An SNRI. Meant to give people a lift from depression but not to be used alone. Little capsules – mine are yellow, when shaken I can hear the granules dancing inside. I take one capsule each morning and the day begins…

Before I was taking Effexor I was on Lexapro. Lexapro had barely any impact on my depressive state. I still felt weak – mentally and physically. I got into a relationship that I couldn’t handle, I couldn’t handle life. With the relationship ending, I knew something had to change as I was becoming more unstable than I ever thought I would. I got my doctor to change my meds and Effexor is what I am now taking.

Effexor has lifted me, by this I mean, I can function, I don’t get suicidal thoughts and I can get out of bed more days than not. I don’t feel like I’m particularly happy or fixed but they’ve allowed me to live my life and not hide away from the world as before.

I'm not perfect

I’m not perfect

Effexor has its downsides. I don’t FEEL. I rarely feel actual emotion. I was in a relationship and I couldn’t connect with my girlfriend. I did like her and she’d be so good to me but I couldn’t express my happiness. I felt like a zombie and I still do. I feel nothing.In my eyes I’m a zombie, incapable of empathy. When I find something funny, I may not even smile or laugh, it’s like the connection is broken between my brain and the muscle. Some days I may walk around with blank eyes and emotionless face. I am nothing. The only emotion I feel other than nothing is anger.

Anger over silly things that don’t bother any other person – people getting in my way, people staring at me, loud people, people on the tram that touch against me and invade my personal space. Anger encapsulates me, my heart rate increases and I feel like acting out.. But I don’t. I keep it manifested inside my head and I imagine how I would release it instead. I know this isn’t normal, but what is?! Everyone has their oddities, they just don’t publicise it.

Effexor has ruined my sex drive. This is actually perfectly fine when I’m single! But it becomes a problem when you’re in a relationship. It’s difficult – I just don’t want to have sex, no desire, no energy. And the times I did have sex with my girl, I was just waiting for it to end. My heart wasn’t in it; When I really don’t want to do something, I just can’t. Depression was taking over my love life, it still is in some ways. I couldn’t orgasm; another side effect. My girl thought she was doing something wrong. I don’t think depression mixes well with a relationship. The drug certainly fucked me over here! I think it will be quite some time before I get into another relationship, not while I’m still medicated.

I am in a pickle

I am in a pickle

Always tired! Always, always!! Why must Effexor do this to me! I could sleep all day. After lunch at work, I’m drifting into slumber. One late night can throw me off for a week. I have the weirdest dreams. Definitely weirder than dreams I had pre-medicated. They’re usually dark and twisted.

Almost anything I see or read before I go to sleep will feature in my dream. I have dreams about people I haven’t seen in years and within a few days I see them in real life. I feel like half of my life has already happened in a dream. It’s an odd feeling. However, when I’m not dreaming, I’m not sleeping well. I could lie awake for hours, debating with the voices in my head yet feel exhausted and still, I can’t sleep. I take the freaky dreams over the non-sleeping all the time. Effexor, bringing me on journeys even when I’m not conscious.

Instead of physical stimulation, I’ve developed an incredible need for mental stimulation; I’m reading so much more, I’ve developed interests in feminism and politics which I never cared for that much before. My mind is hardly ever at ease and always wanting to consume more information. I have become a logical thinker with a clear mind. I see this as a good side effect, something I want to stick with me forever. The downside of this is I’m never satisfied in work. I am never busy enough, my mind wanders, I spend the day reading articles and writing and one day I’ll get caught and I won’t have a job!! My argument is that they’re not giving me enough work!! I need a constant challenge.

There is still a struggle ahead of me with Effexor; coming off it. I’ve read stories from people saying it’s not worth going on as the withdrawals are horrific but I don’t think I’d be here if I wasn’t taking it. I really can’t imagine the withdrawals; I’ve never been a smoker so I’ve never had to quit, I quit drinking quite easily but I was never an addict; Withdrawals are just not something I’ve experienced.

I can survive

I can survive

I’m afraid of coming off it and losing my mental capabilities. I’m afraid I’ll feel awfully low once more. I’m terrified of being unstable emotionally and not be the logical thinker I am now because of the drug. I am afraid of losing control of myself and not being as strong as I am now.

Will I be the person I am now when I’m not medicated or will I reverse and be the mess of a person I was and I’m so terribly ashamed of? I think about this a lot. I want to be the stronger me, but able to feel. Is this even possible? Is Effexor worth it?


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