Good Wednesday to everyone!

When faced with the trauma that is associated with infidelity, often times the betrayed becomes overwhelmed.  The results can be depression and anxiety as they feel as if they are riding an emotional roller coaster.  There can also be physical consequences as well.  Rapid weight loss, lack of sleep and general sluggishness are but a few that are mentioned often.

If seeing a qualified therapist, sometimes medications are prescribed to help level out the highs and lows that the betrayed is feeling.  I’m no doctor, but I imagine that the most oft prescribed medicine would be anti-depressants.  However,  I’m sure other drugs could be more beneficial depending on the circumstances and symptoms displayed.

(Here is a link to the National Institute of Mental Health that describes some of the meds that might be prescribed along with their side-effects.)

 This leads to our discussion topic for this week…

Have you been medicating as a result of your spouse’s infidelity?

If so, what are they and what has been their effect on you?

Do you feel that they have been helpful or not?

Have you felt any debilitating side-effects as a result of taking these meds?

If anyone is medicating in a more natural, holistic way we would like to hear about your experiences as well.

Obviously this discussion is not a substitute for seeking counsel with your physician.  Consider it general information based on other reader’s experiences.

Please remember to reply to one another in the comment section below.


Linda & Doug


See also  Open Discussion: Are You Working on YOU After the Affair?


    25 replies to "Discussion – Are You Medicating as a Result of Your Spouse’s Infidelity?"

    • justbecause

      I am a pharmacist and therefore have some knowledge on the meds used. I did make an appointment with my GP 2 weeks after d-day. I have never taken any mood altering meds previously. I did start on Effexor XR. One month later I believe it is helping. Not only the depression but also my hotflashes. Effexor is indicated not only for depression but also anxiety and hotflashes. As my GP said, “lets get some control back in your life.” One should see some benefit 2 weeks out from starting an antidepressant, but remember full benefit may not occur for 6 – 8 weeks or so.

      I have not experienced any negative side effects. Effexor is not addictive but higher doses should be titrated off. My H and I have coupled this with couples counselling. Our guy is AWESOME. He is working with us (me in particular on this), on bringing my thoughts back when they start to stray and imagine, think about the EA as well as many other aspects of our relationship. We see him, at this point, every 2 weeks.

      My sleep is not good. I will not take a sleeping medication such as Ambien or a benzodiazipine. They do have a place for some people but in my opinion should only be used short term. They are addictive and used long term are not effective. Sleep will come. It is early yet for me.

      I am not a physician. One should find a good doctor and consult with them on meds, if any to take. If one is bi-polar, antidepressants can actually worsen the situation. Sometimes it takes trying several different meds to find the right one. Medication can be part, but only part, of surviving the EA.

      • Doug

        justbecause, Thanks so much for offering your professional input on things.

    • Recovering

      I have been medicated since the affair…. I actually was already on anxiety meds prior to discovery, but since discovery I have had my doseage upped to help at the Drs insistance. She has also given me Valium for those days that I just CANNOT deal (which I use totally sparingly as they numb everything) and sleeping pills (which again I use sparingly as they make me soooo tired the next day – and I work full time so need to function). Admittedly I did go on a drinking binge for a few months, and even now still have a drink or two when I am feeling stressed by not enough to take a valium… I admit I got trashed the night I found out that IT may be coming back to work with my husband at his company, and I took a valium that day after finding out… I am the type that has a mind that never stops, and I go over every scenerio over and over, and too much stimulation just makes me… freak, for lack of a better word. My mind spins, I shake, and I can’t think straight, or function at work. I of course blame the initial anxiety on my mother smoking while she was pregnant with me (all 3 of my sisters have anxiety issues as well, though no one else in the family smokes or has anxiety problems). I am a type A personality, and planning is my thing, and when I feel out of control, I don’t know how to handle it. Thankfully I am also self-aware enough to know that meds and alcohol are just crutches and not fixes, so am not an addict or alcoholic. Until Monday when I found out the OW may be coming back, I hadn’t had a pill in MONTHS, and drinking had gone back to a social thing and not a crutch. I feel like I am sliding back so bad now though…. SUCKS!!!

