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Best Antidepressant for Loneliness


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Hi all,

 

I'm curious if anyone has any experience/recommendations that could steer me toward an effective medication for loneliness. I've been severely depressed for the past 2 years; I have body image issues that have prevented me from having any meaningful relationships/dating/love life. I'm working on those, and in time, I will start to date and put myself out there.

 

But in the meantime, my loneliness has almost become a point of obsession. I can't take my mind off of it; the intrusive nature of the thoughts disrupts work and other activities. Spending time with friends doesn't really help; it's a lack of intimate human contact that has left me feeling so hollow inside, I sometimes feel like my chest could implode in on itself, like a dying star. I feel heartbroken all the time. I need a medication that can help turn off that desire, at least temporarily. Zombie-like side effects are acceptible (maybe even a plus).

 

Any recommendations?

 

My current meds are: Celexa 60mg/day; klonopin (pills and sublinguals); ambien and trazedone for sleep

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Let me know what you find, I'll take some of that too. :huh:[/quote

I see you're on seroquel -- that's been one of the meds I've had in the back of my mind that seemed like it might be good for loneliness. How's it working for you?

This is prob a recipe for disaster, but I'll tell you what really worked for me lately: codeine and opiates. But alas, that's not a long term solution...

Edited by TEVA833
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TEVA ---  I've used opiates to "treat" my depression (and loneliness I guess).  I am so glad you realize this is not a long-term solution.   Really bad things can happen, up to and including losing your job, your relationships, and in my case, almost my marriage.  (Thank God I didn't lose my marriage, but I did lose a very good job over this!)  

 

You develop a tolerance to opiate-type drugs fairly quickly and need more and more of the drug.  Then you start trying to get prescriptions from doctors or ER's when you don't really have pain .... or buying them from some shady person ... or even taking them from someone's medicine cabinet.    

 

You might think you would never do those things, but it is AMAZING (in a terrible way) what addiction to drugs can make a person do.    

 

I can empathize with you, however, since for some people opiates do relieve their depression.   Maybe someday researchers will figure out a way to use that fact in a safe way.  Until then, it is a BAD, BAD idea.

 

I agree with others that there is not a medication that will cure or solve "loneliness"  ... that will take therapy.   I am on Lexapro, however, and it does help with both depression and anxiety so if you can treat those symptoms, it may lead to you being able to get out more and meet people.

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Loneliness isn't a medical symptom. But yeah if they get onto making that, I'm buying shares.

 

It sounds like you could do with some therapy and a good support system.

Feeling lonely is awful, I commiserate but I've felt a lot less lonely the longer I work at it. Value yourself and focus on what makes you happy, and worry about that, not other people. You are of immense worth. 

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Opiates tend to make me feel like I'm wearing a warm blanket, and I feel really good and not lonely.  However, like you said it's not a long-term solution.  Mostly because there's no real substance there.  The real world will continue going on, and you'll be trapped in a fleeting chemical happiness.

 

Eventually you won't be able to sustain it and you'll crave the real thing, something made up of substance and backed by reality.

 

That said, there are medical issues you could address with drugs in order to get at that substance, to get out there making friends, dating.  You can work on your anxiety, do some exposures with people, get a hobby, like doing martial arts, joining a church, or volunteer work.

 

Wellbutrin might improve your outlook on these things, you're taking a lot of downers.

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Wellbutrin might improve your outlook on these things, you're taking a lot of downers.

 

Good idea.  It does sound like what you are calling 'loneliness' is really your depression talking.  Spending time with friends no matter how distant can help allieve loneliness.  Your meds are not completely working.  Definitely talk to your pdoc.  Are you in talk therapy? 

 

There is a wonderful book about the difference between solitude and loneliness. Of course I forgot the name.  

 

I'm sorry you are feeling so bad TEVA.

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It does sound like what you are calling 'loneliness' is really your depression talking.

^This. There's no drug to treat normal "loneliness" (that I know of, anyway). But "loneliness" that's that extreme - obsessive, "heartbroken" (sad), disruptive, etc. - could easily be depression. And that can be medicated.

