Challenging Your Doctor

Amitriptyline. This is an old style antidepressant now used mainly for dealing with pain, particularly  that caused by neuropathy. I had been given the other two drugs that have been found to be effective for neuropathy but the side effects outweighed the benefit.

This post is about your treatment for depression, I wanted to share some thoughts. Make sure you read everything you can about what you are taking and what it can do to you, This is important and remember this is your body, your mind and you have a say in what happens to you at all times.

I wanted to share one particular example. While I was under the care of a Psychiatrist I was put on a certain drug (I can’t tell you what I don’t remember) now at that time I was in a bad way and in addition was trying to function under 60mg of Diazepam a day. Now this drug made me much worse and I knew it wasn’t cutting it in fact it was destroying me. At my next visit to the Psychiatrist she looked at me and talked with me about how I was and then suggested I needed to be hospitalised. I refused. I made it plain I thought it was all down to the drug. She fetched my wife from the waiting room in order to get her onside with hospitalisation. My wife, bless her a thousand fold, did not concur knowing how I felt. Reluctantly she agreed to change the medication rather than admit me there and then. A month later she acknowledged that I had been right. Believe in your own experience! 

On another occasion my GP wanted me to go for a laryngoscopy because I felt a lump in my throat and was having difficulty swallowing. He was insistent. I agreed but asked for a week of antibiotics. He agreed. They did nothing. I reviewed the medication I was on and decided to eliminate a new one, this removed the problem within a week. I phoned him and the laryngoscopy was cancelled. So again the moral is know your own body and mind. Don’t always do what they suggest. Stand up for yourself but based on knowledge not stubbornness.

These drugs they fire at you so easily can have devastating effects in so many unforeseen ways. Back in 2001 I was put on calcium antagonists. After four months I became seriously ill. Very ill. I needed diamorhphine (the medical use of heroin), the Dr was visiting almost every day. Turned out it was an allergic reaction to these blood pressure pills. Simple pills doled out to thousands.

Be aware.

Yet despite all this I am so grateful to the NHS and GPs in particular who have kept me alive. And to return to the Amitriptyline I started with, it’s not yet doing much for my neuropathic pain but coupled with my sertraline a strange untried combination of pills I feel mentally better than I have for years. Long may it continue.