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Personality Changes On Methadone
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Personality Changes On Methadone

I feel that my personality is different on Methadone. I have been on 60 mgs a day for almost a year for chronic pain after coming off Oxycodone because of my liver. I seem to be less active and leave the house less. I am a quiet person but now I don't seem to need friends or any interaction with people. I am also having pain again and need to talk to my doctor about an increase so the pain may be part of it. I have like zero interest in relationships or sex. Again this may be related to the pain taking up all my energy. I put on 20 lbs and lost my appetite for everything except sweets. I crave sugar but not meat or veggies or anything salty. I can't seem to smell food like I used to. I take vitamins so I don't get anemic. On a typical day I eat a bowl of cereal and ice cream. I also might have some danishes or powdered donuts. For a snack I will eat a chocolate bar. Luckily my kids are grown and I live alone because I rarely cook a meal. With my last bf he did the cooking and got mad I would not eat. We broke up over my lack of interest in sex and him not working. I feel better alone and it's cheaper! I have a small dog that I adore who is good company. It could just be the change too as I'm almost 50? Just wondering if this is a Methadone thing or something else? I take anti depressants and don't feel depressed or sad. I just don't have the energy or need to be around people like I used to. I also have CFS and need a nap daily but don't have any energy after the nap? It's weird but then everything is weird since I got Fibro and CFS in my 40's. It wasn't like this in the beginning and I could date and liked doing things with friends.
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What you have described does not seem to be all that uncommon when one deals with chronic pain on a daily basis. I have also noticed that I don't seem to be near as social as I used to be. I am in my 30's and my family is always complaining that I need to get out with friends and go out to do more things. I have a 5 year old that keeps me pretty busy most of the time and have not really missed going out with my friends all that much. It's not because I am depressed either, I just don't feel the need to. Even when my daughter is with her dad, which is quite more often than most kids who have divorced parents. He is an exceptional dad and is really active with her, but a horrible husband. I get every other weekend to myself but do nothing with it. I am content to stay at home. If a friend does call and want to do something I will not turn them down, I just don't seem to be wanting to plan things with them except on a rare occasion these last three years. I also just broke up with my boyfriend of one year in January and do not even want to meet anyone new. I am content to be by myself. I just happened to meet him at work and started dating a year later because I was in no hurry to go out with anyone. I know what you mean.
  I think Tuck nailed it on the head when she said there is nothing wrong with being content. That is a good place to be when you can finally accept the pain you are in and find contentment. Family and friends may never truly understand, but then it doesn't really matter because they are not the ones dealing with it and living with the pain you have.
  The one thing I did want to mention that concerns me is that you said you find yourself only wanting to eat sweets. For some reason I get the same reaction when on Opiods. If I let myself I would only eat high carb foods, but that is extremely unhealthy. You said you take Iron pills as to not become anemic. That will not be enough. You are missing so many other vital minerals and vitamins found in foods not on the high carb list. Wouldn't it be lovely if we could eat cereal and a bowl of ice cream everyday and have no ill effects. Not to mention the weight gain a diet like that could cause.
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Hello Bubo,

I am not sure you have a question or if you are just venting....which we all need to do now and again. Chronic pain can bring on personality changes on it's own...then add the opiates and it's not uncommon to see some changes.

I cannot quite tell if you are unhappy with your current situation and wish you were more outgoing and had more energy and stamina.... or if you are excepting and content. I've learned that contentment is the name of the game. If we are okay with our situation is that not all that really matters?  Is it important that others may not be satisfied with your lifestyle? In my opinion, it shouldn't be as long as you are not harmful to yourself or others.

An increase in methadone may make all the things that you are concerned over even more pronounced.  Is there a possibility that you could change the opiate and see how it effects your energy and appetite. I would discuss this with your prescribing physician.

I would hope that something interests you. Life can be pretty boring and seem meaningless if nothing holds our interest. That doesn't mean you have to run marathons....but a hobby of some sort, reading, crafts, etc may help you feel better.

Have you considered a PM Therapist? The right one (for you) can often help you deal with the concerns you have expressed.

Certainly hormones can wreak havoc with our emotions and should be considered. Your PCP or OB/GYN can check hormone levels and determine if a supplement might be beneficial.... not necessarily hormone replacement therapy but natural remedies.  

