Anti Depressants or Not?

Posted , 9 users are following.

I was on anti depressants for over 20 years with mixed reaction.  Last year my doctor said to try doing without.  It took me 10 months to withdraw from Effexor so I did not get any withdrawal symptoms.  And that worked.  Just over a year on I am beginning to feel depressed again.  After all that effort to withdraw I am loathe to go back on medication.

Over the years I have tried stopping, but the depression always comes back.  I would like people's views on whether they manage without anti depressants, or think that we do need them?  

I am a retired lady and am also on the anxiety forum.  I get stressed about every silly little thing, although they do not seem small or silly to me.  

Medication or not?  I know this is really a personal choice.  Do people here feel better with or without anti depressants?

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  • Posted

    I'm on other side I'm fighting without meds and really need to try something but scared but can't go on with not having a life that I can enjoy if they worked then you should I think I've had ten years or more without and sides affects really its quality of life which is best you think yourself write down pros and cons I wish you luck
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    • Posted

      Thank you Nick.  it is a difficult decision.  Meds can mess with you, but on the other hand they can make life easier.  You have been battling a long time without medication.  Have you decided that you need meds, or would you rather continue without?
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  • Posted

    Hi Anne,

    lim also trying without and like yourself worry about every little thing, because I'm not happy living in this place right now as very expensive as there is nothing to go to

    and waiting  for debts to rise I feel helpless and worse therefore the anxiety is worse right now , I even signed off work for a week, and can't even imagine me going back to the awful environment tin my eyes. I feel for you and I wish I could help but if you need to talk to me do as im here for you.  My eldest daughter who lives at home has panic attacks because of my ways of not working as such cannot understand why I'm like this. I wish I knew.

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    • Posted

      Hello Carole, thank you so much for your reply.  Just being here makes me feel less alone and that I have friends and people who understand.  When I was depressed I lost such a lot, house, job, relationships.  I have been off anti depressants just over a year and it is the anxiety that is worse at the moment.

      I got in a state about something that worried me a lot, but in the scheme of things was not that bad, but it brought me crashing down and tearful.  

      So difficult for you if you do not like your work and do not want to go back after being signed off for a week.  

      Yes life so difficult for us.  Like you say, wish we knew why we are like this.  Some people seem to take life in their stride.  It is just we are sensitive people, and it is just the way we are.

      Thank you for being so friendly.  Much appreciated.  

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  • Posted

    I also have been on fluxetine for many years on and off. Decided they don't help they numb emotions so I this time is waiting for the body and mind to heal with talking to certain groups and hoping this will work in time .

    waittng for light at end of tunnel. Had a lot of stresses in life. Still do. But situations in life make the difference whether you are happy with it or not. We all have reasons why we feel like we do. I don't think meds are the answer its removing the situation is the key. 

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    • Posted

      I found when I was on anti depressant it also numbed my emotions, but I did not realise how much until I stopped them.  Also I put on masses of weight, but have lost it all since I stopped.  No medication only helps blunt the depression/anxiety.  But is there a cure for these?  Well after 20 years probably not for me.
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    • Posted

      To find the root of your depression, one must find the wound.  I've followed this advice for many years and I've been in touch with the deepest, darkest side of myself.  I didn't like myself much either.

      However, since I've found my wound, I was allowed my purpose.

      Good luck!

      Frustrated

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    • Posted

      I don't think I have got a wound.  I don't think I have got a deep dark side either.  I lost self esteem and did not like myself when I was really ill.  I like myself now and am trying to live as best I can.

      I am not sure what you mean by you found your wound and was allowed your purpose.  Take care.

      Anne

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    • Posted

      I found out what was "holding" me down from living..ie: being molested when young and I openly admitted my pain and therefore i was set free from that awful burden of re-living it over and over...although it was done to me over and over until around age 12...so that's what that saying means:  To find your purpose in life, find your wound.  My purpose is talking about that and letting other's know there is no shame in what someone did to me..not my shame anyway.  Does that make better sense?

      Frustrated

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  • Posted

    There has to be a reason/event/experience at the root of the cause for depression; it is not just something that happens. The fact that you suffer a lot of anxiety is a key. There will be a cause for this in your past and after so many years the anxiety becomes ingrained in your daily thoughts. You could seek help to establish that root cause and then confront it and overcome it. That can be done.

    The wide range of anti-depressants includes some that are better for controlling anxiety - try Paroxetine if your GP agrees.

