I have suffered with anxiety and depression for the past several years - I have been diagnosed with everything from MDD, Bi-Polar disorder (although every doc I've seen except the one disagrees with the bipolar diagnosis), Dystymia, GAD, Panic Disorder... the list goes on and on. Anyhow I feel like I have been on every SSRI known to man (except prozac), SSNRIs, and benzos. I spent about a year on effexor and thought that is was maybe possibly helping a tiny bit - but the only thing I ever had true relief with is Xanax. Anyhow my psychiatrist had me on a combination of Xanax XR and Effexor but I was still not seeing the results I wanted. I was also going through Cognitive Behavriol Therapy. I just feel like I've tried it all. Anyhow a few months ago I decided to go off the effexor. I figured I was still very depressed so it wasn't helping much so what was the point of popping the pills. It took me a long time to tapper down but have been off since Jan 25th. After the first few weeks of being off the effexor it was a relief - I didn't feel any better but I didn't feel any worse. After being off now for over a month I have begun to be very angry and cry at the drop of the hat - I feel like I spend all day everyday trying to just hold it together and Im exhausted. Im confused though because all these "feelings" were still there when i was on the effexor... it's just like the effexor didn't let it come all the way to the surface. I would have a short fuse, but be able to hold the anger in. I would feel terrible sadness and like I wanted to cry but couldn't. Im not sure if this makes any sense at all or if anyone has experienced anything similar - im just not sure if i should go back on the meds or not. Any relief I had was minimal, but at least I could hold it together or hold it in. I feel like I am entirely out of options. No more meds to try and the therapy thing just has never worked. To complicate things more, I've seen several psychiatrists over the years and they have all been awful - except one. Everyone I've seen talks to you for 2-5mins tops and then writes a perscription. The last psych I saw was different... he'd spend 20-30 mins talking to me about how things were going and I felt like he truly tried to understand what I was going through. I can't return to the 2-5min people that just write a perscription without even knowing what is going on but the good psych has moved his practice to another city. I had him recommend some docs before he left but they are all either not accepting new patients or don't take my insurence. What do I do??? So frustrated. Also has anyone tried any add-on meds like abilify or seraquel? The psych that I was seeing that i did like didn't want to put me on one of those add-ons because they are newer for depression and he just didn't feel comfortable using them. Anyone have any experience? Btw if it matters I am still taking the xanax xr but in the past few weeks it's effectivness seems to be wanning.
2 Mar 2011
Hello Rascal01, Just a quick note. I know exactly what you are going thru. I took it upon myself (dc didn't know) to stop Celexa cold turkey. Everything was fine untl that 1 month marker just like you. Then the uncontrollable crying, deep depression, guilt over kids seeing me cry, a terrible feeling of dread and it goes on-you know the feeling. And those were just the emotional reactions, I had terrible physical symptoms too. I was minutes away from putting myself into the hospital for some relief
I made an emergency appt with my psychiatrist, told him, and he got upset at me stopping without his approval. He said there is a syndrome associated with SSRI withdrawal and I had it. Sure enough when he put me back on Celexa it took 3 days and then I was no longer crying or in emotional pain.
Fastforward to today changed to Lexapro and doing great. So there is hope for you. Tell the doc everything you're feeling.
As far as add-on meds-yes. I have Lamictal/abilify/neurontin all as add-ons to help out the Lexapro. Sorry I thought this would be short!! Please write or PM me anytime, cathleen
2 Mar 2011
Hi Rascal01~First I would like to say Im sorry you are in this place but to also tell you there is hope for a better future. I was diagnosed with BPII 25 years ago. I seemed to have been on every medication there is but Im doing well on just lithium and lamectial. I relate in many ways. Either the med did not work or I had mj SE that I could not live with but when I quit something I called the dr. If they did not agree at least they would tell me the safest way to come off. I could not tell by your note if you were making choices without help. I have been spoiled with my P's as they listened to what I had to say about the SE of med ect. My therapist has been my life line these years. I hear you talk about CBT. At some point skills such as these might be helpful, they have been for me and I still use them but when we are really depressed like you are... you cant think sometime to actually do them. Try to be gentle with yourself. You are worth it.
