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Currently feeling emotionally flat and apathetic, cocktail or depression to blame?


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I no longer feel depressed after reaching 100 mg Lamictal, but i don't feel fine either. My emotions seems to have been flattened out, i don't feel anything. I lack excitement when something exciting is happening, i lack sadness when something sad happens, i lack empathy when i see something bad and i lack pleasure in doing activities such as listening to music. I just don't seem to care about anything and anyone.

Is this a manifestation of my depression? Or could this be because of my current cocktail? The thing is, when i was actually feeling depressed, I had very intense emotions, i'd cry very easily and i felt such passion for my family and loved ones. That seems to be completely gone now. I don't know if this is because i'm overmedicated, or because i'm not at a therapeutic dose of Lamictal yet. My goal is to reach 200 mg, and if i still feel the same then i'll ask my psychiatrist to do something about the dose and my cocktail. Could it be that i need an antidepressant along Lamictal to sort out this issue? Wellbutrin doesn't seem to be working, so i'll need to change AD in that case.

Have any of you experienced this on any of the meds in my cocktail?

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It's really hard to tease out whether your anhedonia is from depression or meds.

Technically, you are not yet at a therapeutic dose for Lamictal. That usually starts around 150mg, but you may have to go higher: people tend to have a "sweet spot" on Lamictal, and it can take a bit to find it.

I say technically, because there are outliers who respond to lower dosages. But from what you say, I don't think you are in that category.

Of course, I'm not a doctor, but it would not surprise me if the lesser intensity of you depression is due to Lamictal. Lamictal is known to be good for depression.

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3 minutes ago, crtclms said:

It's really hard to tease out whether your anhedonia is from depression or meds.

Technically, you are not yet at a therapeutic dose for Lamictal. That usually starts around 150mg, but you may have to go higher: people tend to have a "sweet spot" on Lamictal, and it can take a bit to find it.

I say technically, because there are outliers who respond to lower dosages. But from what you say, I don't think you are in that category.

Of course, I'm not a doctor, but it would not surprise me if the lesser intensity of you depression is due to Lamictal. Lamictal is known to be good for depression.

My anhedonia started before i was on any meds, but i still had emotions. I felt passion, empathy and such. It was just excitement and pleasure that were missing. But now it seems ALL emotions have been tuned down. Lamictal has definitely put a dent in my depression, all my other symptoms have disappeared. It's just this emotional flatline/anhedonia i'm stuck with now. 

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27 minutes ago, J04KlM said:

My anhedonia started before i was on any meds, but i still had emotions. I felt passion, empathy and such. It was just excitement and pleasure that were missing. But now it seems ALL emotions have been tuned down. Lamictal has definitely put a dent in my depression, all my other symptoms have disappeared. It's just this emotional flatline/anhedonia i'm stuck with now. 

Abilify put a dent in my depression, But Like with you, I was left with anhedonia. I had that for 7 months. Doxepin finally put an end to it, but I didn't feel any effects until I hit 250mg. I hope you find a solution.

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4 minutes ago, Flash said:

Abilify put a dent in my depression, But Like with you, I was left with anhedonia. I had that for 7 months. Doxepin finally put an end to it, but I didn't feel any effects until I hit 250mg. I hope you find a solution.

Could you describe how you felt during those 7 months? Did you feel emotionally numb like i am, lacking feelings of love, empathy and such? I'd say that's my biggest burden right now, when i was depressed i still felt those emotions. But not now anymore, i hope it won't have to remain like this just so i can be stable.

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Just now, J04KlM said:

Could you describe how you felt during those 7 months? Did you feel emotionally numb like i am, lacking feelings of love and empathy? I'd say that's my biggest burden right now, when i was depressed i still felt those emotions. But not now anymore, i hope it won't have to remain like this just so i can be stable.

Nothing interested me, and I didn't care about anything. No emotions, just blah. Didn't care if I lived or died. I didn't want to be in that state, though, so I cared enough to pursue a solution. But honestly, I had given up while I was titrating up on doxepin. If that didn't work, I would have stepped off the med-go-round. I was just lucky that it did the trick.

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16 minutes ago, Flash said:

Nothing interested me, and I didn't care about anything. No emotions, just blah. Didn't care if I lived or died. I didn't want to be in that state, though, so I cared enough to pursue a solution. But honestly, I had given up while I was titrating up on doxepin. If that didn't work, I would have stepped off the med-go-round. I was just lucky that it did the trick.

Sounds just like the situation i am in right now, hopefully i'll be as lucky as you and find something that can help with this issue.

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I hope you find something that works too. You might discuss tricyclics with your pdoc. I didn't have any luck with all that stuff in my signature. My pdoc seems to think the older meds sometime work better than the newer ones on atypical or treatment-resistant depression. Good luck!

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To answer your question, IMO I think it is related to your depression ... at least sounds very similar to when I go into a depression.  It is hard to tell whether the meds are causing it or not.  ie, with all the meds I am on I am fairly stable.  But I can still fall into a depression without any of those meds changing.  IMO it is the nature of the BP ... you can be stable, or at times go to depression, or hypo/mania.  At that point you might need a med tweak, but it wouldn't be coming directly from a specific med.

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10 minutes ago, Fluffypinkbunny said:

You have anhedonia and emotional numbness.  Two separate things.  I too have both as well. 

The emotional numbness started after Lamictal, before that it was just anhedonia. Now i seem to have both. My mood is stabilized and the depressed feelings are gone, but that's the thing. I don't feel much of anything right now, just flatlined. I'm afraid this is what I have to endure just to have a stable mood. I don't want to live like this...

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It's terrible I know all to well.  I'm getting myself back to therapy to see if we can work on the emotions.  I'm desperate at this point. 

Hopefully, it will pass.  I have to keep telling myself this to get through each day.  I'm so bored as I don't know what to do with myself.  I have a very good life, wonderful husband and son. 

Feels like someone came in during the night and ripped my life away from me. 

I hope you're feeling better soon! I understand and know what you're going through.  It's tough and we'll get through it.

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