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Everything posted by PoeticProse

  1. Hello torcano, I'm sorry to hear that your anxiety seems to be getting worse. It's interesting to hear stories from other people who have taken the same medications. I also took Mirtazapine, for about 5 weeks at 30mg QD,, but the side effect that I experienced was akathesia. At bedtime, I could hardly keep still, I felt like I had restless leg syndrome. My doctor and I believed that it was due to the Mirtazapine, so I tapered off it. I never had an issue with the "hungry all the time" scenario. However, currently I am taking Cymbalta 60mg QD and Seroquel XR 300mg QD, and the Seroquel does make me very hungry. Not only am I almost always hungry, but when I sit down to eat meals, it's like the switch in my brain that tells me I'm full is not working. I can eat so much food without ever realizing that I'm full. I understand how this could be a problem for some people, depending on metabolism, what they tend to eat, genetics, and what have you. When I tapered off Mirtazapine, I did notice morning anxiety for a while. Maybe it is the discontinuation that is causing your anxiety rather than the Zoloft. This, of course, should go away once it is completely flushed out of your system. As for the Zoloft 100mg, I have not taken this medication, but whenever I increase my dosage of antidepressant, there always seems to be, not really an 'activation' phase, but a phase of reconstruction I guess, where your body gets used to the new dose. I would stick with it for a little longer and see if you anxiety diminishes. If not, talk to your doctor about your symptoms, and then you two can decide what to do from there. He or she may even consider Buspar, which is an effective 5-HT1A agonist, and is not habit-forming like benzodiazepines. Give it some time, see what happens, and talk to your doctor. I wish you the best of luck, keep us posted.
  2. Hey sadsadder, This is definitely a tough situation to deal with. It is unfortunate that depression and other mental illnesses come with a stigma. It is a shame that there are people out there who do not understand the seriousness of these illnesses, and would frown upon taking time off from school/work to manage them. Of course you can lie, make up a reason for being unemployed for 3 years, and maybe one will be creative enough to fool even the most cynical employer; I, however, have found that there is no need to lie. Worrying about what to say, feeling like you will have to make things up as you go through the interview, just causes more anxiety that you don't need. I have learned that telling the truth is the best thing to do. Be confident about yourself. Say that you were going through a difficult time with personal issues, spent time in therapy or whatever, you've done 'this' and 'that' to get better and work on your problems, now you feel prepared to have a job because.... All these things can show your honesty. You shouldn't be ashamed of what you went through, instead you should be proud of yourself for having gotten through it. Give yourself some credit. I'm sure you have a ton of great qualities to offer employers, and showing your honesty and character will go a long way in an interview. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Good luck. Keep us posted!
  3. Hello, OCD has certain criteria that must be met before being diagnosed, as the DSM defines it. OCPD is different because it is a personality disorder, meaning that its symptoms like on a continuum ranging from very mild to severe. Everyone has tendencies that will fit into a personality disorder, but their seriousness is what distinguishes normal from abnormal. For obsessions: (1) recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are experienced at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive and inappropriate and that cause marked anxiety or distress(2) the thoughts, impulses, or images are not simply excessive worries about real-life problems (3) the person attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, impulses, or images, or to neutralize them with some other thought or action (4) the person recognizes that the obsessional thoughts, impulses, or images are a product of his or her own mind (not imposed from without as in thought insertion) And for compulsion: 1) repetitive behaviors (e.g., hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (e.g., praying, counting, repeating words silently) that the person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession, or according to rules that must be applied rigidly (2) the behaviors or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing distress or preventing some dreaded event or situation; however, these behaviors or mental acts either are not connected in a realistic way with what they are designed to neutralize or prevent or are clearly excessive Keep in mind that this diagnosis is often present with another Axis I disorder. Also, if substance abuse is an issue, this diagnosis should not be made. Really, the bottom line is how you feel about your thoughts. Are they repetitive to the point where you struggle to move on with your day? Is it burdensome to yourself and others, causing anxiety and a feeling of helplessness? If it is affecting your life negatively, talk to your doctor about your concerns. He or she will be able to help you decide what actions should be taken. Thanks for sharing.
  4. Hey MissYou009, I would definitely try to figure out the cause of your rash, because if it is your medication, you will need to find a new one; if it's not, you do not want to miss any more doses. It's understandable that you skipped a dose thinking the rash was due to the medication, that's why it's very important that you talk more with your doctor so you can both find a definitive cause. Hopefully you won't have to wonder much longer, and you'll be able to get back to your daily regimen. Good luck!
