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About jeffreyd

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  1. Well, I never went back to it, tried all sorts of other things though, nothing with much success. No I am on lamotrigine and it is not helping that much. I have tremendous anxiety. I may ask to back on Paxil next if i do not get anyway with lamotrigine. I just fear it not working and having no other options. Have you found anything that helps like Paxil did?
  2. It has been awhile since an update. I am not taking only 200mg of Lamotragine, and Clonazepam for anxiety when needed. I ramped up on the Lamotragine and weaned off of Prozac, because I did not believe the Prozac was helping. I am not sure if the Lamotragine is helping yet, maybe a bit with depression, but the anxiety is still ruling my life at this point. There have been some positive episodes, where I think I am turning a corner, but then the next day is hard again. I am seeing a psychologist as well. Much of this started when I lost my job at a startup. My confidence was starting to take a hit. Then with this new job, I feel as though I am not measuring up, even though the feedback is positive. I am in constant fear of not knowing something when I need to know it. But there is so much to know! I am not comfortable there. I lack social connections since I am only in the office twice a week. Also hard to relate to folks because they are much younger. I also am not that busy, which is one reason I worry and ruminate so much. Days I feel productive, like I actually helped people, my mood is better. Then there is home. I underestimated the pain of the empty nest. Our two kids are at college. My son is in his third year, my daughter just started in the fall. My son is a 6 hour plane trip away, my daughter is around a two our flight away. Although they are happy at school, and things are doing well, this is so hard, I am tearing up just typing this. Sitting in a cafe so really trying to prevent the tears (being partially successful). I did not realize how much my meaning depended on them. We had fun together, I love them so much, and that causes so much worry because they are on their own now. I cannot control these things. I just look forward to our visits, and do as much as I can for them now, letting them be independent, but helping as well, buying them stuff for their rooms, making sure they know they can talk with us anytime. This is just something I must deal with, it is a sign we did something right, as they are thriving at school. Just need to find something to fill the void, and work is not it. Then there is the same type of worry about my parents, both in their early eighties. Mom is doing OK, but slowing down, Dad was diagnosed with the start of dementia and Alzheimers My mom is remarried and lives in a RV with her husband. They travel, then stay in Florida for the winter. They seem good. My dad lives alone, as his wife died several years ago to lung cancer. He is hanging in there, but I worry so much, and I am not near him. Thank god he has some good friends over there. I do my best to call and visit as much as possible. I am doing my best to get over these worries, ruminating negative thoughts, and trying to enjoy my life. It is really not bad, I keep trying to remember this. To replace negative thoughts with good memories, gratitude. But this is so hard sometimes. Its what I need to practice according to my psychologist. I will keep pushing, I do not want to feel this way anymore. I do not know if I will ever find a magic pill again like I did with my first meds, Paxil. I cannot depend on finding another med, I must try and work through this with therapy. I continue to stay away from alcohol and caffeine, though I miss them. I feel they are so much of my social life, or were. But if they do not help my progress, I can live without them. I will keep going, no matter what, there must me hope, a light at the end of the tunnel. We only get one life, I want to enjoy it, get though the ups and downs, find meaning. Anyway, not sure if anyone is reading this, it feels good to get thing out there, maybe let others know they are not alone, perhaps someone is in a similar situation, and knows they are not alone. We are never alone. We must remember this, it gives is the strength to keep going.
  3. jeffreyd

    Ketamine and beyond

    Thanks Atra. I just read your journey with ketamine. Very descriptive, that will help many others I'm sure when contemplating ketamine. Glad you are having some positive results. I never really thought about exploring myself more, interesting to ponder. My pdoc really wants me to become an expert in mindful meditation. Guess I'll be looking into that. Still hoping there is a med out there that can help... Good luck to you!
  4. jeffreyd

