Possible new diagnosis, ongoing experiment

Shortly after I took a break from the forum, I somehow convinced my pdoc to let me try monotherapy with an AD. I can’t even remember the exact details of bargaining this experiment with her, but somehow I got her to agree to let me try it. So that’s been the experiment going on for months now. I’m on 150mg of Effexor to see if it had really been very severe depression that includes severe irritability and even psychosis at its worse.

So far I have had a complete remission of all positive symptoms. I actually cannot remember a time before in my life when my mind and emotions were as calm as they are now. It feels quite strange because I am so unused to it, it is kind of like a dream in a way.

But my pdoc and therapist are still quite skeptical and believe that my positive symptoms being in remission may just be coincidence right now, they are vigilant in asking me often if anything has returned, as though they expect it to happen any day now. They have also hinted that I may be experiencing negative symptoms because I am so calm and flat, and don’t really do much at all. It is rather difficult for me to tell the difference between negative symptom numbness and simply not being so depressed and agitated anymore. Perhaps it is a combination of both.

I guess for now the plan is to just continue to monitor me and see if anything ever returns. I’ve mostly been living in a daze, I guess, but not a miserable one.

Anyway, I still think of you all from time to time and hope you guys and gals are doing okay.


Yay @Turnip is back!

I’m glad the antidepressant is working for you.

Well done for talking you pdoc around to your way of thinking.

How is your toad habitat going?

I never did get the toads. I’ve been rather listless and just never went to get them. But I still have the habitat tucked away for a future time, no need to throw it out. Thank you for asking, though. Most of my energy and focus still goes towards caring for my dog, and I love him very much, I am quite content. We spend our days in the back yard together, or napping on the couch.

The AD definitely seems to be helping me a great deal. I guess only time will tell if it is enough on its own.


Good luck, @Turnip - the remission of the negative and agitated emotions must be awesome. Hope it keeps up, and hope you get some motivation without trade-offs.

I’m really happy to hear from you. Thanks for checking in; I was worried about you.

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Fwiw: my experience of the difference between an episode of depression and negative symptoms is sort of a difference in attitude I find myself in towards the very similar symptoms each may present me with. So there are many similarities indeed, but during my depressed episode, I was very much bothered with these and took a very negative outlook on them and life in general. My negative symptoms, obviously, suck, but do not seem to affect my mood too much, it’s more like it’s a given if that makes sense. I found depression to be rather extreme in how it affected my subjective experiences, like mood and thoughts/ideation, when compared to negative symptoms.

I found some articles that discuss the difference, the relevant passages:

Primary negative symptoms in schizophrenia have several features in common with depression, which can create diagnostic challenges.9 These include anhedonia, social withdrawal, lack of initiative, lowered energy, diminished expectations and/or self confidence, and reduced speech or activity. The main feature that distinguishes the primary negative symptom syndrome from depression is prominent blue mood, which is present in depression but not in negative symptoms. Cognitive features—such as guilt, pessimism, and suicidal thoughts—are common in depression, but usually are absent in negative symptoms.


The ‘negative’ features of schizophrenia have many clinical similarities to the syndrome of depression. Lack of energy, anhedonia and social withdrawal may cause particular problems when attempting to differentiate between the two syndromes. Observed sadness is an unreliable indicator of depression in schizophrenia. Prominent subjectively low mood, suggesting depression, and prominent blunting of affect, suggesting negative symptoms, are the two features which are most helpful in differentiating the two syndromes


Hey turnip! Glad you decided to drop by :slight_smile: and glad things are working out for you with the AD. Hope it stays that way!

Hey @Turnip - good to hear from you again. Didn’t realise you had a dog - dogs kick ass.

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Yeah he gets me through a lot of rough times, he can tell when I’m not feeling well and will cling to me, he’s a sweetie. When I first started this new medication, it made me feel so sick and exhausted that I slept the entire day. I guess according to my mother he stayed with me the whole time hehe:

I am definitely lucky to have him.


He looks cool! I also think faithful dogs can tell when you are having a hard time and will give you 100% support during those times.

Yeah I am not sure what mix of breeds he is. He was a mystery puppy from Craigslist. Maybe chihuaha and yorkie mix. He wound up having really crazy hair haha, had to get him a haircut. This was his before pic: