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Old 10-04-2010, 03:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default SSRI success story (long)

Hey guys, I don't post here as much anymore as my depression/anxiety is pretty much gone so I just stopped sitting on the forums as much which tends to happen lol. Anyway, i'll get to what happened now and hopefully this can inspire some people or give them hope.

I've been on Celexa (20mg) since February 2010 and have never been on any SSRIs for my SAD/GAD. I've had anxiety ever since I can remember since I was a little kid right up until the day before my medication began working. I am 22 now, I was jobless because I was too petrified to hold a job and even when I was employed I would almost throw up everyday before work, afraid to answer a telephone, rarely left my house just played online games in my basement to escape the anxiety, I dropped out of university because I couldn't handle it because of the anxiety etc...

Well after a potentially fatal car accident last year, I got a settlement for my injuries/accident and decided I would move across the country to where my girlfriend lived (Montreal) and start a new journey. But after living off the money I received from my settlement began to dwindle, I was left with no job, an empty bank account and rent to pay. I lived off bread and macaroni for months and at times couldn't afford eggs, I was borrowing money from my mom back home to make rent and I still couldn't go get a job because of anxiety which is when my girlfriend pushed me to get help. I finally went to the doctor and was prescribed 20 mg of Celexa after suffering my whole life, I was skeptical and terrified but went with it.

Now 8 months later, I have a full time job, I can support myself, my gf and my 2 dogs, I am happy and have the drive again to get on with my life and and am working towards my career. The main reason I am making this thread is because of what happened this weekend. My girlfriend was approached by scouts to be a hair model for a large company at a fashion convention that was happening, she agreed. She went for a consultation to meet the model team, discuss what they were going to do with her hair etc... so I went with her to make sure she was safe (meeting strangers at a hotel) and was asked by the same scouts if I (YES ME) wanted to model also. I agreed to do it and felt no anxiety, I was actually kind of excited! Yes, me, the same guy who dropped out of university because he couldn't stand infront of the class or ask to join a group to do a presentation.

Not knowing what I was doing, where I was going or how I was going to do it, I showed up on the first day (no anxiety), met the team, had my hair cut and dyed (without knowing what they were doing) and then the next day showed up again without anxiety and went to rehearsals for the show, it turned out I wasn't just taking photos for a magazine or website, but I was WALKING A CAT WALK infront of a large audience and photographers with a crazy hair cut. I was excited for it and actually had a great time, when the lights were dimmed and the music was playing and my turn to walk out onto the cat walk came I was not afraid, I was actually excited and went out there with ease and comfort and enjoyed it, I did 4 more shows that day and the same thing each time! Even though we were under rehearsed (only ran through it 3 times) and had never modeled before I still managed to enjoy myself and have minimal anxiety during the whole event (being anxiously excited is normal). My point is that I did something I never imagined I could EVER do without being drunk off my *** or near unconscious from benzo sedation, I am so proud of myself and can say that I am actually happy and I hope you guys can find success too.

This was a long post, but I wanted to share how far i've come as a person in my battle against GAD/SAD and want to give you guys a little hope. I hope you enjoyed the read.

photo: http://i765.photobucket.com/albums/x...delpicjosh.jpg
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Old 10-04-2010, 03:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Thanks for posting Jcq126, it was a really lovely read, the best stories are the detailed ones. Can I ask how long did your medication take before it became effective and you felt the difference?

Good luck with any future modeling or goals in general, it's always great to hear another success story.
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Old 10-04-2010, 03:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Thanks for posting Jcq126, it was a really lovely read, the best stories are the detailed ones. Can I ask how long did your medication take before it became effective and you felt the difference?

