Wellbutrin destroyed my soul

Wellbutrin destroyed my soul
Matt
I’d like to share my account of the complete and total destruction of my soul as a result of antidepressant withdrawal. I didn’t even think such a thing was possible, but I now know that it is.
I’d been on a high dosage of Wellbutrin (generic: Bupropion) for 5 years for depression. I decided to stop taking it because I felt it was losing its effect and I was becoming apathetic. In the months that followed my withdrawal, I gradually began losing my ability to feel emotions. When a close relative died and I could literally feel nothing towards this event, I knew something was wrong.
That is when I decided to reinstate the drug, as I thought I might have been better while taking it. Strangely, reinstating the drug for a month did not help, but instead made things worse. I felt like I kept losing more and more of myself inside. This confused me, and I didn’t know what to do. When I stopped the drug again and reinstated a second time, I experienced one tremendous day of improvement followed by a seizure while sleeping, and waking up in a confused state. After this I regressed and felt completely dead inside.
This waking up in a confused state happened 2 more times, once in May 2010 and once in September 2010. Both of these were preceded by sudden improvements. But upon waking I felt like I had lost a basic part of my self. Not just feelings, but the core of my being. What I felt to be the complete and final destruction of my inner being happened on September 7th, 2010, and there hasn’t been a change since (it has now been 6 months).
I’ve been in an extremely peculiar state for the past 6 months. I have literally lost everything inside of me and no longer have a sense of ”inner being”. My personality has been completely erased, along with the inner psyche I’ve spent a lifetime building. When I attempt to ”look inside”, it is impossible because there is literally nothing there. Everything that made up my specific sense of personal being is gone, including including my hopes, fears, dreams, goals, opinions, values, morals, likes/dislikes, and most strikingly, all emotions and feelings.
I have no feelings associated with past events, and no emotional connections with anything in the world. Specific emotions that defined my personal sense of being are no longer there. People, places, things and events that I thought were etched in my soul as having significance no longer mean a thing. Absolutely nothing, I can’t stress this enough.
I am unable to look backward or forward, have no sense of past accomplishments and no desire for future ones. The strangest thing is, I cannot feel anything toward being in this state, as that part of me is gone too. It’s like a recursive erasure of everything I ever was, am, and will be.
It doesn’t feel like life is a conscious experience that I am having anymore, as there is no inner construct within me to absorb an experience on any level. I see, hear, touch, and smell, yet each of these is so devoid of emotional content that they don’t coalesce into anything meaningful I can call a human consciousness. My sense of being has been replaced by a constant void of nothingness that is unchanging, 24/7, I feel nothing towards the nothingness. It is not like feeling empty inside, there is no inside to feel empty within.
Obviously, antidepressants affect neurotransmitters. Maybe my neurotransmitters were severely imbalanced by the manner in which I withdrew, along the seizure(s) (there is only one I am sure of). What I don’t understand is how a neurotransmitter imbalance could completely erase me as a human being. What I’m experiencing is not depression, anhedonia, or flat affect, but a permanent change in my consciousness that literally destroyed my humanity. All the parts that made up my being are literally gone. I don’t understand how this is even possible, or what (if anything) I can do to change it. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

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Wellbutrin (generic: Bupropion)

Wellbutrin (generic: Bupropion)
Matt
I’d like to share my account of the complete and total destruction of my soul as a result of antidepressant withdrawal. I didn’t even think such a thing was possible, but I now know that it is.
I’d been on a high dosage of Wellbutrin (generic: Bupropion) for 5 years for depression. I decided to stop taking it because I felt it was losing its effect and I was becoming apathetic. In the months that followed my withdrawal, I gradually began losing my ability to feel emotions. When a close relative died and I could literally feel nothing towards this event, I knew something was wrong.
That is when I decided to reinstate the drug, as I thought I might have been better while taking it. Strangely, reinstating the drug for a month did not help, but instead made things worse. I felt like I kept losing more and more of myself inside. This confused me, and I didn’t know what to do. When I stopped the drug again and reinstated a second time, I experienced one tremendous day of improvement followed by a seizure while sleeping, and waking up in a confused state. After this I regressed and felt completely dead inside.
This waking up in a confused state happened 2 more times, once in May 2010 and once in September 2010. Both of these were preceded by sudden improvements. But upon waking I felt like I had lost a basic part of my self. Not just feelings, but the core of my being. What I felt to be the complete and final destruction of my inner being happened on September 7th, 2010, and there hasn’t been a change since (it has now been 6 months).
I’ve been in an extremely peculiar state for the past 6 months. I have literally lost everything inside of me and no longer have a sense of ”inner being”. My personality has been completely erased, along with the inner psyche I’ve spent a lifetime building. When I attempt to ”look inside”, it is impossible because there is literally nothing there. Everything that made up my specific sense of personal being is gone, including including my hopes, fears, dreams, goals, opinions, values, morals, likes/dislikes, and most strikingly, all emotions and feelings.
I have no feelings associated with past events, and no emotional connections with anything in the world. Specific emotions that defined my personal sense of being are no longer there. People, places, things and events that I thought were etched in my soul as having significance no longer mean a thing. Absolutely nothing, I can’t stress this enough.
I am unable to look backward or forward, have no sense of past accomplishments and no desire for future ones. The strangest thing is, I cannot feel anything toward being in this state, as that part of me is gone too. It’s like a recursive erasure of everything I ever was, am, and will be.
It doesn’t feel like life is a conscious experience that I am having anymore, as there is no inner construct within me to absorb an experience on any level. I see, hear, touch, and smell, yet each of these is so devoid of emotional content that they don’t coalesce into anything meaningful I can call a human consciousness. My sense of being has been replaced by a constant void of nothingness that is unchanging, 24/7, I feel nothing towards the nothingness. It is not like feeling empty inside, there is no inside to feel empty within.
Obviously, antidepressants affect neurotransmitters. Maybe my neurotransmitters were severely imbalanced by the manner in which I withdrew, along the seizure(s) (there is only one I am sure of). What I don’t understand is how a neurotransmitter imbalance could completely erase me as a human being. What I’m experiencing is not depression, anhedonia, or flat affect, but a permanent change in my consciousness that literally destroyed my humanity. All the parts that made up my being are literally gone. I don’t understand how this is even possible, or what (if anything) I can do to change it.
Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Emotional Blunting: British Journal of Psychiatry

