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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The doc prescribed Lexapro for my depression. I'm not too thrilled about taking it, but it's better than this empty and sad state of mind. Anyone have any success stories they are willing to share?

Terri, if you read this I know you are taking Lexapro. How are things coming along?

Thanks, Ken
 

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Hi Ken,

I did well on a low dose of Lexapro. I was only able to take 1/2 of a 10. This may not be considered a "clinical dose" but it did help to even some things out for me. I took mine at night as it made me drowsy. Other people have to take it in the morning because it gives them a little lift. Lexapro was the first drug I was able to take without awful side affects. It is supposed to be a cleaner drug. It did help me with obsessive compulsive thinking which was huge on my list and not helping my dr at all.

I started tapering off of lexapro in September. This is a decision I made because I had been on it since it came out, my life situation had changed and I wanted to see where I was without it. I stopped completely around the 1st week of January. I did experience some heebie jeebies...certainly nothing like the Paxil/Klonopin withdrawal stories, thank God. But definitely some aggravation as my head worked on getting used to it not being in my system. I'm still having small ups and downs but they are manageable.

I would say it was successful for me at a time when I was in deep need of something to improve my quality of life. I, too, had the empty and sad state of mind...with OCD and GAD and DR.

It's about quality of life, I think. With that said, you will probably end up coming off this med for one reason or another and that will require some work on your part. Can you work thru the depression? I couldn't at that point. Hell, I wasn't getting out of the bed. At that point in time it was a solution for me when I felt I had tried all available choices for me.
If I were insanely rich, I might have tried all kinds of alternative therapy, massages everyday, the works. Since that wasn't an option for me I did therapy, biofeedback and took the med.

There you have it. Hope I was of some help in presenting the whole picture.

Sincerely,
terri
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Terri

Thanks for the response. It helped a great deal. I am basically in the same situation as you described. If I don't take my daily dose of st. john's wort, I am completely exhausted, lethargic, demotivated and sad all day. Not to mention my anxiety comes back and I become homebound, which isn't good for a full time student. Working through the depression worked for a while, but like yours, mine has slipped into something unbearable. It has totally made my DPDR worse and my memory is completely gone. I am going on Monday to have my thyroid checked out, and if all is fine I'm going to start the Lex asap. My current state of affairs is not working for me. Thanks for your input. It helped :)

I'm also looking for something to help with my obsessive thinking. My doc said that when serotonin is low, we tend to become more obsessive in our thought patterns. He calls serotonin the "care filter". I am hoping the meds will help me get to a place of freedom, at least in part, from all of this rumination over DP. I really think it's the obsessive thinking that does us in with this illness. I noticed that before this episode of DP began, I was depressed first, then became obsessive, then DP started. I think the depression set the stage for the obsessive thinking which led to the DP coming back. Erg, new brain please? Thanks :)

Ken
 
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There is no medication in this world that can counter-act obsessiveness if the patient is still FEEDING the obsessions. To do so, you'd have to be semi-conscious...lol

Effexor and Prozac are often used for OCD. Do they work? Sometimes. They however, do not STOP obsessions, but they can make it easier for the person to stop his own obsessing.

And I repeat this: if the person truly believes (at the time) that their obsessions are achieving something, THAT needs to be addressed or no med will touch it.

Most obsessives have "secret" or magical thinking - if I DON'T think about this right now, I will go insane. If I DON'T explore this, and ask about it, then my mind will break. IF I DON'T get reassurance, I will become psychotic.

No med, nothing, is going to touch that. The DELUSION (magical thinking) needs to be worked on in therapy, not simply look for a med to quell the impulse
 

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Well, I can't say I had delusional thinking, secret thinking or magical thinking. I didn't have the if I DON"T explore this...I will go insane thinking. I still think I must be too ignorant to follow this deep train of thought.

I had the open your eyes first thing in the morning and start thinking the same negative thought to death at which point another negative thought would come in and it would continue that way all day long. First it would start with thoughts of someone who I was "allowing" to make me miserable and how could I fix that, then it would be about someone else...I was big in to caretaking, fixing all these people that would call with all their problems, worrying about my daughter, my husband, my mother...just constant obsessing..." to haunt or excessively preoccupy the mind of". I "think" it became obsessive and then I became obsessive with my dr and other medical problems to the point of depression and anxiety.

