I went to my first Psychiatrist 6 weeks ago. I complained of lack of motivation, loss of hope, loss of clarity in purpose and I am also dealing with a mother who is in Dementia- End of life facility.Also, I complained about the never ending voices of family members telling me I was worthless. I am 47, recovering alcoholic -11 years sober. AA pushed the non meds-work the steps approach which left me depressed and guilt ridden walking into the doctors office. I had waited as long as I could and tried everything including 4 years of talk and cbt therapy. Nothing worked.
Psychiatrist evaluated me for an hour and then suggested I start on Effexor, "It's the fasted acting medicine and I have had success with many patients" ....she didn't and still hasn't revealed her diagnosis, "I don't want you to be labeled". She has referred me to a CBT therapist , but agreed with me that after 4 years of therapy not working , it would be ok to,see how the meds do.
Week 1: 37.5 mg 1x per day
Week 2 : 75 mg 1x per day
Week 3-6 : 112.5 1x per day
Met with Dr after 2 weeks . Very short visit, 15 minutes. She confirmed my diagnosis , agreed meds were working and boosted dose up to 112.5. She told me 112.5 would be my max dose. She would not give reason for that.
First 72 hours immediate postive effect on anxiety and voices. All the negative thoughts lost their 'edge' and sort of smoothed out. I didn't go deep Into the black hole anymore. My situation did not change but these postive mental improvements were easy for me to see. These positive effects have continued thru the 6 weeks.
By week 3 I started to notice cognitve improvement. Focus, concentration, task completion, math problems, reading and memory all came back to functioning levels. This also increased my self esteem. This has continued thru week 6.
The one area I could use a boost is a moderate but yet nagging social phobia, particularly meeting new people. This is an area I will talk to my Dr about next week. I just haven't seen improvement with social phobia. I can build myself up and knock others down to "get thru it" , but I know this isn't healthy.
I had loose bowel movement once per day for the first few weeks. Oddly, it occurred only in the morning and only once per day. It started to clear 4-5 days after the last med increase.
Each time meds were increased, I would de be ' dragging' (seemingly tired but yet still able to function) for 4-5 days. Oddly, I wld feel this 'dragging' in the morning but then go have an amazing workout. The key for me on this was to ' push thru it' . I would feel tired and then crank out 2-3 hours of solid work.
Sleep was no problem, although I do find myself waking up 4-5 hours after going to bed......then i would use the bathroom or just roll over ....most of the times I would get another 2-3 hours.
Currently, the only side affect I am still trying to figure out is the at times feeling like I am 'dragging' . This could just be the new reality ? As mentioned, I am having success just busting thru it the best I can.
Good example of the effects:
I have a sad but useful example for this. My mother is in end of life facility for dementia. The call could come in tommorow or in 6 months. She basically is a vegetable waiting to die. I use this example because it was there pre med and hasn't changed a bit post meds.so,,what has the medication done ?
Pre med I was burdened with guilt and shame that I was not able to help her. Also I was starting to become overwhelmed with fear of her facing death. It was crippling situation for me. A very heavy burden.
Post meds, all the negatives like guilt, shame, fear have departed. They have been replaced by me using cbt exercises , journaling and prayer.....seemingly very healthy and I am able to deal with her situation much better ! .....it's rather amazing.
Cost-I have no insurance !
Using Apple Ap R/x cost for generic is under $30 per month ! 150mg pill , using R/x is $14 if I get my dosage increased.
Discounted dr visit is $96 per session, but she said she would be lenient with visits if I am doing ok ! Hopefully 1x every three months.
After I get up and running with program, cost for a year on Effexor + Dr visits will be under $475 per year.
Questions for you:
Has anyone also been told they will be maxed out at 112.5mg ? Seems strange doc would say this at week 2 visit. Is there something hat happens at 150mg ?
Why wouldnt doc give me my diagnosis ? I asked and she said " I don't want you labelled" .....I will ask her again next week. Anybody similar ?
Edited by gonamath, 13 April 2013 - 07:04 PM.