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Thread: Now with drugs

  1. #11
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    I have comorbid anxiety and depression, and am currently on 20mg Lexapro. I had many many misgivings about medication and changing medications, even when they didn't work. I guess most of this stemmed from my fears about "losing my personality" and "damaging my creativity" etc. Mostly, I was afraid that my doctor would over-medicate me. However, he always listened to what I had to say, and allowed me to basically take charge of my own treatment and make my own decisions about the various options that he presented to me. So I guess I would say that I'm very lucky in having a sensible, supportive doctor.

    What I can say right now, though, is that it's given me a quality of life and mental stability that I treasure. I know that it's not a permanent solution; my therapist started to get me to learn different anti-anxiety relaxation techniques, and accept that I have emotional issues that probably won't be "resolved". This is to help me deal with life in general when I go off meds (we have a plan for when this will happen, too).

    I don't think that medication is right for everyone; and I don't think it should be used to blunt emotions that are natural, like grief and sadness. But I think in my case, where I was up in the early morning struggling with insomnia and strong urges to stab myself, terrified of my mind and the world, it was incredibly helpful.

    So I guess my viewpoint is that while it may be oversold, but there are still situations that warrant antidepressants. In these situations, I'd be suspicious if the doctor didn't present all the options, talk about the side-effect profiles in the literature and pricing, and talk about a treatment plan that is complemented by lifestyle change and therapy. I would be even more suspicious if after finding the right medication and working on the treatment plan, he/she didn't talk about long-term goals to get off the medication.

    Also wanted to add before someone else jumps in that the first thing my doctor got me tested for was thyroid problems, it's standard here. It was only after we'd ruled that out that we discussed antidepressants and other treatment options.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity View Post
    There's a couple of threads going around about depression and a common point raised by people a number of those who have experienced it is that they don't/didn't want to take any prescribed medication.

    Ignoring doctors apparent willingness to overmedicate, if you think it's good or bad, tell why?
    As ESTJ Larry King might put it, WHAT'S YOUR QUESTION MA'AM!?

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity View Post
    I view depression as a sign that something isn't right and therefore changes need to be made, only issue with that is someone dealing with depression isn't often going to be in the right kind of head space to do so. Which is where the topic of drugs: good or bad, comes in. Do they help or hinder that process. My answer to that is I have no freaken idea.
    It...depends.

    I would love to have seen Kurt Cobain hospitalized and medicated in April of 1994. Courtney alleges he never tried antidepressants, except for one time when he ate 8 Prozac capsules, and then complained of a stomach ache. "Of course you have a stomach ache. You took eight Prozac capsules!"

    MOST OF THE TIME, however, the depression does not rise to the level of threat of death, SOON, and can be remedied without the use of emotional anesthetics...

    FAR too often, I have seen people with shitty lives take SSRIs or other ADs and turn into zombies...

    There's a great passage from the book below, where some guy who used to be driven up the wall by his wife comments "My wife is still a bitch. But now I don't care."

    http://www.amazon.com/Prozac-Backlash-Overcoming-Antidepressants-Alternatives/dp/0684860015

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonsequitur View Post
    I have comorbid anxiety and depression, and am currently on 20mg Lexapro. I had many many misgivings about medication and changing medications, even when they didn't work. I guess most of this stemmed from my fears about "losing my personality" and "damaging my creativity" etc. Mostly, I was afraid that my doctor would over-medicate me. However, he always listened to what I had to say, and allowed me to basically take charge of my own treatment and make my own decisions about the various options that he presented to me. So I guess I would say that I'm very lucky in having a sensible, supportive doctor.

    What I can say right now, though, is that it's given me a quality of life and mental stability that I treasure. I know that it's not a permanent solution; my therapist started to get me to learn different anti-anxiety relaxation techniques, and accept that I have emotional issues that probably won't be "resolved". This is to help me deal with life in general when I go off meds (we have a plan for when this will happen, too).

    I don't think that medication is right for everyone; and I don't think it should be used to blunt emotions that are natural, like grief and sadness. But I think in my case, where I was up in the early morning struggling with insomnia and strong urges to stab myself, terrified of my mind and the world, it was incredibly helpful.

    So I guess my viewpoint is that while it may be oversold, but there are still situations that warrant antidepressants. In these situations, I'd be suspicious if the doctor didn't present all the options, talk about the side-effect profiles in the literature and pricing, and talk about a treatment plan that is complemented by lifestyle change and therapy. I would be even more suspicious if after finding the right medication and working on the treatment plan, he/she didn't talk about long-term goals to get off the medication.

