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Crohn's Disease Forum » Treatment » Prednisone/Entocort » Prednisone and temporary insanity


12-10-2013, 09:52 PM   #1
crow
 
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Prednisone and temporary insanity

Well it's been a pretty wild ride.

Over the past few weeks I became increasingly strange in my behaviour without realising it. Then I slid into the sort of extreme behaviour I have witnessed in friends wih bipolar disorder, as well as having elements of dementia (I got lost in my old neighbourhood).

Thankfully I am recovering now, but I will never take prednisone again!

I wonder if any of you have had similar experiences here. I was nearly committed.
12-11-2013, 01:20 AM   #2
zilla7777
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Hey! I see you are pretty new here, welcome to the forum.

Pred can be a very powerful drug, and I'm currently on a taper at 20mg down from 60mg a few weeks ago. Needless to say, the side effects are showing physically and mentally.

Physically, I am breaking out in acne and my face is swelling a little, but that's not too bad. I have bad bone density in my back from the other 3 rounds of 45mg (to a taper) that I have been on.

Mentally though, the 60mg stint definitely affected me. I could not help but write lists of everything I was doing and plan everything to a regimental system. I'd get extremely angry when I would miss one of the things in my plan, and I'd have freak outs over menial things like what to have for lunch. Sleeping was even harder, because it just felt like the off-switch for my mind wasn't there any more. All I could do was think about everything from the dots of light coming through the windows to the little creaking noises and playing out the next day exactly as I want it to happen along with everything that could go wrong. It was pretty damn scary. I'm still only sleeping about 3 hours a night, but at least it's more than it was before.

For me personally, the mental issues started to disappear with the decrease in dose, but I am certain that I could never live with my mind in a state that it was in. It brings out obsessive behaviour, insomnia and anxiety in me and it's genuinely one of the most scary drugs I've had to deal with.

Regardless, it's a wonder drug in the help it can bring to us in achieving remission, and for that reason alone it's worth it to most.

EDIT: Also, you might want to check out the "Miserable Prednisonites" support group which you should be able to find to the left under my name and post count. It's generally the go-to thread for general Pred discussion should you wish to talk about other things surrounding it.
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Last edited by zilla7777; 12-11-2013 at 01:38 AM.
12-11-2013, 01:54 AM   #3
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Hey Crow!

My first round with prednisone brought on euphoria and then mood swings. I never again felt euphoria but the mood swings are pretty common.

Hopefully you have experienced the worst and if you decide to try pred again, the experience would be different. Sometimes pred is the only thing that can get our symptoms under control. Knowing that mood changes can happen and letting others know that the drug may influence your behaviour can be very beneficial.

Good luck with your illness and treatment decisions!

Darin
12-11-2013, 07:21 AM   #4
zilla7777
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Hey Crow!

My first round with prednisone brought on euphoria and then mood swings. I never again felt euphoria but the mood swings are pretty common.

Darin
It's funny you should say that, because my first 2 rounds put me in a very euphoric state too. Since then though my mind feels like a very dark place just packed to the brim with life trying to jam its little pieces further in. It'd be interesting to hear from longer term users as to whether psychological effects keep going on this sort of downwards trend.
12-11-2013, 12:12 PM   #5
SarahBear
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Well it's been a pretty wild ride.

Over the past few weeks I became increasingly strange in my behaviour without realising it. Then I slid into the sort of extreme behaviour I have witnessed in friends wih bipolar disorder, as well as having elements of dementia (I got lost in my old neighbourhood).

Thankfully I am recovering now, but I will never take prednisone again!

I wonder if any of you have had similar experiences here. I was nearly committed.
Yes! I actually hallucinated while on Pred. Fortunately, at the time I had no obligations - I couldn't go to school, I didn't have a job, car or drivers license, so nothing dangerous came of it. The hallucinations were a result of the severe insomnia I had with Pred. They were mild, luckily - mostly background noises, or seeing things fall off a shelf, chair, etc. then realizing nothing was there. I'd frequently walk through the house, searching for the TV I was convinced I could hear, and find nothing. I also had some intense mood swings, but they didn't even hold a candle to the problems the insomnia caused.

My doctors agree that Prednisone should be avoided for me if at all possible. I'm not too worried about, it though - most of my problems with it came from the insomnia, so a sleep aid would make the experience much more bearable (they wouldn't give me anything because I was underage at the time).
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12-13-2013, 03:29 PM   #6
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Hi guys

Later in the week I ended up in hospital. I am still in the psychiatric ward as they want to observe me for a few more days, although I now feel almost back to my old self again.

I have never felt the strong desire to harm myself or felt the extreme, fight-or-flight - type fear that I felt over the past week. I genuinely believed that my situation was dire, and that if I did carry out certain tasks then my reputation would be ruined and that I would have to end my life. The fears were unfounded; I was worried about something very minor, but at the time it seemed life or death. At the worst point, after several; days of not sleeping, I even though I was being followed by a helicopter.

I have never had mental health issues before taking this drug. Thankfully,the obsessive behaviour and thoughts the drug brough on have dissipated as the drug has left my body. My main job now is to try to convince the staff here that I am now OK, now the drug has left my system!

Fingers (all 11 of them) crossed...
12-16-2013, 04:35 AM   #7
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Hey
I do think this drug messes your head. I'm definitely short tempered with kids and others
But also I find myself becoming more stupid!! I'm doing clumsy and daft things I would not do
Leaving my wallet on shop counter an walking away
Switching conversation threads randomly
Withdrew money from ATM but left the money!!
Taking wrong turns

It's maddening and worrying. I see doc tmrw so will be saying it
I did take dectocortirl before and don't remember this

Hope it eases for you crow. You are definitely not alone
12-17-2013, 04:00 AM   #8
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The drug also made me extremely uninhibited. For example I don't think I would have posted about my experience if I wasn't on it!

