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  1. Hello! I would love to get some advice. When I was ages 8 - 16, I had horrible anxiety stomachaches and nausea (doctor prescribed Zantac). In my 20s, I would get migraines...only nausea when I traveled. I went to a therapist about 5 years ago who diagnosed anxiety/GAD. I consider myself a happy and upbeat person, but I struggle with feeling restless, feeling "sped up" all the time, easily overwhelmed. I've had a binge eating issue since elementary school so the 'sped up' feeling frequently manifests in binges. It's especially bad during PMS time, when I feel so 'sped up' and jittery that I can't sleep and am constantly eating. My weight has yo-yo'd by 100 pounds multiple times since elementary school and I'm over it. I feel like my sped-up brain is hamstringing my efforts toward a healthy weight. I finally went to my doctor, who prescribed Prozac. I had a terrible reaction to it (swelling joints for 6 weeks). Then she prescribed Phentermine, which is perfect - it makes me feel calm and in control. But it's only a 3 month Rx and she can't renew (says that it's bad for blood pressure). She has just prescribed Effexor, but I've read horror stories about it, and after my miserable Prozac reaction, I'm really anxious - ha! - about taking it. Any thoughts? Any coping mechanisms for that "sped up" feeling? Or do I really need to resign myself to meds? Thanks so much!
  2. Hi, I was on effexor, b/w 37.5-75mg for 6+ years. I never really had depression although I was misdiagnosed with it. I struggle with anxiety and since the medical world thinks they're one in the same, I'm stuck taking antidepressants. I do not want to be on them at all! I tried weaning off 37.5mg for 4 months by taking a bead out/day. Once I had no more to take I quit, then two weeks later I was stuck with back side effects and had to start them again. I was fine until a month in and I was getting side effects that I never had the 6 years I was on them. Extreme fatigue, foggy head, unclear thoughts, lights were bothering my eyes. I went to doctor and they switched me to lexapro 10mg. I was fine for the first week, then back to side effects, the worse being EXTREME fatigue. Can't keep my eyes open during the day. Can anyone give insight on what they know or have been told by their doctors?
  3. Hey everyone, My name is Sandra! I am 28 and over the last 10 years, I've had three episodes of anxiety/depression (mind you I still have the daily struggle of knowing I live with anxiety regularly, it's just not always full blown). The first being the worst (as I'm sure for many). A few weeks back, I had a horrible panic attack (actually more than one), which then spiralled me into an acute (on chronic now) anxiety episode, which then I feel led to my current depression. Since, I have not had any 'full-blown' attacks, but I still feel anxious daily/on edge and now more emotionally numb. I was on 37.5mg of Effexor for years (very low dose), I was upped to only to 75mg as my body is veryy sensitive by Dr. 16 days ago, with little improvement yet (I think). I'm going to see a psychiatrist Dec.21 to review, probably around week 4 or so. My current situation has really grabbed a hold of my emotional regulation. I've never labelled myself per say as a depressed person first - always anxious first, depressed second because, it always follows after an anxious episode (meaning: I experience a panic attack that leaves me shaken for days, which usually results in more panic attacks, which then lead to more days of feeling shitty, on edge, and overall upset). Meaning, I don't ever really wake up randomly and feel depressed and THEN get anxious. I always get anxious/have these recurring OCD-like thoughts, that then in turn, make me feel depressed because I feel that things slip out of control and I start having a hard time coping with the daily things. There have been a few days lately where I just thought, "what's the point anymore? Am I going to have to live like this forever?" So - my challenge is this - am I actually clinically depressed because I have lost interest in some things, have to force myself to get through my day, etc. or is that simply a product of the origin of having my anxiety 'come back' with a fuller force this time, rather than just being depressed. Where do we draw the line between that and being actually depression? When I was asked yesterday by a worker, "Do you want to die or do you just not want to live like this? Because there IS a difference" - I told her, no I don't want to actually die, but I DO want to live only if I can feel in control and feel happy again. Although at times, yeah that feeling itself becomes overwhelming and can lead us to think we want to die because it would be take the pain away. What I'm struggling with is the fluctuation. I'm struggling with laughing and doing these things I need to do daily - when I feel tired, unmotivated, and unhappy. And sometimes, when I force myself to do them it feels good because my mind gets a break and I feel 'normal' again by just doing the day-to-day things we all have to do. Other times, it builds this overwhelming feeling inside of me that says, like this anxiety in the pit of my stomach: You're doing all of this to feel okay, but do you? - I sometimes feel in the midst of doing those things, that I feel like I'm going to explode…because yes I’m completed the ACT of doing, but my body is like, “NO, why? Go back to bed where you feel comfortable and can just be sad, and not pretend.” It's like you should exercise, be active, to make those neurotransmitters combat these depressive feelings, but the last thing you feel like doing when you're depressed is exercising...or the last thing you feel like doing is feel like laying in bed. But I'm wondering, if in doing them is what will help become interested in life again and bring back that happiness, or will it just add to the feelings of being overwhelmed because you're forcing yourself to override your internal state - faking it until you feel it. So I mean, do antidepressants then work on the principle that you yourself are clinically/medically unable to experience that happiness again on your own because of a change in your chemistry? Or will that not work if the depression stems from something else that is more circumstantial and what you really need is to override the internal state, in a sense ‘fake it till you make it”. And it makes you think if you're going to do the work and go through the struggles involved in the time that it will take, and the ups and downs involved, I'd love to know if it's going to be worth it? And "worth it" would mean knowing that it's going to work, and ideally, how long I'll have to struggle before it actually starts to work? And as we all know, we can't put a timeline on it, so that just perpetuates this evidently extremely frustrating experience. I would just love to know people's opinions on this. I am by NO means discrediting the power of antidepressants, I mean heck I've been on them the last few years and feel the helped me through some tough times. However, if this is possibly going to be a life-long 'sentence' (gosh that sounds awful) I'm trying to understand this better - become more knowledgeable of what works for people. Again, please understand I'm coming from the experience of someone who is predominantly MORE ANXIOUS than depressed, but happens to fall into depression following a bad anxiety spell. Now, I'm caught in this depressive state and question 'what if' constantly. Any advice on this somewhat 'fake-it-till-you-make-it" approach? Thanks so much! Sands