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Prozac is used to treat OCD and depression. It is the drug of choice for eating disorders as well although it needs to be combined with psychotherapy for treatment of a negative body-image.

I'm just going to echo the other replies in pointing out the lonliness is your depression. If it's affecting you that strongly you may want to re-evaluate the medication you are on now with a doctor.

Edited by skye
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What about anti-psychotics? I'm sure I sound naive saying this, but you know in movies when people in the psych ward are walking around like zombies? I want what they're on lol.

 

I'm joking, but only somewhat. This crushing loneliness is almost unbearable; I'd tolerate just about any side effect if I could keep that feeling of emptiness under control. Not make it go away necessarily, because like you all said, "loneliness" isn't a condition per se. But I need something to help blunt the severity of it. Or maybe it's not the loneliness per se, but my fixation/obsession with it? My psychiatrist says Celexa is supposed to help with obsessive/intrusive thoughts. Not working so far...

 

As for getting out of the house and socializing: I actually have good friends (much to my amazement) and I do stuff with them on a weekly basis. The issue isn't friendship or company, but more like not having a love life/dating. If anything, hanging out with friends is a trigger that makes my depression worse, because I see them in relationships, kissing, putting their arm over their partner's shoulder, etc, and it's a reminder of what I don't have. I used to be overweight and lost about 100lbs; I'm in good shape now, but people don't realize that when you lose that much weight, there's things like loose skin, etc, that have to be dealt with (not to mention emotional baggage). 

 

Until I sort all that out, I can't put myself out there to try and start dating. So I need a medication that can help tide me over until I can make the *real* changes that can cure loneliness. I saw someone mentioned Welbutrin; any other suggestions? Anti-psychotics/potent sedatives? Benzos only make me more depressed and really don't help. Even if I could find something that would numb me, that would be an improvement from the suicidal hell I'm feeling now.

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Have you considered entering into therapy, if you are not already seeing someone?  Talk therapy can be an effective tool for battling depression.

 

I ask that because you mentioned having "emotional baggage," and I am not sure that trying to blunt and numb one's emotions with medication is going to best help you unload the baggage.  Therapy could give you a space to explore the root of your loneliness, your self-concept, your suicidal feelings, etc. 

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Have you considered entering into therapy, if you are not already seeing someone?  Talk therapy can be an effective tool for battling depression.

 

I ask that because you mentioned having "emotional baggage," and I am not sure that trying to blunt and numb one's emotions with medication is going to best help you unload the baggage.  Therapy could give you a space to explore the root of your loneliness, your self-concept, your suicidal feelings, etc. 

 

Lol yep, I've been in therapy for awhile. I don't mean to disparage it, but mostly it makes things worse, because the more I explore/articulate my situation, the more inescapable it seems. I've just gotta find something that can act as a distractor/diversion. I know that sounds like the coward's way out, but if it means keeping me alive long enough to sort these things out, I have to think that's a good thing.

 

Anyone on seroquel? I hear it's strongly sedating, which for me is a plus. What about people taking high amounts of benzos? Like I said benzos tend to make me more depressed, but I take a relatively low dose (0.5 clonazepam ~ 4 times a week). Maybe at higher doses it could numb my emotions more?

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I think you're onto something with the distraction/diversion idea.  I've been extremely depressed at points in my life, and if I can find something to distract me it can be really effective.   I don't know what things might be good for you or that you are interested in, so I don't have any suggestions.

 

I can't tell you about seroquel; I've never been on it.  Someone who has been on seroquel will probably come along.

 

However - I have lots of experience with the use of benzodiazepines ... benzos.  

 

I'll be blunt - - -  Taking enough of a benzo to numb your emotions is not a good idea, no matter how it SOUNDS like a good idea in theory.    You'll reach a tolerance pretty quickly and will have to take more.   I've been there.  It is likely your memory will be affected; your driving may well be affected. (If I could REMEMBER, I know I'd have some really bad memories of driving while taking clonazepam.)   In some people, your inhibitions are lowered and you start doing really DUMB things.  I know I did, and I am still paying for those times.  

