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all_riled_up

How to find the right medication for you?

4 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post  

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Hi all! I'm new to this forum so I apologize if this question is really redundant, I just can't seem to find many posts about it.

For background, I've suffered from anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember, but about 3 months ago it became unbearable, so I started taking Lexapro (first 10 mg, then 15 mg) and Trazodone for sleep (100 mg), as well as doing CBT every 3 weeks. I'm trying to be rational about this process and acknowledge that I am better at least a little better than I was 3 months ago: back then I could hardly sleep or eat, I had to stay home from work several times, I could focus on ANYTHING (tv, books, people), I cried most of each day, etc. Now I can usually get out of bed and make it to work and even cook or read. Despite these improvements, I still feel as though everyday is a struggle:

-I'm extremely fatigued no matter how much sleep I get, which means I still sometimes have to stay home from work
-I have a hard time getting excited about anything
-I still experience bad panic attacks
-I have a lot of difficulty concentrating, ESPECIALLY in conversations
-In general I just kind of feel like I'm in a fog all day long
-And worst of all, I still feel really detached from my friends and family (despite always having been a very social, outgoing person)

Because I'm new to anti-depressants & medication in general (this is my first long term medication ever), I honestly don't know what to expect or what's reasonable for me to expect, and that's making it really difficult for me to tell whether a) the Lexapro is working but this is as good as it's going to get, or b) the Lexapro isn't working and a different medication might be better for me. I told my doctor that I'd like to switch to Zoloft because I've heard positive things about it but he said it wouldn't be any different from Lexapro and instead suggested I up my dose to 20 mg, but I've read that people can react to different SSRIs with varying degrees of success. Alternatively he suggested I could add Wellbutrin or Abilify to enhance the Lexapro, and I'm trying to stay open-minded but adding yet another medication scares me.

Sorry this is so long winded, I guess my main questions for you all are: 1) How did you know you'd found the right medication? 2) If you've tried different SSRIs were they all the same for you or did you find that some were better than others?

Thank you everyone!

PS- thank you also for your help on this forum: for a long time I felt really alone with the depression but after reading many of the posts here I've realized I'm not alone and that solidarity has really really helped:console:

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Zos    5

Posted · Report post  

It's a hell of a process. I've been taking prozac for over a decade and it has mostly helped but this past year it might have pooped out. My doc added abilify and so far it's helping with the anxiety but I'm still very depressed and I don't think and medication can cure what I got.

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Posted · Report post  

It took me years of being a bad doctor's guinea pig to finally find out what worked for me. Part of the problem was/are the laws here and how doctors are afraid or demanded to be very careful with what medicine they prescribe. I went through a hellish gambit, often repeating the same side-effects that made things far worse than better (and early on, I made the mistake of reading the side effects and getting worked up over nothing). 
I finally got a nice doctor who listened to what I had to say (I pay him out of pocket, figures right?) but he's worth every cent. I don't want to be negative but there is such a thing as toxic physicians who get tunnel vision and listen to the drug reps more than their patients.
I've tried a number of SSRI's and they just don't help me... I have anxiety issues, I need medication made to deal with anxiety. I take Paxil because I'm physically addicted to it (I know, sounds silly right?) and I take Klonopin, which actually just makes me feel more even; steady enough to face my fears. Klonopin is like a miracle drug for me, because it allows me to be more myself and face the fears I have (I HATE exposure therapy, but it's what works for me).
Modern medicine and the bureaucratic medical business doesn't make it easier to find the right treatment for you, my heart goes out to you, it sucks to feel like a guinea pig when you just want to find normalcy. Have faith that you will find something in time, even if it takes a while. The forums here are full of nice people who may feel exactly how you did, or at least be wise/friendly enough to offer advice.
Sorry, I'm long-winded too! Good luck

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Posted · Report post  

I'm sorry you're still having a hard time Zos! I've only been trying to address my issues for like a 1/4 year so I'm hesitant to offer any advice on the medication, but I know there's something out there that you can help you! It may just take a little more searching but you can do it! And maybe I'll look more into Abilify, I have heard good things about it (I'm just nervous to try more meds but anxiety is the main problem so nervousness is to be expected haha).

ShhPatrick I'm sorry you had to deal with so much bureaucracy! I haven't run into any red tape as far as laws go so I hope that continues! I should have prefaced this in my original post but I do really like my pdoc, he's been great with the CBT and he's a very calming presence in general, which means I look forward to my appointments. When you say SSRIs don't help you, how can you tell? I know that sounds like a really silly question, but I really can't tell if the lexapro is working or not because I still struggle with the anxiety. Maybe it's not intended to help with that? I also take klonopin as needed (so far only twice) and it helped with the negative emotions but also made me feel very numb. If I could only choose one symptom/ side effect to get rid of it would be the numbness, so I know that klonopin can't be my long-term solution. A lot of times I feel like I just have too many conflicting suggestions: one of my friends is taking an SNRI and it's been great for her, but another friend said that being on an SNRI made her crazy; one friend has said that adding a mood stabilizer has done wonders for her, but a different friend has said adding more meds just made things more complicated. So I guess I just have to decide what direction to try first.

Thank you both for your responses & support! I hope you're able to find what works for you too & that the road to recovery gets a little clearer! :)

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