Man, where to start..... Your problem is complex. I understand that you have tried Welbutrin and Lexapro for your diagnosed depression and they did not offer any relief for you. It may be possible that these just were not the right meds for you.
Can you try to explain in exact detail what symptoms your now experiencing?
Your exact symptoms can tell a lot about what AD meds you should be on, or if you even need them. Are you currently under the care of a Psychiatrist that has experience in treating depression related illness?
To answer the questions . . .
The combo of Wellbutrin and Lexapro were the first run - that is where all the cognitive issues started for me. Those issues were the reason I was changed over to Cymbalta. I went off Cymbalta for 3 main reasons: #1 I believe this medication made me VERY tired and made me not really care about things I SHOULD have cared about (like the fact I was going broke/bankrupt), #2 This medication made me sweat in my sleep A LOT - like soak my bed so bad I had to replace my mattress twice in a year and #3 I could no longer afford to pay $140.00 a month.
As far as symptoms I NOW have, I wouldn't say I have any symptoms that would relate to depression. The issues I am concerned with now are related to changes that occurred in my cognitive abilities that came about 4 years ago shortly after going on the combo of Wellbutrin and Lexapro. Although there has been SOME improvement since I went off those meds, I am not "back to normal" - FAR from it. Memory is very poor, NO multi-task abilities, no energy (NEED naps and really COULD sleep continually), poor coordination, involuntary muscular movement, I still tend to "zone out" like just stare off without focusing on anything - I still do really DUMB things like stop at green lights, turn the left signal on when turning right, sit at stop signs (apparently waiting for them to turn green?!), driving off with my coffee cup on the roof of my car, driving away from the gas pump with the nozzle still in the car, forgetting what things are called, forgetting names of people I have known for a very long time, typing wrods that ryhme with the word I mean to type - just very very absent mined things. It is almost as if I have had some kind of a stroke (that is why they did the MRI). NONE of this is a joke - this is 100% serious and really NOT funny. You don’t know me so you will have to trust me when I say, this IS NOT me. I WAS a very with it person - very independent with an extremely strong work ethic. I was financially secure - made good money, owned my own home plus a rental, owned two nice vehicles free and clear. I worked 60+ hours a week and made OK money. That has ALL changed - everything I had worked for in my 20's is now 100% gone - sort of like what happens to people who get into drugs BUT I have NEVER done any drugs and since the age of 22, I rarely drink at all. Very frustrating to realize that even after putting 100% faith in the docs, they have NO answers. I guess it’s true - they call it a practice because thats exactly what they are doing and we have to be patient while they practice because it will take them time to figure it out. Well, unfortunately, my insurance, my time, my money and my patience all ran out at the same moment and I am left in a dysfunctional state.
No, I am no longer under the care of any doctor - I have no more money and have no insurance.
I hope that answers some of the questions . . .
The way you described your current symptoms is exacty how I felt before I started taking AD medication. My Depression made me feel exausted, forgetful, Anxious, and dark all the time.
I also had tried 3 months on Cymbalta and it did little for me too. What other meds besides Welbutrin, Lexapro and Cymbalta have you tried?
For the most part . . .none. The doc put me on Provigil for a short time - I think in an attempt to increase energy but it had LITTLE effect no matter how much I took. I used up the samples but never filled the prescription due to lack of any bennefit. Other than those meds, thats all I have been on. I talked to the doc about changing meds but he said Cymbalta was the very best for the combination of concerns - given the fact it was supposed to decrease sleepiness and I think because I was no longer feeling "depressed" he may have thought it was working for me as far as sadness related concerns - but I was 100% clear that I felt MESSED up and found it far more important to address the other, more important issues. What did you find that works for you?
Let me start by saying that my own personal experience with ADs is limited. My daughter is tapering off Lexapro that she's been on since Oct 07 so not a really long time. Because of her being on it I've read everything I can find on Lex including through several forums.
First I'll say that it is hard to figure out how much is "you" and how much are the meds. With my daughter it's especially true since her problems with depression and anxiety began because of an illness and were worsened by a break-up.
