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About MidAgeDad

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  • Birthday 09/23/1961

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  • Location
    New Jersey
  • Interests
    Raising my kids to be balanced and stable human beings while NOT exposing them to ANY of my up and down MDD issues.

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  1. Hello all. Since I'm now starting up Effexor again after 5 months off(15 years+ I was on Effexor 150mg - 300mg). In hindsight, I should have stuck with 225mg p/day as I did for many years, but eventually made the decision over a year ago to try to wean off of it. Again, in retrospect I can see how my Mental Health gradually declined during this period of time while slowly lowering the doses. Since severe Anxiety / Depression runs deeply in my family, I now realize lowering it/stopping it was a mistake. I now must resign myself to the fact that I need to be on an AD(I'm assuming Effexor again) for the rest of my life. So, here I am again. A newbie. Groping/grasping for morsels of new information and some hope to get me through this new tiration back up (to 225mg?) on Effexor. My PDoc starting me with 37.5mg ER p/day that I have quickly(too fast?) bounced up to 75mg p/day this past week. I cannot lie. I feel HORRIBLE. I do take some Xanax that helps squelch it temporarily throughout the day/early evening, but I do not want to overdue that! It's been almost a week on 75mg and I guess I had hoped that my body would respond 'quicker' this time since it has only been 5 months off after 15+ years taking Effexor. That doesn't appear to be the case. Are there any new thoughts or other places I can go to investigate the nuances of Side Effects while titrating? Thanks in advance!
  2. That is so terrible about your mother, I hope you know we are here for you.

    1. MidAgeDad


      Thank you so much for your kind words!

      Even at 91, she was acutally quite healthy, aside from some osteoporosis. And her insistance on not using a cane while walking at home is what ultimately led her to trip on the stairs and fracture her pelvis. This all happened precisely when all of the ReHab-Long Term Care Facilities decided to go into lockdown. When she was released from the hospital and transported to the 'ReHab' Facility, my Sister and I were told immediately that NO visitors were allowed as of that specific week(early March). We never saw her (in person) again.

      2 Weeks later, we were informed that she was in contact with a Staff Worker that had tested Positive for COVID-19 and was given the swab test. While we waited the 5-6 days for the results, they began noticing a fever and her oxygen levels decreasing. 2 weeks later, she passed. Alone, isolated and scared. No Funeral Services and minimal (less than 10 people) Burial Services. Surreal.

      TY again for your support!

