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Losing hope


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#1 DaveyPete

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 07:17 AM

So - after reading countless stories on this subject, I am beginning to feel like I'm simply echoing countless previous posts and stories, so I'll try to be brief.

 

In October 2016 my girlfriend of two years went on Zoloft 50mg, which was quickly upped to 100mg in Dec. She was experiencing some depression and anxiety, and after being recommended to see a doctor by family/friends, was prescribed this drug.

 

She was very hesitant to try this, asking me and others to warn her if we noticed differences in her personality. Her changes seemed gradual over 4 months, but when you put all the pieces of the puzzle together it adds up to a huge change.

 

First I noticed sex declined - obviously I expected this.

 

Then I noticed she was being more emotionally distant, she didn't reply to texts, didn't rush home from work to see me, just felt like a connection was failing.

 

In January I put these peices together and confronted her about distance, and that she seems different - she told me she didn't like what she was becoming and was going to fix it. After this conversation I felt renewed hope for us. But alas, not 2 days later did I take a look at her messages on her phone. She had reems of sexts with a co-worker. It became clear that she had been having an affair for a full 2 months. My head was spinning - how did I not notice all of this happening at once?

 

I confronted her, and she had almost zero emotional response - just "yes, you're right" and "no it didn't mean anything" and "I don't know why that happened". I'm very conscious it's the medication causing this behaviour, as I could never dream of her acting like this without the pills. I wanted to get through it with her because we've always clicked perfectly - we were the perfect couple with very very minor issues. So I made her quit her job, cut off contact with this person and we've been sleeping separately since this happened. I try to talk to her about it, and the drugs, but she is very non-responsive, almost like a zombie.

 

When we were talking a few nights ago she said she loves me, but isn't 'in love' with me. - I immediately said it was the pills (as I've been reading alot about SSRIs recently) and she doesn't know if that's the case or not. She got frustrated and threw all her pills in the bin, adamantly going cold turkey. Shes a few days off the pills but doesn't seem any different. It breaks my heart because she is currently treating me like a friend and not a lover - it's very difficult. 

 

We've decided to stick it out for a few months to see if coming off these pills will bring her back, along with her feelings for me. She's positive she was in love with me before starting these pills, so I have hope that her feelings will blossom back - but I am terrified they won't.

 

Part of me hopes in a week or two it will be as if a fog has lifted, but again, I'm terrified that won't happen.

 

Can anyone offer advice? Am I being unrealistic to think these feelings will come back for me?

 

 



#2 Dawood

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Posted 14 February 2017 - 03:36 PM

DaveyPete,

 

I am afraid that I have no answers for you regarding this, and am facing a similar situation to yourself (details in the link at the bottom in my signature). All I can do is offer hope. Stay strong to what you know your relationship was like before, and how she felt towards you. And I would also say that at least your girlfriend has been cooperative and willing to work with you on this. That is definitely a positive sign. My wife does not believe the antidepressant medication is responsible for the sudden change in her actions over the last six months and (lack of) feelings at all, but has decided to come off them anyway just to "prove it" to me, in a type of protest.

 

My concern is that quitting 100mg of Zoloft cold turkey may be extremely rough in the short term (it's definitely not recommended as a way to come off medication!), so be careful for mood swings, incredible lows, headaches and so on over the next month or two I'd say. I would also suggest not trying to drill down into the nuts and bolts of your relationship issues at this time as it will be overwhelming (please learn from my experience here!).

 

I have done a lot of reading on this, and have come across numerous tales here and on other forums/discussion groups which show that a complete recovery is possible. Unfortunately there are also other stories which do not have such a 'happy ending'; I would say that the odds are that most posting on sites such as these are those with complex situations. If issues are resolved amicably, most people would cease posting on such forums and simply get on with their lives. It's kind of a law of the internet.

 

Wishing you all the very best in this difficult time,

Dawood


My wife's medication and withdrawal process:

-----------------------------

 

July-December 2015 (approx):     Eleva (Zoloft) 50 mg

January-July 2016 (approx):         Eleva (Zoloft) 100 mg

July 2016-January 2017:              Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) 50 mg

January-April 2017:                        Tapered off Pristiq

April 2017-Present:                         No more Pristiq, dealing with withdrawal

 

Introductory post: http://tinyurl.com/gqwpglf


#3 DaveyPete

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 01:27 AM

I have done a lot of reading on this, and have come across numerous tales here and on other forums/discussion groups which show that a complete recovery is possible. Unfortunately there are also other stories which do not have such a 'happy ending'; I would say that the odds are that most posting on sites such as these are those with complex situations. If issues are resolved amicably, most people would cease posting on such forums and simply get on with their lives. It's kind of a law of the internet.

 

Thank you for your kind words! I warned her about going CT, but she was very adamant - it's hard to tell if she's adamant to just get off the meds and return to normal, or to rapidly prove me wrong. It's a very odd, stressful experience where you see your loved one disappear, I feel like I get snippets of the pre-SSRI person, before they once again drown back into the zombie state.

 

She is seeming to be a bit more intimate the past day or so, a bit more touching, more smiles etc but I still get the 'friendzone' vibe also. I causes a dilemma where I don't want to smother her with my feelings for her, but I also don't want to imply the same feeling is coming over me either.

 

In regards to your above point - I'm interpreting it to mean that to mean the 'results' from these sites are skewed to the negative rather than the positive 'happy ending' - which I guess can't be a bad thing?



#4 Dawood

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Posted 15 February 2017 - 05:12 PM

Hey mate,

 

Yes, in my wife's case it was to prove me wrong and now she is going through a rough time. She did not follow my advice (taken from here) regarding tapering at 10%, and is doing alternate days with severe symptoms affecting her work and life basically.

