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I find myself weirdly cheerful tonight. The depression is still there, a disturbingly real/unreal physical presence--instead of a phantom limb, I've got a phantom anvil--but I'm sort of freakishly cheery under it.

It is a complex emotion, and I don't want to examine it too closely for fear of spooking it off.

Still, I had a Baptist missionary try to convert me this morning, (and derailed him with my fictional Catholicism and a joke about the Virgin Mary appearing in a waffle) went to the webcomics coffee clatch for lunch, had dinner with friends, and bought a fabulous Barong hanging--looks like a big demonic figure with a barong face, carrying a woman under one arm. I saw it in a weird headshop in Greensboro and said "I MUST OWN THAT!"  So it was a strange but good day, all around.

Most of the side-effects have faded. I'm still a little faint/queasy in the mornings, but other than that, I'm pretty well back to normal. The exception is appetite--I'm starting to wonder if I'll be one of these people who never get hungry again on Effexor.  I literally haven't felt hungry in a week. It's...not  as fun as you'd think, actually. I mean, sure, you think "Yay! Way to lose weight!" but I actually had no idea how much hunger relates to enjoyment of food. At this point, meals are only marginally better than cardboard. Very little appeal at all. It's not unlike being just slightly queasy ALL THE TIME.

Thank god Deb keeps reminding me "You should be hungry now!"  Once I move out, if this turns out to be permanent, I'll have to set a timer on my computer or something.

It's worth it if it fixes t'ol brain chemistry back to normal again, mind you, but it's a weird experience.  Still, I'm feeling rather okay tonight, and I can live like this for six months if it gets me over this bad patch.

Good to hear things are going well. :) I've got that oddly cheerful thing going on, despite being in moderate amounts of pain due to contractions.

What was the joke about the Virgin Mary and the waffle?

Look at the bright side--you have met the wall of your limits, and survived. A lot of people don't. Kudos to you.

Hey, good news! *clapclap*
I'm glad to hear it!
Maybe you should try going to weird shops more often. If you were in the area, I'd recommend hitting up the flea market down here in Mobile (which is seriously a great way to spend three or so hours on a weekend. Yes, it really is that big).
Anyway, the end of my day just gave a little fillip, knowing you're doing better!

Yay for feeling cheerful!

I've heard this sort of thing described by other folks, and sort of been there myself, but you just hit the nail on the head with the descriptions, as usual! The next time I have one of those bits, I'm going to use the phantom anvil metaphor.

A Strange but Good Day, per usual.

Sure, flee the missionary, then purchase a demonic carving to protect your door.

Re: A Strange but Good Day, per usual.

Well, yes!

Loss of appetite is one of my key clues that I'm spiraling into depression (again). Of course, something similar happens when I'm deeply involved in work-- I just /forget/ to eat. Until I stand up and almost pass out. Forgetting to eat + hypoglycemia = bad bad bad.

Sometimes I think I enjoy food so much now (and occasionally binge eat) as a reaction to how scared I feel when I /don't/ feel hungry. Depression sucks. You're a stronger person than I was, to face it and get help.

Good luck, get better!

IAWTC. Ditto. That's me. When I weigh myself, and freak out that I'm losing weight that I didn't have to start with, but I can't be bothered eating, or have no appetite... Yeah. Tells me there's something going on in my brain that is Not Good. And when you go "Yeah, I'm a bit dizzy, I really should have eaten three or four hours ago, and I'm now going to go out and dance and dance and dance until well past the point where I should have sat down because I hadn't had either lunch or dinner..." I come home and I'm still not hungry, but I crave vegemite on toast.

Or I'm on the reflux medication that does that to me.

You might find the next day or so that things will either be strangely fascinating or find yourself giggling at odd things. It will go away in a few hours. Also, when you go up the dose, you may find it happening again.

I'll probably be going up in dose myself soon, since my own anxiety is bugging me, though depression is fine. I look forward to that strange day of giggling or being fascinated by the carpet.

Good luck, Ursula. I'm glad you are doing better.

I had the no-appetite thing going once. It lasted a whole week, and the smell and sight of food made me nauseous. No other symptoms. I missed eating SO MUCH. I love food, with all its tastes and smells and textures. It was awful. I empathise fully.

Oddly enough, I also do not feel the sensation of hunger. I cannot recall a time I ever felt hunger. I always stacked that behind the fact that I've had a lot of traumatic experiences regarding food growing up that has made me very gun shy about eating and has enforced me to wolf down food voraciously whenever the opportunity arises with little or no pleasure. Perhaps it's more a symptom that goes along with my depression. I'll have to look into it.

I can live like this for six months if it gets me over this bad patch.

My uncle always says "You can endure anything for six months*."

*(insert proposed ammount of time here. It's an adaptable philosophy.)

See, now I'm just getting images of some mad little figure with a grin from the far side of sanity being squashed beneath one of those ACME anvils from the Roadrunner cartoons...

two meals a day plus however much boost or ensure (i only like the chocolate kind - also, bottles are resealable and can be sipped a little at a time) it took to make up the caloric difference kept me from dying when i started on modafanil. i still don't eat as much, even one year later, but i could enjoy food after a month or two. my grandmother's death three weeks in might have made the bad-ness last longer than it would have otherwise. the point is, even if appetite doesn't resume manifesting itself in the old ways (or at all), enjoyment often returns. i'll be crossing my fingers for you. intermittently, of course, since i can't very well write papers or take notes with crossed fingers, so if you experience only intermittent improvement, i hope you will forgive me. ;)

I also had appetite trouble on Effexor, but I'm not sure if it was one of the other meds or depression itself to blame, as I'm off everything now and still having difficulty. (For me it's probably depression, as I have no appetite but get occasional compulsions to eat even when full these days.)

Just be careful to remember to eat while it lasts--having a friend remind you is good--because sometimes I'd forget and end up feeling dizzy and lacked energy.

It's not a fun place to be, I hope you get your appetite back.

More thoughts on Effexor.

Effexor hated me--five days in, my mood swings were worse, my brain itched (don't ask), my pupils were the size of dimes, and my BO had gone from Normal Human Funk in Two Days to Smelling Like a Dead Skunk Thirty Minutes After Showering.

Lexapro, OTOH, just gave me insomnia and chemical anorexia for a few weeks. And then, miraculously, I could eat/sleep again AND I stopped wanting to stab my eyeballs out.

It'd be nice if would figure out the vagarieties of brain chemistry already. As it was, it took me ten years to try another SSRI after Effexor because I thought they'd all have the same side effects.

Well, on the bright side, being hungry will always be a little bit better from now on, now that you know just how much of a spice to life it is =)

Have you tried eating yogurt? I went through a bad spell that left me with no appetite. I was told by a nurse to eat yogurt to get health bacteria into my digressive tract. It worked for me.