natural mamas who choose meds? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 43 Old 11-02-2009, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am one and one of my reservations about taking them was it seemed so "unnatural" so lacking in beauty and soul...

I am curious how many natural mamas out there like me have chosen meds when natural things just didn't help enough.

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#2 of 43 Old 11-03-2009, 09:54 AM
 
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struggling with this same question, still have not come to a conclusion.

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#3 of 43 Old 11-03-2009, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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BakerALM...not sure I was clear in my OP but I am now taking them and don't regret it at all.

I've been an angel with my diet, taken herbs faithfully, 5 HTP, Serofin (the super strong St Johns from New Chapter)...ect ect...

still I had to take further steps.... since there is an imbalance there that I needed modern science to help with I guess is the conclusion I have come to.

hope you find what is right for you.

finally, I felt it was time to try and I'm glad I did.

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#4 of 43 Old 11-03-2009, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know I can't be the only one...

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#5 of 43 Old 11-03-2009, 01:26 PM
 
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I looked at it this way, there is a time and a place for each of the medicine treatment paths. I couldn't afford the natural medicine that I knew helped me and my dd nor could I get her to take it until now so our only options was drugs which were covered 100% by our insurance. We were both in really bad places and it was destroying our family and there was nothing I could do about it thanks to being poor. I spent years trying diet and such since I could afford diet changes but while it helped it wasn't to the level we needed.

I broke down and went for meds and its been a godsend for both of us and now that I do have the money I'm buying the vitamins I know our bodies are severely lacking (malabsorption issues) and stocking up and were already seeing major differences in both of us but I believe our mental health issues (for my family because of known medical problems) are caused mostly by the vitamin deficiencies but if natural treatment doesn't work or there comes a time again when I can't afford it I will reach for or stay on the psych meds were currently taking. I couldn't be the mother my children needed and my dd was a mess too, sometimes we have to take drastic measures to help ourselves and our families function.


Seriously?
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#6 of 43 Old 11-03-2009, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for your perspective Satori, I am glad you posted...

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#7 of 43 Old 11-03-2009, 05:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mystic~mama View Post
thanks for your perspective Satori, I am glad you posted...

also, I know I titled this thread "super crunchy" but anyone struggling with how to get well and feeling unsure about meds is welcome...I just happen to be on the super crunchy end of the lifestyle spectrum and was curious if other mamas similar to me struggled for a long time before deciding to take meds, something they thought they would never do......
If it helps I struggled with Major Depression for 17 years before finally accepting meds, I was at the end of my rope and I was at the point of meds or death because it couldn't go on. I fought meds that long for me and for 8 years for my dd, I just couldn't do it until I got to the point where things became extreme and it was beyond hell to the point I wanted to die to escape it, no one should have to get to the point we did before accepting meds. I know there scary as all get out but sometimes meds are what we need, even if we decide its only for a few months or a life time. Give it a few months and if its not working you can say you tried but at this point I'm glad I chose meds and I have no regrets for myself.

fwiw, I'm probably crunchier then a lot of the moms on this board but I've learned though experience to use what ever treatment is needed to help our family survive.

Seriously?
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#8 of 43 Old 11-03-2009, 10:47 PM
 
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I'm pretty crunchy and started meds about 25 days ago. I wasn't in a horrible deep depression (been there before) but a lot of instability in mood. Diet changes, exercise and supplements weren't cutting it.

I sat on the script for a couple of weeks before I filled it.

The first two weeks were pretty funky, but OMG!! It is freaking incredible now. I think I was so used to some things they were just normal to me and didn't seem like part of anxiety/depression issues.

I have gotten SO much done in the last 10 days. We're talking projects I had been avoiding for years. Things don't feel overwhelming. My social anxiety seems to be gone. I can't believe what a difference it is making. It is truly incredible.

This is the only medication I take--and I would always seek natural treatments before going the medical route. Sometimes though the amount of money and trial and error gets prohibitive.

Part of me wonders when I can get off it already (), but another part is wondering if I just need to accept that this really, really helps and plan accordingly.

I guess what I am getting at is that for me, there is a "stigma" to taking ANY medication--not just psychiatric ones. I don't want to have to rely on any pharmaceutical.

I'm really thankful to have it right now though. I can't tell you what a huge difference it is making after only a few weeks. I guess I'll just go with it for 6-12 months, keep working on the food, exercise stuff, go off with an acceptance that if I need it I need it.
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#9 of 43 Old 11-04-2009, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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oh the irony, I'm curious which med has worked so well for you....glad to hear it! thanks for posting your experience...I think more experiences like this could be helpful to other mamas struggling with the choice to take meds when we want to stay natural and know things about meds (and the companies that produce them) that make it a difficult choice...