Here's what I will say. From reading many people's experiences with Lexapro what you are describing are common complaints. The other thing seems to be that (from how I understand it) the changes in brain function caused by the ADs can take a long time to truly recover from. Your own body chemistry has to take over and it can be a slow process. The time period I've been reading is up to 18 months with improvement along the way (though some ups and downs).
My daughter is taking supplements that are supposed to help somewhat and I don't think will hurt. She is taking Omega 3 fish oil, magnesium, lecithin, inositol, Vit C, and whey protein. A good diet and avoiding the obvious such as caffeine and alcohol are supposed to help too along with some exercise.
It's of course important to rule out the physical possiblities and consulting doctors when in doubt.
Best of luck to you.
I think your doc was way wrong when he told you that Cymbalta was the best medication for your symptoms. The symptoms of my Depression are VERY much like the ones you described and Cymbalta actually made me worse. That doctor was making that assumption simply because Cymbalta is a more energizing AD med because it's an SNRI. Your not the first person I have talked to that has gotten bad results with Cymbalta. It's way over rated IMO.
When I don't take my meds I feel exactly like you described. Dull minded, fuzzy, forgetfull, exausted, fatuged, sleepy, absent minded, and just out of it.
For me Effexor worked very well at eliminating these symptoms. After 4 years on Effexor it slowly stopped working and I was switched to the Tri-Cyclic Antidepressent Nortriptilyne which has worked VERY well too.
Do a Google search on "Neurephinepherine depletion in the brain."
This is my depressive condition and I have found ways to combat this imbalance with Medication and Amino acids as well as specific vitamins and Omega 3.
I just mention this because your symptoms sure sound a lot like mine. BTW if Neurephinepherine Depletion is your problem, then it's no wonder that Lexapro didn't help you. Lexapro is an SSRI medication and does not effect Neurephinepherine Reuptake in the brain.
Keep in touch and I will share with you what has worked for me. Maybe your suffering from the same issue as me. It took me a long time to figure it out and trust me the Doctors were little help.
I sorry to hear what happened to you and it would be very tough to know what caused your mental memory problems. I was on effexor and it killed my sex drive and helped end a relationship and made my mind fuzzy. I'm glad I off of it as I know it made me slower and now only take a small dose of welbutrin. I was off everything for a while but needed extra help with stopping smoking. all the best
OK . . .so one FOR Effexor and one AGAINST. Well, guess it just goes to show - there are no consistent answers in this world of mental issues - what works for one, harms the next - PRETTY COOL HUH?
As far as sex drive concerns, well, I have not had a sex drive for 4 years now - even now that I have been off all meds for 9 months. This is something I did not mention in my original post - MAINLY because I could really care less about sex right now - I just wish I could get my mental power back (it is GONE - I am NOT who I once was).
I supose it is a related element to the whole picture - maybe the lack of sex drive is linked to the other issues I am having. I KNOW the lack of sex drive is TOTALLY out of the norm for me as well (along with all other issues previously outlined in my original post). All my life I was 100% driven in all respects (including sex) but now . . .not so much. Prior to 4 years ago, I was sexually active daily - regardless if I was IN a relationship or not. Now . . .my sexual activity sits at ONCE in the last year & probably 10 times in the last 4 years . . . and I really don't seem to care (!?). Needless to say, I am NOT in a relationship right now and I really don't care about that either (!?)
Your complaints sound awfully familiar.
Regardless of my specific situation, I too began wondering if my Lexapro had the effects you describe. I can't say our situations are the same, but something you said hit me like a brick:
"#1 I had a MAJOR mental melt down 4 years ago and the fact that the timing was exact, on the dot when I happened to start taking anti-depressants was nothing more than a coincidence OR #2 the anti-depressants CAUSED all these issues."
I took this drug, though, because it DID ease my temper and irratability and I really needed to do that with a situation I was in.
I have a good indicator of my ability to multi-task and handle mental challenges, and I DEFINITELY noticed a decrease in these abilities.
