:crazy I have self medicated for years and is sick of it. I was diagnosed with depression years ago (possibly bipolar also, can't remember) and has tried many of the antidepressants. The problem has always been the side effects. Most of them created such anxiety that swim stopped taking them. Anxiety has always been a problem for swim and I believe that may have had something to do with the self medicating. I have been relatively drug free compared to swim's past. Swim occasionally smokes reefer and pops a few opiates because swim also suffers from chronic back and neck pain from degenerative disc disease and arthritis of the spine. In swim's past he has been prescribed xanax for the anxiety, which worked great, however with swim's addiction history he would rather try other modalities than benzos for anxiety. Also I was on opiate therapy for years (for the back problem) but that turned into a fiasco, abused them, doctor shopped, etc. etc. I am pretty sure that the chronic pain is exacerrbating the anxiety and depression. Needless to say I am in a bad way here and needs some honest advice. Are there any members who suffer the same problems? Here are swim's main questions; 1. Is there an opiate pain reliever, or something similar, that will help with this? I have tried all the NSAIDS, toradol, all the otc products, with little or no relief, with some causing other problems 2. Concerning the anxiety and depression, what combinations have worked for swiy? I am not against a benzo for short term while the antidepressant has time to start working. Here is a list of meds that I have been on that caused unbearable side effects; effexor (caused psychotic thoughts) prozac (caused hypomanic state) paxil the same in fact all of the SSRI'S caused more harm than good. The only experience swim's had with tricyclics is low doses of pamelor for insomnia and deseryl for same. All replies would be greatly appreciated.