 

In my wife's case, it is mostly bad with glimpses of good. For example: on Valentines Day after I did a number of nice things for her (not expecting a response at all but just to show I still care), she randomly told me flat out that the entire 12 years we have been married she has felt nothing for me, and married me out of convenience in order to escape her dysfunctional family. I countered by showing her the crappy love poetry she wrote me in early July 2016, a few weeks before she began Pristiq! Yes, it was still emotionally blunted (no "love" mentioned, only 'deeply care'), but a far cry from now where if I even brush my toe against her in bed it is WW3.

 

However, even though she repeatedly states this, she has been wearing a necklace since mid-November that I bought her over 12 years ago that she has not worn for a decade. It was hand-crafted in my village and a gift in our early years. She said that it is just because "it looks nice" and there is nothing else to it, yet somehow she dug it out of hibernation.

 

I am so happy that your girlfriend has been a bit more emotionally responsive and intimate with you - and I can only dream of this happening with my wife right now. Enjoy it, and be happy about it, but I would suggest you don't expect it to happen. If she goes back down the rabbit hole (waves versus windows), then it might get more distant again before it gets better.

 

And what I was meaning is that it is usually those who have complex situations or need to make sense of a bad situation that hang around online and on discussion forums. If there is a happy ending, they are usually too busy rekindling their relationship and sorting out their lives, so it skews what is archived here (and elsewhere) somewhat, I would say (and hope!).

 

Wishing you all the very best,

Dawood


My wife's medication and withdrawal process:

-----------------------------

 

July-December 2015 (approx):     Eleva (Zoloft) 50 mg

January-July 2016 (approx):         Eleva (Zoloft) 100 mg

July 2016-January 2017:              Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) 50 mg

January-April 2017:                        Tapered off Pristiq

April 2017-Present:                         No more Pristiq, dealing with withdrawal

 

Introductory post: http://tinyurl.com/gqwpglf


#5 DaveyPete

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 02:37 PM

Thanks for the advice - I've been trying not to get too involved in the 'nuts and bolts' of the relationship. But it is difficult to avoid it, and not feel down about all the current events. The affair has really affected me.

I'm definitely seeing windows/waves (not sure if there's a difference between the two).

She's now been off the meds for 2 weeks, and it takes about a week to get out of your system. The first week she was mostly cold, however the past few days I'm noticing a bit of a difference.

Firstly she apologised to me about what she's putting me through. This might not sound like a lot, but I think it's her empathy beginning to come back. Even when I confronted her about the affair she showed very little empathy to me.

She does keep asking what I'll do if her feelings don't return (either generally or for me). I don't quite know how to answer this. I said I have no interest in forcing her to love me, or stay in a loveless relationship. But it's hard not to try and interpret her position on such a question. Part of me hopes it's her beginning to face reality, and is worrying about the relationship ending. Part of me fears it's her gauging how long she has to stick it out before I accept defeat (saving her having it bluntly break up)

Anyway, today she's being a bit warmer. She asked if I'd be home from work on time, and when I asked why she said she was just curious. She's also been holding eye contact more and smiling at me more. She initiated a hug before I went to bed tonight (we're sleeping apart) and actually hugged me tight and for longer than the recent 2 second friendzone hugs.

All of these seem like really minor changes, and I'm being careful not to totally misread or over interpret their meaning. But I'm starting to feel a bit of hope returning.

#6 Dawood

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 03:00 PM

Oh that sounds like great news... I hope it can continue for you and increase incrementally over time.

 

A 'window' is a brief window of when they are back to (almost) their 'old self', and more content/happy.

 

A 'wave' is when the wave of depression/withdrawal comes crashing down to knock the window out of place, and may last for a much longer time than the window.

 

My wife has never apologised for what she is continuing to put me through, but that sounds like something really meaningful for you.

 

My wife has also done the 'hypothetical' thing about "what if my feelings for you don't return?". I said likewise, that I don't want to be in a loveless marriage and if she doesn't love me like she clearly did before (or at least deeply care about me in the interim), then it's not going to work. I also gave her a clear timeline: I stated that as she is coming off the medication now, I will give until mid-year to see if there is any difference and change before reassessing the situation. Ultimately, because if there's not, and the person she is now is who she actually "is" now, I cannot be married to her anymore. The fact that we have 2 young children (3 1/2/ and 2 years' old), makes it that much more difficult, and is an incentive for me to hold on as much as I can to try and repair this mess.

 

Keep hope! And these small changes from your partner continue to give me hope that I may see this slowly happening in my case too. I miss the woman I married!


My wife's medication and withdrawal process:

-----------------------------

 

July-December 2015 (approx):     Eleva (Zoloft) 50 mg

January-July 2016 (approx):         Eleva (Zoloft) 100 mg

July 2016-January 2017:              Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) 50 mg

January-April 2017:                        Tapered off Pristiq

April 2017-Present:                         No more Pristiq, dealing with withdrawal

 

Introductory post: http://tinyurl.com/gqwpglf


#7 DaveyPete

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 03:38 PM

Ah, now window and wave actually makes sense to me now!

It's a really awful situation, I'm finding it difficult seeing someone I've been with for 2 years drastically change, I cannot imagine how hard it must be to see that change happen in a much longer relationship such as yours.

Thankfully her WD hasn't been too bad, she's had dizzy spells, flu-like symptoms and headaches. I guess the waves show some moodswinging going on.

I've got my fingers crossed for you. At the end of the day, I've read a lot about this subject and people seem to think love is somewhat fragile, but it's not. This is also what I said to her with the 'what will you do if they don't come back'. If she really loved me (and I'm pretty ******* positive she did) then I'd like to think those strong feelings would re-emerge. But who knows. But I hope that's the case, for both our sakes!

