No AD seems to be working (currently on Venlalic XL 150mg)

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Hi Guys,

I've been following numerous posts on this Forum site for months now and found them very informative. It's good to see I'm not the only one suffering - however selfish that sounds.

I've read all the positive reviews of all the antidepressants I've been on I was so hopeful and excited I might finally start feeling better but 6 months down the line it's getting me depressed as nothing seems to be working.

Let me tell you more about my conditions. I have been suffering from depression and social anxiety, plus chronic (middle and terminal as it was put to me) insomnia. I have been suffering from those for over a decade. There is no reason for me to be depressed - I haven't had traumatic childhood, I live a comfortable life, with its ups and downs just like everybody else. This affected my relationships as I've always been miserable, moody, not really interested in meeting people - avoiding them at all cost to be honest. These were the main reasons my relationships ended.

It was only around half a year ago when I decided to go to my GP to talk about insomnia (I wasn't strong enough to admit to him I have depression and anxiety). After being prescribed Zopiclone then Temazepan - neither worked - my GP suggested I may be suffering from depression. I didn't really say anything when he said I should try CBT. I just took the telephone number he gave me and left. I knew I'd never do this - how can I go to a place full of strangers and talk about my problems when my friends can't even talk me into going out and have fun with them!

3 weeks later though I went back to my GP and confessed that I actually do feel I have depression and anxiety and that I do not intend to do any CBT or any talking therapy of any sort. I insisted on being prescribed antidepressants. Very reluctantly, and I understand why, I was prescribed Citalopram 20mg - that's when my journey with ADs started. Without going into too much detail I went from Citalopram to Sertraline to Mirtazapine to Venlalic XL 150mg (which was incrementally increased from first 37.5mg and then to 75mg) and this is the current dosage - I actually started taking the 150mg yesterday. One thing to mention is that I saw a private psychiatrist through Psychiatry-UK (recommended by NHS as one of the options for private psychiatry) and was advised I should be taking Venlafaxine at the maximum tolerated dose within the BNF limits. He also suggested alternatives like MAOI; fluoxetine and paroxetine together with CBT (which I started doing online). How much chemistry do I need to try out before something works!

For half a year now I've been going to my GP practice every two weeks to either increase the dosage or change the type of AD completely. When I started my journey with them I read it may take a while for them to work but half a year and still feeling just as bad as I have been (not to mention suffering from side effects) is not what I expected. I may as well stop and save a lot of money and just continue being a miserable so-and-so.

Sorry for the rant Guys but I feel helpless and hopeless - especially when one of the GPs I've seen told me she found it hard to comprehend I was depressed because every time I saw her I smiled and shared a joke with her!

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    I have been through the same journey with Depression and Social Anxiety(I'm 45 now) and been on 5 Anti D's, a Beta blocker and a Tranquiliser...they either worked briefly or made me ill.

     Long story short I was 15 in 1983 when I became ill....but there was no awareness, computers,family didn't give a ****, etcetera back then...so I self medicated thinking I was the only one who felt this way...was Psychiatrist diagnosed at 32...tried above medications over a 3 and half year period and then went back to self medicating(GP's had nothing left to offer me)...became ill at 36....came out of Hospital and referred to Methadone Clinic...been on Methadone 9 years now...no Depression, no Anxiety, no Side effects...It not only SAVED my life but gave me a quality of life I could of only imagined!!

     If you type in Methadone for Depression on Google you will read many others who have been down the same road and have productive, happy lives now!...The regular Meds don't work....20 years of suffering, all because there are no Clinical Trials on the Good Methadone does for people like us!!

      Feel free to message me if you want to know more.

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  • Posted

    One more thing I asked my GP's and a Psychiatrist to be put on MAOI's and they were FIRMLY against it...even though I'd tried everything they'd offered me...I have read about them and they are apparently a dangerous older type of Anti D...they interact badly with other meds and even certain foods. 
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  • Posted

    I guess the Head-type / brain behaivour is different for everyone, so - and this is a guess - the combination of meds that may affect the correct parts of the brain need to be found before you start to get truly good affects..

    When I cold turkeyed 150mg Venlafaxine I found that I had to retrain myself a bit cause the med had repressed some behaivour and even stuff like taking the tops off the Cola bottles was really difficult.

    good luck! and maybe be patient with the meds.

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  • Posted

    There's no magic pill, you sound like you need CBT. Just taking the medication is like putting a plaster over a weeping wound. May I ask why you are so reluctant to try CBT? There's a stage in Everybody's depression when they realise they've got to fight it. Try mindfulness, watching Comedy, planning a career change, you will do whatever it takes to make your dreams a reality! I recommend intense cardiovascular exercise, makes you feel like you've achieved something
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    • Posted

      Comedy - wise, Aussie "comedy" is all about ripping people apart or jamming one liners to a stage that they have no impact.