I am not convinced that medication is a long-term answer for ANY non life threatining mental challenge. I have now reached the point where I would rather live my life feeling 'abnormal' than risk the problems associated with meds.
You said, "I am not convinced that medication is a long-term answer for ANY non life threatining mental challenge. I have now reached the point where I would rather live my life feeling 'abnormal' than risk the problems associated with meds".
You may have gathered from my post that I reached this point about 9 months ago - well, actually before that but 9 months ago was when I DID go off the meds. The MAIN reason I did that was because I REALLY REALLY wanted to get back to how I could function before I started taking them.
Additionally, I started wondering what the long term side effects of these meds are. I don't think anyone knows the answer to that question and they probably will not know for another 20+ years. I find it ironic that the health care industry will tell you that anything "in excess" is bad but then tell you to take these pills EVERY DAY for the rest of your life. The reason they feel this is a good idea is because they claim they will improve your "quality of life". I, for one, did not find ANY improvement to the quality of MY life - in fact, I found a significant reduction in MANY MANY ways.
In business (of any kind), the general goal is to create customers for life which insures continuous revenue and stable profits. *I* would venture to say that the drug companies have solidified a way to meet this objective - and everyone in on board. The first thing I was told when I was given my first pills was that you will have to be on these meds for a about a year before we will "really know" if they are right for you - then we may have to try something else . . .and do that for a year and so on and so on and so on. It seems like a throwback to the days of "take two of these and call me in the morning" only it's a MUCH longer timeframe.
In the meantime, we are paying (either out of pocket or through insurance) $200.00 a month to a drug company that is in NO WAY held responsible for a positive outcome. For what?!? So they can run TV ads urging us to "consult with your physician to find out if XYZ PROUCT could be right for you"?!?! We wonder why it is so expensive to get health insurance. DUH!
I have pretty extensive experience in the AUTOMOTIVE industry as it relates to insurance companies. The way they do it in that industry, if what the "professionals" do to fix a car does not fix the car, the insurance company DOES NOT PAY for it - not the parts, not the labor fees - not even the rental car used during the time it took for that "repair".
I also have extensive experience in the REAL ESTATE industry. This is an industry that is driven by RESULTS. If that deal does not CLOSE, you don't get paid AT ALL - even if it's not your fault - no matter how much time and money you spent putting the deal together . . .you get ZIPO.
I find it ironic that mechanics and realtors get very little respect while doctors get as much if not more than any other professional. So, why is it then that drug companies and doctors are not held to the same high standards that even your mechanic is? OH . . .thats RIGHT . . .I forgot . . .because they are only "practicing" and we have to be "patient".
What do you think YOUR doctor would do if he/she took their car to a shop to get the brakes done and when they got it back, they squeaked? Do ya think they would pay to have it done again? What about if while this job was being done, the guy damaged a lug nut? Do you think the doctor would pay to correct the damages done by that professional during the requested job - even if the brakes were otherwise done perfectly?
Just a note on Cymbalta ... I'm a massage therapist and have pretty much quit because of it. If I touch a person that is taking it I feel like passing out and lose my mind - I am no longer myself, and am drained. It can take at least a day to get over it. And thats just from contact to their skin. I am sensitive, but know because of that, that it is a SERIOUS energy altering substance. Godspeed to anyone that ingests it!!
What I do to overcome that and other ill effects of things (like antibiotics and heparin that I on for an infection from the job) is detox my liver!!!! I cut out almost all fat (oils, nuts, seeds, meats, and dairy) and eat plenty of green vegetables, wheatgrass juice - macrobiotic eating. Eventually, things rebalance and strengthen.
Are you still reading this post? I just came across it, and it looks like it's been over a year since the last post on this thread. But I've had an almost identical experience, but with different meds. If you still read this, could you post something. Thanks.
Have you ever considered getting tested for ADHD (predominantly inattentive). You don't have to be hyper to fit the diagnostic criteria! But, lack of concentration, distraction, impulsivity and disorganization are the hallmarks of this disorder. I suggest you do some extensive research about it and maybe read some reputable books.
