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Everything posted by ClarissaD

  1. Firstly, welcome :) I'm so glad to hear you are getting some proper medical help and am sorry for the suffering you have endured over the years. If you feel you are okay on your current dosage, I would wait about a month on it to see if you need to increase. If within 2 weeks you feel as though you are getting the shakes again, up your dosage to 75 (with Pdoc's advice of course). Good on you for staying away from the benzos. For me I started on 75, however I was switching from a high dose of another AD, so my doctor knew 37.5 wouldn't be enough. In one week I felt NO difference at all (as suspected by my doctor, 75 wouldn't have been enough), so I moved to 150. I have been on 150 for 5 days and I have felt a LITTLE bit better...maybe 5%. I feel slightly calmer during every day activities, but I'm still a wreck as soon as any task comes up (e.g. setting the table for dinner, talking on the phone). I will probably stay on 150 for another week or so before increasing the dosage again considering I feel a little different now - it may work even more in another week. My sister's doctor said she would need to go on 300mg Effexor when she first started on 37.5, but she has been on 75 for over a month now and feels FANTASTIC. Her anxiety is almost completely gone as is her depression. It only took her about 6 days on 75 to start feeling A LOT better. She felt similiar to you on 37.5, but chose to go up due to lingering anxiety. Anyway, 5 days isn't too long, but if you feel the urge to self medicate, you need to see your doctor and let them know ASAP. You could tell your doctor to give you a small sample of benzos so you don't have access to the entire 50 pills (or however much it is). Or buy the packet and leave it with your doctor to dish out when you need it. They will support you if they know of your substance abuse history. Your doctor will also let you know if (s)he thinks you need to increase within a week or later. Some expect a higher dosage depending on your weight/height/history/current state. My doctor makes me see her every week for 45 minutes so we can discuss in depth about how I'm doing, but I think that is also because I'm quite young to be on so much medication (according to her). So anyway, if you feel you are doing well, hang in there for another week and check in with your doctor after 2. If you are under 25 they reccomend you see your doctor every week for the first 6-12 weeks when starting new medication in Australia, it might be something worthwhile if you're concerned.
  2. Hey Dave, So glad it is working for you. I have PTSD and have just started effexor xr 75mg last week and will be moving to 150mg tomorrow. At the moment things are looking pretty glum on this low dosage, but I have hope I will start to feel better in a couple of weeks. I'm glad you are sharing a positive experience. My sister has GAD and was on effexor for a long time with wonderful results (and no withdrawals when she came off it!)
  3. Thanks absent. I ended up telling my therapist. It was the hardest thing I've ever done, but I think I'm glad I have someone I can talk about it with now. I'm not completely alone now. I've been a bit of a wreck this past week with some severe PTSD symptoms but am being closely watched by a good support network. Hope things end up going well for you too.
  4. I've never heard of schema focused CBT, but I do know i got very annoyed with mindfulness. I found it stupid and trivial. I told my therapist never to suggest it again haha. Maybe it will be a bit better for me in the future, but right now I can't do it.
  5. My sister was of effoxor 150mg for about 3 years. It did wonders for her. It helped keep her level headed and her depression was pretty much gone. Only problem was that she got some hot flushes. She had next to no withdrawals, only a few weird dreams about once a week for about 6 months...but they didn't interrupt her cycle of life at all. 2 years later she's back on 75mg and has been for 4 weeks now and is responding well once again. My grandmother is also on it and it helps anxiety and depression A LOT (although she's naughty and often goes weeks without taking it, so it's hard to use her as a good example). I'm also making the move from 20mg lexapro to 150mg effexor as of tomorrow. My first week will be on 75mg though. I REALLY hope it will work. It helps my sister is on the same drug and she can guide me along the way with her positive experiences. All her doctors have said that effexor is the best drug. If you want please PM me...I'd love to keep in contact seeing as though we're making quite a similar switch in medication. It'd be nice to compare what kinds of things we're going through. Hope it all works out for you!
  6. Feel free to give me a shout out if you need to. Rant away :)
  7. Would've expected average to be over 30's. Interesting.