    • Dave

      Yes. I started out “self-medicating”, but quickly realized that I was only doing damage to my health. So, I working with my therapist, I started seeing a physiologist who has also been working with me. He started me on a basic “mood stabilizer”. After I got through the initial shock phase, he put me on an anti-depressant / OCD controlling medication. However, that’s been hit or miss. It had unintended side-effects and I’m off it now.

      The OCD symptoms have been the hardest to control. I’m already mildly OCD. Some people with OCD fixate on different things. For me, it basically boils down to mistakes I’ve made or bad things that have happened in my life. Coupled with a very good memory, I have negative memories that go far back as 3 years old. Therapy helped control the obsessive thoughts. By December 2011, for the first time in about five years, I was out of therapy when my wife finally revealed the full details of her affair, which put me into a completely new tailspin.

      At the very least though, having been through therapy, I trust my therapist. This time, things seem to be coming along well according to him, even though I have had some setbacks, like I’ve had lately. Progress has been like clawing my way up a muddy hill.

      Sometimes I get a good hold and slog up a ways, but then I’ll slip and lose ground. The hardest thing is how tiring it is. And it isn’t all about finding out that my wife had an affair 13 years ago. It is also the accumulation of lies and problems unrelated to the affair that have transpired before and since.

    • chiffchaff

      I haven’t had any meds, or even seen my doctor for help, but I medicated by taking rigid control of aspects of my life that I could, which was eating. I basically ate nothing for months and months. I didn’t sleep properly for months but having had insomnia seriously in the past I was good at coping with it and knew it would pass eventually, which it has.
      I suspect that anti-depressants may really have helped me see more clearly in the earlier months but I don’t know because I didn’t try them.
      Have CS’s had medication to help at all? I’d be interested because at points I thought my H really needed something to help him control his mood swings.

      • Dave

        My wife is going to see a psychiatrist soon to deal with her own sleep, depression, and mood swings. She was on Ambien, as was I, but as we both found out, Ambien is addictive and has side-effects too.

      • Greg

        My wife was already on the lowest dosage of Prozac prior to her EA and after it was exposed she ended up having to up the dosage to cope with the extra stresses that had been added to our lives. As for myself I don’t take any medication if I can avoid it as I usually have to take very large doses of anything for it too work. I did a little more drinking than usual for a while but that only amounted to 1-2 drinks a week versus my usual 1-2 per month.

    • Broken2

      Well I KNOW I need an antidepressent and would welcome some relief in how I feel or don’t feel for that matter. I have no motivation at all and nothing makes me happy in fact sometimes behing around my own kids and grandkids is just irritating. I would rather read and be alone. As a result of my husbands affair I developed extremely high blood pressure and as a result some heart damage, I have been reading about how antidepressants can cause high blood pressure so they are not a possibility for me. I do take valium when I have anxiety which is everytime I get upset. This all just plain sucks. Sometimes I wish I liked the taste of alcohol because I would definately self medicate but I don’t.

    • Battleborn

      I was taking depression and bi-polar meds before I found out so mine were just increased enough to get me over the hump. I have since had them reduced again to the “normal” range. I do take Trazadone and Sonata to help me sleep though. I have not had any bad side effects from any of them. I try not to take the sleeping meds unless I am in full blown depression… it’s the mood swings that were causing me the most problems.

      The one thing that I have had to do though is visit my psycho dr more often just to monitor my moods and meds. If anyone is on meds it is really important to be aware of your well-being. Some of them are very powerful and can lead to other problems.

