perfect" Christmases, etc. There will be an upswing as we move away from this time. Also - Christmas gets families together, which often leads to clashes and ultimatums. Ugh. I'm in the middle of one regarding not me, but other family members.

    BTW - in my case, having others tell my husband just how ill I was, was the final straw in him deciding to dump me and my illness. The "in sickness and in health" clause appears to be ignored these days. I supported him when he needed it, but he doesn't want to reciprocate.

    We are justified in our anger, our feelings of being betrayed, of not being understood. But the only way those things help is if they can help us not feel guilty or blame ourselves too much, and instead motivate ourselves to continue to push for better and more specific care.
  19. justdifferent

    justdifferent New Member

    I took care of my husband when he was depressed and out of work. I worked and paid the bills, despite being fatigued and in pain. My thanks was getting complained at because I couldn't keep up with the housework - and he couldn't do it since he was depressed!

    I do think that part of the reason the majority of CFS patients are female is because so much more is expected of us.
  20. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Some people like to use some of the older meds. as they have a proven track record and the side effects are known. Many of the older meds are cheaper as many have gone generic.

    Sorry to get off topic, but someones post, sorry can't remember who, was talking about Americans prescribed cheaper drugs.

    I am sure there are exceptions for this.