I have been taking Wellbutrin XL for about 14 months. I started off with 150 mg and then after about 2 months I upped to to 300 mg. Right from the beginning I felt nervous energy, no appetite, non-stop headaches, and just felt like I was on speed, but I stayed on it because of the advice I've read that "it shall pass". It eventually did get a little better, and then I felt ready to up it to 300...bad move. I was basically an overcritical, hypersensitve, anal mess. EVERYTHING set me off, it felt like PMS X's 10, like I had way too much coffee, on the total edge. So I backed down to 150 and it was more manageable.
Anyways during the past year, I've noticed that I have been more irritiable, have insomnia, have less patience, have less creativity and passion about anything, have less motivation, and my sex drive has definitely taken a turn for the worse. I'm too uptight and preoccupied to even think about or fantasize about it...and THAT is not normal for me. I know I've read the opposite about Wellbutrin, but personally it was like a wet blanket for me.
I just felt constantly uptight. I've been so obsessed, angy, and frustrated about minor things. Basically, my boyfriend and I were argueing A LOT, and I have said some very harsh things that I regret.
At this point, I need to take a break so I can determine if I'm acting this way from the Wellbutrin or that during the course of the four years that I have been with my boyfriend, my needs and goals have changed. I feel as if I cannot make the right decision while I'm on Wellbutrin. I was wondering if anyone else feels this way. When I'm on an AD, I wonder if it's just a "fake" me suppressing my real feelings, like I am altering my real feelings just to function and to fit in.
To tell you the truth, I am exhausted by my unrelentless need to analyze, catagorize, and my great need to "make sense" of everything.
I've been on a few AD's over the course of about 18 years, and the most prevalent side effect of for me is: lack of passion. I feel like passion is everything that has driven me before, but has definitely gotten me into trouble. Without passion, I almost feel like a zombie, but able to control myself. My sex life gives me a clear indication about how I'm feeling. I am also an artist and very creativie, and I have noticed that I'm not as creative as I usually am, and so has anyone close to to me.
Anyways, maybe I have changed or it's the meds. The only way I will know for sure is if I take a break. I'm giving myself 3 months.
For the first two weeks, I took my ususal 150mg every other day, and then completely stopped. The following two weeks I was emotional rollercoaster, snapping at everything. A few times I just felt like giving in and going back on it. I waited another week and it got better. I'm just now starting to feel less nervous and and panicky...like my old self, which is also scary. Perhaps Wellbutrin did alleviate or 'mask' my depression, but it has also added to my nervousness and insecurities and I've decided that I can't do this to myself anymore.
Yes, I suppose I feel "flat", uninspired, and joyless, finding myself jealous of anyone who feels excited or passionate about ANYTHING, but mostly anxious, annoyed, and racy. There were some mornings that I would wake up, start thinking about the things I could do, the things I should do but don't want to do, feeling panicky about how to get things done in the most productive, efficient manner, and I'd also get anxious about uncoming appointments and events.
It's been about three weeks now, and I definitely feel more at ease and less uptight about things, although I'm having a very hard time getting up in the morning.
I also wanted to mention that during the two months that I was trying to wean off Wellbutrin, my menstral cycle changed (late about 6 days each month) and my breasts were incredibly sore the entire 2 months. In addition, I've been suffering from acne all along my forehead, temples, and jawline which is unusual for me. I think there is a definite connection with withdrawal and hormones going on here.
I too have been having the same things happening to me. I just thought it was me and my depression returning to the anger and total irritability, as well as the feeling that I hate everything and like my patience is nil. But reading your post and nodding with all that you wrote, I am now wondering if it is the med. I am at the point where I can't even stand myself or the way I react to everything with anger or impatience. It takes nothing to set me off and I feel like I can't handle any type of stress or any change to my routine. I am also doing nothing, and find it hard to make myself do anything other than sit and try to lose myself in a book. I have been doing meds for 12 years now and have gone through every one that my pdoc has given, and am now told that he is at a lose for what to do next other than ECT, and that scares the heck out of me, and not one I want to consider. But now I am wondering if maybe I need to drop this med and hope somehow that he will come up with something somehow. In Canada we don't have all the meds that the US does, so I am stuck. But this med is not worth the side effects. Besides the anger and going off at a moments notice, I also am having trouble eating and a lot of nausea when thinking of food. I eat a half a sandwich and it seems all that my stomach can hold. Good in a way as I gained a lot of weight on the other meds, but the nausea that hits out of the blue is no fun. Did go from smoking a pack a day to 7 to 8 cigarettes, so that was a bonus, and wasn't even trying. But the whole change in personality is not a welcome either. I can watch a commercial and get totally peed off and angry just because I think it is stupid, where as before it wouldn't of caused a reaction, and that is just one of many reactions I have. The only thing I am worried about though is where do I go from here, as I have deep clinical depression and can not do it without meds. Did you feel that it was worth the stopping of the med even though the depression returned?
As I have only been off Wellbutrin for about a month, I feel as if I can't really say if the depression is worth going off meds yet. I also don't know if it's in my head that I feel SOOOOO much more calmer, more relaxed, easygoing, my sex life is definitely better, and I right now I feel happy and enthused about life.
It's funny you mentioned getting angry about commercials, because I was doing the same thing. I also stopped listening to the radio because I could never seem to find a song that DIDN'T irritate me, and I have always loved music. I just found that I would be less interested and even annoyed by things that used to enjoy. My personality changed. I started feeling like I no longer had a geniune, unique personality.
Wellbutrin isn't the first AD I've tried. I was on Prozac for about four years. I basically had the same reaction, although I gained 35 pounds in the process! Looking back, I don't regret going on them, I've learned a great deal about myself.