    Ketamine and beyond

    Been a little bit since I entered anything, Sept 29th actually. I had my first (and last) ketamine injection on Oct 1. It was not the spray, it was an injection. Supposed to do at least 4, maybe 8 sessions. Do the shot, experience the effects, then talk about stuff. My doc had me put on headphones with some playlist he thought would help the experience. And an eye mask. About 3-4 minutes after the shot it hit me. No long description here, but I did wonder if I was dead a few times. Not all pleasant, not all terrible, but not something I care to do again. Felt very sluggish and unsteady afterwards, and very nauseous. No profound revelations. No suppressed memories .Just a weird experience. Took me at least a day to feel completely normal again. Think I may have felt a tiny bit of depression relief for a few hours afterwards? But it was hard to tell because I was still feeling the effects. Read a lot more about ketamine, and decided this was not for me. I can't tell you the thought I put into that, I was really hoping and praying this was some kind of magic bullet. I know I did not complete the series, but it was just something I was not comfortable with. At any rate, now what? I realized today what drugs can do. They can really save your ass, like the 14 years or so of Paxil. Changed my life for the better. Since then, no such luck. Nothing really helping with depression, and then the anxiety kicked in too. There is a drug for everything it seems. Even side effects. I decided to ween off the clonazepam I am taking for anxiety, because I think I am building a tolerance, and do not want to be physically hooked on it. I almost feel like I am already. If I do not take any for some time I get headaches and feel really shitty, plus the anxiety amps up, like rebound anxiety. I also think it makes me more depressed. I can see how people get in this cycle, antidepressants, benzos, alcohol... leads down a dark road. Need to try to clean my head up. I'm trying CBD oil again for now, and weening off clonazepam. Realized one of the odd things is how I used to be more confident, and comfortable being alone. There were days I would love to be on my own, nobody at home. Or have a night to myself. Lately I am seeking companionship, connections. Do not like being alone. Feel like reaching out, having someone understand and relate to where I am now. I am not sure where I am on my journey, hopefully getting better. Running out of med options, and am really trying to get better via therapy. These times have been the hardest I have ever gone thru in my life. Keep going, every day. No matter how much it hurts. Got to do it, for my family. For me. I want to appreciate life again. Just need to find purpose too. Some driving force... something to motivate me that brings me joy. My kids are in college now, so the nest is empty, and that is really hitting hard. I do not enjoy my job, and work from home alone a lot too, which makes me feel isolated. I do not drink really, so looking forward to parties, happy hours, and anything that centered around drinking is not there anymore. Need to work on myself. More self compassion and self esteem. Less worrying, less ruminating. Do stuff, find something that brings you joy. This is my mission. Meds or no meds, it will happen.
  5. jeffreyd


    Was thinking today, as I do many days, about how i got to this point. A couple years ago I was a different person, but I was on Paxil when it was still working. I think one of the biggest issues is how I feel about spare time and how I feel alone. I used to enjoy spending time alone, and never worry about what to do with my time. I would find something to to, or simply be OK with doing nothing. Now I am a total mess and get super anxious and depressed when I have spare time, especially alone. I'm not sure what I should be doing, and I cannot relax, I cannot take a nap, I just sit and stew in my anxiety and then get depressed about it. Its just so odd how Ive changed, something in my brain is different, and I do not know how to change it. I had to see another psychiatrist to make my ketamine appt, and after speaking with him for only about 30-40 minutes, he thinks I have bipolar 2, and should take a mood stabilizer. My normal pdoc never really thought this, although he did say its possible, he never recommended a mood stabilizer. At any rate, I probably will try it after the ketamine treatments. The Prozac I have been taking seems not to help. My first ketamine injection is Tuesday. I am hopeful but also a bit nervous, because I hear the experience is intense. Not totally sure what to expect, but at this point I will try anything. This is different than the nasal spray, this is a shot, and is more powerful, and you are awake during the experience. Then you talk about it with a therapist afterwords. So its sort of a combo of ketamine and therapy at the same time. We'll see how things go. Cannot take any meds 24 hours before the procedure, that means benzos too, so no clonazepam for me for 24 hours. My anxiety has been amped up, so its going to be interesting. I decided to take the entire day off of work on the day of me treatment, just not knowing what to expect, etc. Just can't shake this weird physical feeling too, like mild chills, aches, headache, fuzzy concentration, irritability, upset stomach. I am even reducing the meds because I thought it could be them. Just 20mg of Prozac now, and about .75 of clonazepam. Hoping its not a clonazepam withdrawal symptom (since I am taking less than usual). Just cannot wait to feel better, mentally and physically. It is so exhaust living this way. Doing my best to keep things going. Work is very tough to get through, but I need to do it. Socializing is hard too. My wife and I just went to a couples house for dinner (first time, new friends), and I found myself a bit uncomfortable. The old self would have loved it, and probably drank 3-4 beers or glasses of wine while bullshitting away the evening. But I felt sick, and after two drinks I felt worse. I thought I would try drinking, just to see what it felt like. It was not even enjoyable, so odd. I've enjoyed drinking for 35 years or so, and now it has a different effect. I know I do not need it, but I would so like to be able to enjoy a couple drinks again. I dunno. As long as I can feel better I can give up all alcohol, I'd make that trade anytime. We'll see what tomorrow brings. Then its Tuesday and my first ketamine treatment. Hoping for the best.
  6. jeffreyd


