Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 109458

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Re: Lexapro salpav

Posted by EGR on January 11, 2003, at 17:46:02

In reply to Re: Lexapro , posted by salpav on January 10, 2003, at 23:16:10

> I have severe depression (bipolar disorder), non functional. Tomoorow I start lexapro. Any hope? Any advice?

Keep taking it... give it a chance to work. Take it one day at a time. Do ONE thing at a time... baby steps to the top. Make a list of what you need to do and then pick ONE. Then make a list of what you need to do in order to accomplish this task... like you need to do laundry, so one step is to sort it. When you have it sorted, pat yourself on the back.

Use naps as rewards, not excuses... i.e. "when I get the laundry done, I'll let myself take a one hour nap". etc.

I was non-functioning too. When you feel good, don't think your bad days are all over... celebrate good moments, and when you feel poorly, think of it as a bad MOMENT and not a bad day. Live in little clumps of time.

Keep me posted....

EGR

 

Re: New to Lexapro

Posted by Romulus on January 11, 2003, at 19:19:20

In reply to Re: New to Lexapro Romulus, posted by Kairos on January 11, 2003, at 3:19:44

> Romulus -
>
> gasp - is this really true? (Rhetorical I know - but that was my instant response!) You've just totally nailed ME! What in God's name is used to treat for this???
>


Kairos -

If you have a chronic feeling of depression, you may well have been diagnosed correctly. I don't mean to generalize, and may be a little biased after reading the book 'Prozac Backlash' which raised some questions in my mind.

My father has long been on AD's and is sure he has an imbalance, which prompted me to try Lexapro. I am new to ADs and am very pleased so far -- only side effects have been some difficulty sleeping and occasional jitters.

 

Re: Lexapro

Posted by teriwynn on January 11, 2003, at 20:11:11

In reply to Lexapro , posted by Jennings on January 10, 2003, at 19:11:49

Hang in there; five days is nothing. Most SSRI's come with side effects that do lessen or go away entirely...and you're so right, even the side effects are better than depression.

 

Re: Welcome Mikal!

Posted by teriwynn on January 11, 2003, at 20:16:31

In reply to Welcome Mikal! mikal, posted by EGR on January 10, 2003, at 22:42:07

Thank God for drugs is right. I was so resistant in the beginning. Now I tell people I'm on them all the time. Usually people are really supportive. Nobody judges me harshly or treats me like a looney person. And I just call them my "happy pills." That puts the right slant on the conversation right from the start. What could anyone possibly have against a pill that makes you happy?

 

Re: Lexapro

Posted by Jennings on January 11, 2003, at 20:33:01

In reply to Re: Lexapro Jennings, posted by ayuda on January 11, 2003, at 8:52:46

Day six, and I'm having my worst A/D side effects to date!

 

Re: Lexapro

Posted by teriwynn on January 11, 2003, at 20:33:04

In reply to Re: Lexapro salpav, posted by EGR on January 11, 2003, at 17:46:02

**What excellent advice EGR. In addition to that, may I add this. Get a journal. Write down anything good that happens each day. Any small accomplishments, any positive thoughts, any acts of kindness. Then when you're feeling like you can't get anything done, like you're worthless, like you're totally non-functional, look back in your journal to remind yourself that it's not as bad as you think. Then enter something in your journal to indicate that you took the time to look in the journal rather than feel like you were totally worthless. In other words, give yourself credit for keeping the journal and for reading it. You'll be surprised how the little things add up. Your first entry can be asking for help by posting to this message board. Asking for help is a great step. Taking your meds is another. Write that down every day. Good luck.

> > I have severe depression (bipolar disorder), non functional. Tomoorow I start lexapro. Any hope? Any advice?
>
> Keep taking it... give it a chance to work. Take it one day at a time. Do ONE thing at a time... baby steps to the top. Make a list of what you need to do and then pick ONE. Then make a list of what you need to do in order to accomplish this task... like you need to do laundry, so one step is to sort it. When you have it sorted, pat yourself on the back.
>
> Use naps as rewards, not excuses... i.e. "when I get the laundry done, I'll let myself take a one hour nap". etc.
>
> I was non-functioning too. When you feel good, don't think your bad days are all over... celebrate good moments, and when you feel poorly, think of it as a bad MOMENT and not a bad day. Live in little clumps of time.
>
> Keep me posted....
>
> EGR
>
>

 

Re: Lexapro

Posted by EGR on January 11, 2003, at 21:31:42

In reply to Re: Lexapro, posted by teriwynn on January 11, 2003, at 20:33:04

YES! I forgot that. One of the things is that our brains work in images... so right now, it's full of negative images. My pastor told me to get a folder for positive images and put things in there that would trigger a positive image when I could find "my happy thought"... stuff like pictures of my kids, a note where someone had told me I did a good job. Things that ordinarily seem silly to keep end up being life-lines.

> Get a journal. Write down anything good that happens each day. Any small accomplishments, any positive thoughts, any acts of kindness. Then when you're feeling like you can't get anything done, like you're worthless, like you're totally non-functional, look back in your journal to remind yourself that it's not as bad as you think.

