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Wellbutrin XL - Euphoria (rolling on e type)


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#1 Guest_Scott_*

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 12:29 AM

I began Wellbutrin XL and it has really shaken up my world.  I've read everything I can doing google searches and reading boards but I haven't read too much about people having experiences like mine. I'm a 24-year old male.

By the time I began Wellbutrin XL I was smoking about a pack a day getting drunk and passing out alone every night for several months.  Geez that sounds bad now that I've typed it but that's why I got help.  I felt extremely depressed and when I wasn't depressed I was having generalized anxiety and panic attacks and looking forward to drinking at the end of the day became my only comfort and escape. I resisted seeking help but I had quit smoking for 18 months a couple years ago after being on Wellbutrin SR for 2 weeks so I figured, hey I want to quit smoking again and maybe it will help with the depression as a bonus, gives me an excuse to try an anti-depressant (so I shouldn't have needed an excuse other than being depressed but for me I did).  My doctor knew nothing about by drinking habits, I know suddenly stopping increases seizure risk but so far so good.

Day 1 - Taking 150 mg of XL once in the morning, Nothing too weird but when I tried to have my ritual cocktails-before-bed that night I felt absolutely nothing pleasurable from drinking- not drunk, definitely not euphoric, none of the comfort that drinking normally gave me the past 100 nights in a row and I just stopped after a couple feeling stone sober. I decided to go to bed and for the first time in many months, I realized, I was making a conscious decision to lay down and sleep.

Days 2 - 4  No desire to drink, if I try to smoke usually only get halfway then toss the rest. Smoking much less often to boot.  Didn't feel "happy" but could tell I was more stable emotionally and kinda figured this is what anti-depressants are like, no highs or lows just blah functionality. Kinda pessimistic about continuing after the 4-week trial period I promised my doctor if this was as good as it gets.

Day 5 - Starting to have increased anxiety throughout the day, then in the afternoon just feeling like I wanted to burst into tears and it was all I could do to hold back. It wa to the point of having understanding thoughts about those who commit sucide and then suddenly...

;)

The sun came out.  I could not have been more surprised, it felt as if I had just taken a high-grade tablet of ecstacy and by 7pm I was completely, literally, rolling on e.  The last few times I've taken e weren't even this good.  A friend met me at a coffee shop and he said I looked like a different person, I had this goofy grin on my face and couldn't stop talking and laughing... I remember feeling I had solved all of the problems in my life and I felt so enlightened and happy I could start solving other people's problems as well. It's like all the serotonin in my brain just dumped at once, earlier that day it was like how you feel anxious as you start to come up on your roll until your brain stops fighting or something and the euphoria kicks in and overwhelms you.  This extreme euphoria lasted a couple of hours, I couldn't rememver EVER feeling this good in my life and I was terrified I was being teased and it would go away and I never wanted to stop feeling like this.  To my delight, while the *intense* euphoria passed the feeling of well-being and like my life had completely turned around continued.  I went to the gym, I finished all of the painting on my apartment I had planned for the night, I prepared a healthy meal from scratch, went to bed, knew that everything was gonna be ok from now on. That night I had crazy vivid dreams that I fully remembered upon waking, even to the most minute details.  Dreams like I was back in high school, and then one where I got into a big fight with my dad and told him off and it even got physical. These were interesting because I felt that a lot of my issues came from high school and from my dad and it's like my brain was working out and dealing with all my old issues while I slept, how very healing.

Days 6 - 7  Transitioned up to 300 mg of XL by the end of day 7, i'm so eager to make this happy change in my life stick.  So happy, life is great, wake up feeling like a million bucks, perma-grin, people at work say I am a different person and I feel like my life has been saved from despair.  Feel social, outgoing, confident, the person I always knew was trapped inside me.  Still haven't touched a drink, working out daily, colors brighter pausing to look at beautiful things etc.

By the night of day 7 it was a Friday and I decided it was time to re-enter my social life, I had avoided almost all of my friends for weeks because I was sick of going through the motions and being such a drag because of my depression but now it was time to make my big comeback.  When I got to my friend's house where everyone was gathering to drink and socialize before going out, I felt like I didn't even need to have a drink, that I could go to the club and be more social and have more fun that I ever had drinking.  BUT... I decided hey what's a drink or two to loosen up cuz I felt a little anxious.  Well I only had two not very big drinks and they took me from my happy place down to a flat, joyless place and if I tried to drink more so I would feel drunk it didn't work, I just felt worse and more 'sober'. I switched to water, and continued to drink water copiously at the bar and I did start feeling more "up", but the damage was apparently done.  The rest of the night ended ok, I was tempted and almost did cocaine to see if it would help my mood but from what I've researched since THANK GOD I lucked out and ended up not doing any.

