Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 135231

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Is there anyone out there like me?

Posted by BettyAnn on January 10, 2003, at 19:47:32

Is there anyone out there like me? I'm a young, educated female who has had a history of depression since I was a teenager. My main psychiatric diagnosis is disthymia, but I also have generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder. I have tried Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, and Celexa. Right now I'm taking Zoloft again. I've been on it for about a month. I haven't been sleeping well. I tried Remeron, but it didn't work. Restoril works sometimes. I'm trying to find the right combination of medication and I am going to start therapy again. I have never been raped, physically abused, or neglected. I have a supportive family. Lately I've been in a slump. I would have killed myself if it wasn't for the people in my personal life. I just can't seem to think positively-everything seems negative. I'm taking everything personally and I worry about everything. It also grieves me to see how the people in my personal life are concerned. Sometimes I wonder if I'm just feeling sorry for myself or if I actually have borderline personality disorder-as if you couldn't tell-I'm very neurotic. I was just wondering if anyone could relate or has any helpful advice.


Re: Is there anyone out there like me? BettyAnn

Posted by justyourlaugh on January 10, 2003, at 22:18:32

In reply to Is there anyone out there like me?, posted by BettyAnn on January 10, 2003, at 19:47:32

i can relate.
the guilt is truely hard to deal with.
i am your twin-throw in some booze.
social phobia.
i am so lost as to why i cant enjoy what i have.
meds dont help.(dont direct me-i said meds!lol)
terrified if i stop the meds i wont make it.
betty-thanks for the post-my pdoc keeps insisting i was molested or something as a kid.?
guilt of feeling so rotton but no reason why?


Re: Is there anyone out there like me? BettyAnn

Posted by viridis on January 11, 2003, at 1:20:08

In reply to Is there anyone out there like me?, posted by BettyAnn on January 10, 2003, at 19:47:32

I suspect that a very large proportion of people on this site can relate -- I certainly can (except to the female issues, since I'm male). Dysthymia and neurosis seem to be popular, vague diagnoses, especially with therapists. I've been diagnosed (incorrectly) with both and spent years on ineffective medications as a result.

Almost all the meds you mentioned are SSRIs, my mainstay for a long time, even though they not only didn't work for me but often made things much worse. I should add that these are great drugs for some people, but not many others, despite their current popularity. If they aren't right for you, then your lack of response might just indicate a different set of problems that could be readily treatable.

A recurrent theme in your post is worry, anxiety, and so on. Have you seen a psychiatrist who really knows how to treat anxiety disorders? It's amazing what relief from constant stress can do for you, and it doesn't sound like you've explored those types of meds (benzodiazepines etc.).

For me, most of the problems seem to stem from anxiety, and it was crucial that I got that under control. Once I did (finally) with Klonopin and Xanax, many other things fell into place and I was able to rationally explore additional treatment options with my psychiatrist, which have worked quite well.

It sounds like you've only scratched the surface with the options that are available, and despite what many doctors will tell you, SSRIs aren't the solution for everyone. Again, I'd try to find a psychiatrist who understands anxiety disorders, the sooner the better.

It seems from what you've described that a "borderline" diagnosis is extremely premature -- once you get labeled with a "personality disorder" it really complicates things, and nothing you've said would seem to justify that at this stage. Please see a psychiatrist who knows anxiety -- you may be surprised at how much better life can be with the right treatment.


Re: Is there anyone out there like me?

Posted by JonW on January 11, 2003, at 7:08:48

In reply to Is there anyone out there like me?, posted by BettyAnn on January 10, 2003, at 19:47:32

If you felt like killing yourself it sounds like you may have more than dysthymia, but anyway... I think cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) would be incredibly helpful for you. Medication + therapy can surprise you. That is to say, a med that didn't work for you in the past (meaning remission) might work in conjuction with CBT. It's a very powerful combination -- particularly when it comes to your set of symptoms. Like another poster said, I would suggest seeing a pdoc who really knows about anxiety disorders. They should also be able to direct you to a good CBT therapist who specializes in GAD, social phobia, etc. Finding the right CBT therapist is very important. With anxiety, you need to be pushed but not too much. Anyway, there is hope. Many people overcome what you describe. Part of it is the right meds, and part of it is hard work. Get to the best pdoc you can afford and follow their advice. The best really do know what they are doing. Hang in there!

Good luck,


Re: Is there anyone out there like me?

