I've been taking meds for depression on and off for 10 years now. I started with xoloft (gave me terrible headaches), then Celexa for a couple of years that didn't cause many side effects, but also didn't make me feel much better either.
I didn't take anything for a few years and felt about the same as I did on Celexa. I changed insurance companies about that time and they would cover mental health so I decided to go see psychiatrist. Up to that time, I'd just been getting meds from my GP whose approach was basically, 'try this.'
The psychiatrist decided I was bi-polar 'spectrum' and gave me Lamictal and later added Welbutrin and Abilify; none of which made me feel better, I was just lathargic and moody. I decided to get a second opinion.
The second psychiatrist decided that I wasn't bi-polar and was over-medicated; her diagnosis: anxiety disorder and depression. So she tapered me off of everything for about a month to see how I felt without meds and then started me on low dose (100mg) of Lamictal. She later added Abilify.
Once again, this combination didn't make me feel much better. By that I mean, I just felt disconnected, not really interested any anything; not lethagic. I didn't feel passionate about anything (I still feel this way).
Recently, she's taken me off of Lamictal completely and the Abilify and now I just take Paxil (30mg), Nuvigil (to give me a lift in the daytime) and Propanolol if I feel particularly anxious. The first week was awful with Paxil, all I wanted to do was sleep. Now, I really don't notice any side effects from Propanolol, except perhaps loss of labido and I sleep more than I used to.
So, the bottom line is, none of this has restored a general sense of well-being, connectedness or hope. I no longer feel as larthargic or as moody, but I do have days where I just feel extremely axious, like today (probably the Nuvigil is responsible for this). I just don't feel passionate about anything the way I did when I was younger which since this has all been going on was twenty years ago.
I also see a therapist once a month for about a year now. He's a cognitive therapist and I like his approach and I enjoy our sessions, but I don't seem to be learning anything that really makes a lasting difference in my world view and outlook.
So, my question to the tribe: does it ever get any better? Have you found a magical combination of meds that makes you feel 'alive'? I've tried a coupld of SSRIs and I think Welbutrin works on dopamine and neither seemed to make me feel better.
I am just so tired of living on the edge feeling like one more life event will just push me over the edge. Does it ever get better?