meds not working anymore?? anyone experience this? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 12-12-2003, 01:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been on zoloft for anxiety and depression for 2 yrs. I've had my ups and downs since then while on the meds, but nothing I couldn't deal with. A week ago out of the blue my symptoms came back to the degree they were before I started taking the meds. It has been awful. Some days are better than others, but it's just not getting better. My counselor said that sometimes the meds just peter out and that is possibly what happened. I'm so scared and I'm terrified of switching because my body had such a hard time adjusting to taking them to begin with. But I can't live like this either. I have to do something. I will be able to go in and see someone who knows a lot about these kind of meds next week and hopefully it won't be as bad as I'm anticipating it will be.

Have any of you had this happen and have to change meds? Was it bad? Did you have to completely wean off one to start another? Do any of you take more than one? My counselor talked about something called layering -taking more than one SSRI to cover more neurotransmitters- do any of you do this? If I need to change, what are some of the better ones to try?

I feel like the holidays are cratering. It is so hard to feel this way and still make everything good for my kids. We had plans to volunteer over the holidays serving dinner at the shelter and things like that and now I feel like I can barely function, let alone try to do ANYTHING extra.

Has anyone just cratered like this while still taking your regular dose of meds?

Any input, please... Thanks, mamas!

Alison
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#2 of 7 Old 12-15-2003, 03:57 AM
 
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I believe there is another thread similar to this...

I take Zoloft too. I have had periods where it seems as if it is not working at all. It has always been due to the fact that I have been neglecting to take care of myself.

For me; dehydration makes it pretty bad. Lack of sleep does it too. Pretty tired right now. I will come back tomorrow to finish my post...
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#3 of 7 Old 12-15-2003, 02:00 PM
 
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Do you take an anti-anxiety med on an as needed basis along with the Zoloft? When I was first diagnosed I was put on Ativan to take as needed if I felt like the anxiety was too much. There was a period (also around the holidays last year) where I felt that the ssri just wasn't working anymore. I was able to at least get the anxiety under control by taking .5 of Ativan. I typically only had to take it once a day and it worked like a charm. It didn't cure the depression, but it keep the anxiety under control which helped aleviate the symptoms to the point where I felt that I could at least function normally. I still felt pretty apathetic about things, but I was okay.

The bad spell lasted about 3 or 4 weeks, then it was gone just as soon as it came and I was back to normal. If you aren't having luck on just an ssri, you might ask about adding an anti-anxiety med for a while. They can be addictive so you have to be somewhat careful not to overuse them, but that wasn't an issue for me at all. One low dose pill made all the difference in the world. I had been prescribed Xanax for a week before the Ativan, but it didn't work at all, so evidentally, not all the benzodiazapans (sp?) work for everyone.

Just a thought if you are having a hard time finding another solution.
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#4 of 7 Old 12-15-2003, 11:18 PM
 
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The holidays are a really stressful time for most people, also a time of increased depression for many. It may very well be that you need a new med, since that can happen. But since THIS is the time you are noticing the change, it also could be the extra strain of the holiday season making things harder than usual. I know that last holiday season was when I hit my lowest point and realized I needed help. I remember thinking even at the time how ironic it seemed that I was calling around looking for a therapist on December 29th, when everyone was supposed to be celebrating the joys of the season, but when I knew for a fact plenty of people were beelining for a therapist just like me!

I feel I am battling to keep my footing, so to speak, with the holidays looming over me. It's not even that we do anything huge for Christmas like a long trip or lots of guests, it's just all the little gifts and cards and social occasions and extra acitivities at DD's preschool...they really add up to WAY more than I prefer to have going on. I love the holidays in many ways, but I keeping thinking of mid-January with a smile and a sigh!

Carol
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#5 of 7 Old 12-16-2003, 01:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Mamas, for your insight and imput. It helps more than you know.

I went to see a psychiatrist today. My counselor had highly recommended him and I liked him as well, but I am still freaked out about it all. I think mostly I'm just so bummed that this is happening to me at all (the anxiety and depression and the need for medication). He spent 2 hours with me going over my history and ended up giving me 3 different medication recommendations. He felt that since the zoloft was no longer working well that another ssri wasn't the best option, since they all work similarly. I've never heard of the one we decided on but he says it's a great medication for anxiety. I guess the reason I've never heard of these other options is that my GP presribed the zoloft for me and she doesn't have that much background in treating people for depression and/or anxiety, as is probably the case with most GP's. I feel freaked out and stigmatized about taking the meds. He said around here very few people actually see pyschiatrists, so he feels there is a greater stigma regarding all this than in other places. And I'm just worried about messing around with my medication, esp. at this time of year, with so much going on and my dh going overseas for 2 weeks in 2 weeks. I'm afraid to take the new meds. I'm afraid I will be a mess. Help. I really need encouragement and words of wisdom. Thanks in advance.
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#6 of 7 Old 12-16-2003, 02:22 AM
 
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If you feel freaked out, maybe doing some research about the new meds would help? Are you anxious because of the different type of drug, or just distressed by the fact that you have to change? I felt scared of taking anti-depressants because I didn't really understand how they worked. I thought maybe I'd be a zombie, or get hooked for life. When I learned more about SSRIs and read posts people had written about the one I'm taking, I felt a lot better about things.

As for the stigma, when I've opened up to people I've been surprised how many have admitted that they, too, have had a need for meds at some point in life. Just today a woman at work was talking about starting anti-anxiety meds and I said, "oh which one? I'm on Lexapro..." - she seemed really surprised and relieved to hear my response. I think the only people who are judgmental are those who are ignorant, and their opinions just don't count. It would be just as ridiculous for me to tell someone with ulcers that it's all in their head and they should "snap out of it" as it would be for anyone to tell me the same thing. I do totally understand the stigma attached to psychiatric issues and anti-depressants. I actually feel a little embarrassed because anti-depressants seem to be so POPULAR these days - I don't want anyone to think I'm just jumping on the "prozac bandwagon" because I just want the easy fix of a happy pill.

I'm really glad that you met with a psychiatrist. Since this is their specialty, it only makes sense that a psychiatrist would be able to best work with you on your meds. Let us know how they work out, and don't be afraid to ask from help from friends and family as you make the transition, and also when your husband is out of town (my DH travels for business so I know how challenging and tiring that can be!).

Carol
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#7 of 7 Old 12-16-2003, 02:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Carol,
The doctor actually thought it might be best if I didn't research it too much because he thinks, and I agree, that I make my anxiety worse by worrying about side effects and such. Yeah, I'm freaked out about switching because I don't know what the effect will be and I HATE not feeling completely in control. I know that I make my anxiety worse by having anxiety about having anxiety. Arghh! The med he prescribed is an anit-pyschotic which is why I feel so wierd about it, I think. He says that it is a very good anti-anxiety medication and it's not because I'm pyschotic, but it just wierds me out.

I do have some supportive friends and I actually have discussed this with my mom for the first time. I think I may have mentioned that I was taking anti-depressants a couple years ago to her, but didn't talk to her much more than that. I find it difficult to talk to my mom about it though. Maybe because I know she has no clue what I'm experiencing, but she is being very supportive.

I just need the courage to go take the new med and go to bed, but I'm trying to put it off because I'm scared...
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