I am wondering if the first month that I thought it was working was just the placebo effect?
This is possible. It is becoming clearer is that when antidepressants are stopped and later restarted the dose required to achieve previous levels of control may need to be higher. There is also some evidence
that the likelihood of antidepressants working drops by about 20% each time. This applies to all antidepressants, not just those taken before.
Should I ask my Dr. to prescribe the brand for me to see if that helps or are they all the same?
In theory they should all be the same, in practice it doesn't always work out that way so it may be worth going back onto the brand. However, I suspect you may also need to up the dose.