  5. I think I'm mainly worried that I'm expecting too much. Psychiatric medications are still in their years of trial and error, so I'm worried that Cymbalta is working well and a change in medication may leave me stranded with a new medication that does not work for me. I fear that I'm expecting to be one of the success stories, someone who feels like an entirely different person. It is difficult for me to differentiate between what medication is capable of doing for me, and what I am hoping it can do for me. Does anyone else struggle with this distinction?
  6. Hey PheonixBomb, I know exactly how you feel. Being back home during the summer is always a reminder of times you would rather not relive. I would have said that finding a job would help, but it seems like that is no longer working for you. Exercise helps me quite a bit. I put on my headphones and take a nice, long jog every day. It keeps my stress level low, gives me energy during the day, and helps me sleep at night. There's something about being sore from a jog that makes me feel good. Have you considered online courses? Those are time-consuming and could draw your attention away from your hometown; you would even get credit during your free time. Even with all of these things, nothing can really replace friendships and the connections we have with others. Do you have any siblings? Do you keep in touch with friends from back in NY? Would you be able to visit some of them during the summer, make Fourth of July plans or something like that? I don't really hang out with the people here in my hometown either, so I do my best to stay in contact with the friends I have elsewhere, texting, calling, planning trips, whatever. I hope some of this helps. It's good to know there's someone else who is in a similar situation. Keep us posted.
  7. I actually feel great. Not just mere contentment, but a glimpse of the happiness I've been searching for.
  8. Deficere, I understand where you're coming from. It is somewhat of a paradox, an online social-networking site. I have an account, and I use it frequently, but I have not ran into any problems. I like being able to contact friends that have moved away, and share pictures/videos with them. I only add people I know, and I do not partake in any illegal activities that could be captured in pictures that my friends/family/employers could see (even though privacy settings allow you to choose who can view certain parts of your profile). It is not dirty like MySpace and other social-networking sites I found back when I was a teenager. Privacy is easily managed, customized to your liking, and you only make contact with those you choose. Beyond the inevitable gossip and groundbreaking teenager relationship statuses, I find FaceBook very helpful with keeping in contact with those who mean a lot to me, wherever they may be. A site like FaceBook is only what you make of it.
  9. Hello fibonacci, It's okay to contradict yourself, we all do it. Sometimes we aren't quite sure what we want; after all, we're only human. You do seem to be mature for your age, but that doesn't mean you're getting old. That maturity is what allows you to be self-aware, as you seem to understand a lot of your thoughts. Growing up doesn't need to be stressful. You have a long life ahead of you, and it only be as good as you make it. You will find people who share your interests and will become close friends. Don't stress over 'serious' jobs, you have plenty of time (after college) to find one. Enjoy the present; what you make of it will determine your future. Have you considered therapy to talk about your feelings? Seeking help does not make you weak, therapy helps a huge number of people, from children to elders. It would be a great way for you to work out your feelings. Thanks for sharing. Keep us posted.
  10. What exactly causes this desire to avoid others? Is it merely wanting to be alone, or are you worried about what they may think of you? Based on your past, it would make sense if it were the latter, as self-esteem is probably lacking in your life. You just have to remember that people will like you for who you really are. If you take small steps, gradually working your way from simply getting outside to meeting new people, you will be pleasantly surprised by how nice people can be. Therapy works, but I agree that it's not the same as having a close group of friends who you can talk to. Keep affirming your good qualities, and remember that you have a lot to offer others, just like they have things to offer you. It may take time, but it'll be worth every second.
  11. Hey there, I'm glad to hear that your depression is doing better. It sounds like you had a rough childhood, as divorce affects many people, especially young children. The verbal abuse from your stepmother certainly made the situation worse, as a child does not have the skills to overcome the inevitable anxiety of that situation. Do you exercise regularly? It is a tremendous help when it comes to anxiety and stress. It will increase your energy during the day, and help you fall asleep at night. I strongly recommend it. Also, remember that you can always do therapy if any of your depressive symptoms return. Even if you visited a therapist once a month, it is always good to have an impartial observer to talk to. I'm glad that you joined this website, as there are many people who will read your story, relate to it, and comment/give suggestions. Always remember, you are not alone. Thanks for sharing. Keep us posted.
