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Common dynamic - how antidepressants destroy relationships


WakeMeUp

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Hey all. 

 

This is intended to be a support document for those who's partner is suddenly behaving differently on ADs, has left the relationship abruptly (or threatens to), and a very common pattern we have seen over and over again due to how these medications affect the brain.  The goal is to provide partners with support, an idea of what to expect on both sides of the equation (the medicated person, or the non-medicated partner), and what it is like for the relationship after awhile, whether steps have been taken to come off of the meds or not. 

 

I have been working on this for awhile and want to continue to share progress, as well as update with feedback from all of you on an ongoing basis.  This information is also posted on the facebook page Marriages Destroyed by Antidepressants.  But there are a lot of people here on SA that have posted their stories, update their progress on tapering or on their relationships.  I would love for this information to be as complete and as helpful as possible for anyone seeking support and guidance when their relationships have come under this kind of fire.  

 

I am looking for honest feedback, comments, suggestions or anything that you think stands out as very accurate.  Or anything that might need to be added. 

I will also be adding a 4th page to this for useful links, like to studies of SSRI induced indifference, apathy,

and the forum pages on Anhedonia, apathy, demotivation, emotional numbness , and to Marriages destroyed by SSRI SNRI - Topix here on SA. 

 

Thank you for your comments and feedback!

 

(Picture 1 of 3 below)

 

dynamic_1.thumb.gif.aa33aae3b5549b90f9bcd502591bbf75.gif
  

 

Psychiatric drug-induced Chronic Brain Impairment (CBI): Implications for long-term treatment with psychiatric medication
          May 2018
  Boyfriend left me without warning after double-dosage increase in Lexapro (also taking Ambien). He was not planning it - made the decision in 5 minutes. 
          Jul 2018    Discovered truth about Antidepressant impact to relationships. Docs did not warn boyfriend or any family of these dangers.  I do not trust my meds.  Decided to stop my prescription meds. 
                             Tapered slower than docs instructed. Was not on ADs, but did NOT know that my migraine med was a psychiatric med - and I tapered too fast.

          Sep 2018   Experienced "wake-up" - recognized it as something AD users experience when stopping meds.  Started experiencing withdrawal symptoms.  Reinstated low dose.  

 

Sep 2013  |  Topiramate 50 mg   Jun 2014  |  Phentermine 37.5 mg

Jul 2018   |  Topiramate 50 mg    |  Phentermine 19.0 mg

Aug 2018  |  Topiramate 25 mg   |  Phentermine 19.0 mg

Sept 2018 |  Topiramate   0 mg   |  Phentermine   0.0 mg

Sept 2018 |  Topiramate 25 mg   |  Phentermine 19.0 mg

Jan  2018 |  Topiramate 22 mg    |  Phentermine 37.5 mg                        Supplements: Omega 3, Magnesium L-Threonate, Probiotic

Link to post

Sorry, there are 2 other images I am trying to share that will show this progression ... stay tuned

 

you can see them here, but I cannot embed these files.

 

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-bG2AzqJDQ6e95QCNt4qSlZpko3nprV2

 

https://drive.google.com/open?id=144a_PCCuC53MvA58vcv3-EU0HGK-ejny

 

 

Psychiatric drug-induced Chronic Brain Impairment (CBI): Implications for long-term treatment with psychiatric medication
          May 2018
  Boyfriend left me without warning after double-dosage increase in Lexapro (also taking Ambien). He was not planning it - made the decision in 5 minutes. 
          Jul 2018    Discovered truth about Antidepressant impact to relationships. Docs did not warn boyfriend or any family of these dangers.  I do not trust my meds.  Decided to stop my prescription meds. 
                             Tapered slower than docs instructed. Was not on ADs, but did NOT know that my migraine med was a psychiatric med - and I tapered too fast.

          Sep 2018   Experienced "wake-up" - recognized it as something AD users experience when stopping meds.  Started experiencing withdrawal symptoms.  Reinstated low dose.  

 

Sep 2013  |  Topiramate 50 mg   Jun 2014  |  Phentermine 37.5 mg

Jul 2018   |  Topiramate 50 mg    |  Phentermine 19.0 mg

Aug 2018  |  Topiramate 25 mg   |  Phentermine 19.0 mg

Sept 2018 |  Topiramate   0 mg   |  Phentermine   0.0 mg

Sept 2018 |  Topiramate 25 mg   |  Phentermine 19.0 mg

Jan  2018 |  Topiramate 22 mg    |  Phentermine 37.5 mg                        Supplements: Omega 3, Magnesium L-Threonate, Probiotic

Link to post

My apologies for the multiple posts - I was trying to get all 3 images to post like this, but I am was not having much luck.  

