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ericincalifornia's Achievements


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  1. I had a similar experience (poop out with one AD, then trying Effexor) and found I needed to add Remeron to it to get satisfactory results. You might ask your pdoc.
  2. Have you ever tried any of the tri-cyclics? After years of being on SSRI's and SNRI's and having them poop out, my doctor suggested I try Anafranil. This class of drug was developed in the 1960's, so lots of docs don't prescribe them anymore, but for people who aren't getting relief from the newer drugs it can be good to consider. Obviously I'm not a doctor and can only share with you my own experience--maybe you can ask your doctor about this type of treatment.
  3. You are so kind, Epictetus, the words you wrote touched me deeply. Thank you for reminding me that this struggle is not about being weak but is, rather, about summoning the courage each day to keep going.
  4. I'm trying to get handle on how depressed I am, because I feel like I'm losing perspective. The last two years have been brutal in terms of the intensity of the depression and especially the anxiety. Meds have stopped working (I've been on them for 35 years, keep trying new ones but not having success). I'm In therapy, doing mindfulness practice, trying tapping (EFT), and experiencing lots of guilt and shame because nothing is giving relief--always have that sense, "I'm just not trying hard enough." The crying has me freaked out, it's kind of new and I'm wondering if it's significant.
  5. I did get genetic testing to aid my pdoc in figuring out which of the meds I'm on might/might not be working effectively and also what he could consider trying. He said that for patients for which he had test data, there wasn't really a silver bullet where the testing provided an "a-ha!" answer that had eluded him/all the other psychiatrists that had treated the patients. I'd say that was true for me as well. I've been on meds for 30+ years, my depression has gotten somewhat treatment-resistant and so genetic testing was kind of a "hail mary." I think my pdoc would say it has helped him to rule out certain meds he might have otherwise tried on me and maybe give him direction about what to try in future. All that being said, it can be very useful for determining if you have an MTHFR gene mutation--you really want to know if that's the case because abnormalities in this gene can have significant implications for depression and if you do have the mutant form of the gene, you're put on a specific folate/vitamin b supplement. As I already knew I had this mutation, the genetic testing I did was of less use to me but if you don't yet know, it's a good reason to get it.
  6. Your feelings are so normal! Am going through exactly the same thing at the moment and like Epictetus it is too painful to write in any detail about. But animals "know" us, and we know them, at an emotional and spiritual level that is different from human relationships. Not better or worse, but different. And at least as profound, if not more so (my experience has been that the human-animal relationship can be more profound). What you may be experiencing is something called "anticipatory grief" which can be just as disabling and immobilizing and emotionally-wrenching as grieving someone who has died. You might want to google this term. Above all, please know you are not alone with your feelings--so many, many others relate. Because I'm in the middle of it myself, and dreaded telling people because I simply couldn't face, "But he's just an animal" I decided to post on FaceBook what was happening and received so very many warm and heartfelt messages of support. Given your social anxiety, is there a way to perhaps use the internet to access grief sites that are specific to the human-animal bond where you can get support? I found one that is much like this depression forum: https://www.rainbowsbridge.com/Grief_Support_Center/Grief_Support_Home.htm Here is another one: http://forums.grieving.com/index.php?/forum/17-loss-of-a-pet/ I think these internet-based forums might be a great way for you to connect with others who feel exactly as you do, without the anxiety of a person-to-person interchange. Regarding the terror of potential loss (which is where I am at the moment) I find that it comes in waves and that crying is incredibly important to release the energy that the terror creates. In a sense we are riding these waves of terror, deep sadness, regret and pain. Sometimes we're completely swamped by the wave and feel that we might drown; other times we are able to stay on top of the wave and negotiate the many feelings with some level of composure. The key is that you're doing it perfectly--everything you wrote sounds understandable, normal and expected. My heart goes out to you and your precious companion.
