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LostConfused: On the other side of the meds


LostConfused

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Hi all,

I am not like the typical member here and i am really doing most of the researching for my now ex-boyfriend. To give you a little history, I have been best friends before I dated him for many years, and know him very well. After a while we decided to give dating a try and to just see how it went. We dated for about 2 and a half years straight through and had plans on getting married after graduate school. We were so happy.... and then depression crept up on him. About 3 months ago he started Lexapro at 10mg. For a month it seemed to really be helping. He was feeling more alive again and didn't sweat the stuff that used to bother him. Then it got progressively worse..... The next month i was playing a college sport and was often traveling and didn't see him much but maybe a few nights a week late around midnight. He was starting to become kind of quiet and sort of lifeless... I asked him most days if everything was ok and he would always just say he was sorry he is was just really tired and stressed. I figured it would pass as we got back into the swing of school.. i never once thought about the medication having a negative effect on him.. i didn't really think it was possible....

One night about a month ago we got in a small argument and he just said he didn't have time for me anymore and that he couldn't be in a relationship... this coming from the person who told me 2 weeks prior that he wouldn't know what to do without me... even when he was starting to isolate himself... i was shocked.... we have been working through everything for YEARS and now randomly he ends it. Not only that but he didn't really care. He is usually the emotional one who cries before I do... He just stopped talking to me... it was insane! I went to talk to him a week after to figure out what was going on.. and he said he felt like he didn't love me "like that" anymore and he was happier without me. Again, the month before he was begging me to go to ireland with him for spring break and asked me to spend the holidays with his family and how excited he was about our future lives.... i never once thought our relationship would be in jeopardy... He was the most cold and lifeless i have ever seen him.. it was like he had been abducted...

I feel apart that night.... something wasn't right..... he would never act that way to ANYONE let alone me.... so i started brainstorming.... and then it occurred to me that his medication he was on could have some effects.... after research and reading other stories exactly like my own i knew i had the answer i was praying for....

He started drinking when he used to HATE drinking... and just being mean and isolating himself.....

I decided i would try to tell him what i had found knowing that he might not listen..... i called him (surprised he even answered) and just spilt everything i found out... he told me to email him the info and seemed to be a little receptive. I was excited! but then a few hours later he texted me telling me i was crazy and that he trusted his psychiatrist over me and to move on and suck it up and he wasn't going to change his mind... I expected it from what i read about other ppls situations..

So now i am at a loss... his best friend likes this "new him" better then the old and doesn't really care to do anything about it and doesn't want to get involved.... i know his parents would probably think im a crazy ex and that may push them farther from the truth.....

So the point of all this is that i am trying to figure out what to do and what to expect... i feel that i am the only one there to "save him" but he really wont let me.... i am really looking for advise..... He is not only the love of my life, but my best friend..... and i want to help him so badly.. so i am learning as much as i can so i can be there for him if he will let me......

I am thinking of moving away for a while because it is torture to watch him be this way.... but i don't know if it would be best to try to stick it out... i don't live with him i live down the street but it is very hard having the same group of friends. For those of you who have been on these meds...... could you please explain how you felt about your loved ones or just how you felt in general.. its so hard to help when i have no idea what it is like.....

"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference"

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Barbarannamated

LostConfused,

 

My heart goes out to you. Your account sounds much like those who describe loved ones who get caught up in addiction. He is very lucky to have someone who knows him well enough and cares to figure out what is happeneing. It's amazing (to me) that the change was so pronounced and noticeable in a few months. The change usually goes unrecognized because it happens over a longer period of time,like eyesight. You don't know how bad it is until it's corrected. The good news is, you've brought it to his attention and, even if he doesn't acknolwedge it immediately, you've planted the seed. I can hear how much this is hurting you. You have to take care of yourself right now.

 

Are you in the DC area or WVU? Both have good resources. Even if he refuses to listen right now, it may be helpful for you to chat with someone. It isn't an 'addiction' in the usual sense of seeking drugs and higher doses to get high, it sounds like he is 'appreciating' the apathy that happens. From what I understand, some people experience it as a 'water off a duck's back' feeling. Things don't bother them as they used to. Some therapists have expressed that they don't want their clients to be on ADs because they aren't really dealing with their full spectrum of emotions (few therapists, although I believe it's valid). Similar to the amotivational syndrome with marijuana.

 

Others will be checking in with words of advice for you. It will be ok and I predict there will be one very thankful guy in your life :)

 

 

 

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Barb,

Thank you so much for the reply.