      Just because is correct about being bipolar and taking antidepressants. I take an antisiezure med as one of mine and it works fine, I think. LOL

    • Paula

      Justbecause, thank you for your post, as Doug said, it is great to hear from a pharmacist. I ended up at a psychiatrist after about a year to eighteen months, referred by the psychologist I had been seeing at the time for quite a while (maybe up to six months?) The psychiatrist was wonderful, a lovely man, very supportive, I told him I felt like a loser for even being there, “just” because my partner had an affair (he is a forensic psychiatrist, so I imagine he sees some very sad/scary/sometimes dangerous cases.) He put me on an SSRI, and some anti-anxiety meds, I can’t remember which, which I was quite reluctant to take, as I had been insisting to all that I wasn’t depressed, but just grieving my loss. However, I conceded, and followed the recommendations, to the letter. We played about with dose rates for a couple of months, with no real improvement – which, by the way, is about the most depressing thing in the world, the hope you have that you will feel some improvement in a few weeks time, the agony of waiting for those days to tick down, and no improvement manifests – so he then tried me on a tri-cyclic, when I quickly gained about 9kg, then I got REALLY depressed, lol! We also played about with those dose rates, he changed the anti-anxiety meds, too. My GP had tried to give me sleeping pills at one point, and I HATED them, and only used them once. I tried to stick with all of this for about 9 months, with little relief, so I weaned myself off all. I did suffer with post-partum depression when my eldest daughter was about 8 months old to 18 months, and was prescribed meds, which I never took, so I have some experience of “depression” – and I felt I wasn’t clinically depressed – yes I was “depressed,” but I felt it was more a prolonged and painful grief. At times during my life I have used St John’s Wort, and other herbal remedies to boost myself, not sure whether I could say they worked the oracle, but I have never been a believer (when not clinically mentally ill) that a little pill will turn things around. That said, I FULLY support anyone who is struggling, to talk to a professional, and try these things, despite my lack of success, and my general reluctance to medicate. I came from a family where we practically had to be dying to get paracetamol, and my children have been brought up similarly. In fact, my funniest (sorry for the quirky sense of humour) story about that is that my vibrant, fully employed 55 year old mother (11 years ago) was very ill at home with what she thought was a bout of the ‘flu, and when I visited and saw how grey and ill she looked, and that she couldn’t lift her head off her pillow, I suggested she needed to see her doctor. She said, “I’ll be fine, I’ve had a Lemsip!” – I don’t know if this is a universal over the counter remedy, of lemon flavoured paracetamol and decongestants. She was airlifted to hospital off her island home that night, and dead, from septacemea, less than 24 hours after I last saw her! So you kind of get the picture.

      I have joked to my ex (semi-seriously!) that I would LOVE to send the OW (a fairly wealthy woman) the bill for all of my/our therapy over the last three years, I toted it up one day, and it came in somewhere near $18K, and this from me who didn’t really “do” therapy or doctors, but look at me now, paying for at least one of my therapist’s children to attend uni for a year or two!!!

    • Rachel

      Yikes, I’ve been on so many. Two days after d-day I went to my dr.and she put me on xanax XR. I couldn’t get out of bed or even walk. Felt so drugged. Next I was on Prozac lowest dose. Couldn’t eat, or sleep Bad meds for me I was in total rage and anger, but I had rage and anger so who knows. Next Lexipro. Again, couldn’t eat or sleep. I was very dizzy on this medication and heart pains other then my broken heart. Jaw clenching, headache, foggy. Per dr.’s orders I had to get off of this slowly. So now I’m down to xanax at night to sleep when necessary. I feel that I need a clear head and for me it seems the meds made me more depressed then I already am. Just my opinion. I’m glad and jealous that they work for some people, just not me.

    • WriterWife

      I actually started on antidepressants (Wellbutrin) a few months before D-day. At the time I thought it was just my job that was causing me anxiety/depression (job wasn’t going well) but after finding out about my husband’s EA I realized how thoroughly my marriage had tanked as well. I just hadn’t seen it because of the job stress. And looking back on it, I am very angry that in the time I really needed my husband’s support the most, he was emotionally entangled with the other woman and not only didn’t have anything left for me, but also was borderline antagonistic/rude about my emotional needs.

      Since D-day I was diagnosed with adult ADD and have begun taking Adderall. That’s made a huge difference — I didn’t realize how much I’d internalized the idea that I’m just lazy and that’s why I’ve had problems completing projects and staying focused. My husband was also diagnosed and started taking Adderall and I’ve noticed a huge change in him — I’d originally thought he was depressed but with the new meds those symptoms have gone away.

