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My story...please help!
rrp495 posted:
Hello. I've suffered with depression, manic attacks and anxiety for the past 5 years. Several things started happening around then that brought all the typical symptoms associated with the things above to the surface. My (now) son came out to us that he was transgender. My mother suffered a massive stroke. My brother went through a mid-life crisis, had and affair and divorced his wife, who I was very close to.
My first stint with therapy was mainly centered around mindfulness and stress reduction. So basically, coping skills. I started taking one of many different antidepressants around that time. Things seemed OK after about a year. I remained taking my meds and life was "great".

While my son was going through his transition from female to male my wife became friends with a transgender male to female person. Since my wife was "mourning" a daughter and saw and opportunity to do all those "girly" things (makeup, hair, shopping, etc) she jumped at the opportunity....fully.

It's been about a year and a half since this friendship started and it has only gotten more time consuming for my wife. It has (amittedly by my wife) become a mid-life crisis for her. When my son came out to us my wife and I needed each other for support I dropped everything to make myself available to my family. I lost all my friendships, stopped going out, etc. I just went to work and came home to support my family however necessary. When my wife took this "left turn" in her life I continued to go "straight". I didn't know what to do. I felt cast aside and unwanted. This cause me a lot of anxiety and anger at the situation. Unfortunately, I did not do a good job of controlling either and ended up pushing her away even more. She felt that she wanted to be around "happy" people more than me. Recently she told me that I was no longer her best friend. This was the beginning of the downward spiral for me.

Over the past 5 months things have only gotten worse. I had a med change from Effexor to Remeron because of the sexual side effects. Remeron relieved the side effects, but did not do a good job at stabilizing my mood. So, just a couple of weeks ago I started to ramp down on Remeron and up on Effexor. I had stopped going to therapy because of a change in insurance and co-payments.

About 1 week into the change back to Effexor I started checking into my insurance to make sure my kids were covered in case I wasn't there. I wrote a series of notes indicating where I was in my mind and what I intended to do. On 3/4 I made a threat to harm myself to my wife and she called 911. I ended up in the emergency room and then in the psych unit of a local hospital. I spent 5 days there "getting stabilized". While there my wife was concerned about having me home because she "did not know how to live with a person with a mental illness". I was switched from Effexor to a combination of Lamictal 50 mg and Wellbutrin 200 mg.

I was released from the hospital last week. The meds seem to sometimes work, but for the most part I feel very anxious with racing thoughts most of the time. I've been told by my wife that I need to do things to help myself. She says she supports me and loves me (right now), but that she has thought about being on her own. She has not told me she wants a divorce. I have told her that I'm working as hard as I can to save our relationship. She will not go to couples counseling with me. She wants to go to her own sessions.

Sorry about the long winded post, but I feel that I need support outside of my family and my therapist. My Psych Nurse told me to go up to 75 mg of Lamictal on Wednesday, then up to 100 mg a week after. I don't see him again until 3/30.

I just want to know if the constant anxiety and racing thoughts are normal with the Lamictal and Wellbutrin combo and whether I can expect them to go away after some time.

Please let me know what your experience is with this combo.

Thanks for listening!
ria65 responded:
Oh my goodness, you've been through a lot recently. You should be proud that you've been able to keep it together as much as you have. I've taken both Lamictal and Wellbutrin and I don't think these meds should cause anxiety or racing thoughts. Lamictal is a mood stabilizer so maybe increasing that med might help. Wellbutrin is one of the more energizing anti-depressents, which you may be experiencing as anxiety. You could continue with Wellbutrin and maybe add a daily anti-anxiety med like Adivan or Zanax, or maybe a different anti-depressent would be better for you, like possible Lexapro or Cymbalta. Neither Wellbutrin or Lamitical are strong SSRI's (selective seretonin reuptake inhibitors) so maybe you need more of that. Whatever you decide, just make sure you follow the doctors orders when adding or changing meds. Cut yourself a little slack right now, you are dealing with a lot and it will take time for the medication to fully work. Too bad you wife won't do marriage counselling, it could be a big help for both of you. Good Luck!
rrp495 replied to ria65's response:
Thanks for the reply. I was given Ativan .5 mg to take 3 times a day as needed. I think while I was at the hospital they were giving me 1 mg just before going to bed and I was sleeping pretty well there. My main concern with the Ativan is the possible dependency. So, I only take it just before going to bed. Today has actually been a pretty good day as far as the anxiety is concerned. It has helped to read other people's experiences.
Takachillpill responded:
Hi rrp495,

I hope you are doing well. I've been diagnosed with depression a year ago. I never expected it to happen to me, but it did. I'm now with my 3rd Phychiatrist. I'm currently using Citalopram which is for depression & panic attacks. I'm still getting panic attacks & it feels like I'm in hell. I can literally commit homocide. When I do get it, I'm too scared to be alone. I'm a different person. The PMS is also making it worse. I take largactal [ativan> for it & it helps. I've been a total wreck last year. I walked and acted like a zombie. People who saw me last year say I look much better, but really inside I'm disgusted by myself. I feel like a failure. I feel like a bad mother. People who don't have it say pull yourself together, but they are not in our shoes. I still not feel like my old self. I'm anxious since January when I started on citalopram.
rrp495 replied to Takachillpill's response:

Sorry to hear your story. I can relate. My main problem has been since my wife took that turn in her life that I don't feel like I matter any more. Today, for example, she gets out of work at 3 PM. Right from work she is going out with her friends to a bar to celebrate St. Patrick's day. Instead of waiting for me to get home and maybe doing something together and with her friends. I get to go home tonight, make dinner for my sons, and maybe take the dog for a walk. Since she probably won't be home still after all that, I'll probably watch some shows that I would like to catch up on.
I do feel better today. It feels like the Wellbutrin is kicking in...finally! This is the best I've felt in two weeks. Just some slight anxiety when I think about my wife being out and about. She has been drinking more, I've noticed, which worries me. Every time I walk in from work she has a huge glass of wine that she will drink and then refill in time for dinner. This happens every night. Now she is also going out with friends at least twice a week in which drinking is involved. Every night she falls asleep while watching TV with me and she wonders why she is so tired. I really care about her and don't want anything bad to happen to her (like get in an accident or pulled over for DUI). I really worry.
Being at work, at least, is distracting for now. As long as I can keep may racing thoughts in control.

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