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Ruinedbrain

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Hello, I am a young adult under 24. I've been depressed since 2015 (it also runs in my family). I also suffer from anxiety but this started later. I have gone through periods where I have been managing it well and periods where it has completely crippled and controlled me. Since the start of the whole covid mess I have moved back home and been in a difficult patch. My family and doctor had been pushing me to try an antidepressant for a long time despite my aversion to them. I caved at the start of this summer (2021) and let my doctor prescribe one. I picked bupropion (wellbutrin) because it seemed to have the least amount of serious side effects and members of my family have tolerated it in the past or continue to use it (actually found this site while trying to decide). I still did not like the idea and got prescribed the lowest dose available (150 mg wellbutrin xl). I picked the prescription up a month later and left on a shelf for another because I decided I still didn't want it and I had been improving myself by exercising again (I had stopped with the move when I was in a bad patch) and getting out and doing things. On August 21 (2021) I took the first pill in the middle of a breakdown and I was considering trying other drugs, in hopes it would maybe fix something (I also thought having taken a prescription may support my case for taking less courses at university like my doctor had said, it definately weighed in). That day I felt incredibly motion sick from walking (walking is my coping mechanism, how I sort things out in my head and feel most at peace) I couldn't even get more than a kilometre without feeling awful. I didn't feel great emotionally either. I wanted to stop then but my family said I can't just stop and the side effects would fade. My brain felt even more dull than before and I felt worse about myself. After three days the nausia started to fade but my nerve endings seemed to be less sensitive (everywhere) and I was experiencing headaches, my eyesight also seemed to go weird. On the 27th of August 2021 (7th day) I had a much worse break down and decided I wasn't going to take them anymore. I decided that at best they were having a nocebo effect because I hated myself and resented every time I took a pill and at worse they were actually messing with my brain and body in a bad way like suspected. During the week I had delt with a family emergancy and everything was completely opposite to the "possitive new habits/therapy" that are supposed to accompany the start of taking them. I tried to throw the last tablet up while I was upset (no it didn't work and no I am not bulimic, I was just upset). I just haven't been taking them since then. I have had a worsened head ache, reduced nuasia, still feel worse cognitively than what I would consider my normal and things appear to be worse sensitivity wise. Now my questions are:

 

1) has anyone else experienced the same side effects while taking wellbutrin? (Nausia, cognitive decline, vision changes, headaches, short term memory issues, reduced sensitivity (I thought that bupropion didn't cause sexual issues!))

 

2) I have since read that anti antidepressents permanently change the structure of/damage the brain even with only one tablet! Most of this research seems to be with SSRI's and I could only find this case study for wellbutrin .https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4662168/. (It sounds positive in this case but not in other articles) I don't feel like my self and I am honestly terrified that I'll never get my old brain back (And body/eyes). Can I fix it or did I make an idiotic mistake one week that will ruin the rest of my life? This is my main concern and why I am writing today.

 

3) I know I'm asking this early on but do the majority of people find that they go back to the way they were before after taking these medications, especially if they have only taken them for a short time?

 

4) is clitoral atrophy a thing with antidepressants?! I hadn't even heard of it until I started googling my symptoms this morning. (I know that is an awful idea.) Between those articles and all the antidepressents ruined my life comments on every article I click on I think I seriously screwed up. 

 

3) Is physical exhaustion/ mental stress mostly responsible for all these issues? (I have had a lifelong issue with insomnia that gets worse with depression) the last week and a half has been hell first with the drugs and then with everything else. Is it psychosomatic?

 

A little extra info. I will be moving to another city to start university in less than a week. I will be going alone as one parent is hospitalized in the icu and the other has to keep visiting them and the rest of the family functioning. I've been out of school for a while and it took a lot to force myself to apply and get everything ready. I feel completely underprepared and the most stupid and incapable I have ever felt. I am scared I will not keep up, fail, drop out before I start and just wind up wasting all my money and preparation. (I may manage to get councling through the school and will finally get extended medical at least) My parent who was my main person to talk to (not hospitalized) understandably doesn't want to deal with my situation now. I my apologies if I've been over dramatic in my post and especially if my last little rant is not what this forum is for, but I think it gives an accurate representation of where I'm at. I just want the old me back and think I may have ruined my brain right when I was improving and before something I was terrified to start in the first place.

