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  1. #1
    Let's make this showy! raz's Avatar
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    Default Experiences with antidepressants

    I'm wondering what other TypeC members have experienced with antidepressants. I was in a major depression for 6 years from 14-20. For the last 3 years, I've tried to readjust to a normal life, but it's been very difficult. I've recently started therapy in the last 2 weeks.

    My physician also put me on Paxil 10mg a day for a week and then 20mg a day after that over a month ago. Within 2 days, I noticed a difficulty having orgasms. A week later, I noticed myself feeling happier in general, I wanted to be around people and I found myself wanting to talk to people a lot. I began getting a lot more warm fuzzy happy feelings triggered by the smallest things. After 2 weeks, orgasms were impossible. So, I saw my doctor at the 3 week point.

    He tapered me off Paxil for a week and then put me on 37.5mg of Effexor once a day. The general happy feeling is for the most part gone, and I feel depressed again. I've been on the Effexor for 11 days now. The warm fuzzy feelings happen 2-3 times a day rather than pretty much all day. I see my doctor again Tuesday.

    I know antidepressants take 4+ weeks to take effect, but I miss the happy feeling of Paxil and I'm wondering what's wrong with Effexor. What have others experienced? I took 80mg of Paxil during my major depression 5 years ago, which helped me get out of it. It's just that I don't like taking the Paxil at the cost of orgasms.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    Try Wellbutrin.

  3. #3
    eye of the storm magpie's Avatar
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    I've tried Lexapro, Prozac, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Buspar, Lamictal, Risperidone, Seroquel, Lithium, and Cymbalta, all in order to try and treat my depression. I'm not sexually active, so I can't really relate your experiences to mine in that way. I have been on anti-depressants/anti-psychotics since I was twelve though, and throughout my entire adolescence I have never had strong sexual impulses. I'm fairly certain that's abnormal.

    It's a give and take sort of thing with antidepressants. It all depends on how much you want to sacrifice for your "happiness." When I was on Lithium I had to get blood drawn once I month. I couldn't sleep, I was always so hyped up. I even broke out in hives, and they didn't discontinue it. When I was on Risperidone I always felt sort of tired-drunk. I couldn't think, and I couldn't remember things people had said or I had done just seconds ago. Both of those medications made me happier. But it wasn't worth it. It really wasn't.

    It's likely that there's nothing wrong with the Effexor you're taking, especially if you're lucky enough to be experiencing "fuzzy feelings" 2-3 times a day on it without side effects. You have to decide what you're willing to give up in order to "gain," if you think the gain is worth it, that is.
    Likes Xann liked this post

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by raz View Post
    I'm wondering what other TypeC members have experienced with antidepressants. I was in a major depression for 6 years from 14-20. For the last 3 years, I've tried to readjust to a normal life, but it's been very difficult. I've recently started therapy in the last 2 weeks.

    My physician also put me on Paxil 10mg a day for a week and then 20mg a day after that over a month ago. Within 2 days, I noticed a difficulty having orgasms. A week later, I noticed myself feeling happier in general, I wanted to be around people and I found myself wanting to talk to people a lot. I began getting a lot more warm fuzzy happy feelings triggered by the smallest things. After 2 weeks, orgasms were impossible. So, I saw my doctor at the 3 week point.

    He tapered me off Paxil for a week and then put me on 37.5mg of Effexor once a day. The general happy feeling is for the most part gone, and I feel depressed again. I've been on the Effexor for 11 days now. The warm fuzzy feelings happen 2-3 times a day rather than pretty much all day. I see my doctor again Tuesday.

    I know antidepressants take 4+ weeks to take effect, but I miss the happy feeling of Paxil and I'm wondering what's wrong with Effexor. What have others experienced? I took 80mg of Paxil during my major depression 5 years ago, which helped me get out of it. It's just that I don't like taking the Paxil at the cost of orgasms.
    I'd rather focus on you than me. Questions:

    1) Is your main problem with Paxil the lack of orgasms?
    2) Have you taken any ADs aside from Paxil and Effexor?
    3) Why did your doctor move you from 10mgs of Paxil/day to 20?
    4) Are you taking anything other than an Rx AD to help with depression?

  5. #5
    Let's make this showy! raz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fecal McAngry View Post
    I'd rather focus on you than me. Questions:

    1) Is your main problem with Paxil the lack of orgasms?
    2) Have you taken any ADs aside from Paxil and Effexor?
    3) Why did your doctor move you from 10mgs of Paxil/day to 20?
    4) Are you taking anything other than an Rx AD to help with depression?
    1) Yes. Everything about Paxil was wonderful except for the orgasm problem. I feel as if I have a strong sex drive and not being able to relieve myself through masturbation is in itself depressing. If I have no other choice with the meds, then I have no other choice.

