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TeaBea

Support for spouses of SSRIs - a safe place to vent

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hereinWI   
hereinWI

She was prescribed this through her general practitioner and my wife is very matter of fact about what I would consider enormous medical oversight on the part of her doctor.

 

She fills the script over the phone sometimes and brings her in every once and awhile for a blood check but nothing more stringent than that. 

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TeaBea   
TeaBea

HereinWI:  Hi again (just posted to you in the other thread).  You asked:

 

"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 ?"

 

Effexor turned my husband into an alcoholic.  I didn't realize Effexor's impact on his drinking.  It was only in looking back that I could see I labeled him an alcoholic in the months following the start of Effexor (2006).  After 20 years of marriage, his "medium drinking" (he loved 2-3 beers a day) turned into 10 or so beers a day.  I figured "alcoholism" just followed the increased drinking.  I had NO idea Effexor could cause anything like that.  So, after that development, I was blaming everything else about him on the drinking (when in actuality it was Effexor AND the way Effexor affects his drinking).  It came to a head when he got so drunk he fell off our kitchen barstool and hit his head, and I had to call an ambulance.  All night in the ER waiting on a head scan, he had fear in his eyes, asking me how this happened.  I kept telling him it was because he drank too much, was drunk, etc.  He kept trying to shake his head (as much as you can do with a neck brace) and saying "NO" and again "how?", over-and-over.  Something about that made me think that if he couldn't tell he was falling-down drunk, then something was wrong.  I thought about his liver--the detox organ--and wondered if the only med he was on could've affected how he tolerated alcohol.  His only med was Effexor.  The next day I started my research on it.  

 

Like you, what I found was terrifying....but now MANY things made sense.  I kept reading until I found a forum where folks were discussing what it was like to drink while on Effexor.  I found someone describing their own experience with it that matched my husband's.  I read it to him.  You could see the light go off over his head.  He said "THAT'S IT!", that's exactly how it feels.  He recognized himself in it.  If he hadn't been able to do that, our story might be different, but he agreed he needed to get off the pills.  

 

We didn't look for someone to help us.  Because of how much I'd read about it, I knew most doctors either didn't think you needed to go so SLOWLY, or they didn't think you could ever get off (his psychiatrist felt both things).  Armed with what I'd been reading on this site and a few others, I came up with a game-plan, and he put me in control of it.  His psych., thankfully, agreed to go along with whatever he wanted.  He's been in withdrawal (with several "holds" for months at a time) for 3 years now.  His crushing anxiety (which is why he was put on it to begin with) came back with a vengeance, so we've gone as slow as we can.  Thankfully, his drinking is more normal (yet still not pre-Effexor "normal") and just about everything except the anxiety is so much better (relationship-wise).  

 

Don't count on your wife to be able to tell her doctor about the "changes" she's undergone.  It happened slowly in her mind, so it's just how she is.  I don't think they can tell anything is different.  My husband tried to explain it.  He couldn't see how he'd been until he was over half-off his dose (187.5 mg was his highest dose) and only could see it in looking back at that time.  He said at the time, he would've argued (and did) that it was just him, that nothing had changed about him.  He thought I was the problem because I was always complaining about him--that things had changed, that he drank too much, that I tried to keep him from having fun (drinking and doing harmful things like driving while drinking, etc.).  He could not see that it was his changed way of being that I was reacting to.  I even told him he could hate me if he wanted to, but this red-hot (drunk) minute, he was NOT getting the car keys type of arguments.  

