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New to depression/meds and scared


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I know I'm not the first to feel this way but I would like to get some feedback from someone... this will probably be a long post but I want to try to paint my picture as best I can.

A little background info... Before fall of 09 I was a very happy, healthy, outgoing 30 year old male. I have a wonderful wife and great family and friends. My wife and I are building our dream home right now and have been living with her parents since May. Her parents are great but I'm starting to miss a since of home. I don't particularly love my job but it pays well and I have been content here for 10+ years now. Basically, I have always been a happy, healthy, active person (especially since I met my wife) and I have fallen into this horrible hole and I can't climb out... I have a great life. Why is this happening to me?

When it began... I went to my family doc for an ear ache and had kinda been feeling down here and there so I asked him about anti-depressants. 5 minutes later I had a prescription to Celexa in hand. Rather shocked but curious to see if it could help I filled it. I forget the mg but I took one a day for 2 days and started to feel reeeal weird. By the end of the 2nd day I left work early and came home to try and relax. My wife was at work until later so I was by myself and it kept getting worse. When she got home I was feeling horrible, just so uncomfortable. We decided I should stop the meds. I tried to sleep that night and couldn't. The next day wasn't much better but I was with my wife so that helped. Took a Tylenol PM that night and slept for maybe an hour and finally got up pacing the house with this horrible feeling inside my body and head that I couldn't escape and I was getting suicidal thoughts. I woke my wife up and we decided to go to the ER. I talked to some good people there and they did some tests for other things and then released me. I took that whole week off of work and thought as the drug left my system I would be normal again. I felt better but not the same.

Aplenzin... A couple weeks after that whole episode I realized that this wasn't going to go away by itself.... and I was terrified. What caused this switch to flip in my head? It all started with the Celexa and I was so mad that ever tried anything. I went to a pschologist and he decided to try something that doesn't mess with seretonin levels since I had such a bad reaction so I started taking Aplenzin 348mg. I know these meds take time to work and I am not a patient person but I tried to stay positive. I also started exercising, doing yoga, eating better (when I had an apetite) and stopped drinking. I was just a casual weekend drinker and have since drink beer a little here and there.

Still waiting... So, I took the Aplenzin 348mg for 8 weeks and couldn't really tell if it was helping or if I was just dealing with it better on my own. Honestly, I really haven't felt anything in either direction with this pill. No side effects but also no big change in mood. My thoughts could still start to drift and take over my day, always seeing the negative in everything. I also got some Xanax which I take from time to time but can't really feel much on that either. The doc put me on the Aplenzin 522mg a few days ago and I actually think I might feel a little worse. I can't find interest in things I used to. My mood rubs off on my wife and she gets down which makes me feel worse. I feel I am spiraling out of control and I can;t stop it.

Now what... I feel like I should try another med. Maybe even another SSRI and just stick out the first week of hell. My doc kind of smiles and says "you're going to be fine, we'll find something for you" like he has seen more severe cases and that mine isn't that bad but I only feel a small percentage better than I did 3 months ago.

Sorry for the loooong post, I just want to share my experience... I could probably go on but I will let some of you respond to my reactions.

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Thank you dianthus! I had been skimming through the forum and thought it was time I tell my story. It is hard to stay motivated but I try and thank you for your positive words.

First off, I didn't want to make my first post any longer but I am (was) seeing a therapist, a social worker in my work network. I get 6 free sessions a year which is great. However, I'm not sure how much he could do for me. I have always been an open book and can talk to my friends and family the same way I talk to him. My wife is a school counselor and she has been huge. I just feel like I know what he is going to say. I do like talking to him but it's more of a vent session for me (like this) than him "fixing" me. I saw hime 4 times and said I thought I'd like to take a break off and see how things went and he seemed ok with it. He said that while I don't feel anxious about anything on the surface that building the house and living with the in-laws is taking a toll on me more than I think. I'm aware that my situation isn't ideal and I hope that once we move into our new house in month or so things will go back to normal. I'm just worrying that it won't. And like I said before, I'm really impatient, especially with this. You're right the last 3 months have felt like 3 years.

I do plan to continue the Aplenzin 522's for a few weeks and see how they affect me. I was feeling better on the 348's but thought the 522's would be the final kick I needed. I just get into these 2-3 days slumps where my negative thoughts take over and I can't control them. Just "what if this" and having general unreasonable worryies. Getting a pit in my stomach about the dumbest things like the sun coming out, or watching tv and feeling bad for everyone in society, analyzing the world and thinking that it is a crazy place! This isn't me! I've always found beauty in the world.

I also didn't add that I have ADD and have taken meds off and on for years. And I feel that that contributes to my thoughts running wild, keeping me up at night. I also kind of feel like maybe the Celexa just unleashed this surpressed feeling of depression/anxiety and it was just too much for me at once, being something I've never felt before. What I'm saying is maybe I could handle those feelings better now that I've been fighting similar symptoms over the last few months. I have just talked to many people that have found the drug that works for them and they are so grateful and happy. I want that. I want my old self back... for me, my family and especially my wife.

Thank you again for your input, I very much appreciate it and will post any changes I encounter.

