I took Effexor for 4.5 years but discontinued it due to negative side effects. I've been doing research online and hear nothing but bad reviews for every single SSRI that exists it seems.

I have a Dr.'s appt. scheduled for next week and would like to have some possible positive feedback on something before I go so I at least could be armed with information before he just throws any pill at me.

Has anyone out there had a good experience with one. One that causes minimal weight gain, no suicidal thoughts, doesn't cause insomnia, etc. etc.?

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Had a so-so experience with Lexapro. 10 mg did nothing. 20 mg re-set my negative thoughts, rumination and despair.

Lexapro also brought calmness. As others have noted - too much calm. Lackadaisical spells at work. Paying bills late for no reason. Housekeeping took a nosedive. Etc.

Lexapro immediately killed my libido. Zero desire. Zero orgasms.

My Lexapro weight gain was steady and unacceptable. With no change in lifestyle or eating habits, I gained 35-40 lbs. (I’m short. On my frame, this was dramatic.) No amount of diet modification or exercise made a dent.

So yeah, Lexapro mitigated my depression. A long time coming. 20+ years of “toughing out” my bleak, low-function spells. Then came a cluster of all-at-once life changes that made “toughing it out” ineffective and impossible. So I finally sought help.

Over time, my treatment became my problem.

Two years into the Lexapro, my asexual fat slob persona was a price I was no longer willing to pay.

After an in-depth consultation with my doctor, I switched from Lexapro to Wellbutrin. The change was amazing.

Altho - discontinuing Lexapro triggered the “brain zaps.” Yes, they are real. If I hadn’t educated myself about Lexapro withdrawal, the “zaps” would have scared the sh*t out of me. Instead, it was just a weirdness that I learned to live with for a month or so.

Initially, Wellbutrin made me a bit amped-up and agitated. It also increased my focus at work - which was welcome and immediately rewarding.

After a couple of weeks, I realized that Wellbutrin had increased my sensitivity to caffeine. My lifelong normal of 4 or 5 cups of coffee per day was now too much for my system. I tapered to 1 cup per day (1st thing in the a.m.) and the agitation subsided.

My extra weight did not magically come off. BUT with Wellbutrin, my body was able to respond appropriately to weight-loss efforts. Over time, I worked down to my original weight.

Wellbutrin made me so..... normal! Normal mood. Normal motivation. Normal metabolism. Normal libido. 😃

I had typical (manageable) ups and downs. Low points, for sure. That’s life. Wellbutrin kept me from sliding into the pit of despair too deeply. Or for too long.

I went off Wellbutrin for a few years. Because I felt so good, bla bla bla. I was able to self-manage my emotions — until caregiving kicked my azz.

Back on the Wellbutrin for 5+ years now. I have no intention of discontinuing.

Well, that’s my story!
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I took Paxil for 5 years after being diagnosed with depression and PTSD after finding my birth family in 2000. I was in SUCH bad shape, I seriously would have considered taking arsenic if it promised to relieve me of some of the horrible symptoms I was suffering. Fortunately, the Paxil worked a CHARM. It was honestly like someone had switched on a light, it worked THAT well to turn off my symptoms and get me back to my old self in short order. I had zero side effects from the medication as well, thank God.

My daughter takes Prozac and has had no side effects from that medication either.

Good luck........I hope you find relief with a medication that works!!! But don't forget, ALL medications contain a list of warnings as long as a roll of toilet paper. Don't let that stop you.........keep trying until you find something that works for YOU!
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There is a swab test available now that can help determine the best antidepressant for you. Most insurances cover this test but not all. And I agree that counseling along with meds helps a great deal.

I hope this helps. Anxiety and depression can beat you down.
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gershun - I am surprised that you hear nothing but bad reviews about antidepressant. Depending on what we are looking for we can find many different answers on the internet. One person's experience with a particular antidepressant does not guarantee the same experience for someone else. Have you googled "good results from antidepressant use"? My dd has tried several and is delighted with the combo she has now. She does not gain weight and feels much happier and less anxious than she has in years. It took a lot of time for her to arrive at the combo she has now. She gets her prescriptions from a psychiatrist who is better equipped to manage these meds than a GP. Re insomnia at one point he added a little elavil which counteracted the insomnia well. Dd reports her reactions to the meds and then she and the doc work out what is best for her.

I gather from your post you don't have much confidence in your doctor. Perhaps trying a different one would help. I don't think any dr is just going to throw a pill at you, For any patient, finding the right anti-d is a trial and error process. Every anti-d, indeed every medication, has negative side effects. That's life.

I am delighted with the anti-d I am on which deals with fibromyalgia pain and also has a very slight anti-d effect. At this low dose I don't have problems with side effects.