  12. AsktheAges, I think you have a great regimen listed for coping with your obsessive thoughts. I'm glad you are exercising, as it is a behavior change that I find extremely effective in lowering stress levels. On a personal note, I would, and still do, experience moments of intense, impulsive anger. As a matter of fact, my obsessive thoughts contribute to my managing the anger. Though some of my past contributes to this, whenever I get angry, I take a step back and think of the person I am angry with. If it is a family member, or someone dear to me, I think about how I would feel if this were the last thing I said to that person. What if tragedy were to follow my impulsive reaction? If it is as simple as getting angry at someone at the bank for taking too long, or not understanding what you want, I will also take a step back. I do not know what this person lives with. I do not know what he or she has been through, whether he actually enjoys his job or made mistakes that forced him to live the rest of his or her life living paycheck to paycheck. What if I were in his or her shoes? Anyone can get angry, but it takes a mature person to get angry at the right times and at the right people. Be aware of your situation, and think about your anger before expressing it. Hope this helps. Good luck.
  13. Hello, I take Cymbalta and have similar symptoms. Night sweats occur rarely, but they happen nonetheless. Most SSRI's and SNRI's increase one's chances of overheating. This, in turn, will activate the body's thermoregulation mechanisms, which includes vasoregulation and sweating. Often, the night sweats subside after prolonged use of the medication, occurring more often during its activation phase, but it is always possible that they will reappear. I would not worry about this symptom too much, as it is not dangerous as long as you stay hydrated. If it becomes a problem and you can't stand it any longer, speak with your doctor. As I said, most antidepressants have a similar effect, so I do not think changing medications will do much good, especially if your medications are working well for you. Psychiatric medications are still in their years of trial and error; if you have found two medications that work, I wouldn't alter your treatment. I know it can be a pain when you wake up drenched in sweat, I don't enjoy it one bit. But it doesn't happen every night, and the benefits of my SNRI outweigh the symptoms I experience from its use. From the sound of things, you're in a similar situation. Stick to it, and talk to your doctor if it becomes intolerable. Thanks for sharing, and good luck!
  14. MissDaisy, Welcome back. I'm a newbie, but have been quite active on the forums since I joined. I understand your desire to avoid SSRI's, especially if they caused you to have trouble sleeping. Not all SSRI's do this, and you could always try a SNRI. Valium and other benzodiazepines work great for anxiety, especially panic attacks, but as you probably know, they are habit-forming. If you truly wish to avoid antidepressants, I would recommend psychotherapy. Finding a behavioral-cognitive therapist who you feel comfortable with is probably the best course of action. In therapy, you can talk about your problems and symptoms, and gain insight into the various behavior changes that can help your anxiety. Exercise is always a good idea. Whether you feel like it or not, it will help relieve stress, give you more energy during the day, and help you sleep at night. It seems you may have concomitant agoraphobia, if anxiety is the reason you find it difficult to leave the house. This is due to conditioned fear, something your brain is now wired to react negatively to. It is a fight-or-flight reflex that takes treatment and behavior changes to correct. Once one starts to avoid situations due to a fear of anxiety, he or she will start to condition fears within the confines of one's 'safe haven'. Again, I strongly recommend therapy and exercise. Thanks for sharing. Good luck.
  15. NickyLynn, Though it is difficult to fully grasp one's situation after reading a brief statement like this, self-esteem definitely seems to be the main contributor to your problems. I do not know you or your neighbors; nor do we, so it seems, know if your assumptions about their feelings are correct. Have you ever considered taking a more reactive approach to the situation? By this, I mean going over and speaking with your neighbors. Either it will not be nearly as awkward as you expect or, if your assumptions are correct, I would imagine it would be even more awkward for them. They would be forced to confront you, which is the mature approach if someone actually has a complaint or problem with a neighbor. I know this is quite a lot to ask, but other than working on your self-esteem, which probably was handed down from your mother, there are not many other ways to 'fix your perception'. I do think that, if you were to take this step, you would be pleasantly surprised with its results. Merely a suggestion. I am glad you're managing your depression amidst all the anxiety, it is not an easy task. Thanks for sharing.