 

 Getting OFF a high dose of benzos is extremely hard.     Actually, if you take them each day on schedule (rather than PRN) ANY dosage is hard to get off.

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I think you're onto something with the distraction/diversion idea.  I've been extremely depressed at points in my life, and if I can find something to distract me it can be really effective.   I don't know what things might be good for you or that you are interested in, so I don't have any suggestions.

 

I can't tell you about seroquel; I've never been on it.  Someone who has been on seroquel will probably come along.

 

However - I have lots of experience with the use of benzodiazepines ... benzos.  

 

I'll be blunt - - -  Taking enough of a benzo to numb your emotions is not a good idea, no matter how it SOUNDS like a good idea in theory.    You'll reach a tolerance pretty quickly and will have to take more.   I've been there.  It is likely your memory will be affected; your driving may well be affected. (If I could REMEMBER, I know I'd have some really bad memories of driving while taking clonazepam.)   In some people, your inhibitions are lowered and you start doing really DUMB things.  I know I did, and I am still paying for those times.  

 

 Getting OFF a high dose of benzos is extremely hard.     Actually, if you take them each day on schedule (rather than PRN) ANY dosage is hard to get off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes

Edited by TEVA833
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I think you're onto something with the distraction/diversion idea.  I've been extremely depressed at points in my life, and if I can find something to distract me it can be really effective.   I don't know what things might be good for you or that you are interested in, so I don't have any suggestions.

 

I can't tell you about seroquel; I've never been on it.  Someone who has been on seroquel will probably come along.

 

However - I have lots of experience with the use of benzodiazepines ... benzos.  

 

I'll be blunt - - -  Taking enough of a benzo to numb your emotions is not a good idea, no matter how it SOUNDS like a good idea in theory.    You'll reach a tolerance pretty quickly and will have to take more.   I've been there.  It is likely your memory will be affected; your driving may well be affected. (If I could REMEMBER, I know I'd have some really bad memories of driving while taking clonazepam.)   In some people, your inhibitions are lowered and you start doing really DUMB things.  I know I did, and I am still paying for those times.  

 

 Getting OFF a high dose of benzos is extremely hard.     Actually, if you take them each day on schedule (rather than PRN) ANY dosage is hard to get off.

 

Yes, yes, and yes. That's exactly why I'm hesitant to turn to benzos for relief. It's actually astounding how unaware most people (including doctors) are about the downfalls of benzos. All you need to know is that GABA receptors are, literally, in almost every cell of the body. That's what we're talking about when it comes to withdrawal.

 

This is why my earlier post about using opiates is maybe not as crazy as it sounds. While opiate use can obviously lead to dependence, it's a much less steep curve than benzos. Personally I don't have any withdrawal after I use opiates for, say, a week or so, whereas I feel the withdrawal effects of a benzo almost as soon as it wears off. If it's a choice between, say, vicodin, or lying down in the bathtub with a gun to my head and a phone book underneath to catch the bullet...I've gotta think vicodin is the logical way to go...

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I feel the same way about group therapy, it makes things worse for me because if I am clinically depressed, I am not able to handle ruminating on why i'm depressed or anxious. Diversion is a good option for me too. It helps to a certain point, but I cannot be off of meds completely--tried that, VERY BAD OUTCOME...

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I understand therapy not feeling helpful at times.  I'm glad you've given it a try, though.

 

If I were you, I would talk to my doctor about giving an AAP, like Seroquel, a try.  I have found that AAP's make me feel more numb and flat, which can certainly feel a whole lot better than the awful, crushing depression.  It's not going to fill the void of loneliness, but it could take the edge off or help you feel less depressed.

 

I can relate to having body image issues that keep one from having the confidence to put oneself out there.  For me, I've realized that I cannot keep putting my dating life on hold while waiting for my body image concerns to be resolved.  A part of healing is challenging myself to meet people, despite how I feel about myself and my fears of being judged.  I cannot keep waiting for my life to begin, because that just keeps me alone.  It is a process, though.  Just sharing my two cents.  Please disregard as you deem necessary :)

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