 

As withdrawal progressed, he began to feel emotion again and at times he felt weepy because it seemed too much and too foreign to him after 8 yrs of apathy.  His drinking got better.  And better.  OR, at least he's able to control it now.  Before, it was an impossible-to-ignore impulse to just keep drinking.  His inappropriate behavior stopped as first he realized how wrong he'd been in doing it AND as the desire to do it left him.  His judgement got better.  Some of the physical side-effects fell by the wayside, most notably his nighttime restless (JERKING) leg syndrome.  He says now he'd be dead by now if he hadn't come off the Effexor.  Sometimes I think he means he *might've* taken matters into his own hands.  I know at one point in his withdrawal, while having had too much to drink, he suggested it'd be wise if I hid the guns.  I did, and they're still hidden.  He says he's fine now (and I do think he is), but I said I wasn't telling him where they were until this evil drug was totally out of his body, and he didn't argue with me.  Now, I don't think everyone has to necessarily worry about this, BUT drinking while on Effexor really does change the mental/emotional landscape.  It makes everything worse.  

 

You said your marriage started having problems with your first baby?  Did her meds change then?  I wish I had something I could say specific to your case, but I can't--in my case, we'd been married for 20 yrs before he went on Effexor, so I knew him BEFORE and during.  You don't have that.  Can you correlate any of her personality changes to changes in dose?  Is she receptive at all to reading the "SSRI stories" linked to at the start of the other thread?  Maybe she could see herself in them, especially since she's wanting to try on what it feels like to NOT have the kids around.  There's one story of a woman who prayed for children and went through years of fertility treatments to get the 3 kids they ended up with.  After the last baby, she was so depressed she was put on meds.  Then she ran off with a college "boy" and her husband was begging her to get help (I seem to recall he thought it was the meds at the time).  She didn't realize anything was wrong with her until she recognized that she didn't care about being with her kids and she remembered that at one point in her life, it was all she'd ever wanted....that she'd spent years on her knees praying to God for those babies that now she didn't want?  Didn't make sense to her, so she decided to try and go off the meds to see if her husband had been right.  That story might resonate with your wife?  

 

Anyway, good luck to you both.

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hereinWI   
hereinWI

As far as I know tea her dose has never changed and other then calling to check in with her gp and occasion physicals from same gp she's been on this same dose 225mg for as long as we've been together. There were no additional meds added but I wondere now if she got post partrum depression with our first child.

 

I'm hoping to have her read these if we as a family can get her to take this seriously.

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kaydb   
kaydb

Hi guys, I just wanted to update everyone that my husband (and myself) are doing much better. It's been about 5 months since his last dose of medication and he seems to be back to normal. We went to couple's therapy a handful of times, but it got to the point where just spending time together and working on things ourselves was more helpful.

Some advice I got from my therapist was trying to focus on positive activities, instead of constantly focusing on the negative of what happened. Like, what you can do to help make things better. Some things that helped us get back on track were playing some cheesy couple games, like where you ask questions and get points for answering correctly about the other person etc. Also, we both read the book the 5 love languages by Gary D Chapman and I found that helpful as well.

I hope everyone here that is hurting is doing well and try to focus on the light at the end of  the tunnel.

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Dawood   
Dawood

Hi to all,

 

I just wanted to send out my best wishes to everyone who has posted their experiences in this thread, and remark on your resilience and strength.

 

I have gone through 18 months of hell with my wife being prescribed Eleva (Zoloft - 100 mg) after the birth of our second child due to severe postnatal depression, which she was on for a year, followed by a change 6 months ago to Pristiq 50 mg (= around 100/150 mg Effexor). The usual lack of emotion towards me, wanting to separate, no love, wanting to be 'free', infidelity, and so on. However, we have a 3 1/2 year old and 2 year old as part of the mix.

 

I seem to have somehow convinced her through the accounts on this forum that the medication may be significantly amplifying any issues she may have with me, or indeed be creating these feelings (or lack thereof) out of nowhere. She is not the same person I married 12 years ago. She, of course, does not *really* believe that she is any different - that these thoughts and feelings are of her own volition - but somehow mentioned she wanted to come off the medication anyway.

 

So, we are now trying to taper her off Pristiq, which I am hoping is not too difficult for her, as by all accounts it can be horrendous.

 

I have noticed now that I am aware that the meds are to blame, that she has 'lucid', almost normal moments, followed by becoming an ice queen towards me.

