Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Rx Blues” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Rx Blues,” who was alarmed after discovering by accident that her boyfriend of seven years was taking an anti-depressant. She worried he’d been prescribed Paxil because he was unhappy with her and that he withheld the information from her because he knew she’d disapprove. She wondered if she should just pretend she didn’t know anything. After the jump, find out whether that’s what she decided to to.

We talked about everything a few days ago, and we’re both happier that we can talk about it honestly. His doctor prescribed it to treat his chest pains after trying a few other treatments/drugs for it, thinking that they might be caused by anxiety. He didn’t realize what it was at first (it’s a generic form, not brand name Paxil), and his doctor neglected to mention what it actually was. He was worried that I would judge him for trying it, which is what I had assumed he had thought. The chest pains have seriously lightened up, which is amazing, since he’s been dealing with that for a few months. He’s nervous about the side effects, but we’re both really happy that he’s feeling better. I have also taken to heart what several commenters have already pointed out regarding psychiatric medications, and I realize now that my rants about big pharma could seriously hurt people that I care about who might be taking these drugs. Thank you (and all of your commenters!) for your advice. I appreciate it!

 
Thanks for the update, and good luck to you both!

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at wendy@dearwendy.com with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

10 comments… add one
  • avatar

    oldie March 5, 2012, 2:59 pm

    Glad things are better with your bf. I hope he has at least talked to a cardiologist about his chest pains, before simply concluding that they were caused by stress and emotion.

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  • iwannatalktosampson

    Iwannatalktosampson March 5, 2012, 3:06 pm

    I’m glad they seem to be helping. I have been having really bad chest pains for the last month, and I was starting to get kind of worried but I was too busy to go to the doctor. I took the bar last week and ever since then they have gone away. I do not really understand how stress can lead to chest pain unless it’s a heart attack, but either way I’m glad it’s over.

    This was kind of a crazy post but I’m glad you both came to an understanding and seemed to really hear each other. I think it’s easy to be judgmental about anti-depressants until you or someone you love need them.

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    • avatar

      Callifax March 5, 2012, 5:25 pm

      My boyfriend drove himself to the ER after having chest pains while working a very stressful job. Turns out it was from the stress and anxiety! Once he quit the job, they totally went away. So I can totally see how taking the bar would cause such a reaction! Talk about stress!

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson March 5, 2012, 5:31 pm

        It was definitely a side effect of stress I was not expecting. I mean everyone knows stress can make you nauseous, break out, get headaches, but chest pains was so weird to me. I kind of thought I was dying. But I figured I didn’t have time to worry about it, haha.

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      • avatar

        Aya March 5, 2012, 10:42 pm

        Chest pains or feeling like you can’t breath are actually common symptoms of anxiety attacks.

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  • avatar

    ReginaRey March 5, 2012, 3:28 pm

    I’m glad you all were able to communicate about this!

    Just a note on chest pains and stress…I have pretty bad acid reflux that is definitely triggered by stress and emotion. While medicines can certainly help with pain, your boyfriend might also benefit from some counseling for his anxiety. I’ve found that working on what triggers your anxiety/stress, and therefore your physical ailment, is a very effective way to help prevent the pain altogether.

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  • Budj

    Budj March 5, 2012, 4:35 pm

    As someone that has minor issues with anxiety working out helps me out a lot…a good work out (if he doesn’t already) may be a good way to prevent his situation sans medication…depends on his specific situation though. I’m much more “balanced” if I am working myself physically as well as mentally.

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray March 5, 2012, 4:38 pm

      I could totally tell that you’ve been working out lately, Budj. Your comments are so firm.

      (I feel drunk again. Something about mid afternoons.)

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      • Budj

        Budj March 5, 2012, 4:44 pm

        haha actually I worked out non stop since I was 14 years old, but for the past 1.5 years I have found myself very lethargic when it comes to an exercise routine…I need to get remotivated.

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  • avatar

    S.B. March 6, 2012, 4:16 am

    @Iwannatalktosampson: it’s a blood pressure thing– when we’re stressed, blood pressure shoots up, but vessels contract (think stepping on a garden hose). When this goes on for a while, it is painful to the vessels in your chest b/c they’re quite sensitive to blood pressure changes. And now you know…
    @Budj: I went through one of those slumps too. Bleh. But sometimes just trying some new activities helps.

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