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Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Do you know if you have had a nervous breakdown

 imadeyton - Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:17 pm

I have been taking Wellbutrin XL 300 mg for depression for over a year. Within a few months I started experiencing extreme anxiety and OCD. I have never been diagnosed with either. Could this be from the medication or am I having a nervous breakdown? I don't feel normal!
 Dr. K. Eisele - Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:46 pm

User avatar Dear Imadeyton:

Wellbutrin is a medication that can be activating, meaning that for many people, it is not the best choice for people who have anxiety disorders. It sounds like you did not have anxiety until after you began taking Wellbutrin, though. There are two possibilities:

1. Your symptoms of anxiety and OCD may have been caused by Wellbutrin, in which case, discontinuation and/or switch to another anti-depressant, under the supervision of your physician, would probably be helpful.

2. Your symptoms of anxiety and OCD were there, underlying and masked by, your symptoms of depression. Now that the depression has been treated, these symptoms have now declared themselves. If this is the case, a switch to a different anti-depressant, under the supervision of your physician, is a good idea.

You also asked about nervous breakdowns. This is a term that is rarely used by psychiatrists these days. It used to be the term of choice many years ago because it was nonspecific and psychiatric disorders were not as well-described as they are now. Usually, the nervous breakdown means depression and/or anxiety that has become incapacitating and deserving of hospitalization.

Good luck and feel free to ask more questions if necessary!
 Dr. E. Seigle - Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:48 pm

Dear imadeyton,

I am in complete agreement with Dr. Eisele regarding the Wellbutrin being a strong suspect in causing your experiences of anxiety. Talk to your doctor about possibly gradually lowering the dose, and symptoms of depression return while anxiety improves, adding an alternate, calming anti-depressant.

-Dr. Seigle

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