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Joined: Mar 2007
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I was dx'd about 15 years ago. I'm on Effexor -- the maximun dose -- but I'm still struggling with depression. I know the times when I'm REALLY down are triggered by events in my life, but even when there's nothing "big" going on, I feel just barely okay. I never feel happy or up.

This can't be normal. Normal people don't feel like this ALL the time. I have a psychiatrist who monitors my medication, but I need to see someone different because I've lost trust in this doctor (relating to another med she had me on... long story).

I'm an empty nester with a son in college. I'm unable to work due to disability. And my husband and I are going through a divorce. (The divorce was my decision because he's totally irresponsible with money and was driving us deeper and deeper in debt. Believe me, we tried our best but just couldn't stay together.)

Can anyone recommend another medication that works but has few side effects?

Or any other suggestions? I just can't keep living like this.


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I have done alot of research on natural remedies to help with depression and anxiety, and came across one that I was thinking of trying - amoryn is the name of it - try that website - it has lots of testimonials you can read and gives the ingredients etc - good luck, hope you find something that will work well for you. talk to your doctor about it first though.

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Hi Joyseeker..
I would defintely find another psych doc if you aren't comfortable with the one you're on now. Don't try any "natural" remedies or take yourself off the Effexor until you do. I've struggled with depression since I was 8 years old. I've been med free and doing well for several years now, so there is hope! The med that worked for me was Celexa. I will tell you that all antidepressants have side effects, most do go away after a few weeks. Are you seeing a therapist as well? If not you should be, it can really help. Most of all, don't be too hard on yourself. You're going through a very stressful time right now and a lot of what you're feeling could indeed be a normal reaction to that.
Best of luck!!


Sue MacNeil
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Koala
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I recently stopped taking Effexor and am on Welbutrin now. I had taken effexor for over 5 years and also was on the maximum doseage of Effexor and I had told my doctor some days I felt like I was getting a placebo. Some days I felt like I couldn't face another day. It has been a month since my medication change and I feel a lot better. The only thing I would have to complain about is that I seem to be very weepy, but then again I have always been one that is easy to cry. I guess that I have just missed being like that since I was on the effexor. The effexor had also pretty much ended my sex drive. That has become way better on the welbutrin.

Maybe try a new dr.? I think it is important that you feel confident in your dr's abilities.


Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.
~anonymous~
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I was on Zoloft, and that seemed to work for me at the time.


Life is short ~ Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you smile.

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On Wed. I'm going to see a friend who works at the clinic where my doc is, and I'm going to ask him who he would recommend for a new doc. I've brought up Wellbutrin to this current doc a number of times (because I've heard some people lose weight on it and I've GAINED weight with Effexor) but she always says NO. I've been on Effexor for a long time; started on it in the late 90s for my fibromyalgia pain and it's been very helpful for that. But sometimes I wonder if it's just lost it's effectiveness on my depression.

I know the transitions I'm going through have a lot to do with this, but it's hard to make any progress on anything. It's hard to think straight and get motivated to do things and make decisions when you're feeling like this.

Thank you to all for your kind words. Connie, did you switch right over to the Wellbutrin or did you have to taper off the Effexor first?

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Koala
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Joy...I had to taper off my dosage. It took me a couple of weeks to do this. I didn't know at the time but Effexor is also a migrane medication and I had the worst migranes coming off my doseage. After my dr. told me this I realized I had not had a migrane headache in a LONG time. After finding out about this I was able to adjust my diet/ect and I have not had any more migranes. So it could be that it wasn't coming off the meds that caused the migrane but just me not being careful to avoid my migrane triggers. I also have gained weight on effexor and was hoping to lose some weight with welbutrin, but so far I haven't lost any weight but just feeling better has been so great. I can't tell you how much better I feel and I wish I would've talked to my dr. sooner. I didn't add this earlier, but since starting the welbutrin I have had some really weird/creepy dreams. But I figure it is a small price to pay to feel better. Good luck finding a new dr. Don't give up, keep looking until you find a dr you are confident.


Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.
~anonymous~
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It's really encouraging to hear that there ARE meds out there which can help you to feel better. smile Looks like I just have to find the right doctor.

I'm not surprised to hear you gained weight also -- I've heard of others who have gained weight on Effexor. I've talked to my current doc about that many, many times and she always insists that Effexor is not a "weight-gainer" as she put it.

The biggest problem I've had with her has been over Trazodone. I had nightsweats for a year and nobody could explain why. I'm talking about waking up soaking wet and getting up to change night clothes EVERY night, several times a night. I was completely exhausted. My reg doc and my gyn tested me for everything they could think of but nothing showed up so they pinned it on perimenopause (of course). I began to suspect my meds and tried going off Trazodone for a week. The nightsweats instantly stopped. I told my p-doc who refused to believe it. "Trazodone DOESN'T cause night sweats." Of course the proof was in the pudding, as they say. And I also asked 3 dif pharmacists who ALL told me Traz leaves the body thru the skin, hence nightsweats.

I'm definitely talking to John tomorrow and seeing a new doc.

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Koala
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Finding the right dr is most of the battle I think. I hope you find one that you like really soon.

I am glad you found out what was causing your nightsweats. There is nothing more irriatating than your dr not listening to you!


Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.
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Years and years ago, my doctors started me on prozac (along with other meds) because of serious migraines since I was a child. The prozac was supposed to act like a preventative med. It did help, but I also noticed that it helped keep my emotions from being very high or very low. I told the doctor this and he said that I suffered from depression. I said I wasn't depressed. He said I did not have to be depressed to suffer from depression then explained the chemical imbalance and symptoms. I realized that some of my family had depression, but they self medicated with alcohol (or drugs).

Anyway, I had a stroke a few years ago and after all the tests, they discovered that I had a hole in my heart since birth. They fixed the hole (ASD) a year and a half ago and many doctors and researchers believe that ASD's might cause migraines. I don't have migraines anymore, thank God, but that is a different subject. After the stroke, I really did not need the prozac for migraines, but I needed it for depression from the health issues I now had.

During the year since surgery, the prozac was not working any more; felt like a placebo, just like you said, Connie. When I talked to my doctor, she said they can build up in your system and we could try another kind, in the same family, I think. She started me on Lexapro. I noticed a big difference the first few weeks, but by the time I saw her again by the 4 week check up, it just wasn't doing enough. She said she could add something else to take in the afternoon and see how that worked out. She added Welbutrin and it has been the PERFECT combination for ME. She did say that there are many kinds of meds that we could try and not to give up. I was just lucky that this worked.

I have had the same problem with weight (it really is the age, I think), the sex "thing" or lack thereof, (I guess we just have to be more creative to keep them interested! ), wink the sleep disturbances (the dreams are weird but sometimes really cool; at least I'm dreaming again!), and sometimes I have mood swings that leave people around me raising their eyebrows or scratching their heads. I think all anti-depressants have side effects, but if they work on the primary reason for taking them with the least amount of side effects, I call that a success.

Joyseeker, you certainly have 3 of the MAJOR issues that are always being identified as health issues for the heart and the mind: life-style changes (with empty nest symptom), money issues plus not being able to work due to a disability, anddealing with a divorce. It's no wonder that you are having a little trouble dealing. I think that you must be a pretty strong woman to be able to expend the energy to actually come on Bella and discuss your issues. Good for you! Keep it up! Connie and others have given you good advice.

It really is a great idea to also couple a therapist with your psychiatrist. A therapist can get you to talk about things that we have no way of knowing how to start here. You can always come back here and discuss them with us, if you want to. We'd be glad to hear what a therapist can add to meds. Don't be afraid to change doctors, either. If you don't feel comfortable with your doctor, or you just don't like him (or her), by all means, find another one! I had the same male doctor for about 12 years but luckily, I had changed to a female doctor who seemed to listen, with more concern, about 4 years before I had my stroke and heart issues. She was really quick in getting me all the help I needed. So don't be shy. Make a change. Pick a doctor that will be good for you!

God bless you, joyseeker, and may He help you find some peace. smile

Trish

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