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strangebird

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  1. I started Pristiq a month ago at 25mg and 6 days ago increased to 50mg. I should preface this with saying I have POTS and take beta blockers to control my tachycardia. I noticed that I've been feeling really dizzy and jittery--the way I feel sometimes when I'm not on beta blockers and my heart rate is too high. I took my pulse and it was 91. For being on beta blockers, this is really high. Other than those side effects though, the on boarding process has been really benign and its' the first antidepressant I've tried that felt easy to start up on. And I already feel some improvements in my depression--less so my anxiety. I'm wondering if these side effects are likely temporary or not in anyone else's experience.
  2. Could you tell me more about your experience on Effexor? 80% of my anxiety gone sounds very tempting. What were the side effects? i would say lexapro took care of less than 40% of my anxiety but about 50% of my depression.
  3. Hi, I'm ready to go back on meds but need to feel informed before I meet with the doctor about the right options for me. First, history: I'm 38F with a long history of anxiety and depression. When I was 16 I had an amazing response to zoloft but after 1.5 years, it stopped working. I tried prozac, elavil, paxil, wellbutrin, effexor back around my early 20s/late teens and most had negative side effects for me and very few benefits. So I gave up and just didn't take anything until I was 36. At that point, I'd started to see my daughter (6 y/o at the time) exhibiting many of my anxiety traits. I realized that so much of my anxiety was rooted in control and feeling like my anxiety made me more in control of life. I made a promise that I'd finally address it for her sake so I could feel like I had the tools to help her with her own. So I started escitalopram and titrated up to 20mg. Well, one year on escitalopram and I gained 20 lbs. I've never had any issues with weight gain in my life. Always been a size 2 or size 4. It was very dramatic and shocking for me to feel out of control of my body like that. My doctor was adamant escitalopram could not cause me to gain weight and that it was probably because I wasn't eating while I was depressed and now that I was happy, I was eating carefreely. This wasn't true. I've always eaten and if anything, i started to eat less on escitalopram. Anyway, it helped me somewhat with my depression but I didn't notice a whole lot of difference with my anxiety and felt the risks far outweighed the benefits. I VERY slowly weaned myself off because I'm also extremely sensitive to medications. I would quarter my pills and go down a quarter in dose for 2-3 weeks and then reduce again. It was utter hell. I got brain zaps, night terrors, nausea and just didn't feel myself. I'm now at the 6 month mark since I stopped. I swore that I'd never take another SSRI. I've had a lot of life stress lately and started to have anxiety attacks every other day (dramatic increase from before where i had them maybe once a year, if that), a lot of nightmares and just feel this massive weight of depression. I also started to read about the signs of depression and realize I have so many I wasn't aware of. Like, I used to love music and reading and avoid both because I tend to avoid anything that's going to cause an emotional shift for me and try to keep things neutral. Writing and music are something I was once passionate about but that could really have a huge emotional impact on me. I avoid the highs and the lows equally now and am generally apathetic. My anxiety tends to manifest in a really short temper--I feel like I must come across to my family as being bipolar because one second I can be happy and calm and then if something stresses me out, I can feel this tightness in my chest and like a band around my head and I end up snapping and yelling. I hate it. That's just the tip of the iceberg. I've hit a point where I really think I need help (and my extended family has reached out to lovingly tell me they think I do as well). That's the shortest version of the long version I can come up with. Anyway, I've heard good things about celexa from a few friends. And neither of them had weight gain issues. I'm wondering though if it's related to escitalopram and since escitalopram caused me to gain weight, if it's likely that I'll have the same reaction on celexa? There are also a lot of new drugs on the market now that weren't there when I was a teen. I guess what I'm looking for is: fewest side effects (particularly weight gain, sexual side effects. I'm also prone to migraines) and really good track record at tackling anxiety. If anyone could share their insight or experience, I'd be so appreciative. Thank you!
