Posted by Daveman on March 6, 2002, at 22:41:00
In reply to Re: Celexa, posted by Claudia on March 4, 2002, at 18:03:13
I was put on antidepressants last year after suffering what I guess our parents might have called a "nervous breakdown" (i.e., I had terrible insomnia, anxiety, and uncontrollable crying spells). I was first tried on Paxil, which had no positive effect; after four weeks, I was switched to Celexa. The Celexa began to work after about two weeks. At the third week, my doc added small-dose Remeron to help with my insomnia. The two drugs together (what we psych patients like to call a "cocktail")were very effective. There were side effects, mainly weight gain (about 25 pounds) and loss of some sexual function- a very fair trade IMO. There was some nausea in the start-up, but that went away after about two weeks.
I remained on 40 mg. Celexa/15 mg. Remeron until the first of this year. I have now tapered down to 20 mg. Celexa. Through intense psychotherapy, I have learned much about what happened to me. Some of it was undoubtedly a chemical imbalance, some of it was a build-up of many problems I had not dealt with, including residue from my father's death 20 years earlier. I also can see looking back now that I suffered for years from obsessional thinking, insomnia and occasional panic attacks. I should have dealt with these things years earlier, but like you say, it's hard for us guys to admit we need psycological help.
From my eperience I can offer the following advice: Be patient in trying to find the right medication. I know that when Paxil failed to work for me and I was switched to Celexa, I was so discouraged that I questioned whether my doctors knew what they were doing. I've learned since that many depressed patients have to try several medications before finding one that works. Perhaps Celexa will not be the one for your husband; maybe he'll need a different SSRI or perhaps Effexor (a medication used for patients who are treatment-resistant to the SSRI's). Maybe a combination of meds will do it. I know it is hard but stick with it.
My second piece of advice, which is related to the first, is to make sure you are being treated by a competent psychiatrist who understands these medications. Sad to say, but most general practicioners, well-meaning though they are, just are ill-equipped to deal with these medications. Many of them will buy into drug company propaganda because they have so little actual experience with these meds. This is where the false notion that SSRI's are some sort of "wonder drug" with "no side effects" comes from.
My third piece of advice is that when the right med combo is found, your husband needs to get in regular therapy with a competent psychotherapist. This is usually NOT the same person as the prescribing psychiatrist, as they are different disciplines (there are exceptions of course- in my case, both individuals happened to be part of the same medical group.)
Most of all remember that these problems did not arise overnight and will not be solved overnight. Stick with it, and keep in touch.