#8 Dawood

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 05:15 PM

Thanks a lot for that DaveyPete - it really means a lot to me.  :)

 

It really is terrible, but the good thing is that I now have confirmation from her mum, closest sister, and 2 friends that have known her for at least 3 years that my wife's character changed suddenly around late September/early October, which is when the medication kicked in after she started taking it in late July.

 

I am just hoping that slowly we can see some turnaround in this, before her words and actions get even more destructive to our family!


My wife's medication and withdrawal process:

-----------------------------

 

July-December 2015 (approx):     Eleva (Zoloft) 50 mg

January-July 2016 (approx):         Eleva (Zoloft) 100 mg

July 2016-January 2017:              Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) 50 mg

January-April 2017:                        Tapered off Pristiq

April 2017-Present:                         No more Pristiq, dealing with withdrawal

 

Introductory post: http://tinyurl.com/gqwpglf


#9 DaveyPete

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 03:01 AM

Hi Dawood, hows it going?

 

I've got an update - She has been off the meds two weeks, I've been seeing glimpses of the old her coming back in very brief windows - very light intimacy (the odd hug, or stroke on the shoulder or back). However, these and definitely sandwiched between moments of ice cold indifference.

 

The other day I wanted to reaffirm my feelings for her, just to let her know nothing has changed my end. Her only response was 'yes I know yours haven't changed' and that was it. Definitely felt left hanging on that one! But it's my own fault for torturing myself, asking so soon.

 

I've been noticing some worrying signs though - firstly she's gone to spend time at a friends to help work on a film (she's a filmmaker). I mentioned before she left it might be a good idea to not text (distance makes the heart grow fonder!) I asked her what she thought, and she just said she wasn't fussed either way. Also ouch!

 

However, the worst sign is this - earlier in the week (around 1 week off the meds) she had a massive sort out of the house, ending up in bags of rubbish. For some reason, she's gotten rid of every bag but one. I went to put something in it last night, and noticed 2 photos of us in it. This cut deep actually, because they were 2 of her favourites of us. I know she could have been having indifference, and just didn't care about keeping it, but it kind of implies her mind is made up.

 

I'm not sure if I should confront her about this when she gets back, keep pretending everything is okay in the vein hope she'll return to normal in a few weeks/months, or just cut my losses at this point.  



#10 Dawood

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 04:28 AM

Hi DaveyPete,

 

It's going, but ups and downs... like yours seem to be too.

 

I would say that in my experience, the lack of feeling and also lack of inhibition sometimes caused by such medication means that they can easily either a) not reciprocate or acknowledge something that they usually would have; or B) state quite simply that they don't care. I have walked into the same situation so many times - it's unbearable - but I am trying to better position myself to not do so.

 

I think the glimpses of affection are definitely showing something - I can only dream of it, actually. We currently sleep in the same room (since I moved back in the previous weekend) but have to sleep with our 2 year old between us so I don't inadvertently touch her during the night.  :wacko:

 

However, as I said, she has been wearing a necklace I bought her which has meaning, and been discussing the idea of seriously wanting to visit my country with me and the kids - though somehow doesn't compute that she is the one who wanted to separate/divorce me, and that it is clearly something which would hamper playing happy families.

 

As far as the pictures, I am not sure if you should read something into it, or not. It may just be indifference, or her thinking one thing now that may change later. I guess if they have sentimental value to you in any way, then it might be worth salvaging them somehow if you can? In case she comes around and feels terrible afterwards about getting rid of them...

 

I honestly don't think someone in this situation's mind can truly be "made up"... Of course, I have only my wife to go by, but can see that she oscillates between treating me almost like before (without the emotion/intimacy), before swinging to outright hatred of me and disdain for no apparent reason. Before swinging back again. And I have no idea why besides chemicals messing with her brain basically.

 

I found this article posted here quite illuminating on this issue, so am still trying to hold on even though it's been 5 months since my wife said flatly and directly that she wanted to separate/divorce me.

 

I would also encourage you to not make any hasty decisions when you are feeling particularly emotive.

 

Wishing you all the best!


My wife's medication and withdrawal process:

-----------------------------

 

July-December 2015 (approx):     Eleva (Zoloft) 50 mg

January-July 2016 (approx):         Eleva (Zoloft) 100 mg

July 2016-January 2017:              Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) 50 mg

January-April 2017:                        Tapered off Pristiq

April 2017-Present:                         No more Pristiq, dealing with withdrawal

 

Introductory post: http://tinyurl.com/gqwpglf


#11 DaveyPete

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 05:53 AM

That was very interesting - it's quite crazy how accurate this is, and how similar everyones stories are on here.

 

The necklace has to be a good sign, I'd imagine that's the muted part of her old self coming through. Out of interest how long are the intervals between the swinging? 

 

I find it's usually about half a day - to a day between flipping between each.

 

I mentioned that we weren't communicating while she was away, but she's just text me - after only being away for like 12 hours. So the roller coaster continues! Up and down up and down! 



#12 TeaBea

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 07:22 AM

My 2 cents:  You're going to have to develop more patience than you ever thought possible of yourself.  I truly don't think that there's anything you CAN do to change anything about her feelings (or lack, thereof) OR to hasten things along, AND actively trying to do things can actually backfire on you.  Mirror back at her--only give back to her what she gives out in terms of affection, etc.  When they're still not themselves or ready to deal with you, whatever you do to try and help will just likely cause them more distress which they can't handle.  If they can't handle something, they will want to get away from it.  I think if it's going to work out, it will regardless of what you do or do not do to try and make it work out, but if you push them too hard, they'll just break and then you won't get the chance to see if it will happen or not.  Just my observations of my husband's moods over the last years.  

