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Depression Question

I need someone's opinion.  I was diagnosed with depression about 9 years ago.  I was put on Zoloft which I took, relatively successfullly up until July 2007.   I went off of it, thinking it was for the best and I didn't need it since I had been doing okay, in order to get prepared to have a baby.  Needless to say, the results were devastating.  In about three months, I was in pretty bad shape and had to go back on the Zoloft - my gyno said it was best to stay on it since I was apparently chemical dependant.  I've put having a baby on hold for right now until I get myself straight.  However, I remember being on Zoloft I was like an emotionally void zombie, so I had my doctor switch me to Lexapro from the suggestion from my therapist.  My question is this.  I just upped my dosage to 40 mg of Lexapro today because I am still having slight anxiety and moments of depression now and then when there is really nothing going on in my life for me to really be anxious about or depressed about.  I will be honest in that I'm doing nothing to help myself like exercise.  However, I really don't look forward to anything in life except smoking, drinking coffee and sleeping.  I don't know if it's the new medication I'm still adjusting to or if it's in my mind - feeling guilty about not exercising, eating right, etc.  I don't feel that my therapist really has answers for me.  I'm just tired of trying to make it through each day by day just waiting until it's time to go to bed for relief.  I get up in the mornings fine because I know I can look forward to a cigarette and coffee.  I've even been taking naps in my car during lunch.  Please give me some advice.  Do I need to give the Lexapro some more time or should I switch back to Zoloft?
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Avatar universal
You mentioned that on the Lexapro you feel like "an emotionally void zombie."

No antidepressant medication sould be making you feel like that. If it is then you really need to tell your doctor and consider discontinuing the Lexapro.

Suffering from Depression, now that can make one feel like a zombie for sure, but the medications your taking to combat this depression should be doing just the opposite.

Lexapro is funny like that. It works well for many, but some people report that it actually makes their symptoms worse. I take it and it works fine for me, but I do know others that said it made them feel zombie-ish. I combine my Lexapro with a Tri-Cyclic AD and that seems to be doing the trick. (at least until I build up a resistance to these meds also)

Lexapro isn't for everyone, perhaps it's just not the right medication for you. I know you have tried Zoloft before, but have you ever tried Effexor?

Yes, Effexor is hard to discontunue taking once you start, but it's dual action properties often produce very favorable response in Severly depressed individuals that have failed on SSRI meds.

Either that or you may even want to consider a Tri-cyclic AD like Remeron or Nortriptilyine.
Helpful - 0
242912 tn?1402543492
Actually, Remeron is a Tetracyclic.  Not a Tricyclic.  

I thought this fact might interest you Hensley, since you know a lot about anti-depressants and are such a huge help around here.

: )
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Avatar universal
Is it? I looked it up on the internet a while back and it was listed as a Tri-Cyclic AD.

"Tetracyclic." Never heard of that before. I've never taken Remeron before, but if this Nortriptilyne poops out on me, (they usually do in time) then I was going to consider trying Remeron. I have heard a few med resistant people say it works pretty good.

Thanks.
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242912 tn?1402543492
I had never heard of Tetracyclic either, even though I've taken Remeron.  I looked it up right before I posted to you.  

Hensley, I was on AD's from 1980 to 2004.  Nothing ever seemed to help much.  Then suddenly, 4yrs ago, my depression lifted almost completely and except for occasional circumstantial depression, it's been relatively GONE!   Remeron and Paxil were the last AD's I was on so maybe they worked so well, they got rid of the depression!  

I have been reading your posts for a while and I want you to know there is HOPE!!!!

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi,

I have taken both zoloft and lexapro and the zoloft worked great
for me for about 4 years before pooping out.  Unfortuatnely the
lexapro (even at the max dosage) never got rid of all my depression
and anxiety and caused me severe stomach cramps.  Everyone is
different so you may respond to something else a lot better than I
did.  I also took effexor which worked great for me and am currently
on prozac which I really like.  (I have dealt with depression for 20
years so I have tried most of the ssri's).  Remeron is my next
med if the prozac poops out.  I hope you find the one just right
for you!

best wishes,
starr28
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Wow! That is amazing! I have been doing battle with this beast since 1992 and I think it just been so long that I have just given up on ever being free of it's torment.

I get so tired of always having to evaluate it and treat it. It's like this fragile little egg that I have to carry around all the time, being ever so careful not to crack it or let it get damaged.

It's so exausting having to wake up everyday and ask myself, "how bad is it today or did I remember to take my meds last night?"

Don't even get me started on the regular med changes. Seems like the longer I have this disease, the less effective the meds are becoming. I used to get 3 or 4 years from a new medication. Now I am lucky to get 1 year before my symptoms render me non-functional again.

How in the world does it just go away? How is that possible?
So your saying that you suffered from Severe depression for 27 years and it just went away? Can you think of what you might have done to make that happen?