I have experienced "flatness", no feeling....joy, tears, anger, etc.....nothing on every AD I tried until my Doc put me on Lamictal with the AD. It was the key that turned the door open. Previously, I felt like I had a mask over my feelings and I could care less one way or anther about anything! I hated it.
But after adding Lamictal, my depression lifted and I could feel again....Turns out, I have what is termed....medicine resistant depression. Who knew?? But perhaps something to explore.
I had the same side effects you were describing taking the SR. Once I switched to XL...they all went away. I have read many times that some side effects are removed by switching to the opposite (SR or XL). Perhaps there is a different answer for you.
One last thing...are you going to a General/Family Doc or to a specialist? I spent years with my general Dr (who I love) but never was able to help me. He just kept switching the meds to another or saying.....well that is how it is suppose to feel. I was so frustrated and felt hopeless.
One visit with my specialist and told him how AD's made me feel...he knew exactly what I was talking about and the changes that needed to be made. He was right on the money. I always tell people...run to a specialist. They deal with depression and other mental illnesses everyday. They have a better handle on what works and does not.
I am new to these boards. I have been feeling the same way about Wellbutrin. It made me aggitated. I was not happy with some of the side effects so I went off it. The one thing I did like about it was that it curbed my binge eating and seemed to control my weight. The minute it cleared out of my system, I gained the 4 pounds back that I lost on it. I hope my metabolism isn't slowed down from coming off it.
Has anybody gained weight after they stopped wellbutrin? I also started xanax as needed which seems to be working well. My doctor told me that should not cause any weight gain. I would appreciate any feedback.
I did gain back the five pounds I lost since starting Wellbutrin (less energy and snacking more). I have to admit that I have my days where I feel like going back on it...I miss the "pep". It seems like I'm always feeling tired, lazy, and no motivation lately.
I am seriously contemplating going back on it...I'm weighing the pros and cons everyday. Lately I seem to be overcome by the "Brain Fog" that's been plagueing me for oh, all of my life. What to do, what to do....so easy to go back on. I just reread my original post and now I'm having flashbacks of why I went off it.
I'm left wondering if Wellburtrin isn't just a modern day "upper" and Xanax isn't the modern day "downer". Remember Valium and the stigma that resulted from it? Well Xanax IS the new Valium...it's just a NEW name. I'm starting to believe the names of drugs change to avoid the stigma and make more money...a therapist once told me that that is indeed what they do...prepackage and sell it!! EX: At one time Prozac was getting a bad rap, so they changed it a little and changed the name to Zoloft, Effexor, etc.
Anyways, I find myself at the vitamin store or the coffee shop looking for some energy...I just can't seem to find what I'm looking for...I feel brain dead and don't know what to do about it. I'm looking to feel up and alert during the day and then relaxed at night, able to sleep. That's, I know, a lot to ask for, but isn't that what many of us want?
By the way, I do take Xanax, .25 twice a day, and I find myself loving it and can honestly see myself taking it indefinitely. Sometimes I wonder if I should up my dose...from what I've read you might need more and more. I'd like to think I can control it though...it's been a year now and so far so good.
I'm off subject, as usual, but yes I have gained weight since going off Wellbutrin and I have been wondering the same thing as you. From my experience: you have less energy = less calories burned = weight gain.
I didn't read everything that everyone wrote, but.....I was on Wellbutrin for a year. I had the best year of my life. I went to the general pratitioner for a yearly check-up. I told her I was getting really bad headaches the first 3 days of my period. She was ready to treat me for high blood pressure. By coincidence it was time for me to see my psychiatrist. At the end of our meeting she asked me if there was anything else. Then I remembered the headaches. She knew exactly what they were. She said they were menstrual migraines. She added 10 mg of Lexapro to my 150mg of Wellbutrin XL. I guess the point is maybe you should have added something to the Wellbutrin instead of stopping it. Who prescribes your medicine? A General Practitioner or a Psychiatrist?
Well I have been off wellbutrin since I posted a response, and the last two days my depression has returned full force. As I have written, my psychiatrist told me that he was out of alternatives and that I was basically down to my last option. But reading your posts, I wonder why he doesn't want to add anything to what I take? I asked him a couple of times about lamictal but he just glosses over it and goes on like I don't have a clue. I am beginning to wonder why he is so set on only one med, instead of a combination. I too was thinking about if staying on the wellbutrin and adding something to help with the anger side effect would be an option. I guess I will have to take the bull by the horns and totally insist on him trying it with a dose of lamictal. I have been through so many meds, and he admitted I was either med sensitive, or med resistant. So did you find that the add of lamictal helped with the anger and anxiety of the wellbutrin? I am going back on wellbutrin as I have no choice, but would be willing to add to it if it would help. I can't do this depression thing alone without meds. I can't switch to the XL as it burns my stomach soooo bad that I am useless, even if I take it with a full stomach.
You sound exactly like me.......with the psych, that is! I was with this psych for only 3 visits. She tried one and only one med with me (I had been on several prior to that, prescribed by my PCP). When I told this psych that I couldn't tolerate the side effects (I am med sensitive), she couldn't believe it and reluctantly weaned me off. At the follow-up appointment, she said she didn't have any other ideas of meds to try!!! I told her that Lexapro worked the best, but "numbed" me. I thought perhaps she would try that again, and add another med to it!! Na-da. She gave up on me. I started sobbing. I will forever remember that as being the lowest point in my life......when a psychiatrist gives up on me, after giving me false hope at my first appointment.
YES.....more than one med can be used to help depression. I was on Cymbalta and Wellbutrin at one time. Felt great, but it killed the sex drive. So now I am on strictly Wellbutrin (300mg). I do feel more "anxious" at times, but will wait it out to see if that levels off.