Oh, how I can relate. It’s always been a struggle with medications for me especially when it comes to metal health. I hate taking them but certain ones really can make life just…enjoyable. Luckily, I found a fantastic psychiatrist when I was 20 who listens to me and works with me on what drugs would work best. I do a lot of research and she even encourages that but also does talk about side effects. I ask a ton of questions and she is always willing to discuss or find something out if she doesn’t know. For years I had awful insurance which just made finding the right drug even harder because most things I couldn’t even afford. Also was on Effexor for some time. The first time it helped immensely but once I was out of college and had no insurance of my own until I was 22, it was extremely expensive. At that time, you could buy from Canada for cheaper but it was still $400 a month or so (more like $800 in the states). Once I found a full time job, things were okay. When my next employer got the cut throat insurance program (I was around 28) that did not cover prescriptions, I could no longer afford Effexor. That’s when I started having all kinds of fun issues. The cheaper alternative was not as effective and when there was finally an affordable generic of Effexor, it just wasn’t same. I so desperately wanted to get off of it but I didn’t have the money to play around with other drugs. Word of advice if you plan on taking Effexor long term, the worst side effect is the withdrawl symptoms you will get if you stop taking it. DO NOT ween yourself off without a doctor’s help because if you have anxiety and anything else, it is seriously hell for about a month until the drug is out of your system. Also not a good drug to be on if you want to get pregnant, which I’m hoping to try for in the near future. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I look forward to a world where there are no stigmas attached to these matters. There are tons of people that suffer in silence and manage to hide how they really feel and that just makes matters worse.