I had one P for over 12 years and he moved an hour away... I did not move but I was in his office once a week for over a year until I felt comfortable trying ones that he suggested. I dont know if that is an option for you. After so many years I am realizing I need the best and deserve the best, however I try to find someone that can help me on some level until that happens. This is one problem i learned I could not do on my own. I have taken Effexor, Abilify and Seroquel. For me the psych cocktail was neccessary. I did not do well with the first two but I loved Seroquel, it made a huge difference for me. Sorry this is so long but I just wanted you to know there is always an option, even when we dont see them right away. I know you are hurting, I have been there and I hope that you find help soon.~take care
2 Mar 2011
Hi, I know what your going through. The dr. that put me on the effexor did not tell me how bad the side effects would be if I wanted to get off. He never took blood work on me and when I told my other dr's they were shocked I also take xanax when I get the panic and to sleep at night. Forget the psychiatrists. Same thing talked to me for a few minutes and wanted to give me more meds. That is just covering up what is really wrong. Pills are fine but they don't fix everything. My therapist I have now is very good and she doe's not give out medication. We talk about things. Sometimes it helps and other times it doesn't but I look at it this way what are all these meds doing to your body over a long period of time. We are this way for a reason and we all need to find out what it is. My doctor told me that I may be this way the rest of my life and I want to be able to deal with things. I can't work in the public so My dr.
is trying to find a way I can work out of my home. I want to work but I do not like people and I do not trust anyone. Find a good dr. that will help you and try to deal with your feelings. I know it can be very hard. I go through it everyday. People do not understand if they have never been though it. I don't know if this has helped in any way but I wish you the best and your not alone out there. Keep in touch and good luck
2 Mar 2011
Yes, I understand. I have had many diagnosises too. Presently I accept that I am Bipolar type 2. I rarely get manic, but often, when I am not medicated, get depressed. I presently take Pristiq, a SNRI, that is very similar to Effexor. My doctor describes Pristiq as a "cleaned up" version of Effexor meaning it has less side effects. I also take Abilify, one of the add on medications you spoke of. It enhances the effectiveness of the antidepressant.
I have tried many antidepressants in the past, just as you have. I have spent many years in therapy. I presently have a psychiatrist that spends as much time with me as I need for which I am very greatful.
It sounds like from what you describe, you are suffering from symptoms of depression and anxiety like the uncontrollable anger and crying. The xanax xr maybe helping some with the anxiety, but as the depression continues the xanax may well become less effective. Depression has a way of over shadowing everything.
I encourage you to not ignore your symptoms. Uncontrolled depression can be fatal. Studies now show that the more depressive episodes one suffers the greater likelihood of developing dementia later in life. I say this, not to scare you, but to impress upon you the need to find help. You deserve a life of peace and happiness and it is possible, honest.
You are in a bad situation as far as seeking medical care. Maybe you can talk to the doctor that left to go to another town and see if he can make some more recommendations. Or maybe it would be worth traveling to that city to see him. You can always talk to your insurance company and see if they will let you go out of network by explaining that the in network doctors are not excepting patients. Last but least you could deal with the less than favorable docs, suck it up and make the best of it. If you can find a good counselor for therapy, then you only need the psychiatrist for meds anyway.
I have written alot here and may have helped none, but I wish you the very best,
3 Mar 2011
I saw this and it sounds so familiar, you go and feel like it's time to go get another fix, (I always felt like it was a doctor that once he wrote the prescription then he felt as though he had done his job then you were out the door only to have his receptionist set you up with yet another appointment which was an exact repeat, We had one psychiatrist who seemed like he really did care but I was told this the one's that do either change to conform to the others or they leave because they are not about to as this man said to me deal drugs, I did volunteer at the local hospital and maybe he was either having a bad day or thought that he could trust me (he can) you are the first I've shared this story with, an no name is being mentioned, he was a military retirred psychiatrist, I have a feeling that things were either going to change at this facility (which they didn't) or he would do exactly what he did leave in 3 weeks after his arrival, so I get the clear sense of understanding what you are talking about, I have to deal with Chronic pain medications and have been fortunate not to have used a lot of other meds so I cannot give you a true evaluation of these medications, I did at one time take Lexapro it did a faster job for me than some of the medications you hear about but as far as to give you a true answer to a lot of the others I am taking a guess, at the local hospital we had one patient who had to come for Chemo and got routinely upset she had a doctor who was very vigilant about giving medications one he prescribed to help her when she went through a rough time was Ativan, I take Xanax XR as you describe, I think taking this medication as directed is safe and effective, but like other medications I think after a period of time it looses it's ability to do the job, I believe from what I am told they have an Xr 3mg but some doctors are afraid of drugs like Xanax, Valium, Ativan because they are addictive benzodiazepines. I am sorry I have not been able to be more helpful I do hope if nothing else that I have been able to give you a sense of support,
I care very much and I wish you the very best, if you need to talk please feel free to send me a note I will friend you and give you the chance to do so
3 Mar 2011
Rascal01, my husband has been depressed all his life (he's now 60). He attemted suicide at 16, & probably 10 or more times with his meds for pain & anxiety over the years. The last time, he almost did it He was "postering", & they had me call any & everyone that would want to say goodbye to him. Well, he made it thank God, & while in the ICU the physciatrist that talked to me was on call that weekend. He started medicating & seeing my hubby. He diagnosed him as bi-polar manic depressive. He put him on Zoloft. Started at a low dose & has worked up to 100mg a day now. This was about 8 years ago. My man is a new MAN! He is happy, not withdrawn, no more every three months of leaving me, fighting, etc... I don't normally talk about this to people, but you really need your meds. Maybe you just haven't gotten the right ones. Please don't give up! Talk to your doctor again.