    Why now? What is changing? The last two days have been incredibly tough, depression and anxiety increasing. Just do damn sad. Sad and nervous. Just want to take a magic pill and feel good for a little bit... or sleep for 3 days.... Been off of Effexor for 10 days, wonder if that withdrawal has something to do with it. I did taper off of it though, from 150, to 112.5, to 75, to 37.5, to nothing, over about a 4-5 week timeframe. All I can say now is the 30mg of Prozac does not seem to be doing anything. And this damn clonazepam... trying to take as little as possible, do not want to get hooked, and I read it could cause some depression too. What to do? Today was such a battle, gray skies and rain outside. It was a work from home day. I fought so hard to be engaged, but my mind was so distracted and I could not concentrate. I ended up trying to sleep, but that never works, and usually I get up feeling worse. I know I need to stay busy, stay distracted, but its more difficult lately. I just cannot find joy in anything, and I worry about everything I love. I miss my kids (who are at college). I worry about my parents getting older. I feel like everyone else is happy and I am standing on the outside looking in. Its a lonely and scary feeling. Wondering when I will feel better, wondering if I will... I meet with my pdoc Wed to discuss progress, or lack thereof. I still await the first ketamine therapy... it seems to be taking forever. Until then I push... had a very emotional day, confided in my spouse, a very tearful talk. Trying to relax and focus on the present, be grateful for the good things I have. I do have plenty to be grateful for, why can't I feel happy? Brain chemicals... something is off. Can't find the right med, really working hard to change it without meds... So worried it will impact my job and my personal life, my relationships. I keep doing things though, keep being social, even though it feels different for some reason. The job is hard, no confidence at this point, anxiety about performance, ugh. Need to remember depression and anxiety are liars, like mirrors at a fun house, they do not portray yourself accurately. I keep saying, "I am a good employee, I am smart, I am valuable"... Got to believe this, got to keep it up. Cannot quit, cannot lose my job. It will impact my family, got to find my way through this, one day, one hour, one minute at a time until I start feeling better. Whether that is ketamine, some new pill, or pure will power, its got to continue... Anyway, tomorrow is an office day, two hour commute each way... need to put on the professional face and do what I need to do. Wind and rain coming now... darkness has settled. Some jazz playing now, dog and cat and spouse on the couch with me... Going to watch a little TV then try and have a good nights sleep and face tomorrow... I GOT THIS. Hope everyone else is doing well out there, wishing you the best....
  7. jeffreyd


    That was very well written but also very tragic. I hope you realize you are as important as everybody else on this earth, actually you are the most important! Live for you first, make yourself smile. F everybody else for now and take care of yourself.
  8. jeffreyd


