We have a lot in common. I was on Effexor for about 2 years I think. It definitely helped with the anxiety and the depression. But I'm not sure about the weight gain. It's kind of hard for me to tell though, cause my weight gain started with Zyprexa-40 lbs-I'm still about 30 pounds over weight, which isn't tooo bad, but it could be better...Anyway...I would say if you gain weight with it, you may want to try something else. Like I said, Wellbutrin is better. I also did very well with Wellbutrin; it helped the anxiety and depression as well.
I also worked in 4 call centers over 5 years. The stress in that environment was enough to almost put me over the edge. I had to make the decision to leave them and never go back. Call centers pay very well (at least where I am they do) but it's for a reason: the stress. It wasn't just the customers that stressed me out, a lot of it was the expectations, meeting numbers, the pressure of that...managers-It was very damaging to my mental health.
Anyway, my advice to you to try and stay feeling well and motivated so that you can work out, eat right to manage the weight...Try and cope your way through the depression. Forgive me if you already do these things...But what I mean is, when we are depressed it's very hard to have energy, to "do" anything. Sometimes though, I find if I just take things hour by hour, make small goals (have a shower, if things are bothering me vent to HW or to a friend...write in my journal, watch a movie, go for a walk)...I find the depression takes my focus away from the things that could me making me feel better. The only thing I can focus on when I'm depressed is how depressed I am, and how I can't do anything. It's very hard to get my mind around that, but when I do, sometimes I can feel better-even if it's only for a few hours. To me that is victory! I don't work out, I wish I did...maybe I will someday, but do you feel better after you work out? Maybe that can be your motivation to work out when you're feeling down-that it will lift your depression (again even if only for a little while).
What you said about mood stabilizers is so true. Most of them are awful-zombie effect. That was the main reason I went off them. They are just horrible meds. The one I'm on now is actually the only one that I could tolerate. I don't feel tired from it at all.
Anyway, sorry to go on and on. Hope you are well today.
Bipolar II, Anxiety/Panic Disorder
Clonazepam .5mg as needed, Trazodone 50mg/day & Lamictal 100 mg/day