Ok, to start this topic, I will discuss my experience with antidepressants
I always had a case of depression, growing up. I dont if I was born with depression, or if it was brought on by life's circumstances. I watched my mother suffer with lymphoma most of my pre-teen years, from the age of about 5-11. I was 11 when she passed in 1980; she was about 32. I can certainly see how that could depress a child. She was a wonderful, kind, religious woman. Everyone loved her, and it was horrible watching her suffer, & for so long!
I never took antidepressants, growing up. It wasnt until about 4 years ago, after my 2nd daughter was born, that a doctor put me on an antidepressant, Zoloft, for postpartum depression. It was a miracle! I felt so much better! I called it my happy pill
Little did I know at the time, that I was slowly selling my soul to Zoloft. I took it for 3 years, then lost my insurance & decided to quit taking it. I didnt know much about Zoloft at the time, and tried to quit cold turkey... BIG mistake! Zoloft, and others like it, work with neurotransmitters in the brain, and the withdrawals from quitting were "shocking", literally... After about a week of being off Zoloft, the shocking began I now call it "zapping". Brought on by noise, vibration, movement, etc... the brain sends out an electric shock, repeatedly, which would travel down thru my fingers and toes. The brain zaps are accompanied with dizziness & headaches. In fact, I think it even impairs my speech.
I knew I couldnt afford to keep taking it, without insurance, so I held out, waiting for the symptoms to ease up, but they just kept getting stronger. Thats when I searched Zoloft on the net, where I found forum after forum of people describing the same symptoms. I found out why I was finding so much hair in my brush... side effect of taking zoloft, as well as weight gain (average person gains about 30 lbs soon after starting zoloft). I also learned about neurotransmitters & Seratonin, the happy chemical in the brain.
I went on a search for alternative seratonin, since my brain is apparantly not producing its own anymore! I found that bananas can boost seratonin, and fish oil... not many things unfortunately. I tried fish oil and it gave me a stomach ache. I tried St Johns Wort... too weak! Just me and the bananas lol They, of course, werent enough either
After seeing so many people in the forums, complaining about having these symptoms for months, with no relief, I decided to start taking it again... this time, weaning myself off gradually I did this for months, gradually taking less and less. Finally, I was on very few mg's, 25 mg every other day, for a few months, which was causing me to be very depressed, and I still couldnt go 3 days without getting zapped!
So I asked my doc to just put me on something else, hoping it would be easier to quit. She put me on Prozac, which is 1/2 the cost of Zoloft. I took it for a few months, to give it a chance, but I hated it! It didnt work for me. This was only a few months ago, but I cant remember what I didnt like about it, besides the fact that I was depressed while taking it. I asked her to change it again. She put me on Effexor XR. That stuff was the worst! The dr office gave it to me for free, so what does that tell ya?
Yay! I just found some Effexor! Im taking some!!! I'll explain why later
Effexor came with many side effects! It was so weak, that I was having the shocking withdrawals. In 1 or 2 months time (however long I took it), I went from 37.5 mg a day - 187.5 mg a day and was still getting zapped! *wtf* I couldnt sleep at night (tired, but laying there awake); I was jittery, shaky... that sucked! I never want to feel like that again! There were probably more side effects...
I have heard good things about Lexapro, so I asked for that this time She said it is about the same thing as Zoloft... same price, same side effects, etc. That was about 2 months ago, and I quit taking it about a week ago, when the nurses failed to refill my prescription I decided, after 2 days of not taking it, F* it! I dont want to take it anyway! *rolling eyes*
Im zapping like crazy! Everytime I move, hear loud noise, grit my teeth... I thought, again, that I could deal with a little zapping, kinda neat if you think about it...but its not! it sucks! Im miserable and I cant do much. Even sitting here, perfectly still, I can feel it in my head. I guess Im destined to take this crap, and that is the most depressing part!
I guess I'll continue taking Lexapro, unless she has a better alternative
The Effexor helped calm the shocks I have a doc appt today and I'll see if she can give me a muscle relaxer or something to help. I really dont want to take any more antidepressants.
Oh, and another thing that raises our seratonin levels is receiving compliments, & general nice things like that In fact, I think I read that having an orgasm raises the seratonin. Hey, every little bit helps!
