Anti-D recommendations

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by svengandhi, May 14, 2011.

  1. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I am deeply and profoundly depressed and unhappy. I know why I am unhappy. I don't need or want therapy because I don't need to talk about it. I have been there done that and it was useless for me. I have enough insight in to my life that i can dispense with counseling. Ironicaclly, one of my closest friends is a shrink and she cites me as an example of someone who deals with problems in a positive way. I won't discuss my issues with her - she is my friend, not my doctor and I won't ask her for medications.

    What I do want is to find an anti-depressant that will NOT make me gain weight because my weight is a large (ha ha) part of my overall depressed feelings. I used to take Lexapro but my current insurance doesn't cover it. It helped alot.

    I do not have anxiety. I am not bipolar, schizophrenic or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I do not have borderline personality disorder or any thing else. I have deep and profound SITUATIONAL depression and I can't change the situation at this time. I have never been this low for so long and I am afraid it will affect my job performance. I wear the same few items of clothing over and over again because I refuse to buy fat clothing with money I don't have. I need a haircut desperately but am too angry at H to let him do it as he usually does and can't justify paying for it. I cut my fingernails only because I have to or my stockings will rip. I brush my teeth just so my children will have an example. I don't shower every day because I don't want to use water or oil. The only things I have energy for are my work (which I love) and my two youngest kids. I have basically given up on difficult child - who is a brilliant underachieving HS junior.

    I get up, go to work, come home, sometimes I eat dinner. I go to my room (H has been sleeping on the couch for the past few months) where my 2 youngest come to do their HW, I watch TV, go on the computer, do more work, go to bed and do it over again.

    Part of why I need to deal with it now is because D will be home from college next week. That means I have to toss difficult child out of D's room and send him back on to the couch (long story involving H's failure to do work around the house, another issue) and have H back in my room. I need medications to deal with him being back in here with me.

    I'm not suicidal and I don't have a death wish. I just want to be able to smile without having to think "Oh, yes, I should smile now. Let's see, how do I do that again?" I feel like a pod person. I am not generally an unhappy person, I have had the blues on occasion but I'm not clinically depressed.

    If anyone can suggest some anti-d that might help me, I can concoct a reason to ask my PCP for a scrip.

    Thanks for listening.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Whatever you do decide to take, avoid effexor. I know it helps some people, but for MANY the side effects and withdrawal are enough to make you crazy. It caused social phobia in me and was pushing me into agoraphobia in a major way. Something I had NEVER had even a hint of. If I was even thirty minutes late taking a dose I would get brain shocks/shivers (feeling like you just licked a battery but in your brain and like you turn your head and your brain keeps turning a bit when you stop. You have to have it to understand what I am talking about but it is very very common with effexor.) There were other problems also. Mostly I felt horrible and afraid of everything. It didn't happen until they raised the dose the first time.

    Stopping taking it was the worst I have gone through with almost any medication. Tapering it by the doctor's schedule was WAY too fast. MONTHS too fast. She wanted me to be totally off of it before I tried something else and that was a HUGE mistake. That is where I learned that prozac is awesome for dealing with withdrawal from these medications. Prozac has the longest half life of the a/d medications and if you take a small dose (20 mg) every week it makes a HUGE difference in withdrawal symptoms. It stays in your body and stops withdrawal but you don't have to take it daily or taper off. Effexor has one of the shortest half lifes of any medication (amt of time for half the medication to leave your body) so that is why withdrawal kicks in so fast.

    If you go from one a/d like effexor to another in that class, tapering one down and the other up, it can stop/prevent a lot of withdrawal, so that is what we did when Wiz was taking it. He took it before I did and I had NO idea what it was diong to him. He became totally suicidal during withdrawal - ended up in a psychiatric hospital where a nurse told me it was likely due to the effexor. They put him on luvox and he did a ton better.

    As for weight gain, you may want to consider topamax. It is often used with an antidepressant to treat resistant depression. It will usually help you lose weight also. I do the best on prozac though I may try luvox soon as prozac is hurting my stomach. Luvox is very similar to prozac but supposedly a bit stronger.