This disorder usually responds well to stimulants such as caffeine; which heighten the ability to concentrate.
Other possible reasons for cognitive difficulties: bipolar disorder (which responds better to mood stabilizers and is worsened by antidepressants), Alzheimers, schizophrenia (this is more extreme and involves hallucinations), or medical reasons such as low blood iron (though you have said that you had blood tests, low iron can cause dizziness, moodiness, and brain fogs).
OMG !!! It sounded like you were describing me to the tee. All the symptoms and side effects. Sad thing though these are the only meds that come near helping my depression and severe anxiety. I am on Wellbutrin, Effexor, Provigial, Neurontin and Lamictal. MD finally got these meds and they have symptoms some. Man those night sweets, nightmares, confusion, concentration, memory loss have me wondering if I have Alzehimer's (sp) .My disease has resulted in me being disabled and unable yo work. Filed for SSA Disability. Probably will deny. I was forgetting things at work. Also getting further and further behind in my paperwork. Lost my job. See, I am a nurse (RN ). After a while I was glad they terminated me for I couldn't and wouldn't live with myself had I caused any harm to anyone. I am sorry I dumped all this out to you all that read this. Thanks for allowing me to. BTW, it's been a while since you last posted. How are you doing. Are you off meds? Did MD change your meds? Hope I am not being too nosy. Tell me if I am. Hope to TTYL
Hi there, I came across your experiences while googling ADs vs. memory loss.
I was on Effexor for 7 months in 2002-2003 and it changed my life. Not for the better either. I think my salvation was a great psychiatrist, whom I saw weekly for a year and twice a month for the following year after my divorce. When I was first diagnosed with depression and started taking the drug, I felt as if someone pulled me into a tunnel where everything moved in slow motion. That was spooky! I've always relied on my quick thinking and held responsible jobs: suddenly it took me 2 hrs just to write a single email.
The side-effects diminished in about 3 to 4 weeks and Effexor effectively "zeroed" my anxiety-levels (as well as all positive feelings...), enabling me to go through the first months of intensive cognitive therapy. Anyhow, I cried from the beginning to the end of every session for the first six months. After 7 months on the AD, I suddenly began experiencing high BP, dizziness and my ASAT/ALAT-labs (indicating liver function) popped up. My shrink saw this as a sign to get me off it, so I stopped incrementally, experiencing all the same horrid side-effects all over again.
I really expected to "be myself" after quitting the drug, but guess what. I wasn't. I've tried to describe how it was... It's like everything familiar in your head has been re-organized, re-indexed somehow. I KNEW I remembered a certain name, issue, amount, person etc. BUT COULD NOT recall the details. It's as if pretty much everything was "on the tip of my tongue", but refusing to come out. I can only describe this as F...ING SCARY. (Pardon the French.) My shrink didn't have answers either. Apparently, I too was somehw "over-sensitive" to the effects of the drug?
What is interesting, is that I don't think I've ever gone back to be the same person. I know, life will do that to ya! :0) But that's not what I mean. You have a certain cognition, a way of thinking, you know what you're made of and what you can do: then suddenly, all that familiarity is gone and you have no way of knowing how you'll do and what you'll remember. THESE I consider to be effects of the AD Effexor.
I've not taken any ADs after Effexor. At the time, I was 31-yrs old and pretty frieked out. Had a great job though and incredible friends, so I pulled through somehow. Started writing everything down at work and in private, made lists, post-it notes everywhere, coped. Somehow. I must have spent at least 3yrs re-learning how to think and remember. Figuring out the "indexing" in my head, if you will. What took the longest to come back was creativity. I used to write poems, articles and songs for my own amusement and small publications. I don't think I'm exaggerating if I say, that innovativeness and creativity started coming back to me 5-6yrs after stopping the drug. This is how it happened for me. Needless to say, I will never EVER in my life knowingly ingest psychotropic drugs again. NEVER.