I am fine now, by the way, but remain facinated by the effect this steroid had on me. One of the weirdest behaviours: I bought an xbox, me, someone who never plays computer games. I also ate mostly takeaways, when usually I eat very healthily.

I'd be interested to know, if any of you are willing to share and have had a similar experience more or less extreme, what sort of underlying disorders if any doctors might have uncovered. The doctor did say to me that my experience is usually had by those with underlying mood disorders, and now I wonder if I have had mild bipolar disorder all along but developed coping mechanisms and strategies to mask it (for instance I learned breath meditation when in my early 20s I started to experience "panic attacks", which usually occurred during times of high productivity/creativity, in retrospect).
02-15-2014, 03:27 PM   #9
strawberrys78
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Before taking pred I dealt with a lot of anxiety and depression. I'm only 20, but I seriously hated getting out of bed everyday. For no reason, because I'm doing fantastic in school, I have a great family and friends and boyfriend, I was always given everything I ever wanted, that is just how I would feel everyday. However, I started taking pred at 40mg/day, I am now tapered off to 25. It made me so euphoric. I loved getting out of bed every morning, I always felt super energized, I planned out everything for my day, I started cooking more and packing perfect lunches for school everything, life was perfect. I seriously felt high on life. However, after awhile, it started to feel very old. I felt like an energizer bunny. My mind was constantly racing. Even if I had to type something my fingers would type like a million words per minute. It's like I couldn't feel anything but what the pred was making me feel. I felt like I was wearing a mask or something. Like I was always happy and energetic and hyper, I couldn't concentrate, I had to have everything planned out, I was always breathing quick.. I don't know, it's really hard to explain. It isn't as bad now, but I am still pretty hyper most times. I don't know if this euphoria is a blessing or a curse! Some days it feels great and others I feel emotionally and physically drained, and overworked even if I do nothing bit sit down. Sometimes I feel kind of crazy! I'm just hoping that when I come off the pred I don't bounce back and end up more depressed than what I was before I started!
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Previously taken:
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02-15-2014, 03:40 PM   #10
AJC - Australia
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YES - horrible stuff…and addictive….but also life saving at times.
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02-15-2014, 05:43 PM   #11
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Hi crow,

I found pred made me get up and about a lot more although it did give me confusion issues. I thought it was down to tiredness but reading your post makes me think otherwise. I would be driving along a route I did a lot but not be aware where abouts I was. Like being lost I guess, very weird. It also made me drift off into random thoughts. I would be working like every other day but my mind would be a million miles away. Weird dreams and short temper were other symptoms.
Made my flare calm down though so a necessary evil I guess!
Which hospital are you in? Lived in Wellington for a bit and crohns put me in the hospital in lower hutt, they told me it was gastroenteritis though! cool place tho, Wellington i mean, not the hospital lol, miramar wharf was one of my fav fishing spots lol
Hope they let you out soon, keep us posted!
02-15-2014, 07:27 PM   #12
durwardian
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I would look into why prednisone did that to you. It could be that some other diseases are to blame. Or something else that was parallel to this medication? Were you working with chemicals or solvents?
02-17-2014, 09:38 PM   #13
sickofcrohns
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Mania from prednisone isn't that uncommon. I've definitely been there. Sorry to hear it affected you so severely.
02-17-2014, 09:51 PM   #14
crow
 
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Dear all

Thank you for your concern.

I am fine now. The prednisone put me into remission, at least!

I will have to be very careful from now on, however, as I cannot be proscribed it again, I don't think.

The good news is that the Drs said that my behaviour was 100% down to the prednisone. I asked whether, if various tragedies over the past year had not occurred, I would still have reacted the same way. They said yes: for some people, otherwise unaffected by any sort of mental illness, it just cannot be taken.

best regards and again thanks!

If you are not healthy now I hope you get better soon.
02-18-2014, 07:04 AM   #15
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I'm glad to hear you're feeling better, and it's great that your doctors put it all down to the prednisone. I've met so many doctors who seem determined to make everything relate to psychiatric illness.

I've never had a mental illness, but I tend towards the neurotic/"OCD" type. Prednisone made me euphoric in a minor way - the euphoria seemed to come in odd waves. I'd be, for example, reading something pretty mundane, and then I'd have this thought that what I was reading was so interesting, and feel all excited without knowing why. But the horrible side of it was that I felt so restless and bored. When I was on prednisone and Amitriptyline at the same time, the restlessness disappeared like magic and I was high and apprehensive all the time.

It's all very unnerving. The prednisone made me act and feel in ways that didn't really seem like "me" (and retrospectively, looking back on my time on pred now that I'm not taking it, I see this to an even greater degree). The Amitriptyline, which I still take but now without pred, still causes me anxiety, but I actually feel more like "me" taking it - I see everything much more clearly and can act more appropriately. I still feel depressed when things give me cause to feel so, but I don't get overwhelmed by the depression when I take Ami and can continue to think and feel as I should.

I just wish with meds like pred there could be more consistency with the side effects, especially the mental ones. If only we could actually use it to change our mental states in a predictable way, rather than taking them and hoping for the best and not knowing whether we're going to go manic or euphoric.
03-18-2014, 11:04 PM   #16
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Reading this thread makes me a little nervous. I just started Prednisone and I can't tell you how long I laughed today because I saw an address on Highway P N. (Because it sounds like pee-in') I'm immature sometimes but not that bad. If I'm already laughing like crazy at pee humor, I'm wondering what is yet to come. I just got a new job in the same company. Maybe I should mention the meds so they don't worry and take my new job away. Fingers crossed that I stay up beat.
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