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PinstripeSuit

PinstripeSuit: Lost and confused

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PinstripeSuit

Hi all,

 

I came across this site about a month ago while struggling to find answers.  And first, thank you for sharing all of your stories.  It has helped immensely with trying to understand what has been going on.  I don't know if it'll help the end result, but at the very least it has provided insight and some hope towards a solution.  Which I've sorely needed.  Now I guess... I should tell my story before rambling too much.

 

My fiance has been struggling with depression her entire life (Her: 35F, Me: 32M).  We've been together for over 8 years now (living together for ~7).  A little over a year ago, her depression really started to hit rock bottom.  Not knowing any better, I encouraged her to see a doctor to get some help.  She first went to her GP who immediately prescribed an AD (forgive me, I don't remember what they were) which caused horrible panic attacks and insomnia.  She couldn't sleep at all, and the immediate side effects were truly awful.  The GP went through a few other ADs with similar effects and eventually threw up his hands and told her she needed to see a psychiatrist.

 

Encouraging her all the way, I pushed her to make an appointment with a psych and therapist.  She was in a really dark dark place at the time, and oh how I thought it'd help.  And I guess it did to some extent.  She went to see a psych who diagnosed her with major depressive disorder.  He then went through a few AD options with her and finally settled with Lexapro (20mg) and Rexulti (1mg) after a few months of trial/error.  She had actually been on Lexapro over a decade ago (before we had met) for about a year and it had worked at the time.  This earlier stint with Lexapro was well and over before we met.

 

The medication did help her depression no doubt.  It helped bring her back to having mostly 5/10 days which was a significant improvement.  At first, I was really excited that she was actually starting to feel better.  But, as she was starting to feel better, I was beginning to notice that her plans rarely involved us.  For the most part, the only way we'd spend quality time together during this period was if I coordinated everything.  She was also slowly becoming more and more distant, cold.  Honestly, I don't think she even realized it at this point.  The relationship was slowly working its way into a fairly one-sided situation.

 

Our relationship continued to spiral down-wards.  Our sex life was non-existent (libido absolutely destroyed by the meds), she had become less empathetic, and the relationship was slowly drifting further and further apart.  During this period, she had begun some minor contact with a previous ex from over a decade ago.  She also began to get much closer to a male friend of hers.  It got to the point where he did try to steal her away.  She swears up and down that she didn't have any feelings for him and nothing had happened.  I don't think I ever truly believed her... but I also don't think there had been any physical cheating.  There weren't any overt signs and the medication had completely killed her libido.  So more likely, it was an emotional affair if anything.  This situation put a lot of stress on the relationship at the time.  We'd never had any faithfulness issues previously in our relationship.

 

Communication has never been our strong point.  During this time, rather than communicating how I was feeling neglected and hurt by what had gone on, I started to withdraw from the relationship as well.  This was about 3-4 months ago.  Fast forward to about 3 weeks ago, and she broke down crying telling me that she couldn't do this anymore.  At this point, I had stumbled upon some information leading me to think that some of these issues could be related to the medication.  So we talked, and I convinced her to talk to her psych about the emotional blunting and getting off Lexapro.  Of course, her psych and therapist didn't agree that the relationship issues were being caused by the medication.  But, the psych was willing to help her get off Lexapro.  So he started to have her taper by 5mg every 5 days.  Incredibly fast taper from what I've read here, but she actually did it cold turkey during her last stint over a decade ago and didn't have any terrible side effects.

 

I thought things were potentially heading down the right direction at this point.  But, nothing is ever simple in life.  Two weeks ago she broke down again and this time told me that she didn't love me anymore and that she was done.  Before this last year, I don't think there had ever been a thought in either one of our minds that we wouldn't be spending the rest of our life together.  I was devastated.  I thought that the medication had a major role with her feelings.  She on the other hand, was convinced that she felt this way because we had been heading down different paths and had just drifted apart.  Which we have to some extent.  She's been developing her relationship with God and has been wanting to move towards going on mission trips overseas.  These changes have happened while medicated, but aren't necessarily out of character.  I on the other hand am not part of this portion of her life (agnostic atheist).  It never has been an issue before in our relationship though.  We both have respected each other's beliefs.

