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  1. Thank you! I'm only taking 37.5 mg Effexor xr right now because I'm still taking 20 mg Lexapro. I wonder if I could raise it without having to decrease Lexapro. It would really make me happy if all I needed to do was tweak the Effexor.
  2. Blahblah, I'm sorry you relate to this because It so miserable but it is nice to know that I'm not alone. Thank you for letting me know that. I've been at my job (part-time retail) for about 4 months so I'm sure in many people in my life think I'm so much better. I hadn't had a job in 3 years. The only reason I even got it is because i racked up a lot of debt and it caused major problems in my marriage. My husband did get a wake up call, though when he glanced at my phone and saw the dark things I was researching so maybe he will take me a little more seriously. But normally he just forgets after I stop crying. I too, feel so worn out. I would say it's like a rollercoaster but there really aren't any ups, just downs and then coasting. One of the hard parts for me is that I've almost accepted that the feeling of excitement and happiness is pretty much gone from my life. I don't really care about happiness anymore but I can't stand the intense crashes like you talked about. They almost seem surreal. A couple of days later I wonder if I'm just melodramatic and trying to get attention. I have no clue about what just happened. I really hope we both find something that can help us avoid these sudden dark holes. I will post back when I go to my PNP in a few weeks.
  3. Have you taken those before? I have hypothyroidism and have heard that some mood stabilizers can make that worse. I'm also afraid of weight gain and not just for vanity reasons. When I gain weight I get horrible acid reflux and feel sick all of the time. Sometimes it even induces panic attacks. I swear I'm a mess. I probably sound like a negative downer but I have heard some good things about these two drugs on this forum so I will mention these to her.
  4. Thank you Cerberus! I guess after starting Effexor I just felt a little better so I thought I was on the right track but then when life puts an obstacle in front of me it seems like I still don't have the skills to fight it off and I go right back to baseline. I guess I just thought this was my new normal because a couple of years ago I was constantly having horrible thoughts and basically checked out of society. I just couldn't function. When my doctors ask me how i'm feeling I always compare it to that time in my life which was terrible. I forget that just tolerating life with no joy and having to put up with shorter breakdowns really isn't me being fully recovered. I am scared of changing up meds because I fear I could get worse again and I'm not sure I can handle that but it really isn't much of a life for me right now. Thank you for the encouragement. I will definitely talk to my PNP about this and try to make her understand how bad these shorter episodes are.
  5. Neither my old psychiatrist or my PNP have said "you are diagnosed with this....". It's so weird to me and I've never asked them why. The words I have heard them use are major depression, severe anxiety, ocd and panic disorder. These are all pretty obvious to me that I have them. I have lived with all of my possessions in plastic buckets for 2 years. I just barely worked up the nerve to hang some clothes on hangars. I've also been to the ER with a panic attack and used to wake my husband at 3 am a few times a week begging him to take me to the hospital. I have never been on antidepressants long term until a major breakdown 2 years ago. If my husband had been supportive I would have went inpatient. I survived but it broke me and I've never been the same since. I did notice after awhile of starting to taking antidepressants I started spending a lot of money. I've never spent more than 60 dollars for a pair of shoes and in the last 9 months I have multiple pairs over 100 and 200 dollars. I ran up a lot of debt. This got me thinking that maybe I had some type of bipolar. My brother is diagnosed with it and I'm pretty sure my dad had it but he never saw anyone. I just don't feel like I'm ever manic. I rarely have these major energy spurts that you hear of with bipolar. It was very strange though that I went from being 100 percent positive that I was going to quit my job this week to one day later deciding that I was going to apply to be assistant manager. Finally today I realized that now is not the time to make and major decisions and I am just trying to survive. Thank you Gearhead for the kind response. Hearing others stories helps a lot. It is very reassuring that you have gotten better and finally got the right diagnoses. It does give me hope that things could get better for me.
  6. Thank you Geek for those suggestions. I do think that telling myself to wait to see how I feel in a couple of days will help. Especially now that I know that I will probably feel at least a little better the next day. The thoughts are just getting so strong. I think i need to put a plan in place for myself as my go to so i don't have to think about it. Sometimes I let the thoughts take over so quickly that I even forget to take Ativan. I will be crying like crazy and then remember this has happened before, take an Ativan and try to go to sleep. This past time was so embarrassing. I was crying so hard that a kind man at the airport put his hand on my shoulder and asked if I was okay. He probably will never know how much that meant to me. I would love to go to some type of IOP but unfortunately my town has no mental health programs. I have to drive and hour and a half just to see a PNP. I guess they are looking at building one but that would be a few years coming. They have a couple of counseling centers and that is it.
