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TeaBea

Support for spouses of SSRIs - a safe place to vent

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mylifeisback   
mylifeisback

My husband is not the same person.

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hurtspouse   
hurtspouse

I'm so sorry to read that mlib. Can I ask in what way is he different? Since I've recovered from citalopram withdrawals, I think I've become a nicer/happier person and I love my family more than ever. I was hoping for the same outcome for my SO and all of you SO's too

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mylifeisback   
mylifeisback

Driving is a problem my husband used to race cars and could maneuver a trailer backwards trying to park in any situation. Last night when we return home from a camping vacation he could not even Park the camper in the yard my son had to get in the truck and put it where it needed to be. He cannot do basic things at work.

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mylifeisback   
mylifeisback

I have noticed many things that he just cannot do anymore and his memory of how to do things is also gone.now it's not so much of what he did on the drugs it's how he is now I sm having a hard time dealing with.

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Konjo   
Konjo

 

My ex wife's last dose of escitalopram was mid April 2013. She had some windows that year but changes seems to be permanent. Last year she got married.

How long was she on it?

 

She from Dec 1 2012  till April 14 2013 - just 4,5 months. 

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kaydb   
kaydb

I wrote a letter to the doctor who prescribed my husband fluoxetine a letter.

 

Dear Dr. Mahtre,

In May you prescribed my husband  fluoxetine after he visited your office just two times. As I understand it, he only met with you once out of those two times. When he saw you he was in a particularly bad state of mind. He was desperate to feel better and trusted you as a doctor. When he came home with a prescription for an antidepressant after just meeting with you once I thought it was strange, but I did not voice my concerns because we should be able to trust our doctors to prescribe things that we need and not prescribe things that we do not need. Neither one of us knew anything about the drug other than he was told that it would reset his brain chemistry and make him feel better. After this visit he found out his visits were not covered under our healthcare. He found a therapist and did a checkup with his primary care physician.  After feeling terrible for two weeks when he started the drug, he finally seemed to get back to “normal” and felt better. However, the feeling of normal was surpassed and he started feeling too good. The medication sent him into a hypomanic state (as diagnosed by his primary care physician). Luckily his family and I noticed something was wrong pretty quickly. We met with his pcp to see how he could safely taper off the drug. He was only on the drug for 3 months and the damage that it has done is tremendous. I feel very fortunate that we caught it in just 3 months because who knows what would have happened if he would have stayed on the drug for an entire year as you had suggested to him.  Since all of this happened I have spent a lot of time researching fluoxetine and SSRI’s in general. They have seemed to do a lot of damage to a lot of people. They have completely destroyed marriages and families. I’m not saying that they have not helped people, because I’m sure they have and I am not anti-medication by any means. However, I do believe with medications like fluoxetine they should not be prescribed after meeting with a patient just one time and having no idea what is actually going on with that person. Today marks three weeks of being off the medication and we are struggling to rebuild and get back to where we were previously. In writing this letter I’m not trying to chastise you. I’m hoping that next time a patient comes into your office you will take the time to talk to them and actually figure out what is going on with them before you prescribe a medication. 

 

 

Do you think I should send it to them? Maybe it will help somebody in the future if one doctor thinks twice before blindly handing out prescriptions?

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TeaBea   
TeaBea

I've planned several times to write to both my husband's original prescribing psychiatrist and also the one he's with now (we relocated).  They need to know how it affected him.  If they never hear about it, how can they know what's really going on?  Because--here's the big thing in my mind--the patients themselves CANNOT recognize the change they've gone through and tell their doctors about it!  My husband has never told his doctor anything about what's happened, even now that he's below any therapeutic dose and mostly "in his right mind". He knows the problems in caused--in hindsight--but he's embarrassed enough about some things, that even he has said he'd never tell his psych. about it.  

 

So, yes, I think they need to know.  My husband's current psych. doesn't know why I said to him "it's me or the meds" (because I couldn't take anymore of our relationship the way it was when he was on Effexor)--she told him he'd just be exchanging one problem for another (what I want versus his anxiety coming back) and that she didn't think he'd ever be able to get off.  I guess that's her experience--that once on these meds, you're stuck.  We've been reducing him for 3 years now, veeeerrrry slowly and with several long holds because of anxiety issues for him at work and irritability issues at home.  We WILL get him off.  

 

I've been toying lately with writing a "book" about this experience.  I'd like to collect some of you guys' stories if I could.  I don't really know if that's appropriate via this forum, but I wouldn't know how else to get in touch with people who have similarly been affected.  Maybe via PM.  A part of me just wants to forget it, but I can't......  I'm watching a couple I know right now go through a separation, and I believe whole-heartedly that SSRIs are at the root of it.  I found out for sure the husband is on one, and I think the wife is also, based on how she's changed the last couple of years about everything.  They've been married 35 yrs and just became grandparents.  If they don't know they have an SSRI problem, how can they be online searching for information like all of us have?  There needs to be a way to reach people before drastic changes take place.......  I think those of us here are just the tip of the iceberg.  