      I’ve taken a sleeping aid for several years — 25mg of Simply Sleep (which is one benadryl pill). It has all been helpful to me — I can’t imagine having gone through the weeks after D-day without the antidepressant, and it helped me recover because my feelings were manageable.

      One other thing that helped a lot was walking. I’d take looooong walks almost every day. Sometimes I’d talk on the phone and rant to my sister about the situation as I walked (which also helped). But the walking allowed me to look after myself, to clear my head, get out of the house, etc. As a natural aid, I think this helped a ton!

      • chiffchaff

        Walking is great therapy. I have walked so much I’m now taking up running.
        In lots of ways I am amazed at the difference in me compared to this time last year when I felt fat, unloved, abandoned and depressed with a husband who didn’t care a bit. It makes me sad to look back there but then again, I’d rather be here, even knowing all the horrid things that I know.

    • justbecause

      My CS is an alcoholic and also sees a psychiatrist for bipolar issues. Note that there is a wide variance in the degree of bipolar symptoms among people. I sometimes think we are all a little bipolar at times! My husband has not drank since the day after D-day (also my 51st birthday.)

      The EA started 18 months ago. There was some online flirting and chatting with others before this time starting about 2009 I think. He then “met” Jonnie online and they spoke exclusively. I do not know the sight or exactly how they hooked up. My H says he honestly doesn’t remember. He was drinking pretty heavily at the time and would often get online after he had been drinking. I think his issues i.e. his need to find excitement, escape reality, selfishness, etc are all so so much more prevalent when he is drinking. Not when he is drunk, but when he has been drinking for awhile. (Does this make sense?) He has had times of sobriety in the past. It is like being married to a different person.

      He started mood stabilizers (Lamictal & Seroquel XR) November 2010. When asked how he was able to quit drinking now, he states because he wants his marriage to work and he also thinks the meds have helped.

      Again, however, the meds have been used in conjuction with counselling. He has done some work on meditation. I would like to learn more about meditation. I also feel yoga is an excellent tool to handle stress. I hope to make time for myself to work on these things. No, I WILL make time to work on these!

    • Disappointed

      I have not medicated. My CS had a month long EA via text after stopping his Prozac cold turkey without telling me. He still claims it had no effect on him, but he was an emotional wreck.

    • tsd

      After ea #1, I was on zanax, and it helped but I wanted it short term. Then I was on ambien cuz of no sleep..again short term and it really didn’t help. So I started Looking at alternatives. I take a super b complex vitamin, a multi in morning. At night I take a magnesium,zinc, calcium supplement for sleep and these combos help. I eat healthy, exercise more, journal and meditate. These are so much better than drugs for me IMO…I’m glad others find a combo that work. For me, deleting sugar, processed foods, only red wine, feeling good, seem to help. Best out of all of theme? Mag,calc,zinc combo…two at night, and I get great 7 hrs sleep…

    • Carol

      I have not used anti-depressants, largely because of my bad experience with them after a bout with PPD just after my third child was born. The meds were horrible — I tend to be very sensitive to any medication and so usually have to take small doses of anything, even an aspirin. So the initial doses they put me on were horrific, and I wasn’t enough of my usual self to protest. I finally did, got off of them, and tried natural remedies: fish oil (a natural serotonin booster), calcium (natural anti-anxiety properties), magnesium (to help with calcium absorption), talk therapy (with a PPD speciality, terrific), and lots of walking.

      After D-Day, like lots of people here, I lost a ton of weight (not needed — I’m already slim and started to look unhealthy; one of my friends took to bringing fatty foods by my office at work on a regular basis!). I had trouble sleeping. I had trouble concentrating. I still do, sometimes. It’s better, though, than it was 7 months ago. I have a wonderful therapist now who keeps reassuring me that 7 months isn’t that long to grieve this loss, that I’m right to be wary of my husband as he has been very untrustworthy, that the affair is a symptom of problems he’s had, probably for a long time, and that I sound like I’m thinking about things in a healthy way. I tend to undermine myself or assume everything is somehow my fault, so those words are much appreciated. One of her prescriptions is for regular exercise, so I’m trying to do that.