      I watch Korean Pop stuff. The variety shows, not the Music Videos.

      They are good humour as far as i'm concerned, clever, and everyone seems to enjoy. Watched a group of singers play the "how many cherry tomatoes can you fit in your mouth" thing.. the MC's are comedians so there were plenty of singers with 15 tomatoes spitting them out all over the place smile

      Change: Don't try to change all in one go.. unfortunatly for me things seem to always go off at the same time. career affects apartment location, and vice versa.

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  • Posted

    Hi Nclino, oh I do empathise with the smiley upbeat persona! Im a master at it too!  What just concerns me with your post is a/ the amount of meds you've been on and b/the length of time you've headed back lto the GP for a change!  I may have missed something, but if it's only. 6 months since you started this medicated journey, wow, you've been on a lot.   Have you looked at some of the citalopram postings?M any of us find we relapse (significantly, and quite often far worse than before we started on the meds) but continuing and with perseverance, after a couple of months the majority of side effects seem to pass and  indeed the benefits are huge.  I just worry that you haven't given one particular med long enough to settle.  What has caused you to change your meds? What did you experience when you tried citalopram?  If you list your difficulties, what would be top of the list?  Do you think your insomnia causes a knock on effect regards your depression? Are you obsessively thinking at night which is keeping you awake, and/or waking up and finding it impossible to drop off again? If so, where has your record got stuck?  What is it that's out of your control that's affecting you ?

    Ive been very lucky (judging by others comments about CBT) in that Ive got a fantastic counsellor.  The anxiety aspect isn't just about understanding the fight, flight or freeze human response, it's understanding how my once naturally controlled anxiety response has become over loaded and therefore I'm unable to regain control over it.  You may think that your anxiety is directly related to social situations (which it is) but if you think of a manageable anxiety bucket, like a water tank, it's because your tank has got full and it's now overflowing.  What used to be a naturally manageable reservoir which would rise and fall in a natural cycle, anxiety is perfectly natural, has overflowed.  So how you want to think of this is, yes you know it can be brought on in situations, for you it's social situations, but if my tank wasn't full to start with, I actually would be able to manage that anxiety in a normal and controllable way.  It's getting the level in the tank down to a manageable level for your body, so look at everything else that may have caused your anxiety tank to fill up, not just the fear of social situations.

    Take some time and do think back over your life to situations that may have made you fearfull, anxious, etc not just the recent social ones.  You say you've always been moody and miserable. Why do you think that is? It's amazing how something really quite insignificant can have a huge impact on young lives.  Just saying Ive always been moody and unsociable isn't good enough!  I was 30, when I finally sat across the table from my mother and said, "I can now say the word Vagina!"   She nearly fell off her chair.  I'm now 50 something, and my vocabulary is even broader smile

    In the meantime, meds can be hugely helpfull as they do assist the body with the symptoms of this overflowing anxiety, and whilst yes 6 months is a decent period to have tried , the amount of differing meds you've had in those. 6 months kind of starts you back at the beginning each time.

    Id break down each aspect, I now take half a tablet of kingsland sleep aid just before bed and it completely knocks me out (I'm also on citalopram which for me has been fantastic ........once I got over the first 6 weeks). So between getting a good nights sleep, the citalopram which has completely stopped the physical symptoms of anxiety, (I m still fearful of my trigger situations but I don't react with all the awful heart attack inducing panic), my depression has lifted and my counsellor is helping me get my anxiety reservoir levels down, levels Ive built up unknowingly over donkey's years, I do feel I'm winning the battle.   Maybe stick with where you are medicinally for now, but give it longer.   Certainly a couple of months on one dosage would be my advice for the bare minimum (unless youre terribly ill on them) before thinking of a change , don't lose hope, these things will get to work, they're just not overnight fixes.  Chris xxxxx

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  • Posted

    I must add I continued taking Escitalopram (3/4 years) while I was on Methadone....but realised they were not effective like they was for the 1st year and that it was the Methadone keeping these debilitating symptoms at bay....and have done so ever since!

     Methadone is misunderstood....It doesn't damage any Internal organs, still got(except for 2) all my teeth, Metabolises safely through the liver(even if you have cirrhosis), doesn't affect the memory, cost effective, cuts down crime(NICE)....you can still feel sad and anxious from time to time(in my experience)but all manageable!.

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