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Thread: Happy pills and fluffy bunnies

  1. #1
    Let's make this showy! Array raz's Avatar
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    Nov 2008

    Default Happy pills and fluffy bunnies

    A lot of people pretty much know my story. I was in a major depression for 6 years following a traumatic accident my father was in. I went up to 80mg of Paxil, then slowly went off as I gained control over the depression. I came out of the depression and felt a need to go out and do things a lot to prove I was in control of my life and not in a depression.

    It proved useful for almost 2 years as I lost over a hundred pounds, got a new job, started college, made friends and re-established a connection with my family. However, I felt lost during that time because I didn't know what to make of my life seeing as I had lost my teenage years to an illness and I didn't have the necessary life experience of my age.

    Over the last year, I've felt even more lost trying to figure out what I'm doing with my life, realizing that I'm afraid to do a lot of things thinking I'll fall back into a depression, lose control of my life and regain the weight I had lost. I've just started thinking I'm doing things to take up time and not really living. I tried seeing a therapist and after the first visit, I tried scheduling 3 more visits, but canceled them the next day out of being stubborn for help.

    I feel as if I'm afraid of myself, cynical of others and incapable of making my own decisions. I went to see my physician and I told him that lately I've felt bored, as if people didn't care about me, I've had desires to run away to another city, and just plain frustrated. He gave me a prescription for 10mg of Paxil once a day, then twice a day after a week. I guess now I'm just waiting to see what happens to me now.

    I've made appointments at the therapist again, and hoping I can start getting help. I just feel like my life is passing me by and I can't control what I'm doing. I've been reading about side effects of Paxil and the loss of sex drive part doesn't sound appealing. What's the point of being happy but with a decreased sex drive?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Saslou's Avatar
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    Feb 2009


    Oh darling, i am so sorry to hear that.

    The problem is anyone can offer advice .. but we individually get stuck to an extent with our fictional self thus unable to remove that perception we have and it is far more easier to stick with what we know.

    However, I'll give you my 2 cents for what it's worth.

    You can't escape the past but you have the choice at this moment regarding moving your life forward. Do you really want to be having this conversation again in a few years time .. These are your best years darling and look just how far you have come .. Instead of focusing on the negatives, look at what can be, you know you have potential, you seem like a really nice person so the only person who is putting barriers in your way is you .. Get the help and stop being stubborn

    You are in control of your life and it is only you who can make the decision as to which road you go down.

    Good luck
    “I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower, you hung all your associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see—and I don't.”
    ― Georgia O'Keeffe

  3. #3
    Rainy Day Woman Array MDP2525's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
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    You certainly seem to meet criteria for depression. Follow through on that appointment. If Paxil isn't working for you don't hesitate to voice that. Nothing worse than a medication that doesn't "fit".
    ~I'm looking California, and feeling Minnesota.

    Shameless Self-Promotion:MDP2525's Den and the Start of Motorcycle Maintenance

  4. #4
    Let's make this showy! Array raz's Avatar
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    Nov 2008


    I thought I'd elaborate more on what's been going on with me. After reading a book about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I started wondering if it was what I've fallen victim to. Reading about the symptoms made me start to probe into my fears and insecurities causing me to burst into tears in the middle of a bookstore.

    I'm 23 years old. In July of 2000, my family was moving from Atlanta, Ga to Raleigh, NC. It was the summer between 7th and 8th grade. On the way up my father was crushed by our UHaul truck when he accidentally left the emergency brake up, but he survived after 5 weeks of intensive care. I resumed 8th grade back in Atlanta for a few weeks until my parents figured out how to get back to moving following the accident. I seemed fine until we got to NC.

    I had been heavy to computers since I was about 7 or 8, because my father was a computer programmer and I was exposed to them early on, so it provoked my geekiness. I had spent the few weeks using my computer before we actually moved to NC, and then we got into our new apartment. I had my computer setup, and I tried going back to school, but it just seemed horrible to me. I just didn't feel I had the energy to make it through a new school. The school was more old-fashioned than the one I was used to and I started trying to get out of it because it just seemed to be too much for me.