Posted by BettyAnn on January 11, 2003, at 19:16:04

In reply to Re: Is there anyone out there like me?, posted by JonW on January 11, 2003, at 7:08:48

Thanks for all the responses to "Is there anyone out there like me". It is so nice to have some support and encouragement from people who understand. My psychiatrist is a really nice young woman, but I don't know if she specializes in anxiety related disorders. I will talk to her about it, and see if she would want to refer me to another doctor and /or therapist who specializes in anxiety related disorders. The mental health community where I live is rather small, so she might be able to make a decent referral. Good luck to everyone on this roller coaster ride we find ourselves on in the world of psychiatric medication and the mental health system.
Betty Ann


Re: Is there anyone out there like me? BettyAnn

Posted by medlib on January 11, 2003, at 23:24:07

In reply to Is there anyone out there like me?, posted by BettyAnn on January 10, 2003, at 19:47:32

Hi BettyAnn--

There's a real possibility that your dysthmia is largely secondary to your anxiety disorders. For that reason, given oc-occurring depression and anxiety dxs, my pdoc (and most others I know of) make anxiety the first focus of med intervention. (He also insists that there's no clinical justification for continuing to try more SSRIs if the 1st 2 don't work at all.)

If there is no pdoc near you who specializes in anxiety disorders, it would be worthwhile to seek one farther afield. Some pdocs who specialize will agree to medically manage an out-of-town patient by phone or email after an initial in-person interview. It's helpful to be able to locate such an expert in your state, since he will be able to prescribe with your local pharmacy. MDs are licensed to practice and prescribe by state, so an out-of-state pdoc would have to work with your local doc. A good place to start might be the Anxiety Disorders Association of America find-a-therapist resource at

Until you are able to get the right pdoc, therapist and meds combos in place, you might get a sense of hope or forward movement from a book several people I know have found very helpful.

"The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook" by Bourne

It may also give you a sense of what CBT has to offer, if you haven't done that type of therapy before.

DO hang in--there are lots of people here in your shoes (and others who've found what they needed and moved on to real life!) You might search the archives for PDD or GAD or social anxiety/phobia to see just how many there are.

Please post and let us know how things go---medlib


Re: Is there anyone out there like me?

Posted by Angel1 on January 11, 2003, at 23:40:25

In reply to Re: Is there anyone out there like me?, posted by BettyAnn on January 11, 2003, at 19:16:04

HI BettyAnn,

I, too am your twin only an older version. I am 42 and suffer from all of your same symptoms. Although I am highly functioning...I work, work-out, am hoping to be engaged soon, I still am a negative person and I find I don't really like people all that much. I get along well with people, but it is only at a surface level. I was suicidal in October of 2001. So much so, that I had to live with my parents for a month which was incredibly hard. They tried so much to understand depression and helped me get over the hump with medication and a psychiatrist, but no one really gets it unless they have the illness themselves. But like everyone else has stated, with the right diagnosis and medication and therapy you can live a fulfilling and sucessful life. Don't ever give up, although at times I know it seems the best thing to do. If you have a supportive family you are very lucky. I was scared to tell my family at first because everyone is supposed to be strong in my family and handle any problems and "pray about it." Anyway, I am babbling, but I wish you the best on your journey towards healing and a more peaceful mindset. We will all help you here. Please keep us updated. If this helps at all, I have tried several SSRI's without much success and have found moderate success with the tricyclic Desipramine. And I will add a very low dose of lithium to my mix to help with anger and irritation. Remember to take your medication every day and give it a chance to work. Non-compliance with meds is a big reason a lot of people cannot find relief. I was guilty of that myself. Better stop here. Good Luck to you my dear.


Re: Is there anyone out there like me?

Posted by Dysfunk on January 12, 2003, at 13:11:19

In reply to Is there anyone out there like me?, posted by BettyAnn on January 10, 2003, at 19:47:32


My situation is similar to yours, except I was brought up in a dysfuntional family and didn't receive a lot of support. I get tons of negative feedback and don't have support from friends. I have a negative outlook and I am extremely self-critical. BUT, I do have a wonderful therapist who has taught me to change my attitude towards situations. Cognitive therapy is helpful for this kind of depression- medication alone won't work. When you find the right medicine, you may desensitize a bit, but you still must work on your thought process. It sucks that trying to "think normally" is such hard work for those of us who are depressed, but it is the only way to feeling better.
Good luck!


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