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Poppy1992   
Poppy1992

I'm hoping someone can give me some advice as I just don't know what to do. 

 

A very dear friend of mine started taking Sertraline about 16 months ago for GAD. A few months after he started taking them we became more than friends and started a relationship. It was wonderful. Ups and downs obviously but I adore him and I know that he felt the same. A few months ago I started noticing some personality changes, they had probably been gradually appearing before this but it's only looking back that its really obvious. He is a very caring, sensitive, patient person but he became quick to get angry, showed less empathy than he always had, reacted to things in a way that was totally out of character, got stressed at things that he would have previously taken in his stride. The penny didn't drop at the time. Then it happened, he ended our relationship. Said he loved me but didn't want to be in a relationship anymore. Nothing about it makes sense and I started researching SSRIs and I am convinced that the drugs have done this. I've read so much that fits with the way that he has been acting. 

 

I have attempted to talk to him about it as we are still friends but he got angry. He accepts that he's changed. He said emotionally he is different, doesn't feel empathy the way he used to and acknowledged the anger, but said there is nothing he can do. He is understandably terrified about the anxiety returning and therefore will not contemplate coming off the drugs. 

 

Basically help! Is there anything I can do? I love him so much, he's literally everything to me, and I feel like I'm losing him and I'm so miserable but I just do not know how to get through to him as he cannot see that this is an issue because he feels any side effects are better than the anxiety. Is it possible that someone can experience these kind of emotional side effects on one SSRI but not on another? Could changing drugs help? I would like him to come off them altogether but I know he won't and I don't know enough about what happens when you come off them so I don't feel it would be fair of me to push him on that when it's possible the anxiety could come back? Any advice or information would be gratefully received. Thank you.

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btdt   
btdt

I've planned several times to write to both my husband's original prescribing psychiatrist and also the one he's with now (we relocated).  They need to know how it affected him.  If they never hear about it, how can they know what's really going on?  Because--here's the big thing in my mind--the patients themselves CANNOT recognize the change they've gone through and tell their doctors about it!  My husband has never told his doctor anything about what's happened, even now that he's below any therapeutic dose and mostly "in his right mind". He knows the problems in caused--in hindsight--but he's embarrassed enough about some things, that even he has said he'd never tell his psych. about it.  

 

So, yes, I think they need to know.  My husband's current psych. doesn't know why I said to him "it's me or the meds" (because I couldn't take anymore of our relationship the way it was when he was on Effexor)--she told him he'd just be exchanging one problem for another (what I want versus his anxiety coming back) and that she didn't think he'd ever be able to get off.  I guess that's her experience--that once on these meds, you're stuck.  We've been reducing him for 3 years now, veeeerrrry slowly and with several long holds because of anxiety issues for him at work and irritability issues at home.  We WILL get him off.  

 

I've been toying lately with writing a "book" about this experience.  I'd like to collect some of you guys' stories if I could.  I don't really know if that's appropriate via this forum, but I wouldn't know how else to get in touch with people who have similarly been affected.  Maybe via PM.  A part of me just wants to forget it, but I can't......  I'm watching a couple I know right now go through a separation, and I believe whole-heartedly that SSRIs are at the root of it.  I found out for sure the husband is on one, and I think the wife is also, based on how she's changed the last couple of years about everything.  They've been married 35 yrs and just became grandparents.  If they don't know they have an SSRI problem, how can they be online searching for information like all of us have?  There needs to be a way to reach people before drastic changes take place.......  I think those of us here are just the tip of the iceberg.  

We are the tip of the ice berg... I was drugged 18 years for lack of knowledge... it happens every day we think the drug effects which make us crazy is just our own craziness... it happens every day I am sure of it.  

Here is one of the reasons why but I am sure it is not the only one.  Good luck with the book 

 

It is not like people don't know why these things happen... they know some know at least.

"TRM123 on August 3, 2016 at 5:31 pm said:

Why is AKATHISIA in inverted comma’s?

This is the most dangerous of the array of toxicities of SSRI’s and evidence continues to be published linking SSRIs / psycholeptic induced suicidality and homicidality to cytochrome CYP 450 genomic variants. This indicates impaired metabolism of SSRIs causing AKATHISIA and it’s catastrophic sequalae. Hence it’s relevance in forensic psychiatry.

I fear that this acute, life threatening, and indeed life destroying neurotoxic, extra-pyramidal movement disorder is poorly recognised and under-diagnosed.

In the UK it is seldom “yellow carded.”