    After a while of trying to get out of school, I ended up not going at all, and I began staying in my room constantly using my computer playing games online. I never left the house and never wanted to. The games made me feel content and I desired nothing more. So, I quit school in 8th grade and my parents became concerned that I wasn't participating in life anymore, and I began seeing psychiatrists and therapists. I didn't exercise at all and started putting on weight. After a while, I was diagnosed with major depression and went up to 80mg of Paxil a day.

    I tried home-schooling, a normal high school, a charter school, but I just didn't want to go to school. I just wanted to sit at my computer all day. I started thinking my parents didn't care about me and they were trying to hurt me emotionally or trick me. I tried running away at one point, but they came after me. I became a diabetic because of the weight gain, and I had gotten up to over 325 lbs. I was 225 when I was in 7th grade. My parents tried getting me to get a job and I tried 2 fast food jobs, but I couldn't hold them out of a lack of interest. Eventually, in 2005, I was able to get a job at a fast food restaurant and started working there, holding it longer than the others.

    Around this point, I was tapered off of the Paxil, with the doctor thinking I no longer needed it. I got down to 300 lbs after working there for a year. All I did at that point was play games on my computer and go to work. In late 2006, at 300 lbs, my doctor told me I had to get a grip on my weight or I was being put on Insulin. At this point, my mother showed me weight watchers and I began using it to lose weight. Around this time also, I was slowly weening myself off of my computer, taking myself away from my games and doing things on my computer that wasn't an MMORPG like World of Warcraft.

    By January 2007, I had reached the point where World of Warcraft was getting boring for me, and I no longer had an interest in playing it. It was 5 days after the newest expansion came out. I stopped and told myself, "it's time to start fixing the problems my depression caused." So, I started hanging out with my family more, exploring Raleigh where I had moved to that I had never explored, and keeping on losing weight. I tried homeschooling again to get my high school diploma, but realizing it would take too long, I opted for a GED so I could start at the community college.

    I began telling myself that I had a lot of things I had to be fixing and that I had to spend a lot of time learning the things about life I didn't get to because of the time I spent in my room. During 2007, I had breakdowns constantly. I felt like 6 years of my life had passed by and I was 20 years old, incomparable to other people my age. I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing with my life and I cried constantly. I felt like my family just didn't understand the agony I was feeling trying to understand that time I had lost.

    During this time, I had no idea how to figure out what meant I wasn't in a depression. It had taken over so much of my life and thrown me off course so much that I felt like I had done something wrong when all I was trying to do was be myself. I thought, is there a requirement on how much time I have to spent outside of the house to say I'm not in a depression? Do I have to be exercising all the time? Is there a quota on socializing? All I wanted to do was be myself, but I felt like I didn't know how, and I tried to create these artificial rules to avoid the depression. So, I kept trying to just be more....outgoing and active. I still used my computer everyday, but not as much as before.

    The breakdowns became less frequent through 2007 as I began working on work, school, family. I started convincing myself, "Ok, maybe to not be in a depression, I have to be constantly seeking out new things to do, to keep myself pushing forward to make it look like my life is making progress. That makes sense." I went with that but it took a lot of conscious effort and became draining. Personal hobbies, such as computer games, or music, or movies, I was familiar with that gave me energy I became afraid of because they weren't part of seeking new things to do. I thought, "These old things make me feel like I'm falling back into a depression."

    I kept myself from doing things like watching movies I enjoyed because they weren't new things to do. I kept myself from playing role playing games that I needed to feel like myself out of a fear of becoming stuck in my room and isolated from the world. Areas where I used to live reminded me of the time I spent in my depression and made me feel like it was happening again. My favorite songs from those years reminded me of it and made me feel it was happening again. I started becoming afraid of a lot of things that were associated with my depression because it was so horrible, something that had messed up my life so much.

    I felt like I no longer had personal hobbies to take pride in, I became obsessed with school and overly critical of myself, concentrating on my failures. I had gotten down to 200 lbs, and I felt like I didn't deserve to be that weight, because it was caused by my depression, something that wasn't....natural. I became obsessed with finding relationships, because I felt like it was the only way to feel truly entertained. I ran into the problem that it was like I had no personal identity to offer to the relationship and I failed at finding dates. I started feeling hopeless in terms of finding a girlfriend and thus, lonely.