Days 8 - 9 still 300 mg/day

Oh my god.  I woke up Saturday morning, cried and sobbed like never in my life for 2 hours.  Was so exhausted I took a 4 hour nap, then woke up so I could sob again for several hours.  The general theme was how I was a complete letdown, disappointment, burden to anyone who had ever tried to care about me blah blah blah.  Sunday was the same thing ALL over again. 

Day 10 - 300 mg/day XL Still crying off and on all day and having for the first time real fantasies about dying- not suicide because that would make the whole letting-people-down-that-cared-about-me thing 1,000,000 times worse but wondered how it could look like an accident.  Around 5pm all of a sudden everything flipped around and I felt SO STUPID for every thought I'd had the past 3 days I'd been down.  Didn't understand how I could have had any of those thoughts for even a second and what a loser I'd been, thank god i'd avoided any outside human contact.  Figured I'd finished up my obligatory 3 days of post-drinking wellbutrin depression i'd anecdotally read about and would be on my way back to my happy place.  After finishing up for the gym i felt like I was the most amazing, interesting, best-looking person on earth and I went home to book airline tickets and rent a car to fly to L.A. and audition for the Real World on Saturday, I am not kidding they are having an open casting call and I literally would have bought the non-refundable tickets i had all the reservations lined-up but my internet went down just as I was putting in my credit card number and I had to give up for the night.  I wasn't euphoric this time, I just knew I was totally the shit and was on my way to inevitable glory.

Day 11 - 300 mg- Today was pretty shitty, up and down, had real anxiety for the first time since day 5 and  actually missed the sobbing depression as it was much more comforting to wallow in self-pity than to feel the same sick anxiousness I'd had for 6 months before starting the pills and now I can't even drink or enjoy a cigarette to cope with it thank you very much.  I called my doctor to get a psychiatrist referral, she called back with a name but when I called they are not taking any more patients until fall so I called back for a new name and she hasn't called back yet, damn.  Well tonight I feel flat numb haven't done anything I needed to do other than decide against the whole $500 for one day's travel real world audition idea !?!?! oh yeah had a huge headache all day which i never have will now go choke down half a cigarette and go to bed I hope tomorrow is better.  Drank tons of water all day. Of course NO desire to touch alcohol since Friday oh dear god.

I will update this, hopefully it's informative/interesting to others and I welcome any input or insight thanks!

Scott


#2 Guest_Scott_*

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 01:11 AM

A couple of addendums-

When I said the sun came out I was speaking metaphorically, the real sun had been out all day and was not a factor in the sudden euphoria.

I know Wellbutrin is considered a dopamine/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor but I've done enough ecstacy in my day to know what a serotonin dump feels like and enough coke/crystal meth/alcohol/bulimic binge-eating to have some handle on what the dopamine reward system is about.

Oh and when I was on Wellbutrin SR years ago I just remember having some weird mood swings that's it but then again I wasn't depressed back then.

#3 alwaysintrouble

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 04:01 AM

call me crazy but that sounds alot like mania....
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming, "WOW, what a ride!!!"

#4 CyndyA

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 06:45 AM

I experienced a lot of ups and downs on the first few weeks of Wellbutrin--not nearly to the extent you're talking about though.  One of the first things I did notice was that I absolutely could not take a drink anymore.  Even one drink could send me straight back to depressionland for a week.

Edited by CyndyA, 08 June 2005 - 06:46 AM.


#5 Squirlygrl

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 12:02 PM

I've been there.  Ask your doctor, and consider cutting back to 150 mg or so.
I was over the moon crazy at 300 and one mood stablizer, seem to be okay at 75-150 and two.

BP1/psychosis vs Depakote, Tegretol, Lamictal, therapy.


#6 cache-monkey

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 04:12 PM

I'll vouch for the post-drinking depression on Wellbutrin. Those were probably worse than any other depressions I've had. I basically avoided alcohol at all costs after figuring this out.

It does sound a bit like Wellbutrin is sending you a little manic, with all the euphoria. After the drinking depression, some of the anxiety could be coming through a mixed state. (Wellbutrin by itself can also be anxiety-promoting in succeptible poeple.) Although it's not known for this, another possibility is that (drinking aside) it's making you cycle in your mood.

I would definitely check in with your pdoc and show him what you've written here. A mood-stabilizer might help get the anti-depressant effect without the mixed states/depressions.

