Help with Depression - Porter Ranch,CA

Updated on June 29, 2012
S.M. asks from Porter Ranch, CA
13 answers

I have been on Paxil 20 mg for years and did great. Then last month I started getting bad episodes of panic attacks and dr increased dosage to 30 mg. I don't have panic attacks but I feel so down, no happiness but just a dull life. Will be 46 this week. Is it high dosage or age or premenopausal...."
Anyone else had these issues?

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answers from San Francisco on

Hi Mama,

Exercise and eating healthy are also key. Do you spend time with family and friends? I've used Xanax when I needed it. Sorry you are struggling and I wish you the best!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Erie on

I just want to jump in and say I've been in Wellbutrin for two years now, it changed (and saved) my life. Not every med is for every person, and I've had to up the dosage a couple of times. I do NOT do well with SSRIs, in fact they make me worse, and Wellbutrin is a mood stabilizer, not an antidepressant. I don't appreciate it when people make blanket statements about medication without considering that not everyone reacts the same way. Some of us have a very real diagnosis that requires very real medication for very real chemical imbalances in our brains. Depression can be situational, caused by a bad diet, and can be only temporary and only require medication for a short period of time. For the rest of us, we only wish it was temporary and could be treated with diet and exercise (not to downplay the importance of both), but it can't.

I suggest calling your doctor again. I know that most antidepressants take weeks to take effect, and you may be in that time lull right now, whereas next week you might feel fine. Or sometimes the higher dose is not as effective.

Is there anything else going on, any added stress in your life? Are you getting enough exercise and eating ok? Maybe you just need a day or two to yourself to regroup? I know that I need a lot of time alone, and if I don't get it, meds or no meds, I am not a nice person to be with.

I hope you are feeling better soon. If you need someone to talk to, feel free to message me here.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Depression is a physical symptom.. It is the chemistry of your brain is not in order..

Medications will work for only a certain time and as your body chemistry changes.. Hormones, age, etc.. You may need to have your medications adjusted or changed.

These medicines are not to mask your feelings or to hide your feelings.. they are to help your chemistry come to order.

Part of the problem with panic attacks and depression is that it saps your energy and your motivation.. I have to FORCE myself to tell my husband. I used to tell my business partner, but she died earlier this year.. so I am trying to keep my husband even more informed.

Do not let others make you feel like you are a weak person a lazy person or you are not trying.. They have no idea what is is like to feel the way we feel.

Call the doctor and let them know what is going on.. I have to have mine adjusted every 3 to 5 years.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New London on

The changes that take place w/ peri-menopause are not "fun".

I would call both your dr and your Obgyn and make sure you tell them about the change in your meds. Get 2 opinions and see if the medicine change was incorrect.

Go for a blood test. If you are very low in vitamin D, that can cause some sadness. Maybe your body needs certain vitamins and minerals.

Excercise and eating raw, orgainc produce is very important, too !

Have a Happy B-Day !

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I used Paxil a long time ago, it didnt work well for me, I cant remember exactly why, but I have been using Effexor for about a year now and it works really well.Maybe you can ask your doctor about it! GOOD LUCK!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Like with any medicine, what works for one does not work for another, and what works at one time may not work later. I am going through menopause and have no depression, but the normal hormonal changes are enough to make you worry about racing heart, night sweats, forgetfulness, lack of libido, aches and pains, just general blah-ness. Some people also get down for their birthday, feeling like they are another year older.
I would definitely talk with your doctor again, and perhaps like another suggested, get a second opinion. If you are seeing a primary care, ask to see a psychiatrist or vice versa. Most insurance have some kind of mental health benefits. Sometimes it even makes sense to stop all meds for a while to see how you do without them (under doctor's care since some meds cannot just be stopped but have to be weaned down).
I hope you feel better soon. Smart of you to reach out, pat yourself on the back for that. (((hugs)))

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Well here's what I think, mostly because my husband has been on welbutrin for awhile now for depression and it's changed him so much I dont even know him, he doesnt even know himself.
Antidepressants change your brain chemistry, they make you not "feel" in order to keep your anxiety down. I think it's a really bad thing.
My husband sees his psychiatrist this Friday and I'm going to definitely ask her to take him off of them as he has absolutely ZERO personality right now. Nothing matters, he's dull, doesnt care about anything, sleeps a lot, nothing moves him, he has no motivation.
I think it's better to NOT be on drugs, and LIVE your reality and figure out how to FIX things that come along that annoy you, swallowing a pill to make you not care is definitely NOT the answer.
An occasional anti anxiety drug when you feel panicky is one thing, but taking a drug EVERY day that inhibits your ability to feel and make decisions is NOT a good thing.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

When you use drugs of any kind to treat depression you end masking your symtoms and feelings. Depression is anger turned inward. It is sooooo much better for you and your mental nd physical health to seek out a good counselor and talk out the feeling you are supressing. Get them out in the open --- examine them and get rid of them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hi SM,

I'm 45 and going through what I figure to be perimenopause. I'm having mood swings like I did when I was a teenager! It could be premenopausal, but if you are struggling with depression, I know that it feels like you are seeing everything through a veil and it's a huge effort just to get out of the house sometimes.

