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LittleDarlings

Any experience with anti-depressants?

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Does anyone on here have any experience using anti-depressants? Any side effects? Negative thoughts, suicidal thoughts? My therapist suggested a second time that I go to the doctor and try an anti-depressant.  I am VERY against it, my brothers best friends dad took them and he ended up committing suicide.  I just don't like the idea of possibly becoming zombie like.  I feel like right now I am lively and funny and outgoing, I know I have major down points and I used to know when it would happen. Like I have a certain week that my mood just turns to absolute shit, now it is more everyday.  I just feel like everything sucks, everyone sucks like I just hate everything.  I hate having to be fake with people and pretend that I care when I could give less than a crap.  It all comes back down to the same thing. At the same time I don't like the idea that I can't regulate my moods, I should be able to do that without the help of medication.  The idea of being forever dependent on a medication to make me feel happy is weird.  I am not against people who take it because I feel like there are people who genuinely need it, but when I think about depression I think about people who are so sad that they can't leave their house, or just cry all the time. I don't think that is me.  I am just afraid of trying it, my family would think it is absolutely insane.  I am going into a profession where I would be working with people who have mental illness. I don't think badly about mental illness but I just don't want to take an anti-depressant.  I don't want to feel bad. I mean either way I feel bad I guess. 

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Your reasons for not taking anti-depressants are fairly problematic. I'll address them in turn.

 

1) The Friend's best friend's father, or Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc: Your brother's best friend's father committed suicide after he took anti-depressants, but that does not mean he committed suicide because took anti-depressants. Doesn't it seem more likely that he committed suicide because he was depressed?

 

2) I am lively and outgoing: People who are depressed can be lively and outgoing one moment and then curl up into a ball of despair (a "major down point" in your words) the next. Note: that doesn't necessarily mean they are manic.

 

3) I should be able to regulate my moods on my own: If you suffer from depression, it's possible your brain is not properly regulating your moods. It's also possible you are genetically predisposed to depression. Moreover, an abundance of stress in your life (grad school + what you've said on the "Finding a Husband" thread) can cause depression. Several of these things could be occurring simultaneously.

 

4) Being forever dependent on medication: Just because you take anti-depressants now, or even a year from now, does not mean you will continue to take anti-depressants in the future. For example, if your depression is fueled to a large extent by stress, you could reduce or eliminate your intake of anti-depressants by reducing the stress in your life.  

 

5) People who cry all the time or can't leave the house: People who can't leave the house suffer from agoraphobia have an anxiety disorder and may or may not suffer from depression. People who "cry all the time" may suffer from depression, but you needn't cry all the time (or even at all) to be diagnosed with depression.

 

6) My family would think it is absolutely insane: If your family doesn't think it's "absolutely insane" to see a therapist, I can't imagine they would react so strongly to your taking anti-depressants. Regardless, this isn't your family's decision. It is yours. 

 

7) I am going into a profession where I would be working with people who have mental illness: If you suffer from depression, I would think your ability to treat it and be a successful social worker would be an asset. It would help you sympathize and make connections with your clients.

 

8) I am afraid of trying it: This one I honestly understand. It can be scary to think about taking medication that affects your mood. I'll just say this. Taking anti-depressants doesn't change who you are. It doesn't change your personality. It certainly does not make you "zombie like". I would liken it to simply a buffer against the lowest of lows.

 

Only you can decide whether or not to take anti-depressants, but they are probably worth looking into for you because your therapist has recommended them twice. 

 

I hope this helps.

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I would neither be alive nor able to even get out of bed, feed myself, or sleep normally without the anti-depressants (and other medications) I'm taking. It is frustrating to know I have to spend at least $30 or $40 monthly for a cocktail of things I can't stop taking, but after 8 or so years, I've not only accepted that as being necessary, but as something to embrace, being doing so helps me be more at peace with my mental health status. I've learned that who I am as a person isn't dependent on what I'm diagnosed with; I spent too long of a long time seeing my mental health as being incompatible with being happy, healthy, and successful. Now it's a point of pride to see how much I've accomplished, but it is still an uphill battle every day.

If you can physically function most days, i.e. complete basic tasks, and – more importantly – if you don't want to take an SSRI or NRI, tell your therapist that. If you neither want nor need to, that's your call. It also takes months of trial and error to find the best possible option, and that process can be as crippling as the reason for the Rx.