Best,
cache-monkey
DX: Anxiety spectrum stuff (GAD, SP), Questionable BP NOS due to increased anxiety from most ADs
Current meds: Valium 15 mg/day; Magnesium 800 mg/day; 2.5 mg Prozac every other day
Rejected by my body: Lithium (kidneys), Tegretol (liver, allergy); Lamictal (allergy); verapamil (allergy)
Don't work/play so well with me: In terms of ADs: Wellbutrin monotherapy, Serzone, Serzone+Buspar and (worst of all) Cymbalta all made agitation/anxiety worse. Lexapro left me feeling a little shakey and out of it. In terms of mood-stabilizer-esque meds: Keppra, Campral (dulling, depression), Trileptal (same + probably allergic), AAPs (strong akathisia even at 2.5 mg Zyprexa or 50 mg Seroquel), Topomax (allergic? kidneys sure didn't like it) and really Depakote sucks balls too (dulling with agitation and anxiety).

#7 Sunshine

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 10:50 PM

call me crazy but that sounds alot like mania....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's exactly what I was thinking as I read it. With rapid, if not ultraradian rapid cycling. Age 24... that's fairly typical for onset, isn't it?

You might want to check out the bipolar forum and see if anything there hits home. In the meantime, keep calling that pdoc until you get a call back. This is way more than a gp can handle.

~sunshine
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Previous meds: See profile.

#8 alwaysintrouble

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 05:30 AM

Yeah that whole stuff about feeling like your the most amazing creature on earth and the best looking thing(i mean nothing wrong with self confindence, i'm sure your great)......also the need to audition for Real World at the drop of a hat??? Those kinda things can be signs of mania or hypomania.

If you suddenly start drawing up plans for a universal currancy or enlisting people in your own Army to take over small countries....get yourself to the pdoc FAST!!!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming, "WOW, what a ride!!!"

#9 Erika78750

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 09:38 AM

I so agree with everyone here. I am bipolar and that sounds very much like cycling to me. Mania one minute depression the next. I started welbutrin about 2 weeks ago and I'm also already on zoloft and seroquel so my ideas on welbutrin might be a bit different but here is the deal.
I am on 150mg XL and nothing new for the first few days except for more energy and a little bit of a temper. I seemed to get frustrated more easily. About 3 or 4 hours after taking it is when it kicked in for me. I tried to drink 2 drinks the other day while I was at work and after that I had to go home. I felt like crap, I couldn't concentrate, I was pissed, I had no drive to get up or do anything. I felt the alcohol but I was really depressed so no more alcohol for me.
I also got upset with my BF for nothing and caused a fight, we were chatting online at the time. I didn't cry at all until he came home and then I cried so bad and I couldn't stop. I think it's because I've only been on the welbutrin for 2 weeks and it'll get better because my moods are better already. Anyway just wanted to tell you what happened with me.
Take care,
Erika

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#10 plazmadroid

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 12:33 PM

Moo

Moo d

Moooo d Stabilizer ;)

#11 antipeople

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Posted 09 June 2005 - 12:57 PM

call me crazy but that sounds alot like mania....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Ditto.  That definitely sounds like at least hypomania if not mania, and those mood swings are worrisome.
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#12 silhouette

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Posted 11 June 2005 - 05:31 AM

hi, scott --

not a real helpful reply here, but something i must say:

you're a fantastic writer.  i usually don't even read long posts like yours, but i ate up every word.

i've never read a better description of the up and down crap, and the med effects and the side effects, and just the sheer emotional shit that we go through, period.  (plus, you kept track and included dosage changes!)

i hope you come back very often and post.  most important (maybe), so we can put our two cents in and try to help, but also because you write great.  and writing can really be helpful.

ciao --

p.s.:  don't love saying this, but one of the things that also happens to some people when they go hypomanic:  if you write well anyway, you become able to write up a stream-of-consciousness storm.

and the people who are talking here about cycling and hypomania may well not be wrong.

that said, you sure nail it.

pulling for you.

Edited by silhouette, 11 June 2005 - 05:37 AM.


#13 Guest_anafagodma_*

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 04:24 PM

diito, ditto, ditto.

dude, you're bipolar.

#14 Guest_Scott_*

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 09:54 PM

Moo

Moo d

Moooo d Stabilizer ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



diito, ditto, ditto.

dude, you're bipolar.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hi everyone thanks for all the replies, yeah it's really taken me awhile to "update" but I HAVE been batshit crazy lol.

Yes I'm quite bipolar my psychiatrist and psychologist assure me, I guess alot of us get to find out the antidepressant way although wellbutrin is supposed to be the least likely trigger. I can only imagine what Prozac might have done ha ha. But indeed the hypomania turned real dysphoric real fast.