  8. Over the past couple of days I’ve been forced by my family out of the house and into the salons. Yesterday I was taken for an hour long full body massage. Today I was taken to get my hair done up nicely and my eyebrows done. Tomorrow I’m getting more pampering and a facial. I’ve fought them every step of the way. I told them I didn’t want their help and just wanted to be left alone. I would have rather stay in bed and wallow. But they didn’t accept that. They pretty much dragged me out of bed. And you know what? I feel alright. I look in the mirror and it’s just a little bit nicer. I feel just a little bit more confident around people. I feel a little bit nicer inside. I can look in the mirror and say at least one positive thing about myself. Of course I hated the actual process of it – it was extremely anxious and exhausting. But I’m SO glad I did it. I’m actually going to willingly get up tomorrow to continue it. If you have nothing to look forward to get out of bed, maybe try making something. Force yourself to book a hair appointment. Force yourself out for a massage or a pedicure. It’ll only take an hour and I promise you, you will feel a little better. I know people say this all the time and it certainly seems menial, but keep trying. Today, it worked. Hang in there guys.
  9. Just for a bit of a positive update to hopefully encourage you guys a bit: I'm actually feeling okay right now. Suicidal thoughts have diminished and I got out of bed once again and did stuff today. I treated myself to getting a massage and my hair done. I was highly anxious while doing it, but I did it, and I feel so proud of myself for doing it. My mind isn't preoccupied with bad thoughts and it hasn't been for almost 3 days now. Yesterday I didn't need to take any Valium until 5am this morning. For some reason I've been waking up at 3:30am and not being able to sleep till like 8am, which I think is anxiety, but depression is MUCH better. I'm on day 6 of 20mg lexapro after taking 10mg for a month. I have been taking my tablet at 5am and falling back asleep, so I haven't noticed the fatigue as much. Can't believe I'm actually feeling a bit better. This is such a relief. I hope it sticks. Please hang in there guys.
  10. Generally, how long do you have between sessions? One week? Two? A month? Has this time changed from when you first started therapy? Does it vary depending on how you are feeling? Do you dictate the intervals or does your therapist suggest it? I ask because for my first two sessions I had one week apart, and for my third my therapist suggested the next session be in 2 weeks time. I'm not sure why she did this. Perhaps she thought I was getting better because I didn't cry the second time, but I told her I clearly felt worse. I was too embarrassed to say I wanted to see her sooner because I didnt want to challenge her authority or seem all whyny. Just curious
  11. Thanks Rahul :) I'm on day 4 of 20mg lexapro and am suffering from extreme fatigue. HOWEVER I've had 1.5 good days...yesterday afternooon I felt relativley okay (although suffered a small panic attack at night), and today I got out of bed and out of the house. I still had to take valium this evening and had anxiety, but my mind hasn't been full of terrible thoughts for almost 30 hours. I find myself thinking about other things momentarily, which is something I haven't done in months. I'd say about a 10% improvement so I'm feeling positive. I'm not sure if it's because a couple of my life stresses have subsided over the past couple of days or if it's the drug. However I'm currently actually studying and getting my filing together, something I haven't been able to do in months. I hope this continues.
  12. I've been eating a lot less on lexapro, but that may be because my anxiety has gone down so I don't stress eat and my depression has gone up, so I have a lack of appetite. I'm not sure if I've lost weight but it feels that way.
  13. In the first two weeks of 10mg lexapro I suffered extreme dizziness. I was seeing black spots (silent migranes) and the world was spinning (vertigo?). After about 12 days the symptoms pretty much subsided and by 14 days I was fine. I couldn't concentrate, but that's because I felt so sick (and depressed), not neccesarily putting it down to any sort of side effect. Not sure if that's what you're reffering to. I moved up to 20mg 4 days ago and don't have much dizziness, but within the first 2 hours of taking it I feel quite "out of it". As though I've taken like 10mg of valium or something. This usually subsides once I have a coffee or something. I could easily sleep another 8 hours after taking lexapro, though that could be depression, but it only seems to happen on the days I take it (I've forgotten about twice and I don't get tired on those days). It really makes me tired and I fall asleep a lot easier now. But hang in there for at least a month. Ask your doctor for some stemitil (google it as I'm not sure if that's the brand name or not) which will help for the dizziness or maxilon for nausea. That did wonders in getting me through the side effect period. I'm going to give 20mg a try for a month before I go back as I'm still pretty anxious and I'm not too happy with feeling so tired in the mornings. I'm also having to take valium every day to prevent panic attacks. Good luck and hang in there :)
  14. I've been taking quite a bit lately. She said I'll probably need it to get me through the next week. I'm taking 4mg-8mg a day. 2-4mg in the morning (sometimes and 4mg at night (most nights). If I'm home alone all day I usually don't need to take anything at all until my family comes home and I need to make social interaction. That's when the anxiety starts. I hope I'm not taking too much, but it's either that or panic attacks and hospital.
  15. ClarissaD