Good luck with any future modeling or goals in general, it's always great to hear another success story.
Good to hear you enjoyed it! That's the funny thing and what makes the story more interesting in my opinion is that I don't have any modeling goals and never have which is why this is an even scarier scenario. I am a martial artist and a writer, I never have aimed to be a model it was just a random scenario that happened so I decided to go for it to really test myself and to see how far my anxiety has come and I can honestly say i've never been more proud of myself. Thank you area88!

edit: Forgot to respond to your question about the meds. Day 9 is the first day that I truly felt it kick in, I woke up one morning and the whole world just felt happy lol, like a burden had been lifted from my shoulders, after that it was all up hill.
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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congrats! I would never in a million years have the guts to model so if you were able to pull it off than that's a great sign of success.
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Brilliant post buddy! Your girlfriend seems like an amazing person for sticking with you through all of this - sounds like a keeper Enjoy life, you've earned it!
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I can certainly relate. I was on Lexapro for 7 months. Going on it was probably the biggest turning point in my life. I faced social situations and talked to people with absolute ease. I did things I wouldn't have imagined of doing. It probably literally saved my life at the time because I was at the lowest point ever the first day I took the drug.

The biggest thing I got out of it was I learned lot about myself and where I belong in life. I learned that our minds are our worst enemy. I also learned that most people will talk to me. People aren't that bad after all.

I think that is key when it comes to being on these meds - you need to observe things about yourself and people. You need to take something out of it. You just don't go with the flow and let the drug take you wherever it wants, you need to learn things from it. They should be used in conjunction with therapy.

But as of 3 days ago I finally decided to wean off. I don't think I'd be on that drug the rest of my life. It helped me, but there were definitely things I didn't like - I had limited emotional range, no sex drive, tired all the time. I added Wellbutrin and that didn't help. I'm a guitar player and I found it kind of took the edge out of my creativity. Cost is also a factor, this drug is expensive every month.

But overall I want to take the same mindset I had on the drug and translate it to "real life." Right now I can sense that its effect is fading - emotions, libido, etc are back. But I feel even better than I did before. It's like I have a new outlook on life.
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Good to hear that things are going well. There seems to be constant negativity towards SSRIs and SNRIs on this board. I felt awful while on Zoloft, but I always kept an open mind about those drugs.

Right now I'm on Effexor. Effexor almost instantly relieved the horrible anxiety I was getting while driving (which is likely PTSD). Now I'm calm and in complete control behiind the wheel again.

As I've upped the dose Effexor also seems to be helping with apathy and anhedonia. Some days it's gone, some days it's lessened, other days no change. It's only been 6 weeks or so since I've started, but it seems like the worst is behind me. Some of the side effects were/still are crappy, but the benefits outweigh the side effects. Lots of them seem to be fading, so I definitely have hope again that everything is gonna be alright.

I certainly never hated SSRI/SNRIs before, but now I'm a believer. For me I think the key for why I'm tolerating them this time is Remeron. One day I forgot to take my Remeron and felt awful the whole next day until I remembered that I didn't take it. Half an hour later everything was fine.
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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That's so amazing that medication actually worked that well for you, and props for doing what it takes to get your life back. I wish I could say the same for myself. I'm pretty similar to how you were, 22 years old, dropped outta university two years ago, bailed outta my last job last winter (from building SA that usually worsens in the winter), want a job so bad and hate living at home but sooo scared to do an interview don't think I could handle it. It's a ***** cuz life was pretty good till university for me... had friends girlfriends sports parties and now I pretty much got nothing my life is so dominated by SA. My gf finally broke up with me after 5 years, she's starting grad school OT and I'm doing **** all, and I haven't been answerin my friends' calls cuz I'm so embarassed so they mostly stopped trying after like 2 years of not seein em a whole lot.

Anyways I tried Paxil and Celexa last winter but didn't feel either of em did anything, I gave them about 3 months then quit cuz I wasn't willin to tolerate the sexual side effects if they weren't gonna help.

I just went back to the doctor and I'm tryin an SNRI Pristiq. I've been on them for a few weeks now and nothin really so far. You say your SSRI's started working for you after only 9 days? **** that must've been an awesome feeling. I'm pretty frustrated but I don't know this sort of gives me hope some medication may eventually work for me. I guess I'll try increasing my dosage and not give up just yet. I noticed in one of your other threads you were talkin about Inderal and how it was working pretty well, I'm just curious if it was workin why you switched to SSRIs? I guess for myself at some point it might be time to try another class of medication.