      Also: I hope this doesn’t sound ridiculous, but in the thick of the agony, about 2 months out, I adopted a little homeless dog of about 8 months old. This little dog thinks I am an absolute goddess. There is no other woman in the world for him. 🙂 All I do is feed him and walk him twice a day, and according to him no more wonderful creature has ever graced the face of this earth. I can guarantee that if the OW were to try to walk into my house, he’d attack. 🙂 He’s super protective of me and very cuddly; he’s lying on my feet right now, his favorite place to be. I wouldn’t recommend this route for someone who’s never owned a young dog before, as the first couple of months with a new dog are always a bit stressful. But I’ve had dogs before, and my husband always refused to get one — and after I found out about the EA, I told him he’d lost his right of refusal and went out and adopted this little pup. 🙂 A great comfort to me.

    • justbecause

      Carol, I’m so glad you have your puppy! I too have a dog. She was dumped near our home by strangers a few years ago. We were without a dog at the time and took her in.

      She is awesome. I great source of comfort to both my CS and me. You say her name and her tail starts wagging as fast as it can. And she’s part pit bull!

      Animal therapy – it’s a good thing

      • Paula

        Carol, that is an AWESOME story, animals have also helped me a lot. I have five dogs, and several horses, and caring for them is so therapeutic! Exercise is a must, I was fantastic about it for the first two years, in the best shape of my adult life, but I have really struggled to get the amount of exercise I need sorted at the moment, despite using every ounce of my willpower to urge me on. I also found, at times, a little relief from the natural remedy High 5HTP, it helps regulate serotonin levels, and with sleep patterns. I take a multi, fish oil, probiotic and collagen (the last I take at night, just before bed, to help with regeneration, and sleep.) I was never really one for taking supplements before, and you can get bamboozled into swallowing handfuls of pills!

    • livingonafence

      Well, maybe i’m alone here, but yes, I medicated, and without the help of a doctor. I was on pain killers for a prior surgery when I discovered the EA, and realized quickly that taking more than the recommended dosage helped a lot. So I found people that could get them without me needing a script. So I had my script AND my ‘other’ sources. I started spending thousands a month to self medicate, went into debt, got behind on bills, discovered I was addicted and not having them was like the flu times 10, and then spent even more. Months later, I finally realized that not only was I going broke, and I make a very comfortable living, but I was risking my health, was an addict, and was virtually stuck in my healing process. I think we need to feel the pain to get over it, and I was blocking it via 30 mg. percocets.

      So, I got off the pills, dealt with my issues, and have made tremedous progress since then. Do I miss that numbed feeling? Sometimes, when it gets bad, but I know I’m much better than I was before, I’m almost out of the debt I got myself into, and I’m on a strict workout schedule!

      I can blame the EA for all of this, but at the end of the day, I’m responsible for me, and I did this. Just like he chose to have an EA all by himself, I chose to go down this destructive path by myself.

      I don’t recommend this route.

    • onmyway

      livingonafence, I commend you for taking action after you recognized your issues with the pain meds. It could not have been easy. I have been through withdrawal before from prescribed narcotics and it is about to close to hell as one can get . Maybe even as bad as recovering from an affair 🙂 I am a “chronic pain’ patient so I had meds on hand and had I not been so damn ANGRY I could have easily done some serious damage to myself. I have always felt my anger is what initially helped pull me through all of this. The sadness, true sadness/depression, really only surfaced about 2 months after the discovery of my husbands affair. By then he had begun to show true remorse and and effort to help heal himself, me and our marriage. So I never felt the desire to over medicate or hurt myself, with the exception of one night about 4 days after D Day.

      I had an appointment with a doctor I see almost monthly just a week after D Day. He walked in the room and took one look at me and said “something is wrong”. I broke down and told him about the affair. I have known him for over 10 years and he was so supportive of me and yet encouraging at the same time that my husband and I could work through this. He prescribed me Klonipin and it was a God-send. I took some almost daily for awhile (1/4-1/2 of .5mg tabs once or twice a day) with more at night as necessary. I would find myself awake at 3am doing repeated searches through phone records, etc and nothing would stop me besides medicating myself.