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#10 of 43 Old 11-04-2009, 02:22 PM
 
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Hey Mystic~Mama, I was diagnosed with anxiety and panic attacks and depression with suicidal feelings as a teenager. For many, many years I did lots of therapy working through abuse issues from home, and really felt like I needed to go through all that stuff and process it. At a certain point my Dr. prescribed Luvox -- I took one pill and no more, side effects for me were unbearable (although my MIL is on it and loves it - we're all so different).

Through my 20s I focused on self-care: diet, exercise, vitamins, journalling, therapy, etc etc etc. I took a ton of supplements: St John's Wort, kava kava, B vitamins, fish oil, 5HTP, etc etc etc. One other time I tried to take a med (Effexor) but again was super-sensitive to it and never took more than one pill. Because of my experience with those meds, I had developed a phobia about pills. Even taking tylenol or something. (ahh isn't anxiety fun?) The self-care routine, I thought, worked well enough, most of the time. Sometimes it definitely didn't work (like I still always felt suicidal in the winter). But looking back now (being on meds) I can see how tenuous feeling healthy and good was, and I DEFINITELY had periods when self-care just didn't cut it, no not at all.

Then came dd1. Well that changed EVERYTHING. No longer did I have time for self-care like I used to. I was out of control with rage, anxiety, self-loathing, also processing more childhood abuse stuff, etc. Things got better for a little while and we conceived dd2. Then my mood went down again and I begged my midwife for a referral to the Reproductive Life Stages Psychiatry Program at a women's hospital nearby. I felt like I HAD TO try meds again, I needed SOMETHING to help me. It was THAT BAD for me and my family.

The psychiatrist I was assigned was great. She really listened to me when I said that I was super-sensitive to meds and asked for her help. She started me on an infant's dose of fluoxetine (in liquid form, taken with a dropper), and slowly slowly slowly in miniscule increments we worked up to the therapeutic dose. IMMEDIATELY there were improvements in my mood and behaviour. It was unbelievable and life changing.

I love my meds and don't know what I would do without them. I did not want to be a person who needed to be on meds her whole entire life, but now that I have been on them for 2.5 yrs, see and feel the difference in the quality of my life, I am grateful for them. I will continue to take them for life, if needed. I was glad though, that I tried all the other non-medical things before determining that the medication WAS necessary. It sure answered a lot of questions for me about my mood, behaviour and life, and that of my family members who also had mood problems.

Hope that helps some! It's nice to know we aren't alone. Amazing how we can be so sure about our view on something, but the unexpected happens, and we are forced to reconsider. That we can reconsider is a sign of our adaptability. A good survival skill!

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#11 of 43 Old 11-08-2009, 01:36 AM
 
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Me too. I tried everything, nutrition, elimination diets, cleanses, homeopathy, supplements, body work... I was just way too ill, and it got so bad I was really not in touch with reality. Meds is the best thing that I ever did for myself as much as it made me cringe for quite awhile. I am on disability. I filed 3 years ago.
I have bipolar 2 w/psychotic features, major depressive disorder nos, and borderline personality. I have been on meds for 4 years and doing dialectical behavioral therapy. the dbt has made leaps and bounds, but it took until April (6 inpatients in 4 years) to get the right cocktail going, with a few add ins along the way. I feel like a person now!
I take 1200 Trileptal 300/300/600, adderal 5mg 2x, zoloft 50mg 2x, and seroquel 100mg. I also take D3 drops, 5000 iu's? a day.

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#12 of 43 Old 11-08-2009, 04:16 PM
 
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this thread is a real comfort for me. I don't consider myself uber crunchy, but I definitely have struggled with using meds for the past 2.5 years since my son was born. I am starting to accept that its all about the quality of life you can have, and if it takes meds to allow you to have a quality of life, there is nothing wrong with that. of course its not ideal, and none of us would choose this route if we hadn't tried everything else already. I think we are being responsible by taking care of our mental health for the sake of ourselves and our families.

i am still waiting for the celexa to kick in. i started it about two weeks ago after an unsuccessful trial of going med free. Its really frustrating bottoming out again. Its really frustrating not knowing what is going on with my body that this does keep happening. But I am grateful that there are these medications that can give us our lives back.

i too will continue with all my self care strategies, and working with my naturopath to uncover whatever imbalances might be lurking. But in the meantime, I am just hanging on and gritting my teeth and trying so hard to be patient for the relief that medication has brought to me in the past.