    2) No.

    3) His goal was apparently 20mg/day. He started me at 10mg/day for a week then the 20mg/day.

    4) All I'm doing right now is taking antidepressants and receiving therapy once a week.

    My family is extremely concerned about me being on Effexor right now. They feel I'm much more depressed while on it and we're seeking to switch when I see the doctor Tuesday. Right now, I feel like crap and it seems like every hour is hard because I'm constantly overanalyzing everything.


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by raz View Post
    1) Yes. Everything about Paxil was wonderful except for the orgasm problem. I feel as if I have a strong sex drive and not being able to relieve myself through masturbation is in itself depressing. If I have no other choice with the meds, then I have no other choice.

    2) No.

    3) His goal was apparently 20mg/day. He started me at 10mg/day for a week then the 20mg/day.

    4) All I'm doing right now is taking antidepressants and receiving therapy once a week.

    My family is extremely concerned about me being on Effexor right now. They feel I'm much more depressed while on it and we're seeking to switch when I see the doctor Tuesday. Right now, I feel like crap and it seems like every hour is hard because I'm constantly overanalyzing everything.
    Okay.
    Paxil is an SSRI. Effexor is an SNRI. Basically (very crudely), SSRIs boost the effect of serotonin on brain function, and SNRIs boost both serotonin and norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is a stimulatory neurotransmitter, serotonin is both stimulatory and inhibitory, but with SSRIs it is generally the inhibitory effects of serotonin which dominate.

    So. We can tentatively conclude that you respond well to serotonin boosting drugs (SSRIs) and poorly to norepineprine-boosting drugs such as Effexor or Wellbutrin (An NDRI--norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor).

    My advice:

    First, slowly taper off Effexor. The withdrawal effects can be nasty, but you haven't been on it for very long, so it probably won't be that bad.

    While you are tapering off Effexor, begin taking 1) a purified fish oil supplement which provides you with @ 3g/day of EPA+DHA (usually 1/3-1/2 of fish oil is EPA+DHA, read labels) and 2) An oil based gelcap form of vitamin D3 in the dosage of 5000IU per day. The antidepressant effects of both are considerable, as are the other heath benefits, so you may be able to use lower a lower dose of an SSRI than you'd otherwise need.

    After you have been off Effexor for a week, start taking an SSRI again.

    Two possible choices:

    1) Paxil at a low dose--5-10mgs per day for a month; monitoring how you feel (if you feel good at a low dose, don't increase).

    OR

    1) Another SSRI. My suggestion would be that you try Lexapro at a low dose(5-10mgs), with the same advice as above. Lexapro is the SSRI with the lowest incidence of side effect, esp. sexual side effects, although this is only true statistically and may not be true for you.

  7. #7
    Let's make this showy! raz's Avatar
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    Are people going around buying prescriptions of antidepressants that freely or are you including invisible consultations with my doctor in your post? No offense to you, but even if I were allowed to purchase any antidepressant I wanted, I would do it with a doctor's advice, not my own, or someone on the internet. I just like doing the research so I know what I'm getting into.


  8. #8
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raz View Post
    Are people going around buying prescriptions of antidepressants that freely or are you including invisible consultations with my doctor in your post? No offense to you, but even if I were allowed to purchase any antidepressant I wanted, I would do it with a doctor's advice, not my own, or someone on the internet. I just like doing the research so I know what I'm getting into.
    Well, EPA/Vitamin D are freely available, they're not meds...
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Well, EPA/Vitamin D are freely available, they're not meds...
    Antidepressants are almost as easy to obtain as fish oil and D3.

    As for doctors...

    Having dealt with many in the past few years, I can state with confidence that medicine remains more art than science. Which is another way of saying that there are good doctors and bad doctors...and in my experience, good doctors are relatively rare, and you need to hunt them down most of the time. You may stumble across one by chance, but the odds are against you...

    It's very important to remember that you are in charge of your health care, and that doctors are your employees.

    If they suck, move on. Find better ones.

  10. #10
    Let's make this showy! raz's Avatar
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    My doctor told me he wasn't giving up on the Effexor so quickly. He said to double the dosage from 37.5mg to 75mg for 5 days. If there's no improvement or side effects, double again to 150mg and follow up 2 weeks from today. I'll see how this goes.


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