My Experience with Topamax…

I spent the last 2+ months going through one hell of a time!  I was born with a chemical imbalance, the one that causes Major Depression, so I have battled with that my entire life.  I am now 46 years old and I thought I had been through the worst depressions imaginable, but I was very wrong…

In November 2015, my pain doctor put me on Topamax.  He said I had to be on one of those type of medications on top of my pain medications in order to get more pain relief.  I always had problems with the anti-seizure medications, they had one thing in common for me, they all made me very depressed.  My pain was at an all time high and I was willing to try anything, even though I had tried so many of those type of medications and I had sworn I would NEVER again take another one.  The things you will do in hopes of some pain relief!  

At first, I thought it was helping.  I was started on 50mg, which is rather high to begin with.  It seemed to make me be able to tolerate the severe pain more, but the Topamax had immediately affected my eyes.  They were always tired and my vision became worse.  I was extremely bothered by light and certain sounds.  Like music playing out of a phone or tablet.  That would make my brain feel like it was splitting!  So, everyone in the house made sure not to play any music out of those devices.  I also could not tolerate hearing children scream, so my sons best friend (who was staying with us) had to go somewhere else to see his daughter (2 years old) on the weekends.  After a month, the doctor doubled my dose to 100mg at bedtime.  Now, not only were my eyes constantly tired by my entire being was.  I still could not tolerate the certain sounds or bright light.  I quickly found myself severely depressed and I felt like I was coming down with the flu every single day.  Two weeks into the increased dose, I was so ill that I was either in bed or in my chair.  I could not function at all and my head constantly felt like an aching joint.  Another two weeks passed and I was so miserable and in so much pain, I could not take anymore.  I have dealt with depression on and off my entire life and I have been suicidal at times, but it was always just thoughts, as I could never actually go through with it.  When you suffer from chronic pain, you need your mind to be strong and not depressed!  Well, I found myself in the worst depression of my life!  I was exhausted, felt sick and my pain was too much!  I also had gained ten pounds, even though Topamax is said to cause weight loss.  I could not see the light no matter what I tried.  I just had to end my constant misery.  I was the definition of ennui, hopeless and despair!  I felt completely alone (which I actually am other than my son), like everyone would be better off without me here, a complete waste of oxygen and I just could not take anymore…  I, being the only one that does any of the house chores, could not complete any tasks and the pain itself was devistating to me, let alone the constant feeling of coming down with the flu and isolation of it all.  So, the house was messy and getting dirtier by the day, which also added to my depression.  That’s when I began to think of how I was going to stop the suffering once and for all!  I actually had a plan set, then I realized (maybe it was my guardian angel) that it was the medication and I had to wean myself off of it.  I had an appointment with my doctor that day, so I planned to talk to him about it, but I was called and told that he called in sick and now I wasn’t going to see him for another month.    So, I cut the pills in half and took that nightly for five nights, then I was going to do every other night.  I felt a lot better the morning after not taking the medication, so I just stopped it from there on.  It has been four days without any medication now and I feel so much better. I actually feel like me, I forgot what it felt like to be me.  Yes, I still have the pain and I guess I always will, but having my mind back sure helps in dealing with it.  I am back to using meditation and pacing myself with everything…

When you suffer with chronic pain, depression can be what pushes you over the edge.  I worry about people that have not ever experienced depression and getting on Topamax then having a similar experience, but they aren’t able to see the warning sign and they go through with suicide!  That is why you see the warnings on so many medications saying, may cause suicidal thoughts…

When I shared this experience with my neighbor, after the fact, he got on to me and told me I was selfish, that killing yourself is completely selfish!  Why do people do that?  That has to be the worst thing you can say to someone who is suicidal!  I wasn’t at the time, but having gone through all of that, I realize that, it is very selfish of people to want someone to stay here on this earth in so much pain!  Obviously those are words from someone who has never really experience the darkness of true depression and suicidal thoughts…

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