I say i am in both places because i am in the process of deciding whether to come home to DC because my boyfriend (now ex i guess..) is at WVU and we had actually gone together :unsure: . Thanks for the advise.. i really need all i can get because as you can guess, i am a little misunderstood right now by our friends (we share the same friend group) .... I do plan on seeing someone once i figure out what to do next semester. I do very much need it. It is very hard to feel like i am the only one who cares about what is happening and sometimes i just wish i could go on the same drug to make me not care.... tho i do know that is not the answer... I do pray that the little seed i "planted" will grow.. thanks for the encouragement... i felt like i accomplished nothing... but i guess i just have to be patient for now... tho i will continue to learn about this stuff and learn about other peoples stories. It is actually rather therapeutic to just know i am not alone and that there are other people out there that don't think im crazy....... i do like the quote "the truth is the truth even if no one believes it, a lie is a lie even if everyone believes it".

"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference"

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  • Administrator

I don't think you can do anything but respect his decisions, Lost, even though they may be misguided, and show him you are still a true friend.

 

If he's still willing to look at them, there are lots of scholarly papers and articles about personality changes and emotional blunting on antidepressants. You might try Googling for them.

 

If you do, please feel free to post the news articles in our Media section and scholarly papers in Journals.

 

The new drinking is a worrisome development. You might be able to find information on that as an adverse effect. Our member Alexejice had some problems with this.

 

Often people go through a period of being convinced these drugs are the perfect solution for them, and become disillusioned later when they realize the adverse effects.

 

I wouldn't count on that, though. You might have to accept it you two are going your own ways, and make a life without him. If you stay in touch, you may find you can be good friends again later.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Altostrata, i have been trying to come to terms with the fact that i am going to have to let him make the choices for his life right now.... as hard as it is to watch him do this. It hurts to know everything i have learned and not be able to express it to him and watch him go down this path... i don't know whether to try again or not... or if that will push him farther away from the subject.... i am in the mean time trying to work on myself... as hard as that is... i am at a loss... I wish i understood how he is feeling right now..

"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference"

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  • Administrator

I understand completely. It will take time to separate your life and thoughts from his.

 

It's difficult to show understanding when you feel rejected.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Aww, sorry to hear you're having to go through that Lost :(

 

Yes, it's so true that these drugs make you just not care for people. I broke up with my boyfriend too. I'm still on the drugs, just a lower dose, so I'm still not feeling anything for him right now. It's so crazy how these drugs can do that, just erase feelings and close your heart.

 

All I can suggest is to move on and be there for him. But if he's not interested in stopping the meds, it could be many years before he decides to quit. I really feel for you. It's probably best to think of yourself right now. You just can't help someone that doesn't want to be helped.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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Ya, it really sucks that my happy life has just evaporated before my eyes.. and i am the only one to see it. Shanti, what keeps you on the medication might i ask? Or is it that you are in the process of tapering? Do you feel like you ever miss your boyfriend to any extent? Or that you might look for him in the future? Or is it that you really don't think of him at all?

"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference"

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I'm in the process of tapering. I was at 40 mg and now at 20 mg. No, I don't think about him at all. smh. I just really don't care. Sometimes I think about how I don't care and wonder if when I am recovered if I'd feel things then.

Taper from Cymbalta, Paxil, Prozac & Antipsychotics finished June 2012.

Xanax 5% Taper - (8/12 - .5 mg) - (9/12 - .45) - (10/12 - .43) - (11/12 - .41) - (12/12 - .38)

My Paxil Website

My Intro

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Hi LostConfused,

 

Welcome. Even though this is your introduction, I hope telling a brief summary of my story will give you an idea as to what your boyfriend is experiencing.

 

When my mother was alive, she begged me to get off of the meds as she felt they were destroying my life. Reacting similarly to your boyfriend, I blew her off as clueless about mental health issues. I cringe everytime I write this.

 

Only when I started suffering horrific side effects, including a hearing loss caused by Remeron, that I realized she was right.

 

I am not sure what made me get to that point. I had felt for quite awhile that the medication cocktail I was on was becoming less effective. I also knew that I was running out of AD options as I had been on all the SSRIS and definitely didn't want to try tricyclics which my psychiatrist had said would be my next option.

 

So when I was diagnosed with the hearing loss, my intuition told me these drugs were bad news. I think because there was no other explanation that I thought about the drugs.

 

Regarding your boyfriend drinking, I know that alcoholism can be a side effect of Paxil. So perhaps other ADs have this? Did he have a problem with alcohol before going on psych meds?

 

By the way, I wish I had a loved one who took an interest in my issues like you did with your ex boy friend. He doesn't know what he is missing.

 

CS

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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Barbarannamated

Lost,

My husband and I never knew each other before antidepressants (both on for many years), I maintained friendships and a need for social interaction, but he withdrew from life as soon as we married and even more over the next 17 years. (no kids)

 

I just remembered a therapist we went to several years ago. I was losing it - very depressed, no support system -we had ZERO life or friends together despite my trying to get him involved many times. We coexisted in the same house. I thought he was an introvert and tried to take that into consideration (still likely part of the picture). This therapist, after one session, said she didn't think she could help us "because there was no emotion to work with, not even anger." I never made the connection to meds until just now. To say my life has been 'hollow' is an understatement.