  4. thanks. It's so weird how it can effect everyone so differently. I'm really eager to have my anxiety under control. i'll definitely stick with it - just anxious (ha) that it won't work.
  5. I started 5mg of escitopram on April 22 and increased to 10mg on may 8 (I think-about a week ago). Anyway, I feel like my mood has improved and oddly my sex drive has improved (also no problem with climax which is relieving) but I still feel pretty anxious. I have POTS/autonomic dysfunction and my cardiologist was really happy I was taking escitalopram. Said it would help a lot with POTS. I have noticed more stamina and energy. I'm also on a beta blocker. anyway, is it still too soon to see the anxiety effects? How will I know if it's working or not? Thanks so much.
  6. Thank you for such thoughtful and thorough responses. Theres' a lot of value that I've taken from what you've both written and I appreciate you sharing. Just to clarify, talk therapy was fabulous for me. It helped me through extremely challenging times in my life - but it didn't help me with my anxiety. A lot of this is because my anxiety is almost parasitic at this point. It's like another being that's burrowed in my brain and it doesn't want me to get rid of it. So, my therapist didn't really understand the level of my anxiety problem because I knew how to talk around it and keep flags from being raised. My husband, on the other hand, is so tuned in that he can tell the exact second my breathing catches and what I'm thinking. He said that driving with me as a passenger is like having a co-pilot. That I check the mirrors when he's changing lanes or turn to look when he's reversing. I could NEVER fall asleep in the car. I don't take my eyes off the road. He's very patient. It's funny all that you said about the impact on health. I have severe health issues - autoimmune, chronic fatigue syndrome, arrhythmia. I've reached a point where I'm not sure I'm depressed because I generally feel ok. But then I also find that I avoid seeing friends, am very irritable and over-reactive, have sleep issues and I don't get that into books anymore or excited about things the way I used to. But I kept telling myself that's because I'm older now. That seems silly though. I used to get swept away with a good book or excited to sit down and write or draw. That doesn't happen so much anymore. The other big concern I have is around sex. I've pretty much lost all interest in it anyway, which is awful since I'm young and I love my husband. I know these drugs can make that even worse, which stinks. Although, I wonder if I've lost interest cause of depression/anxiety and then I relieve that depression/anxiety, might I enjoy sex again?
  7. I'm a 36 year old mom of two little girls. I've had really powerful anxiety my entire life. I pretty much walk through each day only seeing potential worst case scenarios. I think of every improbably, unlikely disaster. The thing with my anxiety is that it's always given me comfort because I've felt like it gives me control. I was in a really bad car accident when I was 20 where I was the passenger and after that, if I wasn't driving, I'd have throat-closing panic attacks. This extended to fear of flying. Anyway, so feeling aware of all the potential dangers makes me feel like it can't catch me off guard. The problem is that my 6 year old is starting to really emerge as having the same anxieties and it's the first time I've seen it as an outsider. She says no to fun activities because of fear of dangers, she chews her finger and toenails down to stubs. And I don't have the tools to help her because I've never addressed my anxiety other than years of talk therapy which did nothing. So, I started lexapro (generic actually). I actually tried it a few months ago at 10mg but quit after the first day because i couldn't handle the side effects. This time though, I'm committing. I started 5mg yesterday and had a pretty awful day yesterday. I felt really jittery, very nauseous, headachy and anxious. Today, I woke up and decided to take it after I'd had some food and reduced my caffeine (tea) intake and so today so far is more tolerable. It's by no means great but it's a lot better than yesterday. I really don't know what to expect - how will I know when this works. Will I just stop having my worst case scenario thoughts? What does it feel like? I can't imagine NOT being anxious all the time as it's a huge part of who I am. My family has been begging me for a long time to deal with my anxiety so I'm glad I'm finally doing this. Anyway, I'd love to know what to expect. At some point, I'm supposed to go up to 10mg but am afraid of that. Thanks
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