It is perhaps more likely to be misdiagnosed as a Serious Mental Illness and then made worse by detention and enforced further toxicity with SSRI’/SNRI’s and antipsychotics. This diagnostic failure is because these medications, via akathisia, can cause extreme and unusual psychological and behaviour changes dominated by overwhelming agitation.

As Eikelenboom, Lucire and Fogelman published in the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine earlier this year: –

“The combination of medication, fluctuating restlessness, suicidality, aggression and toxic hallucination are pathognomonic of akathisia. We cannot find any other diagnosis in medical taxonomy that combines suicidal and aggressive thoughts with medication, nor any other that recedes when the culprit drug has been taken away”.

Once this is acknowledged maybe we can make some real headway.

 

taken from this SA post

http://survivinganti...ll/#entry233138

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WingIt   
WingIt

Hi everyone.

My wife of 6 months is currently going through withdrawal from 110mg Effexor XR. She had been taking it for approx 9 months and for the first couple everything was fine. We had our wedding, were planning for the future, family etc.

After a few months she started to become paranoid that people were saying things about her or to her because they though negative things (being a gold digger for example) I was there for the conversations and these things didnt occur,

Then she had a falling out with her friends on the same night she took ecstacy, similar things. There were picking on her she claimed (they dispute this)

Then the same thing happened at her work.

 

I had begun researching Effexor by this point and was concerned, I managed to get her to see her GP (the one who had presribed it had retired by this point) and raised my concerns. My wife was still adament there was nothing wrong with her.

The GP said that effexor couldnt cause this but referred us to the Mental Health professionals. With some effort I managed to get my wife to go to this with me and once again I outlined my concerns, they agreed that Effexor was likely causing this and also reffered her for some CBT. She also quit her job around here, everyone was picking on her she claimed, I had spoken to them and they had no idea what she was talking about.

 

At her next appoinment the Drs were going to begin tapering her off Effexor however she never went because she felt she didnt need to. Then her script ran out and she was confused as to who she should contact for more as we had seen Psych Drs etc so she went cold turkey.

First couple of days were ok, then all the brain zaps, body aches, dizzyness, nausea, anger, light senstivity etc all hit. She struggled on through like the fighter she is, I supported her as best I could, cooked healthy dinners kept on top of the household stuff, gave her massages etc etc

 

Those symptoms cleared but her thoughts got worse, I called the mental health Crisis team since she was refusing to go to her appointments for further assesment. I met the team at our house and we talked with her, they gave her a script for Seroquol (she did take this with effexor for sleep) as she was not sleeping at all. She refused to take it after promising she would.

Then I called the Crisis team again, this time they showed up and I was there and her parents. We all said what we thought and the Drs agreed she isnt well.

By this point she hated me, wanted to leave, start a new life, go and study. I had had to cancel credit cards, move funds away from joint accounts etc as she was spending a lot of money on designer shoes, new dresses, music, books etc. So she has about $100 to her name. Apparently she will live off that somehow according to her?

She was prescribed 2.5mg Olanzapine for sleep and mood stabilisation, she refused to take it.

 

At this point she basically spent all day and night in bed, curtains closed. Listening to music or on the internet, didnt want to see people, didnt want people to see her. She wasnt sleeping, low on energy etc

The next night she came and woke me up at 1am saying she needed to go to the mental health ward, she couldnt cope, everyone was against her etc. I called up and they talked to her and she decided she didnt need to.

Once again crisis team out the next day, that night she took her medication! yay I thought! and she slept.

 

Now its a week later, she has been taking her meds, she still doesnt sleep that well, still low on energy, aches etc. Will be a month on friday since she stopped Effexor.

But yesterday I found she had been to see the lawyer to get our marriage annulled (I rang them this morning and let them know shes not in the right state of mind to be making these decisions) she has moved all of her personal stuff from around the house into one room, is cleaning up and preparing to move out. To where? I dont know.

 

Her birth mother (she is fostered) has a history of mental health, depending on who you talk to its Severe Depression or BiPolar or Scitzophrenia. The Psych Drs are thinking my wife has Bipolar now, I think its Withdrawal.

 

Im at a loss, I know its not her saying and doing all this stuff, I tell her I love her everynight, tell her im there for her but she says she doesnt love me. I dont take it personally, I know she will change.

But man is it a struggle, I am very concerned for her if she does leave where she will go, hopefully to her parents house but in her state of mind I dont know. The crisis team was going to go to the house again today to try talk to her, and may take steps to take her to the Mental Health ward of the hospital for a while.

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TeaBea   
TeaBea

WingIt--I'm sorry you find yourself going through this during what should be the "honeymoon" phase of your marriage.  How old is your wife?  How long did you date your wife before marriage, and how long did you know her before she went on Effexor?  

 

It's very hard, watching someone you love undergo a "changed mind" due to prescription drugs that are meant to HELP.  For one, there's absolutely nothing you can do about what's going on in her mind.  Sounds like you're doing all you can by researching Effexor, getting her off it, etc.  Just stay strong for yourself for now.  It's good you realize her behavior was brought on by the meds even though it doesn't take away your hurt.  

 

Sending good wishes your way.  

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WingIt   
WingIt

Thanks,

 

My wife is almost 27, on the meds for about 9 months.

We have been together for just over 5 years, but have lived together for about 8 years (house mates before), weve known each other for 11 years or so.

Everything was good between us up until she stopped taking the effexor (well not perfect as she resented that I felt there was something wrong) then for a week or 2 after that things were ok, then about 2 weeks ago she suddenly wanted nothing to do with me. Weird how the brain works.

 

Its a struggle but Im willing to hang in there for her for as long as it takes.

From what I can tell she is planning on moving away to study psychology (she worked in accounting before this an loved it). She thinks a student loan will allow her to do this (wouldnt even cover rent/board let alone any food or study costs) so not thinking clearly or logically.

Drs are getting some blood tests done on her tomorrow (if she goes to her appointment)

 

 

I got her some fish oil and magnesium to help, to what degree it will help I dont know but anything is worth trying

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brj   
brj

My girlfriend of 23 years started taking Effexor 1 year ago. She took it along with Klonopin daily. 3 months ago she said the Effexor stopped working. She saw a part time newly out of med school dr who put her on Prozac after letting her go cold turkey off the Effexor for a whole weekend. That weekend was awful she hallucinated had a two day migraine, it was bad. She now takes Prozac 40 mg, klonopin and busparine.

She carries around a pill container packed with pills everywhere she goes. She has changed completely. On the Effexor I could not even tell she was taking anything. With the Prozac she is a lifeless she'll of her former self. She has stopped feeling love, empathy, sympathy. She no longer pays much attention to her elderly parents. She was very driven at work now she missed her year end goals and doesn't care. A year ago she would be focused and committed to work, no more. Work has become like a social fun time instead, she's 44 and it's like she is in high school at work. It's really odd. She has lost all interest in me as well, telling me she does not find me attractive anymore, no longer is in love with me but loves me? We have been trying to make it work and we have gone away the past 5 weekends but it's odd. She comes and goes one minute like it used to be the next somewhere else grinding her teeth and just acting odd. This past Saturday we went to NYC. I woke up to her sitting on the floor surrounded by her pills. She had about 20 in her mouth. I was able to get them out and the hotel manager came up to help me along with a staff emt. We did not call an ambulance as we got the pulls out of her mouth and I was afraid she would end up somewhere really bad in the city. She has promised to get help but I know it's a lie. She lied about a counseling appointment for today, it was fake. She insists she's fine. Says she's clear. If I hear her say the word clear one more time I'll lose it. When I told her I was telling her dr and family she flipped out. Honestly I think at this point she's keeping me around just so I won't tell her family. I'm completely lost and devastated. We had a wonderful relationship and healthy love life. We now have nothing.

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TeaBea   
TeaBea

WingIt--  You've definitely been with her long enough to know her real self.  It's good you can see the comparisons and know that it's drug-related.  Doesn't make it any easier for you when SHE can't see or acknowledge it, though.  I had to look up olanzapine, aka Zyprexa:  Olanzapine is an antipsychotic used to treat schizophrenia and other psychoses.  So, she's still on a "mind-altering" med. I don't know anything to say except to hang in there.  You can't argue with her because her brain can't see your points.  I remember thinking that trying to reason with my husband (when Effexor was still in control of him) was like arguing with a 2-yr-old.  You can't.  

 

brj--sorry you find yourself here as well.  Just curious, did she take Klonopin before the Effexor, or was it given to her at the same time?  It was Rx'd my husband when he was first given Effexor, too, but I talked him out of taking it every day like his doctor said he could (WTF???).  I recently read that it's often prescribed at the same time because Effexor can actually CAUSE anxiety going on it, and they don't want increased anxiety to discourage anyone from taking it, so Klonopin is given so you don't experience this happening.  Then you're hooked on it, too!

 

​What you describe with her on Prozac was my husband on Effexor.  It's hard to put up with, but at least you understand it's the drugs that have changed her.  

 

Would her family believe you if you told them about the pills having changed her?  She needs help.  You might not be there next time she decides to take 20 pills!  My husband was okay in this regard until withdrawal, mixed with alcohol---he told me one afternoon that it might be a good idea if I hid all our guns.  He would not have scared me like that (or especially not want something done with the guns that he didn't do himself) if he hadn't been so scared by his thoughts.  

 

At least arm yourself with records of these happenings.  Can you get an email from the hotel manager and staff EMT about what they saw?  During some lucid point, your girlfriend might get this through her head that this is NOT how she would act or want to be seen, etc.  OR, it could help you enlist the help of her family or doctor to do something.  