  7. Blahblah, I'm sorry you haven't been able to find any help for this problem. It is so strange. Today, I feel pretty decent yet two days ago I was unconsolable. I feel so exhausted too. I'm tired of feeling like maybe the meds are finally working or I'm figuring out how to navigate my mental illnesses and then bam I'm back to where I was before. But it only lasts for a couple of days. I try to remind myself that I'm going to feel better but the thoughts are all consuming. I am impulsive and feel like each time this happens I'm getting closer to creating a plan but then when I feel better it makes me think that I was just being melodramatic and making my feelings up. All I know is that I am so tired of this roller coaster. Like you I feel drained and worn out each time it happens. Maybe if I keep a journal of what things are going on in my life when the switch happens I can avoid some of those triggers. I definitely know sleep deprivation is one of them. I hope we can get some answers and help at some point. One thing that keeps me going when it is very dark is that even though I honestly feel like my kids and husband are much better off without me, I know I could traumatize them for life by giving into my impulsive thoughts.
  8. This all sounds so familiar. Thank you for letting me know that I'm not alone with this type of episode. I do have OCD and I didn't even think about the fact that my always trying to block my obsessive thoughts of suicide could be why I jump to it so quickly. I feel like a bad person when I look up anything about it so maybe making it so taboo is making it worse. I am so confused about what is going on with me but just knowing It's not only me going through this really helps. I would probably have to drive 8 hours to see some sort of specialist. Seriously mental health in my state sucks.
  9. I feel like her adding the Effexor helped and that was about 6 weeks ago but obviously I still have these episodes. I really don't know what meds would help that although JT07 mention that there may be one that could help. I would love to ask for 45 ativan a month but I'm so afraid that she will think I am starting to tolerate it and am going to keep asking for a bigger dosage. She really only prescribes them to me because I have had severe panic attacks which landed me in the ER. She told me that Ativan makes you "dumber" (she actually said that). The crazy thing is I think more rationally and I believe more clearly when my anxiety is under control. Otherwise, I become very panicky and I feel like my brain gets all jumbled up and I make a lot of ditzy mistakes. I've have always been this way under stress even when I was little. It only turned into panic attacks a few years ago. She also doesn't like that I use it for sleep. I have tried Trazadone (rash), mirtazapine (nightmares and I feel horribly depressed the day after taking it), hydroxine, (same as mirtazapine but not quite as bad). Even Nyquil makes me feel terrible. Also, my old psychiatrist prescribed me 60 Ativan a month. Even when I was really severe every day, I didn't take close to that amount and I told him that. So he reduced it to 45 which was what I was on when I moved and I felt like that gave me a little wiggle room each month. Then she knocked it down to 30 a month. I don't really feel like I am showing signs of having to have more and more. I would just like what worked for me before. I guess the worst she could say is no. Hopefully she wouldn't completely take them away from me. I have a lot of bad side effects to medications. Prozac made me more depressed, Celexa just didn't work, Zoloft caused me to be so nauseous that I lost 20 pounds. I looked like a skeleton. Prazozin gave me an irregular heartbeat and propanol made my heart thump. Med changes scare me but so does doing weird things like looking up suicide methods when I am on a plane. My husband looked over my shoulder and saw what I was looking at and was not happy with me.