 

If you can act behind the scenes to keep her from further harming your relationship or reputation, then try it.  I had to do things like try to find ways to keep hubby off the computer when he was at his worst (drinking and not realizing he was drunk--a side-effect of the way Effexor affected his drinking) because he'd email inappropriately.  Or send  job queries while drunk.  Block certain sites, channels, hide the alcohol, hide his car keys, keep certain people away who were a bad influence, etc.  He eventually thanked me, but it took 2 years of withdrawing for that to happen.  At the time, "reasoning" with him didn't work (he's a highly educated man, and I couldn't believe how dumb he could be during his Effexor years); trying to get him to see "my side" about ANYTHING was useless.  

 

It's not been easy.  Hubby started withdrawal in the fall of 2013, and he's still doing it.  He's been below any therapeutic value for over a year now, but the drops cause irritability and ever-increasing anxiety (that he's always had and why he was prescribed this med in the first place).  He's currently in a hold at 9 tiny little beads inside his lowest-dose capsule.  His inappropriate behavior stopped after about the first 6 months of withdrawing, and the way he seemed to feel towards me was much better around that time, too.  We've sure had our moments of fighting--when he'd get irrationally irritable--it took me awhile to figure out it would happen about 1 week after a drop down in dose, so I could just keep my mouth closed and walk away and keep from causing more problems.  Sometimes I just existed alongside him.  It wasn't fun, but I know it wasn't fun for him either.  This was the "in sickness and in health" part of marriage.  However, if he'd been continuing his inappropriate behavior (or if that behavior had been much worse), I might not have been able to handle it as well (if at all).  I worry about the future because I have a lot of anger over these years and all my unanswered questions (which, judging by how well he's doing mentally, I might never get answered or resolved).  

 

Good luck to you!



#13 DaveyPete

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 09:37 AM

Hi TeaBea - I have actually read your story quite in depth in other topics on this forum - since this has all kicked off I've found myself not being able to stop researching!

 

I really appreciate your advice - I like the mirror concept. I'm curious however, that this must be a bit of a tightrope to walk as I want to try and communicate with her that it is the drugs making her feel this way (I don't think she believe that, but I do). Or if she questions leaving or breaking up, I'd have to at least try to reason with her. I'm sure you're right and it wouldn't achieve much. 

 

I think the issue I'll be facing is that we both are expecting results soon - now it's totally possible that we won't, but I've also read accounts of people coming back after weeks/months. I worry that because her feelings haven't changed in two weeks, she'll can it in soon. 

 

Is it worth having a candid conversation with her about waiting, and me not being overly affectionate? Did you ever have any conversations with your husband where he lost hope that he'd change, and you'd have to 'ATTEMPT' to convince him otherwise?

 

Sorry for the barrage of questions, I'm just at a loss at the moment, this whole experience has left me in a hellish limbo!



#14 Dawood

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 04:29 PM

Hi DaveyPete - and thanks for weighing in on this TeaBea,

 

I honestly would like to find answers to these questions too, from those who have experienced similarly. At this stage I am trying to not smother my wife (she already complained I am 'clingy' - I'm not but it is her perception), and be willing to listen when she wants to express herself in any way. I do remind her about how the withdrawal will make her feel as she is going through the motions of it, but it is up to her if she takes it on board or not - I don't force matters.

 

I got an unexpected hug this morning which had actual feeling, but after that she has been out of it the whole day due to withdrawals.

 

I would say that the intervals currently have varied lengths... at least a day or 2 between and then a glimpse for a few ours of someone wanting to be more chatty with me, or says something nice to me etc. But then after that retreats back into her shell. It's hard to estimate precisely.

 

It is definitely like being in purgatory or something like that. I remember when sometimes I would just glance at my wife and she would look round and say to me "why are you looking at me so strangely?" in a very annoyed fashion. I was looking at her with affection, and not a little sadness at the state of things. But she couldn't even recognise that.


My wife's medication and withdrawal process:

-----------------------------

 

July-December 2015 (approx):     Eleva (Zoloft) 50 mg

January-July 2016 (approx):         Eleva (Zoloft) 100 mg

July 2016-January 2017:              Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) 50 mg

January-April 2017:                        Tapered off Pristiq

April 2017-Present:                         No more Pristiq, dealing with withdrawal

 

Introductory post: http://tinyurl.com/gqwpglf


#15 powerback

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 12:40 AM



My 2 cents:  You're going to have to develop more patience than you ever thought possible of yourself.  I truly don't think that there's anything you CAN do to change anything about her feelings (or lack, thereof) OR to hasten things along, AND actively trying to do things can actually backfire on you.  Mirror back at her--only give back to her what she gives out in terms of affection, etc.  When they're still not themselves or ready to deal with you, whatever you do to try and help will just likely cause them more distress which they can't handle.  If they can't handle something, they will want to get away from it.  I think if it's going to work out, it will regardless of what you do or do not do to try and make it work out, but if you push them too hard, they'll just break and then you won't get the chance to see if it will happen or not.  Just my observations of my husband's moods over the last years.  

 

If you can act behind the scenes to keep her from further harming your relationship or reputation, then try it.  I had to do things like try to find ways to keep hubby off the computer when he was at his worst (drinking and not realizing he was drunk--a side-effect of the way Effexor affected his drinking) because he'd email inappropriately.  Or send  job queries while drunk.  Block certain sites, channels, hide the alcohol, hide his car keys, keep certain people away who were a bad influence, etc.  He eventually thanked me, but it took 2 years of withdrawing for that to happen.  At the time, "reasoning" with him didn't work (he's a highly educated man, and I couldn't believe how dumb he could be during his Effexor years); trying to get him to see "my side" about ANYTHING was useless.  