    Waiting, waiting, its so damn hard and tiring. I have tapered off of Effexor and this is my 6th day with none. My 100th or so day on Prozac, 30mg. I have to say this has been some of the toughest days though. I think coming off the Effexor was harder than I thought. I did not think it was working, that is why I switched to Prozac, but each time I cut down on it 37.5mg at a time I swear I felt worse. The Prozac is just not cutting it. Its hard to describe what the days feel like. There is the anxiety always there, the tight chest and shortness of breath, the constant worry, the inability to enjoy things. Some social anxiety too, like I don't fit in anywhere, I'm unsure how to act, what to say, just feeling more alone and disconnected. And the physical feelings too, very weird, like a pressure in my head, almost like a head cold, I do not feel "on it" or sharp, harder to concentrate, a bit remote from the real world. It all sucks pretty bad, but I keep going.... I cannot let it affect my job, I need my job. That creates anxiety in itself. Working from the house three days a week feels isolating too, so I go to coffee shops and work. I have not felt some feelings like this since before I took any meds, pre 2001. Almost reminds my of high school and college. I am more unsure of myself, more wary of others, less trusting, feeling like I am going to get the shaft. Uggh. And the clinic that is supposed to start my ketamine injections is taking its sweet time. I guess they require a therapist on site for after (or during) the treatment, and they are trying to find one for me. My therapist will not come to the clinic, as I expected they wouldn't. So I wait... and hope, that it will give me some relief. Not sure what other actions to take, what other meds to try. I continue to work on it without meds too of course, and always will. My psychologist give me help, I read books, I listen to podcasts... sometimes I get sick of listening to/reading about anxiety and depression though, and just want a break. I kind of sound like a whiner now I guess. I know many people have it worse off... But for some reason sharing this personal stuff helps. The last year+ has been really difficult, and I just so long for the times I felt good. I keep telling myself those times will come again, it may take time, it may come slow, a little at a time, but it will happen. Maybe the ketamine will do the trick, we will see. For tonight, a quiet Thursday night, I took some CBD oil and a melatonin, and am winding down for some sleep. Watched a few episodes of "Real Money", the reality show about Eddie Money, who I am a big fan of, so sad to hear about his passing... Music is a huge part of my life. I wanted (and still do really) to be a musician. Just never had the discipline or confidence. If I did go back in time, I would pursue that dream though. I love my life now though, I really do, I do not like my career, but it has provided my family a decent living. I miss my kids dearly, as both are in college now. I just do not know what to do with myself. My wife is doing her best to make plans for us to keep us busy, thank god. I keep pushing myself to go to these social events and stuff, just like nothing is wrong, in hopes that is helps me get better. That is what they say at least. So tomorrow its meeting some folks for pizza and beer (except no beer for me). I will make the best of it, I need some social interaction... So for now I have made it through another day, a tough one, but here it is again, time for bed. The mornings are usually tough, but I will have a good attitude and hope they get better. Still taking 1mg or less of clonazepam a day for anxiety... mostly in the morning when its the worst. Man I really do not want to grow dependent on it. So for now I wait, and KFG as we say (keep f*cking going)... things will get better. They will...
  9. jeffreyd

    Rough one

    Thank you Bulgakov, I appreciate the feedback very much. Not knowing what to do with yourself is indeed a struggle, the negative thoughts are always there. I made it through the event, now at home alone, finding it very hard to concentrate or get anything done, very hard day today. One dragon at a time, I will heed that advice. Alcohol is out. The struggle continues, but hopefully some progress is made. Hope you are doing well. Thanks again.
  10. I understand. You are not alone. We are out here, battling too. Somedays I am not sure how I will continue to carry on, but I do... It is scary, I am afraid of what is happening to me, like its something I cannot control. Tired of trying one med after another. Its a long road, but there are others on that road, maybe we can give each other a little push ehen needed, a hand when we fall down, to keep the HOPE going, the journey to recovery is hard and takes so much courage and strength. I know you can do it, I know I can do it... One foot in front of the other... keep going... we're all here.
  11. jeffreyd

    Rough one

    Well, its been a rough couple days. Wish I could attribute it to something concrete, but the only think that has changed really is I went from 30mg of Prozac to 40mg 7 days ago. I had to go out of town for a work event yesterday and feel so out of it, heightened social anxiety, which is bad because I need to talk to all kinds of people for my job. I just don't know what to do with myself, back at the hotel now and am anxious about what to do. Also sort of depressed. I just don't feel like doing anything, but sitting in a hotel room is not good either. I just feel stuck. I get sad because I did not used to be this way. The "Paxil years" were very good, I was mostly happy, adventurous, liked to go out and was social. Over the past year+ things have degraded. I just cannot find a solution. Everything new I try seems so make things worse. I am going to lower my Prozac dosage back to 30mg, as I have a feeling the higher dose is contributing to my anxiety. This all just really sucks. I want to enjoy life so bad, and do not want to let others down (like my wife, kids). I want them to see a happy person, like I used to be I'm scared, like I'm sinking into a hole. I've got to keep things together, my job is very challenging right now, and that does not help. I am hanging on... day by day. Forcing myself to do what I have to. I mean, tough times come in life, I understand that, but a continuous tough time with no letups is hell. Nothing to look forward to, no glimpses of happiness. So I sit here in a hotel room, 5:00PM. There are some happy hour events going on for this work thing, but I do not want to go because I do not want to drink. And if I do not drink I do not want to go. I think it would be just some forced conversation, I would not enjoy. So maybe I'll just eat dinner somewhere and watch a movie or something until bedtime. I have one more day of this event tomorrow, then home late tomorrow night. Why is the brain so complicated? There has got to be a way out of this. I will fight on.. I have to.
  12. jeffreyd