    I am sorry you are struggling so with depression.
  3. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    My good friend had similar issues to you with Effexor so I understand what you're saying. I think she takes Celexa now. That is so scary about Wiz. It's one reason why I was reluctant to do medications again. I just really feel that I am at the point where I need help. Last time, I was this bad (actually, I was much angrier then), I went to a shrink who told me I was really well adjusted, my anger was completely justified and I didn't need medications. When I almost committed murder a week later, I went to my pcp and got Lexapro. Within 2 days, I no longer felt homicidal and that feeling, thankfully, has never returned.

    What kind of stomach issues did Prozac give you? I was recently diagnosed with ulcerative gastritis (partially caused by stress!) so I have to be careful on that end as well.

    What does Topomax do? Could I take it alone and lose weight?

    Luvox I have heard is given for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Does it have other uses?

    Thanks for your advice. I will check if these medications are on my formulary.
  4. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Oh, sweetie, I'm sorry you're feeling so depressed. Anti depressants are a tricky thing & not everyone will react the same way to the medication in question. Personally, I've had success with prozac for 10 years or so.....4 years ago the effectiveness wore off. Celexa didn't help, nor did effexor (I'm allergic). Currently I'm on Cymbalta & lexapro combined. A very good combo given my high level of stress, my pain from fibro & the ongoing depression.

    Weight issues ~ knock it off sven! You're a good & beautiful lady no matter your weight. Women are horrible the way we treat ourselves. We would never ever tell someone else what we tell ourselves once we look in the mirror.

    I gained over 100 pounds from prednisone (took for over 2 years after my brain thingy). I couldn't change what had happened to my body; instead I found very pretty clothes & started using attractive makeups. Even died my hair red. I didn't feel confident inside ~ I never let 'em see me sweat tho. I knew I needed to change.

    Topamax is generally not prescribed for weight loss. It's an anti epileptic & frequently used for migraines.

    Go to the doctor, ask 'em not to blow you or your situation off. It's important that you're heard. Whether you want to or not you may need to see a therapist. I've spent the last 1.5 years in intense therapy. That with my psychiatrist & rehab has helped me.

    Take care of your self, sven. Stay in touch, okay?
  5. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Topamax is also known as "dopamax"by some professionals. It can make some people kind of doppy. It was a good drug for my daughter. She lost almost 20 lbs.. However, the weight loss stopped. It was given to her for migraines and somehow helped with her moods as well. Wish they would do that again. She is on Celexa now and doing well.( no weight gain) She does get the sweats from any SSRI she has taken including Celexa. Walking- I mean it-walking. I'm an overweight person as well, but I have walked for years. It gets the seratonin going! When you are in the throws of depression you are tired and hurt. Make yourself get started. A few blocks at a time. Sweating is good. It won't fix it all but it gets me through the evenings when I'm really down. Rain or snow, I go. Gardening, also exersize if you dig up those weeds and mow the lawn! Your younger kids can ride their bikes as you walk or something. The longer you go without treatment the deaper you'll sink-so go see your doctor ASAP. Most know about SSRIs and regularly prescribe them.
  6. ski10

    ski10 New Member

    Ah yes, the situational depression, but what if you can't change the situation right now..awful I know, sorry you are feeling so bad.

    I've been on Wellbutrin for almost 2 years, for the first 18 months it was a miracle for me, felt "normal" all the time, tried others including Zoloft and Paxil where I could not stop eating and gained 60 pounds, yes the weight gain does make you feel so depressed too, as soon as I started Wellbutrin the weight fell off but....just to add, not sure if it the AD that's not working so well right now or it's something else but I've been feeling the depressive feelings coming back on again.

    Many people can tolerate Wellbutrin and my dr told me it's one of the few AD's that does not cause weight gain so that was a huge thing for me.
    Good luck and hope you feel better.

    PS I tried Effexor and I felt crazy, it was awful.
  7. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Believe me I have been in your shoes a million times. I am SO sorry. I know the pain.