And I am not sure if the images I have posted below are visible to all.

But this is what the post should look like.

 

Sorry for being such a rookie with the forum technology.

50922804_10216675702592266_2692139076554

 

50823684_10216675703632292_3949089288980

 

50745384_10216675704552315_2564698918617

Psychiatric drug-induced Chronic Brain Impairment (CBI): Implications for long-term treatment with psychiatric medication
          May 2018
  Boyfriend left me without warning after double-dosage increase in Lexapro (also taking Ambien). He was not planning it - made the decision in 5 minutes. 
          Jul 2018    Discovered truth about Antidepressant impact to relationships. Docs did not warn boyfriend or any family of these dangers.  I do not trust my meds.  Decided to stop my prescription meds. 
                             Tapered slower than docs instructed. Was not on ADs, but did NOT know that my migraine med was a psychiatric med - and I tapered too fast.

          Sep 2018   Experienced "wake-up" - recognized it as something AD users experience when stopping meds.  Started experiencing withdrawal symptoms.  Reinstated low dose.  

 

Sep 2013  |  Topiramate 50 mg   Jun 2014  |  Phentermine 37.5 mg

Jul 2018   |  Topiramate 50 mg    |  Phentermine 19.0 mg

Aug 2018  |  Topiramate 25 mg   |  Phentermine 19.0 mg

Sept 2018 |  Topiramate   0 mg   |  Phentermine   0.0 mg

Sept 2018 |  Topiramate 25 mg   |  Phentermine 19.0 mg

Jan  2018 |  Topiramate 22 mg    |  Phentermine 37.5 mg                        Supplements: Omega 3, Magnesium L-Threonate, Probiotic

Link to post
  • ChessieCat changed the title to Common dynamic - how antidepressants destroy relationships

I feel like this is exactly me on medication.  The one time I went off is when my girlfriend broke up with me and I have never been that devastated before.  Unfortunately I went back on medication and my soul got sucked away again...

May 2013 - Jun 2016: Lexapro 

Jul 2016 - May 2017: Zoloft

Dec 2017 - Jan 2018: Wellbutrin

Jan 2018 - Present: Trintellix 

April 2018 - Jul 2018: Ativan

July 1st: Stopped Ativan (1 mg)

Aug 2018 - Present: Adderall XR

February 10th: Stopped Trintellix (5mg)

Current Medications:

Adderall IR 10mg (January 1, 2019)

Current Supplements:

Ultra EPA/DHA Fish Oil -  30 min of Light Box Therapy daily

Link to post
  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Good job on the charts.

I was the medicated partner WakeMeUp.  Effexor was the medication.

And we are talking longterm marital relationship with a child involved.  I suddenly felt strong enough to instigate divorce.  And we got one.  We had some problems......before.  I can, however, only work on doing my best to keep my side of the street clean.  Work on my stuff.

 

Later.......I believed I was "bipolar", I mean that's what the shrink thought,  and I went down that route and oh, I was........"bipolar brought on by an SSNRI".  It's not a recognized DSM5 disorder.  But I did all the medications for that.  It didn't take me long to realize the super happy......"can't tell me anything I don't already know" wasn't me.  Coming off Effexor........and this was way before my survivingantidepressants time...........was a bear.......lot's of medication switches, the lows were the worst.  I lived.  Frequent cycling up and down, almost every 2 months.  And the downs pretty near killed me.

No infidelity, although, in my mind I was an infidel, if that's the right way to put that.......B) I'll admit.  My behavior wasn't outrageous.  Good thing I started out kind of docile, dependent.......maybe.  Idk.    I consider myself lucky in many ways.  Some of the medications I willingly took were outrageous.

 

Anyway.......I'm still healing, recovering.........and doing my best to amend all my loved ones........including my ex.  His family has been great to me post divorce.  My own is out of state.  It's a sad time though as kids are now grown and I see less of them all.  My ex is moving soon too.  Not far away.  But it's a change in my sometimes still...... much needed support system.  Gotta keep switching those up.  Friends, supports, family.........lot's of changes inherent.  Lot's of adaptions.

 

So.......maybe.........he'll come around some day and let you know.........that it was him.  That he gets it.   Your guy I mean.  And will learn how to manage his depression and anxiety medication free.

