What do anti-depressants FEEL like? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 09-03-2009, 12:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What does it feel like to be on an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication? I'm really wondering what your first-hand experiences are, mammas. Someone said you don't FEEL anything different per se, just that things are, well, easier somehow. I'm really curious to hear all of your stories about what taking meds is like. Thanks so much.
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#2 of 27 Old 09-03-2009, 12:56 AM
 
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This probably doesn't count as it's not prescription, and probably not even classified as an anti-depressant. But, I thought I'd interject my experience anyway - for what it's worth. I took Saint John's Wort for years ... only weaned myself recently from it when I decided to try for a baby.

In terms of feeling different, I don't know if my experience was unique, but for me it was like night and day. After 6 weeks, the "mindless, numb, indifferent, bleak hole of despair" - sorry, it's the only way I can describe it - just disappeared. Just like that, it was gone. And I felt like myself again. I had no other side effects but that.

I did take SJW in conjunction with doing other things, i.e. exercise, eating well, journaling, etc. But, I had been doing all those things prior to SJW and they hadn't helped. For me, it was like a miracle.

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#3 of 27 Old 09-03-2009, 05:05 PM
 
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oh, i could definitely feel anti-depressants. there was usually an element of things feeling easier. and for lack of a better term, many of them made me feel a bit buzzed. not totally like drugs, but just sort of an energy, like things seem to "click" more. that being said, every one i was ever on had side effects that came along with it. some gave me the drugged up feeling more. some i felt comotose on. some made me want to sleep all day. some made sleeping hard. some seemed to make the depression worse even.
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#4 of 27 Old 09-03-2009, 07:06 PM
 
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[QUOTE=freestyler;14325919] Someone said you don't FEEL anything different per se, just that things are, well, easier somehow. [QUOTE]

That's about how I'd describe it. I don't really have any side effects but I'm more in control of how I respond to things. I'm more able to step back and realize when I'm about to go overboard with a negative emotion and change my course instead of getting stuck in a downward spiral.

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#5 of 27 Old 09-03-2009, 07:36 PM
 
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[QUOTE=MomToKandE;14329924That's about how I'd describe it. I don't really have any side effects but I'm more in control of how I respond to things. I'm more able to step back and realize when I'm about to go overboard with a negative emotion and change my course instead of getting stuck in a downward spiral.[/QUOTE]

Me too. I'm taking Zoloft 100mg/day. There is a side-effect that I do have though and it's slight shaking in my hands. It's not that bad, but more annoying than anything.

Kate, Wife to DH and Mommy to a 5yo lovin' DS; three angels 4/08 9/08 3/10 in Heaven,
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#6 of 27 Old 09-03-2009, 07:42 PM
 
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I'm on 10 mg of Lexapro. After the initial first few weeks (when I was exhausted all the time), I don't feel anything really except less tense. I was suffering from obsessive negative thoughts, and they are almost completely gone. And I laugh so much more often than I used to!

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#7 of 27 Old 09-04-2009, 11:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Why does Zoloft make your hands shake, Lovebeinmommy?

I'm glad you're laughing more, Greeny!!

Thanks for the input mammas! Keep it coming.
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#8 of 27 Old 09-05-2009, 01:51 AM
 
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I've tried a number of them over the years and have settled in quite well on Lexapro and Wellbutrin. I don't find that there's any special "feeling'" that is noticeable with them, just that over time I find my bad days are fewer and my good ones are more frequent, and the bad ones are not AS bad.

Also, Wellbutrin has somewhat restored my completely nonexistent libido. For which my husband is presumably extremely grateful.
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#9 of 27 Old 09-05-2009, 10:43 AM
 
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I know that some people don't like the feeling of being on any psychotropic drugs. For some, it is a feeling of being flat, not experiencing any real emotion. Some people almost get a "high" from them.

Once I found my right combo of meds, I finally felt normal. I feel like myself again : It had been so long that it was such a relief. I don't feel disconnected from my emotions or jittery. I just feel relief at not having to feel so awful anymore.

But, if you are on the wrong AD, it can make you feel awful. Anxious, irritable, restless, and even more depressed. Sometimes, it takes awhile to find the right med for you.

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#10 of 27 Old 09-06-2009, 06:17 PM
 
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I didn't feel anything different, really, at least not in the sense of being high or buzzed or anything like that. I felt a gradual shift, but it was almost imperceivable from day to day. After a month or so I just realized I wasn't so depressed or anxious and I was better able to cope with stressful situations.