    I have used Effexor (venlafaxine - for depression) which was a help and also needed a longish period of withdrawal. The great difficulty is deciding when could be the right time to come off such a drug. Depression has no medical cure, the drugs simply enable us to get that relief during which we can recover ourselves. So a lot of recovery depends upon how mentally strong we may be. It is all too easy to think we are "over" the depression without realising the impact of the drug we are taking. For all that it is better to prolong usage of the drug until we not only feel better but have felt so for a long period and then feel on top of the world again. It is all about mental strength.

    As for managing without drugs then this must depend upon how mentally strong a person is, and when clinically depressed that clearly suggests the mental strength is not as it should be. To manage without drugs requires an ability to face those demons and destroy them; not in any way an easy matter. Drugs give our brains time and space to overcome the worst aspect and then revert to a position where we can feel confidant about ourselves and our future again. Clinical depression is a terrible illness (about one in three of the population is affected at any one time) and one that is still not understood. We may be able to discern the (individual) reason but not why and how that translates into the mental anguish of depression.

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    • Posted

      Hi Jaguar

      I have read your posts in the past and have always been most impressed with the advice you give.  I was convinced you were a medic but I think I remember you once saying that you wern't.  In fact I have missed your postings lately.

      However, I have to differ on your statment that there is always a reason behind depression.  There is absolutely no reason for my depression.  I have been happily married for 52 years.  I have two caring children and three lovely grandchildren.  We have no money worries and we have been all over the world on holidays.

      I really do wish there was a reason and maybe I could then address it.  I have been to a Psychiatrist who says sometimes it is caused through an imbalance in the brain.

      I was on 75 mg of Venlafaxine for over 10 years.  Every now and then I would come off them but afrer a while the depression would come back.  I now on 15 mg Mirtazapine and 150 Venlafaxine.  At the moment I am fine but I'm sure it won't last.  I'm sorry to contradict you but I really wish what you say was true..

      Best wishes

      Pat the

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    • Posted

      My sole purpose in posting here is to help if I can. Often I have personal experiences that amplify my comments. But, naturally, I do not imagine that I know enough to provide finite answers.

      I, too, have been happily married for 52 years (just one of those odd coincidences). I've had experiences of depression within the family as well as among friends.

      My experiences of psychiatrists are on the negative side (my autistic son was misdiagnosed over a period of 20 years by 5 separate psychiatrists all of whom failed to listen to him and simply followed the first diagnosis) whereas experience of psychologists is definitely positive. That leads me to suggest you could try a psychologist and certainly a second opinion.

      The NHS is desperately short of psychologists, probably because they do not have the authority of psychiatrists yet are overworked. In our case we sought help from a psychologist in the private sector; it was well worth the fee. Prof Simon Baron-Cohen has written about the male/female brain which I found greatly interesting and he may have other books that might throw some light on depression or at least brain problems.

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    • Posted

      In all the years I have had depression I have seen numerous psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors and been hospitalised.  I don't know why I got depression.  It just happened, but perhaps there was some underlying cause.  The counsellors I saw just came up with different reasons why I was depressed.  It did not help.

      I have tried self help, read books, but the illness haunts me always.  Yes anti depressants did help, but I just wanted to see if I could cope without.  It was not my idea to stop, but my doctors.  Thank you for your very wise input.

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    • Posted

      I was on Venlafaxine 75mg for 11 years and never ever had any side effects.  From time to time, usually about a year or so, I  would come of them.  I would cut down on them and I have never had any trouble with withdrawing.  After a while the depression would raise its ugly head again and so I woud go back on them.

      As I said I was on it for 11 years but two years ago they just stopped working.  My GP tried me on several different ADs but to no avail.  Then last November she prescrbed Mirtazapine 15 mg. They worked more or less immediately.  However, they to stopped after 3 months.  My doctor then upped the Mirt to 30 then 45 mg but no luck.  She then  said I should go back on Ven.and put me up to 225 which was horrendous.

      I then asked if I could go to our local hospital and see a psychiatrist as they are supposed to know more about the drugs.  Anyway long story short the Psychiatrist prescribed 15 mg Mrt. and 150 mg Venlafaxine.  I said  but they both stopped working and she said sometimes they don't do so well singly but they make a good combination.  I walked out feeling it was a waste of time but to my joy they started working in three days.  I have also got a couple of friends who are on Ven with great success.  One friend was actually in hospital for weeks as she was so bad.  She has just been taken off her second drug and just on 150 mg of Ven.