  10. @Iceberg Before we moved I had a counselor that helped me a little with coping skills but mostly it was just talk therapy. Most of the skills I've just read about. I've tried mindfulness and I think deep breaths help. I guess I should be doing these things on a daily basis instead of waiting until it gets bad. I hoping my next counselor will be better at giving me more structure. I'm not very self disciplined. Thank you for the suggestions I will try to do some mindfulness every day to see if I can prevent some of the destructive thoughts. I am on Lexapro 20 mg, Effexor 37.5 and Lorazepam pretty much daily. I feel like they have helped my daily anxiety and depression but when I go downhill, the only thing that helps is Lorazepam. She only prescribes me 30 a month though so when I have to take extra for these episodes, I have to go without on other days. This interferes with my sleep which makes more vulnerable to bad thought and the cycle goes on and on. @kittyloaf I was supposed to see her yesterday but I forgot to ask for work off so I has to cancel. I should have just called in and told work I would be late. That wasn't very smart of me to do. I work everyday and then I leave for the graduation for the week. When I get back I will only have to wait a week until I see her. I think if I have to wait too long to get into a therapist, I will just call around to see if I can see anyone sooner. I live in a very rural state with terrible mental health care. I asked my NP for a referral and she said it takes months to get into the ones she knows so I should just try to find one myself. 🙄 In all honesty, just being able to vent here to people who are empathetic and understanding helps me a lot. I don't have anyone who understands or if they do, they have too many problems of their own to help me. So thank you all so much.
  11. Thank you both for responding to my post. I so appreciate that there is a place I can go to to get encouragement and help. I do have a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. I told her that when things go bad suicide is my default. She just kind of nodded her head but didn't really say anything about it. This episode I had over the weekend though was the worst one yet. I see her May 14 so I will definitely tell her about it again. One of my son's just got married and another one is graduating college next week 18 hours away so things have been chaotic and actually sad and depressing for me. I'm so happy for my kids but I miss them so much. I feel very vulnerable right now and I am a little worried about maybe having this happening again before I see the nurse. Sometimes I distract myself out of it but this last time was so dark that I didn't have time to distract myself. It turned bad very quickly, especially since I was sleep deprived from travel and the wedding. I even called a hotline last night but they basically just gave me a name of a counselor that I could maybe see sooner and told me to go to the ER if I had a plan. I know this is long winded but I was just wondering if there are some sort of coping skills or ways to keep my brain from automatically going there. I am definitely going to try to make sure I get enough sleep and stay away from triggers. But sometimes it's hard to predict what is going to come up.
  12. This tendency to be triggered and instantly become suicidal is starting to scare me. Each time it happens I feel like I become more likely to do it. Last night I was reading in depth about suicide methods. I found one that might work well and I actually felt a little happy. I had to cancel my last PNP appointment because I screwed up and forgot to ask for it off at work. We moved and I haven't been able to get into a therapist yet. I was supposed to have my first appointment next week but my son is graduating from college and he is getting an award so we have to leave early so I am back to waiting another 2 months for an appointment. Does anyone else have this happen? I mostly just tolerate my life everyday but it can whip around to me becoming suicidal very quickly. I'm pretty sure Lorazepam has saved my life a few times. I start getting serious about looking for ways to end it and I take a good dose of lorazepam and I usually go to sleep and wake up feeling a little more rational. Sometimes it is back the next morning, though no matter what. If anyone has a suggestion on what I should do next time this happens I would really appreciate. I am very impulsive and irrational and am afraid that I could actually make an attempt at some point.
  13. I started a job 2 months ago and I do enjoy it for the most part. However, I have so many moments of panic when I am put on the spot to figure something out and my brain just stops working. My Psych NP lowered my dose of Lexapro from 30 to 20 and added in effexor xr 37.5 mg. She also added in hydroxyzine HCL 25 mg to take up to 2 times a day. I also have a prescription for lorazepam 1 mg a day as needed which I have to take every day that I am working or else I panic and dissociate whenever it gets stressful. I work in retail. I am very afraid to take both Lexapro and Effexor xr together because of serotonin syndrome. I asked the pharmacist and he said just to watch for symptoms of it. Great thanks. I don't even know if it is worth it adding in 2 new medications. I think that hydroxyzine is to help me sleep because I have been relying on my lorazepam to get me to sleep and she said that was a no no. I wish I could just stay on the Lexapro and take klonopin on days when I work. I really think that would help me get through my anxiety ridden work days and last long enough to help me on my days off. That seems much simpler and less stressful and I believe it would work the best but she really doesn't like benzodiazepines at all (she says they'll make me stupid) so she will only prescribe ativan for my panic attacks. I just think Klonopin would prevent the panic in the first place. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you! I love this helpful forum.
  14. You are, of course, right. I'm sorry. Instead of stating something as a fact. I should have made clear that it was my experience. I tried the CBT route many times and I just couldn't get it to stick. My mind always ran to the worst case scenario. I'm sure what you were taught was the right thing to do. Sorry again, I don't want to make things worse for anyone.
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