Like I said, I've had the best shrink. She helped me sort out the divorce and just about all the very human misconceptions about myself and relationships I had accumulated until that age of 31. I now am a happy mom, re-married, working and studying a master's in politics. So I just want to encourage all of you who have gone through a similar hell with ADs. The human brain has incredible healing power. I think my recovery was possible because I had very concrete and "reality-based" cognitive therapy on a regular basis and submitted to that painful experience we humans call "growth". This, I believe, gives me a totally different starting point, should my depression ever occur again. I've done my homework. I am now realistically responsible for my own life and accept myself with a healthy dose of mercy, humour and love.
I am under the impression that huge global pharmaceutical companies are not too keen to investigate this phenomenon we have experienced. Por que sera...? ;0) But it seems that ADs can really alter the brain's functions (=destroy them, in plain English!!) to a far greater extent that we know. This is why I would never recommend ADs to anyone without proper guidance and regular controls (and I mean WEEKLY!), preferably not at all without some sort of hard-core therapy that gets to the bottom of the real issues.
So, don't give up!! :0)))))))
You do realise you are trying to talk to someome who posted this post over a year ago don't you? The likelihood is they are gone and you are resurrecting a thread that is irrelevant. Please, if this problem is current for you, start a new thread, don't dig up old discussions.
Okay yes I know, but the thread still comes up in searches so I figured someone might find it useful reading in the future..? Didn't want to start a new thread for the same issue. No worries, just felt like sharing and had nothing else to do. Not expecting answers if that's what you mean.
To comment on your question. I too have memorty loo, lack of concentration, lack of abliity to priortize. I lost my I was a Hospice nurse. Thr powers that be said I spent too much time with patients, plus I have a W/C case that is active. My paperwoek was NEVER turned in on time, I believe this was the result of my problems. The firing me was the best thing I could do, I think. I was getting so far behimd. It was afraid that I could have caused have harm to a patienr, and I wouldn't live with myself.
I am on Provigil 200mg daily, Wellbutrin 100mg 3x day, Lamictal 100mg 2 tabs twice daily, Effexor 75mg 4 times daily, Neurontin, plus other B/P meds KCL, diuretics,pravachol, and numerous vitimins after gsdtric bypass. I can remember an an incident fron the past , say45 years ago. I can see how a chair was sitting and a shell fo a door, butI can't remember if I ate breakfast this morning soooooooooo I just eat when I am hungry. As for the side effects, I will deal with then rather deal with them than the condition I was in. My husband said I didn't bath for a month. I slept or stayed in bed to myself most of the time that month.. I have posted above, but forgot. See I told you I amLlosing my mind. Well I willl close. TTYL.
I just ran across this thread after having similar problems. I took fluoxetine for 6 months. I have been off it for about a year and a half and am still having memory, concentration and sleep issues that are causing job performance problems for me. As others have described, it is like my mind is completely different than it was, and it is very upsetting. The side effects are worse than the original depression! Had I known this would happen I never would have taken the drug. I am worried that I will never get my mind back. I ran across this book while searching and wanted to recommend it to the others who are having similar problems: Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? the Rest of the Story on the New Class of Ssri Antidepressants Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Lovan, Luvox & More by Ann Blake Tracy. The summary described our problems very well and I'm hoping it has some help for us.
I didn’t read what other people have wrote... but i'm a 27 year old female that has gone through TONS of sad and trying times over the past 7 years.... It was funny when I read about your cognitive abilities and your lack of concentration/focus and your dizziness/vertigo...
I've just started Depression/Anxiety meds for those symptoms.. as well as the hopelessness feelings. A possibility could be that those meds that had you on weren’t the right ones and your depression/anxiety increased. Don’t give up.. my doctor told me that the reason why there are so many meds on the market (besides the pharmaceutical companies trying to outdo one another) is because one drug may work for some, where others it doesn’t. It takes time and effort with your doctor to determine which one works for you.
Wish you luck!