So Janine, was I not obsessed? I think I'm confused when I read your thought on the whole matter. Once I began Lexapro, after some weeks, I began to wake up not overwhelmed with all the racing thoughts and they did not stay all day. It felt as if it were the med. Was it just a timing thing?

I think I was told ocd takes many forms, now I am confused as I feel your point is that it must involve some kind of :

"Most obsessives have "secret" or magical thinking - if I DON'T think about this right now, I will go insane. If I DON'T explore this, and ask about it, then my mind will break. IF I DON'T get reassurance, I will become psychotic."

Can we have a little more discussion on this please?

Most sincerely,
terri with what may or may not be a questionable * :? :wink:
 
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Sorry, Terri* - did not mean to confuse. Your questions are great though.

Obsessing is one thing - it's thought. ONLY thought. And it's also called Rumination. It has something in common with post-trauma states - thoughts come like flashbacks, unbidden (well, consciously unbidden. I, of course, believe they're always bidden by unconscious thoughts, but that's an entirely other argument, lol).

Obsessive thoughts that just won't go away but that do not require you to DO anything are just obsessions.

Obsessive/Compulsive behavior however, is a symptom state that has some Action going along with the obsession. It can be obvious like having to wash one's hands over and over, check the stove 100 times, etc. or more esoteric like having to "undo" some "process' - sometimes a person will make a right turn in the room, and suddenly be filled with anxiety and cannot remove that anxiety till they "UN-do" the action - i.e., they must then turn to the LEFT. Or counting. Sometimes a person will think something that makes them horribly anxious and then feel COMPELLED to count to 50 in their head.....silently, but desperately...and they believe they cannot calm down until they "obey"

That's the C part of OC (obsession = thought; compulsion = action). But the Action need not be something physical - the action can be another thought. My point above was that very often dp types have a magical system at work that they never admit to - certainly not to their therapist, lol....they often think "I'm having that awful fear that I really am going insane...the last 20 times I had that fear, I looked up a bunch of websites about madness and that scared me, but I didn't go insane. So now that I'm scared of this again, I'm going to do the SAME thing again - i.e., it "worked" before"

Clearly, the person is not going to have all that thinking so detailed. But if the person is honest with himself, he'll ask "okay, I know it scares me to do this....what would happen if I didn't do it?" the honest answer might very well be "then I WILL go insane..." THAT is a delusion. That is magical thinking and it is a crucial piece of the symptom puzzle.

Most people who have those kinds of thoughts believe they are just TINY aspects to their otherwise anxiety based and obsessive mind. In reality, those delusional thoughts are CRUCIAL aspects of their entire illness,and if they're not addressed and really explored, chances are their symptoms will be impossible to treat.

It's the main reason OCD is SO hard to ever cure. The patient is not honest - they are not fully forthcoming, even with themselves. They keep insisting they TRY to not do the things they do because they fully realize that doing their rituals accomplishes NOTHING. But they don't really deep down believe that. At the TIME they feel the obsession and at the time they act in the compusion they DO believe they are accomplishing something with their act. THAT is the key piece of information that is necessary to share in order to begin recovery.

There was a lovely young woman on this board years ago who I befriended. We talked on the phone, etc..for a long time. She had major dp and horrible surreal and terrifying obsessions. She also had a major shrink at Oxford (where she went to school). HOwever, she had NEVER told ANYone that her obsessive thoughts were connected to magic.

There was a brand of soap in her bathroom called "CareX" - and everytime she saw it, she thought of the "x" representing poison, ie. death. She was convinced that if she looked at the soap and did NOT perform some Undoing ritual (or surrender to certain kinds of repetitive thoughts), that someone would die. This was a brilliant woman doing major academic work.

When she FINALLY started talking about the secret creepy thoughts underneath her obsesssions, she started to slowly recover. And before, she had not made one iota of change for many years.

My point, and I do have one, lol..is that obsessions are not the same as obsessions with accompanying compulsions. Many people may be like you and only obsess. BUT...I know for a fact, that there are also many others who never talk about their secret acts of un-doing or magical rituals. Those folks need to try to find a way to talk about those thoughts. The cure lies there.
 

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Compelled compulsion...the definitive words I was missing. Thanks for taking the time to write about the distinction between the two.

So then, does something like Lexapro work with having "obsessive thought patterns" as Ken and I have described ?