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Typical response time to antidepressants is two to six weeks, so I would give the Aplenzin a little more time. If you don't have improvement by then, make an appt with your psychiatrist to discuss something else. The good news is that there are many different med classes of antidepressants - SNRIs, DNRIs, tricyclics, MAOIs, mood stabilizers. Each class has many different types of ADs that each work a little differently. Your doc may choose to try something different than another SSRI or to go slow with one.

Although having a manic-like reaction to an AD can indicate some sort of bipolar spectrum illness, it doesn't always. In fact, experiencing the reaction you had to Celexa does not qualify as bipolar related in itself. That's why your pdoc prescribed another AD instead of a mood stabilizer. You haven't responded the same again, which is a good sign. So, don't freak about that!

Dianthus has a good suggestion about trying therapy. Although you may be thinking that your life stressors are ones you could ordinarily deal with, you are now having to deal with them while being depressed. Depression changes coping skills and is itself effected by stress and stuff going on in life. Therapy to help with all this can improve depression and just generally is a good idea since right now your coping skills are less than what they'd ordinarily be. It also helps to have a neutral third party to discuss all that sucks which may give your spouse a bit of a break. Venting can be good. Venting to someone other than family can sometimes be better, especially if the person can help frame the complaints into something constructive.

I'm sorry you are going thru this. It is not easy. It also is frustrating and scary and can seem like it will never end. You need to know that it will. Depression is rarely refractory (doesn't stop). How long until it lets up is hard to say, but it will, and that will happen a lot quicker when you find a med that really does work for you. Hopefully, the increased dose of Aplenzin is your answer. If not, you still have many options.

ETS cross posted

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as dianthus noted, your situation sounds rather stressful. i mean you, no doubt, have been dealing with contractors on top of no sense of home. although you don't mention it, you might be concerned with the debt wrapped up in loans as well. that would be enough background worry, stress, what ever one may call it, to get under one's skin and push many to their breaking point.

finding a crazy med or meds that does the trick can be frustrating and crazy making in it's own right.

how long until you can move in to your new digs?

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You guys are awesome! I didn't think I would get so many responses so soon.

Stacia, being a counselor, my wife said the same thing about getting a neutral 3rd party in a professional therapist to analyze my situation. I just feel like an hour isn't enough. He has soooo many things to learn about me pre-depression. I loved life (and still do) and saw beauty in the world. I have tons of hobbies and have lost some interest in them. I was always running around doing something, probably the ADD but that was who I am. You know the people that freak out about big birthdays? 30, 40, whatever. I never cared. I fell young inside and as long as my body can still do the things I like to do I won't feel old. But it's really weird that right after I turned 30 something changed mentally. I don't get as excited about things as I once did. Christmas is the easiest example. I always had something to look foward to which brought my mood up and made me the person I was. Now I'm just flat all the time it seems. But, I know it takes time. I will be a stronger person on the other side!

McMurphy, you're right as well. Our mortgage is twice as much as our previous house and that is always in the back of my mind. But, my wife is never one to get in over her head and she constantly reassures me we'll be fine. We've never had debt, we just paid off our cars to eliminate monthly payments, that's why we're living with her parents in the first place and we have saved a lot of money up in the process. But it is a big undertaking. We have a home builder but it's on 5 acres so we are responsible for septic, well, electric, etc which can be overwhelming sometimes, but I always looked forward to it in the past. Sometimes I would go to the house on the way home and get sick to my stomach when I should be super excited. But it is progressing quickly and we should be in the beginning of March. I hope my mind will recover once we can get back into our old routines again in our own house.

Thanks again!!!!

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Well, I have a similar story - should be happy - but am not. I even recently remodeled the house (moved out for 6 months).

No one knows what causes depression - so there's no "reason why" anyone is depressed. This is hard for some people to accept.

It will probably take a few tries to find the antidepressant and dosage that works for you. Everyone is different. The only way to find the one that works for you is trial and error -- and it's mostly error at first. Then you find it - the drug or combo that works for you.

I would recommend trying to reduce stress. If you have trouble sleeping, have your pdoc prescribe you some ambien.

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Thanks Kodos. You're very right. I am normally such a happy person I just can't understand how something like this can take over. This is one of the most important times in anyone's life... building your dream home, and it's just frustrating that I'm not my normal self during the process.

I know there are hundreds of med combinations out there which is overwhelming. I just hope I don't have to keep searching for years. Again, I'm being impatient. I've only been in this situation since Halloween and have only been taking meds for 2 months, the Aplenzin 522's less than a week.

As for sleeping, I have always had trouble sleeping. And my psychiatrist (is that what pdoc is?) did prescribe me some Ambien CR and it does a pretty good job if I can get about 9 hours of sleep. But I have been taking Dramamine for years to help me get to sleep. I've had more trouble falling asleep than staying asleep until recently and it makes me real drowsy. But lately I've been taking a 3mg Melatonin with the Dram and that seems to help me through the night. He and I agreed that it was good to mix up what you use for sleep aids so not to become to depandant on one single thing. He is also a sleep specialist which is awesome since I want to address my sleep problems as well because that can be a big part of the problem. He told me on one Melatonin pill study he did in med school that the most effective pill on the market is the generic Target brand in 3mg. He said anything more than 3mg can be dangerous, especially in males, something about making you heart flutter while sleeping. But, sleep is a huge part of feeling good for me. I go through phases where I sleep well for a few weeks and then don't sleep well for a week or so. Right now I'm waking up around 3-4am and can't get back to sleep so I'm kinda dragging. But, I know if I take an Ambien Friday night I'll sleep like a baby into the late morning and feel refreshed for a week.

