Trisha Lynch: Escaping the Downward Spiral of Prescription Pills
MMJ Patient: Trisha Lynch, Bakersfield, CA
She was healthy, living on a comfortable salary, and independent. Then, one day, she walked into the doctor’s office with a minor health complaint and was given her first antidepressant. That’s all it took; that one pill. Countless prescriptions, a slew of damaging side effects from her medications, and four years later… she was put on complete disability and her entire life changed. 15 years later, she’s here to tell her story and to enlighten you that if you’re sick, there is another way! She lost years of her life to the fatal spiral of prescription drugs and she wants to save others from the same consequence. If you’re open-minded and ready to stand up for your better health, Trisha Lynch is here with an open heart and a mission to expose other patients like herself to the healing properties of medical cannabis.
What medical condition have you been struggling with?
The medical condition I struggle most from is Fibromyalgia, as well as chronic fatigue and depression. I was diagnosed with depression in 1994 and put on antidepressants for premenstrual syndrome. Later I was told that I was depressed. About 2 or 3 years later I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Within 4 years of starting anti-depressants, I was on complete disability from social security.
How long have you been experiencing your medical condition?
It was about 20 years ago when I started getting sick and I have been on complete disability for about 16 years.
What do you believe caused this medical condition?
I honestly believe it was the first prescription of a sertraline medication that I was given. It caused a number of side effects which meant that I had to be prescribed more drugs to deal with the side effects. It wasn’t long after that, that I had more diagnoses, one being bipolar disorder, which then of course led to a whole new category of drugs I was prescribed to take, or so I thought. Turns out I was already being given meds for bipolar patients before I was even diagnosed with it.
Each of the medications have their own side effects attached to them. The side effects themselves mimic something else and I believe that my numerous side effects mimicked Fibromyalgia to the point that I was forced to go on complete disability. Four years after I started taking prescription medications, I developed breathing problems and had to go through a procedure to check on my heart. I was told that I had Primary Pulmonary Hypertension and it was caused by one of the medications I was told to take to counter-effect the 50 lbs. of weight gain that another medication had brought on. It was a vicious cycle.
What medications have you been taking that were prescribed to you by your doctor?
Over the course of 20 years, I’ve been prescribed more than 30 different medications. I was on anti-depressants, sleep aids, anxiety medications, bipolar medications, stomach acid medications, pain medications… I was put on pretty much every mental health medication you could possibly think of. Back in the 90s we didn’t know as much as we do now. It’s absolutely horrifying how much control large pharmaceutical companies were given in pushing out all the drugs they were prescribing without testing them first. They even began off-labeling uses for their medications. I was prescribed gabapentin meds which is actually a drug for seizures… I don’t have seizures, so what was I taking it for?
Medications have been in the news, companies have been sued, and yet, doctors and psychiatrists alike are still prescribing these medications. You just can’t trust the system. We’ve been sold a bill of drugs and it’s just so hard to realize that all your current medical problems actually came from medications you were prescribed to take.
… it’s just so hard to realize that all your current medical problems actually came from medications you were prescribed to take.
What side effects did you experience from the prescribed medication by your doctor?
I was a relatively healthy woman before I was given prescription drugs and then in a matter of a few years, I was put on complete permanent disability at age 40. I’m 58 years old now; that’s 18 years of my life that I’ll never get back. When I was forced to go on disability, I was making $60,000 annually. That was back in 1999 and that was a very large salary that I had to sacrifice! I suffered tremendous financial loss and property loss. I went from being healthy and financially secured to being sick and living under the poverty level.
My side effects were plenty. I had muscle pain, vitamin depletion, vision loss, weight gain, bone deterioration [I was breaking bones in my feet on a regular basis], etc. All of them being direct side effects of the medications I was taking. I KNOW this to be true because once I removed these medications from my body and replenished my vitamins, all the side effects I had been experiencing went away. That’s not to say that I don’t still suffer from long-term effects of the medications, but there is no rewinding time on that for me.
I still suffer from chronic fatigue and migraines, but nothing compares to what it was like to be on all those drugs. It was awful, terribly awful! I gained so much weight that I eventually topped out at 200 lbs. which is 70lbs heavier than I previously was. I had the shakes, I couldn’t stay awake, my stomach was so upset, and quite often, I couldn’t breathe. I literally felt like I had dust in my lungs and couldn’t breathe.
SEE ALSO: I Flushed My Meds Down The Toilet
What type of alternative medicine have you tried aside from your doctor’s recommendation?
Prescription drugs is an endless cycle and 5 or so years ago, I decided that I was done with that cycle. It took me 5 years to completely detox off those prescription drugs, but I did it… for my better health! About 6 years ago, I became a medical marijuana patient in California and at the time, I didn’t know too much about it. I was just trying to find relief from my prescriptions. My doctor told me to start with cannabis-infused butter and spread it on toast in the morning, but it was all so new to me that I didn’t immediately start using it. There did eventually come a time that I started experimenting with different ways to ingest cannabis and I ultimately came to start using infused coconut oil. It has a much higher fat content and I found that if I took 2 tablespoons a day, I experienced a large amount of healing from the inside out. I used a lot of acupuncture in the beginning, but now I primarily just use medical marijuana.
How long have you been using the alternative medicine?
I have been using medical marijuana for about 6 years now!
How have you felt since you started using the alternative medicine? Compared to your prescribed medications?
Initially, it was simply a relief. I was still on all my prescription medications and medical marijuana helped me control my side effects. But in the past 2-1/2 years that I’ve officially been off ALL my pharmaceuticals and focusing on consistently ingesting cannabis, I’ve felt 100% better! My life is completely different today!
Do you think you will continue with using alternative medicine?
Yes, of course! Our bodies have an endocannabinoid system and we’ve been starving it for the last 80 years since prohibition has been in place. I believe that chronic illness is a direct consequence of our inability to feed that system with the cannabinoids our bodies so desperately need. I will continue to feed mine! I will continue to feel better! I will continue to spread the word about it! For those people who are willing to have an open mind and reject the stigma, misinformation, and corruption that currently surrounds cannabis, there is a better treatment available. For those who are open to cannabis, there is a brighter, and healthier future ahead of them! For everyone else… there is chemo.
For those who are open to cannabis, there is a brighter, and healthier future ahead of them! For everyone else… there is chemo.