 

However, her feelings of love and affection towards our two boys do not seem to have been affected/blunted much. Has anyone else experienced this? She has all along stated that "she loves the children, but hates motherhood" - i.e. the day to day grind, especially when they are chaos etc.

 

Wishing you all the very best,

Dawood

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DazedAndConfusedToo   
DazedAndConfusedToo

My husband started taking Effexor (the generic version) in January.  He moved out April 3.  We had our issues for sure, but nothing prepared me for that.  He was exhibiting manic behavior all through February - texting women from work, obsessively playing pool on his phone, staying up all night drinking, and he stayed out and didn't come home twice.  None of that is like him (except maybe the drinking).  He has always been a heavy drinker and even drug addict, and went through rehab in 2009.  I started researching the Effexor and a lot of this hits home.  He's also been taking Xanax unbeknownst to me for about a year and a half (from his regular doctor, I don't think that dr knows about the Effexor), and was prescribed Effexor in one of those 15 minute psychiatry sessions that seem so popular.  I suspected the Xanax because of some of his behavior, but didn't know for sure till recently.

 

He moved into an apartment with his cousin; he says he doesn't want to divorce, just needs to 'get his s**t together' and he thinks we can reconcile 'someday'.  He also said he's never lived on his own and needs to learn how to pay bills.  He has (allegedly) started tapering off the Effexor; he came by yesterday to get some mail, and he seemed more like himself, and we had decent conversation, smiled, complimented each other, but it was very brief.  I have been doing well not texting/calling him - I know that there's nothing I can really do but push him away if I'm too 'there'.  I respond nicely when he texts, but I don't initiate.  Our 13th wedding anniversary is May 1, and we've been together for 15 years in all (friends for 17). He has also pushed away some other family members, including his mother and daughter, and my daughter in particular.  His son has kind of stopped hanging around him also.  Daughters are 18 and 19, and son is 15.  None of them are ours together, but we've been a family for so long.  I will be 40 in June, he will be 42 in July.

 

Our problems started before Effexor, but I always thought we'd somehow work through them.  We are truly best friends, and have had an enviable marriage more often than not. I love him, and would love to reconcile, but part of me is not sure that's a good idea.  I'm just taking it day by day. The stories in these forums have helped me immensely in dealing with this.

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DazedAndConfusedToo   
DazedAndConfusedToo

An update - my husband is still living apart from me, but has been in contact on average once a week.  He told me today that he went back to the psychiatrist (this time a different dr, same clinic), and they lowered his effexor dosage to 37.5 and added prozac (not sure what dose), and he is to take them both for a few weeks, then just prozac, then wean from prozac.  He now says that he ants to get off these drugs, which is a big plus.  Still no talk of us being together again, but also no talk of divorce or anything.  So, I'm still in limbo, but hopefully he can get off this stuff. He still takes the Xanax though.

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Losteverything   
Losteverything

Reading and experiencing what effects these medications can have on people is devastating. All the stories so similar. How can a pill make you no longer love your long time spouse but "love" or want someone else?

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Losteverything   
Losteverything

Its like all morals everything that ever mattered just out the window you treat the one person who has always been there for you loved you more than anything like they mean nothing to you and you seem to turn into an exact opposite of the person you were. I don't understand how it can do this. I can't believe how much I love my partner ex now :( after 1 year off the medication. I have a whole new love for him but now I have to deal with heartbreak and life without him but also what may be my kids also facing life without him. I don't know if our breakup messed him up or his own taking of cymbalta and prozac or just the new woman he's with. When I first told him I didn't love him it hit him so hard he wrote me a suicide note said life without me was unbearable but now he's seemingly over me and doesn't even seem to care about his 4 beautiful children. With me after 1yr off it was like I woke up one day and was put back in my life as it was before medication but it had all changed because of me :( its not fair. I wanted to spend my whole life with this man the father of my children but now its all gone and worse than I ever could have thought

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Henry   
Henry

Hi losteverything. I am so so very sorry that you are in the position that you are in. I wish there was something we could do to make things right for you. 

