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11638679 tn?1457985940

depression back after trying wellbutrin with zoloft

Hi!, ive been on 50mg of zoloft for about 2 years now. It worked wonders for my depression and anxiety but i did notice it made me crave stimulants and made me a bit lazy so i went to my doctor and asked for wellbutrin and he gave me 150mg XL version and i tried it to see if it would help since it acts on dopamine but all it did was make me terrified. I stopped taking it and ever since i feel like i relapsed back into depression and developed tremors and im really scared. Its been about 2 weeks since i took it and i haven't taken another one. Did i permanently cause my depression to come back?
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Avatar universal
It made you terrified because if you also have an anxiety problem, and most folks have both anxiety and depression as they pretty much feed into the kinds of thoughts that fuel the other, wellbutrin is perhaps the most stimulating of all the commonly used antidepressants (I say commonly, because speed is used for depression, but not commonly anymore) because it doesn't only work on dopamine, it also works on norepinephrine, also called noradrenaline, as the SNRI class of drugs do and for many this can cause anxiety as it's quite stimulating.  For others, it's great, but you had the bad reaction.  Stopping it should fix the problem, as long as you don't internalize it and generalize it and talk yourself into thinking it did something permanent.  It's a common side effect and a reason many people don't take well to this drug (and also the reason many do, ironically).  If a drug is working well, in my experience it's best to stick with it.  If you have side effects that are minor, try to find ways of dealing with those.  SSRIs like Zoloft are often sedating, so they can make you feel "lazy" and craving stimulants, but one way to deal with that is exercise and meditation and the like that act as natural stimulants rather than running to chemical stimulants like wellbutrin or caffeine or whatever that might bring out the anxiety.  It's a side effect, hopefully if you internalize that everything will return to as it was, you weren't on it long enough for permanent physiological changes to your neurotransmitter system.  All the best for getting back to you.  Peace.
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I should add, something else that can help are plants that mildly give energy and balance the adrenal gland so you feel more energized but not more anxious.  Which ones to try differ by the individual.  Ashwagandha is commonly used for anxiety as it balances the adrenals but for some it can be sedating, but you can try it and see if it helps.  Siberian ginseng is more likely to be energizing, but not overly so. and it also helps balance the adrenals.  It's used by a lot of athletes for energy without causing them to get nervous.  It's usually called by its Latin name nowadays, Eleuthero, as it's not actually ginseng.  You can try true ginseng, but I stay away from it as it can be very energizing and when something is too energizing anxiety sufferers can have a problem, but for many it helps.  There are a lot of these kinds of herbs, they're called adaptogens, and they help some and don't help some.  It's worth a try.  Also, sublingual B12 in the proper form for absorption might help as well, but don't go nuts on it as too much can throw off other B vitamin levels.  But my own preference was exercise and meditation when I needed energy when SSRIs were getting me sleepy.  Peace.
Okay thank you for the reply, my mind feels a bit more at ease. I'm not sure exactly what has happened. It scared me really bad because its been 24 days since i took the welbutrin and i still dont feel right. I was thinking of just sticking to the caffeine, because its a good stimulant. Welbutrin was not a feel good stimulant at all. I might also try ginko as i read that it increases dopamine or activation of certain dopamine receptors. I think either the welbutrin increased blood levels of my ssri and the surge of serotonin stimulated a bad receptor or my metabolism/ liver has out of whack from taking the 2 drugs and now my ssri isn't being metabolized properly and bad receptors are having a chance to be upregulated
Actually, it is possible, wellbutrin also has a small effect on serotonin.  It's an odd drug in the sense that it was approved for use before the inventor knew why or how it worked.  Not uncommon with drugs, but not the norm either.  But more likely it was the effect on norepinephrine.  You're on a very low dose of Zoloft and when low doses work it means you metabolize drugs, or at least that drug, better than most do.  When that's true you can have sensitivities to things others don't, a disadvantage, but also an advantage in that the less you have to take for something to work the less you have to have in your system.  
I figured it would have something to do with the way i metabolize drugs.  I always wondered what serotonin feels like but since there are many receptors that have different effects on mood i guess its hard to say, my zoloft actually worked very fast for both anxiety and depression. I wonder why there isn't just a dopamine reuptake inhibitor antidepressant. It sucks that wellbutrin is also a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor.
Serotonin doesn't actually "feel" the same to different people, and neither would a drug that affected dopamine.  What we know is that taking an SSRI like Zoloft starts affecting the entire brain almost immediately, yet most people take weeks to determine if a drug is going to help or not.  Side effects, on the other hand, start right away, and can also occur upon stopping a drug.  There is another drug that inhibits dopamine which is cocaine but it too is a norepenephrine inhibitor as well as also working on serotonin. And of course it's not only addictive but can also be way too stimulating for anxious people.  If you take large amounts of SNRIs such as cymbalta or effexor they will act on dopamine even though they aren't intended to do that, but again, they also affect serotonin and norepinephrine.  I don't know, maybe you can invent one and get rich, but I doubt it will do any better than what's available today to actually cure anxiety and depression rather than just tamp down the symptoms.  So far the only cure is when therapy or lifestyle changes or just getting older makes the problem go away, but it's very hard to do that if you're on medication because you're no longer dealing with your brain, you're dealing with your brain altered by the medication.  I always try to tell folks to at least try therapy before trying medication, but sometimes the problem is just making life too difficult for that and often people even with very minor problems or just a bad run in life go to a doctor or psychiatrist instead of a therapist and end up on drugs as a first resort.  But my advice is, when you find a drug that works, why mess with it?  
By the way, you can affect these neurotransmitters by taking natural things, but the effect will be less strong that medication.  CBD oil, for example, indirectly seems to affect dopamine, but it's a much milder drug than Zoloft.  You can take the amino acids and vitamins that the body uses to manufacture neurotransmitters.  For example, the body makes serotonin by combining tryptophan with B6 and Vitamin C.  For some people, therefore, supplementing with 5HTP is enough for them, whereas for others it doesn't touch the problem.  Lots of plants also affect neurotransmitters.  So there is in fact a way, if you weren't taking medication, to take the nutrients the body uses to make dopamine as supplements and see if that helped any.  But again, it's not the same mechanism and it isn't as strong.  That means fewer and milder side effects, though not no side effects, much easier to stop taking if you do get bad side effects without suffering a withdrawal, but it also means it's not as strong and therefore might not make any difference in how you feel.  Life is complicated, and until they find the cause of mental illness they're just playing around with symptom control.  Peace.
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