NOTE BY Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org): Studies like these make me crazy!!!! Why? Talk about OBVIOUS!!! Why do you need a study?! Here are their reasons for doing so and what they intended to learn. Continue reading and I will tell you where they are missing the mark with this one.

Paragraphs three & four read:

Background:
Some people who take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants report that their experience of emotions is ‘blunted’. This phenomenon is poorly understood.

Aims:
To understand patients’ experiences of this phenomenon.

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy CONTINUED:

1. Are emotions and consciousness blunted when you are under anesthesia?

2. The SSRI antidepressants are almost identical to the dissociative anesthetic, Serynl, first introduced in 1957 by Parke Davis Pharmaceutical. It was accompanied by studies showing it to have a “large margin of safety in humans.” Today we know the drug as PCP, Angel Dust, etc. Law enforcement, not physicians, got the drug pulled from the market due to the high number of extremely violent outbursts caused by the drug.

3. Patients coming off SSRI antidepressants commonly report that they feel as if they are coming out from under anesthesia.

4. Many patients taking the antidepressants report not being able to bond to their own babies due to this emotional blunting when given an antidepressant for Post Partum Depression after birth.

5. Patients have also reported stopping the use of the antidepressants because of the emotional blunting (for years these have been known among patients as the “I don’t give a damn” drugs). I recall one patient coming to me years ago and telling me she got off her antidepressant because she realized that she could drive off the road with her children in the car and care less. Nothing mattered.

So, my question is, if you are putting someone on antidepressants that will over time put you gradually into an anesthetised state, wouldn’t you expect “emotional blunting”?!

http://bjp.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/abstract/195/3/211

The British Journal of Psychiatry (2009) 195: 211-217. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.108.051110
© 2009 The Royal College of Psychiatrists

Emotional side-effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: qualitative study

Jonathan Price, DPhil, MRCPsych, Victoria Cole, MSc and Guy M. Goodwin, FMedSci DPhil

University of Oxford Department of Psychiatry, The Warneford Hospital, Oxford, UK

Correspondence: Jonathan Price, University of Oxford Department of Psychiatry, The Warneford Hospital, Oxford OX3 7JX, UK. Email: jonathan.price@psych.ox.ac.uk

Declaration of interest

J.P. has received grants and honoraria from Servier and is a former shareholder in a UK company marketing a computerised CBT package for depression. G.G. has received grants from Sanofi-Aventis and Servier in the past and recent honoraria from AstraZeneca, BMS, Eisai, Lundbeck and Servier. He is a current advisor for AstraZeneca, BMS, Lilly, Lundbeck, P1Vital and Sanofi-Aventis, and a past advisor for Servier and Wyeth.

Funding

Servier, the funders, were able to comment on initial study design, but had no role in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, and no role in the writing of the manuscript. Servier have a research programme for the development of psychotropic compounds, including antidepressants. Although they were able to comment on the final manuscript, no changes were introduced as a result of their comments, and they had no influence on the decision to submit the paper for publication. The researchers were, therefore, independent of the funders.

Background

Some people who take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants report that their experience of emotions is ‘blunted’. This phenomenon is poorly understood.

Aims

To understand patients’ experiences of this phenomenon.

Method

Qualitative study, gathering data through individual interviews, a group interview and validation interviews; and searching patient websites for relevant posts.

Results

There was strong evidence that some people taking SSRIs experience significant emotional symptoms that they strongly attribute to their antidepressant. These emotional symptoms can be described within six key themes. A seventh theme represents the impact of these side-effects on everyday life, and an eighth represents participants’ reasons for attributing these symptoms to their antidepressant. Most participants felt able to distinguish between emotional side-effects of antidepressants and emotional symptoms of their depression or other illness.

Conclusions

Emotional side-effects of SSRIs are a robust phenomenon, prominent in some people’s thoughts about their medication, having a demonstrable impact on their functioning and playing a role in their decision-making about antidepressant adherence.

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