  3. TY so much for your prompt reply Epictetus! I'm sure if you read between the lines, it's obvious why I have now decided to go back on Effexor after trying to finally wean off of any AD indefinitely. I have had another RELAPSE! Of course, this Pandemic and my elderly Mother dieing as a result of it while in Long-Term Care all happening within the last couple of months during the interim has occurred like a 'Perfect Storm'. Nonetheless, I cannot bear it any longer. It has been 10 years since my life/world has been this 'dark'. Sure, the world has suddenly turned upside down recently for all of us, but I am now painfully reminded that without the 'safety net' of an AD...while far from 'perfect'...my specific brain chemistry is just not 'capable' of sustaining major stress without falling into that pit of anxious darkness. I've lived with so much shame about this for a long time, but now I just need to be 'pragmatic' and get myself mentally stronger/healthy again. And Effexor historically has been the 'answer'. I'm just terrified that I might have to wait that 6 - 8 weeks again for a significant response like I remember from the past. TY!
  4. Hi everyone. Been on/off this wonderful Forum for 10+ years. Very long story short, after many years taking Effexor(average Daily Dosage was mostly 225-300mg p/day until last year when I dropped to 150mg p/day), I decided to finally wean off it late last year and had stopped completely early January(now 5 months?). For numerous reasons, I have decided to start back. Just started at 75mg HCL ER p/day. My BIG question for you all is do you think it will take the typical 6 - 8 weeks(for me at least) for my body to regulate or will the (short?) 5 months somehow allow my body to react 'quicker' this time? Thanks in advance!
  5. Hello everyone. It has been quite a while since I have been on this wonderful Website. Instead of creating a NEW Post(should I?), I thought I would just add to this since it's precisely where I am at. First of all, I must admit that I already know(?) that for me, whenever starting an AD(3/4 times in last 20 years?), the 1st month...even TWO are brutal! That being said, this is the first time trying Zoloft since about a 1 year timeframe that started in Fall-98'. I do remember the early weeks feeling WORSE than the original reasons why I began taking it! But now after all of these years, here I am in that awful/lonely/hopeless place yet again. I started on 25mg Daily of Zoloft for about a week and now have been at 50mg for about 2 weeks. Feeling HORRIBLE. Much worse than prior to starting! And sleep disturbances that are all over the map. Obviously, I am desperately looking for some reassurance during this transition(?) period, but was also curious if after all of these years, has any new research-evidence come out about this whole 'Feeling worse before Better' syndrome? Thank you in advance for any insights or comforting thoughts!
  6. Welcome Lisa! I hope that you find this site/forums as helpful and comforting as I have through the years. I too suffer from anxiety as a cause AND effect of persistent depression for over 15 years now. I have taken Xanax on an "as needed" basis for most of that time and have had a few issues myself with cutting down from the daily intake more than a few times. I am actually trying right now to taper down(2mg - 3mg almost daily) after a recent bout with some med changes that actually caused me first to begin drinking a bit too much on a daily basis earlier this Summer(which is a definite no-no), now using the Xanax as a way to alleviate the side effects of stopping that recent drinking episode. Vicious circle indeed.
  7. Spiritual Wanderer, Are you still taking the Lamictal / Wellbutrin combo? How are you feeling? I am currently taking 300mg of Effexor and 300mg of Wellbutrin....both upped/added a few months back in an effort to counteract withdrawing Abilfy from the cocktail which was used initially to augment the Effexor. I generally haven't been feeling well since all of these changes were made. Mostly anxiety with some depression thrown in there for good measure. To help counteract the anxiety, I have worked up to 2mg of Xanax daily that I have built up a tolerance for. I know I must wean off of this soon, but it will be difficult. I just changed PDocs this past week and feel much more comfortable with this PDoc's broad knowledge of all of the meds out there. After listening to my whole history for over an hour, he went through various options and decided that trying Lamictal might be our best choice right now. I am picking up the prescription today(put it off for a few days and have been lurking around this forum alot to pickup some Lamictal facts/experiences. So, tonight I begin with 25mg of Lamictal before bed and slowly up the dose every 2 weeks. Please wish be luck. I could use a little bit of that these days. It's been a rotten Summer on many different fronts. I would like to look forward to a much more peaceful/happier Autumn.
  8. Thank you flash. I think I have no other choice at the moment. Otherwise, my life will come crumbling down because I will not have the strength to hold up the façade that I use just about 24x7 in work and at home. Feeling this way while being maxed out on my meds makes me feel even more depressed. I don't know which way to turn anymore. I feel so trapped. Like you, anxiety has always been a problem for me as far back as I can remember. When I feel more anxious, I get depressed and the more depressed I get, the more the anxiety builds up. It is a vicious circle that is so hard to break and unfortunately I've been through this too many times in my adult life. I am now just past 8 weeks with the Wellbutrin, but I know I have to consider that more than half of that time was poisoned with alcohol....let alone the Xanax in between.
  9. Who am I kidding? I know I am also addicted to Xanax as well. What a mess I put myself in. I must see my way through this somehow without my family finding out!