   I realized pretty soon, I mean within a year, that I was very altered........not my usual docile, dependent self.  I'm still different than I was though.  I have to work real hard on a lot of things.  I didn't overspend.  Just over committed and then collapsed.  That was my MO.

 

22 years of marriage.  Now divorced for 10.  It's amicable, truly......we are not the best of pals or anything.  Good enough.  And I still do my best to make living amends, when possible.  To both my very dear SUN/son who had to live through separation and then divorce.........  as well as to my ex.  It's ongoing.  He's still on my list........as far as someone I can call if needed.......if/when I might need help with something.  I still, understandably have some tougher times..........even over 2 years off my last medication.  28 years and 28 medications.........that's what I got for a situational depression.  I have to have a list.  And it changes from time to time too.  But I don't consider myself mentally ill anymore.  Challenged.  Empowered.  Just me.

 

My only comment on the charts is that the unmedicated partner doesn't always fight to get the relationship back.  That part makes me a bit sad.  That he never did.  He just got angry.  And not everyone of the medicated's will have all the behaviors.

 

So yes, medications.......psychoactive ones can change personalities, rather dramatically.  This information does need to be shared with prescribers, especially psychiatrists.  And it's good for me to see too.  And you have done a remarkable job with the charts and all.........I hope it's helped your loss.  Hugs.  Really nice layout and job with some tough stuff.  I will certainly attempt to print off some or all, and share where I can.  Hopefully before people seek medication.

On 1/27/2019 at 3:26 PM, WakeMeUp said:

This is intended to be a support document for those who's partner is suddenly behaving differently on ADs, has left the relationship abruptly (or threatens to), and a very common pattern we have seen over and over again due to how these medications affect the brain.  The goal is to provide partners with support, an idea of what to expect on both sides of the equation (the medicated person, or the non-medicated partner), and what it is like for the relationship after awhile, whether steps have been taken to come off of the meds or not. 

 

I'm not the intended recipient..... but related.  As always.  Thanks for the space.  Hard stuff for me too.

Hope you are well and finding joy and new relationships as well.

 

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

Edited by manymoretodays
SSNRI not SSRI changed

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

Link to post
  • 5 months later...
Quote

My only comment on the charts is that the unmedicated partner doesn't always fight to get the relationship back.  That part makes me a bit sad.  That he never did.  He just got angry.  And not everyone of the medicated's will have all the behaviors.


So sorry MMT on the very long reply.  I need to check those more often for sure!

I will definitely make a note that the non-medicated partner doesn't necessarily fight for the relationship, but can have their own reaction like anger.  I certainly have my moments where I just don't understand how I could have been so easily discarded like waste almost.  Those are the moments that are most definitely the hardest - that one day we were a central part of their life, the next minute we are unimportant and forgettable.  And it wasn't caused my another lover or a fight.  It was a drug that has suppressed their feelings.  But they still look and sound like them.  So it's very difficult for the non-medicated partner to get their head around "how could they do this to me?".  Intellectually, some of us get it - because it's the drug making those emotional decisions right now.  It's still really difficult from an emotional standpoint to stand back and realize that.  

 

Quote

I'm not the intended recipient..... but related.

 

I wish I could edit that part of that post because actually everyone is the intended recipient, both parties involved.  Quite frequently, the medicated partners have used this document after their feelings have returned to share with their families in an effort to explain what happened to them while medicated.  

Thank you MMT for sharing your experience.  The more we see these patterns and can fine tune this, we hope it will help partners and families heal and/or prevent problems with relationships before the drugs create too much damage. 

Psychiatric drug-induced Chronic Brain Impairment (CBI): Implications for long-term treatment with psychiatric medication
          May 2018
  Boyfriend left me without warning after double-dosage increase in Lexapro (also taking Ambien). He was not planning it - made the decision in 5 minutes. 
          Jul 2018    Discovered truth about Antidepressant impact to relationships. Docs did not warn boyfriend or any family of these dangers.  I do not trust my meds.  Decided to stop my prescription meds. 
                             Tapered slower than docs instructed. Was not on ADs, but did NOT know that my migraine med was a psychiatric med - and I tapered too fast.

          Sep 2018   Experienced "wake-up" - recognized it as something AD users experience when stopping meds.  Started experiencing withdrawal symptoms.  Reinstated low dose.  