I like it to when you have a headache. The headache hurts and it's all you can think about. But when the headache goes away, there's not really this definable "ah ha!" moment when it does. It's more like at some point you just realize you don't have the headache anymore. Anti-depressants were like that for me. There was no definable change or shift in mood, it was that I just looked back and realized I just wasn't so depressed anymore.

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#11 of 27 Old 09-06-2009, 11:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Darn....I was hoping you would all say that antidepressants are like being on an awesome drug that makes you really happy all the time. *sigh* I guess that would be morphine or something, huh.
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#12 of 27 Old 09-07-2009, 12:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by freestyler View Post
Darn....I was hoping you would all say that antidepressants are like being on an awesome drug that makes you really happy all the time. *sigh* I guess that would be morphine or something, huh.
Hmm, no, not morphine. On my first hospital visit as a minister to a lady who's been in a bad motorcycle accident, we had a long visit while she was still rather doped on morphine.

It's bad enough to be broken, beat flat, in more than one cast, and to KNOW how bad a shape you're in and that it was not your fault - now imagine on top of that a medicine that at least tones down the pain a LOT, but it makes you itch, your nose or your back that you can't reach, anywhere inside your casts, etc. Also makes it impossible to stay on a topic during conversation, you're trying to, you can't even make it through a sentence and stay on one subject the whole time. You can't take care of yourself because even if you could get up, you're two stoned to do anything without help anyway (even without casts) - and you know you're too stoned. It might be an amazing drug for pain, but not for happiness.
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#13 of 27 Old 09-07-2009, 05:11 PM
 
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Things are not super different. For me emotions just aren't as strong.

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#14 of 27 Old 09-07-2009, 10:59 PM
 
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Took me awhile too to find the right mix of meds for me. Ones that were wrong made me feel worse. I'm still not totally happy with the mix I have but they are 90%, I'd say. Like others have said, I feel like my reactions to things are usually more in proportion to what they should be and my depressive and anxiety symptoms have lessened.

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#15 of 27 Old 10-06-2009, 07:28 PM
 
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i've been on anti-depressants twice, for about a month each time.
(i think one was celexa and the other zoloft)

both times i quit for the same reason.

they made me feel sort of emotionally numb. like, when bad things would happen in my life, i just didn't care or feel anything about them. i knew i should feel bad, but the bad feelings just sort of felt like an idea of bad feelings. and the same went for good feelings. it was sort of like i was living life behind a glass.

i didn't like that feeling at all.

i think the reason i don't like taking anti-depressants is that my problems aren't caused by a chemical imbalance, but instead by things that happened to me in my past and negative thought processes that i formed due to those things. so altering my brain chemistry isn't really fixing the problem.

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#16 of 27 Old 10-06-2009, 09:29 PM
 
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Have you ever had REALLLLY bad PMS where you know you're acting crazy but just can't stop it? Well, I felt that way before. I'd be stressed for no reason, screaming at my kids and knowing it was wrong but not able to stop it.

It felt like the day you wake up without PMS and you think "wow, was I really like that?"

It does make my life easier. It makes it easier for me to manage. It is like having an extra adult in a house full of small children-- backup.

For me, it is worth it.

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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#17 of 27 Old 10-07-2009, 12:13 AM
 
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Savoir Faire put it perfectly. For me it's getting a piece of my control over my life back. I am a better wife, mother and friend when I don't have to battle myself so hard.

Proud mama to DD#1 (11) DS (4) and DD#2 ( 2 )
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#18 of 27 Old 10-07-2009, 12:41 AM
 
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I've been on Zoloft for years. I've also been off it and on other meds, which was a big mistake (except for the Paxil, which worked well). Honestly, it just makes me feel normal. It takes away the gut-wrenching, debilitating despair over nothing.

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#19 of 27 Old 10-08-2009, 12:37 AM
 
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What happens with the sleepiness side effect if you have a wee cosleeping nursling? I watched my husband sleep the sleep of the dead, 12 hours a day, for two months while he was adjusting. I can't imagine having that happen while responsible for a baby or toddler.
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#20 of 27 Old 10-08-2009, 07:52 PM
 
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Paquerette - different people will respond to the same med in different ways. Not everyone gets the sleeping-like-the-dead side effect. Or if they do, some people get it for a couple of days, not a couple of months. Certain meds, like trazadone, are known to make people sleep-like-the-dead and are sometimes prescribed knowing they can help a person sleep who can't sleep due to their depression.

I had that kind of sleep effect on traz when I was nursing/co-sleeping my older baby. I took it for one night and didn't take it again because I didn't like that drugged feeling.

I think each person has to decide for themselves what is necessary.