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Try keeping a daily mood chart, it will help you and your pdoc (psychiatrist) figure out if the meds are working. You can keep notes and details if you want, but just giving a number to your mood every day will be a big help. I use a scale from 1 - 10, with 1 as the worst I've ever felt and 10 as the best.

Everyone reacts differently to meds - the SSRIs turned me into a zombie so I've done much better on Wellbutrin. During the last year, my pdoc added in a mood stabilizer and that's made a big difference, so keep trying. Good luck to you.

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Thanks Catnapper. I was keeping a log for about a month and a half with everything from meds, food and mood. I was doing a timeline line graph of how I felt throughout the day. My pdon glanced through it the first time I brought it to him and hasn't asked for it since so I kinda just stopped doing it a few weeks ago. I don't want to jinx myself but the past few days have been the best I've had since this all started. I don't know if it's the meds or not but I don't care because I'm feeling and acting normal. I was fairly busy and not sitting around much this weekend which def helps for me. Spring and my new house are right around the corner! I hope this is the end of my dark tunnel...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I hope you're going to keep feeling better too. However, you should continue to try to take a bit of extra care of yourself to keep this stuff from coming back. And try not to give up if it does. I suspect these things aren't usually steady.

I hope you're seeing a real psychiatrist about your meds. Also, cognitive behavioral therapy seems to be the flavor that's been supported lately in the research, and if that's not the flavor you're using, you might try it.

You should probably tell us what ADD meds you were taking and what your experiences were. I have ADD myself. On the sleep angle, I've found that a small fraction, I guess about a quarter, of my daytime dexedrine dose helps. When I was trying Adderall, a little bit of that would help too. Another thing that's helped is clonidine, which is often prescribed to help people with ADD sleep. Of course, your pdoc will know far more about this than I ever will, but you can ask.

In my case, it also turned out I had sleep apnea. I'd been working on my gp for a long time and he finally sent me to get a sleep study after my s.o. said that I stopped breathing for a while at night sometimes. But I'm sure I had the problem long before that, and the study said it was severe. I got a CPAP machine, which helped a lot. Many people can't stand to wear a mask while sleeping, though. Anyway, if you snore a lot, or sleep but wake up tired, you might want to explore this. Ask your spouse what your breathing is like when you sleep.

Something I've noticed about pdocs, or at least mine, is that the initial dose of whatever the med is may be too much at first. I wonder if that's what happened with that Celexa. I also wonder if the Celexa (which I don't know anything about) wasn't the problem, but that the earache or an infection pushed you over.

Sometimes ADD and bipolar are confused. Is it definite that you don't have some of the latter? You don't have to be bipolar to have a sort of manic reaction to an antidepressant, though. I had something like that for a little while on Prozac, but it hasn't come back.

I know it's hard, but please try to be patient about this stuff and don't change everything at once or give up on medications too early. In the case of SSRI's, it can take up to 8 weeks before you know if something works.

I had something else to say, but at the moment I'm really a space shot. Should be going to sleep, but my ADD meds have worn off and the idea of tomorrow morning seems very abstract!

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Thanks for the support and insite Ido. I'm usually a pretty healthy person and I've been treating myself better since this all started. Drinking less, eating better, excercising more (until recently, hurt me knee). I was feeling pretty good until a few days ago I started to regress a little and now I'm trying to fight off the destructive thoughts throughout the day. Once we get settled in our new house if things dont improve I'm going to ask my pdoc to try something else. I've been on Aplenzin now for about 2 1/2 months so I would think it would show some signs by now. He is great, by the way. Also a sleep psych so it's a one stop shop for me b/c I've always had trouble sleeping. But, I will look into the cognitive behavioral therapy as well, I'm willing to try anything to get my normal self back.

I def have ADD and have since I was a kid. Can't concentrate, horrible memory, yada yada. Now I'm taking only 20mg of Metadate around 10am and I only take it while I'm at work. It def makes me more focused without feeling speedy. I think it might help keep my mind focused on other things too so that the negative thoughts can't take over as easily. I mean, that's my biggest problem. This constant negativity that just takes over for no reason. I know I have a great life but these stupid thoughts drive me crazy. Why would this happen?

Thanks again, and I will keep chugging along and hope I can find my remedy sooner than later.

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I don't have larger insight, but if part of the reason you're feeling worse is that you're not getting exercise because of the injury, how do you feel about doing laps in a pool? It's great if you can stand it, however, I find it very boring myself.

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I would love to swim more but there isn't a nice public pool close to me right now. That is a good idea though. I've always loved swimming so when I get moved I'll look into it. The knee thing is temporary (hopefully) so in a week or so I should be able to jog and do yoga again.

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