 

Re: Lexapro EGR

Posted by bozeman on January 11, 2003, at 22:37:14

In reply to Re: Lexapro, posted by EGR on January 11, 2003, at 21:31:42

I know this will sound sappy, so if it offends anyone I AM SORRY ;-) but I keep a Thankfulness List, sometimes it's all I do when I'm too tired to journal. Recent entries:
Three good hair days in a row (that's never happened before)
Getting all three of the "boys" to the vet and back in one afternoon with no one scratched, bitten, or permanently traumatized (including me)
A roommate who is lovingly supportive when I simply *cannot* do the dishes or some other (for a normal person) simple task and doesn't hit me with a skillet when I'm in one of my negative funks
A drive home without hitting more than two red stoplights (world record, must be)
Getting back my serum allergy list and NOT finding coffee or chocolate on it :-)

The point is, even on my worst days, I can find something, one thing, that went right. And it shows me how far I've come when I get a whole bunch of right ones in a day.

A new entry for the List: Finding a forum (this web site) that shows I'm not alone and having others to talk to

> YES! I forgot that. One of the things is that our brains work in images... so right now, it's full of negative images. My pastor told me to get a folder for positive images and put things in there that would trigger a positive image when I could find "my happy thought"... stuff like pictures of my kids, a note where someone had told me I did a good job. Things that ordinarily seem silly to keep end up being life-lines.
>
> > Get a journal. Write down anything good that happens each day. Any small accomplishments, any positive thoughts, any acts of kindness. Then when you're feeling like you can't get anything done, like you're worthless, like you're totally non-functional, look back in your journal to remind yourself that it's not as bad as you think.

 

Re: Here! Here!! EGR

Posted by Kairos on January 11, 2003, at 22:37:26

In reply to Re: Here! Here!! Kairos, posted by EGR on January 11, 2003, at 17:35:53

EGR -

Thanks - just for simply saying you care. It's been a helluva haul - for both of us.

*sigh* I'm just not sure what I'm really asking here - I mean I wll share your statement from the post and see what he says i guess - How can someone help him - I mean - perhaps to not feel alone - and whre to go from here - or just someone else that has gone thru it and now wants to live? I any case - whatever occurs to you - thanks. It means the world to me - he's my best friend - and the air I breathe.

Beyond being my mate - no individual should have to be so depressed as to take their lives by their own hand.

Kairos

> Kairos, I would be happy to somehow correspond with your husband. I guess I'm just not sure what part of my story would be helpful to him. I guess I could start out by saying that in the beginning, I didn't start out wanting to kill myself, I was just miserable and would have negative thoughts. Then one day, as I was driving, a thought popped in... "I could just drive into this oncoming traffic"... and then it escalated after that... which corner would be the best in order to make it look like an accident... how I could drive off a bridge and make it look like an accident. Etc., etc. Let me know what you think would be helpful for him to read.
>
> I really DO care...
>
> EGR

 

life's little victories bozeman

Posted by ayuda on January 11, 2003, at 23:10:54

In reply to Re: Lexapro EGR, posted by bozeman on January 11, 2003, at 22:37:14

That's not sappy at all -- that is inspirational!
We humans DO forget to look at the little things, in general. And everyone does have small victories every day. We get so lost in our moods and in how we want things to be that we forget about life's daily triumphs.

And it's a testament, perhaps, to how well the meds are working that any of us can see that it isn't SO bad.

Question, though: things like this are still making me weepy. Is that a med problem, or am I okay to be weepy when faced with these "inspirational" things? (I was going to say sappy, but that would be hypocritical!!) It's so hard to tell when you are used to weepiness being a bad sign.

> I know this will sound sappy, so if it offends anyone I AM SORRY ;-) but I keep a Thankfulness List, sometimes it's all I do when I'm too tired to journal. Recent entries:
> Three good hair days in a row (that's never happened before)
> Getting all three of the "boys" to the vet and back in one afternoon with no one scratched, bitten, or permanently traumatized (including me)
> A roommate who is lovingly supportive when I simply *cannot* do the dishes or some other (for a normal person) simple task and doesn't hit me with a skillet when I'm in one of my negative funks
> A drive home without hitting more than two red stoplights (world record, must be)
> Getting back my serum allergy list and NOT finding coffee or chocolate on it :-)
>
> The point is, even on my worst days, I can find something, one thing, that went right. And it shows me how far I've come when I get a whole bunch of right ones in a day.
>
> A new entry for the List: Finding a forum (this web site) that shows I'm not alone and having others to talk to
>
> > YES! I forgot that. One of the things is that our brains work in images... so right now, it's full of negative images. My pastor told me to get a folder for positive images and put things in there that would trigger a positive image when I could find "my happy thought"... stuff like pictures of my kids, a note where someone had told me I did a good job. Things that ordinarily seem silly to keep end up being life-lines.
> >
> > > Get a journal. Write down anything good that happens each day. Any small accomplishments, any positive thoughts, any acts of kindness. Then when you're feeling like you can't get anything done, like you're worthless, like you're totally non-functional, look back in your journal to remind yourself that it's not as bad as you think.
>
>

 

Re: New to Lexapro

Posted by Jennings on January 12, 2003, at 7:42:31

In reply to Re: New to Lexapro, posted by Romulus on January 11, 2003, at 19:19:20

"Trouble sleeping ang jitters" is certainly putting it very mildly for some, I assure you!

> > Romulus -
> >
> > gasp - is this really true? (Rhetorical I know - but that was my instant response!) You've just totally nailed ME! What in God's name is used to treat for this???
> >
>
>
> Kairos -
>
> If you have a chronic feeling of depression, you may well have been diagnosed correctly. I don't mean to generalize, and may be a little biased after reading the book 'Prozac Backlash' which raised some questions in my mind.
>
> My father has long been on AD's and is sure he has an imbalance, which prompted me to try Lexapro. I am new to ADs and am very pleased so far -- only side effects have been some difficulty sleeping and occasional jitters.

