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Genetics (family) and reaction to meds

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Hello everybody!

I'm honored to have a chance to write to this forum.

The main topic of this thread is: Do you think that your body will react to an AD same as to your closest familly members?

A little background. My dad hasn't had a drop of alcohol for 40 years (he's 64 atm but looks 10 years younger). He was always behaving weirdly in social situation with unknown people. Sometimes he was acting like a clown,sometimes he behaved arrogantly and offensively (typical defense mechanism). His Pdoc was prescribing him hundreds of diazepam tablets but he only used 5-10 mg when he felt his panic was arising (which was rarely). Even with his social struggle he was a long time boss of an important sector in some company and went alone to a bunch of business trips. He built us a nice house, have enough money on his accounts for the rest of his life and recives a reputable pension. He is now retired and feels very happy, calm and in peace with himself. In his words having roof above your head, money for basic stuff, visiting church, doing housework every day and reading a good book is everything one needs. 

My mother supposedly suffered a great deal because of his social anxiety. She thought she wasn't good enough for him. Until I became a teenager and expressed that my father was behaving weirdly on social gathering. It became more and more noticable to me. My mother had enough of this and forced him to get help. Meds totally removed his social anxiety.

He was prescribed Escitalopram (don't know how much), Remeron and Lorazepam as needed. He appearently went through some threatmend that helped him. I didn't know anything about this. I was still too young. 

Now he's on 5 mg escitalopam. He take maybe 1/8 of 2.5 mg lorazepam pill very rarely. He was on 20 mg of escitalopram daily and tappered to 5 mg with no problem at all. 

Soon after my 25th birthday I was started experiencing panic attacks, GAD and depression. I went to the same psych that my father was threated by (now he sees him maybe once a year) . The psych believed that my body would have the same positive effect with escitalopram (SSRI) as my father did. "This is common", he said. 

Well I am now on 20 mg for 2 years and it helped me maybe 5%. I never had any positive results with escitalopram (Lexapro). I take 4x as much as my father does. I have only gained weight and lost my libido. 

Psych was wondering what to do. He wanted to tapper me off to 10 mg escitalopram and replace it with Cymbalta (SNRI). My mother takes Cymbalta for fibromyalgya and she says it only makes her more sad and gives her crazy nightmares. I threw them away. 

Last week my psych offered another solution - to tapper of escitalopram to 10 mg and slowly introduce venlafaxine (also SNRI). He completely agrees that gradually tappering of SSRI and and adding SNRI ((or mixing it, I don't know) might make a difference. What do you think? To try it or not? I can tapper as slowly as I can and slowly add the same amount of venflaxine (it is called Alventa). By I/4 of the pill. I have some Lorazepams for easing the drugs side effects.

My cousin from my mother's side of the family also developed panic disorder as a teenager. She was also put on escitalopram 10 mg and had great results. 

How was your body reacting to a med that has also been used by your family member (manly the closest ones)? What is your opinion about that? And ... should I add vanflaxine into the mix?

Thank you very much and I wish you a great day!


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It could be a good place to start. With meds that work for family members. My sister wonders why I have not tried lithium, it works for others in my family. I am fine, though, with lamictal as a mood stabilizer. It is good for me to know that it is an option,

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  • 5 weeks later...

Mental illness is common in my family and my cousin has social anxiety much like I do.. She took and still takes Paxil for it and it works very well. Well when I read online about Paxil horror stories it scared me the hell away from it so I convinced my p.doc to prescribe me something else and that something else was Lexapro. Well it didn't work too well for my social anxiety and I eventually ended up on, you guessed it, Paxil. Just as it worked for my cousin it worked pretty damn well for me. I got off it because I got back into the phase of being scared to take an SSRI (I also went manic), but now am back on it because I really do dislike social anxiety, and although Paxil has its issues, I think I might prefer them over having to deal with constant negative rumination and regret in a never ending college social setting.

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