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so my pdoc decided i don't have depression and anxiety problems.  that it was always my add in anxiety's clothing.

i've been off ssri's now for about 2 weeks.

generally i guess i'm ok.  i just found out my 6 year old kitty has a terminal illness, and he went into a 5 day long crisis.  so i've been sad and stressed and not sleeping much due to that.

my mood seems to bounce around a lot - like, if i'm not in the middle of something and i get thinking too hard, i feel like i might be depressed or anxious.

i feel irritable and negative and have a tendency to worry.

but then i'll eat or go to class or whatever and forgot i felt somewhat unhappy.

or i'll think "well i've got a lot to be stressed over, who *wouldn't* feel this way?"

or i'll realize i drank too much caffiene, and that's why i'm edgy.

or i'll realize i'm uber lonely.

so.  the million dollar question:  how the fuck do i know if there's anything wrong w/ me????

(ps, if it makes a difference, it's the first time in 5 years i'm not on a "mood" medication)

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Bella

I just wanted to reply and express my concerns regarding your kitty and how you are feeling. Unfortunately, I don't have much in the way of assistance regarding your meds, etc., just a warm note to let you know that I sure can understand your stress, etc. Keep the faith. Sylvia

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Yes, ADD can cause anxiety.  That does not, however, mean that the anxiety caused by ADD should not be treated with SSRIs or another medication.

I think the names cause a lot of confusion.  You have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and then you have anxiety which can appear as a symptom of other conditions such as Major Depressive Disorder or ADD.  The wacky part is that regardless of the cause, the experience and feeling of anxiety is pretty much the same from person to person.  Some pdocs think it best to treat the cause and not the symptom.  Others are more inclined to think that cause and symptom are the same thing and treat the symptom.  I've had much better luck with the later. 

The bottom line is that if you had less anxiety while on an SSRI than not on it and didn't experience any extreme side effects, you are probably better off on it

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thank you sylvia, that really is so nice to hear ;):)

ve - but i *did* have side effects.

and the anxiety isn't pervasive and present 100% of the time. 

part of my problem is that i don't know what a "normal" person is supposed to feel like.

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The anxiety doesn't have to be present all the time.  It just has to interfere with your ability to function.

Everyone feels anxiety sometimes, depressed sometimes, scared sometimes, etc.

The so-called normal person is someone who doesn't experience it to a degree that it interferes with their ability to live a full life and function in society. Degree is important here.  If you experience any mental phenomena to the degree that it causes impairment in any part of your life, it's problem.

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Bella

I grew up in the country in Connecticut, fairly isolated.  My earliest memory is sitting on my porch, and praying for peace of mind....and, well I guess, I still hold that prayer. Its a journey, thats for sure, and its fleeting - but don't give up, I'm not going to. And besides, I think we are much more interesting than  "normal".

Thanks for your reply, keep the faith, always.

Love,

Syl

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Bella,

I know that my ADD does indeed cause anxiety, and that a lot of that anxiety went away when i finally was dx'd.

Last spring I went down the "well, none of these antidepressants are working for you, so lets pull you off them" road and it was quite strange to be off an SSRI/SNRI after 10 years on them.  It turned out that, in my case, my doctor was on the nose about pulling me off them but it took me a long time to adjust to not being on them after so long.

I understand what you mean by wondering what you are supposed to feel like. 

I think the scary thing is that there's no answer... and life off of ssris is different.  The main thing is to make sure that however you're feeling, it isn't interfering with life.  That you aren't too scared to go to the market or make a phone call, that you aren't crossing the line from sad to depressed i-can't-get-out-of-bed and even chocolate doesn't taste good anymore land. 

are you just seeing a pdoc, or do you have a tdoc as well? if not, can you afford one right now?  a tdoc might really help with this transition, if indeed going off ssris was the right choice for you.

good luck

penny

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Thanks all for the good advice.  It sems like such an obvious question, but everyday I find myself (over?) analyzing my reactions and gauging "normalcy."

Penny I do have a tdoc, she is free since she's through my school, which is fantastic.  But I keep forgetting to go!  I really am usually quite good at appointments, it just seems that the few times I *have* forgotten it's been her.  Bummer.  For her and me.

But I'm seeing her next week and I've left myself notes everywhere so hopefully I will manage to get there.

I am also looking into possible Omega-3s and l-theanine.  I know that you are fairly knowledgable about supplements and whatnot, so if you find yourself with a spare moment and feel like dropping me a PM w/ any suggestions that come to mind, that would be helpful  ;)

Also, do you mind sharing your thoughts on the no-more-SSRI adjustment period?

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Thanks all for the good advice.  It sems like such an obvious question, but everyday I find myself (over?) analyzing my reactions and gauging "normalcy."

i don't think it's obvious.  comming off of antidepressants after 5 years is weird.  maybe you didn't need them, but they sure do alter how your brain works, so however you're feeling now is different than before.  and after being on an antidepressant for that long, and thinking that you needed one, it's really natural to jump at shadows of possible depression or anxiety.

in terms of talking about how it feels to be off of ADs, i should say that i was pulled off of ssris/snris because they were making me bipolar and causing me to have episodes of dysphoria.  so, once i got off of them, my moods became a LOT more stable and i stopped having those nasty bouts of dysphoria.  but still, it was weird because i'd been on effexor for 3,4? years and ADs since i was 15 so i'd grown accostomed to that sort-of wall between myself and my emotions that they'd made (at least this is how it felt for me.)  and while i (luckily) didn't make a down dip, it was weird to not have that veil between me and my emotions, and for a while it was not intense... but just strange. 

but i'm sure for you it feels different because your reason for comming off of them is different than mine.

and, in full "disclosure" so to speak, after 9 months off them, following a recent death of someone close to me, i jumped on wellbutrin (leaves my seratonin alone yay) because i felt myself slipping and i decided i need a saftey net.  (just not one that touches my seratonin and makes me insane.)

so, just because you've come off them it doesn't mean they aren't still there to do back to if you need them.  but, give it a bit of time, it's only been two weeks so this probably isn't how you will feel in another 2 weeks as your brain adjusts. 

i don't know if there is a normal time frame for adjusting to not being on ssris, but for me it was kinda a bumpy ride for a few weeks, and then a month or two of easing into it.  if that makes sense.

Penny I do have a tdoc, she is free since she's through my school, which is fantastic.  But I keep forgetting to go!  I really am usually quite good at appointments, it just seems that the few times I *have* forgotten it's been her.  Bummer.  For her and me.

But I'm seeing her next week and I've left myself notes everywhere so hopefully I will manage to get there.

yay free tdoc!

she'll probably be really good at helping you sort out what's going on with your moods.

also, she can probably help you by giving you some coping mechanisms for ADD and anxiety that you can turn to when things get a little weird.

of course, for me, notes everywhere is a "coping skill" ;)

I am also looking into possible Omega-3s and l-theanine.  I know that you are fairly knowledgable about supplements and whatnot, so if you find yourself with a spare moment and feel like dropping me a PM w/ any suggestions that come to mind, that would be helpful  :)

no problem.  omega 3s are pretty much always a good idea imho.  my favorite brands are omega brite and the high EPA formula by Nordic Naturals.  i try to get  1000 mg a day of EPA.  i think it's made a HUGE difference for me. 

my proxy server is wonky, so i'll have to look into l-theanine later, but i'll shoot you a PM w/in a couple of days.

take care

sorry this post is sooooo long

penny

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