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Avatar universal

Should narcotic pain medicines used to treat 'Depression'?

Ever since I was prescribed hydrocodone I have been a more productive/motivated/happy, individual. Obviously people do abuse these meds ,but by taking short breaks once a month and not taking more than 4 or so a day I have found they have changed my life. I have been on them for 4 years now and in that time I have doubled my business income, lost weight and fixed some problems in my relationship with my girlfriend. I've entirely stopped drinking alcohol and were now talking about having a child together. I know I owe all this (in part) to the hydrocodone, which has done for me what prozac and buspirone could not.

I'm not saying "yeah go out and get yourself an opiate addiction" But people rely on vitamins/caffeine/nicotene etc to give them the boost they need (chemically) to have a better life, so whats the difference?

And i'm not some junkie, I've worked ever since i left school at 15 but i've always been a bit lazy and felt I had more to give than I could be bothered to do. These pills have changed that for me.

Used responsibly, I would say opiates CAN be used to treat slightly lazy unmotivated people like me...I would however, be interested as to what some actual doctors think about this.
11 Responses
585414 tn?1288944902
It doesn't help on bipolar. You aren't a "drug abuser" because you are not taking it for recreational purposes but that's officially drug misuse. That's not healthy either. Its self medication. Its not intended for that purpose and not used that way in studies. It will mask some of the symptoms of bipolar but not help it. What is it prescribed for in you? Does your doctor prescribe it for bipolar? If you are taking it for the purpose it was intended as a pain releiver and need it at those dose that's one thing. But if not its a bad idea as it is addictive.  I know what medications are experimental for bipolar. Here's a list of FDA approved medications used off label for bipolar:
http://www.psycheducation.org/depression/meds/moodstabilizers.htm
The anti-cholesterol medication Lovaza is being studied as well as well. I am on an anti-psychotic agent that is in Phase II FDA study. Science is still determing the results. Its an unknown quantity. But there are FDA approved medications that could and would be prescribed off label for bipolar by a mood disorders specialist. What you are taking masks some of the effects of bipolar but doesn't treat it and is in the long run is addictive. Your doctor can't legally prescribe it as a mood stabilizer and lets' hope they are not. If you are taking it for pain relief fine. If not attend a recovery group to get off it and there are many good options for mood stabilizers as well that could help you.
"Depression Central" is a good website to learn about that.
Avatar universal
Controlled substances like the one you are on is never used, nor any pain killer used for depression. Do you have chronic pain? If that's the case when it eases up sure you wil feel better, but if you are taking it to feel high, it's  not a good thing, whether its one pill a day - or when you just want to feel good. You are abusing the purpose of the med.   There are a ton of  pyschoparmaceutical meds out there that do work.  If you are addicted, you need to seek help. I used to pop Tylenol 1's like candy when I was really stressed out at work, and I would get a nice buzz going for 4 hours or so.  Get a referral to a psychiatrist if you don't have one, or if you do, you need to come "clean" about what you are doing. Addictions will turn and bite you in the butt with liver and kidney damage among other things.  Have you checked out the addiction forum? It might be a good idea,
best of luck,
LCC
Avatar universal
I take it for pain but it doesent just get rid of the pain, it also gives me the 'perk' I mentioned above.

Its really just  a question I had been wondering about for a while, im not 'reaching out for help' and I have already discussed the matter with my girlfriend, psychiatrist and doctor. I am well informed concerning the health effects of abusing this med and had a liver biopsy recently which showed a perfectly healthy liver (except for having hepC)

Oh, I was not insinuating that it could be used to treat bipolar disorder. Just mild depression.

Was just hoping to start an interesting debate on the possible benefits of hydrocodone.

