Most frequently, doctors will prescribe gabapentin to treat neuropathic pain and some seizures. However, it is increasingly being taken outside of its permissible uses for several additional ailments, such as anxiety, and migraines, and even to help those withdrawing from opioids. While gabapentin can be helpful for some people, it’s essential to recognize that not everyone experiences gabapentin favorably. I want to tell my own story of how gabapentin ruined my life in this highly confidential blog post.
The principal indications for using the drug gabapentin, which can be bought under the trade names Neurontin, Gralise, and Horizant, are the treatment of partial seizures, shingles-related nerve pain, and restless leg syndrome. It works by interfering with the neurotransmitters used by the brain and nerves as chemical messengers.
This blog access depends on my own experiences; it is not meant to represent the effects of gabapentin as being universal. When choosing any drug, it’s critical to speak with a healthcare practitioner because medication effects can differ significantly from person to person.
What Is Gabapentin?
Patients who experience seizures and nerve pain frequently receive the medicine gabapentin as a prescription. Gabapentin is an anti-convulsant medication which is used to treat neuropathic pain, seizure, etc. Treatment with gabapentin is widespread and beneficial for many people who suffer from shingles, neuropathic pain, partial seizures, and restless legs syndrome. Despite being used in medicine, it can be misused and is regarded as a restricted substance, like many other medications.
Many drug addicts use gabapentin recreationally, especially when combined with substances like opioids. Although it has the potential to be misused on its own, gabapentin may increase the effects of other medicines. During my time in recovery, I’ve heard many gabapentin addiction stories, many of which seem just as brutal as the next.
Available forms of gabapentin in the United States of America are under the following brand names:
What Is The Mechanism Of Action Of Gabapentin?
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a brain neurotransmitter that influences the CNS (central nervous system), and gabapentin share a similar molecular structure. It can result in sensations of peace and relaxation, aiding with anxiety, insomnia, and even numbness in the nerves.
In addition to having a high risk for addiction, gabapentin can potentially cause suicidal thoughts, mood swings, and abrupt behavioral changes. Additionally, it may result in chest pain, high blood pressure, insomnia, fever, and changes in appetite.
How Gabapentin Ruined My Life?
I received the diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) several years ago. My life began to be dominated by anxiety, which made simple activities seem impossible. My psychiatrist suggested gabapentin for me as an off-label medication after we talked about my symptoms. It may help me control my anxiety and enhance my general well-being, so I was informed.
I thought gabapentin was a lifeline in the initial weeks. My anxiety symptoms seem to be reducing, and I was able to work more efficiently. It appear to me that I discover the answer I have been looking for a long time. I have more energy, able to concentrate better, and feel happier overall.
The Time When The Symptoms Started To Appear:
However, as the time pass by, I started to notice some real life concerning symptoms. These include:
1. Drowsiness & Fatigue:
The crushing tiredness that hit me like hundreds of bricks are one of the first indications that something is wrong. Despite sleeping through the night, I was still continually fatigue.
2. Memory & Cognitive Issues:
I begin to notice a sharp decline in my concentration. Simple activities are hard for me to recall, and I frequently feel mentally cloudy.
3. Mood Swings:
I have more frequent mood swings. Without any obvious cause, I would shift from feeling fine to becoming agitated, anxious, and even depress.
4. Weight Gain:
Gabapentin make me hungrier all the time which after some time result in my over-weight.
5. Blurred Vision:
After using it for a few months, I notice that I wasn’t able to see properly while driving at night. That’s how, gabapentin affect my vision.
My psychiatrist increased my dosage to deal with the gabapentin’s decreasing effectiveness and my rising anxiety. A higher dose, it was hoped, would bring about a more profound reduction. Unfortunately, this did nothing but make the side effects worse. From there, my journey started of how gabapentin ruined my life.
The Withdrawal Symptoms:
My experience with gabapentin improved when I tried to quit using it. I became aware that I became dependent on the drug at that point. There were severe withdrawal symptoms after trying to stop taking gabapentin, including:
My Recovery Journey:
The path to recovery wasn’t at all straightforward. Therefore, therapy, a change in lifestyle, and the support of loved ones were all part of it. I gradually reduced my dosage of gabapentin, and the withdrawal symptoms faded. I also started looking into complementary therapies for my anxiety, such as talk therapy and mindfulness exercises. That’s how gabapentin ruined my life.
My recovery includes the following stages:
- Mind relaxing therapies
- Art therapy
- Physical activities
Is Gabapentin Addictive?
It’s possible to become dependent on gabapentin. While many people take gabapentin to treat legitimate medical conditions, other people may abuse it or become dependent on it, which can lead to addiction. This syndrome frequently results from extended and frequent pharmaceutical use.
Physical dependency on gabapentin may develop when the body grows adapted to the drug and needs it for proper operation. This kind of reliance is a typical physiological reaction to ongoing drug use. If gabapentin use develops into a physical dependence, stopping it or cutting back on the dosage can result in withdrawal symptoms.
Because of how gabapentin affects the brain’s neurotransmitters, particularly GABA, which plays a part in inhibitory signalling, there is a risk of addiction and withdrawal. Although the drug’s exact mode of action is unclear, its interaction with GABA has the potential to eventually cause physical dependence.
Although my experience with gabapentin was difficult, it ultimately inspired me to put my mental health first and look for better ways to deal with anxiety. Therefore, the medicine may have adversely affected my life, but it also inspired self-awareness and fortitude in me.
I’ll sum up by saying that my experience with gabapentin serves as a reminder that taking medication should always be done cautiously and with the help of medical specialists. Hence, it’s crucial to stand up for your health and well-being and, where necessary, to seek alternative solutions. Moreover, keep in mind that you are not alone on your path and that others experiencing problems related to their medicine can find hope and support.