A co-sleeping mother with this effect might sleep nearby (on the floor or air mattress or something), let their spouse sleep with the baby, when the baby wakes to nurse, the spouse can bring the baby to the mother.

Just some thoughts.

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#21 of 27 Old 10-12-2009, 12:15 AM
 
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Savoir Faire put it perfectly. For me it's getting a piece of my control over my life back. I am a better wife, mother and friend when I don't have to battle myself so hard.
This, so much.

I'm on 20mg of Lexapro for depression and general anxiety. I don't have any kind of "high" feeling, or a feeling of flatness or numbness - it's just like I can breathe again after struggling underwater for a long time. The whole time I was freaking out (often) and crying and wailing over tiny things, unable to sleep at night for weeks at a time, constantly filled with dread and despair, before I saw my doctor and started taking the drug - I knew I wasn't being rational, I knew I wasn't myself, I knew it was all wrong, but it was like I was powerless to stop it. After I started treatment, it was like I woke up one day and realized, "oh my god, I'm sane again". My only regret is that I waited so long, out of a fear of taking antidepressants.

As far as side effects go, the only thing I've noticed is that my dreams are crazy-vivid and I almost always remember them when I wake up, which is new for me. I'll take that, it's actually pretty entertaining most of the time. But side effects vary so much from person to person.
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#22 of 27 Old 10-20-2009, 02:44 AM
 
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I felt emotionally flat. As though there was a wall between me and any sort of intense feelings. That being said, at the time that wall probably saved my life. I needed to block off some emotions to get stuff worked out. Once I could think about things without melting into a blob of sadness moving forward with my life became possible. I was on Prozac for about a year, then weaned myself off (although I think I'm headed back toward it, sigh).
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#23 of 27 Old 10-20-2009, 10:34 PM
 
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As though there was a wall between me and any sort of intense feelings. That being said, at the time that wall probably saved my life. I needed to block off some emotions to get stuff worked out. Once I could think about things without melting into a blob of sadness moving forward with my life became possible.
This.

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#24 of 27 Old 09-06-2012, 05:13 AM
 
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It's funny but I stumbled onto this forum because I did a Google search for "antidepressants make me awesome", because, well.... they do!  I was surprised to read so many replies that said that they don't feel anything but "normal".  Maybe I am so used to feeling crappy that to not feel crappy feels freaking fantastic.  For a few days there is a drowsy feeling that isn't unpleasant. As you adapt to it, I just felt more and more cheerful and relaxed.  Like being totally alert, yet totally calm and in control at the same time.  I agree with others, in that life seems easier.  I laugh more, a LOT more.  Things that would have stressed me out before, now make me laugh.  The reduction in anxiety seems to be across a broader range of activities than I expected and as a result I am enjoying things that I never considered that anxiety was ruining for me, like learning to surf.  I seem to have a bigger thirst for coffee; perhaps this is my way of balancing the drowsiness. I'd like to give up coffee and see how I feel after a week or two.  Colours seem brighter, shiny things seem shinier (and I mean that in a literal sense).  Other people seem happier, probably a reflection of how I am feeling.  I feel wittier and never stuck for what to say.  I would say I usually feel a little buzz... like a little bit of excited energy that makes me want to dance and sing.  I don't know how I managed to drag myself through life for so long feeling the way I did.  Now, the sun is shining and I love it.

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#25 of 27 Old 09-06-2012, 07:50 PM
 
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Wow.  i'm definitely on the wrong meds if your anti-depressants make you THAT happy. 


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#26 of 27 Old 09-07-2012, 05:02 AM
 
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I tried zoloft for 3 weeks and it was *not* the right one for me.  I thought they were just the initial side effects and would go away and should've talked to my doctor sooner about how i was feeling-- lesson learned-- do not hesitate to call your doctor!

 

zoloft, even at super low doses, made me feel like i was on speed-- heart pounding, couldnt sleep, buzzing throughout my body, nauseaous unless i was drinking or on xanax.  i lost a ton of weight in a short time.  no sex drive at all.  apparently it is an "upper" type of anti-depressant.  I am still not convinced I have true depression-- I feel like i just have more of a straight up anxiety issue-- and the zoloft made it worse.

 

i do take xanax as needed-- if i feel a panic attack coming on (rarely these days) or if i feel too anxious to really function well (work, be with family, sleep).  i am trying other remedies so i can get off the xanax-- like yoga, meditation, acupuncture and xiao yao sen (a chinese herb).


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#27 of 27 Old 09-28-2012, 06:35 PM
 
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Antidepressants at dosage levels that are too high actually make you MORE anxious or MORE depressed.  They only really work well at the right dose for the right person who needs it.


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