Bupropion (Wellbutrin xl 150mg) August 21, 2021- August 27, 2021. Went cold turkey as it was such a short time on the lowest dose available

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Hi Ruinedbrain-- Welcome to SA.  I'm so glad you found us but so sorry that you had to look. That is quite a story, but not uncommon. What you are feeling is typical of ADs their start up and discontinuation. You will recover.

 

The best thing you could have done was stopping them CT as quickly as you did. You clearly were having a bad reaction to them so the shorter the exposure the better. There will be some repercussions that will take a while to get through, but things will settle down and return to normal. We have a huge amount of information here, but I want to start you off with this thread because it directly applies to your situation:

 

https://www.survivingantidepressants.org/topic/23081-are-we-there-yet-how-long-is-withdrawal-going-to-take/?tab=comments#comment-492494

 

The whole article has a lot of good information, but you should read this part first.

 

All ADs can have sexual side effects, but it is dependent on the individual. In general they work by making us feel nothing. Emotional blunting is a common complaint and that can lead to numbing of the sexual response. Even on a small dose for a short time this can happen, but it does clear up and go away.

 

Leaving for university in a few day should be a good thing. Let it be a distraction with the AD experience slipping into the background.

 

20 years on Paxil starting at 20mg and working up to 40mg. Sept 2011 started 10% every 6 weeks taper (2.5% every week for 4 weeks then hold for 2 additional weeks), currently at 7.9mg. Oct 2011 CTed 15oz vodka a night, to only drinking 2 beers most nights, totally sober Feb 2013.

Since I wrote this I have continued to decrease my dose by 10% every 6 weeks (2.5% every week for 4 weeks and then hold for an additional 2 weeks). I added in an extra 6 week hold when I hit 10mg to let things settle out even more. When I hit 3mgpw it became hard to split the drop into 4 parts so I switched to dropping 1mgpw (pill weight) every week for 3 weeks and then holding for another 3 weeks.  The 3 + 3 schedule turned out to be too harsh so I cut back to dropping 1mgpw every 4 weeks which is working better.

Final Dose 0.016mg.     Current dose 0.000mg 04-15-2017

 

"It's also important not to become angry, no matter how difficult life is, because you can loose all hope if you can't laugh at yourself and at life in general."  Stephen Hawking

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Thank you for your reply Brassmonkey,

 

It is comforting to know that I am likely to make a full recovery. Hopefully it won't take too long. The headache seems to have reduced already from when I stopped. I am still having weird vision problems but it wasn't all day. As a bonus, some intestinal issues I had put down to stress disappeared as well.

 

I have looked a little deeper into some of the posts on the site and found some stuff I'd like to look into more.  When I have more time I'll try and read The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories Of Personal Triumph From The Frontiers Of Brain Science by Norman Doidge. It seems to have given a lot of people some hope and seems like an interesting read. I've already found this link helpful for looking at the emotions to handle rather than surrendering to a diagnosis https://www.madinamerica.com/2019/04/in-defense-of-anti-psychiatry/. I have not done enough research to form an opinion on it but it was an interesting way to reframe my thoughts. That said, I think I'll step away from a lot of the personal stories as I found them quite overwhelming.

 

I do have one other question: with the headaches I took headache tablets (ibuprofen) because it was difficult to cope with. I know from the prescription page I got with the tablets that I have to avoid the acetaminophen + codeine tablets that are quite common where I live but I'm wondering if using the other headache tablets once and a while would slow recovery. I obviously would not be taking them long term, just wondering if chemically/brain wise it will make a difference. Additionally I used to drink  glasses of wine or champagne at some social functions. How long should I continue to avoid this? Until everything is completely normal? Weeks? Months? A year? I am not too worried about it but would like to facilitate recovery as best I can. I was already taking magnesium citrate prior to medication and I have a fairly healthy diet most of the time.

