Bad Experiences With Anti-Depressants?

At my doctors suggestion I began taking lexapro 3 mo’s ago. My life kinda fell apart after taking it. I became numb, nauseous, exhausted, and very very drowsy. My depression actually worsened. They kept upping the dose and it became worse. Finally, I just said screw it and weaned my self off of it. My energy returned instantly and I feel less sad. Unfortunately I didn’t get all of it back. It is a struggle to get to the gym every day now. I go 5x’s a week and don’t over do it when I am there. I even took 3 weeks off but that didn’t help. I just feel like my body took a beating from the meds and I was wondering if anyone wanted to share their experiences with antidepressants.

I have never taken any antidepressants, but I have had some insight into depression. Here are my thoughts:

  • As was stated in another thread, antidepressants often take away the lack of motivation first, before they start working on the depression itself.
  • Also they need some time to build up in your system. If you were 3 weeks off, that doesn’t necessarily mean the drug was not still active.
  • Normal MDs (at least where I come from) often have a tendency to hand out anti-depressants. Especially with mild or reactive depressions, chances are very high that with counselling, you can pretty swiftly heal them. It get’s more problematic, once the disease is chronic. Then, medication might play a bigger role.

I hope your MD did not just give you the anti-depressant and sent you home. An anti-depressant is there to support therapy, not just to switch off the symptoms and go on with a life situation that made you sick in the first place. If he did - change your MD and get proper counselling ASAP.

Good luck! Makkun

yeah he just prescribed them on the first visit after telling me all the wonders of them. I was just wondering if anyone here had experienced the extreme exhaustion after taking them. The more they upped the dose the more tired I felt.

I would think about switching meds and going to a different doctor. My fiancee was on paxil, then prozac, and now is on wellbutrin. All the reading we have done is that different meds affect peopel differently. I would avoid paxil at all costs, it is very tough to get off of if it doesn’t work for you. She feels tired all of the time, and lacks motivation b/c of depression, not b/c of the meds. I agree that therapy is needed. The meds are just for support. You may want to check out and see if anyone over there has what you have.

Hang in there!

I definitely felt fatigued while on zoloft myself, I couldn’t stand after doing half a set of light squats a lot of the time. My coaches even told me to take the rest of practice off but I didn’t. I got switched to prozac and haven’t really had side effects since, but I cant say it’s helped too much.

I am absolutely against the use of anti-depressants. They are extremely addictive (mentally and physically) and you should look at the stats on such things as how many people are using them and all the problems they create - it seems that America has developed an obsession with them and definitely too much of a realiance on them. My opinion is that they are similar to taking recreational drugs or alcohol to escape from reality - anti-depressants create an altered state of reality where you feel good again - why not just figure out what is getting you down and have the strength to address it and get over it! instead of taking the easy way out and popping some pills - don’t mean to offend anyone but I see it as a weakness not an illness.

well…I know what is eating me so to speak but there is nothing I can do about it for about 2 years. The doc said that the pills would help me get through until then. They just made it worse. I am just open to suggestions on how to raise my energy levels.

Power Drive might help with the energy levels. You should check out the international antiaging systems website they have a lot of info about different antidepressants. Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitor’s can raise seratonin levels which can make you lethargic. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors can raise dopamine levels. They might permanently rewire the way your brain works and should be approached very cautiously. They are not just some happy pill that doctors should give out flippantly. They have been shown to increase the likelyhood of suicide in the first month of use.

Hey tiffy

I’m not trying to mock you, I’m not trying to be funny in any way.

Change your Avatar. Your Goth avatar has got to go. I know are no easy cures, but I know listening to The Cure does not help. (OK, that part was me trying to be funny, sorry). When you’re low, surrounding yourself with things that help keep you down will not help.

Depression runs in both sides of my family, I’ve had minor bouts of it myself, I understand it. Hell, every girlfriend I’ve had has been on meds. One ex-girlfriend was real bad. She would go through phases where all she would do is play sad songs on her guitar, and re-read poems she wrote when she was sad. After we broke up she started taking my advice. She wouldn’t allow herself to only write songs when sad.

She’s been off her meds for 2 years now. She still has her bad days, but not doing her normal comfort rituals really helped her not prolong the pain. I’m not saying you have to push your feelings away. That won’t help. But you have to make sure you don’t dwell.

Hey, I might be completely off base, I’m basing it off of a 60 x 61 pixel graphic.