I've found that I still get in a serious funk once in a while, and as silly as it sounds, things like changing my eating habits and how frequently I exercise always make an enormous difference. Ditto regular therapy, and talking it out with friends. I suggest changing all the above and giving the new routine a few weeks before considering a medication. I can't stress the physiological aspects and truly (frustratingly) all-consuming and chronic nature of mental health problems/MDD enough, and I personally wouldn't wish the financial, emotional, and physical burdens of psychiatric medications on anyone who can function normally without them. But, that's just my personal experience and opinion; I'm no doctor. :)

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I definitely am thinking about trying them. I just want to be happy like I want to feel genuinely happy and not fake it everyday or feel angry all the time at everyone for no reason. I might try it but the part that scares me the most is the suicidal feelings that I could possibly experience with anti depressants

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Does anyone on here have any experience using anti-depressants? Any side effects? Negative thoughts, suicidal thoughts? My therapist suggested a second time that I go to the doctor and try an anti-depressant.  I am VERY against it, my brothers best friends dad took them and he ended up committing suicide.  I just don't like the idea of possibly becoming zombie like.  I feel like right now I am lively and funny and outgoing, I know I have major down points and I used to know when it would happen. Like I have a certain week that my mood just turns to absolute shit, now it is more everyday.  I just feel like everything sucks, everyone sucks like I just hate everything.  I hate having to be fake with people and pretend that I care when I could give less than a crap.  It all comes back down to the same thing. At the same time I don't like the idea that I can't regulate my moods, I should be able to do that without the help of medication.  The idea of being forever dependent on a medication to make me feel happy is weird.  I am not against people who take it because I feel like there are people who genuinely need it, but when I think about depression I think about people who are so sad that they can't leave their house, or just cry all the time. I don't think that is me.  I am just afraid of trying it, my family would think it is absolutely insane.  I am going into a profession where I would be working with people who have mental illness. I don't think badly about mental illness but I just don't want to take an anti-depressant.  I don't want to feel bad. I mean either way I feel bad I guess. 

 

I take generic brand zoloft for general anxiety disorder (I take a tiiiiny dose, smallest available)/minor depression, and it's fine. SSRIs aren't really that scary, and if you're that afraid, you can ask to start on smaller doses. Mine is only $4 with insurance (that varies, I'm sure), but it was important for me to recognize I needed to take something. I convinced my doctor when I started to panic when they took my pulse, haha. After I got past the initial few weeks (my only side effects were feeling bone tired constantly), I don't really have side effects anymore. 

 

Here's the thing:

 

SSRIs don't make you happy. That's simply not what the medication does. Also generally speaking people who take SSRIs and have suicidal thoughts already had those thoughts beforehand. 

 

  1. You don't really need to tell your family what medications you take. 
  2. I bought a small moleskine notebook to write generally my mood every day, if I was happy/sad/frustrated/stressed/panicked. I also have an anxiety app for my iphone which was free so I can track that too. If you start feeling suicidal and you've been tracking your emotions, you'll notice pretty quickly. 
  3. Not being able to regulate your emotional chemistry is not a personal or moral failure. 
  4. I work two jobs with a lot of customer service -- I definitely don't feel less bubbly or outgoing? 
  5. I think you quickly need to mentally remove yourself from the stigma you're giving SSRI's especially if you want to work with people who also experience mental health issues. 

I think the biggest thing I've noticed since taking SSRIs is that before I didn't really cry no matter how I felt. Now if I get upset (or really happy, once in awhile), I'm more likely to cry. Kind of feels nice to get it out, to be honest! I could probably get my dosage adjusted but other than that, I really think you're much more concerned than you need to be. 

Edited by m-ttl

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Risks are low, potential payoff is unbelievably high. It isn't cheating, it's bringing you back up with the rest of the world so you can be the real you.

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This maybe a dumb question but if depression isn't constant sadness what is it? I am just worried that maybe I am not really depressed? Maybe I am just ridiculous. I mean my biggest issue in life is the fact that I have no boyfriend, how can that equal depression? I just feel like it isn't real, like I'm just being dumb. I want to make sure that if I get on a medication to regulate my moods I am doing it for a reason, because I actually have an issue. Does that make sense?

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This maybe a dumb question but if depression isn't constant sadness what is it? I am just worried that maybe I am not really depressed? Maybe I am just ridiculous. I mean my biggest issue in life is the fact that I have no boyfriend, how can that equal depression? I just feel like it isn't real, like I'm just being dumb. I want to make sure that if I get on a medication to regulate my moods I am doing it for a reason, because I actually have an issue. Does that make sense?

http://www.webmd.com/depression/

 

If your therapist has suggested to you two times that you see a doctor for a possible anti-depressant (your first post), I would take the advice seriously.

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Guest Gnome Chomsky

I'm confused. Is this the husband thread part 2 or a serious thread about depression and suicide?

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Guest Gnome Chomsky

Maybe you should READ IT and figure it out on your own huh?