    Have you tried celexa which is lexapro's cousin? They are only one molecule different. Celexa is basically the generic version of lexapro plus one molecule.

    If you have tried celexa and it was not helpful, than have your dr write a letter to the ins company demanding that lexapro is the only medication with results, and celexa is not effective. This has worked every time when I have done it for Matt. I also had my mom do it for her lexapro when her ins denied it.

    I would start with what works and go from there. If you know lexapro worked start from there.
  8. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Also my dr told me that the company who makes lexapro is REALLY good about helping people who are finacially challenged. He told me to just go online to their website, fill out the appropriate info as to why you cannot pay for it, and they will usually give you a years worth of it at no charge,
  9. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Thank you all.

    I'm not really financially challenged in the sense that I have a job, make a decent salary and can pay my bills. It's just that my insurance doesn't cover Lexapro and without it, they want about $200 a month, which I can't afford in discretionary income unless I make daughter drop out of college and that would make me even sadder. I did check on Steely's suggestion but I don't qualify for drug company assistance (I guess that's a good thing).

    I will look into Celexa since it seems so similar to Lexapro. I have not tried any medications other than the Lexapro, which I took 7 years ago when things were really awful. I did have oldest boy on liquid Prozac in 2d grade for ticcing and eating his shirt in school and it worked - turned out he has PANDAS.

    I DO walk every day. I walk about 3/4 mile each way from the train to and from my office. It doesn't seem to be helping. I'm too ashamed to walk around my neighborhood. I don't have a car that I can drive right now. I used to drive to another town to walk around because I don't know anybody there. It seems that the only people in my town who walk or run are the stay at home mom's who have no body fat. I was never fat until my life fell apart 7 years ago and I am not handling it very well. My thyroid is out of whack and the doctors can't get me steady. I have RA so the types of exercise I can do is limited as I already have bad knees and want to avoid a replacement if possible.

    I very rarely have a pity party - it's not me, but I really appreciate the responses. I have been reading up on the medications you've suggested. If I can't figure out for myself what I want to try, I may go see a shrink for a prescription. However, I really don't want therapy at this point. Two useless years of marriage counseling and individual counseling has really turned me off to the entire process.

    I can't divorce now or for the foreseeable future and that's the main cause of my depression. I am sure there is some truth to my counselor's comment that I gained weight to keep my H from being attracted to me - it didn't work he evolved into a chubby chaser instead!

    Thanks again. I will keep you posted.
  10. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Not sure if you live in the states, but many large chain pharmacies have a list of prescriptions that are 4 or $5 a month. What about looking through that list and seeing if anything is there you want to try? I know wal mart and fred meyers (krogers?) have them.
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'm going to be the fly in the ointment and recommend that even if you don't want to go to therapy, you should. No one wants to go to therapy, even less so when they are depressed. It feels good when we say "I don't need to talk to anyone or explore what's going on in depth. I know what's going on and if I can just get past this little dip in the road I'll be fine." The thing is, we can feel fine for a while, but when we hit that dip in the road again, we find it's become a pothole. Every time it's worse. Therapy can be really difficult, and it can feel like all it is going to do is make you dwell on your problems. The truth is though, when we're depressed we're already dwelling on your problems without looking beyond them or finding a way to cope the next time we face them.

    I hope that you will reconsider and go at least once. If nothing else, a therapist can help you and your doctor find a medication that will work for you.
  12. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I have RA as well. I don't share that often because I don't want pity either. My RA has caused anemia and I have a difficult time getting the blood iron up. This leaves you tired as well. Have you checked that. The form I have affects the large joints mostly and comes and goes-it is known as palandromic RA, at some point it will turn into the bull blown RA and will have to begin the drugs which are also riddled with side affects. Is your pain under control? Pain wears a body out. The thyroid is huge-when my daughter's is out of wack, she sinks fast. This in it's self causes depression. WHY CAN'T THEY REGULATE? I think I would want to have all those things regulated before I started another drug? Sorry about the husband- wow how you stand it I don't know. Maybe counseling to help you get out of the marriage and cross the barrier that keeps you there is wise. Take care of yourself.
  13. ML

    ML Guest

    I liked celexa a bunch. The one thing I didn't like is that after being on it for several years I got congnitive dulling --- worse than normal aging even though I did a very early menopause. I wasn't certain it was the celexa so I went off for a while and am now on Wellbutrin with a different set of problems. But on the plus side I'm having less trouble with short term memory and word retrieval.