Thank you mamas for starting this thread, its very supportive!
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#13 of 43 Old 11-08-2009, 10:37 PM
 
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good lisasaurus.

mystic--I'm taking 20mg of prozac a day. I just keep feeling better and better. It's incredible.

I briefly tried zoloft and effexor before. The zoloft was awful, awful for me. Effexor was better but didn't work as well as the prozac is. But they all effect everyone differently...
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#14 of 43 Old 11-25-2009, 11:35 PM
 
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The combination of taking optimal care of yourselves with nutrition, supplements, herbs, and relaxation/body work PLUS using the appropriate medication(s) is a powerful one.. Just think, if your body is well-nourished then the meds you may still need will do their best for you, as opposed to a body that is struggling with depletion/imbalance and then on medication too.

Sometimes it takes both, and they can work well together. I salute your bravery for trying everything to get well.
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#15 of 43 Old 11-26-2009, 08:08 PM
 
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i agree hippiemom. crunchy asi i can now, i´ve been ill alot this year. i normally do acupuncture and it works great. but meds are doing good things for me now.
i´ve learned not to struggle with this. it´s like being a vegetarian for 15years, getting pregnant, and eating a steak every day! at that moment i learned that there are more important things than struggling with these issues. your health. if your body reacts positively to something, it´s because that is what your body needs.
don´t feel bad about it, feel great! it takes alot of courage to do EVERYTHING you can to feel better!

salud!
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#16 of 43 Old 11-27-2009, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The combination of taking optimal care of yourselves with nutrition, supplements, herbs, and relaxation/body work PLUS using the appropriate medication(s) is a powerful one.. Just think, if your body is well-nourished then the meds you may still need will do their best for you, as opposed to a body that is struggling with depletion/imbalance and then on medication too.

Sometimes it takes both, and they can work well together. I salute your bravery for trying everything to get well.
I've been wondering about this...glad you posted, thanks.

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#17 of 43 Old 11-29-2009, 09:09 PM
 
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Glad I caught this thread while lurking today...

I've tried everything natural (holistic) that I could think of and even worked with my naturopath to come up with a few more...nothing helped and my life was fading fast. It was bad...really bad and so as a last resort I tried Zoloft. I've been on a 100mg for several months and feel much better, now I'm trying to wean myself off at least down to 25 or 50mg.

I didn't have much of a choice of what to do my job, marriage, family, basically my whole life was crashing down and I HAD to do something. This seemed like the best choice at the time especially since we're ttc and having the severe panic/anxirty that I did surely didn't help things. So I decided that for the sake of everyone around me and my own well-being I would go ahead. I don't regret it, but would like it to be a temporary fix for something that I can control in other ways. What those ways are...I'm still searching.

Kate, Wife to DH and Mommy to a 5yo lovin' DS; three angels 4/08 9/08 3/10 in Heaven,
waitin' for my baby

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#18 of 43 Old 11-29-2009, 09:48 PM
 
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I have been on Prozac for 11 years, for depression and OCD. It saved my life. I was killing myself slowly with Ben and Jerry's (not kidding). I started out on 80 mg and I'm down to 20 mg a day now. I tried to get off it completely and spent two weeks angry and teary so I went back to the 20 mg. I'm glad I tried because now I'm resolved to the fact that I need it (mental illness all over my family). Great thread, thank you.

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#19 of 43 Old 11-29-2009, 10:15 PM
 
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Even with all the problems I had as a teen I spent years ignoring I even had a problem. Then more years trying to use natural methods to manage things, but none of them worked. After my youngest son was born I hit rock bottom probably should have spent some time doing in patient treatment and ended up on medication for depression and anxiety. When I very unexpectedly got pregnant I went off all medication as instructed at the time. That ended up with me locked up over Halloween and back on medication although not the one I was on for anxiety. At this point I am hoping I may be able to lower my dosage on meds in the future, but both sides of my family have multiple members that are on medications for mental conditions so I'm not sure if it is feasible or not. I do know the medication I am on allows me to be more of the person I like to be although my anxiety level is still through the roof at this point.

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#20 of 43 Old 12-02-2009, 11:31 PM
 
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You're not the only one, luv.

I will always go for herbals and/or homeopathics first. I use them for pain, for colds, for just about everything.

However, the one thing that has never seemed to work for me was natural remedies for depression. I've just accepted it. I function better with it, and I'm a better mother to my DD.

