If this was a one time occurrence and had happened with no planning, there might be a slim possibility. I still don't buy it, but I do grant that ADs affect you behavior. I don't believe to the point of losing self control, especially not if you're checking in with yourself and a prescribing doctor like you should.
This WH has played the WS script to a T though. Rewriting the M, protecting the OW, TT, blameshifting...
If SSRIs lead to cheating, then we would have seen this more on this site. I've been here since Jan '07 and this is the first I have ever heard of it. SI is a place with a high population of infidelity (obviously) and a high population of people taking ADs. Yet none of the hundreds, thousands of BSs who had to go on ADs have ever reported uncontrollable cheating as a side effect. IMO, if any population would be susceptable to this particular side effect of SSRIs, it would be BSs. A large percentage of us are tempted to have revenge affairs as a result of the A. If SSRIs have a potential side effect of creating an altered mental state that led to unpredictable behaviors when exposed to a certain stimuli, this would be the population you would see instances of it happening.
No, what you see instead is someone not owning their shit. SSRIs didn't cause him to lock his phone. Didn't cause him to abandon his pregnant wife, rewrite M history and say he hadn't been in love for years...
Not being able to control himself didn't result in a very controlled coverup story before he started blaming the meds. You don't hide three As (hairdresser, Walmart med, conference chick) if you are unable to control your behavior. If SSRIs caused a person to be unable to distinguish right from wrong and lose control of their choices, this would be manifesting in other ways besides infidelity.
"He cut me off officer, so I rammed my car into him."
"The dress was just my size and went with my shoes so I took it."
"My kid wouldn't shut up so I locked her in a closet."
Yet, millions of people on SSRIs...and they manage NOT to forget the basic rules of society, or right and wrong. They manage to make choices and own the wrong ones.
The one thing I do want to tell you though is that for a certain subset of people being on the drug you mentioned can have some profound and significant side effects that most people would never imagine. It is truly an evil drug in my case because everything your H is describing happened to me. The feeling of alienation and an altered mental state were very real, even though no one would ever realize it talking to me. I did not cheat on my husband but I definitely could have while on that drug but the way that I felt about him at the time, if presented with an opportunity to do so, I probably would have. It gave me a feeling of invincibility that everything I did was okay and the rest of the world was a bunch of idiots, and as weird as that sounds I even knew while that was happening that it wasn't right, that I shouldn't feel that way, but I didn't know what to do because when I didn't take it like if I forgot, the withdrawal was horrible.
It felt like I was trapped in a hell that I couldn't get out of except to go through actual physical withdrawal which is what I finally did, and it took a month of brain zaps, blurry vision, vomiting, chills, anxiety, etc. the funny thing is that after getting that crap out of my system I never felt better, and I haven't needed another SSRI since. I have vowed that I will do anything else before I would ever try another one because of that experience.
I am not condoning your H's affairs, but it is not as cut and dry as some people would have you believe. Did Effexor make him cheat, no, of course not, but could it have changed him enough to open up that possibility? Of that, I believe it could.
The way that you described some of his reactions and his statements gave me the chills because I remember feeling the exact same way.
I hope the two of you can work through this if that is what you want, and I do hope the birthday of your baby is one of the happiest days of both of your lives!
There are two things I'd like to address here. One, yes, effexor really can (and has for everyone I know who have been on it) cause pstchosis. It did with me, I really went completely psychotic. If anyone wants details on that, please feel free to pm. The second thing is, I, and everyone else I know who have been on it, have bipolar disorder, and certain anti-depressants, especially if not properly combined with a mood stabilizer, can bring on severely altered manic/mixed states that can cause people to behave very erratically. Now, all that being said, you do recognize that you're behaving erratically, and you can get help before you do anything damaging, like have an affair, but only if you're willing to admit to yourself that you are in fact no longer in control of your behavior. There are a lot of people I know, especially the very "need to be in control" ones, who are not willing to admit that to themselves, and so the erratic behavior continues until they get "caught", in whatever manor (legally, relationship, etc.), and they pull out the "I didn't know what I was doing, I wasn't in control of myself!"card. So, yes, it can cause you to not be in control, but no, it its not a valid "why". Also, I would strongly suggest getting evaluated for bipolar disorder, which can be very mild in terms of mood swings and such, but can end up raging out of control if improperly medicated due to improper diagnosis, if that makes sense.
Since stopping the Effexor nearly ten years ago I have not had any major depressive episodes even though the last four years have been extremely difficult what with my H cheating on me and all of the fallout of him coming to terms with his bipolar diagnosis, trying to find the correct medication to help him, as well his being hospitalized for a severe manic state.
Effexor made me a different person than I am. Like I said it made me feel invincible, but it also made me mean, emotional, and I craved alcohol while taking it. I was a mess, and unfortunately it took me a long time to realize how bad it really was because I believed that it was helping me, and then I was afraid to stop because of the horrible withdrawal.
Psychosis is NOT selective only for behaviors that support infidelity and the concealment thereof. It is evident in other arenas, NOT just locking phones, hiding evidence, etc. There woukd have been ample evidence of difficulties.
Trotting out the SSRI Defense after 3 well-concealed affairs, a marital rewrite, and textbook cheater behavior does NOT suggest SSRI-related psychosis. It suggests blameshifting and not owning one's shit.
But we're not hearing ANYTHING that describes a drug- or depression-mediated psychosis.
An Effexor-mediated psychosis would be hugely evident across all arenas of life. It would not be limited to emotional and sexual infidelity and the behaviors required to conceal them.
What we're hearing of is a guy who had three affairs, and landed on the SSRI Defense after the textbook marital rewrite and blameshifting didn't work as well as he would have liked (as tends to happen when you have 3 affairs in short order).
