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Prozac Vs. Wellbutrin For Anxiety And Depression


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#1 Nightwalker

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 10:02 AM

I have anxiety and depression. My anxiety does not result in panic because whenever i would normal have a panic attack, my dissociation would blur and disintegrate that feeling. I also have depression so I feel brain fog, lack of energy, and no motivcation to do anything. I can not think properly, i slur a lot, and my mind just feels so lazy to do anything that used to be so natural to me. I feel like i just want to do nothing and dissociated while i feel energy in my body that wants to be let out.. I am emotionally numb too. I never feel happiness or sadness.

So my psychiatrist recommended me in taking Prozac, Zoloft, or Wellbutrin.

I hear that Prozac is better for anxiety but it makes some people feel emotionally numb and feel dead and sluggish. I also see that some people have weight gain too. Since i already feel dead, and emotionally numb, is it better than i take Wellbutrin instead?

Wellbutrin, i hear, gives me more energy and motivation. But I hear people say it makes people even more anxious, but this drug helps alot with depression. sometimes people get too much energy and get jittery or tremble..I don't want to be more anxious, but i also really want to have more energy and motivation..since i feel dead and numb already from dissocating and from my depression...

So which one should i take? I don't want to take both. If you recommend that i try out with both, then which should i try out first? Which do you think would help me more? Being more anxious, but without depression, or feeling less anxiety, but feeling more numb and dissociated?

#2 Sheepwoman

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 02:41 PM

We're all non-professionals and can't give you advice on what med you should take.

From my experience with Prozac, Zoloft and Wellbutrin: Prozac worked well for anxiety and depression, I am currently taking Zoloft for depression (my anxiety had been gone for ages,) prior to Zoloft, I was on Wellbutrin, it didn't help at all and made me extremely anxious and increased manic episodes. One thing about AD's is they all have weight gian/loss as a side-effect. None of the three caused any weight gain for me. Read the FAQ's about each med. Knowing what you're taking is best. We all respond and react differently with pmeds so it's trial and error to find something that works well for you.
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#3 Darken

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 04:31 PM

Hi Nightwalker,

It seems you've already done some research and that's a good thing, because no one but you can decide which medicine to try first. If you haven't already I would suggest visiting our medication area and see what you can find from our information as well as personal experience from our members. Remember everyone can have different reactions to the medicine so take it witha grain of salt.

My experience is with Wellbutrin and if you do have anxiety or panic attacks then I don't think this would be the one to start with, it can have a rough startup with side effects and as you have already read certainly can increase anxiety with anyone prone to it. True it can give you a boost in energy but at what cost to you?

The other two medicines seem better suited to Anxiety and Depression so they may be a good place to start, I won't say which may be better suited to you because everyone is different. So I recommend to read up and see what you think will work and give it a try.

Good luck and lets us know how it goes.
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#4 enclear

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 11:48 PM

I started on Wellbutrin on Jan 5th of this year for severe depression, with the same lack of energy and motivation (what's the point?; negative reaction to everything big and minuscule), leaden paralysis, sleeping 12-13 hours every day, etc . My doctor wanted me to start with Prozac first, but I insisted on Wellbutrin because at the time I was still leery of SSRIs for all the bad things I read/heard.

One month later the depression was treated pretty well but I still had no motivation nor did I want to interact with people at all. That revealed another issue, or made it starkly clear: anxiety of the social/avoidant variety (no panic attacks though, strictly where it involves anything requiring leaving the house and interacting with people). Wellbutrin did nothing for my anxiety and avoidant tendencies, personally.

After 6 weeks on Wellbutrin, with the depression going from pretty-well to very-well treated, I consented to starting Prozac at the prescribed dose of 20mg/day to address the other issues I noticed. Startup side-effects were hell, just like Wellbutrin, but maybe worse because it made my anxiety worse for the first 3 weeks or so, from 'reactive-only' to 'constant and extremely reactive'. I almost quit it, but toughed it out and I'm glad I did because a week later it eased up. After a month I noticed I could interact with people without feeling too nervous or anxious. I was cautiously optimistic, things in that area were still pretty shaky, but I *knew* I was getting better in all the areas not helped by the Wellbutrin.

By the 6 week mark of Prozac I felt level on all accounts and was doing fine, went back to work after almost 6 months of being unable to. Today I have no problems feeling normal feelings, reacting normally/appropriately to situations and people (actually reacting more rationally/reasonably than ever). I feel like my real self, only without the heavy fog-and-mud of depression and social anxiety filtering and severely limiting my life experience. I came to see that the muddy perceptions I've always been limited to (started at about 10 years old) as just that: muddied up. I felt dissociation or depersonalization only for a few days during the first 2-3 weeks of each medication during all the common startup side-effects. Once the side-effects passed, I felt like a "normal" human being. I'm able to deal with issues head-on now, rather than run and hide from every little threat to my mood and comfort. Problems are not as huge as they once were, they're manageable now and I'm better able to formulate solutions to them where I previously saw no possibility of solving my problems.