Like some of the other moms, I'm hoping that you might consider finding a good therapist. My only advice if you choose to go this route is to not settle. If you are not happy with your therapist for whatever reason, it's important to find one who you feel totally comfortable with and who you feel is truly listening to you.

Please know that there are many others out there who are with you in your struggle. I wish you all the very best and that you will start feeling better soon.

Finally, I hope that you won't let anyone tell you to "just get over it" or that you won't hang out with anyone who makes you feel like depression is akin to feeling a little down. It's a real illness and a real diagnosis.

Take good care, and again, I'm pulling for you and hope that you will find the help you need.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

It is very possible the increase in your dosage is responsible for feeling dull. These kinds of meds do work great for keeping your brain from having panic attacks, but they also pretty much dull every other emotion you might have.
And they are not called Crazy Meds (there is a website called that!) for nothing. And it's not because the people who take them are labeled crazy. It's because they really are crazy meds. What works well for one person can have the complete opposite effect on another, or what has minimal side effects for one person can have unbearable side effects for another.
And even one med can be working well at one dosage, but you change the dosage and suddenly it works completely different.
I was on Lexapro at one point and felt completely different when I was at 10 mgs, vs. 5mgs, vs. 2.5 mgs, with different emotions and side effects at the different dosages!
If you were doing well on Paxil 20 mgs, maybe you would be better off staying at the 20 mg dose, and adding something like Klonopin or Xanax when you go through periods when you have panic attacks. Be careful, those benzo drugs can be super addictive. Yet, sometimes just KNOWING you have them at your disposal IF you were to have a panic attack is enough to keep the panic attacks at bay.

But most importantly, I agree that THERAPY is KEY. You need to have tools to deal with this stuff, not just take meds to mask all your emotions.
I know Porter Ranch isn't too far. I know of a great therapist and also a great psychiatrist in Manhattan Beach if you are interested. Both are very conservative in prescribing / advocating meds or drastic med changes. Please message me if you want their info.

I'm sorry you are going through this. I can really empathize.



answers from Los Angeles on

Talk to your doc, and see if a different med will work better for you.
Having said that, I've been on Paxil too, and while on Paxil, I also took proactive steps to change the way I talked to myself, how I made decisions, and how I viewed choices in my life, daily and for the future. It might be a good idea to talk to a therapist. I did not have access to a therapist while I had depression and was on Paxil, but I did the following, which I think helped transform my life:
- keep a journal, focusing on your goals, and what you want to focus on.
- quantify your accomplishments on a daily basis in terms of what you did and its impact, even if those accomplishments seem tiny. Changing how you think about your daily life puts it into a context with value and meaning. Going to the grocery store means you nourished your family. Going to the gym means you took care of your health. Calling a friend means you nurtured your personal relationships.
- figure out what you want each day to have in it. For me, I wanted every week to try 3 new things - a new food, a new hike, a new approach to my day. Somethings I changed were silly - moved my furniture around, changed the orientation of my desk. It was enough to just change up my routine, to get out of the rut!
- Start viewing your life as a culmination of choices you make. This mentality helped me shed some of the criticisms that I'd always heard from my family, and focus not on expectations that I SHOULD live up to, but rather on what MY GOALS were, and what I WANTED out of life. Some circumstances of your life aren't changeable, but what you do with those circumstances, and how you view your choices in that framework is entirely up to you.
- Enlist family and friends for support. Many people hide depression, instead of reaching out for help, and asking for specific support. If you need a friend to watch your kids so you can get to the gym, ask for it. If there is someone impeding your progress, call them out on it, or make changes to limit their impact on you.



answers from Amarillo on

there for a while i struggled with depression and it was horrible!! at first i took was ok i guess but if i forgot to take it i was a crazy person, i am now trying to get off celexa not because its not working (its worked great!!!) but because instead of keeping everything bottled up inside i have talked/worked out the things that have bothered me the most! i can honestly say i feel so much better and am excited to be off and antidepressants :)



answers from Pittsburgh on

Have you tried therapy along with the medicine? If not its worth a try. I don't know you are anything about you so I can't really make suggestions on how to increase your happiness or excitement or why it may be low in the first place but a therapist or even a good friend can-so talk to someone.

It could also be hormonal too-that can do it for sure.

Have you heard of Pristiq? From the commercials it looks like a kind of booster pill to work with your antidepressant. May be worth looking into as well.

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