  16. Hey there, I'm sorry to hear about your relationship problems, and the depression on top of that. Your boyfriend seems to have issues of his own that he needs to work on, and you seem to be aware of the things you need to work on. The fact that he is condescending towards you, and is not sympathetic or understanding, is definitely not fair to you. I do not want to give relationship advice, but what I will suggest is looking back on your time together. Has it always been this way, or has it worsened? This answer may help you better understand whether this is merely a rough patch, or a point of divergence. Being depressed, you need to avoid unhealthy relationships, as they only make matters worse. But caring, loving relationships are often a tremendous help. Whether you decide to leave this relationship or not, focus on your health. If your depression symptoms continue, seek medical attention. Psychotherapy is a great way to work out problems and analyze the stressors in one's life. I truly hope you find the companionship you deserve. There are better days ahead.
  17. Gisele, Your question is one of the many ineluctables we live with. I could be insightful, strive to be helpful in that sense, but those comments would probably be a trifling annoyance. I am not familiar with your life, with the difficulties you have faced while being not only human, but manic-depressive. To love without being deathly afraid; I could never do this question justice. It is human nature to love, as it is to hold on to the things we love. Feelings of inadequacy can strengthen our hold, ultimately taking the life we hold so dear to our hearts. An answer to your question should be of a certain complexity, yet I have one stated in the most simplistic form: fear may always accompany love - waking up every day, realizing your loved ones are still by your side, will prove that love will triumph. Even if, for only a moment, your fear subsides, it will be another moment filled with love, lacking fear.
  18. I took 15mg for 2 weeks, then moved up to 30mg. After 3 weeks or so, I started experiencing akathesia, which my doctor and I believed was due to the Mirtazapine, so I discontinued use.
  19. Hello, I would imagine your doctor will have you safely taper off the SSRI you are taking. Though the Risperidone is of a serotonergic nature, it is an antipsychotic medication that affects serotonin differently. It is true that some people do not experience withdrawal from the discontinuation of SSRI's, many people do; it is always safer to gradually decrease your intake. Your doctor will make sure this is done properly. If you feel any unexpected side effects during this process, be sure to let him/her know. Thanks for sharing.
  20. Hello, First I'd like to say that I'm glad the relationship between you and your wife is doing better. Are you still taking Venlafaxine? You said it helped quite a bit, but were/are you satisfied with its effects? I know that those who are depressed have a difficult time differentiating between feelings that are 'normal' (I like to use the term 'common' instead) and ones that are due to the depression and can therefore be treated. Your dose of Venlafaxine can always be increased, you could try another SNRI or even SSRI (which would take more time), or find an adjunct treatment (add another medication). Psychotherapy is also a tremendous help. Have you ever considered starting therapy? It could help you with your desire to be alone, and avoid social activities. Being introverted is perfectly fine - introversion is not just wanting to be alone, it's a quality that described someone who gains his/her energy from being alone, finding solace in one's hobbies, etc. But even if this is the case, it becomes a problem when it effects your life and the relationships within it. Though I would normally say that depression tends to get worse before getting better, one of the cliches of recovery, I am wondering if you are still depressed. Certain situations and stressors could have caused your depression to worsen in recent weeks, but from that, there's no way to tell whether it will diminish or continue to descend. I strongly recommend seeking therapy, and speaking to your doctor about all the symptoms you are experiencing. Behavior changes also go a long way in treatment for depression. Physical activity is always a great idea. Even if you force yourself to exercise, it will do you good. It keeps one healthy, will increase your energy during the day, and help with any problems you may be having with sleep. This is just one of the many things you can do on your own to help your symptoms. As for your diagnosis statement - don't get too caught up in it. Though it seems you're suffering from depression and possible anxiety issues, diagnoses do not make symptoms disappear, nor do they make them any easier or more difficult to treat. Your symptoms should be treated, not the label placed on them. So talk to your doctor, and continue the treatment you two decide on. Good luck. Keep us posted.
