I've been taking Effexor for… months, and increased dosage to 225 mg six weeks ago so that in addition to the serotonin, the dopamine affects would kick in. Although much better, the depression is still present.
I had been on Paxil at the highest dosage (way too high, looking back, I was somewhat manic, and I feel let down by the nurse practitioner who was my provider) for many years when I had decided to try life without antidepressants. The worst idea ever. I went off it with the help of a family doctor, then the depression came roaring back. I was in pain for a solid two years before the Effexor finally stamped down the worst of it. I'm very reluctant to mess with it, but I would really rather not live out the rest of my life with depression.
I exercise, have outdoor hobbies, and good relationships with adult children. I have good psychiatric care now. I need to make more effort and control distorted thoughts. I wish I had a life partner. Life isn't perfect and I've had and have a rather ominous cloud over my head from a manic decision to invest in a stupid real estate project. But, I'd like to think I can live life without depression.
I should add that I gained weight (starved for sugar and caffeine). I had itchy scalp that has cleared. I have salivation issues now, I think it's excess, but they say it's dry mouth. Not sure what that's all about. But, I'm really sick of it. With the weight gain I have high blood pressure and cholesterol that I need to get under control. Sigh.