But you’re on the right path in one level; you’re here at t-nation, and your lifting. Lifting weights, boxing, martial art or anything physical is probably one of the things you can do. My life got better the day I started. I find going for “the pump” when I don’t feel like working out is the best way for me to enjoy the gym again.

he he
the avatar has nothing to do with being goth. I actually wear very little black. It is a character from a comic book series that I have liked since I was pretty young. Yeah …the character happens to wear a black gothy outfit but hey I wasn’t the artist. I have nothing against goths (I don’t want to offend any goths here) but that stuff really isn’t my bag. I don’t even know who the cure is??? Yeah…I am culturally deficient…so what.
When I get sad I play with my pets, sing loudly in the shower, work out, or call up a friend and ask them if they want to go out. I learned a long time ago that writing sad poems was not where it’s at nor was is very productive.
and don’t worry I am really not offended or I wouldn’t post here;-)

Life has just dealt me some curve balls since the age of 6 that I have had trouble coming to grips with. I should’ve been more cautious when I agreed to take the meds but I trusted the doc b/c well…he’s a doc. What can I say??? Lesson learned. I was really just looking for some people who might have experienced the same fatigue and wanted to know how they dealt with it.

I am not some melancholy anemic looking girl who sings sad songs in her basement and wears too much black eyeliner. Just wanted to get that straight. If I tried that there are people that would kick my ass.


antidepressants are beasts.

believe me, i understand. ive been severely depressed for like five years and suicidal for a couple. a year ago i was on lexapro for three days then switched to zyprexa for a month. they only made things worse. i gained weight, lost interest in most things, and was lethargic. i stopped taking them and came upon a homeopathist. what most people think homeopathy is is really microdoses, and microdoses are shit. because most people think they are one and the same homeopathy gets a bad name.

anyway, the homeopathy worked like a freakin miracle pill. its been three months and i havent been suidical for any of it.

so if you got the dough and can find a TRUE homeopathist, i highly recommend.

one thing i will add is that diet plays a very key yet very elusive role in happiness. im sure if i had been on a good diet i wouldnt have needed help in the first place. just eliminate refined sugar and refined flour and im sure youll be feelin good.

if you think your diet is good now just analogize it to weighttraining. even the best program can be adapted to. many have benefitted from eliminating a food theyve adapted to, even if its a heatlhy food.

ex: my dad is 52 and has had migraines since he can remember. recently he stopped eating wheat and within 3 days the migraines reduced and shortly subsided altogether.

p.s. dont be afraid to switch up the diet in ways you believe are “unwise”. i went from a 180 to 400lb deadlift in five months while eating one carb meal a day. i didnt find out that what i was doing was actually considered a diet till recently. (warrior diet)


A couple of years back I had a bout of depression and the doctor prescribes antidepressants which made things waaay worse. My anxiety went through the roof. My doctor moved away and I found a new doctor who changed my meds. The difference was remarkable. There was an incredible improvement and with some sessions with a good psychologist I was back to normal and have been fine since.

Some people will say that anti depressants are bad and to stay away from them. They are like all other medications. Some work well for some people and not for others. Also they tend to be overprescribed. Find a doctor you trust and don’t just rely on the meds, but get some counselling as well.

Hope it all goes well.

There is nothing wrong with taking antidepressants. It blows my mind sometimes when people can be intelligent regarding illnesses of the rest of the body but when it comes to the brain they elevate this organ to being exempt from any physical problems. The fact is some people are just naturally predisposed to handling stress differently than others. Some people have a lower threshold for stress and thus may get depressed easier.

It’s not a character flaw, and it’s not good to blame yourself although some responsibility is needed. Your thoughts and social environment can have a large impact on your well-being but so can your natural biology.

You wouldn’t tell someone who was diabetes to just snap out of it and try and be a little tougher. They do need to eat better and exercise most likely but it doesn’t go without saying they were probably more predisposed genetically to develop the illness than others in the population. Same goes with depression.

That being said, taking an antidepressant won’t magically change your life by itself. Some willpower is needed on your part to change your thinking styles, behaviours, etc… I see people taking antidepressants but give no effort to changing their lives, and they wonder why their live is not improving. So they keep changing drugs looking for the magic bullet that will magically make their lives happy. Same goes with dieting as many people here can relate to. Taking Hot-Rox makes it easier to diet and exercise and gives you that extra boost but it doesn’t do everything for you.

It’s possible you may need a different antidepressant. Since there’s 3 neurotransmitters that are implicated in depression you may want to try some different routes. Wellbutrin targets norepinephrine and dopamine which is more energizing, where as prozac, celexa, and paxil target serotonin and tend to be more relaxing and may contribute to tiredness. Effexor targets serotonin and norepinephrine. There’s many different treatment options. The best thing to do is discuss it with a psychiatrist, as general practitioners aren’t as versed in diagnosis and treatment. See if you can get a referal if you haven’t already got one.

Good luck, I feel your pain. I have Seasonal Affective Disorder and am still learning here about this illness which has affected most of my family.