 

Thank you again, 

 

Ruinedbrain

(Ps is there a way to alter my username that won't confuse people? It was honestly worded but most people seem to have picked more neutral names 😅.... not the worst thing to leave either way. Hopefully it will one day be ironic and I'll be a completelyfunctionalbrain)

Bupropion (Wellbutrin xl 150mg) August 21, 2021- August 27, 2021. Went cold turkey as it was such a short time on the lowest dose available

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On 8/29/2021 at 11:51 PM, Ruinedbrain said:

I have looked a little deeper into some of the posts on the site and found some stuff I'd like to look into more.  When I have more time I'll try and read The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories Of Personal Triumph From The Frontiers Of Brain Science by Norman Doidge. It seems to have given a lot of people some hope and seems like an interesting read. I've already found this link helpful for looking at the emotions to handle rather than surrendering to a diagnosis https://www.madinamerica.com/2019/04/in-defense-of-anti-psychiatry/. I have not done enough research to form an opinion on it but it was an interesting way to reframe my thoughts. That said, I think I'll step away from a lot of the personal stories as I found them quite overwhelming.

 

 

The author of "In Defense of Anti-Psychiatry is one of my favorite writers over on the Mad in America site. He also has his own blog, which you may like - Behaviorism and Mental Health: Alternative perspective on psychiatry's so-called mental disorders. He's one of the most honest people in the field. 

 

I think that stepping away from personal stories is a good thing and it looks like you have a lot to look forward to as you prepare to leave for university. 

 

You may find this section of the forum especially helpful for managing your symptoms:

 

Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms

 

On 8/29/2021 at 11:51 PM, Ruinedbrain said:

I do have one other question: with the headaches I took headache tablets (ibuprofen) because it was difficult to cope with. I know from the prescription page I got with the tablets that I have to avoid the acetaminophen + codeine tablets that are quite common where I live but I'm wondering if using the other headache tablets once and a while would slow recovery. I obviously would not be taking them long term, just wondering if chemically/brain wise it will make a difference. Additionally I used to drink  glasses of wine or champagne at some social functions. How long should I continue to avoid this? Until everything is completely normal? Weeks? Months? A year? I am not too worried about it but would like to facilitate recovery as best I can. I was already taking magnesium citrate prior to medication and I have a fairly healthy diet most of the time.

 

You may also want to add in fish oil, in addition to the magnesium. Here's more: King of supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil)

 

Using over-the-counter medications once in awhile should be fine. If you can use holistic treatments for pain, that's always best - heating pads, yoga for headaches (this is a great video - Yoga For Migraines - Yoga With Adriene), peppermint oil placed on the temples can sometimes help, acupressure, etc. 

 

I would hold off on alcohol for a really long time. Your brain/body is injured, including your nervous system. I would make sure you're able to tolerate exercise, stress at school and at home, your exams, etc. really well before consuming alcohol. And then add in only a tiny amount to see how you do. We see quite a number of setbacks with people who attempt to drink too soon. 

 

On 8/29/2021 at 11:51 PM, Ruinedbrain said:

Ruinedbrain

(Ps is there a way to alter my username that won't confuse people? It was honestly worded but most people seem to have picked more neutral names 😅.... not the worst thing to leave either way. Hopefully it will one day be ironic and I'll be a completelyfunctionalbrain)

 

I would definitely encourage you to pick another name because you're clearly an intelligent person with quite a great brain! Feel free to send me a PM (private message) and I'll change your username. Screen names must be 4 characters or longer, do not use all caps. Before requesting your new screen name, use the Member Search first to make sure the name is not already taken.

 

Please let us know how you're doing over the coming days. 

Drug free May 22, 2015 after 30 years of neuroleptics, benzos, z-drugs, so-called "anti"-depressants, and amphetamines 

 

My Success Story:  Shep's Success: "Leaving Plato's Cave"

 

And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good — need we ask anyone to tell us these things? ~ Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice, but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

 

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  • Shep changed the title to Introduction Ruinedbrain: Can one week ruin me?

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