I wish you well and hope that you will keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. I'll look forward to your updates.

Take Care,
~Tuck

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What you have described does not seem to be all that uncommon when one deals with chronic pain on a daily basis. I have also noticed that I don't seem to be near as social as I used to be. I am in my 30's and my family is always complaining that I need to get out with friends and go out to do more things. I have a 5 year old that keeps me pretty busy most of the time and have not really missed going out with my friends all that much. It's not because I am depressed either, I just don't feel the need to. Even when my daughter is with her dad, which is quite more often than most kids who have divorced parents. He is an exceptional dad and is really active with her, but a horrible husband. I get every other weekend to myself but do nothing with it. I am content to stay at home. If a friend does call and want to do something I will not turn them down, I just don't seem to be wanting to plan things with them except on a rare occasion these last three years. I also just broke up with my boyfriend of one year in January and do not even want to meet anyone new. I am content to be by myself. I just happened to meet him at work and started dating a year later because I was in no hurry to go out with anyone. I know what you mean.
  I think Tuck nailed it on the head when she said there is nothing wrong with being content. That is a good place to be when you can finally accept the pain you are in and find contentment. Family and friends may never truly understand, but then it doesn't really matter because they are not the ones dealing with it and living with the pain you have.
  The one thing I did want to mention that concerns me is that you said you find yourself only wanting to eat sweets. For some reason I get the same reaction when on Opiods. If I let myself I would only eat high carb foods, but that is extremely unhealthy. You said you take Iron pills as to not become anemic. That will not be enough. You are missing so many other vital minerals and vitamins found in foods not on the high carb list. Wouldn't it be lovely if we could eat cereal and a bowl of ice cream everyday and have no ill effects. Not to mention the weight gain a diet like that could cause.
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Did not mean to hit the submit button.

So I will go on...

There are so many other vitamins and minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium(which sounds like you are getting through the ice cream-but may not be enough) you have to have for your cells to function properly.
And the list goes on. The vegetables you should be getting contain other vital ingredients that you body has to have. Maybe you should talk to a nutritionist and get some blood work done to make sure it all looks okay. You say your doctor switched you to Methadone because of your liver. Have you had it checked again since you have been off the Oxycodone? Are you sure that is what it was? Maybe you could switch to a different Opiod if your liver function tests look better now. I can remember when I was on Methadone I only wanted sweet stuff too. And it wasn't just the Methadone. Other Opiodes do that to me too. I really have to be carefull so as not to over indulge. The weight gain alone is enough to keep me away from too many sweets. I have found that when I did a high protein diet the craving for sweets goes away and it helps to get any excess weight off.

One other thing I wanted to mention is about you saying you aren't interested in sex anymore. How long have you been on antidepressants? There are some antidepressants that can do that. Like Tuck said getting your hormones checked would be really beneficial as well.

Good luck
Audrea
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I get what your saying about just being content but the change is more drastic then that. I am ok as in life on lifes terms but this is far from what I once was like. Since my last med change I am isolating a lot more because lack of energy and interest, I have no appetite for anything but sugary foods. The reason for the med change was the Oxycodone stopped working and my PCP couldn't raise it because of my liver scores. I was on 2 5/500 a day. I have some liver damage and I have bloodwork every 4 months for high cholesterol and my liver check. My Dr. thought methadone would be kinder to my liver over the long term as I am 48 and may need to be on something for pain for the rest of my life.

Thanks for the advice about seeing an OBGYN to check my hormone levels. This may have nothing to do with my change of personality but it's worth checking.

I know I need some hobbies or something. I used to do a lot with my Church but my energy is just so low because of breakthrough pain and tiredness. I am doing much better with pain since the med change as the Oxycodone just stopped working. I don't like taking pills and the side effects are bad but I need them for pain. Oxycodone made me jittery and anxious and it took a couple hours to kick in. Methadone seems to cover my pain better and longer. I take 20 three times a day. The side effects of Methadone seem to be all the things mentioned and an over all mocus feeling but no jitters or anxiety like Oxycodone.

As for the sex part I have been on anti depressants since my teens off and on. About 30 years. The one that I have been on the longest is Effexor XR 300mgs per day. I have been on it around 10 years going off of it once to try Cymbalta. I crashed after a year on Cymbalta so I was put back on Effexor. I had a normal sex life until around 2 years ago when the pain got really bad. I eventually lost all interest in sex and broke up with my bf. I used to like going out dancing even though I paid for it the next day and now zip. I just sit at home and can't find the energy to do things I used to.

