I'm a middle aged male near Eugene Oregon. I'm also a military veteran; when I got out of the military I was having sleep issues (big surprise) and when I stepped into my first private industry job after the military (I've had a couple before), I was having a few other issues as well. Emotional issues mostly- and some sleep ones as well.
In the military- I was shifting between the states and the middle east time zones, or the states and eastern asia time zone. Major jet lag. When you're younger you can deal with such better- but the older you got the less resilient.
I was looking forward to more stability with my private sector job.
Which I didn't get.
I ended up in a well paying job that had be flying across country (west coast to east coast) once a month, with driving across same every three months. Which led to many problems with sleep. Coupled with that- I didn't have much in the way of stability when it came to a consistent exercise/diet routine. Many are the times I pulled into a flea bag hotel out in the middle of podunk nowhere and the only food available was Le Greazy Spoon.
Result- weight gain.
More sleep issues due to weight.
Finally step into the job I'm currently at, plenty of stability. The doc I enroll with has just the ticket for me: A nice little pill that will help me sleep along with helping those depressive states I was in.(Zoloft).
And so started my journey into this B.S. In retrospect- a CPAP then would've been a far cry better.
Cue forward about 5 years- Zoloft stopped working? Oh we'll 'try' another- lucky break, Lexapro works 'just fine'- for about another 7 years. Then it stops. This is about the time that I started having real bad problems.
The sexual problems, the allergic reaction problems, the mood swings...etc. The allergy problems to food resulted in a botched intubation that screwed up my larynx so that I ended up needing a cpap anyways.
I was also put onto testosterone 'therapy' in an effort to deal with the 'depression' 8 years ago. More sexual problems resulting.
The cpap did/does more good for the sleep than anything else. But I don't much care for it. But it's one of those things I need to have to avoid going postal. I'd been given a few pills for the occasional allergic reaction (esophageal spasmings).
Pulmonary Saddle Embolism due to the Testo therapy, numerous and unnecessary tests for conditions my doc said I had but as it turned out I didn't. And then last year the steadily worsening gall bladder problems. End result- gall bladder removal, but it took pulling teeth to accomplish that. Irony- so many 'tests' to eliminate that which I didn't have, and the one time I was having a problem they just about stonewalled me from the 'cure' I needed.
The gall bladder was I guess- the crowning achievement- getting woken up in the middle of the night because of mysterious pains in your abdomen that your regular doc and several ER docs- ignored or pooh-poohed as 'all in my head', and here's a scrip for some oxycontin now go away. I wonder why I got night terrors.
Now couple that with the ongoing anti-depressant issues- result I'm anxious beyond belief and looky here! Another pill to save the day! Xanax. Between that and the paxil, wellbutrin, my heart was pounding against my sternum like a boxer's ball. Same time- Severe Depression with Suicidal Ideation.
After Xanax- there came Ativan. Which actually seemed to help- for a while. Then I developed tolerance rather quickly. A doubling of the dose as per recommendation- bad idea- I ended up feeling like a mile wide brain fog. So- I drop back down to the original. Bad Idea.
Anxiety up the gump stump. Researching heavily I stumble across Benzo Buddies- my story there: http://tinyurl.com/ljebp84
Longer story short- I'm (eventually) over the benzo problem.
So after learning of the problems with psychotropic drugs like benzos- I've decided to rid myself of the other kind of psychotropics, my antidepressants.
And I've been doing that for five months. (July/2015). Looking back- JUST five months? It seemed like forever now.
I've still got no few issues. The biggest issue I've got right now? Sleep. Big surprise eh?
Right now- a problem developed a couple weeks ago: I'd go to bed, fall asleep, dream pretty intensely, and then immediately wake up with my heart pounding against my rib cage. Stay awake an hour- and then repeat all night long until it's time to get up.
Initially I thought it was Night Terrors, as the intense dreams were nightmarish in their scope. But now- it's just 'routine' dreams. They're more intense- more... I don't know what. Like they're 'catching up'. Weekends are indeed a blessed time now. I can 'catch up' on the weekend sleep wise. Whereas I couldn't do that before all of my problems and during the withdrawals.
It's the closest I've come to a living hell. Addicted/tolerant of: Oxycodones (after gall bladder surgery) suicidally depressed getting off of those- dealing with the compassion fatigue of so many medicos, then benzo tolerance/withdrawal, then anti-d tolerance/withdrawal.
I've lost a good portion of my life to this- all because of my misplaced trust in the medical profession. My experiences with military medical- not a fluke. I trusted them, they dropped the ball.
And they continue to. As I've read online- time and again. So yeah- I'm angry. But the CBT did help me through the worst of the rough patches. I find that it's 'new agey' psych doc that I trust. Why? Because his **** worked. Unlike the pill pushers. He got me through the Suicidal Thoughts. The pills - forget it.
So- I don't trust docs now. I'm quite wary of what they have to say- particularly when it comes to pills and their 'advice'.
They're human. They make mistakes, and big surprise- we are the guinea pigs that pay the price, financially, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
I'm lucky- I found out this crap relatively early on. I still have a job. I still have my wife. And yeah- I worked 40 hours a week going through all of my withdrawals- I used up just about ALL of my vacation and sick days doing so. I'm slowly building them up again now.
Getting off of the anti-d's, I'm rediscovering how much I love my wife and family (such as it is). It's been a long uphill road, but in the end it's worth enjoying life as it comes.
A couple of weeks ago- I actually felt things as I did when I was younger. Such comes and goes, but I want to feel such more often.