I have struggled with varying levels of depression for years, was hospitalized for it once. Someone once told me that if you use it early on, if you recognize the symptoms as being more than just occasional feeling down, then natural things work better. But once something has gone chronic (and I have more than 20 years of dealing with this crap under my belt)

My advice? If you've found something that works for you, don't beat yourself up over it. Whether or not you're able to come off of meds at some point, you are doing what you need to take care of you. I think one of the pitfalls of us crunchy people is that we occasionally get too judgemental of others. Keep an open mind. If it works for you, it works. Doesn't mean you've sold your soul.
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#21 of 43 Old 12-18-2009, 06:25 PM
 
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Could you share with me what you're taking?
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#22 of 43 Old 12-20-2009, 06:00 PM
 
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I definitely struggled with this. I have had bouts of depression and anxiety at various points in my life, and last year it came to a major head. I had been trying a variety of natural remedies (including L-tryptophan, 5-HTP, magnesium, fish oils, and a couple of homeopathics) but things were getting worse, and not better. I wasn't doing these things on my own, but under the supervision of a naturopath. I think what happened was that my issues had been building up for years and by the time I embarked on the natural stuff, I was already in an acute state. All of these natural things are great and can be immensely helpful, but I needed help *fast*, and I simply didn't have the energy at this acute stage to do a lot of it. Natural is about slow and steady and building up the mind and body gradually, and I didn't have time or energy by this point. I just wanted to stay in a warm safe bed all day and not have to worry about any responsibilities.

I do truly believe that all of those lifestyle habits we know about (at least intellectually if not in practice) do make a huge difference. I finally made the decision to start with my family doctor. I was ready for meds because I just couldn't go on the way I was. We were all suffering.

I have to admit that at first I felt an odd sense of failure, but the bargain I made with myself was that this wasn't an all or nothing thing- by taking meds I was not giving up on everything else I believed it. But I needed the meds to be able to actually put all the more natural/lifestyle stuff into action. I am very careful to eat a balance diet, I practice good sleep hygiene and make rest and relaxation a priority, I practice mindfulness, I exercise (or *try* to ), I make time for fun, and I go to therapy.

A year later I can say that I'm in the place I belong. Life is GOOD. And for so long I hadn't realized how good life could and should be. Now I know and I don't regret the meds for a minute- I'm grateful for them.

Happy single mama of Girlchild (10) and Boychild (9).
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#23 of 43 Old 12-20-2009, 11:03 PM
 
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I'm taking 20 mg/day of generic Prozac (fluoxetine).

Analisa, Mama to Meg 12/12/01, Patrick 12/24/03, Catherine 12/24/03, Ben 2/26/06
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#24 of 43 Old 12-20-2009, 11:36 PM
 
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Oh, I am so glad to have found this. Pharmaceuticals are so hard for me to accept. But I've had a huge amount of stress the past few years, not just because I became a mother either. I am not able to see a crunchy psych dr, but I told her my reservations about allopathic medicines, and so she started me on 5mg fluoxetine (aka Prozac) and up to 10mg after 2 weeks. It's been close to a month, or right at and I can already tell a difference. I'm being treated for PTSD, depression and PMDD. My triggers are less sensitive which is good cuz my anger/rage was making me feel so guilty with DD. I'm also in counseling; a group and a individual session. My hope is I will only need the med's for a year or so. I was also put on temazepam for insomnia, but it's not working so I'm going back to my valerian root.

I will admit that I am glad I am on it because I was in a crazy spiral and couldn't get control of my emotions, mostly anger stemming from recent and long ago abuse. It was a hard pill to swallow literally, but in the end my ability to parent my DD in line with my values and not have to fight myself every step of the way to get there won out. The last thing I needed to add to my list of problems was GMD (guilty mom syndrome ).
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#25 of 43 Old 12-21-2009, 12:06 AM
 
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May I ask which meds you're taking?

Thank you!
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#26 of 43 Old 01-23-2010, 10:46 PM
 
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Just bumping this thread.

I just started on 37.5 mg of Effexor. I will go up to 75 mg in 6 days, then 3 weeks after that up to 150 mg.