The first time I saw my pdoc I was a dysphoric mess and he halved the wellbutrin to 150 mg/day and added trileptal 1200 mg/day.  My life has dramatically improved but definitely some kinks to iron out with the meds/doses (of course right?). The increasingly longer and stabler periods of what I hope is what life should feel like just make the crashes that much harder to bear as being down still feels SO much more real and all the rest seems like bullshit. Don't really have any hypo/mania, just normal (I hope normal and not hypo cuz it's so awesome) and then crash, but more time great than crashed. Lots of mixed states in between NO FUN. I'm actually pretty mixed as I type this. One thing the trileptal has done is take my anxiety completely away, I now realize how anxious I was ALL the time before.

Have played with the trileptal dose up and down and just today pdoc upped the wellbutrin back to 300 mg/dl as it seems there's a magnet trying to pull my thermostat needle down into painville any chance it gets. When I go up on the trileptal holy binge-eating batman.  Gained 10 pounds since I started the trileptal, but increasing the wellbutrin and dropping the trileptal from 1800 to 1200 mg/day should help me lose it again. Hope the anxiety still stays away, and it should for sure make it easier to get up in the mornings; my sleep needs changed from 5-7 hours before any treatment, to 4-6 hours while hypomanic on just the wellbutrin and literally JUMPING out of bed upon waking, to a full 8-9 hours with the trileptal added and hitting the snooze 5 times.

Still I manage to go 4-5 days straight lately in what almost feels like hypomania but which I'm increasingly managing to accept is actually where "normal" should be for me. I check myself when I'm "too" happy-- racing thoughts: no, crazy impulses: no, self-esteem out of line with who I am/others perceptions: no, empathy, wanting to meaningfully connect with others: yes.  Oh and I'm funny again thank god, i forgot i was it's been so long.  So hopefully this is where I can hope to center myself at permanently someday and when I'm not cycling down and crying I really am optimistic for the future. Talk therapy has helped with seeing how much the illness has been impacting my life for so long, helping to piece together and make sense of things from my past and not having to blame myself so much.

Anyway thanks again to everyone who posted, you'll probly see me hanging around the bipolar boards more often than this one now. Cheers! Not really British! k maybe a little hypo now extra Wellbutrin kicking in already?

#15 Guest_Scott_*

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 10:23 PM

Oh and btw I can smoke pot now!  All my friends/exboyfriends are HUGE pot heads and I was always the oddball as it took me from anxious to ANXIOUS with a crazy mushroom/acid flashback trip thrown in apparently just for the hell of it. Maybe that should have been the first clue my brain wasn't quite wired the right way.

Now it takes me from not giving a fuck to really, REALLY not giving a fuck whatsoever which can i say is fantastic. I'd call it downright medicinal now so yay for trileptal and quality chronic, finally bought my first pipe at 24 and it's a lovely piece of art :-)  Hmmm where did I put it...

#16 ketvalgal

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 03:19 PM

Don't be so quick to give yourself a DSM over the symptoms. I was a subject in a study at UCSD about 10 years ago studying buproprion/placebo/lithium/sertraline in major depression. The first couple days of buproprion were unremarkable then the mood cycling hit hard. I had never had a manic day in my life, never taken E or any stimulants (too socially phobic, anxious and depressed to make the required social connections) but I sure saw why people do. I was incredibly energetic and euphoric, completely like my normal subnormal energy level and mood.


Then 2 hours later I would be crying in a corner. For about 2 weeks, the buproprion treated my moods like a rag. I would be thrown up in the air with euphoria then down very deep. I knew it was the drug and that was the only thing that saved me from checking myself in the hospital.  The downs were so sudden and so not like my usual downs and the highs were sooo high and nothing like I had ever experienced that I knew it was the drug not me. I also had atrial premature complexes for 10 or so hours at a time for several days. The investigators made me stay on the drug holding out the carrot of free zoloft.  The symptoms went away at about 16 days  into the trial. I also lost 6 pounds and all desire for carbohydrates.  Oh and my blood pressure went from high normal to 140s/90s. Despite working out 3 times a week and the small weight loss.

The buproprion didn't really help the depression, nor did the lithium but the zoloft did do some good with fewer side effects than other ssri's I had been on.

If you are not sure you are crazy you can prove it by voluntarily entering a study where they will pay you 300 dollars to ply you with experimental drugs, inject you with radioactive substances, cover you with electrodes and perform diverse imaging procedures on your brain. The less crazy you are the more you will look back on the experience and your younger self and say, "She had to be crazy to let them do that!"

Good luck and don't give up depression takes a while to really make itself known and a long while to make its goodbyes. (It does like to keep in touch, however.)





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