I as just wondering if this is what Methadone does to people that take it for pain? I'm not sure what a PM therapist is but I see a Psychiatrist 4 times a year for medication maintenance. He just does a quick depression assessment and writes scripts.

Sorry if I sound like a whiner and I know I do. I would rather have terminal cancer then Fibro and CFS. At least with cancer there is an end in sight. The thought of living like this for 20 or so more years in chronic pain and on heavy drugs and no life doesn't seem worth it some days.

Thanks for your imput.

Kelly

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Oh, Kelly, your last paragraphs have me feeling so sad.  No one should feel like that.  And I think you need a psychiatrist or therapist that can take the time to hear you and make any adjustments to your meds, if needed.  I'm not personally familiar with methadone but I know from being on my own high doses of medications that it changed me.  I'm much less social.  It doesn't bother me but it does seem to bother my family.  Good luck.  I am hoping you'll be feeling better soon.  Best of luck.
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Hi Nurse Andea,

I think we have the same family! My mom is a retired RN and she says she may have fibro but is in denial. She says she thinks she has fibro but she pushes herself through the pain. She thinks I should be able to do so also. I don't think my Mom has fibro but may have some arthritis. She gets shots in her shoulder and knee which is something totally different. She doesn't get the kind of pain and exhaustion I have. I 'push' myself each morning and work 2 hours a day taking care of an elderly couple from 7:30 am to 9:30am. I need the money for copays and doctor bills that medicare does not cover, gas and food. I went from 60,000 a year job to 17,000 a year and it's hard. I can't afford to eat right and have to get by on 50 dollars a week for groceries. I make too much SSID to be eligiable for food stamps. I am going to look into seeing if I can find a nutritionalist that takes Medicare show me nutritious meal plans I can afford on 7 dollars a day and watch her laugh... I can go to the town food pantry but you never know what you will get. Lots of starch, mac and cheese and pasta and day old bread and pastry. Do you think drinking an Ensure or Boost would give me enough vitamins and minerals?

I really am glad to hear you also feel the same way energy wise and with friends. I can relate. They understand that I will try and go if I can and when I do I enjoy it. Do you have Fibro or CFS or both? For how long? For me it is since 2000. I too could care less about sex or a relationship, I have a little dog that is good company. My ex was a high maintenance bum and I could not afford him. He didn't like to work and he was expensive to feed. He also wanted sex a lot and that was the breaking point for me. I'm much happier alone. I once heard someone say, "Is the porking your getting worth the porking your getting?".

I was hoping more people on Methadone would reply but this may not be a common side effect at all. Thanks and It's good to know someone else has the same weird cravings and lack of libido and energy to get out more.

Thanks so much, Kelly :)
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1511671_tn?1316567803
Mellie,

Thanks for the caring thoughts. Unfortunately my psychiatrist doesn't prescribe for my pain just my antidepressant meds. My Primary Care doctor prescribes my pain meds because the pain clinic is 200 a month in copays. I can't afford that or a  therapist right now so he writes them to save me money and gives me samples when he has them. My psychiatrist only See's me 30 minutes to save me 150 dollars a visit. I'm actually lucky with my income to have such great doctors. He says that chronic pain has made me a prisoner to pain. It's hard, if not impossible to focus on anything else but my pain sometimes. It is like a toothache or the flu and it makes you not feel up to doing things with others. I'm also considered the "Hole in the donut" as far as health care goes. I'm young but have already put in all my quarters for retirement. This mean my SSID check is too high to be considered poverty level but after paying everything out of pocket I'm poorer then the poor. It doesn't make any sense to me that we treat the hard workers the worst when they get disabled and the ones that never work get everything handed to them? So my finances make it hard to get help but I have been lucky.

Thanks for letting me know it is normal for you to be less social. This sounds like a side effect of pain not a medication side effect. Thanks!

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Kelly,

I think all of us on SSDI suffer with financial issues.. I know I do. Your "hole in the donut" and concerns about finances made me think about the SSDI Donut Hole. I have just reached that "Donut Hole" for medications which means no prescription benefits until I pay another $4,500 out of pocket. It's another thing to consider when switching meds. So many challenges for those if us who are chronic pain patients on SSDI.  