    First Timmer

    Mine didn't go over the duty of care, which I thought was strange, so just be aware of what that is anyway. In my session she jumped straight into it. "Why are you here?". I told her about having recently going on meds for anxiety and depression, and she asked me how I felt about that. Then asked how my life has been affected by how I'm feeling and we went through all the aspects of life: family, school, work, friends, hobbies, etc. She took notes. We got pretty deep for a first session when she spoke about negative self talk and stuff, so be emotionally prepared (because I sure wasn't). I did cry at one point.
  16. ClarissaD

    At Wits End

    Wow dlm, thanks for sharing your plan! It's so comforting to see your progress and know you're getting help. How is it going for you? It's been a couple of weeks since this update...
  17. Thanks for keeping this thread updated - please keep it coming. I'm very interested about the results!
  18. Oh my, I would definitely freak out if this happened to me! I have no idea how my therapist keeps track of time. The clock is on the opposite wall to where she sits. She wears a watch but I NEVER see her look at it. She also makes the sessions feel so natural when they come to a close. I mean, I've only been to two sessions but I'm VERY conscious of time and this is a big fear of mine, so it was very comforting to know she wasn't too upset about it. I'm curious as to how she knows when to finish (because she always finishes exactly on time), but I'd rather not ask because I think I'll watch out and become paranoid of her behaviour if I find out. And also she wastes no time at all at the beginning of the session. From the moment I sit down she asks how I am, and doesn't even give me a chance to say "how are you?" in return. I got thrown off a little bit because we jumped into how I was feeling so quickly (within the first minute of walking into the room), but again I'm grateful. I don't have the issue with paying because in Australia we get 10 free sessions if you're referred by a GP. Not sure what's going to happen after that though. 8 left!
  19. How frustrating. It's particularly hard especially if you were psyching yourself up for that date and mentally preparing yourself. It ends up being quite emotionally exhuasting if you know you have to extend that high energy for even longer. I understand your dissapointment. Good luck with the wait. Allow yourself to be upset but try to remember to accept what you cannot change.
  20. Hey Grant, I'm also new. Hoping to get a lot out of these forums. There seems to be a multitude of information and stories to learn and grow from. Good luck.
  21. Hi Steve, I'm also new here. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss and everything you are going through. The pain must be unimaginable. Although you may feel crazy, it sounds like you are doing a lot of rational things to combat what you're going through. You're talking to your shrink and you're reaching out to a community to talk about your problems. Keep the communication lines open. I hope you get a lot out of this forum.
  22. I was on 10mg for a month. First 2 weeks I had terrible side effects. Constantly dizzy, seeing spots, bad nausea, dry mouth and amplified depression. After 2 weeks they completely went away. I was a BIT less anxious but depression was still worse. I upped my dosage to 20mg today and am hoping it will help with my anxiety, which by yesterday was the worst it has ever been.
  23. I haven't been on 15mg. I was on 10mg for a month, and moved up to 20mg today. I feel similar to when I started the 10mg right now. A peaceful haze that dulls my anxiety. Depression on the other hand has worsened. Not sure what we can do about that. If you need to go to 20, definitley consult your doctor. Don't worry too much about withdrawals now, that most important thing is your current well being. Once you're in a better state of mind you can worry about withdrawals. Good luck.
  24. I loved the way you described this. You've obviously got some great creative talent. A true musician. I couldn't have said it better myself.
  25. I've been on 10mg lexapro for a month and still feel very depressed. Started 20mg today due to bad anxiety. It is helping to slow me down but still very anxious. I'm hoping to give it another month on 20mg before I think about changing to another drug. It has helped A LOT with anxiety (in conjunction with benzos) but I can't really handle the depression. Hang in there.
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