Just to clarify, you've never tried any therapy right??
I went and creeped on your profile lol, to see how bad **** was during your first post and how far you've come since well once again congrats.
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by pegger18636 View Post
That's so amazing that medication actually worked that well for you, and props for doing what it takes to get your life back. I wish I could say the same for myself. I'm pretty similar to how you were, 22 years old, dropped outta university two years ago, bailed outta my last job last winter (from building SA that usually worsens in the winter), want a job so bad and hate living at home but sooo scared to do an interview don't think I could handle it. It's a ***** cuz life was pretty good till university for me... had friends girlfriends sports parties and now I pretty much got nothing my life is so dominated by SA. My gf finally broke up with me after 5 years, she's starting grad school OT and I'm doing **** all, and I haven't been answerin my friends' calls cuz I'm so embarassed so they mostly stopped trying after like 2 years of not seein em a whole lot.

Anyways I tried Paxil and Celexa last winter but didn't feel either of em did anything, I gave them about 3 months then quit cuz I wasn't willin to tolerate the sexual side effects if they weren't gonna help.

I just went back to the doctor and I'm tryin an SNRI Pristiq. I've been on them for a few weeks now and nothin really so far. You say your SSRI's started working for you after only 9 days? **** that must've been an awesome feeling. I'm pretty frustrated but I don't know this sort of gives me hope some medication may eventually work for me. I guess I'll try increasing my dosage and not give up just yet. I noticed in one of your other threads you were talkin about Inderal and how it was working pretty well, I'm just curious if it was workin why you switched to SSRIs? I guess for myself at some point it might be time to try another class of medication.

Just to clarify, you've never tried any therapy right??
I went and creeped on your profile lol, to see how bad **** was during your first post and how far you've come since well once again congrats.
Thanks man! I recommend anyone to go through my post history and check out my first post to see how dramatic the change truly is. To the above poster who said he came off Lexapro and has a new outlook on life, this is what I want to do. I've learned so much about myself and others through using a small dose of Celexa. I have a genetic disposition for depression/anxiety as it runs in the family, mom has been on Paxil for 22 years, brother almost comitted suicide, uncle comitted suicide... so I do believe that it will be a life long battle with me.

Also, yes I did try therapy, I did CBT and it really didn't help me much. My chemical imbalance is what really gets me, it's not my thought pattern really as I had everything to be happy about and not anxious about, but it just has ALWAYS been this way so if I do have to take meds for the next decades to come I will, but I plan on tapering off next year and seeing if the anxiety comes back.

Once again, thank you to all who took the time to read my post, I really hope I can inspire others to have faith. I was lucky that my first try on an SSRI happened to be the "one" for me. I have zero sexual side effects, still have my emotions (I actually feel them more now that i'm not anxious to show them), I do notice my creativity is down a tad (i'm a writer), but that could just be writers block.

Good luck to everyone on there journey.
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Great news mate!!
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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For people curious:

Here is my first post/thread ever on the SAS forum, shows your my state of being.

http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/...p-badly-80462/
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Jcq - Congratulations on your amazing progress, and thanks for sharing the story.

I've had similar success from the SSRI Paxil. Have you thought about whether you want to stay on Celexa indefinitely or if you're going to stay on it for awhile and then eventually get off? It sounds like your mother has had success from Paxil, but has she noticed any negative side effects from being on it 22 years like memory or attention issues? SSRIs poop out for a lot of people, but maybe not for everybody.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:27 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Could you go into detail more in terms of your thoughts and realization as to when you realized things worked? Could it be a psychological thing, and not chemical imbalance?
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Could you go into detail more in terms of your thoughts and realization as to when you realized things worked? Could it be a psychological thing, and not chemical imbalance?
Well what happened with me was I wasn't looking for anything, I actually wanted to stop taking the medication the first week I started it as I was having really ****ty side effects but my GF convinced my to stick with it and see how I feel so I just kept popping the pill nightly and then the morning that it began working a bit it's just like the clouds disappeared and the sun came out, I had a few days of euphoria. Once I noticed the effects I was shocked as I wasn't sure if it would even help, I just had options left and I was at rock bottom.