 

It's not been easy.  Hubby started withdrawal in the fall of 2013, and he's still doing it.  He's been below any therapeutic value for over a year now, but the drops cause irritability and ever-increasing anxiety (that he's always had and why he was prescribed this med in the first place).  He's currently in a hold at 9 tiny little beads inside his lowest-dose capsule.  His inappropriate behavior stopped after about the first 6 months of withdrawing, and the way he seemed to feel towards me was much better around that time, too.  We've sure had our moments of fighting--when he'd get irrationally irritable--it took me awhile to figure out it would happen about 1 week after a drop down in dose, so I could just keep my mouth closed and walk away and keep from causing more problems.  Sometimes I just existed alongside him.  It wasn't fun, but I know it wasn't fun for him either.  This was the "in sickness and in health" part of marriage.  However, if he'd been continuing his inappropriate behavior (or if that behavior had been much worse), I might not have been able to handle it as well (if at all).  I worry about the future because I have a lot of anger over these years and all my unanswered questions (which, judging by how well he's doing mentally, I might never get answered or resolved).  

 

Good luck to you!

 

Hi teabea ,reading your post really shows the mess we all have to deal with ,the irritability and anxiety is the hardest to put with, it consumes me at times ,and I'm very aware I'm not pleasant to b around at times and I make it a point to disappear for hours [I exercise all the time to ware the stress out of my body ]

I'm also on Effexor [venlafaxine ] and there seems to b a running theme with this drug[nasty drug].

From someone going through this torture I thank u for your account of living with someone like myself ,u are very like my girlfriend ,a very patient and caring person.

As I've said to her, try do positive things for yourself and do your best to distract  yourself ,witch I totally understand must be hard.

Take care of yourself. 


June 2012 citroll 10mg

​July 2012 citroll 20 mg

​September 2013 Lexapro 20mg

October 2014 venlafaxine xl 75mg

January 2015 venlafaxine xl 37.5mg

April 2015 venlafaxine xl 75mg

June 2015 venlafaxine 37.5mg ..this is my current dose to this day at present

IVE had 2 unsuccessful tapers in the last year . 

 


#16 DaveyPete

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 02:20 PM

Very quick update: my girlfriend came back from her friends today (spent Sunday night and Monday night there) - she mentioned her friend was noticing glimpses of her returning and then fading etc.

I said I'd noticed that too, and it's totally normal, but also asked if she was feeling more 'her' in those moments, and she said she thought so. She has also been responsive to texts today, which she hasn't been for a while (months really).

Fingers are crossed!

#17 Dawood

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 05:50 PM

Oh, really happy for you there DaveyPete!

I think now that there is some self-awareness of the change in mood/thought process coming through, it must be positive!

I will still likely have a couple of months before that might happen... I'm currently being blamed by my wife for her feeling so awful - "I was sane and normal on the medication, now look at me!" type thing.

Your updates give me hope!

My wife's medication and withdrawal process:

-----------------------------

 

July-December 2015 (approx):     Eleva (Zoloft) 50 mg

January-July 2016 (approx):         Eleva (Zoloft) 100 mg

July 2016-January 2017:              Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) 50 mg

January-April 2017:                        Tapered off Pristiq

April 2017-Present:                         No more Pristiq, dealing with withdrawal

 

Introductory post: http://tinyurl.com/gqwpglf


#18 Mermaid17

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 06:59 PM

Hi there. I was so glad to see this thread. My husband told me he no longer loved me Sept. 29th, with our third baby, who was just two weeks old, in my arms. He's bipolar 2, and when he went up to 20 mg lexapro last spring he totally changed. He had been on 10, along with 5 of abilify. He had 19 rounds of ECT 3 years ago and it was a miracle, but got depressed again last spring and rather than have more ECT, upped the meds under the direction of a new doc who didn't know him at all (we had recently moved.) He moved out over Thanksgiving . . . he's completely convinced he doesn't love me, hasn't for a while (even though never said anything about any problems), and there's no hope, no point in counseling, etc. Oh, and of course the pills have NOTHING to do with it. 

 

I'd like to hear from anyone who has had their spouse somehow realize the meds are doing this, because he has ZERO incentive to taper. Zero. The part of his brain that values romantic love is dead right now. And he's been hypomanic, feeling the LEAST depressed he has in his entire adult life, for 10 months . . . He's convinced this is just how he's supposed to feel. Very high functioning at work, not sleeping regularly, no exercise, chugging caffeine, chewing tobacco . . . but seems super confident and rational to everyone but ME. I hope the meds run their course, but no amount of information about these side-effects is enough to convince him this is what is happening, or that it'd be worth even TRYING to taper, for the sake of the kids. He's still a great dad, but clearly isn't appreciating the emotional impact his moving out has on them. It's terrible. 

 

Has anyone had their spouse simply have the meds run their course and then realize what the meds were doing? Does a depressive dip bring with it enlightenment? 

 

He's the love of my life, we've been together since we were 20, so 15 years, and I'll wait an eternity for him to return to me, but I hate that our three kids are dealing with this in the here and now. Any insight/support is greatly appreciated. Keeping everyone out there struggling with this side-effect in my prayers. 



#19 DaveyPete

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 01:50 AM

 

Has anyone had their spouse simply have the meds run their course and then realize what the meds were doing? Does a depressive dip bring with it enlightenment? 

 

 

Hi Mermaid17, sorry to hear what you're going through.

 

I think this is one aspect where my situation is a bit different from most of the stories on here I've read - where the medicated spouse doesn't believe, or understand that these changes could be due to just a pill.

 

I would believe the reason my girlfriend is somewhat responsive over the idea that it's the pill is because of a few factors:

 

1) She was very conscious before going on meds that it might change her (for the worse) - she mentioned it to me two or three times to highlight any changes in her, because that was the last thing she wanted to happen.

2) I caught the signs fairly early (well, within about 4 months). I'm not sure how much she'd have believed me if she stayed on them for much longer.

3) When I highlighted her changes (she would never have cheated before these pills) I think she finally couldn't ignore the signs any more. 

 

She mentioned to me before I discovered the affair that she 'didn't like who she was becoming' and didn't 'feel like me'. I truly believe if she wasn't concerned about this before hand we'd be in a much different place.