Psychosis is not something that slips by unnoticed, only detected when a wife learns of infidelity.
It's natural to want to understand, to have a reason for infidelity. But really, we can't make sense out of nonsense.
And this guy's affairs and coverups are sheer nonsense.
Should he talk about his antidepressant therapy with a qualified doctor? Certainly. I'd recommend IC, as well.
There might be a better med for him. There might not.
But there IS a better way to deal with infidelity. Blaming it on meds is cowardly and lame. And acceptance of this explanation because it's somehow easier is a prescription for prolonged pain.
Luckily (or not so luckily...hell pregnant BSes are NOT lucky at all), you are very close to delivering. I had a good 3 more months to not only stress over my situation, but stress about my stress affecting my baby. Three months of barely eating, crying constantly, and my husband being a total ass. Luckily my daughter is perfect. I know it is hard, but try not to focus on him. Focus on you and your new baby. I had a very hard time taking this advice, it got to a point where I didn't want to be pregnant anymore, I didn't want any of it. When I should have been ooohing and ahhing over the new life moving around inside of me, I was wishing I was dead. I'm not saying it'll be any easier after birth, but you will be able to get meds yourself if needed, and get a family member to help you with the baby so you can go cry your eyes out for an hour without worrying about stressing your unborn child out. TELL SOMEONE YOU TRUST. Even if you can't yet tell them the whole story, tell them ya'll are having issues and need and extra pair of hands after birth.
I am soo sorry you have to go through this, especially in one of the most vulnerable times of your life. Pregnany is supposed to be a happy time for a woman, however, when this happens, it is VERY hard to enjoy it at all. I STILL can't believe my H did this to me while I was preggo with our first (and planned!!) child. I take Wellbutrin and Concerta and there has never been a time where I felt compulsed to do something I wouldn't normally do, nor has there been a time where after I did something, I thought 'why the hell did I do that??? Must be the meds.'. Now memory loss and forgetfulness on the other hand...Ihave also heard some people say it lowers/raises their libido...but doesn't MAKE them act on it. I also agree with what everyone is saying. He is trying to blame his A on his meds. They find any excuse they can when they are first discovered. It seems most of them are pretty creative too.
[This message edited by Tired05 at 6:47 AM, June 24th (Monday)]
I work in the field (no, it didn't keep my wife from cheating on me and I didn't understand what was happening at the time because she didn't want to talk about her treatment and her med dose had been increased...of a very common antidepressant), but I've treated a lot of people and heard every story you can imagine, from people having little or no memory of long periods of time (I've personally treated someone who was out of it for 2 months and was hospitalized until his brain function normalized and he realized where he was,luckily I wasn't the prescriber).
I recently treated someone who was convinced that they had won something, and was trying to claim it, caused by Prednisone, this person had to be hospitalized and placed in a residential facility with locked doors for nearly a month, until the delusion cleared, which is where they met me.
I had no idea that some day I was going to live my work.
Character/Personality changes, it happened to my wife when she was placed on an antidepressant and her change was that she wanted me to leave, actually wanted me to die, and while I was doing both of those things she wanted me to hurt as much as possible.
She remembers very little of that time, but she remembers how much she wanted me to hurt, how badly she wanted me to hurt, and how she was willing to do anything to make it happen, and she did what she knew to do, which was have sex with someone else, take the kids to meet him, and then....wham...she was suddenly "what the hell am I doing, why am I doing this".
In her case, her anger, long suppressed, largely hidden and never talked about, came unbound.
We had been married for 9 years and I had no clue what the truth was about her childhood. This despite the fact that we lived in the area where she grew up and I knew both her mother and father and sister and stepsisters and stepmother and stepfather. Because nobody talked about the truth.
Her anger was with her father and mother and how they didn't protect her and her sister from the abuse they suffered.
The antidepressants caused that anger to come out in a vicious and uncontrolled manner (seriously, she actually remembers really hoping I'd get killed in an accident on the way home and has been terribly ashamed of that since this all happened 12 years ago this month and she has remembered it every year and every year this month is pretty terrible and around 3 years ago I finally found out why) and it was all directed at me, not the father and mother.
Why? Was I an asshole? No.
Even she says that she doesn't understand why she became so angry at me. She's been the kindest and friendliest person that I think I've ever known (she's got codependency issues). But not then, and I've never known her to treat anyone remotely like she treated me when this happened, which was why it was so difficult to understand. She lied about her childhood and life and the affair all the way up to 7 months into counseling. Then, it became apparent that I was going to leave because she just couldn't get the story she was telling to make sense,to many holes in it.
Then, the truth started to come out, and it became a flood, and it was not pretty.
Did the antidepressants cause her affair?
No, but they caused her to lose control of her anger, and she had a lot of suppressed anger. It was like uncorking a bottle of champagne on a hot day.
Then, the family history played out again, but this time in our marriage...in her family if you got mad at your spouse, you went and fucked someone else, and if both spouses were mad at each other, then that meant that both were out fucking other people and the children were left to fend for themselves...and at least one of the people they had to fend with was a child sex abuser.
You have excellent advice on stds, and your WH behavior.
In your shoes, I'd table marriage
counseling. Until your husband is remorseful and accepting responsibility for his actions, there is no sense in going to MC, and it in fact can be very damaging to the BS. The LAST thing you need is to sit in someone's office and be told that your deficiencies or deficiencies in the marriage caused something for which ONLY YOUR HUSBAND is responsible
This^^. You don't need to worry bout MC right now. Not until he really starts to own his stuff and figure out what is going on with him though introspection and IC. I would insist in IC for him immediately and possibly a release for you to talk with his IC.
Take care of yourself.
Married for over 15 years
2 beautiful boys in elementary school
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Maya Angelou