 

After talking (or more like pleading... i was absolutely shook to my core), she reluctantly agreed to see a relationship counselor (for me as she said) for a month to see if it'd help.  So far, we've had one session and another tomorrow.  No progress yet really, but we're still spending time together and there's some affection (albeit forced).  Her Lexapro taper does finish tomorrow (she's been experiencing serious fatigue, but that's the only symptom I've noticed so far).  But, her psych is planning to put her on another AD here in a few weeks.  Honestly, I'm just lost as to where to go and what to do.  It seems a month is nowhere near the time needed to potentially heal from the damage done by the medication and WD effects.  Let alone if another AD is introduced.  I just feel like I'm helpless watching the love of my life slip through my hands...

 

Thank you for reading.  I'm not the best with words and sorry for such a long post.  But, just working it out and writing down some of the situation has helped.  Any help, advice, thoughts, would be really appreciated.

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ChessieCat

Hi Pinstripesuit and welcome to SA,

 

There are other members in a similar situation to you.  I suggest you check out the topics in the Relationships area of the site.

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TeaBea

Hi.  I'm sorry you find yourself here.  After 20 yrs, my husband was put on Effexor, and we experienced many of the same things except he never left.  I finally figured out the med connection and asked--told--him to stop the med, that it was it or me.  Luckily, I knew that withdrawal should be very slow.  His feelings did come back AND he was contrite for his behavior, but it took about a year and 50% of his dose at the time.  

 

It's rough--everyone's situation and brains are different.  Please read the links on the first page of the "marriages destroyed..." thread for "SSRI Stories".  Share them with your partner.  

 

Good luck to you!

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ChessieCat
3 minutes ago, TeaBea said:

Please read the links on the first page of the "marriages destroyed..." thread for "SSRI Stories".

 

Link:  marriages-destroyed-by-ssri-snri-topix

 

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PinstripeSuit

Thanks for moving the post Chessie.  I wasn't really sure where the best place was initially.  

 

TeaBea - Thank you for sharing, and I'm glad to hear your situation worked out.  It's hopeful to hear success stories.  I'm slowly reading through the marriages destroyed thread right now.  For the stories links, I actually somehow stumbled upon those 2-3 weeks ago and did share them with my SO.  At the time, she read a few and then just stopped because they made her feel depressed.  Not sure what to make of her reaction but maybe it has helped bring awareness to some extent.

 

Also quick update -- Found out last night that her individual therapist she sees for depression has been telling her that she thinks the meds have provided clarity into our relationship.  I was a little shocked to hear a statement like that since it seemed so void of rational and logical thought.  Most of our relationship has been without severe depression or medication.  After hearing that though, asked the SO if she would stop seeing the therapist at least while we are going through counseling together.  I'm not sure if she'll do it, or if it was the right decision to ask.

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PinstripeSuit

So we had our second counseling session a few days ago.  I'm not sure what to make of it yet.  We discussed the possibility of it being the medication.  The counselor was very aware of the potential and started asking questions surrounding it.  One thing that was odd though, was that when the counselor asked when was the last time she had been off meds, it felt like she (fiance) almost had a mini-anxiety attack.  She started answering questions that weren't asked and acted a bit confused.  It took the counselor quite a while just to get the info she had asked for.  It was very weird to see.

 

The counselor was pleased to hear that she was willing to even consider getting off Lexapro even though she (fiance) didn't agree that it was the meds.  Counselor thought this was a positive sign.  Overall though, I'm not very optimistic where things are at currently.  Her fast taper off Lexapro finished two days ago.  But she has made it very clear that if she doesn't see improvement in her feelings within 3 weeks (the end of the month long trial) then she's done.

 

By the way, has anyone had any experience with Rexulti?  Tried doing some google searching to see if it could be causing any issues but haven't found much.  It just seems like it's an incredibly new medication at least here in the US.

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ChessieCat

You might find more info by googling Rexulti side effects

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