Wanting to find influence of antidepressant on cognitive abilities I find this forum and uau....exactly the same problems with memory and concentration loss as axadent1 describe it.
I'm writing from Slovenia, 26 years old and I was taking Zoloft for only 2 months but because of dizziness I stopped taking it. Now its more than 2 months I've been off Zoloft but my cognitive abilities wont come back???!!!!
I do exactly dumb things as axadent1 described, very f...scary! I also feel tired, have less enegy, worsen appetite, I also find my personality has changed - but I am not depressed at all!! This is side effect from antidepressant but why is still present after taking the drug for only 2 months?!?
I told psychiatrist for this problem but he said he has never heard for this kind of side effect taking so long. It must be some another disease. But I know it is from antidepressants!!! I know how was I before started taking it and how am I know. I would NEVER have taken the drug if I had known this would happen! And taking it for only 2 months!?They totally fuc....up my brains. I am not able to work at the moment because of this. And I am just praying my cognitive abilities to come back.
Next week I have CT test, I have also appointed for EEG. I did blood test yesterday and next week I'll find out the results. I did some "brain" tests with my doctor but everything was ok. As axadent1 said, tests were ok but if I done it before this they would se huge difference!!!
What is happening?!?
I'd like to add a comment about my experience with Wellbutrin. I don't tolerate drugs well, and so was put on a fairly small dosage a few years back. I started driving strangely having problems with left hand turns, and then eventually right hand turns. I drove the wrong way on one way streets, and curbs seem to appear out of nowhere. Sounds bizarre, doesn't it? My prescribing Dr., a psychiatrist, said Wellbutrin was interferring with my executive functions. The dosage was lowered, and my driving problems stopped. Now, several years later, at 150mg SR I've noticed that my concentration is poor. I am constantly misplacing things, and forever, having to waste time looking for them. My age is 67, so it could be age related with the medication adding to it. I play computer games, and have a record of my scores from previous years, and they are all considerably higher than my recent scores. So I've decided to again cut back my dosage gradually to see if there's any improvement. I don't want to lose my mind prematurely.
It seems by your posts that your cognitive abilities are fine. They show reason and the ability to analyze and focus on topic. If you were as bad off as you think you would not have been able to communicate so effectively. I agree with what you say, I have been damaged by the psych drugs like you but still have the depression and anxiety with many more diagnosis's to boot, now personality disorders too. Mental Health has no accountability or expectation of results for payment, plus you get a lot of bad treatment in many mental health facilities. It's up to you to fix you is what I hear and everything else is not provable one way or the other, whether it's the meds or the illness. Psychiatrists will never admit the meds are a problem. If your dsyfuntional now it's your problem, I know cause my life is a shambles now too, welcome to the world of Mental Health. Feel lucky your not locked in a hospital on drugs or you haven't tried to kill yourself yet. I have experienced those too. Good Luck and wish you the best.
Well I see things have not really made a positive turn, the original post to this thread was almost 4 years ago! Guess what, people are still going through the same things, and I speak for myself. So even though somebody posted that it is an old thread and ignore it, well it still is of help as you can see people are still deriving information out of it. MANY people are still going through the same things.
My case is exactly what the original post here described: (4yr relationship,all the same situations with forgetting things..etc) Just right now I got really angry at somebody for taking a drink I left in the fridge, and guess what, I had placed it on the counter maybe ten minutes before! That's why I am here now posting, I went directly to Google because situations like this have started to become the norm! I have been on a generic Wellbutrin (Bupropion) for 3 months now, I take 300mg a day, and it is my first time to ever take anti depressants in my life. I want to stop taking them now, especially now that I have been reading that it might take a loooong time to get back to normal if at all even possible now. By normal I mean concentrating and focusing and not doing really absent minded things.
My question is now that I want to stop taking the meds, I have heard that it is really bad to just stop taking them cold turkey, is it? Should I gradually stop taking them? I really would just like to stop TODAYbut im not sure that is wise, yet I feel as as if my few remaining brain cells are at stake! Anybody please advice..