    Yes it can JD4010, yes it can. Its comforting knowing we are not alone out there. But tough to know so many people are hurting too. Strength in numbers! It feels good to share, I'm tired of feeling embarrassed or ashamed about how I feel. I like this forum because we can be ourselves, and make connections, and that helps... Keep on keepin on!
  13. jeffreyd


    Its our 27th wedding anniversary today. Hard to believe sometimes. I was scared as shit to get married at 25. But I knew she was too good to let go for some more years of bachelorhood. We have endured some tough times, but all marriages do. It was only this year I confessed just how bad my depression and anxiety is. The Paxil did a nice job of masking that for many years. Now that I battle without a magic pill, confiding in my wife is critical. I did not want to at first, did not want to appear weak, or burden her with my issues. But hell, we all need some help now and then. I think that is one of the issues with today's society, everybody is supposed to be perfect. Social media helps with that. Mental illness is still hard to talk about. Well I'm done with that. I decided to be 100% honest with my friends. I'm not always the funny person they think they now, I have demons. When asked why I'm not drinking, I'll say because it does not make me feel good now, and counteracts my antidepressants I am taking. Yeah, I take them, so what. I am certainly not alone. I think trying to act like everything is fine makes things worse. We all think everyone out there has it together, so we must too. That is bullshit. Sure, there are some folks who my never suffer bad bouts of depression or anxiety, and good for them. That does not matter. What matters is we who suffer and fight to feel better understand each other, and we should not be ashamed of what we are going through. Would someone with a broken leg, diabetes, or cancer feel ashamed? Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. I say that after a hell of a tough day. Still not sure what all the triggers are, but some days, some hours, I am better than others, and some are really down, the weight is heavy and relentless. It gets tiring fighting it. Not having a magic pill anymore, and trying to change my brain without it, is a battle, ups and downs. Neuroplasticity can be achieved, I am confident, but how long will it take? Not to say if I find a magic pill, I would not use it again. Like ketamine... really hoping it helps. Still do not have a first appt scheduled, but should be within 10 days or so. So today sucked, work was stressful, not feeling confident or competent, feeling like an outsider, not included, not accepted. Feeling crappy physically, headache, fatigue, tight chest... ick. But I lived, I am home now. I am more relaxed, like I usually am in the evenings. Live to fight another day. Get stronger so I can lift that weight...
  14. jeffreyd