 

Good luck to you.

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brj   
brj

Thanks TeaBea. Finding this site was huge. I really felt all alone. Yes the hotel staff are willing to help. I took pictures of her on the floor and the pills all around. I went to her DR and after fighting through a ridiculous receptionist i got the photos and info to her. It turns out that the prescribing MD is in her 2nd year of practice after med school and isn't even full time. She works 3 days a week! This is the person red wiring my girls brain. I'm so angry! My gf still insists the suicide attempt was nothing. That she is fine. In fact never felt better or more clear. Where does this clear word come from?

She was prescribed the klonopin with the Effexor and it just carried over to the Prozac and they added busparine. She drinks a lot. She oddly thinks her breasts got bigger from the Prozac now she's really in love with it. She thinks it's the best thing ever. It's odd you can see the change documented right on Facebook. Normal till June 16 then bizarre from then on. She told me that if I told her family I'm history and I believe her. She has played the on again off again relationship with me since July. Couple of days normal then a couple not wanting anything to do with me. The whole I need to clear my head then everything fine again but it's not. We have very little intimacy and we used to have plenty through June. It's to the date that Prozac started that things went south. I've offered to go to couples counseling. She agreed but it will never happen. Her deal is that she now finds me unattractive, finds everyone unattractive. Though I truly suspect she has something going on with one of the workers in the plant where she works. She's "helping him with his resume" it's BS. Guys totally not her style either. She's super liberal and he's a right wing gun guy. He's younger though 40 maybe.

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TeaBea   
TeaBea

It hurts so badly to have the rug yanked out from under you like you have, like the rest of us have.  It's hard picking up the pieces whether they stay or whether they go, depending on the severity of their "under-the-influence" actions.  My husband always said he was "fine", too, but I've realized that the brain that's been "hijacked" by these meds usually can't see anything wrong. When mine got far enough down off the meds, he told me that he could feel this blanket of fog lift from his brain, and he apologized for all the crap he'd done and said, etc.  He said to me "that's not me, it's not who I am", and he also said that he couldn't have seen it like that when his brain was still on Effexor.  That he would've argued it with me while still on it--that it WAS him feeling, thinking, doing.....  (Effexor, Prozac, Paxil.....SSRIs affect different people in various ways.  One man's Effexor is another man's Prozac, etc.)

 

Did your girlfriend drink before she went on the meds?  Mine always did drink, but it was what I would call mostly "normal" for 20 yrs of marriage until Effexor turned him into an alcoholic.  He's MUCH better now, but he's still a heavy drinker--I doubt he ever goes back to pre-Effexor drinking levels, but it's SO much better than it used to be that at least I'm not afraid of what he'll do while drunk now.  He couldn't tell how much he'd had, so he didn't think anything about drinking and driving because to his mind, he was "fine".  

 

I think you're right to suspect her and the coworker.  Her brain is seeking dopamine hits right now, and risky or novel behavior and drinking all boost dopamine levels.  

 

At some point, if you realize you have nothing left to lose, telling her family (with evidence!) might help to get her off all meds.  Off long enough that she can realize what's happened in the last few months.  Even if she casts you aside initially because you do tell on her, if she comes to her senses, she might reconsider, especially since you have such a long history together.  It's hard to know what to do when you're fighting for your relationship against this unknown enemy.  It won't react in normal, expected ways.  

 

Just curious--why was she prescribed Effexor in the first place?  It sounds like mid-40ish?  Hot flashes?  It seems to be the Rx du jour.  

 

Good luck and best wishes to you!

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WingIt   
WingIt

Teabea- Olanzapine was started only just over a week ago and seemed to have little effect apart from assisting sleep, the last couple of days though massive increase in appetite. I see that last night she didnt take it (good? Yet to see) and did sleep naturally.

She is however now taking Fish Oil and Magnesium tabs twice a day and just started Valerian the other day for sleep.

 

Things seem to be improving slightly, hopefully because she didnt take efexor for that long (compared with others) and is still relativly young that her brain is bouncing back. She is also reading a lot which I guess is good brain excercise. We also spent a good few hours together as we went for a drive and a picnic dinner which was her idea. Fingers crossed.

 

BRJ-

Ive told as much of my wifes family as I can behind her back (isnt facebook great). They had all noticed changes in her and were greatful for a reason as to why. Its been great support for me to have them there. She is aware of me telling her parents but not to the degree that I update her mum pretty much twice a day.

My wife also suddenly found someone else attractive (she doesnt know I know) she only met him once, he is married and not even remotely interested in her but for a good couple weeks she was infatuated with him! It would almost be funny if it wasnt so scary just how out of control her mind is/was.