I mean, maybe you did something that effected the disorder and your not sure what that was.

I would give or do absolutly anything to be free of this Beast. If God came to me now and said, "if you amputate your left hand, I will grant you cured of this disease" I swear I would do it! That's how much I hate this disease.

I have tried so hard and tried so many things, from CBT, Herbs, Exersise, Vitamins, fish oil, even Eastern Medicine. In the end only the meds help. I even had my doctor give me B-12 shots for months. I don't know of many people that have worked as hard as me at beating this condition. Unfortunatly all my efforts have been in vain.

I don't even have a troubled past to reflect on. I have never suffered a single Tramatic experience in my entire life! In fact, I'm the only person I know that has a pretty normal family!

I'm just at a complete loss as to why I have been struck down with this. My Therapist and I have worked so long and so hard to find a smoking gun, but we never even came close to finding it.

You know my Best friend grew up in poverty, he had an alcoholic Father that used to beat the **** out of him every night just for sport! He would come to school with black eyes and even a broken arm one day. This abuse went on for years and he doesn't suffer from this Severe Depression. Sure he has some problems, but not to the extent that it disrupts his everyday life! I ask, How the hell is that possible?

I'm just tired of asking why, why, why. I actually look foward to my death because it will be such a relief not to have to deal with this anymore. I won't kill myself because of my Daughter (daddy's girl) but I find myself just wishing life would speed up so I could grow old and die. I just want to get it over with.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi,

I too have suffered with this terrible disease for 20 years and have tried a lot of different meds.  I usually get 3-4 years out of a med before it poops out.  One thing I have noticed over the years is that for me to feel really good it takes a combo of meds.  Right now I am on prozac, abilify and nuerontin and I feel really good.  What meds are you on?  Maybe you need a combo too, I dont know just a thought.  I hope you feel better soon,

best wishes,
starr28
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
(((star28))) It kind of sounds like you have also developed a kind of resistance to meds over the years also. I am taking a combo, Lexapro 75mgs, Nortriptilyne 75Mgs, and Eskalith 450Mgs. I take this combo each day.

Don't get me wrong, for now it is working but I know for a fact that it will fail in time. It always does and then it's back to experimentation again until I can find another combo that works.

I don't have to tell you how horrible the med changes are. You know, that time after stopping one med and waiting on the new one to work. OMG! It's like a few weeks visit to Hell itself. I look foward to it like running a cheese grator over my head.

It used to be that a single AD did the trick, but not anymore. It just seems to get harder to control with each passing year.

For now I am functional and living, it's just the future I worrie about. Questions like, "what will become of me?" and "what if my condition becomes 100% resistant to meds?"

It's the future that scares me because I don't ever know what this will eventually become and what it will do to me. It's pretty sad when a good day is a day in which you just feel normal. That's what my life has become. Just having the occasional day when I feel 100% normal and free of this condition is like a gift to be savored.

I guess I should be thankfull. I feel ok, and I am working, making money, and getting by.
Maybe that's the best that can be expected.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi,

Thanks for all your openness. My son suffers from depression...we think....so they say...he's 19...he is trying to get off prozac...because it made him really depressed.the doctor took him off cold turkey...told him he wouldn't have side effects.  We'll see. He isn't feeling very well....he's also on adderall. Anyway just wanted to say thanks for all your input.

Shel
Helpful - 0
242912 tn?1402543492
Hi there!  Just saw your response today.  I guess I can't say the depression is gone entirely.....I just don't feel like killing myself every minute of every day anymore.  To me, that's a huge improvement!  I believe I do suffer from Dysthymia though, a term that is relatively new to me.  Like you, I would never kill myself, but look forward to death.  My husband knows that if I was diagnosed with Cancer, let's say, I would let it take it's course.  I have a "do not resuscitate" card in my wallet even.  Most days, I can't wait for the day to be over with.  

Hensley, the only thing that happened 4yrs ago was I read a book on Borderline Personality Disorder and it seemed to describe my life perfectly.  I came to terms with my abusive childhood, forgave my parents and I think just the release of all the anger and hatred for them is what helped me.  I also stopped abusing so many prescription drugs.  I think this combination is what helped me to have more good days than bad.  

I just wanted to let you know that I may have misspoke about the depression being gone because I know I don't feel like what I consider a normal person to feel.  Every day is still a struggle if you want to know the truth.  I think it has a lot to do with my poor physical condition and the chronic pain I have to deal with everyday.  I would like to think if I wasn't in pain, then I might feel normal.

I wanted to correct myself here and not have you think the depression is magically gone because it's not......it's just about 90% better.  I can't ask for better than that I guess : )

Thinking of you Hensley.......and everyone else who struggles with this terribly debilitating condition.

My heart goes out to all of you........
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