 

The same day she quit the pills I got the 'Love you but not in love with you' rubbish. Thankfully by this point I had seem Helen Fishers video on youtube talking about SSRI and Blunting Romantic Love. I told her that it was very possible it could be a side effect from the meds, her reaction was like 'Christ, really??'. I played the video for her and I think she believed it, as much as she could.

 

She's been off the pills for about 3 weeks - she's jumps between warm and ice cold. I've been struggling lately, but read this on topix yesterday which has changed my outlook - it might help you too?

 

"You really need to listen to yourself and think before you lash out. You're hurting yourself and hurting your chances of reconciling with her, which despite that fact that you're seeing red, is what you truly want. You said "who in there right mind would do this?" Thats the issue SHE's NOT IN HER RIGHT MIND! But YOU are, if you love her, you really need to think with your heart and stop letting your reptilian brain take over. I know this **** is hard, I'm going through it too, it seem's so simple, all you want is to make her happy and be happy yourself but all you get from her is pure hell! You need to remember that IS NOT HER! IT'S THE EFFECT OF THE DAMN DRUG AND TOXINS! You also need to realize something, the things she does that hurt you is separate from her heart, her heart and feelings for you are still there, behind a bunch of interference, so when you get mad at her, it hits her heart, so it's like you're dealing with two different people and the problem being when you lash out, it doesn't hit the version of her that causes the pain, it hits the part of her that loves you. Read the story Miseable Man posted, it's excellent and you should read it every damn day!"



#20 Konjo

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 02:44 AM

 

Hi Mermaid17, sorry to hear what you're going through.

 

I think this is one aspect where my situation is a bit different from most of the stories on here I've read - where the medicated spouse doesn't believe, or understand that these changes could be due to just a pill.

 

I would believe the reason my girlfriend is somewhat responsive over the idea that it's the pill is because of a few factors:

 

1) She was very conscious before going on meds that it might change her (for the worse) - she mentioned it to me two or three times to highlight any changes in her, because that was the last thing she wanted to happen.

2) I caught the signs fairly early (well, within about 4 months). I'm not sure how much she'd have believed me if she stayed on them for much longer.

3) When I highlighted her changes (she would never have cheated before these pills) I think she finally couldn't ignore the signs any more. 

 

She mentioned to me before I discovered the affair that she 'didn't like who she was becoming' and didn't 'feel like me'. I truly believe if she wasn't concerned about this before hand we'd be in a much different place.

 

 

My ex-wife was very couscious as well. She mentioned me couple of times for checking regularly changes in her behavior. When I mentioned it (just 3 months after starting Lexapro) it was too late. I convinced her to tapper her meds pointing mostly phisical side-effects of meds like bruising, stomach cramps, constipation etc.. She did it but during tapering and withdrawal she had many new affairs. After half a year of her last pill she returned to me for one month but after that she moved out and found new guy. She married him a year after.



#21 DaveyPete

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 06:04 AM

Hi Konjo,

 

Thanks for adding your story - I'm sorry you went through this.

 

In my circumstance I convinced her to get off the meds because of specific emotional and personality change, which she agreed did happen, I am noticing signs of her returning to herself, albeit fairly slowly. I'm curious if you cited any personal or emotional change while she was on the meds? And if so, did she acknowledge said change? Or regret it?

 

A mutual friend told me she referred to the affair as a 'huge mistake', so I'd like to think she is beginning to return to reality, but again, who knows.

 

I'm realistic that it might not turn out how I want it to, but I'm also hopeful we'll get back on track. I've read plenty of stories with both outcomes, even if there is a 1% chance she'll return to how she was, I want to make sure I'm here for the 'real' her on the other side.



#22 Mermaid17

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 10:35 AM

I think that because my husband has been on and off these meds for 20 years, and just ON them at 10 mg. for 5 years, that his ability to see a before and after is obliterated. He admits a wall went up inside him after upping to 20 mgs, but won't attribute it to the pills. Luckily he's had no libido since then as well and therefore no affairs, at least to my knowledge. He's completely asexual. 



#23 Mermaid17

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 10:56 AM

Can someone help me find this:


 Read the story Miseable Man posted, it's excellent and you should read it every damn day!"



#24 Konjo

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 03:31 AM

Hi Konjo,

 

Thanks for adding your story - I'm sorry you went through this.

 

In my circumstance I convinced her to get off the meds because of specific emotional and personality change, which she agreed did happen, I am noticing signs of her returning to herself, albeit fairly slowly. I'm curious if you cited any personal or emotional change while she was on the meds? And if so, did she acknowledge said change? Or regret it?

 

A mutual friend told me she referred to the affair as a 'huge mistake', so I'd like to think she is beginning to return to reality, but again, who knows.

 

I'm realistic that it might not turn out how I want it to, but I'm also hopeful we'll get back on track. I've read plenty of stories with both outcomes, even if there is a 1% chance she'll return to how she was, I want to make sure I'm here for the 'real' her on the other side.

 

First guy - it was a clerk from local store. I don't think they have any kind of romantic relationship. Just secret walks for hours etc. Ex offered him to borrow money for his dental problems. After several weeks she broke contact with him. She called it mistake. Next guy was 2 months later. She finally broke with me and they went to their beautiful vacation trip to Florida. After that he broke with her. She called it mistake and contacted me again over Skype.  It was short window of her old herself but just after a week she started to met with new guy. He dumped her after a month. Another mistake.  It was another one and next she come back to visit me for a month. I saw how during that time she is gradually changed from bad to worse. It was 8 months after her last pill of Lexapro. After she come back to US - she very quickly met a new guy. 

 

DaveyPete, be prepared for such roller-coaster. I waited, fought etc. And I'm proud of myself that I did everything what I could do to save our relationship. It was this 1% chance that failed.

