Discussions that mention desyrel

Depression board

Thanks for sharing your stories, everyone. Mine is long. Here’s the short version:

Onset: Age 5 or earlier.
Worst period: Ages 13-14, 21-22, and 35-36.
Diagnosis: Age 20
Began successful treatment (sort of): Age 32
Last bad episode: August-September 2003 when Lexapro pooped out on me.
Symptoms: Rage, panic, lethargy, apathy, suicidal thoughts, repetitive thoughts.
Meds tried with good results: Desyrel (Trazadone), Paxil, Lexapro, Effexor.
With bad results: Serzone, Welbutrin, and one I can’t remember.
Currently: I want to get off Effexor because I’ve gained so much weight I’m uncomfortable all the time. I want to try counseling again, but it’s too expensive and I’m in too much debt.

Here’s the longer version:

I’m 37. Some of my earliest memories are of people asking me why I looked so sad all the time and why I was always so quiet. But I just thought I was “normal” and everyone else was “flakey” or “hyper.”

When I was about 13, I figured out that it wasn’t “normal” to go for a week at a time without talking to other human beings. I just didn’t give one flying fig for anyone around me, including my family. 13 and 14 were the worst years – there were several weeks in 8th grade where I spent most of the school day hiding in the bathroom or pretending to be sick. I kept trying to tell my parents I needed to see a psychiatrist, but my dad didn’t notice and my mom had met psychiatrists (she’s a nurse) and she thought they were all crazy. (Am not sure she’s wrong about that.)

Then I switched schools and things got better. I still didn’t have close friends, but I wasn’t an outcast. I got good grades and won all the art and writing and poetry contests and stuff, so people decided I was “eccentric” instead of “a loser,” which I had been at my old school. I started having panic attacks, but I didn’t know what they were; I just called them “that weird heart thing.” My pulse would go up to 120 for a few minutes and I couldn’t breathe, then it would go away. Medical tests showed no problems.

Then I went to college, where everyone else was weird and depressed too, and I was definitely one of the Cool People. I had a friendly, outgoing boyfriend and I was in with the jocks and the artists and the theater people and the drugged-out brainiacs. Life was good.

But then the second year, things started going bad with my boyfriend, and I realized that I was afraid to break up with him because I thought all my “friends” were really his friends, and if I broke up with him I’d have no friends at all. Then I discovered that I really hated my major (Psychology) but I didn’t know what else to study so I kept on taking classes I hated, and of course beating myself up for taking classes I hated and sticking with a boyfriend I didn’t like. But I didn’t feel sad, I felt angry, at everyone, all the time.

When I was 21 and couldn’t keep my temper at all, I decided I had an anger management problem, so I went to the school counselor, and he gave me this questionnaire with all these questions that seemed completely irrelevant to me (I took research-oriented classes, so even though I was a Psych major I didn’t know anything about depression) and then when he scored it he said, “You really blew the top of this depression quiz.” I’d never even had a clue!

I went to counseling for a while and it helped a little but I got really annoyed with the counselor repeating back everything I said. One time I said I had a lot of hostility toward my mother and he said, “I hear you saying you have a lot of hostility toward your mother,” and I think that was the last time I went. I took Desyrel for 6 months or so, and that helped, but it also knocked me out so I couldn’t stay up late studying, which is pretty necessary in college.

After college I helped my depression by making sure I built a solid support network of friends, and I thought that was all I needed because every year I was a little less depressed. I didn’t try ADs again until I was in my 30s, when one doctor suggested I try them just to see if it made a difference or not, and MAN did it make a difference. Everyone around me noticed. They would say things like, “You’re acting…. Normal. What’s up with that?” On my meds, I can actually walk with my head up, and not want to kill people for bumping into me and stuff. And actually being aware of other people is new too. I used to completely ignore anyone who wasn’t part of my little circle of friends. Before, when I thought I’d “beaten” depression, I was really only just hanging in there and not really living.

But now I’m tired of being on meds all the time, and I know if I go off them everything goes right back to the way it was. I know that the correct thing to do is combine meds and therapy, but I can’t afford it. I’m seeing my psychiatrist tomorrow, but I don’t have high hopes because he doesn’t listen to me, and neither did the last one, and there are no others that my insurance will cover who are taking new patients.