 

Re: New to Lexapro

Posted by chapman on January 12, 2003, at 8:19:09

In reply to Re: New to Lexapro, posted by Romulus on January 11, 2003, at 19:19:20

My 12 year old son was started on lexapro about
3 months ago, after trials of welburtin, resperdal
(whick caused uncontolable eating), and other assorted
anti-anxiety, anti-depressent meds. His diagnoises
are; dysthymia,anxiety, intermitant explosive D/O,
and borderline traits. His special ed teacher and
most those folks around him agree that there has been
a big increase in explosive behaviors for the past
three months. He was hospitalized again for a week
and in general is doing poorly. I've tried to tell
his psychiatrist that I think it's the med, but no
med changes have been made. Yes, the depression is
better, sleep is better...but mood fluctuation and
control of anger is awful. I'm not going to second
guess his doc, and continue to follow reccomendations,
but I was wondering if there is any doccumentation
that would support my theory that it's the Lexapro
that is causing havoc in our lives....again...

On a positive note, I have 2 clients (i'm a day treatment
therapist) who have started on lexapro, and they
are doing great. Both have been on a combination of
lexapro with a bit of welbrutin to boost it's effects.

 

Re: New to Lexapro chapman

Posted by Geezer on January 12, 2003, at 10:03:38

In reply to Re: New to Lexapro, posted by chapman on January 12, 2003, at 8:19:09

Hi,

You might ask your son's pdoc if he has considered one of the anticonvulsant drugs-Lithium, Depakote, Trileptal (few side effects), Lamictal (slow titration good AD effect), etc. This may help cover the Bipolar possibility if that has not been considered. I am not a pdoc and certainly not qualified to make a DX.....just a thought.

Wish a rapid recovery for your son and some peace for you too.

Geezer

 

Re: Here! Here!! Kairos

Posted by Geezer on January 12, 2003, at 11:25:35

In reply to Re: Here! Here!! EGR, posted by Kairos on January 11, 2003, at 22:37:26

> EGR -
>
> Thanks - just for simply saying you care. It's been a helluva haul - for both of us.
>
> *sigh* I'm just not sure what I'm really asking here - I mean I wll share your statement from the post and see what he says i guess - How can someone help him - I mean - perhaps to not feel alone - and whre to go from here - or just someone else that has gone thru it and now wants to live? I any case - whatever occurs to you - thanks. It means the world to me - he's my best friend - and the air I breathe.
>
> Beyond being my mate - no individual should have to be so depressed as to take their lives by their own hand.
>
> Kairos
>
> > Kairos, I would be happy to somehow correspond with your husband. I guess I'm just not sure what part of my story would be helpful to him. I guess I could start out by saying that in the beginning, I didn't start out wanting to kill myself, I was just miserable and would have negative thoughts. Then one day, as I was driving, a thought popped in... "I could just drive into this oncoming traffic"... and then it escalated after that... which corner would be the best in order to make it look like an accident... how I could drive off a bridge and make it look like an accident. Etc., etc. Let me know what you think would be helpful for him to read.
> >
> > I really DO care...
> >
> > EGR
>
>

Hi Kairos,

This will be my third attempt to send this post (had to delete the first two - so hard to find the right words). You are a most caring wife and the most valuable helper your husband could have. Please don't take my comments as a lecture or professional advice, I am just another person who offers an opinion.

I am probably Bipolar (the DX changes with a change in pdocs) and I am currently surviving on 600mg. Trileptal and 1mg. Klonopin, will start an AD next week. I have taken nearly all the ADs, MAOIs, SSRIs, Pstims, and Benzos over 30 years of treatment. I have been hospitalized 12 times, completed 11 ECT treatments about a month ago, and I had two "close calls" in the mid 80s.

I was called for draft physical in 1964 but deferred due to hearing defect (didn't know I had depression then, missed Viet Nam).

My father is a former POW from WW II. Shot down over occupied France, arrested by the Gestapo, spent a year "in the bag" Stalag Luft III, Germany....I grew up with his PTSD.

Close friends - James (did 2 tours in Nam 101st Airborn), Dan (Marine wounded in Nam battle of Way City), Rene (retired OSS Maj. - Army version of the CIA...part of first team "dropped" into Nam).

I have seen enough death and dying to last two life times but this came from the medical business I worked in not the horrible trama your husband suffered. Please don't try to get inside his feelings or push him to post on this board if it causes "fright". Recovery from the horrors of war take a long time (my father wouldn't talk about it for years). If someone is going to "open Pandora's Box" they had better be prepared to deal with what is inside. IMHO your husband needs the best pdoc, the best therapist, and you. This is a very good support place....let him come here when he is ready. If HE WANTS my direct e-mail address I will be glad to give it but I am no more qualified to give advice than any other non-professional.

Most important......thank your husband for his service to our country!!

Wish you both the very best,

Geezer

 

Re: life's little victories-Bozeman

Posted by EGR on January 12, 2003, at 13:05:42

In reply to life's little victories bozeman, posted by ayuda on January 11, 2003, at 23:10:54


> Question, though: things like this are still making me weepy. Is that a med problem, or am I okay to be weepy when faced with these "inspirational" things? (I was going to say sappy, but that would be hypocritical!!) It's so hard to tell when you are used to weepiness being a bad sign.

