Prostate Cancer Survivors






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Painkillers - To Hell...and back.

Dear Friends,

First of all, thank you for the emails I received expressing concern about my unusual "quietness". Not like me at all, I know.
This post will have a lot of you calling me the stupidest guy on the planet, but hopefully, fingers crossed, it will be a sudden eye-opener for a few men (and women) here.

I am emerging from 3 months of the most soul-destroying down period I have ever experienced. All my zest for life disappeared, lethargy was crippling, and I had no feelings at sense of humour, no spark, no fight left in me. I didn't want to leave my bed in the morning and face each day. I did of course, because I have responsibilities, as we all do. But facing up to them daily was a nightmare.

I asked my oncologist in January why I was feeling so low...and why now, of all times? He told me most cancer patients will experience depression at some point, but mainly soon after diagnosis. Quite a few, though, are hit later on in the journey, even when all seems well. He suggested I get some help to see me through it.

My GP gave me anti-depressants, which had been successful for me 8yrs ago when I was going through a very hard time emotionally. I tried them, but they had no effect whatsoever.

For once, after 3 yrs of fighting, I felt hopless and useless. For some reason this was one particular corner I seemed unable to fight my way out of,

A few weeks ago, on one of my better days, I decided to sit down at the pc and research every single medication and supplement I was taking. I was shocked, and very embarrassed at what I found.

I had a cystoscopy for my biospy in April 2005 and everything went wrong. I ended up on morphine, in acute pain and spent a week in hospital. I was prescriped Tramadol daily. They most certainly relieved my pain, and what's more, I realised that my lifetime curse of daily, severe headaches, had disappeared too.

That prescription was left available to me from then on. So, when the pain of the op had subsided, I continued with Tramadol, popping a few pills each time a headache struck, which of course, has been almost daily for 3 years.

I can't kick myself hard enough for not looking further into side effects of the drug. some cases they can cause depression..See Your Doctor! was on the leaflet inside each pack.

I haven't even bothered to go see my GP, as he isn't very helpful. Instead, I have gradually weaned myself off them, reducing daily intake (Very important not to stop suddenly!).

It's incredible, but within days each of my mornings was brighter and the lethargy was slowly lifting.

I have hesitated posting this too early, because I wanted to be satisfied that it wasn't another "false dawn". However, I am now fully confident that the problem is solved.

For the last 3 months, I hadn't wanted to post much at all. I didn't want to raise the subject of depression again...and I think I was wrong.
Perhaps if I had done, someone would have come up with answer.

A long post today, yes, but at least it shows my mind is working fully again!

Warmest Wishes to you all,


Re: Painkillers - To Hell...and back.

Hi George,

I am new to this site but wished to share my exp. with this same problem.

I am so glad you are feeling better. I had been put on a drug called xanax for a short period of time to control stress from my job and to help me sleep. I had never had any emotional problems before so I was not accustomed to the effects of such drugs. I found my self in a deep fog and depression. After a period of time I read up on this drug and I called it quits and just stopped. Not a smart thing to do. My body reacted violently, by tongue swelled up I had trouble breathing and finally called doctor who doubled a start up dose and slowly winged me off. I learned two things. Research what goes in to my body and #2 never stop taking a drug without working with your Doc.

I hope this is what has been causing your depression.


Re: Painkillers - To Hell...and back.

Dear Frank,

Great to welcome you to the site, (this is a goldmine!), and your comments are so right. I think everyone should be very wary about painkillers, and anti-depressants too. Taken properly they can work wonders for a lot of people, but never ever stop then suddenly.

Warmest wishes,



Re: Re: Painkillers - To Hell...and back.

Tramadol, ultracet: non narcotic pain relievers. . .the devils fruit I call 'em. The first couple of days off of those two DOES CAUSE DEPRESSION. Don't think for one minute that because its not Vicodin, Oxycontin, or Norco (narcotics) that you can't get nabbed. YOU CAN. Great post. . .good job Frank.

Re: Painkillers - To Hell...and back.

Good going George ... glad it worked for you ... hope to see your name on here for a long, long time to come.