My thought pattern before the medication was always negative and worry, worry, worry about everything. My anxiety controlled my life which made me depressed. Ever since I started to have the medication work, I noticed that I didn't necessarily think "differently", it's just that all that negativeness seemed to be muffled, and then before I knew it I was doing things without holding myself back and this event was the ultimate test for me. For me it's not just a psychological problem because I understood I had no reason to have these feelings, I challenged the anxiety asking myself why am I feeling this way, what reasons have led to this etc to try to break it down and I knew it was ridiculous but I just had the crippling anxiety still no matter what I did for my whole life, which is why I believe I do have a chemical imbalance (it's not coincidence that most people in my family have some sort of anxiety/depression symptoms/disorders).

Also, here is a picture of myself on the stage to a.) verify the story and b.) to put a photo to the story to maybe help people feel like they can do it too. You cannot see the audience from the pic really, but there were roughly 100 people.

http://i765.photobucket.com/albums/x...delpicjosh.jpg
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Thanks to you for your story, maybe I have a little renewed faith to ask AGAIN about trying a different drug combo. As I shared in another post, I felt like a NORMAL UN-DEPRESSED person for the first and only time in my life when I was on Zoloft but I had no sex drive. I guess I find it hard to understand why anyone would even conSIDER going off their meds if they help and you don't have a comletely intolerable side effect b/c this depression/anxiety has been such a lifelong issue for me. I tried to overdose 2 times when a teenager, I am now 44.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Jcq126, I've got to say it again but this really is one the nicest recovery stories I've ever read. I also suffered from horrible anxiety when things were actually going really, really well for me and it gives me hope, that with medication, I can also make a full recovery.

You're a good looking guy and actually have a typical model's profile. I bet a lot of the other model girls really fancied you. I would beg you to consider this as a possible career option, even if it was just part time. This could easily be one of your many hidden talents.
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:05 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Thanks to you for your story, maybe I have a little renewed faith to ask AGAIN about trying a different drug combo. As I shared in another post, I felt like a NORMAL UN-DEPRESSED person for the first and only time in my life when I was on Zoloft but I had no sex drive. I guess I find it hard to understand why anyone would even conSIDER going off their meds if they help and you don't have a comletely intolerable side effect b/c this depression/anxiety has been such a lifelong issue for me. I tried to overdose 2 times when a teenager, I am now 44.
Hey I am glad that I able to inspire you to keep on pushing! I really believe it comes down to finding the medication that works with you and your body. As of right now I CANNOT tell I am on medication at all. I have no side effects anymore, no dry mouth, no sex problems (if anything i'm hornier because i'm more calm now hah) everything is going great. This whole situation has really inspired me to try to help others find that it does get better and that you can find a way to get through it. I am sorry you had to go through feeling that way to the point of attempting to OD.

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Jcq126, I've got to say it again but this really is one the nicest recovery stories I've ever read. I also suffered from horrible anxiety when things were actually going really, really well for me and it gives me hope, that with medication, I can also make a full recovery.

You're a good looking guy and actually have a typical model's profile. I bet a lot of the other model girls really fancied you. I would beg you to consider this as a possible career option, even if it was just part time. This could easily be one of your many hidden talents.
Haha well thank you very much for the compliment! I actually find it somewhat funny because my hobby is actually doing martial arts and competing in fights so I am the last person to be a model, but I will admit I did have a good time! One of the model girls is my girlfriend so. I am glad you enjoy my recovery story, the road doesn't end here. I am thinking about starting my own website similar to this one and really spreading hope to everybody out there who suffers alone with these feelings.
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:16 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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One of the model girls is my girlfriend so. I am glad you enjoy my recovery story, the road doesn't end here. I am thinking about starting my own website similar to this one and really spreading hope to everybody out there who suffers alone with these feelings.
Awesome! Is she in the pic as well, can I ask which one she is? Good idea about the website Jcq126, will you have a forum as well?
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:57 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Awesome! Is she in the pic as well, can I ask which one she is? Good idea about the website Jcq126, will you have a forum as well?
Ya the main feature would be a forum. I know we have SAS but I want to run my own and my own way + promote it better so it's not as dead as SAS. She is the asian girl with the BIG frizzy hair (when looking at the photo) she will be on your right of the stage, the 2nd girl your right of me in the photo.
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Old 10-12-2010, 04:08 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Bump for some people who missed the thread and may want to read.
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