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  1. While we are talking about Provigil, I thought I'd give a quick rundown of the side effects. As always, this is based entirely on my experience, which can be different from others. Like most stimulants, it raises anxiety levels. I watch myself while driving, because I drive more aggressively with this medication. Like most stimulants it can interfere with sleep, especially if taken too late in the day. I found sleep got better as the body got used to the medication. It sure wakes up the digestive system! That can be good if you suffer constipation, but one day I got up late and thought I'd take a whole tablet instead of 2 halves spaced apart, and I spent much of the day in the bathroom. I have IBS which gives me severe stomach cramps, and Provigil has made it worse. The cramps come more often and with greater severity. I have a muscle relaxant for the cramps, but I have had some troubled days since I started taking Provigil. I guess it ties into the previous point about waking the digestive tract up.
  2. Thank you, that was the intention. I was going through various posts in the forum and noticed how many were about medication side effects, and depression that doesn't respond to medications, and so forth. I have been in that boat for 17 years, each change of medication or dosage made a little difference if lucky. Of course when you have depression, you are thankful for any improvement, however small. I don't know for others but for me, AD only gave me enough relief to get by. With Provigil I feel like a normal person. Of course if I don't sleep well I am still tired, of course if I hate a chore I won't feel motivated to do it, but now it feel like a normal reaction. I don't know about others, but I have often wondered what it would be like to be a mentally healthy person. How would it feel to wake up in the morning with energy? How does it feel to want to face your day? How does it feel when not everything in your day is a struggle? Now I am finally starting to see how it feels like, and it's like being a blind person who can finally see. So my intention was to hopefully encourage people to not give up on their treatment, that maybe there is something out there that will work for you, it may take time, patience, trial and error, but please don't give up on it.
  3. I am grateful to my doctor for thinking out of the box, but keep in mind I had to pester her for a while about my constant exhaustion. For the longest time I accepted that (to quote a famous movie), this was "as good as it gets", I should just be thankful that I was somewhat functional, and leave it at that. I only wish the FDA and insurance companies were more open minded. Having the FDA reclassify Provigil for depression would be a long and expensive process, and some insurance companies refuse to cover medications prescribed for anything other than what they are FDA approved for.
  4. I thought I would share a good experience I have had with treatment that seems to be working for me. As background, I have had depression almost my whole life due to growing up in a troubled family. Was prescribed Valium at age 12 for severe anxiety issues, took it for a year. I started taking Prozac in 2000 after a major nervous breakdown. About 3-4 years ago Prozac stopped working so I tried Celexa (horrible experience, sleepy all the time), then settled on Wellbutrin + Prozac. It worked ok except for some symptoms that didn't go away, specifically extreme tiredness, memory problems, and lack of motivation. At my last visit my doctor suggested adding Provigil (modafinil). It is not labelled for depression, it is for narcolepsy and to help people who work night shifts. It is not an amphetamine, and has a very low risk of dependence. I am on 100mg split between half tablet in the morning and half after lunch. I cannot describe how much it has helped me. I finally have enough energy to go through my day and to take care of my chores and obligations. My memory and cognition has improved. Rather than feeling overwhelmed, I almost look forward to getting things checked off my to-do list. My exhaustion was putting so much stress on me, and contributing to my depression. I felt worthless because I couldn't pull my weight, and my family had to pick up the slack. I spent so much energy mentally kicking myself to get up and get things done, that I would have none left for the actual tasks to do. A month after I started taking it I actually cried of joy and relief when it dawned on me how much my quality of life had improved. Like all medications, every person responds differently, this is only my personal experience. I just wanted to share it and let people know it can be possible to find some treatment that really helps. I hope others also find relief from their struggles.