    I say go shopping... find a consignment store and buy a few outfits with bright colors. Don't wait to lose weight to start taking care of yourself. Do it now and act "as if". Your beauty truly does come from within and if you start doing a few things like putting on makeup even if you don't want to and wearing new clothes it may be the catylist to turn things in a better direction for you. I'm proud of you for being willing to try an anti-d for a while. Prozac is another one that I took years ago that helped me and it also happened to spur weight loss.

    Good luck.
  14. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    ((HUGS)) I don't have any advice on the medication, but do have something to share about weight issues and body image. You are you and your body is your body, Everyone who knows and loves you, sees YOU and loves you. Trust me when I tell you that you don't see what they see. If it's upsetting to you, don't ever get on the scale. If a dr. wants to weigh you, just turn around so you can't see. You are judging yourself way too harshly. You need to eat healthy, not diet. I totally hate looking at myself and feel so fat. I never look in a mirror below my neck. The rest of the world will think I'm crazy, but I can't help how I feel. I know it's no use to tell you to "love your body" I know I can't just DO that.
    Don't be embarrassed to walk around your neighborhood. If others are thinking anything, it's about their own problems. Just make it a goal to be healthy and don't, please don't, be hard on yourself. Take a walk tomorrow and you'll feel so much better because you'll be moving forward toward being healthy. YOU GOT THIS!
  15. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Welbutrin - is wonderful for me - and it's helped me maintain low weight in conjunction with a sensible new way of living/eating.

    I also take topamax for migrianes which I am told ALSO helps with weight maintance, but do NOT expect a doctor to just willy-nilly whip out a prescription pad and hand you a script for an anti-convulsive. If you say "Well I don't have epilepsy, I.........want it for migraines?" Yeah- well......then be prepared to pay for a boatload of tests, because at least here in SC? It is the LAST chance, end of the line for prescribatives for migraines. I had to take all the other witch-doctor potions, MRI's - and see specialists, plus do eliminations (diets, stressors, weather) keep a migraine diary - show how often I went to the ER for delauded and morphine coctails, had 220/54 BiPolar (BP) (showing extreme pain OF migraines) and THEN? Oh happy ,happy joy joy happy happy joy! I got RELPAX.....which if you are lucky and can afford $85/per pill - and only get 6 a month - and those don't totally work and you have tried therapy and are on a good antidepressant, therapy, and pretty much can do everything short of wearing your butt for a hat? THEN you get Topamax. (insert personal victory belly dance thing) I also wrote to Johnson and Johnson patient assistant program and get reduced/free medications. I can't afford either of these now.

    As far as the welbutrin? (insert that little look like Cher did to Sony in the 70's) I take 3 a day........and they are $12 a month but I shopped around (like Tenille on the Captain and Tenille) Cause they are expensive and you betta shop around.

    HOWEVER - Some SSRI's - that work for your sons? Will have the best results with you too - FYI. If they didn't work with them? They probably won't work on you. Weird huh? Zoloft made both me and Dude suicidal.

    paxil did the same thing to you have to find the right class that works for you AND helps you loose weight but doesn't make you want to kill yourself. For me - it was Bupropion. (plus it is supposed to help you stop smoking) BONUS.
  16. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Unless you are TRYING tobe smoking hot - and then? Well - then it's a toofer.

    But look who I'm talking to - You sexy momma you!
  17. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Sven - :) I know what you're saying - boy do I know what you're saying! Many gentle hugs and an experienced ear (as you've provided me!).