  21. Hey dude, That's quite a story you have. First off, I'm glad to hear that you still find time for your gf despite worrying about whether you'll be able to manage your emotions. There are a few things I noticed while reading your post. The first one is your depression in general. Do you feel that the Wellbutrin is helping with your symptoms? If not, or if you feel that more can be accomplished, you can talk to your doctor about the options: switching medications, starting an adjunct treatment (adding another medication to the Wellbutrin), psychotherapy, etc.. Your changing schools is also a big life change for someone your age, which is even more difficult and uncommon during treatment for depression. I applaud your decision to stay away from the partying, and all the other illegal and/or unhealthy things; it is dangerous to drink while taking antidepressants to begin with. I understand how this limits the social life you have outside of school, and that would make anyone feel a little down in the dumps. You mentioned that you decided to cut an ex-gf completely out of your life - do you really consider that a necessary step? She could be another person in your life who can be there for you. It is not wrong for her to be friend while you're dating someone else, no matter how complicated the situation. You two can have a mature friendship, which will add one more person to your list of people you can turn to when things get tough. I also wanted to draw attention to another thing I noticed. I could be completely wrong, but is it possible, with changing schools and not feeling like you share similar hobbies with your friends, that you may be holding on to your gf a little too hard? As I said, this may not be true, but be aware of the potential for your situation to cause you to hold on to the ones you do have. Because someone in your position may feel that he needs to hold on to her tightly so he doesn't lose her. Also, your gf should be willing to understand your situation, and the depression symptoms you suffer; letting her know that you feel like being alone is fine, sometimes we just need our time; but you shouldn't constantly worry that you're going to lose her because of feelings you can't control. Talk to her, be open, let her know what she means to you. And at the same time, be self-aware and understand that you will get through these rough times, and there are other people besides your gf who care about you, and who are willing to listen when you have something to say. Don't block people out of your life, you never know when you might need their advice. As I said, talk to your doctor if you don't think you're making progress with the Wellbutrin alone. Psychotherapy, individual rather than with your mother, could be a great help as well. I presume there are things you would like to say that would make you uncomfortable saying in your mother's presence. I wish you the best of luck.
  22. I know the feeling. Knowing there are other people out there dealing with the same issues does not make yours any better. Even if there are friends willing to talk, I often find myself avoiding it because it is my burden, not theirs. As easy as it is to deny it, you have to believe that it will get better. It will for everyone out there, and it will for you. For those who have never suffered from depression, it is difficult to understand the stronghold it can have on someone's life. Like you mentioned, it can affect school work, as well as relationships. I've been there, as the low, apathetic feeling caused me to struggle in school. As long as you're tending to it appropriately (psychotherapy, medication, behavior changes), it will get better.
  23. Hello, That is an interesting topic - untreated depression in children vs adults. However, I think your terminology may be part of the reason your online searching/research has can up fairly empty. It is not necessarily damage to the brain, whether it's pediatrics, adults, or geriatrics. At a young age, depression would surely have a greater effect on the child's development than it would on an adult. We are seen as individuals who go through various stages during our development, working our way up into maturity, self-confidence, sense of self, and many other qualities. Therefore, depression is not as much damaging to the brain as it is an inhibitor of development. Depression could put a damper on all of these stages, depending on the age at which it surfaces. In reality, these stages do not necessarily occur in a particular order, and some people do struggle through them. There are adults who struggle with their identity, and many teens do not yet understand their gender roles. This "damage" is not permanent, as the stages can be revisited and worked on after they would typically appear. As the symptoms of depression diminish, with proper treatment, an individual can continue to work through these developmental stages.
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  25. Hey there, Transference is normal, so do not feel like you are alone; without it, therapy would be counterproductive. Did you go through a phase of termination, where your psychologist tied up loose ends and prepared you to leave individual therapy? That is the typical way of ending psychotherapy, even if you will be seeing him in group therapy. If not, I'm sure he would be willing to see you again, allowing you to end it on a better note, one that you're comfortable with. Your feelings about termination, and ending on your terms are very important. You should make him aware of your feelings. As far as group therapy goes, there is no need to worry. Your psychologist obviously thinks you are ready for that type of therapy, and it is quite effective. It is normal, at first, to feel like an outsider, like you are not an important part of the group. But it is often humbling to hear others' stories, and rewarding to share yours with a group of people who are no strangers to life's struggles. Stay open minded, and listen attentively to your group members. In time, you will start to enjoy it. I went through group therapy, and for quite a while I hid my deeper emotions. Every day I heard a new story that made me feel extremely sympathetic to my peers. Over time, I started to feel like they were my friends, and I felt very dishonest by not sharing the difficulties I have faced. When I finally opened up, they all could relate in some way. Being a person who does not find comfort in others, I still felt relief by letting myself open up to them. We all struggle with terminal uniqueness, feeling like our story is one of a kind, that no one could possibly understand or relate to us; but the truth is, there are many people out there who live very similar lives. As I said, be open with your psychologist, and let him know how you feel about your termination and see if you could visit him at least once more to clear the air. With group therapy, be as open as you can. Don't force yourself, but have faith that, in time, you will begin to feel comfortable among the other members. I wish you the best of luck, and look forward to hearing more.
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