If you can get her to her psych dr and go with her, outline your concerns. She wont like you for it but the dr needs to hear it and can maybe alter her medication to lower doses slowly for her

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kaydb   
kaydb

I got her some fish oil and magnesium to help, to what degree it will help I dont know but anything is worth trying

What is the fish oil & magnesium supposed to do? I keep seeing it pop up here.

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kaydb   
kaydb

Well, I thought my husband was getting better. I thought we were healing. We started marriage counseling to get through this. Then I find out he's been engaging in inappropriate behavior online with other women. He swears nothing physical has ever happened but I don't even know if I can believe him.

I don't know if this is still part of the mania, a side effect from the medication, or if he's just actually an a**hole.

Feeling broken and like all the effort and support I'm supplying is in vain.

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hurtspouse   
hurtspouse

Kaydb you sound exactly like I did last year. I discovered my partner had been acting inappropriately online. He was on lots of different dating sites and privately messaging women, this had been going on for at least 2 years (he was on Paxil for 4 years). It is absolutely devastating. He still denies meeting up with any of them, and none of the emails indicated that he did. But the not knowing is hard. He also continued for a good few months after the pills too (visiting dating sites etc). I had a nervous breakdown from all of the upset. Please know that it IS still the effect of the pills. You are absolutely not alone. Please try to stay strong and feel free to message me any time you need support or to vent. My partner is becoming more like the old him every day. Yours will get there. Stay strong

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kaydb   
kaydb

Hurtspouse, thank you for the support. It does help to give me hope. It's just hard to fathom that 4 months on this drug could cause SO MUCH damage. I never thought I'd be in this situation. When we got married I thought I finally found my happy, my reason. Now it's all gone. He keeps saying sorry, but it's just so robotic and expressionless almost. I don't even know if I should bother wasting my money on counseling together.

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hurtspouse   
hurtspouse

I decided not to go for counselling until he was truly over the withdrawals and was 100% himself again. Otherwise what is the point? They're too ill and just trying to get through each day the best they can (not very well in our men's cases!) going to counselling will just add to their stress load, is that a good idea? Especially when they can't even properly feel the love they have for us as it's buried under all the other crap. I was so focused on trying to save my relationship at the start that it backfired and pushed him further away. He did a complete turn around when I started enjoying life and making plans again without him. It seemed to wake him up from his 'me,me,me' self centred thoughts.

 

I was given a lot of good advice on here in my darker days. Have you heard of the 180 plan? It really seems to work well in our situation. And I meant what I said, I'm always about if you need a chat :)

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mylifeisback   
mylifeisback

I know all of this to well.

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mylifeisback   
mylifeisback

It's strange how all of this happens. My husband was messed up doing crazy stuff for 5 years before I found out. Now that he is back to himself I find that I had forgotten who he really was. I grew custom to the new person that he had become without realizing that he had changed. And that is why I beat myself up so much.

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TeaBea   
TeaBea

Mylifeisback--I do the same thing.  I don't know how I missed it, that he'd CHANGED.  I mean, I know he "changed", but....well, I know you know what I mean.  Even he wonders now why I ever could've thought that Effexor husband was really him.  I feel like NOT discovering the connection sooner (it was 8 yrs on Effexor before I figured it out) is totally my fault....that whatever he did ON Effexor is as much my fault as anything.  I don't want to blame me.  I want to blame him (he did the crap, after all, right?), but I can't even really do that.  He apologized:  "those things I did?  It's not me, it's not who I am."  And pre-Effexor.....post-Effexor....it's not.  I know that.  So who can I blame because right now having anger towards SOMETHING is better than the depressed apathy I'd started to feel while he was medicated.  

 

I just want to really talk with him.  Tell him the stuff he did that hurt so badly.  Tell him how I felt, how I still feel, why I have so much anger at him.  Why I'm sometimes not as close to him....so he'd understand where I am today, without much patience for him.  When we discovered the Effexor connection, there was no talking with him just like there hadn't been for the previous 8 years.  You can't argue with a "3-yr-old" (what it was like).  I could hold the truth in my hands out in front of me, and he could look me in the eye and deny its existence.  And he believed himself and could make me feel bad that I didn't trust him.  So, I had to wait until he got enough off the meds that his mind became his own again.  Then that happened; he offered up the apology.  He acknowledged how he'd been.  But it was fleeting, not time for a long discussion.  He was again, anxious.  His "new" emotions made him feel raw and exposed.  Vulnerable.  I couldn't "bother" him with all his Effexor Crap while he was searching for emotional and mental stability--there was too much at stake at his job.  When we made too big a drop in his meds it intensified his alcohol cravings, and the combo was really bad--he told me I needed to hide our guns.  He was afraid of his mind.  When he's like this, I couldn't put him through an "Inquisition".  So I kept it all in as I had been.  

