Living With Wellbutrin            Return to Wellbutrin Page
submitted anonymously

     Before I went on anti-depressant medication, I felt despair,
fear and confusion about my life.  I was experiencing frequent
crying spells and nervousness.	I talked about my problems a lot
to two close friends.  I couldn't be still, and was tense with my
family.  The circumstances that aggravated my normal problems
included extreme job and
family stress.	I was working full time and attending graduate
school part time.  My father was very ill with emphysema.

     I decided to take anti-depressants because I felt like I was
living two lives.  I was depressed and yet couldn't stop myself
from sinful behavior.  I didn't know where to turn and couldn't
help myself or follow my friends' advice or even seek help.

     I was not functioning very well in my everyday life.  At
work I was unable to concentrate.  Socially, I didn't want to be
with people because I was afraid they could sense my problems.	I
was a tense mother, often yelling at and overdisciplining my
children.  Sexually, I was dysfunctional.  I did little or no
housecleaning.	My personal
care was the same with more attention to clothing.  I bought a lot of
lingerie.  I spent a lot of time applying makeup and fixing my
hair before leaving my home.

     My decision to take medication was based on my desperation
and fear of getting worse mentally.  The first medication I was
given was Anafranil.  My psychiatrist gave me samples, giving me
an envelope of capsules, and telling me to empty a capsule, mix
with water, drink half one night and half the next night, and
gradually increased the dosage.  I felt very jittery and more
anxious.  My doctor added buspar but this did not improve my
condition.  After a few weeks, I didn't feel better and the
medication was changed to Wellbutrin after 2 months.

     With Wellbutrin, I gradually felt better, could control my
reactions more successfully, and was able to withstand my life
which was calmer.  A low dosage of Valium was added for anxiety
and this helped tremendously.  I had a better relationship with
family members and was able to be nicer, more patient, and kinder
to my husband and two children.

     Wellbutrin took the edge off my depression.  Slowly I was
able to stop overburdening my friends by monopolizing their time
talking about my problems.  With my family, I became more active
and less tense.  I was able to get out more in social situations
without fear or guilt.	At work, I became more able to focus on
tasks and not be upset so much.

     In daily tasks, I would accomplish more and did not mind
doing chores like laundry.  Before taking medication, I would
stand in the kitchen and stare at the cabinets and oven; I was
not able to decide what to cook.  Concerning my past, I slowly
accepted my mistakes and realized that my life must continue.  I
did not blame myself as much and my self-image improved as fear
and embarrassment diminished when therapeutic medication dosage
was determined.  I was less depressed and sad and had more hope
for the improvement of my mental condition.

     With Anafranil, I was jittery and did not experience peace.
With Wellbutrin, I gradually improved and was able to sleep
better.  However, now, after 2 years of taking Wellbutrin, I
often wake up after sleeping 3-4 hours at night.  Part of this
sleep interruption pattern may be due to other health conditions
such as asthma and sinus/hay fever complications.  Sexually, my
desire increased but my responses remained about the same to my

     Before medication, I couldn't sleep well because I was
worrying about my problems.  I had obsessive thoughts and less
energy.  Now I have a normal level of energy but sometimes I am
more energetic if I better control my diet and exercise.  I did
have an increased number of headaches after medication.  I do
experience constipation, bloating and dry mouth with Wellbutrin.
I try to remedy these side effects by drinking more water, eating
more fiber and exercising.

     My medication was changed because, with Anafranil, I was
unable to forget about my problems.  With Wellbutrin, I am able
to function better in all areas of life.  I have less lethargy
and nausea.  I am more hopeful and less discouraged and don't
experience such wide mood swings.

     After a few weeks on Wellbutrin I was less panicky, cried
less, had less despair, and was able to think more clearly.
After a few months, I was able to plan activities and be around
most people without stress.  After 6-8 months I was better able
to live for the moment and did not worry so much.  Therapy was
helping.  After a year, I didn't feel like a freak for being
depressed.  I was able to look at my problems better.  After 1-2
years, I am glad I took Wellbutrin.  The future looks better and
I am approaching the readiness to make decisions and plans in
therapy.  I am still on 300 mg. daily.

     My life functions have definitely improved.  I work better
and am considering looking for a better job.  Socially, I am more
relaxed (except in church which I still avoid).  Sex is the same,
although enjoyment with my husband has increased.  I am a better,
more involved, parent.	I am cleaning house more.  My personal
care is good and I am able to diet and exercise moderately.

     Now I am more positive, have a better self-image and don't
hate myself as much.  The medications have allowed me to be more
calm, less anxious, and have less stress.  I can think more
clearly and am less likely to get stuck in unhealthy behavior
ruts.  I also am not as obsessive in relationships.  These lyrics
from a popular song express my feelings now:  "I can see clearly
now the rain has gone.	I can see all obstacles in my way.  Gone
are the dark clouds that had me bound.	It's gonna be a bright,
sunshiny day.  Look all around, there's nothing but blue skies,
look straight ahead, nothing but blue skies.  I think I can make
it now, the rain has gone."

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