  10. Thank you SO much for the quick response Flash! I can't tell you how much that means to me right now at this very moment in time! I will try to post more regularly while I battle with whatever it is that I'm battling with right now. I think I am also going to seek another PDoc....AGAIN. She had no idea how to react to my admission of the alcohol binge I had just went on and she actually specializes in child psychiatry, but she was on my insurance plan and $25 co-pay is ALOT better than $250+ for a PDoc who doesn't accept insurance! However, I think she was a bit at a loss as to how to deal with my multitude of issues since I started with her last year. I need a PDoc who is more knowledgeable of the psychopharmaceutical aspects and symptoms/side effects. Thank you.
  11. Hi. And yes, I just finished a bout/binge of drinking that slowly increased in volume for about a month and gradually ended up being about a bottle of alcohol every night. There were various reasons for this binge. Some very personal and another to stupidly counteract what I believe were/are startup SE of adding 300mg of Wellbutrin with my just increased 300mg dosage of Effexor...mainly to counteract weaning off of 2mg of Abilify as my adjunct to 225mg of Effexor for a couple of years. I finally realized that the Abilify was really dragging be down energy level wise and I was sleeping WAY too much. Well, about 4 weeks into the wellbutrin therapy, I slowly began having some alcohol with dinner with my wife(before AD's I was notorious for "self-medicating" with alcohol, so dangerous move). IT seemed to be "helping" overcome some of the nervewracking SE after coming home from work, which I needed. Anyone who knows my history, knows that I have lived a façade of perfect mental health with my wife and kids. And that has been very difficult to maintain these last 5 years or so, after being very stabilized for a decade while seeing an extremely gifted psychiatrist that I say lightly, because he could possibly cure me just by talking to me. He was that fantastic! Well, he passed away unexpectantly in 2007, Needless to say, it has been an odyssey ever since trying to find another PDoc who could even come close in comparison with him. And along with that, have gone through many ups and downs with various changes in medications that probably were never necessary. Back to the current scenario. So, the mild drinking at night seem to help the various side effects I think I was dealing with either from the startup of the wellbutrin or the withdrawal of the Abilify(strong stuff!) or both. I just wasn't feeling good most of the time over a month ago. Then a couple of personal crisises occurred within a few weeks apart that caused me to increase my intake of alcohol. I FINALLY came to my senses after this weekend and stopped drinking cold turkey. Now I know I am going to be lectured on the dangers of Wellbutrin and alcohol, including stopping alcohol abruptly while taking Wellbutrin as well. I am unfortunately now well aware of that. That being said, I have had a rough week with mostly what seems to be startup symptoms of the Wellbutrin again...after 8 weeks. I am taking some Xanax here and there to even things out a bit, but I don't want to get into that syndrome either. And my current PDoc whom I just saw on Thursday and finally told her of my drinking, not only didn't rewrite another prescription of Xanax, but consulted with another PDoc by phone while I was there with regards to my ending the drinking so abruptly. They wanted me to go immediately to the hospital to get my vitals checked and then consult with a detox center. While I appreciate the caring response, I just could not go through with that based on my family factors. So, here I am now. One week after stopping my drinking and feeling ALL of the SE I was feeling over a month ago again. Just plain miserable with both anxiety and depression. Has anyone been through anything like this? Does anyone have any insights as to when I might get over the hump with what I THINK are the Wellbutrin Startup effects? Alcohol withdrawal?
  12. I weaned off of Abilify for good about 2 - 3 weeks ago and did not start getting withdrawal symptoms until about a week ago. Can anyone give me an estimate of how long withdrawal can last?
  13. That is really great news James(Flash)! I agree that not enough success stories can be found with ADs in general. Effexor has always been my AD of choice even though I have gone on a merry go round these last handful of years, with coming back to Effexor a couple of years ago being a much needed route in getting myself back to where I was for quite a while during my first stint. Now, I have decided that the Abilify I have been taking to augment for the last couple of years has been more detrimental(that's just ME) than helpful. I have weaned down to 2.5mg daily and see my PDoc in a couple of days with the intent to get a new script that will help me slowly wean off of it for good. I, like you sleep way too much and have been since taking Abilify. That never happened to me while taking Effexor for years prior to the Abilify, so I am convinced it is the culprit. Very glad to see your post James(Flash). Keep us posted!
  14. Very good advice. As low as 2mg might sound, I have found in the past that Abilify is extremely powerful, even at that dosage. My dilemma is that I currently have 10mg tablets that I have cut into quarters(now that I think of it, my math has been wrong. I have actually been taking 2.5 mg daily for the last few weeks). I will have to wait until I see my PDoc next I suppose(still a few weeks away...), before proceeding.
  15. I will soon be attempting to withdraw completely from Abilify. I am currently at 2mg daily. I just increased my Effexor from 225mg to 300mg a little over a month ago. Should I expect any withdrawal symptoms from stopping the 2mg of Abilify?
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