I'm not so sure that your weepiness is "bad". Crying is good for the soul, and it opens you up. I used to hardly ever cry... Without over analyzing yourself, do you feel "sad" when you get weepy, or do you feel "touched" in your heart? Do you see the difference I'm trying to make? If you're sitting around crying and you're not sure why, then you probably need to talk to your doc about increasing... or if you just feel like crying... again, without knowing why, chat with your doc. But to feel weepy WITH a reason, isn't necessarily a bad thing.

 

Re: Emotional, weepy? (long) -- for ayuda

Posted by bozeman on January 13, 2003, at 0:52:15

In reply to Re: life's little victories-Bozeman, posted by EGR on January 12, 2003, at 13:05:42

ayuda--

First let me say that you positively wigged me out with the similarities in our backgrounds. (That's not a bad thing, it just took me a while to get over the speechless part.) It's like we've been living the same life.

That's probably why I can totally relate to the weepy thing. I don't know that the reasons are the same, but I've definitely been through it. My first sign of it coming on, after a triggering stressor, has been uncontrollable hand shaking. Otherwise I seem like any other day. But over time I learned that as soon as my hands start shaking like that to get the heck home as soon as possible because the last thing I need to do is lose it at work, or in rush hour traffic! Then after I got home, the ensuing "breakdown" would go one of two ways -- the "low" version, where I just wanted to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head, incapable of making even minor decisions like how many scoops to put in the coffee maker or what socks to put on, and calling in sick until it passed (if that doesn't qualify as sick, then I don't know what the heck does) -- or the somewhat "higher" version, where I can still function "mostly" normally, but the slightest emotional thing (good or bad) triggers a flood of hormones, neurotransmitters, and chemicals in my body and I am an emotional basket case, never knowing (and powerless to prevent) if I'm going to scream/slap someone for interrupting me, or cry because they opened a door for me when I was carring a 50 lb piece of equipment.

I have developed a working theory on why it happens -- don't know if it's the same for you, though. In my case, I was so monotone for so long (read: stubbornly denying clinical depression, it seems) couldn't feel much of anything except, blah, with occasional bouts of pure panic or absolute doom. I read a LOT, psychology, biochemistry, religion, and the meaning I have finally pieced together is a little complicated, but it put my mind at rest. Here goes:

Our "natural" state is an ever-changing continuum of stimulus, emotion, reaction, and response. In those of us with neurochemical imbalances (whether triggered by hereditary tendency, stress, injury, or whatever) this cycle is interrupted and goes haywire somewhere along the way. I posit that as the "normal" interchange between stimulus and emotion/reaction gets clouded, sometimes we "experience" emotions physically that we don't "feel" emotionally, and vice versa. With this cycle disrupted, the ultimate response is unpredictable at best, sometimes inadequate for the importance of the situation, and sometimes way out of proportion to the stimulus. This, I feel, is what causes maddening stuff like "I need to leave for work RIGHT NOW and I'm not even dressed yet," or "You brought me coffee, how sweet, please leave now so I can break down and cry." In the first situation, response is inappropriately low and you don't "feel" an emotion (fear or concern or caution or urgency, which would typically be felt, because you gotta get to work on time so you don't get fired, gotta make sure no obstacles prevent that) seemingly because the stimulus/emotion/response/reaction mechanism is disrupted. In the second instance your response is exaggerated for the same reason (an overwhelming rush of gratitude or heartstring-tugging, becaue they brought you coffee, that's kind and convenient, thanks, but it's not that big of a deal, so why am I having such an extreme reaction?)

I think our bodies and our brains expect a certain amount of stimulus/response/emotion and if they don't get it, they will (for lack of a better term) manufacture or overexaggerate it, and if exposed to too much of it, they just shut that system down (hence adrenal exhaustion, etc, which I firmly believe most depressed people have some level of adrenal problem or thyroid problem or both, that's part of my theory of the entire system interactions, but I'll digress if I get into that right now. Back to your weepiness.)

So, in that long-winded sense (got more than you bargained for, eh? :-) I would agree with EGR that your weepiness is probably a good thing if it's not too much for you to handle. What I mean is, you've probably been deprived of normal emotions for so long, that you've got a flood of them built up, and your responses to "normal" events may be exaggerated for a while (depending on how long you've been deprived, a "while" is variable. It's all relative.) If that is indeed why it's happening, then it should improve over time. If it gets worse over time, or if it's interfering with your ability to function (i.e. you can't go to work or do normal activity because you cry all day long, every time someone looks at or speaks to you) then, definitely, you should consult your doctor to explore why and to find relief.

Another possibility . . . . I see in you a thoughtful, sensitive soul, trying hard to do the right thing, worried about affecting other people, trying to do good. Something I think is often overlooked in conventional medicine and by "normal" people, is the fact that those of us who are susceptible to depression and the associated cluster of other related disturbances -- we are constitutionally different than much of the rest of the world. (In fact this could be the source of the imbalance that allows the illness to develop. Wonder if anyone's researched that?) We take responsibility seriously, take ourselves too seriously, have trouble forgiving ourselves for mistakes because we should have known better (so we think and judge ourselves), etc. I believe that this internal constitution predisposes us to over-stress and "wear down" parts of us, parts of those hopelessly interrelated systems (endocrine, neurological, chemical, electrical, etc.) so that how we experience stimulus and response, creating the resultant emotion, is affected. What this could mean (though I know it doesn't feel like it) is that experiencing emotions, even hard-to-control ones like weeping at a beautiful sunrise or at a kind word someone says to you, is first, a sign that you are indeed getting better because you were able to respond to a stimulus instead of being so "worn out" neurologically that stimulus is lost on you; and second, that you are one of those "special" people who does *feel* every kindness as a gift from God, and every thoughtless act as a loss of an opportunity to touch God.