      I still have 20 of the 60 Klonipin he prescribed after 6 months so I feel I have done pretty well, lol! I did just take some yesterday, though. I found myself literally staring across a street at a location I know they had met up at and were even caught by a family member of the other cow (oops, I mean woman). I knew I was in the general vicinity but hadn’t realized how close. I drove over and then sat in the parking lot where I pictured them parking together , almost willing myself to become disgusted and angry. But all I felt was sadness followed by severe anxiety. I took my time coming home but it did nothing to relieve my feelings. In fact it triggered an evening of rechecking phone records from a year ago. For some reason I had to find out if they had talked on Mother’s Day. The last records started on May 11 and Mother’s Day was May 9th last year so I was out of luck. I finally took 1/4 Klonipin and was able to take the edge off the anxiety of ‘not knowing”. Pathetic, huh?

      So I still need to medicate even 6 months later. The triggers are just still so hard. Maybe farther between but when I feel them they seem to be harder to work through. I identified myself as being in the ‘3rd Stage of recovery/grief after an affair’ about 2 weeks ago. I couldn’t figure out why I was going backwards when as a couple we seemed to be moving forward. I am very careful with my medications but still feel I need the additional help of an anti-anxiety med at times and am grateful I have it on hand. I may ask for an anti-depressant if this continues much longer. I have taken them before with positive results. I wish I could just let go of all of this and not ever feel the need to check current and past phone records, emails and such. Or break down at the sight of a restaurant I know they went to. I may go weeks at a time now so that is a positive sign. The anxiety just overwhelms me still.

    • Benny

      I haven’t taken any medications or self medicated and I don’t drink, but I have been extremely depressed and at times I’ve just ate and slept. Sometimes I’d be so worried and discouraged over it all that I couldn’t sleep at night and then exhausted from no rest and the thoughts that wouldn’t quit I may hid under the covers and sleep all day. And being it was during winter, around New Years, when i found out didn’t help much either!

      And while some have said they lose their appetite, in times of stress, I tend to overeat. And I’ll always eat foods that are bad for me, such as sweets and lots of junk food!

      Prior to finding out about the EA I had been eating healthy and had lost a considerable amount of weight which I’m well on the way to gaining back.

      I know I need to take better care of my health and keep good eating habits. In some ways things are looking good for us now and I’ve been feeling better about things for the past couple of weeks. There are still lots of worries and triggers abound, but I’ve recently been able to cut out the sugar and salt that cause me problems, but I still eat too much most of the time.

    • CookieMomster

      I probably am the most messed up on this subject. I am 79 days post D-Day today. Five days ago I actually had plastic surgery because my H’s AP is about ten years younger than me. Guess what? It didn’t automatically make me feel better. Go figure! As for the pain meds I was given after the surgery…. well, it was a big temptation to just pop the whole bottle in at once, but my stomach rejects even one or two of them. I guess that’s lucky. I find that I drink more than I used to… I was a very light drinker before….maybe a glass of wine with dinner once or twice a week. Now I will “enjoy” 2-3 glasses of wine or something else that will “take the edge off”.

    • justbecause


      Reaching out to let you know you are not alone. I urge you to get some counselling, talk to your GP about situation. Pain meds and alcohol – not a good mix. I don’t know your entire situation, but I do know this too shall pass. Be confident, be strong.

    • Nicole

      I just started on Zoloft after almost 2 years after D Day. It has been helping definitely. I starting only taking half a pill. I had tried a whole pill but it gave me really bad insomnia.
      I was have really bad intrusive thoughts which took me back to the past and all the shit he did. I was so angry and sad. Cried so much two weeks prior to starting the meds I had red marks beneath my eyes. That was even more depressing and irritating.

      It has taken the bad thoughts away mad them way more control-able. I would only say it can cause you to numb out emotionally to an extent. Which for me is just like Bring it on cause I can’t handle any more emotions right now.

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