 

Resdjng your story does give me some hope that my partner of 11 years may one day wake up and realise what she has done to our relationship but at the moment it doesn't look like it will happen. She was on Zoloft and Effexor for just five months. She seemed ok at first but then in month 5 she just changed and suddenly wanted a break from us. I have seen her since, that was February this year. She cold turkeyed off the meds in April or so I was told by her parents but whether she is still off them I don't know.

 

Looking at her friends pictures on Facebook she seems to be very happy jut who knows.

 

Anyway sorry to go on, I just want you to know that I really appreciate your posting here and wish you the very best for your life. 

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Losteverything   
Losteverything
59 minutes ago, Henry said:

Hi losteverything. I am so so very sorry that you are in the position that you are in. I wish there was something we could do to make things right for you. 

 

Resdjng your story does give me some hope that my partner of 11 years may one day wake up and realise what she has done to our relationship but at the moment it doesn't look like it will happen. She was on Zoloft and Effexor for just five months. She seemed ok at first but then in month 5 she just changed and suddenly wanted a break from us. I have seen her since, that was February this year. She cold turkeyed off the meds in April or so I was told by her parents but whether she is still off them I don't know.

 

Looking at her friends pictures on Facebook she seems to be very happy jut who knows.

 

Anyway sorry to go on, I just want you to know that I really appreciate your posting here and wish you the very best for your life. 

Thank you Henry. Do hold on to hope. I was so sure in my mind while on medication and through many months of withdrawal that I no longer loved him. I posted happy pictures all over Facebook too he thought my life without him was wonderful. It wasnt i was living what I now describe as a fake life. I was not me I was not in my right mind.Throughout withdrawal I had periods of feeling I loved him and wanted him. We had a lot of back and fourth. Sadly it was a month before I "woke up" that's how I describe it that he had given up. Since then I have been reading and reading and can't believe how right he was. If she has stopped the medication then I believe there's good chance that she will have her feelings for you return. Its unfair that a tablet can literally tear families apart.

I'm sorry that you're having to go through this. I'm sorry for anyone that has or is going through this. Its like being dragged into a weird scary world. I wish I never knew anything about this. I was very happy and content in my life before lexapro. Medication stole my life. Right in the middle of the best years we had so much to look forward to.

I really wish you all the best I hope your outcome is a happy one

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Henry   
Henry
1 hour ago, Losteverything said:

Thank you Henry. Do hold on to hope. I was so sure in my mind while on medication and through many months of withdrawal that I no longer loved him. I posted happy pictures all over Facebook too he thought my life without him was wonderful. It wasnt i was living what I now describe as a fake life. I was not me I was not in my right mind.Throughout withdrawal I had periods of feeling I loved him and wanted him. We had a lot of back and fourth. Sadly it was a month before I "woke up" that's how I describe it that he had given up. Since then I have been reading and reading and can't believe how right he was. If she has stopped the medication then I believe there's good chance that she will have her feelings for you return. Its unfair that a tablet can literally tear families apart.

I'm sorry that you're having to go through this. I'm sorry for anyone that has or is going through this. Its like being dragged into a weird scary world. I wish I never knew anything about this. I was very happy and content in my life before lexapro. Medication stole my life. Right in the middle of the best years we had so much to look forward to.

I really wish you all the best I hope your outcome is a happy one

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I do really appreciate it. You say it was a month before you woke up that he had actually moved on ut how long did it actually take you to wake up after stopping the meds? Did you stop cold turkey or wean yourself off them?

 

I keep trying to hold on to hope but then when I see her looking so happy, I get these real bad feelings of neglect and hurt and think I just cannot put up with it any longer. Its been almost 5 months since I seen her now. Only a few weeks before she wanted a break she was telling me how much she loved me and was planning our future so I do tend to beleive it is the drugs but I have almost lost any kind of hope of her returning, especially as she is just so stubborn too.

