SSRI vs SNRI

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posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 08:15 PM
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Ok a bit of background. I was on a SSRI for 8 months, was supposed to help my insomnia, had zero effect on me that I could notice. Doctor warned me of all kinds of withdrawal, that I had to step back down in doses and not just stop. By the time I "quit", I was up to 2000 mg dose, the start was 50 mg dose. I stepped up within a 3 month period, saw no improvement in my insomnia at all, still went days at a time with no sleep. I quit because I forgot to take my pills with me on a trip. I went from 2000 mg to zero, and felt not a single change. I decided to stop wasting money.

The pas few months have been horrible. I got sick, with no found cause, which ended up with me losing my two nieces I was taking care of for a few years. I resolved to get them back, and not lose them to the system. That is my goal in life now.

This week, for no known reason, no trigger I can figure out..... Well I thought I was dieing or going nuts. IT had to be one or the other I think. I felt a sharp pain about where my soft spot was when I was a baby. I am no wuss, I used to get migraines when I was 1 until when I was about 15, at least twice a week. My migraines were a huge pain, but spread out through the whole front of my skull, behind my eyes was the worst place of pain. The pain I got, it felt like someone was drilling in one spot in the top back of my skull.

From that, I started getting more symptoms. It started to feel like I was not getting any air in my lungs, even though I knew I was. I tried deep breathe meditation, and it didn't help a bit. Then I started getting pains in my chest, best way I can describe it, it was the same pain I felt when I found out my first girlfriend was #ing my best friend, or when I found out my closest cousin crashed and died on a motorcycle. Then my vision got all messed up, like watching a TV with crappy reception. My hearing got all messed up too. It was like white noise was blocking the sounds.

I ended up going to the ER, thinking I was having a stroke or something. I was freaking out. The doctor I saw told me it was just a panic attack, but what was the trigger? I was just working on a digital painting, and bam, it hit me, from pain to full blown in like two minutes. The ER guy gave me some Lorazepam, and said it would be all good, and if not to see a doctor. I don't remember going home that night at all.

I saw a doctor, and he seems to think it is all in my head too. He wants me to take a SNRI now, and I am dubious. It's been 5 days now since the original "panic attack", and no real change. This is canadian crap social healthcare, which is a tiny step up from nothing, but you would think that they would want to scan my brain to make sure it is not something like a brain tumor before deciding I am a nutbar right? I have gone through plenty in my life from being on the street and homeless as a runaway when I was a young teen. I am not the sanest in the world, but I have been to hell and back a few times.

I have always been against taking drugs like this, I only tried because my doctor said that I would not be an insomniac anymore. It didn't happen, and I am even more leary to listen now. When I was really younger, I was put on antidepressants, and those times I attempted to kill myself. I mean a gun in my mouth one time, and another time the plan was to drink myself into a stupor, and go for my last ride on my motorcycle, another time drive my truck into a tree. The gun time, I was lucky to be around people that cared, the motorcycle time, I was too drunk to realize that I needed to take my antitheft device off the back wheel, the truck time I had someone who I thought was an angel at the time save me.

Now, I am not sure. If it wasn't for my extreme fear of death, I am not sure I would have made it this far. I am extremely afraid to go on, but I am also extremely afraid to end it all. I used to be able to meditate, and calm myself down, but lately I am a nervous wreck. Fear runs my life, and I am sick of it. Fear is bull#. I am scared to live, scared of social situations these days, I don't know why, yet I am more scared to die.

I am not sure what is better, being young and wreckless like I used to be, and not caring if I live through the night, or being terrified that I might die any second now, because doctor up here thing I am being a wuss. Back in NY I rarely saw a doctor, because I couldn't afford it, up here I am not much different. Just because it might be "free", doesn't make me any different. I have had a cousin and my grandpa die of brain cancer, and an aunt that so far survived it. Telling doctors this, and having them laugh it off, makes me angry. Literally, the doctor I last saw, I had to restrain myself. I had a strong urge to stab him in the face. He guaranteed me that if I take the drug, I would feel better in a few weeks. As strong as I am, I am not sure I will last that, especially considering that I will not be able to afford the perscription until next friday best case scenario. Blah, I don't know why god made my life so difficult, maybe I am hitler reincarnated?




posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 08:37 PM
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I have read your thread and am trying to understand everything you have stated. You were on antidepressants and you decided to stop. I know from experience when you are taking antidepressants I too did not notice any change but when I also just stopped taking them the side effects were horrible. So part of what you could be feeling is a withdraw from the drugs. it takes awhile for your body to get back to "normal" I would not try any other meds until you are sure this ones out of your system. There are other drugs for insomnia that do not have such a dramatic chemical change as antidepressants do. Have you tried one of these? It seems your major complaint is the sleep so try just treating that with something less dangerous. I would meet with your doctor and discuss less invasive options and see if they might work and stay away from such hardcore mind altering drugs. good luck to you!



posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 08:42 PM
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I hope you get better. Anxiety/Depression are not fun. Do what your Dr. asks you to do. Have a scan, you may have a tumor or something, at least then you'll know for sure. Migraines for so long could be telling you something.



posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 08:43 PM
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I sympathize for you OP. Good luck with everything. Communication is important with your doctor too, if you're not being %100 honest you won't receive the help you need. You can also probably change physicians if you're not happy with the one you have. I know alot of people that have changed doctors and it was for the best. I was blessed that I got the doctor that I have now.

On second hand you can look into trying an all natural product that is fantastic, it is called Sam-e. It's good for a lot of things. I remember a special on 20/20 about 10 years ago and they stated that some European countries were using it as an anti-depressant. I've tried it before and it works pretty well.
edit on 10-8-2012 by kimish because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 08:53 PM
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Originally posted by tinkytink1207
I have read your thread and am trying to understand everything you have stated. You were on antidepressants and you decided to stop. I know from experience when you are taking antidepressants I too did not notice any change but when I also just stopped taking them the side effects were horrible. So part of what you could be feeling is a withdraw from the drugs. it takes awhile for your body to get back to "normal" I would not try any other meds until you are sure this ones out of your system. There are other drugs for insomnia that do not have such a dramatic chemical change as antidepressants do. Have you tried one of these? It seems your major complaint is the sleep so try just treating that with something less dangerous. I would meet with your doctor and discuss less invasive options and see if they might work and stay away from such hardcore mind altering drugs. good luck to you!


It's been six months since I stopped the SSRI. I tried seroquil before, and I had blackouts, worse than when I was piss ass drunk. I have been embarrassingly drunk before, seroquil took the cake. I am not sure what to do really.



posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 08:55 PM
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reply to post by DaphneApollo
 


In socialist canada, I can't get any scans without a doctor referral, at least not without paying out of my own pocket. I am having trouble scrounging up the money for the drugs they want me to take, let alone catscans or MRI.



posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 08:59 PM
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reply to post by kimish
 


In socialist canada, changing doctors is not really an option. I lived here 5 years before I even got a doctor, I was lucky enough to have a new center open within 30 miles of my house. I got in because I was there first thing in the morning when the place opened. Picture americans camping out the day before an Ipod goes on sale, that is how it was to get a doctor here. What's better, being able to choose between many doctors in the US, but having to pay through the nose, or doctors being "free" and having no choice. I haven't been able to answer that as of yet.



posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 09:02 PM
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reply to post by TKDRL
 


What's your medical diagnosis? There must be some underlying depression or anxiety to be prescribed a SSRI? If the insomnia is isolated, I don't think I'd take a SSRI. You should never stop meds abruptly, especially SSRIs. They have terrible side effects.



posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 09:09 PM
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I had pretty bad depression for several years up into about 2 years ago, and none of the antidepressants ever worked. Honestly once i started taking vitamins, supplements and exercising regularly, i started feeling 10 times better than i ever did on any pill. Not saying that would be the case for everyone, but it worked wonders for me.



posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 09:12 PM
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reply to post by Cosmic911
 

I have never had a diagnosis really. I know I am an insomniac, gone days without sleeping. My brain don't want to shut up at night, unless I drink myself into oblivion. I have self diagnosed social anxiety, as I get panicky when I am in large crowds. I took some tests that say I might have aspergers, but I am not convinced. All my real problems happened when I was isolated from my peers for about a year due to taking a knife to school to defend myself. Other things, like being mistreated by police a few times compounded the problem.

Every time I reach out to get some help, doctors and such treat me like I am a retard. So sick of having people make me feel stupid. I feel stupid enough as it is, I don't need help from "professionals" with that.



posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 09:14 PM
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reply to post by Bodhi7
 


That is how I always was. I got to the point where I thought I could control myself. If I got anxiety, I could close my eyes and deep breathing would help. I got through my baby sister's graduation ceremony like that. At first I wanted to run for the door.



posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 09:15 PM
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I've had anxiety for years, and refused to go on medications.


Talking to a specialist helped me. I was told, to embrace my anxiety. Allow my body to accept was happening, and to never tell myself to "calm down" because if I did that, my body would think that there was a reason to be upset. Rarely get panic attacks in the last 10 years.

