Is It Side Effects - Or Me?

Lynne Taetzsch Health Guide
  • I’m still waiting to see if the side effects I feel from the Atenolol I’m taking for high blood pressure will go away, but I’m having a harder time remembering what it was like before I started taking it. When I was on Welbutrin a few years ago, I had trouble negotiating stairs that were not solid—the kind with spaces between the steps like you find leading to a basement. I had to clutch the railing for dear life because I felt as if I would fall through the cracks, even though that was not really possible. I couldn’t walk across anything that had spaces, no matter how narrow the spaces were, without feeling like I’d fall through and being really scared and shaky.
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    After a while, it seemed to me that being afraid to walk over empty spaces was simply in my nature, not a side effect of the medication I was taking. It’s beginning to feel that way now with the side-effects from the Atenolol. Maybe being weak and short-winded is just the way I am. It’s hard for me to remember being different.

    I also can’t tell whether the Atenolol is really helping with my anxiety, either. I suppose sometimes there is a drastic improvement when you take a medication, and you know with certainty that it’s working. I used to get that kind of clear result from Paxil, though it took a week or two for it to work. Invariably, it would end my depression, but unfortunately, it also made me hypomanic and beyond. So even though Paxil clearly “worked,” it was not a good choice for me to take when depressed.

    I’m always annoyed with Adrian when he can’t tell me if his allergy medications are working or not. He’s tried just about every kind there is, and most of them did not produce any definitive results. I used to think it was because he just didn’t pay enough attention to what was going on. Now I realize that it’s not always easy to pinpoint a result or to tell whether the way you feel today is different from the way you felt last week. Anyone else notice this?

    Tell us in the message boards.
Published On: September 01, 2006