Also to Ken, can you explain more about the term "care filter" ?

Thanks to all.
terri*
 
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You guys are getting lost in the science of this.

When serotonin levels are low, chances are good that anixety increases.

Different people react to anxiety differently. For us, we're likely to start obsessing (automatically, that is what we DO to ward off anxiety). Someone else might drink large amounts of whiskey.

Do low serotonin levels cause someone to drink whiskey? NO.

They provoke anxiety. What we do in response to that ugly critter is unique to the person and/or unique to the personality type they are.
 

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well there you have it...Science! you know how i don't do math, ummm...i don't do science either. :lol: actually i think this has been helpful for me and having this disorder. keeps me from getting into all that deeeeep stuff.
so yeah, consider me lost in the science part. that would be a given. lol.

Seeings how I can't drink the Jack :( , or smoke the cigs :( , I guess I'll just stick with the obsessing. NO, not really...I did it way too long and find I enjoy not having the constant ruminations.

Anyway, dear Janine, my question was does something like Lexapro work to decrease these obsessive thought patterns? I guess from reading your first reply, "...but they can make it easier for the person to stop his own obsessing", the answer is yes, that meds can help obsessive thought patterns.

Right? ( Who's on first? :lol: )

terri*
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Terri,

what he means by care filter is that the more serotonin we have pumping through our veins, the less we care about things. More serotonin, less care. So when we become depressed, we tend to get upset and obsess about things we would never normally give the time of day to under normal serotonin levels. The goal being to raise the serotonin levels just enough so that we care enough about the things of our own life, and ignore those things that we don't need to worry about.

For example, a depressed man may worry about meeting his family's needs. He may think about how bad of a father/husband he is, and may begin to become obsessive about it if the depression is bad enough. If he were to turn up his serotonin levels, he would be more able to clearly asses the situation, and not become so involved in his obsessing. He would care less, because he had a clearer picture of the situation.

I'll watch you and Janine discuss this. I love discussions between two bright minds.

Ken
 

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My mom takes Lexapro for depression (she's always had problems with depression) and does really well on it. For the first month or so when she started taking it she was nausous and throwing up but after that she was fine and has been doing good for about 2 years. I hope everything works out for you. Take care.
 

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"I love discussions between two bright minds."

Ken, you may have just diminished any future chance of conversing with Janine. lol. Though she did once say something about the pot calling the kettle black when referring herself to me, I'm quite sure it had nothing to do with my bright mind.

No, between us, she's the only one with windows open and the light on.

In the crayon box she would be a yellow and I would be something more along the lines of brown.

Thanks for explaining care filter more. I learned several things today and that is always good.

terri*
 
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or I might be Yellow and the other lady in question might be bright orange (with strong tendencies to hide in the brown section for fear of the light)

:wink:

A few more comments on serotonin. It is also the neurochemical that is seen in HIGH quantities among the dominant pack members (monkeys, wolves, etc.) The Big Fella in the gang, the one with power, has high serotonin levels. Does that mean he's a bully? Very rarely. He has enormous confidence so rarely needs to flex his group influence unless it's a survival issue.

In the submissive members, serotonin is low. It's as if the lower levels keep the submissive in line. He might WANT to challenge Big Ben, but he'd worry himself into a dither and never do it. Good thing. He'd never win.

When biologists induced lower levels of serotonin in middle of the road pack members, they actually CREATED submissives. And even more interesting, when the pack experience creatd a submissive, his serotonin levels LOWERED in response.

Our brain chemicals can make us think certain ways.

But...and this is SO important, guys: events and self-perceptions can ALTER our brain chemistry. If we undergo a major ego blow that challenges our entire sense of self, we also likely LOWER our own serotonin levels in response (and God knows how many other neurotransmitters)

Very dangerous to assume a low or high level of anything means the biochemistry is the problem. It might, instead, be a neurological reflection of psychological shifts. The BODY matches the mind, in many cases.

Chicken?
Egg?
SOmetimes one comes first, but other times, it's the opposite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I agree, Janine's insights into this illness through her experience are simply amazing. She seems to know me pretty well, and is rarely wrong in her assessments of my complaints lol.

I'm glad I could help with the 'care filter' theory lol.

Thanks for your inpur enngirl. Vomiting for a month? Yikes. Glad to hear that it helped your mother eventually.

Ken
 
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