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Old 04-15-2004, 05:00 PM   #1
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Question How should it feel when recovering?

First a little back story: I guess I'd say I've been depressed for around 6 months. There had been spells of feeling "alright" or intensely worried/nervous. Mostly though, I felt extreme self loathing and near-suicidal depression and regret. The only thing that was almost constant was a very noticeable drop in my ability to think. I went very quickly from feeling like a genius to having difficulty with simple algebra and arithmetic. These problems started at least a few weeks before I felt depressed.

I've taken a couple different meds since about a month after the onset. Prozac was the worst, and almost agitated my thoughts to the point of suicide. I've been on Zoloft for 4 or more weeks now. I worked my way up to 100mg, but had to drop back down to 75mg because it just felt like too much to me.

How I'm feeling now: I still have feelings of unreality (or "brain fog") and occasional depressive/crying spells. Mostly I just feel mentally and physically ill with the absence of major sadness. I can try to do my class work (physics mostly), but most of the time my brain just won't budge; it almost hurts to think in the same way it hurts to bike up a very steep hill. There are other times, however, when the ability to think abstractly (calculus ect.) and juggle concepts around in my mind returns. These tend to be brief windows of opportunity, so I try to do as much as I can before I take another nose-dive. Trying to get my brain working in this state is much like trying to start up a rusty old lawn mower.

In addition to these cognitive ups and downs, I also often get a fuzzy sensation in my head (almost as if pressure is being applied form within the skull). These feelings tend to get worse with lack of sleep, but sometimes happen regardless. I could be wrong, but it seems like they have become much more frequent over the past few weeks.

I guess its feeling more and more like I'm bipolar (periods of "creative madness" and mental slumps). My question for you is if this is typical when one is recovering from depression, and if it ever smoothes out.

 
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Old 04-16-2004, 05:21 PM   #2
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Re: How should it feel when recovering?

I honestly don't know... I just can give you my opinion.
Just as the depression came into your life, it takes the same way to get out... you won't recover from one day to the other.
I think I'm in a very similar step than yours, I can have great days and I still can have very bad ones...

Are you in therapy? What does your dr say?
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Old 04-17-2004, 01:27 AM   #3
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Re: How should it feel when recovering?

Not in my experience. If I'm on meds that are working, I don't have many ups & downs. Mostly, I just feel normal, don't have the empty, pointless life feelings. Yours doesn't sound as much like depression as maybe something else. Have you done a search for symptoms of depression? Maybe also look into GAD, General Anxiety Disorder. It may also be bi-polar, but you really need to seek professional advice & opinions.

 
Old 04-17-2004, 04:26 AM   #4
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Re: How should it feel when recovering?

you could be experiencing side effects of the Zoloft. perhaps this is not the best medication for you. I'd let the doctor know how you are feeling.

 
Old 04-17-2004, 11:56 PM   #5
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Re: How should it feel when recovering?

Thanks for all the replies!

I'm seeing a very good neuropsychiatrist in Boston right now. The person who put me on Zoloft is my old pediatric psychiatrist. My new doctor isn't completely convinced that its unipolar depression either. I'll be sure to contact him with my current symptoms.

A little more on why I think I may be a bi polar: Last year (my freshman year in college) I went off meds for the first time since age 11. I felt like a new person, and I liked it. On the other hand, a lot of weird things started coming up, although I didn't pay enough attention to them at the time. I somehow got into the habbit to getting only a couple hours of sleep on week nights, but still pulled off straight A's. My self esteem was also WAY too high, and I had the classic "racing thought" of a manic person. Perhapse my number finally came up, and the boom has finally gone bust on me.


Then again, I could be simply a very, very screwed up human being . There are just too many variables to pick it appart.

 
Old 04-18-2004, 11:54 AM   #6
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Re: How should it feel when recovering?

I had the same problem you had with Prozac. I took Paxil very successfully, but I felt a little numb when I was on it. I have been on Effexor for the last 6 years and I feel the best I have ever felt. Don't be afraid to change medications (with your doctor) if you don't like the way you feel, however, some medication can take two or three weeks to get into your systems, so you may want to give them at least a month. You aren't taking Xanex too are you? Xanex will really make you feel numb and fuzzy.

I am very bright but before I was medicated, I couldn't really finish anything - I felt like I was seriously mental. I was diagnosed about 10 years ago and my life has totally changed. I finished college and I have a great career. Currently I am in graduate school part time. I feel like I can do anything.

Things will get better but it takes time. Be patient and keep working on finding the right medication.

 
Old 04-18-2004, 06:06 PM   #7
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Re: How should it feel when recovering?

Woah, I just realized that it I've been taking Zoloft for at least 7 weeks now! Time really flies! I think some kind of change is definitely in order.

I'm only on Zoloft currently. I think Effexor will be an absolute last resort for me (judging by the reports of horrific withdrawal symptoms). I'm kind of curious about MAOIs, since I hear that they don't interfere as much with your cognition.

xawsted,

Just to be clear, was difficulty thinking a major part of your depression too? I guess I'd say that its my number 1 problem at the moment. The best description I've ever heard for this so called "brain fog" is that it feels like being a master chef in a busy kitchen who is forced to use only a dull plastic knife.

I'm always interested when other people say they've had similar experiences to mine.

 
Old 04-21-2004, 11:39 PM   #8
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Re: How should it feel when recovering?

bumping this so xawsted can see it.

 
Old 04-22-2004, 09:29 AM   #9
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Re: How should it feel when recovering?

Make sure you tell whatever doctors you see aboput your "manic" phases. If you are truly bipolar, antidepressants might make you rcondition worse.

They symptoms you have now aren't inconsistent with SSRI withdrawal. How long has it been since you stopped taking the meds?

Zoloft and Prozac are both SSRIs. There are 9 other whole classes of antidepressants. Here is a chart: [url]http://www.psych.uic.edu/education/courses/brain/Janicak/sld017.htm[/url]

And if you are bipolar, there are also several kinds of mood stabilizers. Here is some brief information on bipolar treatment: [url]http://support4hope.com/bipolar_disorder/bipolar_treatment.htm#1[/url]
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Old 04-22-2004, 08:18 PM   #10
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Re: How should it feel when recovering?

Thanks for the links.

I'm currently taking Zoloft, so it can't be withdrawal. I don't take it at a completely consitant time of day, and sometimes I miss it. Still, I think I should be seeing SOME improvement by now.

 
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