 

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Losteverything   
Losteverything
7 hours ago, Henry said:

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I do really appreciate it. You say it was a month before you woke up that he had actually moved on ut how long did it actually take you to wake up after stopping the meds? Did you stop cold turkey or wean yourself off them?

 

I keep trying to hold on to hope but then when I see her looking so happy, I get these real bad feelings of neglect and hurt and think I just cannot put up with it any longer. Its been almost 5 months since I seen her now. Only a few weeks before she wanted a break she was telling me how much she loved me and was planning our future so I do tend to beleive it is the drugs but I have almost lost any kind of hope of her returning, especially as she is just so stubborn too.

 

My feelings for him were back around 7months after stopping cold Turkey and I would say I was fully back to myself 1year off them. He actually came back to me for a month and a half and even said I never thought I'd see the real you again. But for whatever reason he seems to no longer love me anymore :( He started the same sort of medication as I was coming off mine. I'm unsure if this is why he has changed or if its because of what I have done to him or because he just loves thus new woman but he has been acting very out of character as well not even seeing or caring for his children now and he was the most loving caring devoted dad. We haven't seen or heard from him in 5 months. Its the hardest position to be in. If you walk away you could be throwing so much away like in my situation no one wins here especially my babies but staying and holding on is so hard and hurts so much

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Henry   
Henry

Maybe there is hope for me and my girl yet. I don't have any intention of getting into another relationship so at least that won't spoil things for us.

 

i can't just sit around waiting but I will be here to talk if ever she decides to come to me. I won't hold my breath though

 

It does sound like perhaps your mans feelings have changed because of the drugs so who knows, perhaps if he comes off them his feelings for you may return. 

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Losteverything   
Losteverything

Your a good man for holding on. I hope that her feelings return and you both can put it all behind you and move forward.

I do have the tiniest amount of hope that his loss of feelings is because of the medication. He loved me and wanted our family together at the start of September then mid October he said he mo longer loves me. I know he had started cymbalta around September and on one occasion accidentally doubled a dose but I also have no idea if he's still on them or not. Unfortunately my future is really unknown and having his four kids makes it impossible to know what to do. 

But I will just keep holding on to hope.

Good luck to you Henry. Hopefully you can update with good news soon

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Losteverything   
Losteverything
On 21/01/2016 at 0:58 PM, ang said:

Hello everyone,  lovely thread.  I wish you all well.  In my case I was on effexor, yep end of a near 30 year marriage.   I go through the grief of it every day.    I have been off effexor 3 years, off zoloft 18 months, and as the brain comes back, the old real personality, life is so hard, but I do not blame myself, I blame the effexor.                  So forgive your partners, too late for my partner now, he has moved on.            If you cant live with them, separated, but give them three years if they get off the stuff, the old person does return.

 

As for the drinking, yes, that is ADs nasty little partner, drinking, and blackouts.            Of course the psychs etc, blame the drinking, because they didnt presecribe that one!  They never blame their horrible mind bender pills.   The pills cause suicides.     As for me, I am still going through the grief of loss stage.      Life goes on, a lot wiser.

I wish my now ex partner had read stories like this and held on for us for our family for the amazing life we had before lexapro :(

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Henry   
Henry

This week I have heard from my exs father on Tuesday asking how my health is and saying we need to get together soon so he can give me some items of my exs grandma who passed away a couple of months ago. Then today I heard from one of her best friends through Facebook who was just asking how I was and who told me that she thought the way my ex tested me was really awful. This friend has also been on the meds in the past and I told her what I thought may have happened to my ex but I don't think she was convinced because she thought the drugs were helpful for her and went a long way in helping her marriage survive. Although she did admit that for the two years she was on them that she had no emotion and never cried, in her words she was a cold hearted robot which she also said may explain things about my ex. 

 

Later today I heard from another one of my exs friends husband, who I was friendly with. He was just asking how I was and mentioned us getting together for a beer. 

 

Seems strange and it's a little upsetting to hear from them all in the space of a couple of days.