    Also wanted to add before someone else jumps in that the first thing my doctor got me tested for was thyroid problems, it's standard here. It was only after we'd ruled that out that we discussed antidepressants and other treatment options.
    This is a good post. Contact me if you want to discuss possible ways to feel better without ADs, or on a lower dose. Thyroid is not the only thing that should be tested for; low testosterone, IGF-1 (HGH marker), and vitamin D can all make you feel depressed, and as with hypothyroid, the remedy is to treat those things rather than use an AD to mask...

    D deficiency is effing massive these days...

  5. #15
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Considering the potential for (common) adverse effects when considering SSRIs/SNRIs (e.g. weight gain, apathy, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, etc.) I am pre-disposed to encourage folks to try all other options first (exercise, better nutrition, counseling/CBT, and self-exploration.

    You'd be amazed at how quickly your life improves when you feel better, look better, and eliminate as many things in your life (bad job, toxic people, demanding social groups, etc.) that contribute to feelings of unhappiness.

    If you feel you are being prevented from living a normal, productive, and happy life then consider meds, but do so carefully.

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  6. #16
    Senior Member Rebe's Avatar
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    Treating mental illness is tough.

    The doctors will prescribe you medication if it is what you want. They won't deny you medication. But they will monitor you closely, or at least my doctor did. I saw him every two weeks for months.

    If you are unsure, you should spend time with a psychiatrist or psychologist and get their opinions. If you are suicidal, they usually immediately advice medication. The thing is, severe depression will receive the most benefit from anti depressants while mild depression may not receive any difference from a placebo.

    It's a tough call for people seeking help. That's the problem with medical care, you don't trust your doctors because they are always selling you drugs or advising something expensive and you can almost see the dollar signs in their eyes.

    Every time I went to see the damn doctor, I had to pay $50 copay and that was a pretty good deal. Every time I went to see the damn psychiatrist, I had to pay over $100. I once called a psychiatrist and the devil said he charged $1000 for initial consultation. WTF! :steam: I needed help, desperately, but not at these prices.

    For some people, self-help is more efficient than medication. For some people, they will try to kill themselves without it. Tough call.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebe View Post
    The doctors will prescribe you medication if it is what you want. They won't deny you medication. But they will monitor you closely, or at least my doctor did. I saw him every two weeks for months.
    If you add the word "good" before doctors then that statement works, it's not always the case though.

    The reason I was curious about people's stance is because I went in to see a doc a few weeks ago to get a certificate for taking a day off work, I had experienced what I expect was anxiety which I've never felt before, anyway I see him for 5 minutes and he gives me a script for 10mg Lexapro even though I did not ask for any kind of prescription, hell I didn't even mention medication. It's part of a larger generic medical centre where you never see the same doc twice so he didn't know anything about me beyond file notes. I had been in earlier to get a referral letter to see a therapist I have an appointment to see as it's a requirement of theirs but I didn't go into detail beyond answering a question on sleep patterns and mood, that doc wrote the letter, gave me a thyroid test and noted it on my file. Now there certainly are side effects of depression that I would like gone, it's exceptionally unproductive at best, but I question the cost. Clearly that doctor wasn't being helpful by throwing pills at me, although that doesn't make it an automatically bad solution.


    I once called a psychiatrist and the devil said he charged $1000 for initial consultation. WTF! :steam: I needed help, desperately, but not at these prices.
    Ouch!


    Quote Originally Posted by nonsequitur View Post
    I have comorbid anxiety and depression, and am currently on 20mg Lexapro. I had many many misgivings about medication and changing medications, even when they didn't work. I guess most of this stemmed from my fears about "losing my personality" and "damaging my creativity" etc. Mostly, I was afraid that my doctor would over-medicate me. However, he always listened to what I had to say, and allowed me to basically take charge of my own treatment and make my own decisions about the various options that he presented to me. So I guess I would say that I'm very lucky in having a sensible, supportive doctor.

    So I guess my viewpoint is that while it may be oversold, but there are still situations that warrant antidepressants. In these situations, I'd be suspicious if the doctor didn't present all the options, talk about the side-effect profiles in the literature and pricing, and talk about a treatment plan that is complemented by lifestyle change and therapy. I would be even more suspicious if after finding the right medication and working on the treatment plan, he/she didn't talk about long-term goals to get off the medication.
    I was pretty apprehensive when he wanted to give me a script, I straight away asked about the side effects, he gave a few quick things like nausea and headaches etc then basically sold it as a good and easy option I had. I'm not at all confident that he did it because it's the right option for me. Something like 5-HTP for instance may have been a better choice, but nothing else was mentioned.

    At the end of the day I'm happy to educate myself so I can make my own informed decisions about what's right for me but his approach was disconcerting.


    Quote Originally Posted by bluebell View Post
    So I immediately stopped taking it because a) I hadn't been given the option of an informed choice and b) I loathed and detested the thought that my emotions were being manipulated by drugs. I wanted to be me even if that meant I often felt miserable.