I don't know about Zoloft in your case, but it couldn't hurt to try it. My hubby has Xanax also along with his Zoloft to help relax his nerves. He damaged them horribly on his last suicide try, plus he has a bad heart, diabetes, 10 back surgeries, 2 neck surgeries,17 abdominal surgeries, & on & on. If he can make it so can you. (In case you didn't notice I'm giving you a pep talk!) PLEASE, PLEASE go back to your doctor & be as honest as you are on here. I tell some people to print out what they've written & take it with them to show the doc! Seems sometimes we open up to others rather than the person whom is going to help us the most. I wish you the very very best my friend. Good luck to you.
2 Mar 2011
Hi Ya, You were right for goin off your effixor only cause you tapered off. Im proud of you. Sometimes no, a lot of times the antidepressents I wouldn't be able to cry at all. I like couldn't. I am one of those with an add on abilfy 5 mg in am 5 mg pm. If your going to do that the doctor should only prescribe you a small dose with an anti depressent. Do you have diabetes? You can not take abilify if you do, it contains sugar... and also may make you gain weight do to that fact like me. I gained a little but the other weight gain was from the freaken zoloft or any of the other ones.Ah I think Welbutrin didn't add any weight on me. I am on also one of the newer drugs cymbalta and I feel a big difference in my depression. I am bipolar2. For you I hope that next session with your new psychiatrist remains 30 min again cause sometimes they do that with your first visit like a psych evaluation 30min to 1 hr then its back to 10-15min tops.
They are suppose to give you a 15min up per say session, not less. I didnt like my other doctor either, even know he was a good one he was a bad one cause he did what yours did... 5 min write a script goodbye. He had to leave but I will be bumping into him again in 2 months do to a move of where he went. I like this new nurse practioner... which is not a doctor but he gave me my 15 min or even 20 I think last time. and increased my cymbalta for pain and I think its working. There was no way that other doctor would of increased it. That drug is used for anti depression, nerve pain, fibroidmaylaga, anxiety and 1 other thing I think. I find a little sexual side effect but nothing nothin like the other antidepressents has done to me. Oh and I can still cry, smile but just laugh a little but always had that problem. I was never on effexor or pristiq. I heard prestiq is a good one too. Hey friend me and I'll friend you back. I have a whole lot of problems too and we can discuss them more privately. I really hope all this helps. Oh I was at 1 point only on abilify and thats it, It didn't work alone for my depression, so yah it should be an add on from my point of view. And been on xanax as well, I'm on klonopin with no addiction. What you said at the end makes me think your getting use to it.
3 Mar 2011
Rascal, I posted earlier and I have given a great deal of thought to you and your problems perhaps it would be a good idea to just make an appointment and go in and discuss this with your doctor, after all you seem to have come to a decision as to what you are going to do perhaps once he talk with you he will then see how important it is to you and maybe take a different view on your condition as a whole, he may even think that you are making a positive strp in the right directon, eitherway it's a good idea. you deserve to be heard and he needs to know what steps you are about to take, I know it is frustrating but I think there comes a time when we need to just be open with the doctors and tell them what we feel about the current situation. it might be a turning point for you both, I wish you only the very very best, Please feel free to contact us here if you just need someone to talk to, sometimes that's a big help, I am very interested in you being the best you can be.
3 Mar 2011
if you are truley diagnosed with all those disorders then the anti depression medication will atleast take the edge of the anxiety of having these problems. if you feel that making her go cold turkey is good remember (side effect can be more damaging then if you just took them right along).
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