Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Posted by JKL on March 24, 2005, at 5:51:52

In reply to SSRI INDUCED APATHY, posted by greg diamond on March 23, 2005, at 17:35:38

> Lauren Slater talks about this in her book 'Prozac Diary' - apathy induced by AD's. I don't care about my duties, can't focus on tasks, have little motivation, how is this different from depression?
> because i don't feel as bad? anyone else with stories on this 'phase' of SSRI's, and maybe if it did change. (i am 50 mg zoloft, 30mg remeron)
> outer space = craig.

SSRI induced apathy is not uncommon. I think it is under-reported, and under-recognized by physicians.

I think SSRIs are actually emotional numbing agents for some people. They get rid of the lows, but also the highs, leaving a very narrow but steady range of emotions.

The apathy and lack of motivation is often seen as residual depression still lingering. Then they raise your dosage to fix it, and actually make it even worse.

I have come to believe that apathy is actually a stand-alone syndrome all by itself, which can be part of depression, but can also exist by itself without depression. I personally battled apathy, anhedonia, and lack of motivation for years.

Syndromes of apathy and lack of motivation, regardless of whether they are caused by other meds or not, can be treated. Norepinephrine and/or dopamine meds are much more likely to fix it than serotonin meds. Sometimes just lowering the SSRI dosage can help.

I take 10mg prozac, 5mg zyprexa, and 600mg st johns wort. The prozac and zyprexa keep me stable and undepressed, but rather blaw and apathetic as you described. Searching for a dompamine/norepinephrine way to fix it, I figured my two top choices were either wellbutrin or st johns wort. I've tried wellbutrin before and didn't like the way it made my ears ring loudly, so I opted to give sjw a shot. It worked great. Apathy is hardly there anymore, motivation is good. I now take pleasure in watching a movie, thinking about going skiing, hiking, or bike riding. It's awesome to back in life again.

Apathy is treatable, regardless of the cause. But it will likely take a norepinephrine and/or dopamine medication to deal with it.




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