 

 Right now I'm already 2,5 years with new woman. She knows very well about side-effects psychiatric drugs and she will never try it.



#25 DaveyPete

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 04:47 AM

 

First guy - it was a clerk from local store. I don't think they have any kind of romantic relationship. Just secret walks for hours etc. Ex offered him to borrow money for his dental problems. After several weeks she broke contact with him. She called it mistake. Next guy was 2 months later. She finally broke with me and they went to their beautiful vacation trip to Florida. After that he broke with her. She called it mistake and contacted me again over Skype.  It was short window of her old herself but just after a week she started to met with new guy. He dumped her after a month. Another mistake.  It was another one and next she come back to visit me for a month. I saw how during that time she is gradually changed from bad to worse. It was 8 months after her last pill of Lexapro. After she come back to US - she very quickly met a new guy. 

 

DaveyPete, be prepared for such roller-coaster. I waited, fought etc. And I'm proud of myself that I did everything what I could do to save our relationship. It was this 1% chance that failed.

 

 Right now I'm already 2,5 years with new woman. She knows very well about side-effects psychiatric drugs and she will never try it.

 

Hi Konjo,

 

You've definitely gone through the wringer.

 

I realise I have to be totally prepared for this to happen. A large part of me feels like it's just a wasted effort, like a stab to the heart every time I say 'I love you' and I just get it ignored. We had a great day on Saturday, where things felt normal again, we even ended sleeping in the same bed for the first time in about a month (no sex)- however when I woke up I saw she had moved into the other room. She left to do some work at a friends house on Sunday, not due back until mid-week, hasn't contacted me in about 12 hours (which is possibly the longest we've ever gone without any form of communication). And I won't make first contact.

 

It's funny, I find myself mirroring her mood swings, where I jump daily between hope, and no hope.

 

A few weeks before the meds, she made it clear she wanted us to be together forever. It's really possible the drugs have totally killed those feelings, or the affair killed them, or withdrawal has kill them. The positive is she's only been off the drug for 3 weeks, meaning it's only been out of her system 2 weeks so I guess it's still pretty early days, and in that short time I've started seeming glimpses of her old self.

 

From the PDFs on the Google Drive (which I believe are yours?) it basically implies what happens next is fairly unpredictable. She could come back on from her friends with a clear head, or come back and break up with me, or something in between. 

 

However, I, like you, feel as though I have to try everything I can to bring her back and get us back to where we were. At least then, if it ends I know I tried.



#26 Konjo

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 02:38 AM

Davey, just before meds, my ex told me several times that she want to be with me forever and she is very happy and thankful of our relationship. Few weeks later when she upped her dose everything disappeared. 

7 months after last pill I asked her about it ( forever part). She told me that she was in so big despair that she wanted to believe that it is true....

 

Davey please stay strong and take care of yourself. Right now you have little or zero influence of her actions. The  best thing right now that happened  for your relationship  is that she is quitting drugs. Everything else is uncertain.

 

And please inform us about any progress.



#27 Konjo

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 07:03 AM

Can someone help me find this:


 Read the story Miseable Man posted, it's excellent and you should read it every damn day!"

 

Here is it:

 

https://docs.google....UFejcZ-zQM/edit



#28 DaveyPete

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 03:20 AM

Update:

So I asked to just have a conversation with my girlfriend, and she confirmed that she still feels nothing for me and doesn't think she can keep doing this until summer, she said when she sees me she just feels guilt. She said she still 'loves me to pieces' and doesn't want to can in the relationship, but just 'pause' it.

Not really sure what to think

#29 Dawood

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 04:39 PM

So it sounds to me like she's saying that she still cares about youand doesn't want to end it, but has to work through the guilt and other feelings first. That when she sees you, she feels guilt etc. and not 'love'.

I'd suggest that even this admission is something that would have been impossible the weeks prior...!

Again, something I can only dream of in my case.

My wife's medication and withdrawal process:

-----------------------------

 

July-December 2015 (approx):     Eleva (Zoloft) 50 mg

January-July 2016 (approx):         Eleva (Zoloft) 100 mg

July 2016-January 2017:              Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) 50 mg

January-April 2017:                        Tapered off Pristiq

April 2017-Present:                         No more Pristiq, dealing with withdrawal

 

Introductory post: http://tinyurl.com/gqwpglf


#30 Dawood

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 10:04 PM

My wife has just forcefully (and hurtfully) stated that she wants to separate again and divorce. And wants to discuss the "logistics" of it after I just moved back in around 2 weeks ago.

It's her first day of 4 days in a row without Pristiq.

My wife's medication and withdrawal process:

-----------------------------

 

July-December 2015 (approx):     Eleva (Zoloft) 50 mg

January-July 2016 (approx):         Eleva (Zoloft) 100 mg

July 2016-January 2017:              Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) 50 mg

January-April 2017:                        Tapered off Pristiq

April 2017-Present:                         No more Pristiq, dealing with withdrawal

 

Introductory post: http://tinyurl.com/gqwpglf


#31 Konjo

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 06:43 AM

Update:

So I asked to just have a conversation with my girlfriend, and she confirmed that she still feels nothing for me and doesn't think she can keep doing this until summer, she said when she sees me she just feels guilt. She said she still 'loves me to pieces' and doesn't want to can in the relationship, but just 'pause' it.

Not really sure what to think

 

in my case it was such escalation in period of just few weeks

 

- we need to visit family therapist / counselor  

- I need to be on my own / we need to separate to figure out things 

- I need to separate for several months and we will figure out after that during our trip to Asia

- I need to separate and I don't promise to be faithfull / no more trip to Asia

- I want divorce but all is your fault and you should take care of all paperwork



#32 Konjo

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 06:49 AM

My wife has just forcefully (and hurtfully) stated that she wants to separate again and divorce. And wants to discuss the "logistics" of it after I just moved back in around 2 weeks ago.