Don’t get me wrong… I am not “anti-anti-depressants.”

I gave it a pretty good crack. I refused to read anything bad about them while I was taking them b/c I didn’t want to psych myself out. But with each passing day and higher dose I felt worse so I eventually concluded that the Lexapro must be affecting me b/c nothing else had changed in my life at all. When I stopped taking them the worst of the symptoms evaporated leaving just the general fatigue that is really pissing me off. I don’t blame myself for my depression at all. I have a therapist and I am completely honest with her. Unfortunately my immeadiate family thinks it is my fault and that I chose to be depressed even though it runs rampant in my family. I am the only one who has ever been honest about it and tried to correct the problem in themselves. I am still highly functional and force my self through each day…working out 5 x’s a week, going to college full time, and holding a part time job as well as taking care of my two younger sisters. So…I kind of take it with a grain of salt when my family tells me I must have a weak will or weak character or I’d be “normal.” Only my closest friends have any clue of what I deal with b/c I try not to let most people know. I don’t want the stigma of being the “weird depressed moody girl.”

Hi, just thought I’d ring in with my 2 cents.

Started off on Wellbutrin, I beleive it was 150 mg twice a day, decided to get off of it after 6 months, made my chronic insomnia worse. made getting a good nights sleep even harder than before.
Switched to Paxil, was on it for about a year and a half, as a matter of fact its been about a month and a half since I quit. was relatively happy with it, I used to sleep more and better, I didnt feel as psychotic, maybe even a little social, but I got to where I just felt lethargic all the time. It also kills your sex drive (bummer). just felt it was time to get off of it so I pretty much quite cold Turkey. (not fun). anyway Im better now and horny again (woo hoo!!?) but Im back to my insomniac ways, at least somewhat so.

hmmm…my doc is trying to convince me to take wellbutrin…“oh I promise this time that this one will work.”

Hey Tiffy,

I posted on another thread about a book called Healing Without Freud or Prozac. (The book may have a different title in US but He has only written one book so it should be easy enough to find)by Dr David Servan-Schreiber.

“This book is an essential read for anyone wanting to avoid the drug/therapy trap”

Pretty much sums it up.

Servan-Schreiber is a respected clinical psychologist and he uses peer reviewed material to back up most of his findings.

Best of luck

Hi Tiffy~
I have struggled with depression for several years and have been on and off of many different brands of antidepressants. At the beginning of this year I started struggling pretty bad again and eventually ended up taking Lexapro. As what happened with you, I felt worse the longer I was on them and the higher the dosage I took. Worst of all was the fatigue…I am used to working out 5 days a week and it got to the point I would be lucky to work out 2 days a week. I finally decided I had had enough of that and recently wiened myself off of them. Since then my energy level has been increasing and my depression has slowly been letting up. I think it is very important to continue working with a therapist on the issues in your life (as I have been doing), and find natural ways to enhance you overall health. One supplement that can be very beneficial in eleviating depression is pharmaceutical grade Omega-3 fish oil. If you want to know the best place to get it you can PM me. I hope it helps you to know that someone knows how you feel! Hang in there.

Hey Tiffy -

Sorry you’re going through a rough time. I got off of Serzone about 6 months ago after being on for about two years. Feels good to be free of them, but I am certainly of the mind that if you’re spiraling out of control or are feeling true hopelessness, then something needs to be done (be it meds or something else).

A couple months ago, I started getting really depressed about the future. I was feeling hopeless, fatigued, etc. Instead of jumping back on the meds, I went to see a hypnotist that someone recommended to me. After a two hour session I walked out of there more hopeful than I had been in years. It was wonderful.

While I think “talk” therapy can be very beneficial, I think sometimes we have very deep rooted emotional issues that we’re not even aware of that may require extensive therapy to uncover. If anything like this comes up with me again, I am going straight to this guy. It was expensive, but very worth it.

If you decide to look into this, you’ll need to do some research and especially come to grips with any pre-conceived notions you might have regarding hypnosis (it’s nothing like you see in the movies). I would suggest reading up online and trying to find a well established provider.

Sorry to lay all this on you since you were simply asking about something to combat fatigue, but if you’re willing to give something else a try before resorting to meds again, I would definitely look into hypno. Best of luck to you.

I’ve really apprecaited the thoughtful responses. I have tried posting the same question on other sights and was told quote “just go kill yourself now and get it over with.”

I do take fish oil capsules, high quality, and I eat lots of fish. I take my vitamins and the like. I am afraid of hypnotism b/c of all the talk of them placing falso memories. Also, I don’t like the idea of surrendering control of my conscious mind even for 30 min. hee hee hee