The Wellbutrin gets me up in the mornings, keeps me from sleeping 12 hours all day and staying up all night, greatly curbs my appetite from about 5000-6000 calories a day (former binge/comfort eater) to being satisfied with about 1000 calories a day (lost 26 pounds so far on both meds), and I no longer feel "heavy" in body (even though I am still quite heavy, from the 20 or so years of stuffing my face trying to feel better). The Prozac gets me back to work and helps me function socially; for the first time in my life I am initiating friendly chit-chat with strangers where socially appropriate. Prozac treats my anxiety very well (90%+/-, it fluctuates day to day), and Wellbutrin treats my depression VERY well (100% daily, rarely dipping down into 70-80% territory in mood). Both combined together are life-changing for me.

Some don't need multiple medications - if you're only depressed, without anxiety, one or the other alone may do the trick. Not all depression is the same. Depression seems as individual as our fingerprints, to read everyone else's experiences. I'm no doc or expert of any kind, but from my reading it seems (just to my observation) that Wellbutrin tends to be especially helpful and "activating" for the "sleeps and eats a lot" type depression, with that severe lack of energy. Prozac seems to address several issues, depending on the individual of course.

As for the "numb feelings" concern, this may be a "relativity" thing. Prior to treatment, depression is pretty torrential emotionally, and especially for those whom have suffered it for many years it can seem like we ARE that depression, it is us, who we are. We forget what life is like without feeling at least low-grade depression, if not overwhelmed with despair and emptiness. When treated, and those emotions calm, it can leave some feeling a bit lost without all those emotions so easily felt and seen due to their severity of strength. I would imagine that most find their way to normalcy again without much fuss, but again this is a very individual thing - some need talking therapy to reconnect, and/or different medication. Mileage varies very much with these issues.

The change can be disturbing, as people have to find out (or remember) who they are all over again, only now there are not so many huge, powerful signposts (emotions) yelling at us, dominating the telling of who we are in our heads. The seas calm, emotions settle. Paying close attention to them, watching them, can help reconnect you emotionally, and get used to their being more subtle most of the time. When you get used to that subtlety, things will feel more normal, senses will adjust to the lower volume, and a sense of who you are will again emerge with time.

(The above are just my perceptions/opinions/experiences based on 20+ years of untreated depression and often-debilitating social anxiety/phobia, and my observation of Self-changes while treating these issues with medications).

#5 hohum2

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 06:44 PM

I have anxiety and depression. My anxiety does not result in panic because whenever i would normal have a panic attack, my dissociation would blur and disintegrate that feeling. I also have depression so I feel brain fog, lack of energy, and no motivcation to do anything. I can not think properly, i slur a lot, and my mind just feels so lazy to do anything that used to be so natural to me. I feel like i just want to do nothing and dissociated while i feel energy in my body that wants to be let out.. I am emotionally numb too. I never feel happiness or sadness.

So my psychiatrist recommended me in taking Prozac, Zoloft, or Wellbutrin.

I hear that Prozac is better for anxiety but it makes some people feel emotionally numb and feel dead and sluggish. I also see that some people have weight gain too. Since i already feel dead, and emotionally numb, is it better than i take Wellbutrin instead?

Wellbutrin, i hear, gives me more energy and motivation. But I hear people say it makes people even more anxious, but this drug helps alot with depression. sometimes people get too much energy and get jittery or tremble..I don't want to be more anxious, but i also really want to have more energy and motivation..since i feel dead and numb already from dissocating and from my depression...

So which one should i take? I don't want to take both. If you recommend that i try out with both, then which should i try out first? Which do you think would help me more? Being more anxious, but without depression, or feeling less anxiety, but feeling more numb and dissociated?





I was on Prozac and it helped my anxiety tremendously! But I began getting disassociated with my feeling. I really didn't feel anything.....bad or good. I had zero interest in sex or anything involving my husband. BUT I could feel such a difference when I missed a dose. I was so moody and mean. I swapped to Wellbutrin about 3 weeks ago due to the sexual side effects and numbness. So far my mood swings are REALLY bad and I get angry easily, and I have horrible headaches, but all of my sexual side effects are gone. I plan on sticking with this for at least 2 months to get the full benefits. After reading many articles, I may ask the doctor is I can take a very low dose of Prozac to help with the anxiety/moodiness and stay on the Wellbutrin too. My gyno said that this was an option. Guess it never hurts to try. By the way, my family doctor calls Wellbutrin the happy person drug, if that's any help. If I were you, I would really ask if you can start both at the same time, maybe at the lowest dosage and then gradually increase them as needed. My anxiety and angry outbursts are pretty scary.

#6 Infidel

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 08:18 AM

We all respond and react differently with pmeds so it's trial and error to find something that works well for you.


This is the truth. For every med I've ever tried I've found anecdotal evidence for success and failure, and responses from one end of the spectrum to the other. Reading about one person's success may be encouraging, but realize that another person's experience may have been just the opposite.