Wishing you the best results for your current search.
I have much sympathy for you and your ongoing depression and anxiety. Prayers for a good solution. ((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))
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anonymous990258 Dec 2019
If you don't mind can you please tell me what the med ur taking for fibromyalgia?I have fibromyalgia and degenerated disc disease n lumbar disc disease as well.I also have osteoarthritis n I have edema in my legs.I also have PTSD,Borderline Personality disorder.panic n anxiety.I take clonzepam,n Trileptal.I also have epileptic seizures.Im also am given Diluadid 4mg for pain.I hate that med n I would like to find something else to manage my pain.I also have spasms in my side n under my breast.I also take an anti-spasm med.Thank you
Well, I got my prescription for Prozac today. Lowest dose.

I'm not going to start till after Christmas though cause I know the side effects might be bothersome for the first week or two.

Thx everyone for the advice and your experiences. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Monica19815 Dec 2019
Hello! I started on Prozac 5 MG 2 weeks ago. (I break a 10 mg tablet in half.) The side effects may be disconcerting at first but do try to stick with it through them unless your doctor tells you otherwise! Every day is better for me so far. I am hanging in there! My biggest side effect is sleep related...I will sleep for a few hours then be wide awake. But I get up and go to the bathroom and play a few rounds of Solitaire on my phone, fall back to sleep and have the best hours of deep sleep I have had in years. Weird, I know, but I am hoping things will settle down. I think you were wise to start after Christmas. I wish you the best of luck with this and hope and pray it helps you!!
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Gershun, it is sad when we have to protect ourselves from our families due to any kind of abuse. The societal norm is that families care for one another. When the predominant behaviour is uncaring, it is very hurtful.

I've had to grieve the lack of a normal caring family. I tried my best to do my part, but I had to face that it wasn't enough and never would be. It takes more than one. In the best of all possible worlds would I have liked a loving family. Of course. But that was and is not my reality. Having worked that through, I am content as things are. Life is good. That is what I wish for you.
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Jannner Jan 2020
I’m the same . Although it’s funny how many assume I’m the one with the problem. I guess that’s the result of a narcissistic parent. Most don’t see behind their mask lol. But you can only change your thinking , not another’s.
As others have said, individual reactions to antidepressants vary so much that it’s like asking someone to recommend a perfume or underwear for you! The DNA testing can point a psychiatrist in the right direction, but even that is not perfect.

Unfortunately, they are not fast acting so trial and error can take months and be very frustrating. Don’t give up, though. Once you find one that works, it can be a life changer.

Make sure you are working with a psychiatrist or a neurologist who knows pharmacology. Don’t be like my sister who got her prescription from her OB/GYN!

Good luck!
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Have used Prozac for many years. No side effects. Twice tried reducing dosage with doc's okay, but the black cloak of depression quickly came back. In my mind, Prosac keeps me "normal" and I view my situation as a chemical imbalance. It helped me immediately when I first started taking it. Did not have to wait weeks to feel better.

Then, just this year, I started having bouts of major sadness. Doc added a small dose of generic Welbutrin. The combination works wonderfully.
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Monica19815 Dec 2019
I am so glad you found something that works! I have been on Prozac now for 12 days and am willing myself through some minor side effects because so many people have had good success with it and I want to give it time to work. I am only on 5 MG right now and hope that works. I only ever needed 5 MG of Lexapro but I did not like the side effects of Lexapro (weight gain and being a bit like a zombie). Continued good luck to you.
I have been taking Cymbalta for many years and have not have any side effects. Cymbalta has the benefit of relieving chronic pain also. If you notice depressive symptoms are exacerbated in the winter months, seasonal affective disorder may be a factor. An artificial light mimicking sunlight is quite beneficial. Non pharmacological interventions such as exercise help too. Good luck.
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I had “baby blues” after my 3rd child was born and went on a low dose of an older antidepressant. It really helped me to get out of the pit! After I began feeling better (probably nearly 2 years on it), I asked my family physician to help me wean off the medication, which I did. So far, I haven’t needed to go back on any medication, but if I ever did, I would be willing to do so.

My mom was on a low-dose, older generation antidepressant in the last years of her life. She had struggled with depression for much of her adult life, but I think she was too ashamed to let her doctor know. Once she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I had a discussion with her medical doctor and we determined it would benefit her to be on a low-dose, daily medication. I don’t recall the name of the medication since that was more than 8 years ago.

After my mom passed away, my dad was feeling overwhelmed and depressed. He had lost everything—his wife, his home, and his independence. He had been diagnosed with Prostate cancer that had spread to his kidney and bones. Because he could no longer drive, his doctor encouraged him to move into Assisted Living and then shortly thereafter, he ended up in full-fledged nursing care. The antidepressant was used probably less than a year, but it did help him when he was at his lowest time. Dad remained sweet and kind to all of his nurses and the staff of the nursing home, and when he passed, they genuinely missed him.

Antidepressants aren’t for everyone, and may be over prescribed; however, they are for some folks and sometimes for short duration and other times for a longer duration. You and your doctor may have to work on finding the right medication at the right dosage. Once you start feeling better, I always encourage people to reach out to others and help them with their needs. Getting out of ourselves is important and gives us something better to live for.
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