Deja vu all over again

Finally went to the doctor about my anxiety issues. I thought that anti anxiety meds were a different thing from antidepressants (which I’ve been on in the past and did not want to go on again) but apparently I was misinformed. The doctor prescribed me some fucking antidepressants. And I’m going to take them because I can’t pull myself up out of this on my own.

And, in a hilarious twist, I got her to prescribe me some new drug because I didn’t want to go back on something I’d tried before (one of the things I hated about antidepressants is that every single one I ever tried ultimately stopped working). When I went to get the prescription filled, the pharmacist said there was a much cheaper drug that worked in a very similar way and did I want that instead. Saving money is good. I said yes. And it turns out the cheaper drug he switched me to is Celexa – which I have been on before. He’d been referring to it by its generic name so I didn’t catch on.

My friend Kaija told me (and my doctor agreed) that my body chemistry may have changed, and a drug might not have the same effect on me now as it did 15-odd years ago when I first took it. But still. I’m pretty much anticipating history to repeat itself.

A month’s supply of Celexa is only $18 though so at least I’m not paying an arm and a leg for the privilege. Some of the shit I used to take was like $200/month.

Also, the doctor is gonna hook me up with some cognitive behavioural therapy and a psychiatrist (who can prescribe me a more fine-tuned cocktail of drugs if I need it). So if the Celexa does that same old thing of working at first and then petering out, I’ll probably have a backup plan in place by then.

And in addition to the antidepressants, my doctor prescribed me some sleeping pills and ordered some blood tests to make sure it’s not actually some other issue fucking me up. I like this: I like that she’s given me antidepressants right away without making me wait, I like that she’s double-checking my blood just in case, and I like that she’s given me sleeping pills to help level me out while I wait for the antidepressants to kick in (the anxiety makes it hard for me to fall asleep and when I haven’t slept I get even more anxious and paranoid, so things kinda snowball).

Even if the Celexa does the exact same thing to me that it did the first time, it might be worth it just to have that brief reprieve from the shit going on in my head. Too bad I’ll also likely have a reprieve from being capable of orgasm (which is the other issue I had with Celexa and every other SSRI I tried).

13 Comments

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13 responses to “Deja vu all over again

  1. I’ve been struggling with what sounds like similar anxiety and trying different treatments for ages. Antidepressants are most doctors’ first go-to choice. They don’t treat anxiety. Not directly. What they can do is elevate mood, which can help stop the spiraling out of control and buildup of more anxiety. They can also help when anxiety is compendium with depression.

    For me personally (and obviously I’m not a doctor, let alone your doctor; this isn’t advice) SSRIs are a very bad fit. Anxiety but not depression, and the SSRIs don’t help. There’s a sort of jittery apathy, inability to focus, and anorgasmia that comes with them (among other side effects) that are completely unacceptable.

    Another fun thing about most doctors: female patients say “I can’t orgasm,” they don’t consider it a big deal. Because they are awful.

    Benzos–Xanax, clonazepam, etc.–are highly effective at managing acute symptoms, but because they’re sedatives and highly addictive, they’re not a reasonable day to day solution.

    DRIs–dopamine reuptake inhibitors–seem to work well for me. Bupropion (usually prescribed for smoking cessation) seems to manage day to day anxiety well with no major side effects except loss of appetite. It might be worth asking about, though if you have panic attacks as well it can make them worse. I can explain mechanism of action if you like.

    I hope you find something that works for you. It’s frustrating how long it can take sometimes, but definitely worth working on. *hugs* if you need them.

    • Thank you for the hugs.

      Yeah, I dunno what to do. I don’t feel like I’m particularly depressed (although who knows; it can sneak up on me sometimes). It’s mostly just anxiety.

      Back when I took antidepressants the first time they did help with my social anxiety. Dunno if they’ll help with my “OH GOD I HAVE TOO MANY THINGS I NEED TO GET DONE I’M FREAKING OUT I THINK I’LL AVOID IT ALL AND GO ON THE INTERNET” deal.