It may be the methadone that is contributing to your lack of energy and interest. I'm guessing it's a combination of things. I am not on methadone but I have little energy or interest in the activities that use to occupy my time. Physically I simply can't handle 90% of them. Your plate is not only full, it is over flowing. So where do you go from here?

That short and infrequent appointment you have with your psychiatrist may be a place to start. Inform him/her of how you are feeling. Ask for direction and suggestions. In my state there are mental health facilities (regarding my comment about PM Therapist) that charge only according to your ability to pay. If that's near nothing, that's what you pay.

If you have a good relationship with your PCP you can also discuss these pressing issues with him/her. Getting your vitamin/mineral levels checked, including B12 and D would be a good idea. I am deficient due to a malabsorption condition. If I miss taking the needed supplements for any period of time I can certainly "feel" it.  My pain even increases. A good supplement with most of the required nutrients is not expensive. I watch the sales and get two for the price of one.

Sexual desire is complex and depends on a multitude of factors, not just any one or two things. It's a body and mind experience. I have a feeling when the right man comes into your life you may feel differently. So I wouldn't be overly concerned with that issue.

Ppl that do not have true severe chronic pain just don't get it. There are well meaning when they say to push through the pain. I'll bet you did so in the beginning, just as I did. But there comes a time when that is no longer possible. Again, only those that are there can understand that concept. You, me. we are not weak, you're not drug seekers, you're not crazy, we're just trying to have as normal of a life a possible and still function with this chronic pain.  Until someone has walked a mile in our shoes they cannot judge.

Again I go back to being content with where you are in life. The stage of Acceptance is so important when you have chronic pain.  We're here for you. I wish you well and hope you'll be active in our community.

Peace,
~Tuck
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Hi all,

I've been in a relationship for nearly 2 years now. I knew my bf was an heroine addict for almost 5 years on and off after an incident with the police he had no choice but to tell me the truth. Then I made the desertion to stick to my bf for love and trying to help him.. Things got better for a while and he was clean for about 8 months, the best of our relationship as we've managed to enjoy everything we were doing.

After those 8 months I've noticed a slight change on him. He confessed me one day he wasn't sure of being in a relationship and when I told him if that what he felt then we should separate, obviously after trying to talk to him and telling him I was always going to be there for him no matter what.

He kept loving me as usual, he could never be a day away from my sight, he wanted to share his entire world with me but at the same time I've noticed our sexual life was going down, and not because of me but because of him. He always found an excuse to avoid any situation that would lead to making love or having sex. Still I didn't feel to confront him on the the drug side as I wanted him to fell trusted by me.

This situation lasted almost 3 months in which of course we had major arguments as I could not understand why certain things between us started to change but at the same time he kept saying that, he loved me and never wanted me to loose me.

We've decided to move to Greece from the UK to make a new start and most important to change things completely for his own sake, that is what he always wanted. I must say he was on 50mg of methadone at the time and he's been on that amount for over a year.

Once we arrived Iin Greece he told me he wanted to go cold turkey and get rid of his methadone for good, of course I didn't think it was the best idea but he was convinced he wanted to do it and so I've supported him as usual.

He started the detox which lasted 1 week where he began to reduce his 50mg day by day to none. Of course I was aware of the downside of it and the consequences and symptoms (he had all of them) but what I never expected was him to suddenly become a total stranger with no emotions or feelings whatsoever. Of course I've tried my best to deal within my knowledge until we broke in a major row and he confessed me he had been taking heroine for the past 3 months right until the day we left the uk.

Of course from there I've understood much more of the way he was behaving back home. The thing is now he completely rapped up in himself, he never kiss me or touch me anymore and the most upsetting thing is that he told me he can't be in a relationship anymore and he seems not to care about anything else apart from being without me.

As you can imagine this is devastating as I cannot understand such a change in such a short time (4 weeks). All he says now is that he loves me but he never meant to hurt me.

He and the dog were also inseparable, sleeping together in bed, playing all the time and giving him so much affection. Now the poor dog follows him around but he hasn't have the time of his world for him neither.

Please help me with your opinions/experiences because I don't know what to do next and I'm suffering like I never done before.

Many thanks to all of you.

Pabs
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