  

This maybe a dumb question but if depression isn't constant sadness what is it? I am just worried that maybe I am not really depressed? Maybe I am just ridiculous. I mean my biggest issue in life is the fact that I have no boyfriend, how can that equal depression? I just feel like it isn't real, like I'm just being dumb. I want to make sure that if I get on a medication to regulate my moods I am doing it for a reason, because I actually have an issue. Does that make sense?

Husband thread part 2.

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Husband thread part 2.

 

I did reference it because I feel like a person who just got a good job, into all my programs and stuff shouldn't be depressed.  If just my lack of a relationship is causing it, is it really depression?  I don't want to take medication for something that might not be the problem.  

Edited by CorruptedInnocence

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Yes.  They are life-savers in my opinion.  Miracles of the modern age, nothing less.  Talk therapy alone doesn't quite do it (various studies show).  Talk therapy plus meds does the job.

 

The only other piece of advice I have is if you're on Effexor (Venlaflexine), don't even miss a day of it.  Withdrawal is particularly nasty on that one.

 

And don't listen to anyone who says they're not addictive.  They're not, but only in a very technical sense.  They all entail withdrawal and have to be tapered off carefully if you want to get off of them.

 

And:

 

"Risks are low, potential payoff is unbelievably high. It isn't cheating, it's bringing you back up with the rest of the world so you can be the real you."

 

THIS.

Edited by gr8pumpkin

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I did reference it because I feel like a person who just got a good job, into all my programs and stuff shouldn't be depressed.  If just my lack of a relationship is causing it, is it really depression?  I don't want to take medication for something that might not be the problem.  

 

It's appropriate to feel sad about something that's actually sad, but how long has the sadness persisted?  If it's been months on end, then you're depressed.

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Yes.  They are life-savers in my opinion.  Miracles of the modern age, nothing less.  Talk therapy alone doesn't quite do it (various studies show).  Talk therapy plus meds does the job.

 

The only other piece of advice I have is if you're on Effexor (Venlaflexine), don't even miss a day of it.  Withdrawal is particularly nasty on that one.

 

And don't listen to anyone who says they're not addictive.  They're not, but only in a very technical sense.  They all entail withdrawal and have to be tapered off carefully if you want to get off of them.

 

 

 

And:

 

"Risks are low, potential payoff is unbelievably high. It isn't cheating, it's bringing you back up with the rest of the world so you can be the real you."

 

THIS.

I have heard that about this medication.  I think if I take them I will ask for something that isn't that pill.  Can you drink alcohol while taking them? I mean I like to occasionally go out and drink, that is a major reason I haven't been rushing to take an anti-depressant (on top of just fear).  

 

I mean right now nothing major has happened to really make me sad. It takes me a long time to get over relationships ending even if the relationship was a month or 2 I will mope for 5 months.  I am not at this point where nothing major has happened (bad) but I just feel so sad all the time, so angry, so bitter, I cry sometimes kind of. I have never been a crier either but I do I just chalked it up to PMS. I always have a week or 2 that I am just emotionally in a bad place, it feels like it is starting to last longer than that week or 2 now.  

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Corrupted Innocence: Congratulations on the new job. Hoping you find it fulfilling and interesting. I'd be interested in hearing what kind of job it is, what it entails, and weather you are enjoying it (so far).

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Corrupted, fair enough, but I will also say Effexor has been the single most effective med I've ever been on.  I'm not the person to ask about alcohol; I'm a teetotaler so it doesn't come up for me.

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I think they are good to try if you are actually unmotivated and find it hard to function. However, if you are just down over life events or relationships, then you should be more careful. As someone said, they do make you dependent after a while and you need to be tapered off them.

I knew someone who went through a rough divorce and got on them but ended up hating them because of the dependency issue. My rule of thumb is if you think this is a temporary rather than pathological or permanent thing, then try all other avenues before meds. Therapy can help too, esp if you are going to school and will be able to get free sessions.

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Husband thread part 2.

 

Being disproportionately sad about something CAN be a sign of depression. Even people who have everything seemingly "perfect" in their lives can still be depressed because it's a chemical imbalance, not a life imbalance. Why must you be so flippant about it? There's no "right" way to be depressed. 

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Guest Gnome Chomsky

Being disproportionately sad about something CAN be a sign of depression. Even people who have everything seemingly "perfect" in their lives can still be depressed because it's a chemical imbalance, not a life imbalance. Why must you be so flippant about it? There's no "right" way to be depressed.

Flippant? Because she's made 20 flipping threads about the same thing. This is a respectable website and if it keeps to get littered with the husband thread, its reputation as a legitimate medium for graduate students will be in jeopardy. Every thread she's started has been an offshoot of the same thread. The themes of the topics themselves (moving to a new city, making friends, anti depressants) have been legitimate but her actual motive has been the same. It's run its course. Go read the first 28 pages of the husband thread and if you still want to be a good samaritan, I salute you.

