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About gcac

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  • Birthday 11/22/1981

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  1. @Laura123 Thank you for your post and your encouragement. Will keep updating (good or bad) just in case it's useful to someone later on. Can you elaborate some on the positive side effects you have experienced with Bupropion?
  2. 5th Week @300 mg/day Arrgghh! I took a pretty significant step backwards in the way I felt this week compared to how I felt during Week 4. The quality of my sleep worsened some, as well as the vivid dreaming appears to have gone. I could feel my attitude slip some, and the return of some of the mental side effects. Lastly, everything that has to do with pleasure also took a step back, including the sexual desire and functioning that I mentioned last week, went down to unsatisfactory levels. It all kind of came hand in hand, and that's the same way it went, hand in hand. Luckily, I had a visit with my psychiatrist today. He considers it normal to have steps backward like the one I experienced, because it takes a while for the organism to "reprogram" itself (paraphrasing). He thinks that's why it's important to be patient in reaching 12 weeks of treatment in order to decide if a medicine is working for you. And if you find one that works, it's important to stick with it for at least two years (a lot of people start feeling better and they stop taking it too early).
  3. Week 10 -- (4th Week @300 mg/day) I feel like I'm reaching a turning point, most likely related to the fact that I am reaching the 4 week mark after switching to 300 mg/day -- a dosage my psychiatrist considers the minimum in order to produce dopaminergic effects. My mood continues to stabilize and improve. I am much less apt to become defensive or react poorly in my interactions with others. I am more apt to be helpful or understanding. I noticed something kind of unexpected, I no longer have to wake up to urinate at night (for years I had been waking up nearly every night to pee). I am also sleeping better -- this means I may actually be sleeping less hours, but I am resting more, and sleeping more soundly. And the thing that briefly interrupts my sleep, recently, is my dreams, which have returned and/or become more vivid. My brain also feels "fuller" in that whole frontal part of my brain directly behind the forehead and above the eyes... during the depression years I have always felt like that area was "deflated". Weird, but that is the only way I can describe the feeling. Best of all, I am improving in areas surrounding sexual function and desire. I have had fuller erections and testicles. I've had more intense sexual desires, my brain has gotten really "turned on" probably twice during that first week honeymoon, and three times during this past week. That is probably more than the previous decade combined. The sexual improvements are huge for me, because it was sexual symptoms that ultimately lead to my visiting Mayo clinic and discovering I have been living with depression (dysthymia/anhedonia). I knew something was very wrong with me for the past 12 years, but because I thought it was all downstream of hormonal issues caused by long-term Propecia use, I never suspected it might be depression. The only negative effects I am feeling really are occasional fasciculations and maybe a slight increase in blood pressure, though it's hard to say for sure. I should add that the positive effects are not yet at pre-depression levels, they are still in the infancy stage, but they appear to be heading in the right direction.
  4. Week 9 -- (3rd Week @300 mg/day) Kind of similar to last week. Overall, I somehow feel a bit better when compared to before beginning medication. Though I'm fully waiting on moments where it's clear that dopamine is increasing and/or reaching the places where it needs to be present (ie: improving things like pleasure, reward, motivation, attention, appetite, etc.). Because the first 6 weeks @ 150 mg/day are considered (by my psychiatrist anyway) too low a dose to have any significant effect on dopamine, I pretty much consider myself to have started over and am currently in the 3rd week of treatment. This means I should still be patient for several more weeks on expecting positive dopamine-related effects.
  5. Week 8 -- (2nd Week @300 mg/day) Positive effects: Energy is still better. My digestion has gotten better. I have become less defensive and more comprehensive. My brain does feel "fuller" (kind of a weird thing to say, but it's the only way I can describe it). My mood is a bit better, I feel a little more at peace. All of these are gradual changes. I have not gone from 0 to 100 magically. My understanding is that you go from 0 to 10... then 20... and so on. Negative effects: None really. Maybe a 5-10 mm/Hg increase in what my "normal blood pressure" had previously been? Psychiatrist's explanations worth sharing: Forgive me if I get anything wrong, but I'm going off memory and what I understood. His ultimate aim is to have an increase in Dopamine eventually make it's way into my nucleus accumbens. This is likely to be a slow process. It has to do with RNA transcription and gene expression. Rather than get the science wrong, my laymen understanding is: My neurons are accustomed to operating with low amounts of dopamine, hence depression/dysthymia. We want to "train" each neuron to operate with a larger presence of dopamine and alter downstream gene expression in a cascade. This NDRI starts "training" some neurons to express genes differently, and those neurons train other neurons, and so on. It's a process that takes time. It does not happen magically at week 6 or whenever. That is why you monitor if progress is being made (an indication the medicine may be appropriate for you) or progress is not being made (potentially time to look somewhere else). In my case, so far, so good, we are encouraged by the progress. YMMV is obviously implicit in all recommendations that happen on this site. What works for one person may not work for another. But the big take away for me is: PATIENCE. Correcting these things is slow.