 

Sep 2013  |  Topiramate 50 mg   Jun 2014  |  Phentermine 37.5 mg

Jul 2018   |  Topiramate 50 mg    |  Phentermine 19.0 mg

Aug 2018  |  Topiramate 25 mg   |  Phentermine 19.0 mg

Sept 2018 |  Topiramate   0 mg   |  Phentermine   0.0 mg

Sept 2018 |  Topiramate 25 mg   |  Phentermine 19.0 mg

Jan  2018 |  Topiramate 22 mg    |  Phentermine 37.5 mg                        Supplements: Omega 3, Magnesium L-Threonate, Probiotic

Link to post
  • Moderator
manymoretodays

Oh WakeMeUp,

Hugs.  Yes, very difficult emotionally, I'm sure.

And thank you.  Yes, good to hear from all sides of things.

 

Problems with relationships come in many forms, I suppose.  I think we do have to be cautious though, to not do the work, that is the medicated ones alone to do......when they wake up, even a little bit.

Raising awareness, of the medications/drugs change to personalities is, however, so really important.  I mean with prescribers and other partners who may have been so affected and hurt.

 

I'm still getting to that "making amends" part with my ex husband.  Just an apology, whole hearted, for how difficult I must have made it for him.  I don't expect any re-conciliation, and of course, there were a lot of problems in that "longest marriage ever", that could not be wholly blamed on meds or me.  I think if I take responsibility however, for just my part, that it will bring me peace.......whatever his reaction might be.  The right time will come.  Or so my sponsor says.

 

Best WMU,

Love, peace, healing, and growth,

mmt

Do you have an introduction on the main?  I could not find one.  If you want, go ahead and start one.  We have people tapering all kinds of meds here now, mainly psychotropics, not just AD's though.    Or have you just decided to maintain low dose for migraine control.  One of the last ones I was on was Trileptal/oxcarbazapine.  Not for seizures, just for mood stabilization.  I had a lot of weird WD effects, not really a "waking up" experience......well maybe a bit of one later, when off.  I had the most acute memories pop up-  not all bad or sad or traumatic........just a whole litany of them.

Best again and thank you for the reply.

 

 

Started with psycho meds/psychiatric care circa 1988.  In retrospect, and on contemplation, situational overwhelm.

Rounding up to 30 years of medications(30 medication trials, poly-pharmacy maximum was 3 at one time).

5/28/2015-off Adderal salts 2.5mg. (I had been on that since hospital 10/2014)

12/2015---just holding, holding, holding, with trileptal/oxcarb at 75 mg. 1/2 tab at hs.  My last psycho med ever!  Tapered @ 10% every 4 weeks, sometimes 2 weeks to

2016 Dec 16 medication free!!

Longer signature post here, with current supplements.

Herb and alcohol free since 5/15/2016. 

None of my posts are intended as medical advice.  Please discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical provider. manymoretodays

 

Link to post
  • 1 year later...
EmpathyIsAnAfterThought

I won't date someone who takes ADs, am I cruel?

 

First off its worth pointing out i dont or have never taken ADs.

 

The reason for my stance is buried in a previous 8 year relationship, im 33 now, my EX of the same age had severe OCD and after 1 year of taking SSRIs became a different person now i think a better person for herself as the she could do things like never before and really gave her a new chance at life without the OCD debilitating her, she began to party really hard and do things completely out of character like taking drugs and just generally being different, i would describe this as having less empathy as in things she would say. She ended the relationship after 8 years and i fell into the normal stages of grief with an added 2 year slump which featured quite a lot of anxiety and depression, ironically if i had've gone to any doctor they would've immediately recommended AD's but i worked through most of those issues thankfully and now i am kind of appreciate knowing that's wasn't the women i fell in love with. Her family have asked on many occasions "You should have ran away, why didn't you"? in relation to how difficult the OCD was, of course strong love doesn't view things like this its by nature unconditional. I know its a common trope for guys to be like "she left me because of the meds" but i dont think this, in fact i believe the meds helped her in the end to live a life less held down by her OCD and who could ever deny somebody that, however there is something that i believe the SSRI's suppress were you're are able to give up on someone who loved you more than life itself and went through the endless number of dark days and never left.

 

Thats the back story, i know its a little cruel but i will not date someone who takes AD's,  my main concerns are around empathy but deep down i don't like admitting this but i believe there is bigger changes almost different person like.

 

Am i being irrational?

 

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title
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  • ChessieCat changed the title to I won't date someone who takes ADs, am I cruel?
  • Administrator

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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

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