    School became the only thing outside of my full time job at a department store that I kept focusing on and tried using as something to define myself. I thought I'd go into Accounting, but during my first semester, I went into a computer lab for one of my classes and noticed an opened computer in the back. Suddenly, I felt a flood of memories of how much computers meant to me, and I felt like I was lying to myself by going into accounting. I spent the rest of the day confused and crying. I was trying to take 4 classes and work full-time, but with this personal problem coming back to haunt me, I broke down and had to drop 2 classes. I sorted it out the best I could and decided to take classes in accounting, psychology and computers in the following semester to make a decision on a major to pursue.

    I just kept moving on, but I had started to feel like it was impossible to stand still and focus on myself. I felt like I had this invisible dependence on being around other people. I felt agitated if I tried thinking while sitting alone. My breakdowns that started in early 2007 had slowed down at this point from once a week to about once every few months. I had made myself stop doing a lot of things I wanted to do out of fear or telling myself it wasn't something new, and I started feeling bored all day. The breakdowns of, "I just can't take this confusion and overanalyzing anymore" started happening about 6 months ago, increasing with frequency until I went on a date with a girl that made me realize that I was insecure and had to focus on fixing my depression issue.

    I started a therapist and taking Paxil a month ago. The Paxil made me feel happy in general about half the time, but because of sexual side effects, I switched to Effexor a week ago. The therapist didn't work with me and I have switched to another one for the last 2 weeks. I just feel bored, anxious, overly-critical, restless, on guard all the time, depressed and lonely. I'm starting to feel hopeless but I dropped out of school yesterday to de-stress my life to focus on fixing this problem. I'm just not sure what is going on. I'm also really worried about my weight because I feel like I've been craving a lot more the last month and eating out of boredom or stress.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array Lambchop's Avatar
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    Aug 2009



    I haven't been around for awhile, but how are you feeling? Are you still seeing a therapist/on medication?

    I've struggled with depression on and off over my life and can relate to some of what you talked about. Is there a history of depression or anxiety in your family? I was adopted, but when I found my biological mom back when I was in my early 20's, I found out she committed suicide. My chemical imbalance is genetic. My 19 year old suffers from it as well. I take a low dose of a mixture of Zoloft and Wellbutrin and have a prescription for xanax as needed during PMS (which you don't have to worry about, lucky you!) My quality of life has changed alot since getting stabilized on medication. I also went through years of therapy, which helped a lot too. Therapy helped me figure out who I was and get comfortable with myself, which helped socially for me. I tend to be over critical of myself and learned how to change my self talk, to feel better too.

    There are many different medications that can help. I would keep trying until you find one that works for you. They are all different. The same with therapy.

    Most of all, you should know that you're not alone. SO many people struggle with depression and anxiety and MANY people are on medication or in therapy.

    I have heard that Paxil is one of the most likely medications to cause weight gain. If you are worried about that, I would look into something else. Prozac for example, is a similar medication that is less likely to cause fatigue and weight gain. A psychiatrist can help you figure out the right medication.

    Hang in there!

  6. #6
    Let's make this showy! Array raz's Avatar
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    Nov 2008


    I was browsing the SJ threads and noticed this. I haven't responded in a while and *a lot* has happened. I mean. A lot. This'll be a novel.

    Picking up where I dropped off from the last post. I went onto Effexor XR last January after Paxil was bad. I had a long distance GF at the time and Paxil was killing the ability to orgasm. That was just not acceptable. After a week of being on Effexor, my mind went haywire. I felt like I was trapped inside of my head. I had little motivation. I had little energy. I felt hopeless. I had little desire to do anything that require action. It scared the crap out of me. My family helped me get back to my doctor and I was started on Prozac. I was on it for about 2 weeks, and I had broken up with that GF for reasons unrelated to my problems. I started to want to have sex....really badly. Badly enough that I went on Craigslist to find people to hook up with. I even noticed the availability of prostitutes. For that reason, I needed money. I justified taking $500 of student loan money to go find hookers. I was successful and hooked up with 2 girls, one I paid for.