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I just got here, and I saw this thread before the husband thread and took the OP at her word.  Believe me, I know what it's like to be undermedicated and post a lot of erratic things on a message board.  Hell hath no fury like me off venlaflexine.  Even if OP isn't serious, it could be a serious thread anyway--- it's a topic that is relevant to a lot of people even if the OP isn't relevant.

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I only read the first few posts on this thread... If you're reluctant to try an antidepressant perhaps you could see if a natural product like St.John's Wort would help. There's a list of recommendations on this link for people with mild to moderate levels of depression written by Dr.Weil who is an MD and a naturopath.

 

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400678/Integrative-Approach-to-Depression.html

Edited by jenste

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Flippant? Because she's made 20 flipping threads about the same thing. This is a respectable website and if it keeps to get littered with the husband thread, its reputation as a legitimate medium for graduate students will be in jeopardy. Every thread she's started has been an offshoot of the same thread. The themes of the topics themselves (moving to a new city, making friends, anti depressants) have been legitimate but her actual motive has been the same. It's run its course. Go read the first 28 pages of the husband thread and if you still want to be a good samaritan, I salute you.

If you don't like if then LEAVE you have hands correct?? Click to the next post. To constantly go thread to thread and talk about how tired you are of hearing the same shit is pathetic! Move on then how about that? We get it you try to troll every thread and be "funny" you're not funny. If someone left this message board because I made a post about finding a husband or taking an antidepressant then that sucks for them. If you don't like it then sucks for you too. Just please don't derail this thread, this is actually something I care about and want to know about and I was actually getting great, helpful advice until you felt the need to leave a snide comment. Now everything that follows could be questionable. We get it, we know your pattern, you think it's cool and funny to derail threads with your little "jokes"... Too bad they aren't funny. They are mean and hurtful. You can go crawl back under rock now.

I just got here, and I saw this thread before the husband thread and took the OP at her word. Believe me, I know what it's like to be undermedicated and post a lot of erratic things on a message board. Hell hath no fury like me off venlaflexine. Even if OP isn't serious, it could be a serious thread anyway--- it's a topic that is relevant to a lot of people even if the OP isn't relevant.

Why would I lie about possibly trying an antidepressant? Everything ties in together have you both ever thought of that? In the end it all goes together why I would be taking the medication, the threads... If you can't see that then I'm sorry for you. Do you think I love just being sad and pissed off all the time? Yeah just the highlight of my life right?

I only read the first few posts on this thread... If you're reluctant to try an antidepressant perhaps you could see if a natural product like St.John's Wort would help. There's a list of recommendations on this link for people with mild to moderate levels of depression written by Dr.Weil who is an MD and a naturopath.

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400678/Integrative-Approach-to-Depression.html

Thank you. Edited by CorruptedInnocence

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Why would I lie about possibly trying an antidepressant? Everything ties in together have you both ever thought of that? In the end it all goes together why I would be taking the medication, the threads... If you can't see that then I'm sorry for you. Do you think I love just being sad and pissed off all the time? Yeah just the highlight of my life right?

 

Err, I don't think that there's anything in Gr8pumpkin's that you need to take offense at -- he/she was actually supporting your post by saying that they took it at face value and they also understood what it was like to be struggling with issues of mental health and medication. Maybe worded a bit flippantly, but that might have been in response to posts other than yours.

 

Anyway --

 

I've also been in a similar position, and I can totally understand the reluctance to medicate, especially considering the side effects. For me, I found a lot of relief in meditation and mindfulness exercises. This is much more mainstream in the Asian country where I live, but it may be possible for you to find a class in your hometown as well. If not, this sampler from a Harvard med school professor might give you an idea as to whether or not meditation is a possible solution for you. http://www.mindfulness-solution.com/DownloadMeditations.html

 

Best of luck to you.

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Err, I don't think that there's anything in Gr8pumpkin's that you need to take offense at -- he/she was actually supporting your post by saying that they took it at face value and they also understood what it was like to be struggling with issues of mental health and medication. Maybe worded a bit flippantly, but that might have been in response to posts other than yours.

 

Anyway --

 

I've also been in a similar position, and I can totally understand the reluctance to medicate, especially considering the side effects. For me, I found a lot of relief in meditation and mindfulness exercises. This is much more mainstream in the Asian country where I live, but it may be possible for you to find a class in your hometown as well. If not, this sampler from a Harvard med school professor might give you an idea as to whether or not meditation is a possible solution for you. http://www.mindfulness-solution.com/DownloadMeditations.html

 

Best of luck to you.

Thank you! My therapist has had me try mindfulness exercises and thought redirection, those help when I do them. You're right about gr8pumpkin so I apologize for that gr8.

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