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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I changed my medication to wellbutrin from cymbalta to treat

Customer Question

I changed my medication to wellbutrin from cymbalta to treat my depression in bipolar. but have found my anxiety problem is a lot worse than it was before. I am in need of an anti-depressant that works for both depression and anxiety and does not cause weight gain. As you know I have tried almost all of the anti-drepressants (Effexor, Cyprylex, Paxil, Cymbalta, Pristiq, etc.) with no luck. I am on Lamictal as a mood stabilizer but have been living with the depression & anxiety for almost 10 years now. Please help me with my problem!!!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

It sounds like you do need to try another medication.

There are several you can try. A group of anti depressants called SSRI's treat depression but studies are showing that they effectively treat anxiety as well. They are easier to tolerate than trycyclic medication and cause less weight gain than other medications. Try Prozac and Zoloft. They are known to handle both depression and anxiety. They also have fewer cardiac effects than other medications.

You can also try another SSRI called Celexa (this is the brand name in the U.S. and Canada). It has some side effects including weight changes, but that could mean up or down weight change. It might be a good medication for you to try. You never know what is going to work for you so trying each medication until you find one is a good idea.

I hope this has helped,

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Have these meds worked well for other people who have a similar problem as I am finding myself so unproductive and dependent on other people and have not been able to live a normal life in so long I am beginning to feel that it is hopeless to believe that this situation will be rectified!!! I have had some manic episodes in the past and have been told that some meds may cause this to happen again. I am desperately looking for an answer so that I can get back to driving, going out on my own and will be able to stop taking tranquilizers for my problem. I have not lived a productive life in so long I am beginning to think that there might not be an answer for my problem. I am also afraid that I am running out of options....and what will happen then??

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

While medications are great to help you cope with your symptoms, you do need therapy to help you learn how to cope and to help you learn why you feel the way you do. I remember the last question we worked on together, but I cannot recall if we talked about therapy. This is a very important step for you to consider in your recovery. The therapist can address your feelings of hopelessness and help guide you on the best medication possible for your symptoms.

Also, you did mention being diagnosed with depression and anxiety. But if you are having manic episodes, then have you been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder? If you have not, then that may explain why the medication is not working as it should for you. Explore this possibility with your doctor.

Let me know if you need any more information or clarification I can help you with.


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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but have only had a few manic episodes. I mostly suffer from depression & anxiety and I am wondering if Zoloft and/or Cylexa could still be an answer for me as most of the other medications that I mentioned previously have not helped. I am also getting therapy but the problem has been ongoing for many years and I am hopeful that I will find something that will allow me to live a fairly normal life. I am on a mood stabilizer (Lamictal) but have read that an anti-depressant should be added to this. I have not tried the 2 mentioned above, and am wondering if they can be helpful if others have failed?
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Medications are essentially trial and error, even though the pharmaceutical companies will tell you that they are not. It is important to remember that medications react differently with each individual, so without trying the medication, it is going to be difficult to know if it works for you or not, especially in combination with another medication such as Lamictal.

Lamictal is not chemically related to any other medications and it is used when other medications have not been successful. The additional of an anti depressant/anti anxiety medication would most likely help in reducing the symptoms you have. Talk with your doctor about possible interactions for you.

Do you feel your therapy is helping? If not, you may need to switch therapists. Finding a therapist you feel you can work with is like finding a good doctor, you sometimes need to try a few before you feel you have one that you can work with.