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Hi guys, I'm new here and I have read a few threads about tramadol withdrawal/addiction. Wanted to share my story though because I've just today admitted EVERYTHING to my doctor and I feel so good to get it out! Elated even.
I was put on tramadol 4 years ago when I was 26. They dramatically improved nearly every aspect of my life, I can't lie. The energy they gave me, my depression completely gone. I lost a stone, got one mega promotion at work due to my increased motivation and energy.... I have always struggled with depression until these pills changed everything. I could finally cope with life and all the things it throws at you. Of course I steadily needed to increase my dose to feel the same effects and I started buying online so my doctors didn't see anything suspicious going on. Had them on steady repeat for the last 4 years, 200 x 50mg pills and to them they would last me months. In reality, I could eat that prescription in a week. My online habit costing me around £300 to £400 a month and after a year I no longer felt the need to increase my dose at all and was taking doses of around 1200mg a day spread out evenly with 400mg morning, then dinner, then evening. Yeah - that is a lot. Luckily I stayed on this dose for three years without dying.
I'm a single mum with a really good job, the main side effect at this dose was memory. Distinct lack of it. I was always worrying about my next lot of tablets not turning up and what would happen if I ran out. I tried to come off them about two years ago cold turkey, from 1200mg a day to 0mg. 7 days of pure hell on earth. I couldn't move, I struggled to get out of bed to go to the bathroom. Extreme dizziness, severe restless legs, no sleep, depression, anxiety, weird horrible brain zaps (I especially did not like those) and all in all, the most horrific experience I have ever had in my life. After 7 days and no let up, I took 100mg of tramadol and within 20 minutes, EVERYTHING was back to normal. During that week I had managed to get a prescription of 30/500 co-codamol, which basically did absolutely nothing to help at all. Trying to replace THAT much tramadol with another drug didn't have much effect. I had decided to come off them in the first place as my addiction was expensive, and needing pills to get through every day is not what a 28 year old should be doing. The withdrawals would hit me every morning and I would wake up feeling like hell until I took my first dose. 400mg later and superwoman would be back.
This time, the reason I'm coming off is much the same. I did not dare to do cold turkey this time, hoping that weening will work better, or at least make coming off them more bearable at the end. Also, while I was on holiday abroad a couple of months ago with my son, I forgot that I had taken a dose and took another. The inevitable happened and I had a seizure on a sunbed. Fortunately my son didn't see it and a nearby sunbathing doctor came to me. It was not a fun experience at all - I had no idea where I was when I woke up, people were talking to me and I had no idea why, it took me a full 30 mins to come back to Earth properly and realise everything that had happened. Very scary let me tell you. What if I had been driving in the car with my son? Doesn't bare thinking about.
So I have now managed to cut this dose down from 1200mg daily to 300mg daily, which im feeling really pleased about, I can't believe I'm even surviving, but I am! Next week I have to take it to 250mg for a week and we have agreed to cut it down by 50mg a week. Initially I didn't tell my doctor the truth, too ashamed about the amount I had been taking, but she is wonderful and supportive - she gave me a number to call for drug addiction too, which I then rang and made an appointment for Monday. I feel like I'm really making massive steps to get off this drug. I am a complete slave to it, and it has changed me as a person too. I'm no longer this outgoing person who wants to see friends, in truth I have spent the last few years with just Netflix being my friend, happily reclusive and just..... Me but 'dulled.' Nothing is as exciting as it should be, I can go on a theme park rollercoaster and instead of getting that rush, it's more like 'yeah that was nice!'
Hopefully the doctor will give me something a bit less addictive for the depression to help. I am currently struggling with that already. I've fallen out with just about everyone I know this week! But anyway, hopefully I'll be able to post here and let you know how it goes. I know there are many others going through similar situations, high or low dose, you aren't alone. I was right up there with that 1200mg dose so if you are taking that much and are too ashamed like me, please try to get help when you are ready to come off them. We can't take this the rest of our lives.
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