It's a GAD GAD World
Sunday, July 30, 2006
No earth-shattering updates here, just a response to the latest comment. (Thanks, Allison!)

No, I haven't tried Prozac. And no, I'm not inclined to either. When you discovered this blog you probably didn't scroll thru the entire thing (and who could blame you? :) ). If you had, you would have seen my previous commentary on SSRIs.

I am EXTREMELY leery of trying SSRIs. Some people (like you) try them and get better. Other people (like me) try them and get worse. And other people may get better, but hte side effects are intolerable.

Not only that, but you have to stay on the SSRI for 4-6 weeks to see if it's going to have any effect. And once you've lived thru 4-6 weeks of hell and you realize it's not going to help, you can't quit cold turkey. You have to wean yourself off it gradually, which takes at least another couple of weeks of suffering. And then you get to try your luck with another SSRI and go thru all the same shit again.

Back in 2003 I tried Effexor, which is an SNRI. SNRIs are similar to SSRIs. But unlike SSRIs, which only work on serotonin, SNRIs work on serotonin and norepherine (I probably spelled that wrong, I know). Effexor turned me into a weepy miserable zombie. I spent most of the day lying on the couch crying like a baby. I had an appt with my p-doc 3 days after I started it. He took one look at me and said, "Why don't we just take you off meds completely for the next 2 weeks?"

As I've stated in my most recent posts, my depression seems to be getting worse for some reason. By this point I was desperate enough that I allowed my current p-doc to talk me into trying an SSRI (Zoloft). Technically I can say that I tolerated it better than Effexor, but that's because I endured 4 whole days of being a weepy miserable zombie instead of only 3.

Now maybe if I had toughed it out for 4-6 weeks it might have turned around. But there is NO WAY I could have tolerated 4-6 weeks of feeling that awful. I have a job. And the powers-that-be at my job have no idea that I'm a wack job. I can't go to work 5 days a week being a weepy miserable zombie.

So...if I've already had two strikes on similar drugs, I don't think it's wise to take a chance with a third.

I've proven to be quite the freak of nature when it comes to meds. I started treatment by enrolling in a research study involving riluzole. Of the 9 people who actually completed the trial, 8 of them showed significant improvement. Guess who was number 9? :P

The drug I'm currently taking for my GAD, Namenda, is an Alzheimer's drug. It's so way-the-hell off-label I'll bet your p-doc has never even heard of it. But I've been on it for 2 years & it seems to work. I'm not completely anxiety-free, but I'm at the point where I can function. And if I hit a rough patch, I just pop an occasional low-dose benzo.

But that's the anxiety. My problem now is depression. And I haven't yet found the magic drug that fixes everything.

In one of my more recent posts I said I was going to try neurontin again in connection with Namenda. And it seems to be having the effect I thought it would. I still feel miserable, but I have a little more energy this week than I've had recently. The fact that I can actually sit and blog is proof of that.

I've also decided that I'm not going to pursue any more jobs until I at least have a talk with my supervisor about my current position. I like School of Style and I like the people (well, MOST of the people), I just don't like the current situation I'm in. I'll ask him to remove me from it, and if he says no, then I'll start looking hard. But there's no way I'm going to last till December in this situation.

Further bulletins as events warrant....

I understand. I had tried others, and Prozac was the only thing I could take that didn't have any negative side effects. The others were...interesting. That said, everyone is different, and I'll drop the subject. :)
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