So far so good. Only side effect that I'm experiencing so far is night sweats.
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#27 of 43 Old 01-23-2010, 11:30 PM
 
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Hi.
It is nice hearing all the stories here. All of you are so brave and so strong.
I am taking 50 mg of Zoloft. I was on it once before, about 10 years ago. About 6 months ago, after my second son weaned, I started feeling just horrible. I am an acupucnturist, so you can imagine that I tried everything under the sun that is natural. I was having crippling anxiety, to the point that I was hardly able to drive.
I was diagnosed with PTSD about 15 years ago due to childhood abuse. I was doing well the last 10 years, but it all kind of kicked in again. But... the Zoloft is really helping. I am in such a brighter, happier place and I am not feeling anxious, which is a blessing. My anxiety was just so incredibly bad and it is a place that I just can not be. I can't tolerate it at all.
I could list all the things I did and tried- EMDR, bodywork, therapy, St Johns wort, Velerian, Kava Kava, acupuncture, watsu, etc. etc. They all helped, but the PTSD is strong and letting go and accepting that I needed more help was huge for me. I needed to let go and accept that I needed help, which is a difficult thing for me to do.
Anyway , I just wanted to offer support. I am here too.
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#28 of 43 Old 01-24-2010, 01:13 AM
 
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May I ask which meds you're taking?

Thank you!
250mg Wellbutrin/day plus 15 mg Prozac/day.

ETA -- they work on different pathways. The depression is helped by the wellbutrin (it's energizing and I can get up and do what needs to get done generally) but too much of it makes me jumpy, anxious and angry. So the 250 mg dose is just right. The Prozac helps with anxiety control and mellows me out in important ways.

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#29 of 43 Old 01-24-2010, 01:41 AM
 
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Hi.
It is nice hearing all the stories here. All of you are so brave and so strong.
I am taking 50 mg of Zoloft. I was on it once before, about 10 years ago. About 6 months ago, after my second son weaned, I started feeling just horrible. I am an acupucnturist, so you can imagine that I tried everything under the sun that is natural. I was having crippling anxiety, to the point that I was hardly able to drive.
I was diagnosed with PTSD about 15 years ago due to childhood abuse. I was doing well the last 10 years, but it all kind of kicked in again. But... the Zoloft is really helping. I am in such a brighter, happier place and I am not feeling anxious, which is a blessing. My anxiety was just so incredibly bad and it is a place that I just can not be. I can't tolerate it at all.
I could list all the things I did and tried- EMDR, bodywork, therapy, St Johns wort, Velerian, Kava Kava, acupuncture, watsu, etc. etc. They all helped, but the PTSD is strong and letting go and accepting that I needed more help was huge for me. I needed to let go and accept that I needed help, which is a difficult thing for me to do.
Anyway , I just wanted to offer support. I am here too.
I have chronic PTSD. I'm still on a low dose of Prozac, 10mg daily (first thing in the morning). What is really bothering me though is that I am also on 15mg of temazepam for insomnia/inability to fall and stay asleep. It's not working at all, well, I do stay asleep with it, but falling asleep is horrible! I take it and lay there awake for at least a good hour or more. I know it's a long time, but I can't look at the clock without creating huge frustration So anyway, the prozac has smoothed the PTSD and PMDD out considerably in the 2 months I've been on it. The PMDD is very secondary to the PTSD and anxiety. I am going to see my p-doc Friday to review my meds. I know the temazepam will be replaced, maybe by lorazepam, 2mg. While my anxiety is much lower than it was right before I started the prozac, I don't know if she is going to change my dosing of that or not. My counselor would say that my level of anxiety is still pretty high.

I keep seeing ppl mentioning using valerian. I used to use it only for sleep before I went on the meds mentioned above. It worked fine for that. I tried to use only valerian at night when I traveled over the holidays for 2 weeks last month and it was no longer working to put me to sleep. Arghhh..... this insomnia thing is driving me nuts! I've been a serious insomniac full time for a little over a year now (not infant related ) and I just want to be able to lay in bed and fall asleep relatively quickly, not an hour or more later.
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#30 of 43 Old 01-30-2010, 08:59 PM
 
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hugs everyone,

For insomnia, of which I have suffered most of my life on & off,
some non-med suggestions, which can be used in either situation:

Right before bed, get very cooled off and be in the light for about ten minutes. Then make sure you're nice & warm in bed, and total total darkness. Also, if you aren't asleep in 15 minutes, get up for ten, in dim light, make your body take drowsy form, loose mouth, and either just get up & sit, read the instructions to your blender, something very non-stimulating. Then go back to bed. No matter how tired you are, don't lay in bed awake for more than 15 minutes. Keep trying.

Try repeating 'the' over & over, it's very effective in keeping the running thoughts at bay.

Get up at the same time of day, no matter what, even if you need a nap later, and then try to only nap for 20 minutes at a time.

This stuff is called sleep hygiene and it can help train your body to sleep.


Heather, mama to Harriet, Crispin, in with Tom and 2
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