    As time went by, I needed sex more. I found the prostitutes to be easy, and so I needed cash. I realized I couldn't easily get a visa/mastercard quick enough, so I got store cards and ordered thousands of merchandise online, resold it on craigslist for cash and spent it on hookers. During this time, I was stopping at convenience stores, restaurants and bars for random drinks and drinking everyday. Over the course of 2 weeks, my credit card applications and spending spree brought me from 2 credit cards and $1,000 debt to 10 credit cards and $18,000 debt. I was lying to my parents about where I was. I didn't care what I did. All I wanted was to do something exciting in the exact moment and not acknowledge any consequences. I mouthed off to people at work and got in trouble. I got drunk twice to the point that my family had to pick me up in the hands of police. I went to strip clubs and spent $1,000 on one girl just for the hell of it.

    My family and my doctor saw my behavior and directed me to my old psychiatrist. After 2 minutes of explaining my current behaviors, he bluntly told me, "You're manic." I was experiencing a manic episode, as part of bipolar disorder. I was scared at that point of what I had done to myself and I was scared of myself. At the same time, the mania was still in effect. I wanted to have fun. I wanted to do crazy shit. I lied and kept taking the prozac instead of the Lithium they gave me until it ran out. I went out one last night and overdrafted my bank account $500. I knew at that point that I was doing some really bad things and admitted to my sister that i was ready to get help. I got blood tests for lithium levels and they came back lower than healthy levels. I continued seeing my therapist, and after a few weeks, the mania disappeared. My mood went down from the crash from mania, but I slowly went back up with the help of the Lithium.

    I knew at that point why my life the last 10 years had been the way it had been. I had bipolar disorder. My mother's side of the family has a history of depression, anxiety and bipolar. I second guessed all of my doctors because my mania was caused by a pill and not completely naturally. They reassured me that their diagnosis was due to a culmination of things: 1) 1 manic and 1 depressive episode 2) A positive reaction to Lithium 3) A blood test of low Lithium levels. So, over the Summer, I had to pick up the pieces from the mania. My credit was destroyed. I had gained 60-70 lbs in 3-4 months. I took $1,000 out of my 401k to fix my overdrafted bank account and pay police tickets for open containers and speeding. I was terrified of myself and what I was capable of. Depression could remove me from society and my own thoughts. Mania could make me dangerously impulsive. Terrified was an understatement. Slowly, through therapy and my family's support, I made it back to school in the Fall.

    I took 2 classes and a coworker advised to get a part time job on top of my classes and full time job waiting tables. I wanted to try it, and even though I got fired for not doing well enough, I was proud for being able to juggle all that. I made it through the semester, and as winter came, I noticed changes in my attitude. These weren't negative changes, but rather I was noticing over the last few months during that semester how I viewed the world differently compared to a year prior. I was calm. I was laid back. I wanted to have fun. I wasn't anxious. I could let things slide. I could allow myself to forgo responsibilities for other things. As the Spring semester came, I realized I could get a certificate by taking 3 classes, and with them only 2 credits each, I could take a 4th for 4 credits. At first I thought, "I've taken 4 classes twice before and failed. Why try again?" I reminded myself, "This is less credits, so less work. Besides, if you try and fail? Who cares? What matters is you pushed yourself."

    So, as the semester went on, I held it together magnificently. I became more social as I got more busy. I wanted to talk to more people. I was more confident. I allowed myself to have small talk just for the sake of establishing relationships. I took quizzes in classes and got a B or a C on some, and I let it slide. I was happy for myself. The Lithium must be doing this. I had priorities, worked hard and yet still kept a cool head. But, the problem has come in learning to balance that new lifestyle. I want to focus on becoming better at socializing and experiencing new things just for the sake of it, but I don't want to lose myself in the process. I want to learn how to know when I'm lowering my standards temporarily and when I'm acting off of deeper personal needs.

    I still see a therapist biweekly. I feel biweekly is my balance. Once a week was too often and once a month made me feel weird not having the support system.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array tinker683's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
    9w1 sx/sp


    Wow man. Sounds like you've been to hell and back. Makes me reflect on my own run-thru with depression and what I had to do to claw my way up from the pit I had found myself in and how my life changed.

    It sounds like you're on the right track so I can only say keep on keeping man. I hope your attitudes about yourself, your interests, and your place in this world have improved for the better. You sound like a really cool, interesting person and I hope things just keep getting better for you.
    "There is no such thing as spare time, no such thing as down time, no such thing as free time, there is only life time. Go."
    ― Henry Rollins

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