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Solita   
Solita
On 1/6/2016 at 11:37 AM, TeaBea said:

Maybe there's a few of us here that could use a thread like this one--for when we can't talk to our spouses about their SSRI usage and their resulting behavior while on it and no one else understands what it's like (or even see when there's a problem).  

My husband and companion of 28 years just walk away from me. He is taking Sertraline (Zoloft) and had an extreme personality change this last six months. I miss him and it hurts a lot. :-(

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Henry   
Henry
On 14/07/2017 at 2:21 AM, Solita said:

My husband and companion of 28 years just walk away from me. He is taking Sertraline (Zoloft) and had an extreme personality change this last six months. I miss him and it hurts a lot. :-(

Hi Solita

 

i am so sorry that you are going through this, it hurts so much I know.

 

As hard as it is you need to try and focus on yourself and hope that your husband can see what damage he has done and come off the meds. 

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Solita   
Solita
6 hours ago, Henry said:

Hi Solita

 

i am so sorry that you are going through this, it hurts so much I know.

 

As hard as it is you need to try and focus on yourself and hope that your husband can see what damage he has done and come off the meds. 

Thanks for your solidarity, Henry.
At the moment I have no contact with him.
Our children are grown ups, so that leaves me alone in the empty house.
It's hard because I just lost the love of my life.

Not from my future life, like when you're young.

I have lost the love of my life lived, of my life enjoyed, of my happy life, of my life as a fulfilled woman, of my life as a mother, of my life as a companion and accomplice in the good and the bad.

There are many losses in one. 
It is an absence that leaves nothing outside because we worked hard to be always present in the other's life.

What has happened to us, to the two of us, can not be described in words, can not be measured with the passage of days and nights.

What has happened to us both, is a tragedy immense and profound.

And I'm so sad and lonely missing him with all my heart.

It's is as if our love is looking at us from a distance, the old and serene love that unites us for decades, distressed and stunned, and we don't know how much longer. 
Thanks to the Universe for this place full of lovely human beings.

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Henry   
Henry

I feel your pain Solita. I wish there was something you could do.

 

Ive just had another really upsetting moment.

 

my friend who my ex was still friends with on instagram liked her post last week. He asked me first if he should and I just said sure, why not. Within 30 minutes she had removed him as a friend and subsequently blocked him. She obviously didn't realise she was still friends with him and this being her first post since before we spilt up she probably overlooked it.

My friend said he felt **** when he realised and can only imagine how I feel. 

I just don't understand this. Why does she have to remove every friend and family member? I mean I didn't do anything to deserve this but my friends and family are utterly innocent! Wtf! This is 3 months since she allegedly stopped the meds.

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miT   
miT

We have all lost facebook "friends". Ask yourself who you want to connect with. People who care about you or people who use you to inflate their ego's?

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Henry   
Henry
10 minutes ago, miT said:

We have all lost facebook "friends". Ask yourself who you want to connect with. People who care about you or people who use you to inflate their ego's?

Sorry I don't really understand your point. What's inflating ego got to do with anything?

 

my point is why would anybody completely remove all trace of somebody from their life, especially somebody they said they love to bits.

 

 

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miT   
miT

I know it's not always easy but I think your friend shouldn't care. If she blocks him just because he's a friend of you, then why would he care about being friends with her?

 

For you that's different of course due to the history with her. Give it some more time. If it's due to meds the situation might very well change later on.

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Henry   
Henry

Oh I see what you mean now. Yes you are probably right about how my friend should react.

 

its just very sad that she feels she has to do this.

 

I hope you are right about the situation possibly changing. Thank you for your reply. :)

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Jjer   
Jjer
On ‎01‎/‎08‎/‎2016 at 2:38 PM, mylifeisback said:

It took my husband almost 3 years after going cold turkey to realize the impact that he had on me and our children I waited every day for him to come home and say I'm sorry that I hurt you and what I've done and it finally came one day but it was almost three years later. I feel your pain and I understand what you are going through.

Was divorce ever brought up?

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