    The second in my twenties for pain relief and at a tiny fraction of the therapeutic dose. It turned me into a brain dead zombie and I was so out of it that I didn't realise how out of it I was til I came off the drugs a few months later.
    I agree with the idea of wanting to feel like yourself, regardless of how that feels, and the idea of medication numbing a person doesn't appeal. But on the other hand I know that I'm not naturally a depressive person so I'm really not myself anyway... *shrug*

    Seems for every plus there's a negative.


    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    So antidepressants didn't work for me, but I'm certainly not against prescription drugs being used for treatment- I just think that most doctors are close minded about the options that they have for treatment and only look at the most obvious ones
    Totally agree. Also, your experience sounds scary!


    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    Considering the potential for (common) adverse effects when considering SSRIs/SNRIs (e.g. weight gain, apathy, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, etc.) I am pre-disposed to encourage folks to try all other options first (exercise, better nutrition, counseling/CBT, and self-exploration.

    You'd be amazed at how quickly your life improves when you feel better, look better, and eliminate as many things in your life (bad job, toxic people, demanding social groups, etc.) that contribute to feelings of unhappiness.

    If you feel you are being prevented from living a normal, productive, and happy life then consider meds, but do so carefully.

    It kinda came down to that for me.

    I've done the whole eliminate negative things and embracing the positive things like exercise and good food into my lifestyle and while it certainly has an impact it's just not enough. I understand the cause of my depression and self affirmations will not help.

    I'm apprehensive but I've decided to give the SSRIs a shot with close monitoring of all side effects, moods and influencing factors, whilst still keeping the negative things out and exercise in, not too sure about the food part, I'm trying to be good but I haven't had an appetite for several weeks so I'm eating only because I know I should and probably not enough as a result.

    It's been 10 days and I've already seen changes in mood and some side effects. Dunno how long I'll go but I don't feel numb at all so that much is ok so far.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windigo View Post
    I was proscribed Lexapro as well. I stopped after two months because I noticed a general numbness. "Hey kids, you're lighting a fire in the living room? Oh, okay."

    I don't usually take asprin for headaches or cold medicine for colds. I like to rely on my bodies own ability to heal naturally.

    I did read an interesting article in I think it was Time Magazine (which I don't usually read) discussing how depression played a major role in many great leaders lives (Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill to name a couple). And how depression serves a natural function in our lives forcing us to slow down and become introspective. It argued that perhaps these men might not have been the great leaders they were if they had been drugged up and forced to ignore their depression.
    I'm with you. Depression is a natural function, like any other emotional state, that's there to let you know when something is wrong (ie, a kick in the brain saying 'hey! something is not right in your environment so make a change, Abe Lincoln!'). And people on meds are sometimes...not themselves.

    I've met a few people who are, I think, clinically depressed in the sense that medication might be the only thing that could get them to change their behaviors. Those seem to be the people who have suffered from perpetual low grade depression for years and years, and don't believe that it's even possible to feel better, therefore why even try to make changes. But that's just a guess, as I've never seen these people actually get medicated.

    Well, anyway, all I said has been said in this thread in one form or another I think, so I am just casting my vote.

    EDIT: Good luck Trinity! Best wishes.
    "There's no need to be embarrassed about it, Mr. Spock. It happens to the birds and the bees!"

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppy View Post
    Those seem to be the people who have suffered from perpetual low grade depression for years and years, and don't believe that it's even possible to feel better, therefore why even try to make changes. But that's just a guess, as I've never seen these people actually get medicated.
    That would be me. But the reason I would have never tried to make changes in regards to that was because I didn't even realise I was depressed as I've felt and acted this way since I was about 14 or so, it's taken some introspection and a lot of reading to understand it's not a natural state for me. I relate a hell of a lot to this.

    As dysthymia is a chronic disorder, a person may often experience symptoms for many years before it is diagnosed, if diagnosis occurs at all. As a result, he or she tends to believe that depression is a part of their character. This, subsequently, may lead sufferers not to even discuss their symptoms with doctors, family members or friends.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity View Post
    That would be me. But the reason I would have never tried to make changes in regards to that was because I didn't even realise I was depressed as I've felt and acted this way since I was about 14 or so, it's taken some introspection and a lot of reading to understand it's not a natural state for me. I relate a hell of a lot to this.
    Trin,

    How do you feel on the occasions that you do experience some sort of positive upswing in mood, whether accomplishment driven, simple life experience, or randome R&R?

    Do you get a "reset" of the dysthmyia? I always get a little "buffer zone" when things go right for a change. Sometimes it is a result of hardwork, sometimes it is sheer luck, but either way it does set my gears in a different motion.

    Does this make sense?
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