  6. Just today my psychiatrist confirmed that there is a fair amount of logic to the honeymoon period some people seem to experience. A bit of a rush of neurotransmitters your body is craving. He says for it to work in any long-term capacity takes a lot more time with the medicine. More on that in a second. Sorry to hear that. It's more common for people to lose weight on Wellbutrin than gain it, but all person's internal chemistry are not necessarily the same.
  7. Week 7 -- (1st Week @300 mg/day) Moved up to 300 mg/day as psychiatrist had always recommended. Had an episode of significantly raised blood pressure, was told by a trusted doctor not to put too much stock into that, but will continue to monitor. Not much to report at the moment, will see how everything evolves.
  8. @JetstreamSam Good to hear! Will keep sticking it out, as you suggest. In a sense I'm starting over, because the first 6 weeks on low-dose (kind of) don't count.
  9. Week 6 Went to see pdoc mid-week. He told me I needed to move up to 300 mg/day, as they had originally prescribed. He explained that 150 mg has an effect on norepinephrine, but too weak on dopamine. He said I needed to go at least to 300 mg/day to generate an effect on dopamine. His explanation is consistent with what I have been feeling: an increase in energy, but not an increase in pleasure. Anyway, started on 300 mg a couple of days ago. Will see how it goes and keep updating the thread. Pdoc told me to come see him again in two weeks.
  10. Found this experiment/research publication (attached) that appears to give some scientific backing to the idea of a Wellbutrin honeymoon. Borrowed this guy's summary from a Reddit post: Summarized, the study says that bupropion normalizes emotional reaction to facial expressions immediately (good), causes a temporary increase in anhedonia at week 2 (bad), but raises reward to normal healthy levels by week 6 (good). This has something to do with increasing tonic dopamine levels. In other words, bupropion cures anhedonia if you actually use it properly and wait the 6 weeks. And this is caused by its unique DRI action, which means SSRIs don't do this. More reason to keep on truckin'! Effects of Bupropion on emotional and reward processing.pdf
  11. I'm still battling through the "stabilization period". Week 1 was awesome. Weeks 2, 3, and 4 were not good (same or worse than before I started). Week 5 felt like it brought about a slight improvement? Hard to tell. Just started Week 6 yesterday. I'm going to give it the full run of 8+ weeks. I'm keeping a brief, weekly journal on this forum, in case it's helpful. I can see why a lot of people give up early... One great week followed by two crappy months can really test your patience. For me, the carrot of that one great week, and the possibility that this medicine may put me somewhere near that neighborhood once again, is worth the effort of sticking with it. Besides, I'm definitely depressed, I definitely see the value in using a medication, and I definitely want to avoid SSRI's if possible, so, add it all together and I'm going to be really patient with the Wellbutrin. Same thing happened to me. I assume it will go away at some point. 🤞 Same here.
  12. Week 5 Felt like I somewhat exited the slump I was in during weeks 2, 3 and 4 (where I was markedly down). I did have a couple of days where I experienced some increase in want during Week 5. My psychologist says appetite is pretty important in anhedonia -- appetite for food, appetite for sex, etc. Overall, I felt an improvement over the preceding weeks, and some stabilization. Nothing dramatic. Still not sure if more improvements are forthcoming, if I will require an increase in dosage, or whether this medicine will ultimately work for me, but the experiment will be ongoing at least several more weeks. Still on 150 mg/day.
  13. I definitely had a honeymoon in the first week on Wellbutrin: I was feeling exactly good. Not high, or drugged. Just like I remember normal feeling. I had much more physical energy, more mentally clear and focused, could speak in a more open and honest fashion, had more interest in things, felt more emotions, and was more interested in sex. The three weeks that have followed, it all kind of disappeared. Hopefully some of that stuff comes back once the medicine stabilizes. 🤞
  14. During the first week "honeymoon" on Wellbutrin I felt a marked increase in sex drive, interest, and arousal. Something I probably had not felt in the last 10 years (age 37/male). It was awesome for the few days that it lasted! Here's to hoping it returns once the medicine stabilizes!!
  15. Yeah, I'm going to be patient with the 150 mg and see how it goes. I can always bump up to 300 mg a month from now. Seems we are beginning treatment around the same time, so I would be interested to keep an open line of communication. If you want to share some brief details about yourself (ailment, other medicines, sex, age, WB side effects, and positive effects so far); that would be great. Might also enrich the thread for anyone else who wanders by. Best of luck to both of us!
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