Well, my doc gave me more Lexapro and Lyrica for the shocks. Looks like a good time to start weaning myself off of it, if it is possible Im not zapping anymore. That faded away when I took the leftover Effexor, so Im back on track & back to the drawing board The Effexor did give me chills, but that feels kinda neat
I forgot to mention the worst side effect of Lexapro & Zoloft... Besides weight gain & hair loss, there is also Loss of Creativity
Hi, Well I see we now have more things in common. I have done the trial and error thing with anti-depressants too. I have taken Lorazapm (which I am still on but have gotten myself down to 1mg 2 times a day) - I tried both Zoloft and Prozac and had strange reactions to both. I am now, happily, on Lexapro - once daily - which keeps me sane - no side effects or anything. It took almost a month to kick in.
PS: I was never creative so there was no creativity for me to lose.
I sadlydid not lose weight and wonderfully my hair has gotten thicker.
Medications react differently on each individual and you need to find the one that works best for you. But the trial and error can be horrible - let alone expensive.
Leslie, the one thing I found with the Lexapro is that I could go off and on with no problems. I know, there are times I feel like a druggie - to keep having to try different ones until we hit the right combo. You will be okay, I have faith..
I've been on Paxil for several years, and have had no problems with it at all. I have a chronic chemical imbalance.
Before Paxil there was Elavil, which caused a tremendous wight gain, plus I was on a really high dosage, so I was sleepy all the time.
I didn't do well on Prozac. It made me sick to my stomach. Zoloft did nothing for me at all. So my doctor went to Paxil. I take 50 mgs a day.
No matter what antidepressant you take, I think you'll have a terrible time coming off it by yourself. Been there, done that, as they say. Wean yourself just a little at a time, over a long period of time. Or talk to your doctor about decreasing your dosage slowly, to give your body the time it needs to adjust.
Go to DRUGS.COM Interaction Checker August 31, 2008 4:39 PM
If you're on a SSRI Antidepressant, go to DRUGS.COM and use their interaction checker. Type in all the medications that you're on including any OTC meds that you might take sometime. No-one told me that Ibuprofen and Benedryl were dangerous when taking ZOLOFT. The state of Utah terms the condition of Seratonin Syndrome as "Medication Poisoning". I started taking Effexor in 2003. This is also when I started abusing my children. I was distraught and admitted myself to the hospital. After 3 doctors, I ended up with 3 diagnosis and 3 medications. I went through yearsofcomplaints to my Primary Care of headaches, dizziness, anxiety, increased depression, anger, profuse sweating, CNS iritibality, and other conditions - all indications of a condition called Seratonin Syndrome. I recently found out that the FDA released a warning along with these Interaction Descriptions in June of 2006 - and because I was being managed by an old country doctor, he never knew of the warnings about SSRI Antidepressants. If you're on ANY COMBINATION of medications, do the following:
Go to DRUGS.COM Interaction Checker, enter all your medications, print off the report,and discuss it with your doctor(s).
Check for FOOD and OTC Medication interactions carefully - GRAPEFRUIT interacts with many medications - and they servedmegrapefruit in the hospital. I fully believe that this grapefruit is what caused me to have anxiety/panic attacks since they went away when I stopped eating the mixed-fruit cup that contained grapefruit.
Advocate for yourself - convince your doctors that you want to try to taper off the psycotic medications to see how if your origional sympthoms (depression, anxiety, whatever) come back or go away alltogether.
If you're in legal problems, look up the "Zoloft Defense". There are THOUSANDS of situations documented where the makers of Zoloft have created a Litigation Manual to prosecute against the Zoloft Defense...there is one case of a 70-something year couple married for 50+ years - the husband killed his wife after "an overdose" of Zoloft and then tried to killhimself.
On Drugs.com, there is a link to make a "Adverse Reaction" report directly to the FDA. Tell as many meople as you can to make these reports to the FDA so that they can collect adequate information on SSRI Antidepressants.
I am not creating this information nor extrapelating on the facts. All the above information can be validated using Internet Searches. For Service providers, DRUGS.COM also has the double-blind test reports for Zoloft and other medications. This has the ratios of occurrance of sympthoms of people administered Zoloft vs. a Plecebo.
Please feel free to pass this warning around. Allabove information is verifyable.
[ send green star]
Ive been away for a while (and I apologize for that)... while away, I tried to quit taking my SSRI's. Using EFT (which I will discuss in a new thread), I was able to quit without the unbearable "brain zaps" I get from withdrawals, but I was so depressed after about 4 months that I started taking them again... I think Ive tried every SSRI now (& Cymbalta), and still experimenting... on prozac now but switching soon