I hope that makes sense, because I believe it, and have struggled with how to resolve it in my own life. Sometimes I envy the people who don't experience their world in this way, because it seems like their version would be so much simpler. But that's from the outside looking in, and who knows what private hells they go through that we don't know about? Neither is better than the other, the two are simply different, and there's nothing to be gained by dwelling on the difference, so I don't allow myself the luxury of the envy for more than a little while. :-)

It's an entirely different matter to *know* somebody didn't mean something they said personally, and to not *take* it personally. Knowing (mentally) and feeling (emotionally) are miles apart on this subject, but I think learning how to accept the two is the key to learning to live in this world without giving up that sensitivity that makes us so special. Thank God for the Lexapro because since I've been taking it, I no longer react to stressors in such a radical and unpredictable fashion as I did before, and can (for the most part) choose my response and how to integrate the conflicting emotions/urges that result from everyday interactions and situations that most people would find unremarkable.

Again, if you don't feel any resonance with of this, and feel that your weepiness is from another source and is too much to allow you to function "normally" (for you), please, please don't suffer with it, see your doctor and find out if there's another solution available to you.

Be well, feel well, hang in there and ride it out if you're at all able to. I believe that feeling (even pain sometimes) is better than the lonely numbness that depression drives us to sometimes. Best of luck to you, Beautiful Soul --

bozeman

>
> > Question, though: things like this are still making me weepy. Is that a med problem, or am I okay to be weepy when faced with these "inspirational" things? (I was going to say sappy, but that would be hypocritical!!) It's so hard to tell when you are used to weepiness being a bad sign.

 

Re: Emotional, weepy? (long) -- for ayuda bozeman

Posted by ayuda on January 13, 2003, at 7:00:11

In reply to Re: Emotional, weepy? (long) -- for ayuda, posted by bozeman on January 13, 2003, at 0:52:15

Oh, that was so sweet!!!

And it made PERFECT sense. I was canvassing my mind in response to EGR last night, trying to figure out what about this bothered me (I spent most of my childhood being told I was "overly sensitive" and perhaps have an aversion to my sensitivity because it was considered to be a negative trait then). I could not put it into words. But what you've said DOES resonate. You are right, I have not been feeling emotions -- other than negative ones, such as anger and frustration -- for a long time, even while on meds. It's been a while since I've been able to appreciate the things that I love, and to love the things that I appreciate. And I just increased my dosage of the Lexapro to 20 mg last week, and all of a sudden, I am feeling things. I get worried, though, when I feel things, that it will go back to those extremes you talk about -- how wonderfully strange for someone else to know what I have gone through all these years! Ok, now I'm starting to tear again! But anyhow, I thought last night that I was suffering from anxiety because I also realized that I have some deep feelings for a friend of mine, that felt like they came on all of a sudden the other day. After so many years of emotional dysfunction, I can't tell the difference between love, appreciation, and anxiety.

I'm sorry if this is all over the place, this is my gut reaction to your post, and normally I take time to digest things and give rational responses, but I wanted to start babbling in appreciation right away! I hope that everyone else on the board is patient, or they can just skip this one! I am going to print out your post, because I want to hold onto it and re-read it often.

It's funny, I've spent so much of my life striving for my goals, which are not -- like most people's -- monetary, but deal with enlightenment and education, searching for my purpose to serve the world. I put a lot of things to the side -- with the exception of family, though I live a thousand miles away from them, they are in my life everday, especially my nieces and nephews. And by my mid-30s I just wanted to numb myself from those emotional waves you talked about, because they are exhausting. And in the past few months, since I went off the Effexor XR and onto the Lexapro, I've felt like I could have my "old" life -- the good parts of it, where I was sociable and outgoing and genuinely happy -- back, and leave behind most of the bad parts of my old life -- the over-reacting to every tiny little disruption as being a life-or-death matter, people's every words and actions getting on my nerves, the triggering of that "fight or flight" response every damned day. My only worry is that school starts again this morning, and my biggest challenge is dealing with my professors and my students again (break is a good time to sort out life before it gets hectic again). They all get on my nerves, everyone is so self-absorbed and doesn't see the big picture, which, as a graduate assistant, I am forced to keep in perspective every day. I would like -- just for one time in my life -- to handle these things with grace and calm -- REAL grace and calm, not the pretend kind that I have grown accustomed to. I left the classroom once last semester in the state you talked about, bursting into tears as soon as I left the room because a student was viciously haranguing me over his grade on an exam in front of the whole class. I had to end class and go home to cry for an hour -- I hate that, I hate having to wait hours before I can react in a healthy way, to understand that he was frustrated and did not mean to be mean to me. Some of my students were actually mad at me for leaving the classroom -- but that didn't matter to me, I could not stand there and teach while in tears.

Well, speaking of school, I have to go get ready, but I am going to print out your message, and thanks for taking the time to think it and write it and thank you for the wonderful compliments. I guess that it's true, in a positive sense, that "it takes one to know one," because you have really made, not just my day, but a lasting impression.