Anyways, its worth a go at it without drugs, natural alternatives like diet changes, excersize. meditation and working out your problems. Good luck to you.

And as far as our health care here, remember.. fight for your health, because no one will. Demand a second opinion or a specialist and don't take no for an answer.



posted on Aug, 10 2012 @ 09:25 PM
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Originally posted by TKDRL
reply to post by Cosmic911
 

I have never had a diagnosis really. I know I am an insomniac, gone days without sleeping. My brain don't want to shut up at night, unless I drink myself into oblivion. I have self diagnosed social anxiety, as I get panicky when I am in large crowds. I took some tests that say I might have aspergers, but I am not convinced. All my real problems happened when I was isolated from my peers for about a year due to taking a knife to school to defend myself. Other things, like being mistreated by police a few times compounded the problem.

Every time I reach out to get some help, doctors and such treat me like I am a retard. So sick of having people make me feel stupid. I feel stupid enough as it is, I don't need help from "professionals" with that.


Well, bud, you need to start with a diagnosis first, then you can start feeling better. If you're not satisfied with your doc, move on to someone who will listen to you and give you an accurate diagnosis. A lot of us have "normal" anxieties. Some can be dealt with easier than others. If you're an anxious person, like me, then maybe a diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety, might be appropriate. If large crowds bother you, than I would avoid them when possible. How much does your anxiety interrupt your activities of daily living? Are you able to maintain friendships, employment, do you have hobbies? SSRI's take months to work, provided they are the correct meds. It can be a very trying time. A little therapy or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) might help. Identifying your anxieties and fears will help immensely. Get some hobbies. Exercise. Tire yourself out. That works the best; especially for insomnia. I have insomnia too. The more tired I get during the day, the easier I sleep at night. Definitely get on a routine. Go to bed at the same time each night, regardless which time you get up. If insomnia is the probably, get your MD to prescribe some ambien or trazadone. Try some tylenol PM, or warm milk. A boring book. lol. Get your mind busy!!!! Drinking alcohol can interfere with REM sleep and make things worse. Ambien works great for me.

And to answer your original question: SSRIs target Serotonin, allowing the reuptake of serotonin to take longer, while SSNRI specifically target the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, also affecting its reuptake.
edit on 10-8-2012 by Cosmic911 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 10:46 AM
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Damn it, forgot how much ATS can suck at times when trying to post! Typed out a nice long post, hit send and lost it all. DOH!

Well here goes again.
Decided to take the docs advice, and try out the SSNRI. The first week was insane, did not sleep a wink! When I was laying in bed, I was hallucinating as if I was dreaming, but could still feel myself lying there awake. That was quite an odd journey.

After that initial week, I slept for 26 hours straight, and woke up around 5AM. For about a month it was going good, was sleeping normal cycle for the first time since I can't even recall when. One side effect though, really tired during the day. Drinking about 2 pots of coffee a day, not sure that is very good.

After a month everything fell apart on me, so I decided to double the dosage from 37.5 to 75(doctor is letting me decide when dosage needs to be increased, although we talk thoroughly on why I think it needs to be increased. Worked great again for about a month. I recently upped the dose again to 150, I am hoping this trend does not keep up, it is costing almost 60 a month on this dosage.

I am also weight training again, the doctor has suggested I add cardio to the mix as well, says I will get more endorphines and testosterone that way. Hopefully cure the tiredness and need for all that coffee. Just trying to find a routine I like now.

I have been feeling pretty good though, overall. Haven't needed to pop a lorazapam in about two months now. No major attacks to speak of. I decided to stay clear of here for a while, I thought maybe the tinfoil hat stuff could be feeding into the anxieties.


That explains my long absence, I didn't croak or anything.


I also finally was able to get an MRI on my head, doc says it can take up to 2 months before anyone even looks at it though. Got my fingers crossed. I decided to try and return here, but not with the obsessive frequency I used to.



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 11:21 AM
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Originally posted by TKDRL
...

It's been six months since I stopped the SSRI. I tried seroquil before, and I had blackouts, worse than when I was piss ass drunk. I have been embarrassingly drunk before, seroquil took the cake. I am not sure what to do really.


Were you prescribed seroquil or did you take someone elses prescription?

As another poster mentioned, you shouldnt have been prescribed SSRIs just for insomnia, and jumping off SSRIs can be dangerous



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 11:27 AM
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reply to post by cartenz
 


Seroquil was given to me by the school headshrinker back in HS.

The doctor thought my insomnia and racing brain at night, is due to GAD, and that the SSRI would take care of the two with one stone. I heard the same, but nothing happened thankfully. I have been reading up on the withdrawal of effexor now, now scary as hell. I don't think I will be doing that this time. If ever I want to get off, I am cool with the pharmacist, I can probably get her to give me stepdown doses if needed.