My experience, I'm on week 3 of Prozac and I'm a basket case of anxiety, which had never previously been an issue and which many people claim is resolved by Prozac, not exacerbated. What is helpful is the information that others have experienced this and it went away after some time, so I'm sticking with it for a few more weeks. In the past Welbutrin was ineffective for me (combined with Effexor).

#7 starr

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 02:30 PM

Hi,

I am on a combo of wellbutrin and prozac both
and am doing great on it. If I had to choose just
one though, I would choose the prozac bec it
helps both my depression and anxiety whereas
the wellbutrin gives me energy, it doesnt help
with the anxiety.

best wishes,
starr

#8 RabbitFood

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Posted 04 August 2009 - 07:45 PM

Hi,

(I've turned into a psychopharmacology junkie so I could get tempted into rambling about specific things that you aren't too interested in - feel free to ignore :D)

I'm taking both prozac and wellbutrin and have known several people who have tried zoloft.

Prozac is hands down the best/first to try since it hits both depression and anxiety and tends to do it better than the other SSRIs.

Wellbutrin may work but it is a pretty harsh med; I get anxiety and sometimes severe dysphoria from it and always get scared before I take the next dose. Definitely would not be my first choice if you are suffering from lots of anxiety as is.

Zoloft is another SSRI but I have not heard any success stories about it in my experience. Usually the complaints are weight gain and feeling like a zombie and a lot more than with Prozac. Your mileage may vary, as they say.

Finally for immediate anxiety relief I've found a different drug altogether, tramadol. You'll have to listen to a long safety lecture from your doc on how this can't be mixed with any SSRIs and they might not agree to prescribe it. It gets the job done the best for me though and is worth checking out, imo.

#9 ZenTree

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 07:50 PM

Hi,

Wellbutrin may work but it is a pretty harsh med; I get anxiety and sometimes severe dysphoria from it and always get scared before I take the next dose. Definitely would not be my first choice if you are suffering from lots of anxiety as is.



I was wondering if you could elaborate a bit more about in which ways Wellbutrin is "harsh." Is this more during the adjusting phase, or do your moods vary between doses even after you have been on it for several months? I have been on prozac for years for mainly depression and some anxiety. I am interested in Wellbutrin in the sense that I hear it gives people energy (I have a lot of fatigue) and that it can help with focus and concentration. I recently tried Effexor, but that turned me into a numb, tired, zombie. It was a harsh experience going on and off that med, and I am a bit reluctant to try a new med that might leave me in emotional limbo land for weeks or moths (along with potential unpleasant side effects to boot).

Any further comments on your experience with Wellbutrin would be appreciated.

Thanks!

#10 tigercub

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 12:13 AM

I was wondering if you could elaborate a bit more about in which ways Wellbutrin is "harsh."

I Have alternated between prozac and wellbutrin since I was 17 (i'm 24 now). They both had positive side effects.

*In case you're wondering "If they had positive side effects, why do you alternate?" Well, when I take them, I feel good. Really good. I actually want to go out, and uh, "mingle" with people- maybe have a drink or two. A drink or two is not good for an alcoholic... Before I know it, i'm drinking all day, everyday, and don't bother taking my medications anymore. Eventually, every time this happens, I return to my depressed state and sober up, call my doctor and get back on a much needed anti-depressant.*

I lost weight on both medications. The major difference between the tow for me was that on prozac I slept 10 hours a day, and on wellbutrin I sleep 6. Prozac makes me calmer, while wellbutrin motivates me to call friends, go to the gym, and make money...

Currently i'm on wellbutrin, and i have a appointment with my doctor on tuesday- I'm going to ask him for somthing to help me sleep!

#11 Tovah

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 04:09 PM

Careful because Welbutrin - even more so than Prozac - can CAUSE anxiety. If anxiety is a problem a drug like Paxil or Lexapro is better....talk to your Pdoc.
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#12 kristenpa

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 08:32 PM

Hi,

(I've turned into a psychopharmacology junkie so I could get tempted into rambling about specific things that you aren't too interested in - feel free to ignore :D)

Zoloft is another SSRI but I have not heard any success stories about it in my experience. Usually the complaints are weight gain and feeling like a zombie and a lot more than with Prozac. Your mileage may vary, as they say.


I have taken Zoloft in the past and it was a life saver for me! I was suffering from agoraphobia, severe anxiety, panic disorder and depression. I started taking it when I was 28 years old (along with klonopin) and I can honestly say that I didn't feel like I started living somewhat normal my entire life until I found a doctor that came up with this combo. I did not gain weight, only my life!

After 9 years the Zoloft "pooped out" and I was put on Lexapro. After having to keep upping the Lexapro to the point where all I do is sleep, I am now trying Prozac which is totally frustrating. Prozac has me jumping out of my skin and weepy.

Just felt I had to put in my experience to show that EVERYONE of us is different! There are Zoloft success stories!

Good luck to all.




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