> ayuda--
>
> First let me say that you positively wigged me out with the similarities in our backgrounds. (That's not a bad thing, it just took me a while to get over the speechless part.) It's like we've been living the same life.
>
> That's probably why I can totally relate to the weepy thing. I don't know that the reasons are the same, but I've definitely been through it. My first sign of it coming on, after a triggering stressor, has been uncontrollable hand shaking. Otherwise I seem like any other day. But over time I learned that as soon as my hands start shaking like that to get the heck home as soon as possible because the last thing I need to do is lose it at work, or in rush hour traffic! Then after I got home, the ensuing "breakdown" would go one of two ways -- the "low" version, where I just wanted to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head, incapable of making even minor decisions like how many scoops to put in the coffee maker or what socks to put on, and calling in sick until it passed (if that doesn't qualify as sick, then I don't know what the heck does) -- or the somewhat "higher" version, where I can still function "mostly" normally, but the slightest emotional thing (good or bad) triggers a flood of hormones, neurotransmitters, and chemicals in my body and I am an emotional basket case, never knowing (and powerless to prevent) if I'm going to scream/slap someone for interrupting me, or cry because they opened a door for me when I was carring a 50 lb piece of equipment.
>
> I have developed a working theory on why it happens -- don't know if it's the same for you, though. In my case, I was so monotone for so long (read: stubbornly denying clinical depression, it seems) couldn't feel much of anything except, blah, with occasional bouts of pure panic or absolute doom. I read a LOT, psychology, biochemistry, religion, and the meaning I have finally pieced together is a little complicated, but it put my mind at rest. Here goes:
>
> Our "natural" state is an ever-changing continuum of stimulus, emotion, reaction, and response. In those of us with neurochemical imbalances (whether triggered by hereditary tendency, stress, injury, or whatever) this cycle is interrupted and goes haywire somewhere along the way. I posit that as the "normal" interchange between stimulus and emotion/reaction gets clouded, sometimes we "experience" emotions physically that we don't "feel" emotionally, and vice versa. With this cycle disrupted, the ultimate response is unpredictable at best, sometimes inadequate for the importance of the situation, and sometimes way out of proportion to the stimulus. This, I feel, is what causes maddening stuff like "I need to leave for work RIGHT NOW and I'm not even dressed yet," or "You brought me coffee, how sweet, please leave now so I can break down and cry." In the first situation, response is inappropriately low and you don't "feel" an emotion (fear or concern or caution or urgency, which would typically be felt, because you gotta get to work on time so you don't get fired, gotta make sure no obstacles prevent that) seemingly because the stimulus/emotion/response/reaction mechanism is disrupted. In the second instance your response is exaggerated for the same reason (an overwhelming rush of gratitude or heartstring-tugging, becaue they brought you coffee, that's kind and convenient, thanks, but it's not that big of a deal, so why am I having such an extreme reaction?)
>
> I think our bodies and our brains expect a certain amount of stimulus/response/emotion and if they don't get it, they will (for lack of a better term) manufacture or overexaggerate it, and if exposed to too much of it, they just shut that system down (hence adrenal exhaustion, etc, which I firmly believe most depressed people have some level of adrenal problem or thyroid problem or both, that's part of my theory of the entire system interactions, but I'll digress if I get into that right now. Back to your weepiness.)
>
> So, in that long-winded sense (got more than you bargained for, eh? :-) I would agree with EGR that your weepiness is probably a good thing if it's not too much for you to handle. What I mean is, you've probably been deprived of normal emotions for so long, that you've got a flood of them built up, and your responses to "normal" events may be exaggerated for a while (depending on how long you've been deprived, a "while" is variable. It's all relative.) If that is indeed why it's happening, then it should improve over time. If it gets worse over time, or if it's interfering with your ability to function (i.e. you can't go to work or do normal activity because you cry all day long, every time someone looks at or speaks to you) then, definitely, you should consult your doctor to explore why and to find relief.
>
> Another possibility . . . . I see in you a thoughtful, sensitive soul, trying hard to do the right thing, worried about affecting other people, trying to do good. Something I think is often overlooked in conventional medicine and by "normal" people, is the fact that those of us who are susceptible to depression and the associated cluster of other related disturbances -- we are constitutionally different than much of the rest of the world. (In fact this could be the source of the imbalance that allows the illness to develop. Wonder if anyone's researched that?) We take responsibility seriously, take ourselves too seriously, have trouble forgiving ourselves for mistakes because we should have known better (so we think and judge ourselves), etc. I believe that this internal constitution predisposes us to over-stress and "wear down" parts of us, parts of those hopelessly interrelated systems (endocrine, neurological, chemical, electrical, etc.) so that how we experience stimulus and response, creating the resultant emotion, is affected. What this could mean (though I know it doesn't feel like it) is that experiencing emotions, even hard-to-control ones like weeping at a beautiful sunrise or at a kind word someone says to you, is first, a sign that you are indeed getting better because you were able to respond to a stimulus instead of being so "worn out" neurologically that stimulus is lost on you; and second, that you are one of those "special" people who does *feel* every kindness as a gift from God, and every thoughtless act as a loss of an opportunity to touch God.
>
> I hope that makes sense, because I believe it, and have struggled with how to resolve it in my own life. Sometimes I envy the people who don't experience their world in this way, because it seems like their version would be so much simpler. But that's from the outside looking in, and who knows what private hells they go through that we don't know about? Neither is better than the other, the two are simply different, and there's nothing to be gained by dwelling on the difference, so I don't allow myself the luxury of the envy for more than a little while. :-)
>
> It's an entirely different matter to *know* somebody didn't mean something they said personally, and to not *take* it personally. Knowing (mentally) and feeling (emotionally) are miles apart on this subject, but I think learning how to accept the two is the key to learning to live in this world without giving up that sensitivity that makes us so special. Thank God for the Lexapro because since I've been taking it, I no longer react to stressors in such a radical and unpredictable fashion as I did before, and can (for the most part) choose my response and how to integrate the conflicting emotions/urges that result from everyday interactions and situations that most people would find unremarkable.
>
> Again, if you don't feel any resonance with of this, and feel that your weepiness is from another source and is too much to allow you to function "normally" (for you), please, please don't suffer with it, see your doctor and find out if there's another solution available to you.
>
> Be well, feel well, hang in there and ride it out if you're at all able to. I believe that feeling (even pain sometimes) is better than the lonely numbness that depression drives us to sometimes. Best of luck to you, Beautiful Soul --
>
> bozeman
>
> >
> > > Question, though: things like this are still making me weepy. Is that a med problem, or am I okay to be weepy when faced with these "inspirational" things? (I was going to say sappy, but that would be hypocritical!!) It's so hard to tell when you are used to weepiness being a bad sign.
>
>

