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Re: Beginning to wonder why I'm trying this --- HELP!

Posted by micro on January 22, 2004, at 0:45:41

In reply to Beginning to wonder why I'm trying this --- HELP!, posted by greenbean on January 20, 2004, at 22:30:08

> I've been totally off Effexor (and Wellbutrin, I had been taking both) for ~ a week now, and I'm beginning to doubt why I'm doing this. How can I tell if what I'm feeling is just withdrawal or is it my depression coming back? Even though I felt the meds helped me alot, I've been wanting to get off them for awhile. I don't like being dependent on them, plus it concerns me that nobody really knows the long term effects from taking a/d's for prolonged periods of time. I had been on one a/d or another for about 5 years. This final combination of Effexor XR 75mg. and Wellbutrin XL 300mg was working really well. The Effexor removed the drive to overeat and overdrink (which have been very strong in the past). The Wellbutrin gave me more energy and a better outlook (it seemed). However, there were negatives, like my sex drive was completely gone and my creativity has been zapped. I was also suffering progressively worse mood swings and fits of anger, esp. towards my husband. I was starting to doubt if the meds were truly helping me or just supressing the symptoms of depression. I had been wanting to find out who I am without meds again, get in touch with the real me, maybe reclaim my creativity and my long lost sex drive. But now I feel scattered, indecisive, no energy, sleep disturbances, brain shivers & what feels like weird pressure changes in my head, plus I feel like eating everything in sight and drinking wine every night. I had started a diet and was doing well, but managed to gain all the weight back within the past week (6-7 lbs.). I'm REALLY NOT LIKING THIS! Then I doubt the wisdom of stopping the meds when they really seemed to be helping. Maybe my doc is right, I'm just a person who will need to be on meds for my whole life. Very depressing. My husband takes Effexor XR 150mg and loves it. It has helped him tremendously. I still have some of each med, and it's hard knowing I can just take them and pretty much feel better instantly. I've always had a very quick response to the meds. I don't know what to do. Anyone been where I am and come out the other side without the aid of drugs?

Hello, May I ask how you discontinued your medication? Your pdoc may be right that some individuals may require medicine for life. If you must, think of it in this respect. There are many diseases that require lifelong medication such as glaucoma,diabetes,and hypertension.
Also,remember that you may be experiencing a discontinuance syndrome rather than return of symtoms. It takes strong medication to break the depressive symtoms. It would make some sense that the longer that you take a medication; the more habituated your body has become to it. There are no long term studies that have been done on the efficacy of antidepressants used longer than 6 weeks to 6 months. Beyond that you must rely on clinical experience and judgement.If it is possible for you to read, I would recommend books by Amen,Gold,and Gorman as well as requesting the actual case studies which were done in order to release the medication to the general public [regarding the medication's efficacy]. I do not know enough about your history to be of further help. Trust in yourself and what you have learned over the years and you will make the correct decision regardless of how hard it may be. Regards. Micro
P.S. It may be useful to you to keep a log book of your feelings or symtoms prior to starting therapy, during therapy, and after stopping in doing so you may be able to differentiate return of symtoms versus side effects or discontinuance symtoms. Hope this helps.




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