  5. I am very sorry to hear, UFO. Unfortunately we still live in a society that largely condones hitting children, so when I say I have PTSD from family physical abuse, people seem to think I just got one or two swats to the butt and my fragile little mind blew it all out of proportion. Because of what you say, I prefer to keep my mental health to myself. You are right, people don't know how to deal with it, or act around you. There's this media fueled idea that people with PTSD are very unstable, and go crazy at random moments because of flashbacks, etc, so everyone has to walk on eggshells around them lest they trigger some violent outburst. In fact we are the perfectly regular person they meet at the coffee shop, or sit next to on the bus, or works in the office next to theirs. Besides I don't want my illness to define me. I am not the one with PTSD. I am a person. Who also happens to have PTSD. My life and personality isn't dictated by that. In fact I very rarely think about my PTSD in my daily life. I don't want it to be the first thing people think when they think of me. I also notice what you say about discounting your feelings. It's very convenient to people who are being nasty to you: instead of taking responsibility for their words or actions they can just say you are overreacting because you have PTSD. Pretty sickening. That's why nobody other than my husband and my best friend know of my PTSD.
  6. Hi, I suffer with PTSD and while it's generally under control it's surprising to me how some choice of words from other people sometimes bother me quite a bit. To illustrate, I was at the Gastroenterologist today and he's asking me about my medical history, meds etc, so I told him I am under psychiatric care for PTSD. His first words were: "were you raped?" I didn't particularly care for that question, didn't seem very tactful, but I answered anyway, that no I wasn't raped, I grew up in a very abusive family. His answer was "Oh so only physical and emotional abuse." I didn't care for the "only". I know he didn't mean anything offensive, but still, it made me feel belittled. Like what I went through wasn't that bad, and I was a weakling for getting PTSD from it. Has anyone noticed some poor choice of words from people about your PTSD? Also, why is it that every time I have physical issues, as soon as I mention I also have PTSD people sort of go "aaahhh" as if every medical problem I have must be caused by my PTSD (read: all in my head)? Does PTSD make me somehow immune from normal physical ailments? My stomach pain must be caused by PTSD because... what, I am immune to the bacterium that causes stomach ulcers? How does that work? Again I realize that attributing everything to psychosomatic is the easiest answer but I feel like I am not taken seriously. Anyone else has had this kind of experience? Thank you for reading this. English isn't my first language, so thank you for your patience.
  7. Thank you, I have been in the US a while and I seem to do fine speaking in person, but when I write and I can't supplement my words with body language I seem to get misunderstood a lot. I have to work on it. Thank you all for your kind welcome!
  8. Hello, thank you for welcoming in this forum. I'll try to keep my introduction brief so as not to be too boring I grew up in a emotionally and physically abusive family with a history of mental illness, which caused me numerous psychosomatic health issues that persist to this day. Attempted suicide at age 13. Kicked out of the house at age 18 for rebelling against the abuse. Leaving the house did me a lot of good and spent about a decade with cyclothymia (a light version of bipolar disorder). Had a major breakdown in 2000 due to excessive stress. Family doctor prescribed Prozac, which helped a lot but have been battling depression ever since. Last year Prozac started failing me so family doctor added Celexa, which was an ordeal, I will never touch the stuff again. Finally I dragged my rear end to a Psychiatrist who diagnosed me with PTSD and associated depression, she took away Celexa and added Wellbutrin, which helped but it's still a struggle. I joined this forum because I have nobody I can talk to about depression related issues. People either don't want to hear it, don't understand it, or don't know how to deal with it. My Psychiatrist suggested therapy but I have great trouble talking about my issues, and doing so often precipitates my emotional state for days. But sometimes I reach the limit and I could use a little venting to people who know what I am going through. I hope to contribute to the forum, unfortunately I don't have much help to give as you can see I can't even help myself, but I can offer a sympathetic ear to anyone. A last note is that English is not my first language. I have been told my style of writing in English comes across as dry, maybe even sarcastic or arrogant. I don't know what to do about it, I guess the subtleties of the language go right over my head. I hope you'll all be patient with me. That's all I have for now.
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