 

Weepiness-- ayuda bozeman

Posted by EGR on January 13, 2003, at 8:47:46

In reply to Re: Emotional, weepy? (long) -- for ayuda bozeman, posted by ayuda on January 13, 2003, at 7:00:11

You know, it is great to "meet" people who relate to what my life has been like. I, too, stayed in denial that I needed meds for a very long time. Your stories are mine... the no emotions/emotion breakthroughs...

I was thinking last night that although I "enjoy" being able to blow off comments that used to send me into a frenzy and an analytical mode where I had to figure out the implications of a statement, etc., etc., that maybe it's not we who are NOT normal. Maybe we're just another "version" of normal... except when it gets extreme and we suddenly start thinking of ways to kill ourselves...

Anyway, thanks for your posts... it's good to know I wasn't/am not all alone.

 

Re: New to Lexapro

Posted by mills on January 13, 2003, at 9:47:52

In reply to Re: New to Lexapro, posted by chapman on January 12, 2003, at 8:19:09

chapman, i just wanted to say i feel for you; it is sad to me when something happens to one of our kids and we try to do something about it but don't know what to do, and we feel helpless; and like geezer, PEACE to you; i know it may sound trite, but, as sincerely as it can come across here, thanks for loving your son

> My 12 year old son was started on lexapro about
> 3 months ago, after trials of welburtin, resperdal
> (whick caused uncontolable eating), and other assorted
> anti-anxiety, anti-depressent meds. His diagnoises
> are; dysthymia,anxiety, intermitant explosive D/O,
> and borderline traits. His special ed teacher and
> most those folks around him agree that there has been
> a big increase in explosive behaviors for the past
> three months. He was hospitalized again for a week
> and in general is doing poorly. I've tried to tell
> his psychiatrist that I think it's the med, but no
> med changes have been made. Yes, the depression is
> better, sleep is better...but mood fluctuation and
> control of anger is awful. I'm not going to second
> guess his doc, and continue to follow reccomendations,
> but I was wondering if there is any doccumentation
> that would support my theory that it's the Lexapro
> that is causing havoc in our lives....again...
>
> On a positive note, I have 2 clients (i'm a day treatment
> therapist) who have started on lexapro, and they
> are doing great. Both have been on a combination of
> lexapro with a bit of welbrutin to boost it's effects.
>

 

Re: life's little victories

Posted by teriwynn on January 13, 2003, at 10:22:04

In reply to life's little victories bozeman, posted by ayuda on January 11, 2003, at 23:10:54

**Don't confuse feelings of weepiness with depression. Feelings show we are human!! If the meds made us not feel anything, we'd be robots! :) Feelings of weepiness in response to someone caring shows we are human -- not flawed, just human.

> That's not sappy at all -- that is inspirational!
> We humans DO forget to look at the little things, in general. And everyone does have small victories every day. We get so lost in our moods and in how we want things to be that we forget about life's daily triumphs.
>
> And it's a testament, perhaps, to how well the meds are working that any of us can see that it isn't SO bad.
>
> Question, though: things like this are still making me weepy. Is that a med problem, or am I okay to be weepy when faced with these "inspirational" things? (I was going to say sappy, but that would be hypocritical!!) It's so hard to tell when you are used to weepiness being a bad sign.
>
> > I know this will sound sappy, so if it offends anyone I AM SORRY ;-) but I keep a Thankfulness List, sometimes it's all I do when I'm too tired to journal. Recent entries:
> > Three good hair days in a row (that's never happened before)
> > Getting all three of the "boys" to the vet and back in one afternoon with no one scratched, bitten, or permanently traumatized (including me)
> > A roommate who is lovingly supportive when I simply *cannot* do the dishes or some other (for a normal person) simple task and doesn't hit me with a skillet when I'm in one of my negative funks
> > A drive home without hitting more than two red stoplights (world record, must be)
> > Getting back my serum allergy list and NOT finding coffee or chocolate on it :-)
> >
> > The point is, even on my worst days, I can find something, one thing, that went right. And it shows me how far I've come when I get a whole bunch of right ones in a day.
> >
> > A new entry for the List: Finding a forum (this web site) that shows I'm not alone and having others to talk to
> >
> > > YES! I forgot that. One of the things is that our brains work in images... so right now, it's full of negative images. My pastor told me to get a folder for positive images and put things in there that would trigger a positive image when I could find "my happy thought"... stuff like pictures of my kids, a note where someone had told me I did a good job. Things that ordinarily seem silly to keep end up being life-lines.
> > >
> > > > Get a journal. Write down anything good that happens each day. Any small accomplishments, any positive thoughts, any acts of kindness. Then when you're feeling like you can't get anything done, like you're worthless, like you're totally non-functional, look back in your journal to remind yourself that it's not as bad as you think.
> >
> >
>
>