 

Then came a good period of time, and I didn't want to be the bad wife who made him miserable all over again with stories of how rotten I thought he'd been.  Now it's back to full-blown anxiety and depression because of the anxiety.  Stress at work.  All the reasons he went on the med in the first place.  I guess there's never a good time to have a frank, hard discussion.  I can no longer blame my depression on the way he is but instead on me, that I can't get over it.  I'd really like to bury myself in meds, but I know what they can do, and it scares me because I know that if it'd been ME that'd acted like he had, done the things he'd done, become an alcoholic, etc. while taking meds, that HE wouldn't have been as loyal and dedicated to helping me.  

 

I'm glad I can say all that here.  There's no where else I can say these things and anyone understand it.  I never told a soul in our families or friends what he'd "turned into" (lying apathetic alcoholic zombie), and I don't think I'd feel okay telling them about it now; I'm too private.  I've always had his back to protect his "reputation".  They know him as a great guy, and I didn't want to change that, but it's hard going it alone with no one to talk to, not even him.  [i do have one friend--who happened to be there the night he hit rock-bottom with the Effexor induced drinking, but I stick to what she already knows.]  I know he wouldn't have MY back.  I didn't know it at the time, but he pretty much threw me under the bus with his family and some friends--complaining about me, blaming me for whatever, all during the miserable existence he had while on Effexor.  Because I wouldn't let him "have any fun"--ALL directly related to either the drinking of excess alcohol or what he wanted to do while already drunk.  So, essentially, he was saying the truth, but they had no idea the WHY of it.  I mean, if friends don't let friends drive drunk, isn't the same expected of a wife (that kind of thing).  ALL he said about it is "I don't know how you handled it...." and hangs his head.  End of discussion.  He thinks as long as we don't talk about "things", everything is okay....that's all that matters to him, that he doesn't have to "talk".  And that's all I want right now, to talk.

 

Other than that, I don't know what I want or expect.  All I know is I don't feel it yet.....  Thanks for letting me vent.

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hurtspouse   
hurtspouse

Teabea, you have an incredible way of writing down your feelings. Everything you said resonates with me. Perhaps you should write your feelings down for your husband to read? That way he may be less likely to see it as a personal attack on him.

 

It takes forever (it seems) for their minds to clear enough to talk about everything. It was only last year, two years since I CT'd my citalopram that I remembered my strange medicated thoughts. Whilst medicated I thought I was normal at the time (ha! because thinking of ways you can leave your family is normal for a loving fiancé and mother!) It was only when the withdrawals went away for good I could reflect on my past thoughts and behaviour. I assume it will be the same for my partner so I have been helping him though his withdrawals as best as I can. 17 months now and counting. Had I not gone through this myself, I never would have stuck it out for him because I would never have believed it could happen. I would have just thought he was a bad egg.

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mylifeisback   
mylifeisback

I must have had a nervous breakdown when I found out all the things that my husband was doing because I told everyone that I saw what he had done even total strangers anybody that would come around me I would tell them about it. I wish now that I would not have done that but I could not control myself I was hurt so badly.

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mylifeisback   
mylifeisback

No one really understands this medication and what it can do they just all look at you like you're crazy

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kaydb   
kaydb

We decided to keep with the counseling. We've been to two appointments together. I know we can't completely heal right now because he isn't completely healed, but I think seeing a therapist in real time might help. She is interested in actually helping to give him a proper diagnosis and was pretty appalled that he was prescribed prozac after meeting with the doctor for 15 minutes. She seems genuinely interested in helping him. She also mentioned that she doesn't want to do any assessments now because she recognizes that he isn't fully himself right now. So, having her say that and recognize that gave me hope that she can actually help us in the long run. 

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btdt   
btdt

You cannot diagnose anything when a person is on a drug or in withdrawal and most doctors do not recognise wd... this is one of the things you will hear Alto say over and over again. 

 

So many of us have had moving dx... in all sorts of drug induced states... not fair and really damaging for your future reputation to be labeled with a mental illness when you took a drug for something else like pain in your leg like me ... truth be told I was having a sever adverse reaction that bit seems to get missed... now that is less likely as people are informed in part by sites like these at least some find the truth... the big trap now is getting dx while in wd as wd is still sadly not well known. 

 

I am sure there are many posts about this on SA I just can't think of a phrase to search. 

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kaydb   
kaydb

Right. She didn't use the term withdrawal, but she recognized that even though the medication is technically out of his system that his brain is still healing and needs to stabilize. She said it'd be pointless to do any assessments right now.

We are going to continue to see her for marriage counseling though. I don't think it's putting extra stress on my husband as I mentioned cancelling our appointment and he begged me not to. 

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kaydb   
kaydb

I just wish I could hibernate for 6 months and wake up and everything is normal again. This whole ordeal has caused me great mental anguish. I've never had mental health problems now I'm experiencing panic attacks and just random bouts of crying. I'm supposed to be the healthy one and this whole situation has just destroyed me.