    Funny how alcohol became such a big part of my life without me really knowing it. It started way back when I was probably 11 or 12. I remember the way it made me feel, so good, so happy, so carefree. The first time I drank was when I stayed at a friends house and we found some wine. Drank so much I passed out and threw up, woke up with my head in the cat litter. Could have choked on my own vomit... survived that. Not that much later I chugged a bottle of vermouth at a friends house and passed out. They drug me home in the winter and put me to bed. Woke up with bruises and scrapes, and had to explain to my mother. You'd think I'd learn something from that. During high school, after my parents got divorced, the weed and booze increased. I was shy and bullied, and wanted so much to fit in with what I thought was the cool crowd, we called them the burnouts. Parties were common, go anywhere to drink or smoke. My paralyzing shyness would dissipate. But only temporarily. This continued into college. Drinking 6 out of 7 days of the week. That was all we'd look forward to, going to the bars, house parties, etc. Everything had to be accompanied by alcohol. Had some very crazy and fun adventures, also had some very stupid and dangerous times, am luck to be alive, and to not have hurt anyone badly. After graduation, before marriage, more drinking. After work, happy hours, weekend parties, bowling leagues, etc, always drinking... Then marriage, more drinking, dinner parties, clubs on weekends, weekday drinks just because. Then kids... stress relief, put the kids to bed and drink, friends would come over, kids would play downstairs, adults would drink upstairs. It became the thing to do, no matter what you were doing, it was better while drinking. Going kayaking? Got to bring beer. Camping? Bring booze. Golfing? Booze. Bowling? Booze. Hanging out by the fire, more booze. Hard day at work? Beer after work. Hey, its Monday, lets drink! It signified something, celebrating something, marking the end of work or stuff you did not want to do, and the start of the fun, crack a beer. So my friends and I all drank. We had so many drinking stories, and we were proud of them. We would get together and reminisce, and of course drink while reminiscing. So here I am at 50 years old, still thinking that way, getting together with old college friends and downing 10-12 drinks. I remember when the Paxil was starting to lose effect. It was usually after a few nights of drinking back to back. I would have a bad day, a down day, I was kind of irritable and lazy, did not want to do shit. Well those days got more frequent. Even if I drank less, I had more of these days. the Paxil days had come to an end after about 14 years. A good run. Now I just have to change to the next med and I can go on with life like it was, or so I thought. Never really found the next med. Nothing worked like the Paxil. My moods were more depressed, I worried more. And if I drank, things were worse the next day or two. I could no longer drank like I did before. And as the last two years progressed, and I tried all types of meds, and the anxiety crept in, and I got laid off, and my dad got sick, and my kids went to college... drinking was no longer an outlet. It made things worse. But how do you go from a social drinker with your buds, to no more drinking, and have things not be weird? Then it dawned on my how much drinking there was in my friendships. I have close lifelong friends, but we all have a history of drinking together and having drunken adventures. It seems sort of expected if we get together we will drink. Even our couple friends now. My wife still drinks, and when we get together with couples, it involves wine, beer, margaritas, etc... Except now I drink NA beer, or club soda, etc. I do not have that thing I used to look forward to to mark the beginning of the weekend, or a celebration. Happy hours without alcohol seems different. We just went on a trip with another couple where there are tons of wineries, lots of wine tasting... but not me. I feel sort of excluded, sort of the buzz **** guy. I feel more isolated. I am scared that I relied on alcohol to have fun, and now I am not sure how to have fun. I am not sure what to do with my time. That gets me depressed, that I cannot find fun things to do... I need to find some interests. Sober life is different. I am afraid of what will happen to my friendships. I miss drinking, not getting trashed, but just social drinking... but it is not helping me get over my depression and anxiety. So for now, i am sober. Life goes on. I just feel isolated, like an outcast. My goal is to get stable, no depression or anxiety. Minimal meds. Get mentally healthy and strong, find what makes me happy. Enjoy life again. If I have to get that way sober it will be worth it. I have another appt to discuss ketamine shots soon, and should have my treatment before the end of Sept. We will see how that makes me feel. I really hope it helps...
  15. jeffreyd


    I ask that a lot lately. When things seem to be good, and my mind is super worried or down... why? Its just this anchor, it wants to pull me down no matter what. I can find things to be happy about, but there it is, that force, that argues with me and tells me I'm not alright for some reason. Yes, I have been learning strategies to cope with this, but I guess it takes time, and some times I am better at it than others. Today seems to be another struggle. Friday I work from home, and I was lazy getting out of bed. My wife left early, so I was home alone and just laid around in bed with the cat. I wasn't sleeping, but did not want to get out of bed. This usually leads to worries, which of course it did. Finally got up and made some breakfast, looked at emails. Started to feel sad the kids are not home, the house seems lonely. I feel lonely. Going to meet a friend for lunch today, so maybe that will help. Its a nice day, and a three day weekend is coming, I should be feeling good, right? Its funny I look at others and think they have it all together, they are all happy and never have these issues I seem to have. Makes me feel like an outsider. I think it stems from my childhood again, not feeling accepted, not fitting in, being bullied, etc. But it was just under control for so long on the Paxil, I was stronger, things did not bother me. I will deal with the thoughts, rethink them, reframe them, relabel them. Do they have any validity? What is the reality of the situation, and what is depression and anxiety distorting? Got to keep working on this, there may be no magic meds anymore. Although I did have my ketamine consultation, and decided to try the shots. Twice a week for two weeks. Willing to try. Probably start week after next. I am going in with a positive outlook. But must continue to work on changing my thinking, my default behavior. Headed into the city now to meet that friend for lunch. I think socializing helps. Being alone does not help lately. I keep thinking to myself, just keep going, just keep working, don't give up, you can do it, you can change... How do people get through this and get to the other side??
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