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View Full Version : Sharing my experiences of various anti-depressants



Ovalbug
04-05-17, 09:24 PM
Hi all.

First time posting here and thought I'd share my experiences with various anti-depressants I have taken over the years.

I appreciate that we're all different and each have our own responses and reactions to different meds, but thoight I'd share where I'm up to, if for no other reason than to possibly help others and get it off my chest.

Little history - I'm a 41 year old married man with a pretty stable, comfortable life, but have suffered with anxiety and depression for all of my adult life. This materialises in very low self confidence, self consciousness, social anxiety, low mood, feelings of helplessness and at times, near suicidal levels of despair. I finally had enough in 2009 after suffering what I can only describe as a nervous breakdown at which point I went to the Doctor to seek help.

Citalopram - This was what I was first prescribed. I was not on this for long. Within about 2 weeks I lost all my personality, good and bad and became almost emotionless. I felt like the death of all my family or a massive lottery win would yield only mild curiosity from me, one way or another. I felt a shell of a man and pretty much 'dead'. I also had a complete and total loss of sex drive - not even a flicker of interest. I went back to the Doctor who switched me to Fluoxetine.

Fluoxetine - This was my wonder drug. After about 6 weeks I woke up one morning like the weight of the world had lifted from my shoulders. A huge black cloud had been lifted and I could once again laugh, enjoy myself and get on with living. I was on this drug for about 6 years and generally overall felt 'cured', albeit I still suffered a little anxiety at times and a little OCD. What I didn't notice creep up on my was a reduced sexual response. It got to the point where frequently I couldn't orgasm and sex was a rather unfulfilling, 'numb' affair. Because I felt 'cured' from my depression, I decided to come off them and within 2 weeks I was sobbing, in utter despair and wanting the world to end again - proving they did work. I went back on them and all was right with the world again. During my 2 week break, I noticed my sexual response return which made me realise what I had been missing. This led me to try to search out other drugs to try. Shortly after this time, a change in job saw my anxiety levels sky rocket beyond anything reasonable and went through a terrible time of not being able to sleep, all day panic attacks, continuous rapid heart beat, bleeding gums - the full hit. The Doctor moved me over to Mirtazapine.


Mirtazapine - Wow. Knock out pills. They solved my anxiety and sleep issues instantly. Literally from day one I slept like a baby and could sleep all day if I chose. Initially they did leave me feeling drowsy during the day, but this settled down over a few weeks. My appetite returned and I put on a lot of weight due to craving lots of carbs. Lots of self discipline was required to not eat myself fat. You just have to say to yourself 'no, don't eat that". I found Mirtazapine had no sexual side effects at all which was/is a very welcome position. I can't honestly say it has lifted my mood at all, but it has certainly helped with anxiety and sleep issues. If anything, it might have made me a little more irritable and less tolerant - not sure but a little conscious when I snap at the kids or get wound up easily. During a particularly stressful time recently, I ended up having a mini break-down again and wondered whether Mirtazapine was actually helping the depression. I visited the doctor who suggested I tried Venlafaxine.

Venlafaxine - Oh boy. I took one pill and had the most terrible reaction. Woke up in the middle of the night dripping in sweat, terribly nauseous, dizzy, light headed, tingly limbs, racing heart beat, panic attack, hyper active, crying, speaking so fast my tongue couldn't keep up with my brain - just a horrible, horrible reaction. The Doctor said to stop taking them, however, the effects of that one pill left me suffering for 5 days of horrible motion sickness and panic. In the short term, I have been put back on the Mirtazapine as I was starting to not be able to sleep again, but this time on a higher dose to see if it increases the anti-depressant element. We'll see what transpires as this si where I'm at today.

My fantasy drug is the anti-depressant effect of fluoxetine without the sexual side effects, but with the anti-anxiatant of mirtazapine but without the hunger.

Just thought Id share my experiences and seeing if any of them resonate with other forum members.

Jarre
04-05-17, 09:39 PM
Interesting your experience of citalopram, I was on that for jsut over 2 years, I didn't loose my personality, some people said I looked a bit high on it and it helped a bit, I didn't get the lack of sex drive, though I didnt have much of one before taking them anyway. As with everything intersting to see how others have felt on certain medications but everyone is different and not everyone gets the same side effects, they can be quite different.

Suzi
04-05-17, 10:23 PM
My husband has taken similar - no mirtazipine though. He also spent years on fluoxetine, now finding venlafexine the one which is helping him the most.

Suzi
04-05-17, 10:29 PM
AS you had two identical threads running I've merged them to this one. It's much easier to keep track of things then ;) Suzi

Paula
05-05-17, 05:44 PM
Hi and welcome. It just shows the different effects they have, I've been on venlafaxine for years and only suffer those sort of effects if I forget to take a dose. Mirtazapine, yeah, I'd probably say what you've said, though it was always an additional AD for me

ElizabethJane1
05-05-17, 08:11 PM
Hi I also take mirtazapine 45mg but as an add on with lithium 1,000mg. I'm not sure how long I have been taking mirtazapine probably about fifteen years. Lithium nearer twenty years. Prior to that I was a long term dothiepin junkie on high doses 175mg. I couldn't tolerate any more although it was tried. I came off it virtually cold turkey but cleanly with few side effects. I also tried seroxat which I could not tolerate. I have seen my psychiatrist recently and he is happy for me to continue with this regime.

Ovalbug
06-05-17, 09:05 AM
I'm not sure how long I'll stay on Mirtazapine as I just don't think they're helping with the low mood. When I first went on them it was in the middle of an almighty panic attack that lasted over a week of no sleep and pounding heart rate 24/7 which they solved, but due to the relief they gave me, I was never able to fully assess how they made me feel compared to 'normal'. This time round, I've gone back on them (after my venlafaxine disaster) and I can assess them from a clearer, more stable frame of reference.

I feel sedated and robust against stress, however I feel grumpy, down, ready to give up, can't be bothered, everything is too much hassle and I just don't have the will or energy to put into being nice to my family. I feel like I'm existing without actually living.

Not sure if that makes sense.

Paula
06-05-17, 09:31 AM
Talk to your dr, lovely, and talk about all your options

Suzi
06-05-17, 12:00 PM
Definitely go back and talk through all your options with your Dr...

Ovalbug
06-05-17, 08:22 PM
Anyone ever tried 5 HTP?

ElizabethJane1
06-05-17, 08:27 PM
Nope. The mirtazapine takes longer to work than most anti ds. If it isn't working then you need to speak to your GP.