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Antidepressant Emotional Numbness

Hello everyone,
For the past 10 years or so I have been living with pretty severe anxiety that has only gotten worse. When I started my new job, which is extremly stressful I noticed alot of my emotions both good and bad are numbed out. I have tried several meds for my anxiety including buspar, klonopin, and xanax. Buspar helped my mental anxiety a little, but wasn't enough. Klonopin and xanax both work, but do nothing for my mood really which I was hoping was mostly anxiety related. I don't the typical sadness or feeling down like you do with depression, but rather the apathetic and low energy depression, but also really bad anxiety. I have tried Wellbutrin and Lexparo about 10 years ago. Wellbutrin worked great for my depression, but also increased the anxiety. Lexapro seemed to do nothing for my mood other than completely numbing my emotions and killing my sex drive. I have avoided going back on meds, but I really feel like it's time to do something. I know benzos are supposed to be long term, but am wondering if something like Wellbutrin and Klonopin may be my best bet. Besides SSRIs and benzos there really isn't much else to try. I was looking into Remeron, but am concerned with the weight gain. I know everyone reacts different to meds, but any input would be appreciated. The main side effects I am looking to avoid is low libido, emotional numbing as I already have that, and weight gain.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
Because drugs don't work the same even in the same category, the only way you find out what side effects you'll get, unfortunately, is to try the med.  Wellbutrin is perhaps the most stimulating of all the antidepressants, so if anxiety is your main problem this probably won't ever be your solution.  But some people do combine a small dose of wellbutrin as a secondary antidepressant with an ssri to battle the weight gain and sexual dysfunction.  So that's a possibility for consideration.  Have you tried tackling this with therapy?  I can tell you that for me, I've been on several antidepressants, one in the tricyclic category and several ssris.  Only one made me gain weight (Paxil).  So there you go -- you never know.
Avatar universal
Please see an actual board-certified psychiatrist, explain your concerns, and let her work with you on finding an appropriate medication regimen. You should not be the one researching meds. Also, you should take the medication at a low dose, give it a while, see how you feel before increasing. Don't ever let someone tell you a target dose. Based on what you're telling me here, I'd recommend an SNRI, and my favorite is the tried-and-true oldie, effexor (venlafaxine). Start low and give it time. Good luck.
Avatar universal
I beg to disagree -- Effexor and snris in general are generally not used if anxiety is the main problem.  They are used if the anxiety is caused by depression.  Snris target norepinephrine as well as serotonin, and that's basically adrenaline.  Also, Effexor along with Paxil are the two most problematic of all antidepressants to take and to try to stop taking, so I'd save them as a last resort.
I'm not currently on any meds (so I'm no expert by anyone means) but I did try Effexor 20 years ago and had a terrible time adjusting.  I abruptly stopped (back then there wasn't the web and education to know that's not wise!) And when I stopped I had terrible withdrawals of extreme anxiety.  You can't go cold turkey, lesson learned!  I saw a doctor today and discussed some anxiety meds (as the anxiety has returned, hormone changes now?) Anyway, he said Effexor is known for these problems. He now recommends Lexapro. What do you know about that one Paxiled?
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