585414 tn?1288944902
Yes its understood then. So if you take it as prescribed for pain you are not abusing it then. But if people read that you believed it could work in that fashion it might encourage some of those people. People post specific information as regards their own recovery (that in no way supercedes a psychiatrist's understanding of them) but a "debate" is not a good idea. If you want to know what medications are being studied for what what purpose feel free to look them up on PubMed or another clinical source but if you want to know what medications might be helpful for you (and this includes clinical depression) a website such as "Depression Central" might be of help. Many medications have a mild anti-depressent effect. That doesn't mean they will ever be used to treat clinical depression. Any issue regarding a pain medication is best talked about in the pain management forum but if you still have a problem with (even mild) depression there are many approved anti-depressents that you could speak to your psychiatrist about as options.
Avatar universal
I've been wondering about this myself, specifically for suicide prevention.  Mostly due to the fact that I had a prescription for hydrocodone last year to manage the pain from a sports injury until physical therapy got the upper hand on the pain, which ended up being coincidentally timed with receiving the worst news I could ever dream of.  How something managed to be worse than immediate family dying I'm still in shock over.

Put simply, that hydrocodone prescription kept me from killing myself three months ago.  I know that for a fact, as I had a sudden, powerful, primal urge to end myself that's only ever been rivaled by my urge to mate.  As it was, it was a close call and it took all the willpower I had to force myself to stand still (I couldn't force myself to sit), take three pills (instead of just one or two normally needed to manage acute pain), and stand there waiting the hour it took to take effect, instead of loading a firearm.  After half an hour of standing and quivering the physical effects were felt and I managed to sit down and start playing a video game even though I needed to be studying, since that was the week before college finals and I'd been procrastinating the entire semester.  Bad timing for bad news.

I'd been passively suicidal for 10 years at that point (and was on various antidepressants almost all of that time).  For several years (1999, 2004-6) I was daydreaming up to 30 minutes a day for those years about how much of a relief it would be to actually do it.  But aside from one brief instance in 1998 the desire had never gone 'active' like it did towards the end of last year, accompanied by my injury's pain skyrocketing, and physically shaking so bad that I couldn't sleep for days even with a hefty dose of painkillers in my system.

A week after the crisis started I got straight A's on my finals.  But I was still at my breaking point, and my doctor wasn't happy when I told him the painkiller prescription had saved me from being entirely consumed by emotional stress.  He put me on Xanax to keep me stable for the crisis to pass, which managed to give me worse constipation than the hydrocodone ever had.  Life is seriously messed up that way when it comes to side effects.


What I worry about is how many people would have put off suicide like I did if they'd had a bottle of 'euphoria' within arm's reach like I did when the suicide impulse went 'Active'.  As it was I was so distraught I barely had the mental capacity to consider misusing the medication like that.  And I sure wasn't happy about taking them for that purpose.  But considering the alternative, I don't think I made the wrong choice.

I'm more frustrated thinking that the person I've hated myself over losing to suicide might have been around if they'd had an emergency-brake-in-a-bottle like I did.

Frustrated more because the addiction factor is probably too much of a risk even for people that are imminently suicidal, even with medical supervision.  Life isn't fair.
585414 tn?1288944902
You had an injury that causes pain that required it. Don't confuse the two. When a person has a pre-existing physical and psychiatric disability they have to make sure to not take one medication for the other purpose. For example, I have dystonic spasms. I take several muscle relexants. They are not a controlled substances but better not to say the names of them although they are standard approved prescriptions. Before the spasms were treated, they were so bad that the pain brought on suicidal ideations. If I have spasms then it is appropriate to take these medications for them but I have them at fixed dosages I discuss with my neurologist. But if I had an episode from depression (which is an aspect of my psychiatric disability, I do have moodswings) that would cause suicidal ideations (which happenned before my current recovery) then taking a muscle relexant for it would be the wrong idea. The same applies to what you discuss.
   As for Xanax it can run out of effectiveness after a while as its generally meant for long term use. Klonopin and other related benzos are more meant for longer use. But a benzo might not be a good idea if someone is self medicating which you might be. Talk that over with your psychiatrist. That doesn't make you a drug addict. But the moment you use a pain killer for something other than pain you are using it for the wrong purpose. You should speak to your psychiatrist about all this and about having the anti-depressents you are on adjusted if you feel they don't work. But as for the pain killers if you physically don't need them ask for help in getting off them at the rate your doctor schedules because in the long run they will impeed your recovery not help it. They just numb the depression. They don't treat it in the same manner as an anti-depressent.
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