      I must say I don't have the confidence with any drug as so many work for a while and then stop working.  I have been on this combination for three months so I will see how it goes.  I will certainly take your advice if they too stop working.

      Pat

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    • Posted

      As you must have gathered from so many different ideas given by those who may be regarded as specialists there is still a huge amount that is unknown about the ways in which our brains work. The medics do not have the answer(s) but they can prescribe helpful drugs.

      If like me you do not want to be on drugs and certainly not for long periods then it is difficult to offer any alternatives. I do know of one person who got so fed up with the lack of medicines to overcome depression a decision was made to make a complete change of lifestyle. That involved moving abroad. It is a measure of how badly some of us can be impacted.

      However, it seemed to me to offer a better option than just putting up with an illness that could not be overcome here. Very few people could even contemplate such a change yet I can see possible benefits. The most obvious being leaving behind a life that may have been a major factor in that depression.

      My present GP is very supportive. He will not tell me to stop any medication but he will give me the full scenario and allow me to choose. He can be stern and demanding which keeps me on my toes while getting to the centre of any problem and not wasting his time. So I trust him. Then I always report any changes I intend to make and get his approval. This is a two way process that I have found very helpful.

      However, I would never be against changing GPs if I felt I was not gettting the attention a GP should provide or I knew I must get a second opinion.

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    • Posted

      You are a lucky man to have found that "one" you trust.  I've had so many different people involved with my care and left the practice or moved out of state, it's hard to find one to trust that will stay long enough to help you through everything.  What's the secret?

      I'm in that arena now.  Seeking a new psychiatrist and psychologist.  The first to prescribe the meds and the second because they do seem to be a bit more compassionate with the mental health care.  I'm just skeptic with both and always wondering, are they going to leave this practice and I'm back at square one again.

      Should I outright ask them if they are here for the long haul?  Not sure how to address this fear I have.  I see the new one this upcoming Wed.  But that's just it, I've had an appt. with her and she's called 4 times already changing dates with me.  I haven't even had one appt yet.  Is that a red flag I should really be concerned with?

      Anyone's input is welcomed!

      Thank you,

      Frustrated

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    • Posted

      Hello Pat, thank you for your kind message.  Yes I was doing well on Effexor 150mg, and not sure why my doctor wanted me to try and do without.  I had been on anti depressants for over 20 years, so difficult to know, I suppose, if I still had depression.  Only one way to find out, I suppose.  This is the longest I have been without medication in all that time.

      Just over a year since I stopped.  I have not found that an anti depressant stopped working, but I have had some bad side effects with some I was put on.  Prozac was by far the worse. 

      I am glad you are doing well at the moment.  I have not got to the stage where I think I should definitely go back on medication.  I have lost all the weight I put on whilst taking the Effexor, but the skin now hangs off me and I don't look too good. 

      Take care and I hope you continue to feel better.

      Anne

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    • Posted

      Oh that is really bad that the psychologist keeps changing your appointment date.  I do hope you eventually get to see her and the outcome is satisfactory.  I too have seen many psychiatrists, counsellors and pshchologists.  When I went in a psychiatric hospital for a spell I came out no better. 

      I never found a person who I "gelled" with, but if you do, then it is reasonable to ask if they will be there for you long term.  It is important that you have a good rapport with them.  Let us hope from now on she keeps every appointment.  I think it is important.  I remember being let down once because a counsellor had double booked, and it hurt a lot.

      Take care and I hope everything works out.  Let us know how you get on.

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    • Posted

      Hi Patricia, I have been on Mirtazapine 30mg for 4 weeks, increased from 15mg after 2 weeks.  Sleep has been slightly better as has anxiety but not the depression.  The psychiatrist has now put me on Venlafaxine, 37.5mg which I've to increase to 75mg after a week in addition to the mirtazapine. Did you have any side effects from the Venlafaxine? Will it take a while to work?  I've suffered for the last 6 months.  SSRI's gave me ally severe side effects.  So desperate to feel normal.  Any advice would be gratefully received.  Thank you
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    • Posted

      I've been doing same as yourself taking Mirtazapine for a month now and I feel worse. I have less energy than before and don't want to get out of bed. I'm cautious taking further medication, my instincts are telling me to stop medication. 
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