 

Relationships are difficult enough without the drugs complicating things, masking emotions, creating others. I think you mentioned him being mean. That's concerning.

 

I'm so sorry. I don't mean to add to your sadness, but had to share this.

Pristiq tapered over 8 months ending Spring 2011 after 18 years of polydrugging that began w/Zoloft for fatigue/general malaise (not mood). CURRENT: 1mg Klonopin qhs (SSRI bruxism), 75mg trazodone qhs, various hormonesLitigation for 11 years for Work-related injury, settled 2004. Involuntary medical retirement in 2001 (age 39). 2012 - brain MRI showing diffuse, chronic cerebrovascular damage/demyelination possibly vasculitis/cerebritis. Dx w/autoimmune polyendocrine failure.<p>2013 - Dx w/CNS Sjogren's Lupus (FANA antibodies first appeared in 1997 but missed by doc).

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Shanti, Thanks for sharing how you feel. I really does help me to better understand what he may be going through, as hard as it is for me. All i can do i guess if hope that one day, all of the stuff i sent him and said to him will come to the front of his mind and maybe he will get off of this stuff... I know i am really the last person he will listen to, even though just a few weeks ago i was the first.... Please keep posting on how you are feeling as you keep tapering off your meds

 

compsports, I am so sorry about your mom. It really does speak volumes about the medication that it could even make you not believe your own mother.... but it also speaks volumes about you as a person being able to recover and talk about it today. Many people have a hard time even getting to that point. But thank you for sharing i know it must be awful. As for the alcohol, my ex used to be the permanent DD. He never liked drinking and never had a tolerance for it either. He was always the guy happy to be sober and have fun. So when i hear about him drinking now... part of me just wants to laugh. He used to make fun of people who do what you are doing now. But anyway I know it is not his fault and i try to remember that and forgive him everyday. I hope one day, he will think i am special too.... thank you for saying that. But all i can do is hope/pray for him.. because right now the only people who seem to see/care about what is happening are me and God i suppose...Oh and has your hearing improved since tapering? Symptoms improved at all?

 

Barb, the "no emotions to work with" is a great way to put it. It really does put relationships at a standstill because there is nothing there... that is probably what i am struggling with the most.... I wish i could do something to fix things (I am one to want to talk EVERYTHING out and don't let things sit badly for long), but there is "no one home" essentially to fix it with. This angry,cocky,fratboy-like person is in his place...And the sad thing is, I am the only one he does it to... he only isolates himself around other people but acts happy when he is with them... and they just think he is going through "normal changes".

"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference"

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compsports, I am so sorry about your mom. It really does speak volumes about the medication that it could even make you not believe your own mother.... but it also speaks volumes about you as a person being able to recover and talk about it today. Many people have a hard time even getting to that point. But thank you for sharing i know it must be awful. As for the alcohol, my ex used to be the permanent DD. He never liked drinking and never had a tolerance for it either. He was always the guy happy to be sober and have fun. So when i hear about him drinking now... part of me just wants to laugh. He used to make fun of people who do what you are doing now. But anyway I know it is not his fault and i try to remember that and forgive him everyday. I hope one day, he will think i am special too.... thank you for saying that. But all i can do is hope/pray for him.. because right now the only people who seem to see/care about what is happening are me and God i suppose...Oh and has your hearing improved since tapering? Symptoms improved at all?

 

Thanks LostConfused.

 

Sorry, I wasn't clear but my mother lived a full life. It still is tough in some ways since she died when I was still withdrawing from the meds. As a result, I don't think I really properly grieved. Oops, I better be quiet because according to the new DSM5 proposal for grief, I am a candidate for an SSRI.

 

I hadn't thought about that but you're right about about the fact that this medication was so spellbinding that I didn't even believe her that it was bad news.

 

I do feel my hearing has improved although I don't think it is completely normal and probably will never be.

 

Hard to say about symptoms since I have been dealing with sleep issues that may or may not be withdrawal related. A few weeks ago, when i got good quality sleep, I felt like a totally different person.

 

Good luck with your boyfriend. I hope he sees the light.

 

CS

Drug cocktail 1995 - 2010
Started taper of Adderall, Wellbutrin XL, Remeron, and Doxepin in 2006
Finished taper on June 10, 2010

Temazepam on a PRN basis approximately twice a month - 2014 to 2016

Beginning in 2017 - Consumption increased to about two times per week

April 2017 - Increased to taking it full time for insomnia

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