  7. Constant anxiety is a killer. It saps you of the desire to face and live life. It colors everything the darkest shade of black. It's a construct of the mind, and my own experience is that when my meds are working correctly, that type of overwhelming, soul-crushing anxiety is not present. My own belief is that this type of anxiety is the result of some kind of chemical imbalance; that is to say that it's not your fault. When I've experienced it, I've also just wanted to go to bed, to do anything to escape and to numb. Here's the thing: what your mind is telling you right now isn't the truth. It feels like the truth but it's not. You have more resources to prevail than so called normal people, because you've gritted it out for the past ten years of agony. The guts that takes is awe-inspiring. I imagine you can't feel your strength but it's plain to see. So just know that you will prevail. You will cobble together the resources for your family in the short term and you will be able to do this job, even if you hate it. Your mind tells you otherwise but it's simply misperceiving reality. The really tough part is that your pain is all too real. I wish you respite from it.
  8. Hi there--can totally relate to what you're going through. Based on what you've written I think there's a great possibility the Lexapro might work. But I'm wondering whether you've discussed with your pdoc (or whether he has suggested) augmenting your SSRI with another medication. I found that when my Effexor pooped out and I had difficulty finding something that worked, adding another medication like Remeron or now Abilify really helped the SSRI work better. Of course I'm not a doctor so these thoughts are solely based on my own experience, but if you find you're not getting relief perhaps you can bring up augmentation with your doc. And hang in there, these symptoms won't last forever, although I know how awful it is when they're present and you feel like you can't take it one second longer. Truly they will pass and all of this will be behind you, sooner than you know.
  9. Hi, new around here, glad I found you all. 57 yo, live in northern California. BP II (we think) but that diagnosis seems so slippery and unhelpful, especially when things aren't going well and your psychiatrist is throwing all sorts of things against the wall to see what sticks, which is what's been happening lately. My pattern, which I have a lot of shame and guilt about, is that I'll start to feel OK and then think, "Geez this is good but wouldn't it be nice to feel even BETTER?" then indulge in some illegal drug, find myself using daily in no time then have to stop (which gets harder each time) and then descend into unspeakable hell of depression and anxiety. That's where I've been (hell) for the past few months. Pdoc recently added Seroquel to the mix (currently on Cymbalta, Remeron, Topamax, Lamictal) and the depression and anxiety spiked dramatically. At first I thought I just needed to get to a "therapeutic dose" but the more I took the worse it got. As soon as I throttled back things have improved marginally. Wondering if others have had this experience with Seroquel and also whether discontinuation is a big fat bummer. Thanks in advance for any thoughts and just for being here.
  10. Hi there--thank you so much for sharing what you are going through. It takes guts and courage to be so honest. It seems clear you are in a good deal of pain--my own experience is that self-hate just tears us up inside. When I was 19 I could have written everything you have, but I didn't get treatment until decades later. The very positive news is that you don't have to wait like I did and you don't have to feel like this forever. Your campus definitely has a health service with counselors who are waiting to help--if you call or stop by tomorrow, it can be the first step in creating a new life with a lot less pain. I so understand that feeling of guilt--we have "so much" and "who are we to complain?" The problem with depression is that it doesn't matter how much money or support we have--it's a problem with how our brain functions at the most basic level. If you saw someone else suffering as you are, I'm thinking you would encourage them to seek assistance simply because she is a human being and deserves it. So do you. We are all pulling for you as you emerge from the darkness into the light. We know you can do it because so many of us have struggled with the very same things.
  11. Hi Neki-- I had my first major depressive episode at 19 (I'm 57 now) and have seen many other people experience the same thing. At that time there were no anti-depressants--at my college I consulted a counselor who encouraged me to eat better and exercise more. While those are good suggestions they didn't help--I needed much more of an intervention. The severe depression and anxiety would come and go in waves, and I saw therapist after therapist trying to get better, but wasn't able to significantly improve. In my 30's, Prozac was introduced. It changed my life. I didn't get "happy" but the medication put a floor on my depression (where previously there had been a trap door that I'd fall through so often). Ultimately I was diagnosed as bi-polar and added medications to manage this condition. I've stayed in therapy all these years because I think the combination of medication and therapy is important to help manage the really tough road that depression and anxiety creates. As far as telling a stranger your problems, I can understand your hesitation--it's hard at the beginning! But it starts to feel really good as you come to find out that all the things in your head are not so uncommon after all, that others have felt--are feeling now--the exact same things as you. All of us are pulling for you--you are not alone in this struggle.
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