I just wish there was more information online. There's definitely a lot, but there's still a lot that is unanswered. I read the post on here explaining how the brain heals itself after. Why isn't there more info on that online? I can't seem to find any "official" explanation. I guess right now, not knowing for sure what is going on, how long it will last, and what to expect is driving me crazy. The medication itself is out of his system, but from what I've gathered his brain his still affected by it. Meh. I dunno. I'm having a rough morning and just needed to vent a little I guess. 

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TeaBea   
TeaBea

Hi Kaydb.  I know what you mean.  I WAS the "healthy" one, too, but now things seem worse with him getting better because I've had a hard time dealing with the new him.  There's not much affection, and I've really missed that.  His drinking, while not anywhere near what it was full-on Effexor, is still there.  He gets SO depressed after drinking too much, but he can't seem to see it.  I don't get it.  And of course, it makes me worry about him.  I'm so tired of worrying.  I'm tired of being irritable because of all the things we've yet to clear up (that happened during the Effexor years). I kept thinking we'd be able to talk about it, but he just shuts off whenever I try.  I get it that he doesn't want to hear some of this stuff, and he makes me feel bad for NEEDING to.  I feel like I'll explode if I don't. But then maybe he'll explode if I do.  His mental condition scares me--because I can't know for sure what's going on--so I keep holding it in.  I think he's afraid to tell me some things that he feels.  I dunno.  I'm just weary.  Sometimes I think maybe it'd be best to go our separate ways, but I'd rather be with him than not because I love him, AND, I'd worry too much about him.  I am his ONLY limiter when it comes to how much he drinks. I'm afraid if I weren't around he'd just be drunk every night until it kills him.  There are days when I'm fighting back tears for seemingly no reason.  I know menopause has something to do with it, but I thought it'd be better by now.  Get this--a friend who just started getting hot flashes and a bit irritable told her doctor, and he put her on EFFEXOR!  Gee.  Glad I don't go to doctors.  

 

Kaydb--can your husband tell that he's different?  

 

I've been lurking in relationship forums.  Man, there's some messed up people out there, but now I wonder just how many are on SSRIs.  I know some of them have to be.....

 

Wonder if Anthony Weiner is.  I mean, how can you keep screwing up like he does?  It reminds me of my husband's emailing......

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kaydb   
kaydb

TeaBea, Do you think it would be helpful for you and your husband to see a therapist together? It has helped us in a way that you can talk about things and it's not as confrontational seeming, more of a neutral setting. She also has helped us to see certain things that we weren't noticing. Sometimes it's helpful to hear her rephrase what she's hearing from us too. I find it's sometimes hard to make time to talk about difficult things so it's nice to have the set time where that is what we are going to do.   

 

As far has him noticing the differences, It's hard to say. When I first noticed the changes while he was still on the medication, I showed him all the articles and stories etc and pointed out specific things from him that I noticed that coincided and he seemed to get it and agree and was willing to get off the medication. So he saw it once it was pointed out, but had I not noticed it I don't think he ever would have. Even now, he's able to see it once it's pointed out, but in the actual moment it doesn't seem like he can see it.

 

I recently saw a prescription of zoloft in my parent's medicine cabinet when I was visiting last and it terrified me! I didn't see who the prescription was for, and they both seem fine, but I'm very worried about it now knowing what could possibly happen.

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hereinWI   
hereinWI

Posted in the other thread too so more of a overview here:

 

 

My wife and I are 43 and have been married for 7 years.

She's been on effexor xr for 15 years. I knew she was on effexor but did not know anything about the drug itself or how high the dosage of 225mg really was.

We both agree that the marriage started falling apart with the birth of our 1st child.

The last year she has been purposely undermining the marriage by going out with old friends, removing her wedding ring, staying at a friends house working late and "learning how to live without having the kids with her 24/7"

She had an emotional affair (doing the things with that we used to do with an old friend of hers) but am sure there has not been a physical affair. (At least I hope I am).

 

Last week she wanted to buy a house or have a friend buy the property as an investment so she could move in for awhile while we work on our marriage. The house was a 2BR and we have four kids.

 

This week she wanted to get rid of the minivan and buy a CX-5 because in her mind it had enough seats for the 4 kids (I'd call that debateable) but the best part was that it was a stick shift because that's what she wants to be able to do again.

 

There have been a number of other hot messes associated with the last few weeks (I could write a book).

 

One of her closest married friends who she goes to talk to had no idea that she was on antidepressants and I would venture to guess that any other confidants have no idea too.

 

How did you get your loved one to finally see that we need to sit down with a professional far more knowledgeable in the effects of effexor than she or I are ?

 

What I've researched is freaking the hell out of me. 

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