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Anti-Depressants and Personality Change

Discussion in 'I Have a Question...' started by Fire, Dec 24, 2007.

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  1. Fire

    Fire Member

    I chose to stop taking Effexor 6 months ago, because it created such an intense personality change and generally on-edge feeling that I didn't want to take it any longer.

    Without it, I'm a very calm, thought-out, and non-aggressive person. On it, I am far more impetuous, aggressive, and violent feeling. I found I would have to restrain my anger toward people, whereas I would normally never get angry about anything at all.

    On Effexor, I would speed in my car for no good reason. Off of it, I'm wise enough to keep it to the speed limit or maybe 5-over. On Effexor, I'd have psychotic thoughts about the people who "wronged" me. Off of it, those thoughts would never have happened at all.

    Unfortunately, during this not-being-on-medication-by-choice stint, I had an emotional crash in the last few months that left me feeling hopeless, suicidal, failing a class, and basically in a minimally-functional depressive state. Sometimes surviving is the best I could do. Sometimes I didn't do that well, either.

    I'm ready to go back on it again... But I'm afraid... I'm afraid I won't be myself... I mean, it works on some level... But I'm afraid...

    And other pills don't work at all. I tried Zoloft once, and it simply made me worse by 1000 times. Before Zoloft I could function. After Zoloft, I was completely a wreck that couldn't even get out of bed for a month.

    I feel like I'm better off not taking anything and working through these rough-patches... Yet I'm certainly not my complete self..

    I don't know what to do.
  2. glass_samurai

    glass_samurai Member

    I'm not an authority in terms of medications, so is there any chance you could ask your shrink (or whoever prescribes your meds) some advice? There may be other meds with the same active substance that could work better for you.

    However, you said you had a crash a couple of months ago, and from what I've read, it seems it happened after the withdrawl, hence it may not be related to it. These kinds of events have triggers and reasons, I'm sure you can figure out some of them, and work from there. Taking a med now may help you feel more stable, but won't solve the problem you're facing, in my opinion. Too often we underestimate ourselves. One of my problems with modern psychiatry is that it often tends to call "symptoms" what are simply reasons, reducing the human being to a mere robot. I know medications can be valuable tools but unfortunately they cannot solve the problems themselves, just help us solve them, sometimes.

    Just my 2 cents....
  3. Fire

    Fire Member

    Glass Samurai, I agree that we often underestimate ourselves. And yes, it is short-sighted for psychiatry to focus so heavily on symptoms.

    The fact is, I'm just really unhappy and have to figure out why... And perhaps, in my case, I have just dealt with excessive abuse and emotional woundedness in the past several years-- enough to leave me in a place where medication is simply not the whole answer.

    Though sometimes depression has no cause other than brain-chemistry, I attempt to view depression as an opportunity to re-evaluate and change course... I'm not functioning well and unhappy for a reason, so what needs to change?

    Tough questions. But am I better with the boost of medication or without? The answer to that, of course, I don't even think can be trusted to a trained medical professional.


    I just wanted to add that another reason I went off of medication is because of the fucked-up market-driven healthcare system in the United States. I'm not going to have health-insurance before long, and I can't afford it either. Without it, I simply can't pay the excessive price of medication... What is a bottle of Effexor? $300-us-dollars? (I'm a grad-student, whadda yah expect? lol.) Plus, any time I go to the doctor, I pay a large sum of $$$ to cover a "deductible" from my health-insurance.

    I also don't go to counseling for the same reason. It just is beyond my financial means to see a shrink. I just want to take a moment to curse the ass-holes who make my life more miserable by turning the human-right of dignified care into a profit-motive run by principles no more sophisticated than money-fetishism. Whose idea was it to leave the inefficient human body and mind to a system like the market that doesn't put up with inefficiency? Whose idea was it to dis-incent people who need care from seeking it?

    Whose idea was it to deny care to poor adults, children, college students, and the seriously ill?

    @#$%@#$%@#$!!!! Goddamn America. Land of opportunity my ass.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2007
  4. gentlelady

    gentlelady Staff Alumni

    I would talk to your doctor about this. There are so many meds out there. Maybe there is one that can help with the depression but not leave you with the side effects. Only you know the difference in how you feel on and off the meds. Don't forget that friends are good judges because they can see the changes too. You are right that meds alone are not the answer. Other things should be explored as well/
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