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 11:37 AM
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reply to post by TKDRL
 


This is something I am intimately aware of. Maybe my sharing might help you.

Cymbalta hospitalized me twice - and not mental wards... actual regular hospitals. One doctor simply insisted that Cymbalta was the end all, be all. So I said "OK.

Two weeks later I spent three days in the hospital with severe side effects.

A few months later my symptoms got bad enough, again ( panic attacks and depression ) that I found a new doctor and went for an appointment. This doctor insisted that I give Cymbalta another try. She assured me that whatever happened the first time around was not Cymbalta and must have been a coincidental infection or unrelated and undiagnosed health problem. She said that she would only offer me other options if I agreed to give Cymbalta another shot. Even knowing it would make me sick, I went the "team player" route and tried again, maybe even spitefully... to prove a point.

Two weeks later? Four more days in the hospital.

A few months after that? New doctor and Seroquel. That worked for about six months - but with pretty bad side effects ( the worst being hypersensitivity. Just a sheet laying across me, at night, felt like agony. ). it also caused me to gain about 40-50 pounds. Ultimately the side effects simply got so bad that I quit the medication and decided to never trust another doctor again.

That worked for about a year. Then the symptoms came back much, much worse. So I tried one last time - and got lucky.

By this time my illness had destroyed my life. My girlfriend had tossed me out, and moved another guy in. My friends had all jumped ship. My family wouldn't return my calls. I was lost, jobless, deeply depressed, and for all intents and purposes homeless. But this turned out to be a blessing - as this enabled me to use the local free mental health clinic. And the doctor there was finally willing to listen. She is the only doctor who ever told me that SSRI's and SNRI's have massive side effects with many people - but that the drug company reps spend a lot of time convincing doctors that these claims are spurious and over exaggerated. She also told me that doctors get perks for prescribing certain meds - and almost all of the "cutting edge" SSRI's and SNRI's are applicable.

Now to the point. This doctor gave me a medication called Trazodone, a SARI class antidepressant. She also added an anti anxiety medication, but in rotation ( to avoid dependence ). I spend a few months taking a light dose of Xanax, then it's switched to Klonopin for a few months, and then back again.

This therapy has been extremely effective for me. Since my history seems a bit like your own, in ways, I thought that maybe this would help give you some conversation points to discuss with your own doctor. I would recommend the therapy I am on now eagerly - and the only other "medication" I'll make similar statements about is aspirin.

~Heff



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 11:46 AM
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Seriously you dont want to self medicate with coffee your making coffee medicine, coffee is ADDICTIVE and coffee can be used as medicine, your complaining about norpinephrine but yet your drinking coffee that act directly on norpinephrine/noradrenaline in other words coffee is a norpinephrine stimulator not to mention its a legal psychoactive stimulant... Your messing up big time! At the end your going to get caffeine withdrawal not knowing if the headaches is caffiene withdrawal or anxiety related, if the tiredness is caffeine withdrawal or because of anxiety. Secondly did you consider having paranoid Schizophrenia? I am sufferer of probably 1000 episodes in my life of the famous topic on ATS called sleep paralysis consider me an expert. Your hallucinations sound like lucid dreaming some of us hate this while people who dont lucid dream want to lucid dream. Delusional thoughts are hallucinations, see a physician doctors are stupid.

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 12:19 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


Thanks a lot, I will write that down and keep it in mind for the next follow up appointment in DEC. Especially if I "hit the wall" again at this dosage. So far so good for me, the only side effect was the dream thing the first week, and tiredness. I am hoping the crazy cardio training will help combat the fatigue.

It seems with SSRI SARI and SNRI, it is really guesswork and hit or miss. There are nightmare stories, and very positive stories on drug forums for just about all of them. Most people that find one that works, it was only after trying a few different ones.



posted on Oct, 15 2012 @ 12:24 PM
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reply to post by paranoidfreak
 


It makes no sense to me really. Even on the lowest dose, I am almost falling asleep during the day without coffee. I am hoping that hard cardio training will boost my energy level up. Even with coffee drinking like I am, I am still tired, just not nodding off. Maybe you might understand what I say, but I cannot fall asleep, until I literally cannot keep my eyes open, even if I wanted to. When I get to that point, I have chugged two monsters, and still had to sleep.

I am pretty sure I am not a schizophrenic, as I can tell what is real, and what is a hallucination. Even the worst, violent ones I had were not scaring me, or effecting me too badly. I was mildy amused, thinking WTF, this is new.





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