      I don’t feel that doctors have necessarily dismissed my orgasm issues because they thought my sexual pleasure wasn’t important (although I know that does happen). I do feel that doctors I’ve had cannot comprehend the difference between anorgasmia and lowered libido. Even when I specifically say “No, it’s not a libido thing; I still get ferociously turned on. It just can’t go anywhere” they’re just like yeah, lowered libido sexual side effects blah blah blah. They weren’t getting that no, what was happening was that I’d feel 30 seconds away from coming for weeks at a time but not be able to get over the edge no matter what I did and it was fucking torture.

      Although actually a lowered libido (even with normal orgasmic functioning) would also have been problematic for me on a number of levels, so the dismissive “who cares if you want sex less often?” attitude is still shitty.

  2. Compendium should read comorbid. Autocorrect is not my friend.

  3. tkiyh

    wellbutrin(?) is supposed to be an antidepressants that not only leaves your orgasms alive, but in some cases even rises your libido? look up. also, lots of people are on anti-anxiety meds, did your doctor decide that you seem to be too well-adjusted to get them or? because they are different things. .

    • I think what she thinks of as “anti anxiety meds” are light sedatives – not things that will fix the brain chemistry that fucks me up in the first place. Are there actual anti-anxiety meds that affect the chemistry part of things? What are they called?

      I knew that about Wellbutrin, actually, and mentioned it when she told me I’d basically have to go on antidepressants. But she said it doesn’t help with anxiety as much as some of the others do.

  4. tkiyh

    nah, I was on xanax and an other one for a year, two, and I was awake enough to live my lie normally. but you will get to have a look form a second professional, too? because their expertise might be even better than mine, stranger on the internet..

  5. Irene

    I think Xanax is potentially addictive in a way that most modern antidepressants are not. For that reason it’s usually considered a short-term med to get people through especially bad patches. But I am not a medical professional, yada yada yada.

  6. Thud

    I opened this thread today intending to talk about pharmacology but now see that many others with more ‘female’ knowledge have already talked with considerable sensitivity about that, so I’ll leave it be and talk about other aspects of sexuality:

    “…the male participant’s attentions often end when the male has ejaculated, and thus the female partner might not have time to reach orgasm. In addition, premature ejaculation (PE) is common, and women often require a substantially longer duration of stimulation with a sexual partner than men do before reaching an orgasm.” I’ve found your Hitachi descriptions very helpful as my current partner is much happier now that we “took your advice” and are using the Hitachi.
    “Masters and Johnson found that men took approximately 4 minutes to reach orgasm with their partners; women took approximately 10–20 minutes to reach orgasm with their partners, but 4 minutes to reach orgasm when they (the female) masturbated. Scholars state “many couples are locked into the idea that orgasms should be achieved only through intercourse [penis-in-vagina sex],” that “the word foreplay suggests that any other form of sexual stimulation is merely preparation for the ‘main event'” and that women reach orgasm through intercourse less consistently than men. (for my own part I have been much happier, and less frustrated, since I explain quite early on in a sexual relationship that I’m not looking for simultaneous orgasms or even p-in-v sex).
    “In 1991, scholars from the Kinsey Institute stated, “The truth is that the time between penetration and ejaculation varies not only from man to man, but from one time to the next for the same man.” They added that the appropriate length for sexual intercourse is the length of time it takes for both partners to be mutually satisfied, emphasizing that Kinsey “found that 75 percent of men ejaculated within two minutes of penetration. But he didn’t ask if the men or their partners considered two minutes mutually satisfying” and “more recent research reports slightly longer times for intercourse”. A 2008 survey of Canadian and American sex therapists stated that the average time for heterosexual intercourse (coitus) was 7 minutes and that 1 to 2 minutes was too short, 3 to 7 minutes was adequate and 7 to 13 minutes desirable, while 10 to 30 minutes was too long.

    Anorgasmia is regular difficulty reaching orgasm after ample sexual stimulation, causing personal distress. This is significantly more common in women than in men, which has been attributed to the lack of sex education with regard to women’s bodies, especially in sex-negative cultures, such as clitoral stimulation usually being key for women to orgasm. The physical structure of coitus favours penile stimulation over clitoral stimulation; the location of the clitoris then usually necessitates manual or oral stimulation in order for the female to achieve orgasm. Approximately 20% of women report difficulties with orgasm, 10% of women have never had an orgasm, and 40% or 40–50% have either complained about sexual dissatisfaction or experienced difficulty becoming sexually aroused at some point in their lives.A 1994 Laumann study reported that 75% of men and 29% of women always have orgasms with their partner.

