Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

Dr. B's Predatory Rashy Medicine Show

Okay, I need some help from y'all. I went to the doctor today for a medicine check, and increasing my Zoloft has not worked. In fact, not only has it not worked, it has been very, very bad. Like, hour-long-crying-jags bad. And I knew that people have had some bad reactions to Zoloft, so I just said, "Look, I feel awful, but it'll pass. I'll ride it out; I'll let the side effects subside." Yeah... they weren't the kind of side effects that go away. Not being able to sleep, having hot flashes, having headaches--that, in the past as well as now, has gone away. "If you need me, I'll be in bed weeping" does not. And the sad part is, I felt really, really good for the first two weeks we increased my dosage. And then it just all went to hell. In fact, it got really bad last week, and I actually think saying, "You know, I have this story idea I've wanted to work on, let's do that," and banging out 20,000 words over about four days is pretty much the only thing that got me up and about.

(Yeah, this will probably come as a surprise to most of y'all, but I've found that many people suffering from depression tend to perk up a little when they're with people or are otherwise presenting a public face. Whether this is from pride, or social stimulus, or just plain not wanting to bother other people with their problems, I don't know. All I know is, I'm just not the kind of person who's going to wallow and wail on her livejournal.)

So I'm going to try to go back down to the next highest dosage we tried, 150, and try that for two weeks. Because I felt really, really good at 150 for two weeks, and I've been taking Zoloft for something like eight years, and it's largely a pretty good deal. But I can tell my doctor's getting kind of antsy to put me on something new. Well, actually, the first thing she did was ask me questions that were subtly, in an obvious kind of way, trying to divine if maybe I need to be rediagnosed as manic-depressive. Like, the bright spots I've had over the last couple of months, was I really... really... happy? "Uh... no. It was just like, 'I've gone out and seen a movie, that was nice,' or 'I just wrote a ton of stuff, that was really productive and I feel really good about that.'" Do I have trouble sleeping on my "good" days? "Uh... no. Usually it's the days I feel bad that I can't sleep, because I'm not active enough to be tired at night. I sleep pretty well on good days, because I've worked or done whatever until I'm tired." And so on, until finally I was just like, "Look, I'm not the doctor here, but I'm pretty sure I don't have any symptoms of any manic component whatsoever. I'm one of the most sedate people you'll ever meet. I live with a manic-depressive. I'm pretty sure I ain't."

So she wants to try one of two other antidepressants if Zoloft doesn't get its act together in the next two weeks--Effexor or Lamictal, and I can tell she's leaning towards Lamictal, which is an anti-seizure drug that apparently has shown some benefits for people who suffer from chronic, recurrent depression. Me, I think it sounds kind scary. Like, for some reason, it makes me think of a praying mantis. Look, I don't know. It's got the long Ls like legs on either end and this "ict" hunching in the middle. It sounds predatory. I'm also one of those people who sees colors for words and numbers, okay? DON'T JUDGE ME, OKAY?

Also, it can give you a giant rash.

So what I wanted to know from y'all was if you'd ever tried either Lamictal or Effexor, and if you'd had good or bad experiences with either one. I mean, yes, I can go read up on them, but you tend to get laundry lists of every good and bad side effect possible, mostly so the company can cover its ass, which isn't as helpful as someone saying, "Yeah, I couldn't sleep and I gained a lot of weight. Don't take that." Anyone?

ETA: I should add that I already take Wellbutrin as well, as a one-two combination. And that if you don't feel comfortable commenting publicly, you can always email me.

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Tags: depression, reader comments
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