It's her first day of 4 days in a row without Pristiq.

 

It's just beginning of roller-coaster. Be prepared for everything, even to hide dangerous objects from your apartment. My ex, during first weeks of withdrawal was so nervous and aggressive that I hid bigger knifes. Many people did bad things during withdrawal of these horrible drugs. https://ssristories.org/on the right pane there are links to SSRI stories from different categories.



#33 Mermaid17

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 10:50 AM

Yes, I would say to both Dawood and Davey that so long as they are tapering, you're in a better place than if they remain unwilling, as is the case with my husband. And just so you know, I experienced a very similar side-effect from a wonky birth control pill about 13 years ago. I lost all feeling for my husband, with whom I'd just moved in, for the 3 months I was on it, and it took years to shake the anxiety about our relationship it caused. It's unbelievable how powerful it is to have those feelings vanish, because it FEELS SO REAL. I also know I felt such GUILT in that time. It's real for them, but shouldn't be permanent. Try to have faith, and stay strong and PATIENT. This is unconscionably hard, but I think we are all in the same place of so truly and deeply loving these people, and that's rare. That means something. You're all in my prayers.



#34 Dawood

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 03:26 PM

Hi Konjo and Mermaid - thank you so much for your responses to me, it means a lot.

 

Most definitely it's part of the roller-coaster ride. Today she is more settled and wants to "talk about it" and for me to "help her" overcome her infatuation (affair) with the other guy and salvage our marriage. But as for tomorrow? Who knows...

 

I have made it clear that I am only willing to talk about it if it is in a neutral space with a 3rd (neutral) person present to act as a mediator or something like this. Right now she is ranting and raving about it and the "rules" I have imposed on our discussing this. But we will see what happens.

 

Just trying to ride it out, and look after my 2 boys as they are my priority at present - not her. I am only still here due to the respect and love I owe the memory of the person I married; she is not that person anymore, though hopefully can recover.

 

Mermaid: Thank you so much for your insight... it definitely feels real for her, even though she can give no reasons why she feels nothing for me, or how it suddenly happened (she still does not think it's the meds really). I, her mother, sister, and friends have all raised concerns regarding her behavioural change and regarding her life direction in general, but she just does not seem to see it. Or worse, oscillates between being somewhat reasonable, to being outright antagonistic, derisive, and abusive to me.

 

It's definitely the scariest roller coaster ride I have ever been on!


My wife's medication and withdrawal process:

-----------------------------

 

July-December 2015 (approx):     Eleva (Zoloft) 50 mg

January-July 2016 (approx):         Eleva (Zoloft) 100 mg

July 2016-January 2017:              Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) 50 mg

January-April 2017:                        Tapered off Pristiq

April 2017-Present:                         No more Pristiq, dealing with withdrawal

 

Introductory post: http://tinyurl.com/gqwpglf


#35 Dawood

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 03:31 PM

in my case it was such escalation in period of just few weeks

 

- we need to visit family therapist / counselor  

- I need to be on my own / we need to separate to figure out things 

- I need to separate for several months and we will figure out after that during our trip to Asia

- I need to separate and I don't promise to be faithfull / no more trip to Asia

- I want divorce but all is your fault and you should take care of all paperwork

 

 

Konjo: I have heard the same things from my wife basically.

  • I enforced the counsellor option immediately after she stated she wanted to separate (in response to my asking her directly: "Are you cheating on me?")
  • I moved out (stupidly!) to give her the "space" so she could be "free", and have since just moved back in.
  • She said the above regarding separating/divorce/not loving me/hating me yesterday, yet has still booked a ticket to accompany me and my 2 boys to fly overseas in October to visit my family. (Completely illogical!)
  • She cannot stand being with me / "fake sex" / whatever, yet admits to being infatuated with a guy she started an affair with - at least in her mind if nothing else. (Spoke to him by phone yesterday - he was shocked and denied all of course)
  • She wants to divorce/leave me, but is not willing to take the initiative and actually move out herself or file herself.

My wife's medication and withdrawal process:

-----------------------------

 

July-December 2015 (approx):     Eleva (Zoloft) 50 mg

January-July 2016 (approx):         Eleva (Zoloft) 100 mg

July 2016-January 2017:              Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) 50 mg

January-April 2017:                        Tapered off Pristiq

April 2017-Present:                         No more Pristiq, dealing with withdrawal

 

Introductory post: http://tinyurl.com/gqwpglf


#36 Mermaid17

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 06:35 PM

I was just thinking today about the fact my husband insisted on moving out so quickly after telling me his feelings were gone (I had JUST had our third baby!!!) but never initiates conversations about divorce. He said he'd sign papers (after I asked) if handed them today, but knows I won't agree to anything. I also think some of it's financial - we simply can't afford a divorce. Ugh. But even the conversations we had to have about schedules with the kids he AVOIDED initiating. It was like I still had to be the grown up to protect them, so he wouldn't do something super terrible right around the holidays, which is when he moved out. It's like there's a COMPULSION to leave the spouse, but not so much to make it permanent . . . or real . . . or something. Do you know what I mean? I thought today that he has yet to say something like, "I wish you'd just agree to a divorce" or something like that. He never brings up the future . . . and the few times I've been driven to ask about it, he says things like, "That is where I see this headed," meaning divorce. Because he will NOT work on the marriage at all. There's this disconnect, however . . . I read online too this week that brain scans of people on SSRIs can show they are in a dreaming state. It's REALLY like they are not there. 

 

I think the more time you guys can wait and see how the tapering goes, the better. Again, I WISH my husband would agree. He's hypomanic, so different from the catatonic depression he's been prone to for a decade. He doesn't want to change a thing about the meds. I just pray they run their course . . . It's in God's hands.