Depression/Anxiety: Your Experiences?

Yet again, the SSRI I’m taking is starting to fail. This if the fifth SSRI I’ve tried in 12 years and they all have eventually faded into depression/anxiety/fatigue/general yickiness.

I’m going to see a psychiatrist next week (my last doc, a really nice guy, died suddenly last year and I’ve been coasting along until now) and I’ve done some reading on alternative meds for depression like Adderall, Ritalin, etc that I’m going to discuss with the shrink. Please note that I’m not asking for medical advice, but personal experience with treatments off the beaten-track.

And yes, I do cognitive therapy, daily exercise, eating right, and all the “must do stuff.” I just happen to suffer from endogenous depression.

Have you tried Abilify along with an SSRI?

No, I was going to ask about it on Monday. May I ask if you have tried it?

I have not, but have heard good things. I have taken Paxil on and off for years now with success.

Paxil is one of the RXs I took for a while then the efficacy wore off. I think heroin might be next :smiley:

Have you had a sleep study done? Sleep apnea can cause many of the symptoms you describe.

I had my T levels checked and found that they were a bit low which can cause depression. I take a suplement now and it seems to have helped.

Of course I’m a dude so this probably won’t matter to you.

I second the suggestion for a sleep study, but only if part of feeling yicky is that you can’t ever seem to get up in the mornings or are prone to taking naps because you feel fatigued.

IANADr. Have you been screened for a mood disorder (e.g., Bi-Polar Disorder)?

Most people I knew with recurring depression that did not respond to SSRIs actually had mood disorders that were misdiagnosed as major depression. This usually happens because the doctor/psychiatrist sees the patient only when s/he is in the depths of the depressive phase and thus believes the patient suffers from uni-polar depression.

I second the recommendations to have a sleep study done and have your thyroid functioning tested.

Best of luck and may you feel better soon.


You need to get your vitamin D level checked if you haven’t already. Doubly so if you’re pasty white, overweight and/or a cubicle dweller. (Not that I’d, ya know … know anything about that.)

I’ve seen people do really well with Abilify + SSRI.

Wellbutrin, which I’ve been on about a month now, is working GREAT for me. I noticed a difference after the first couple of doses.

MrPanda’s underlying depression can be exacerbated by too much sugar. Since you’re eating right I doubt this is the case for you but just throwing it in the ring just in case.

I’ve been on Wellbutrin for two years now. I think it has done something positive for me. Wonders, I don’t know, because it is supposed to help with symptoms that I didn’t have (like lack of energy). But I do have trouble identifying myself as belonging amongst the ranks of the clinically depressed. So I guess that’s saying something.

I like Wellbutrin because the side-effects for me have been minimal, and I can’t say that for most of the others drugs I’ve been put on. I once thought I was having hives because of it, but turns out that this was not the case. The only thing that really got me initially were brain zaps. Like someone drilling into my left ear. But after a month or so, that stopped. The vivid dreams were cool, but they stopped too. Weight loss is something you have to be careful about though. My appetite has never really been as strong as it used to be before I started taking it, and I have lost a lot of weight. I don’t know if it’s all the Wellbutrin’s fault, but I’m sure it’s not helping. But I guess this is better than going in the other direction.

But you may not want to get on Wellbutrin if you have anxiety. For some people, it makes their anxiety worse. I don’t feel anxious. Probably 'cuz I am taking a benzo too.

Abilify did not help my depression after nearly a year of taking it (at a low dose, though). I started experiencing those scary mouth movements they tell you to inform the doctor about, so I stopped taking it. My bowels were ever so relieved. It wasn’t a bad drug and did help with some other symptoms I was experiencing that are not related to depression, but I couldn’t deal with the mouth stuff. I was taking such a teeny tiny dose, too. When I hear people talking about the high doses that they take, I’m always amazed. I think the highest I was able to tolerate was 1 mg. So perhaps I just didn’t get a strong enough dose for it to touch any depressive symptoms.

Yup, done everything: sleep study (I have sleep phase disorder); low Vit D (I take supplements); no signs of bi-polar/BPD/mood-disorder; no thyroid dysfunction or hormone troubles (I’m a chick) – just crappy, crappy lifelong depression that I get a couple years’ reprieve from now and then.

Both parents and all my siblings, save one, deal with depression in varying severity. I think my grandmothers did as well, but they weren’t of the era where it was discussed or treated.

I’m sorry you’re dealing with this.

My late husband had dysthymia and light therapy worked a bit. He had a light lamp that he used every morning along with CBT, and Wellbutrin and every other drug out there at various times.

Thank you for your kind thoughts, JS. I was fortunate in having nearly a four-year reprieve before this latest round hit me so hard.

I think one of the most frustrating things about my husband’s issues was that there was a cycle to it, so new treatments sometimes felt like they were working when it was probably just the timing, and other times we didn’t realize something was working until we took a really long view.

Have you tried anything like yoga or meditation? It’s another of those things that seems to work for people.

I know you said you had your thyroid tested, but I’ve read (and my sister has experienced) that some people can be in the “normal” range but have low thyroid symptoms. Though if it abated for a long time and now is back, I guess physical causes aren’t as likely.

I hope your new psych doc can help. The thing Steve’s docs all wanted to do was stack two or three meds for a synergistic effect. That seemed to be the big thing five or six years ago. I can’t even remember the various combos of meds he was on.

Good luck. I’m pulling for you.

[Delurking from my self-imposed exile-it’s because of damned threads like that missing letter movie titles one-and yeah ones like this one too-that refuse to allow me to let go of this place]

I’ll just post a perfectly cogent passage from a book called Sex, Ecology & Spirituality by Ken Wilber, where’s he’s discussing the limits of drugs for mental conditions:

[*He means by this phrase those who focus solely, in this specific case, on the strictly pharmacological side of things, involving drug molecules interacting with brain molecules etc.]

With the caveat that I am just a data-point of one, this is how I finally defeated what Churchill called “the black dog” of depression. It involves transforming your life, your worldview, your everything, and letting go of tons of old habits (and believe me depression most certainly was a habit for me, no less pernicious than tobacco or alcohol-it eventually becomes all that you know and as horrible as you feel each day, you dread giving it up more than you do keeping it). Unless you do this, you’ll just bounce from one treatment to another, never gaining anything other than temporary palliatives.

Thirty percent of people treated for depression do not respond to antidepressants. Since 1979, I have spent tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket on dozens of psychiatrists and psychologists, and taken scores of medications, with no positive results.

Sometimes (and more often than doctors like to admit), the only treatment for depression is “learn to live with it.”

Which is why it’s so interesting and hopeful to see new treatments and people brave enough to be “experimented on*” so that hopefully there WILL be more established treatment options for some of those 30%.
(*No negative there, please don’t mistake me; I actually wish the darn thing worked for anxiety as well as depression - I’d let them zap me in a heartbeat too!)

Blarg - Brain fail. Meant to post a link to Olive’s thread about transcranial stimulation in my * section.

Here’s what it was supposed to look like:

Makes a little more sense that way I think. :smack: :rolleyes: (at self)