    “Approximately 40% of males reportedly suffer from some form of erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence (me, 100% of the time), at least occasionally.
    And since you have mentioned your experience with at least one partner, I’ll include : “Premature ejaculation has been reported to be more common than erectile dysfunction, although some estimates suggest otherwise. Due to various definitions of the disorder, estimates for the prevalence of premature ejaculation vary significantly more than for erectile dysfunction.For example, the Mayo Clinic states, “Estimates vary, but as many as 1 out of 3 men may be affected by [premature ejaculation] at some time.” For myself, premature ejaculation was a problem for me and my first 3 partners, in uni, marriage, and first affair partner (AP). Further, “Masters and Johnson speculated that premature ejaculation is the most common sexual dysfunction, even though more men seek therapy for erectile difficulties” and that this is because “although an estimated 15 percent to 20 percent of men experience difficulty controlling rapid ejaculation, most do not consider it a problem requiring help, and many women have difficulty expressing their sexual needs”.(doesn’t seem to be YOUR problem, tho !!!)

    “The American Urological Association (AUA) estimates that premature ejaculation could affect 21 percent of men in the United States.[93] The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or USFDA) has examined the drug dapoxetine to treat premature ejaculation. In clinical trials, those with PE who took dapoxetine experienced sexual intercourse three to four times longer before orgasm than without the drug. Another ejaculation-related disorder is delayed ejaculation, which can be caused as an unwanted side effect of antidepressant medications such as Fluvoxamine (and I had it myself with Cipralex, where I had an AP for several years but was unable to c*m in her all that time, altho with the added stimulation of hand sex , hers or mine, I was able to. Praise be to ‘jayne mansfield’, and yes, I do have nicknames for all of my lovers just as you do.

    • Andy

      “Mansplaining is a portmanteau of the words “man” and “explaining” that describes the act of a man speaking to a woman with the assumption that she knows less than he does about the topic being discussed on the basis of her gender. In 2010 it was named by The New York Times as one of its “Words of the Year.” Mansplaining is different from other forms of condescension because mansplaining is rooted in the assumption that, in general, a man is likely to be more knowledgeable than a woman.

      “The word is thought to have been first used in 2008 or 2009, shortly after San Francisco author Rebecca Solnit published an April 2008 blog post titled “Men Explain Things to Me.” In it, she did not use the word mansplaining, but defined the phenomenon as “something every woman knows,” telling the story of a man at a party lengthily describing to her a recent “very important” book, and needing to be told three or four times before taking in that Solnit was in fact its author. Solnit characterizes mansplaining as “the intersection between overconfidence and cluelessness”, rooted in a “presumption, that makes it hard, at times, for any woman in any field; that keeps women from speaking up and from being heard when they dare; that crushes young women into silence by indicating, the way harassment on the street does, that this is not their world. It trains us in self-doubt and self-limitation just as it exercises men’s unsupported overconfidence.”

      “A month later the word mansplaining appeared in a comment on the social network LiveJournal, and its usage has grown since. Since 2010, journalists have described as mansplaining U.S. Republican politicians including then-presidential nominee Mitt Romney, then-vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan and Governor of Texas Rick Perry, MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell, and various characters on the HBO drama series The Newsroom.”

      • Thud

        OK, I confess, I live at “the intersection between overconfidence and cluelessness”. All of my wives and longer-term lovers have eventually figured this out, and said so. Shorter-term (less than, say, 24 months) haven’t mentioned this character fault. Sometimes I just “like to hear the sound of my own voice”.

      • Andy, just FYI, my crush on you just doubled. 😀

  7. Thud

    Your posting has certainly provoked a lot of discussion ! 😉

  8. Thud

    When I’m agitated and can’t get to sleep I take a Gravol or the generic. There is a liquid-in-a-gel-capsule , marketed as a sleep aid , that works very well. Not the thing to take at 3am if your alarm goes off at 5:30, tho,

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