 

Re: New to Lexapro

Posted by Rainee on January 13, 2003, at 15:16:20

In reply to Re: New to Lexapro, posted by mills on January 13, 2003, at 9:47:52

Hey there,
It sounds to me like it's the lexapro and he might be bipolar. When I first went on Prozac years ago it kicked in a mania. I can use SSRIS but I have to tread lightly. I'm on lexapro and enjoying it so far. It's early yet though.

Rain

 

Depression and early menopause

Posted by ayuda on January 14, 2003, at 9:54:30

In reply to Anyone switched to Lexapro? ggrrl, posted by Dr. Bob on June 11, 2002, at 7:52:48

I just finished reading this article on CNN.com:

http://www.cnn.com/2003/HEALTH/conditions/01/14/depression.menopause.reut/index.html

It is interesting to me, and I think to some others of you who have been experiencing problems similar to perimenopause or menopause that seem to be linked with the Lexapro. I think also that some of us have spoken with doctor's who poo-poo the idea that depression and peri-/menopause have a link. Even though my mother and grandmother both 1)suffer(ed) from depression and 2) entered menopause in their early 40s, my new doctor told me that "average menopause age is 51" and dismissed the idea that my depression that intensified at age 35 has anything to do with the "change of life," or vice-versa.

I think this also has important consequences for how we are treated for the depression -- that maybe in the future there will be some AD that specifically treats women in their 30s and 40s.

And, it demonstrates to me yet again that ALL doctors, not just those in the psychiatric field, HAVE to know about depression, its causes, its effects, and its treatments. I am so tired of only being treated as part of a person by each doctor, and not have all of me treated for related issues. They have just got to start understanding that depression is a physical illness and affects other parts of the body, not just the mind.

 

Re: New to Lexapro hp212

Posted by Sadsack on January 14, 2003, at 15:21:11

In reply to Re: New to Lexapro, posted by hp212 on January 10, 2003, at 12:17:42

The pill for PMS? It MADE me depressed! I lost 10 pounds and got my life back when I went off them. Give me AD's for pms OR depresseion anyday.......

> Another alternative to SSRIs for treating PMS is birth control. It definitely puts more balance into the month and virtually eliminates cramps. Shouldn't take it if you smoke and weight gain is a possible side effect. It wouldn't be a great option if you were trying to get pregnant, however. I think the pill might be the best alternative to an anti-depressant for relief of PMS. Some of them also make your skin look great.

 

Re: Lexapro worked but still sad sometimes Kairos

Posted by Sadsack on January 14, 2003, at 15:39:44

In reply to Re: Lexapro worked but still sad sometimes Cynthia, posted by Kairos on January 11, 2003, at 2:51:32

Amen and Amen. I come from a long family history of depression. If I could will it away it'd be gone BUT......I can't, so, I just watch myself carefully so I don't end up like my mother. Years ago (before the advent of such wonderful meds), she comitted suicide. I am just thankful I am smart enough to see it as a physical illness and avail myself of the best science has to offer. If only everyone was so enlightened! Good to hear from you both.

> Hear Hear - This professional just heard that - and frankly I'm a minority and agree with you - the saddest and most tragic part is that so-called professionals who cannot understand this really need to go back to the learning board - or - if they have a power / ego issue get out of the field altogether.
>
> Kairos
>
> > Ayuda just said two things that especially resonated with me: "We are the sane ones." and "It's a physical illness." These would make great tag lines. I wish the professionals who promote mental health awareness would incorporate this type of thinking into their communications materials in a big way. These two statements are very provocative, and would be very effective in helping to lessen the stigma we all feel. It really is true that this is a physical illness -- with mental repercussions. If more people understood this, they would be more inclined to seek help, and we, the "sane ones" would be more inclined to talk about our problems, which would go a long way to making treatment more acceptable.
>
>

 

Re: Here! Here!!

Posted by Sadsack on January 14, 2003, at 15:48:26

In reply to Re: Here! Here!! Kairos, posted by EGR on January 11, 2003, at 17:35:53

Oh my gosh-it sounds JUST like what I was doing. I thought about just swerving off an embankment,or into a tree. I started leeaving my husband with the kids more so they could bond and be better off "after I was gone". I worked on organizing everything so they wouldn't have to deal with any confusion "after I was gone.....I finally realized what I was doing and got help. It is scary but it sure is helpful to know others have been thru it!
> Kairos, I would be happy to somehow correspond with your husband. I guess I'm just not sure what part of my story would be helpful to him. I guess I could start out by saying that in the beginning, I didn't start out wanting to kill myself, I was just miserable and would have negative thoughts. Then one day, as I was driving, a thought popped in... "I could just drive into this oncoming traffic"... and then it escalated after that... which corner would be the best in order to make it look like an accident... how I could drive off a bridge and make it look like an accident. Etc., etc. Let me know what you think would be helpful for him to read.
>
> I really DO care...
>
> EGR


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