Update on tianeptine. Sorry on the long post - I ramble. The important bits are in bold.
I had no problems with the drug at all but had to stop taking it. I went to my GP's surgery because I needed a tetanus booster. In the end I didn't get it. I don't know why but the nurse called my doctor and I was asked if I'd got any flu like symptoms. I said no but I was getting headaches more frequently. Before moving into my late grandmother's house I'd rarely had one. I'd also knocked myself more often (CO can cause a lack of coordination.) I just assumed the headaches and mild nausea were due to grief. I was told to go to the hospital and ask for tests for carbon monoxide poisoning. I was tested in the accident and emergency department. They repeated the blood test because they assumed the results were wrong. The second test showed the same result - that I shouldn't have been able to walk around, and that I probably should have had serious symptoms e.g. dizziness, seizures or unconsciousness. I was sent to the intensive care ward. I was in there for thirteen days even though I felt ok and there was no sign I'd been damaged. I had a worryingly long stream of tests done (including cognitive tests - apparently I have an IQ of 168 but am dyslexic. I'm sure that I got someone elses results as my spelling isn't that bad, I've never done a crossword puzzle, I keep doing stupid things and am incapable of following simple instructions. I even caused a minor explosion when I was in a chemistry class by doing things in the wrong order. Only a test tube was hurt
) and no one explained to me why I was being kept so long. I even had an MRI and I'm not sure why I'd need one and no one told me anything. I became paranoid incase they thought I'd got cancer or something awful like that. I was just stuck in a room on my own and for the first few days if I tried to talk to the nurses I was just told to put the mask back on. Very horrible and very wierd. Anyway back to the tianeptine: DON'T STOP TAKING IT ABRUPTLY! I became very miserable a couple of days after stopping taking them (I didn't carry the tianeptine with me) and for about three days I experienced a "crash." This was pretty serious as I began thinking of suicide, probably partially due to the fact that I was bored, the alarms on the monitering machines kept going off (I was in the intensive care ward, presumably a few of the people died) and had to wear the paper clothes they use in hospitals as I wasn't allowed home (my friend didn't get round to bringing my clothes to me until I'd been there for five days, admittedly she'd been busy arranging getting my boiler fixed, cleaning up my home as I'm not very tidy and she has a six month old baby). I decided I'd jump out the window but I was fortunately hooked up to machines and the alarm went off. The nurses were in my room before I'd made it three steps out of bed. I told them I wanted to open the window - it doesn't open. I hadn't been suicidal before starting taking it - mostly just demotivated and anhedonic. I started sleepwalking again too and had to be sedated once or twice as I tried to escape the hospital and like many sleepwalkers I become violent if disturbed.
They did a toxicology test. They told me that one was being done so I thought I better tell them I was taking tianeptine. I had to tell them what it was (tianeptine isn't prescibed in the UK.) Fortunately tianeptine has nootropic properties (according to a poster on one forum anyway) and I told the doctor that was why I was taking it as I didn't want to get stuck on SSRI's. I didn't want to be transferred to the mental health ward. Its like some dodgy 1950's place.
They put my grandmother in there because she'd developed severe depression after getting an infection in hospital (she'd broken her hip) and gone deaf. They didn't get her any hearing aids and left her deaf. They wanted her out of the ward she was in because she wasn't able to understand the physiotherapist and wasn't progressing. She got so fed up that she managed to hobble out of the window (the wards on the ground floor), one of the other patients on the ward alerted the staff and my grandmother made the mistake of telling them she'd kill herself if she had to spend another night there (she'd been there 9 weeks, deaf for six of them). She then got angry and started yelling she was going to kill herself, which was probably not true. She spent another six weeks in the mental health ward, still deaf. I hated going to visit her there, it made me think of the kind of treatment ppl got in the 1950's. She was in a mixed male and female bay, mostly with young ppl. None of the others were depression cases, one man kept making sexually harrassing comments to me, then tell me I looked like a whore when I didn't respond. Once when I didn't respond he stuck his face in front of mine. I turned away and then he licked my face! My grandmother then grabbed one of her sticks and beat him with it and shouted at me to "kick him in the balls." If I'd been in the street or a bar and a man had done that to me I would have but I didn't fancy being arrested for assult. In the street I could just run. The nurse came in and sedated my grandmother. Nothing was done to the man. Eventually I got her a place in a nursing home (the hospital didn't want to have her sent to one because the NHS would have to foot the bill for at least 12 weeks as the hospital couldn't take care of her and it would be more expensive than keeping her in hospital for the kind of care she needed.) My grandad died in WW2 and he was quite high ranking and they really look after the families of officers so I wrote to them and they sorted her out a place in a nursing home. Admittedly it was in another town so I couldn't visit her that often but at least she wasn't wasting time in hospital.
I was interviewed by a psychiatrist and visited by a particularly annoying social worker. Her self righteous attitude made me want to tell her I was a crackhead, junky whore just to see her reaction. (I'm not a crackhead junky whore but they way she spoke made it seem like an attractive career choice) She even commented on my skin. I had chickenpox a few months ago and although my skin was fine before it's now a bit blotchy and I have blackheads but my skin is slowly improving. Also I've got red hair and like many ppl with it I have yellow based skin (actually most caucasian women do, makeup companies generally think we should be orange, like an umpalumpa (sp?) ) I think she actually thought I should be wearing full makeup despite being hooked up to machines. She kept asking me if I took other drugs even though nothing had been found in my blood. I did had a bit of fun though by telling her that the oxygen was making me high and that I have a ten a day redbull habit. I told her strawberries make me high and she actually believed me! She visited me at my home and when I offered her a drink, she saw some strawberries in my fridge and she almost freaked. She told me the location of a narcotics anonymous meeting. I managed to keep a straight face whilst she was in my home but I think I laughed for about an hour over it once she'd gone. I'd got Alabama 3's "Exile on coldharbour Lane" playing when she arrived and she even complained about my taste in music and said it would lead me into bad ways. I guess if I'd been listening to Marilyn Manson she'd have thought I was going to go on a killing spree. I have to wonder about how sane the people who make decisions about others mental health are. The British government have invented a disorder called "dangerous and severe personality disorder" (basically psychopathy) but the definitions are so weak that just about anyone could be locked up, possibly forever, without ever committing a crime. They are basically saying "conform, obey and be a good little human resource so I can get my huge MP's salary, expense account and make a little on the side." I bother voting but I always choose one of the spoof parties, like the "Rock n roll loony party." I haven't resumed taking tianeptine yet but I may do as I found it improved my mood quickly, my selfconfidence improved and didn't give me any real side effects to speak of. The only thing I noticed was that if I took it too close to bedtime I wouldn't be able to sleep. I didn't pile on weight, feel speeded up or anxious. I would recommend asking your doctor about it if you aren't satisfied with your current medication.