Have I messed up my chances of getting any help? Sabotaging myself?

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I'll start from the beginning so this makes sense.

I was first diagnosed with depression when I was 18 by a GP (I'm 23 now), and given Fluoxetine, which I was on until about this time last year. It seemed to be a little helpful for a while, however i still had recurring bouts of depression. I moved to a different area, and continually asked my GP there if try a different medication, to no avail (I just got the impression that they didn't believe me)

I did have 8 sessions of counselling, which was helpful at the time.

So about this time last year I decided to stop taking the fluoxetene without talking to my GP, as it wasn't helping, and had made me gain a lot of weight. (I know the fluoxetene is to blame, as since then I've lost of that weight without trying)

I felt okay for a while, but since august, I've been feeling horrendous again. In september I went to the GP (it's the GP i'd originally seen years ago) and tried to explain how I felt. At this time I was against the idea of going back on a medication and asked if I could be referred for counselling. The GP refferred me, but was quite condesending during the appointment, acting as if he didn't beleive that I felt depressed again.

When I got a letter about the counselling referral, I basically freaked out and threw the letter in the bin. I think it was partly because I was so upset about how the GP had talked to me, and the fact that the initial consultation had to be via telephone. ( I HATE speaking on the phone, which is a very common anxiety thing that so many people have, it's so silly, WHOSE idea was it to have a freaking phone consultation as the gateway to getting counselling???)

I was adamant that I wouldn't go to the GP again, however recently I've gone downhill even more, and went back again out of desperation.

I thought I'd kind of decided that I would try medication again, so I said this to the GP. I asked if there were any which didn't cause such awful weight gain side effects and he said that they all cause weight gain (Is this true??) but then was saying that it could be monitered to try and minimise it.

So the GP told me to come back in 2 week and gave me a prescription for Citalopram.

I got home, and looked up Citalopram, and saw all the stories of horrendous uncontrollable weight gain... and have decided there is no way I'm going to take it. I also haven't been back. And I still feel indescribeably awful.

I'm not really sure what to do now. I've got myself into a silly situatuion because I get so indecisive, one second I'll want help and think that counselling would help a lot and then the next second I'll decide that I'm fine and theres actually nothing wrong with me and that it's somekind of conspiracy and the worlds a terrible place and it's actually all the happy normal people who are wrong about everything.

I feel like I've actually forfeited any chance of help because the GP must think I'm just being attention seeking and I can see why he'd think that. When I go i barely say anything, I don't even have the ability to try and explain how bad I feel. But then I also think even If i did they'd just sweep it away and undermine me again. But then I don't know, maybe I am just attention seeking.

Okay so end of the long winded ramble, here's basically what I'm trying to get opinions on:

1) Is it really true that ALL antidepressants cause weight gain? Are there any which are less likely to?

2) Do I sound like a complete moron?

3) Should I try and go back to the GP and properly explain how I feel or should I just not and hope that the problems I'm having just go away eventually (I don't know if this will happen though as It's been going on for 5+ years)

Apologies for any spelling/grammar mistakes

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    I suggest the first matter to resolve is your GP. You must have confidence in the GP who treats you. Without that it can only back up your indecision about any meds. As we are noe free to choose our GP it is time to think carefully about what to do next. How many GPs are within reach, either in the same practice or different ones? Do you have friends/family who recommend a particular GP? Ask those who you can speak to and then consider what they tell you.

    The next stage would be to move to that new GP. Then be open about the past and why you have not had confidence in the GPs you have seen. Next ask the GP to run through the checklist for depression to see if you really are depressed or there is another problem. Supposing you get confirmation about depression the next stage is to discuss any medication with the GP. Tell the GP what really bothers you because not all anti-depressants work in the same way or cause weight gain. Remember that the list of side effects set out in the pamphlet that comes with the meds has to cover every known possibility however remote. That is not a list of what will happen to you!!!

    Having agreed to a particular med then srtick with it as prescribed. Only stop if you really do get one of the main side effects. In the latter case return to the GP and report what has happened. Then you will get an alternative. Try that on the same basis. All of us can react differently so what is important is that you give each med a definite try.

    Just as important is how you approach taking the meds and your condition. Anti-depressants are not a cure; they enable you to get yourself out of depression. That is by positive thought such as telling yourself that a particular med is going to work and you will feel better. This is not fanciful. When a person gets depressed their brain appears to be weighed down by negativity. Something has happened that makes your normal life difficult and when that difficulty becomes too unbearable or you cannot cope with everything else you enter a cycle of desperate thoughts and sometimes panic attacks. That negativity has you in its grasp and you need help to break away; that is where the anti-depressants help. But what helps even more is positive thoughts. The meds can stop your brain going round in ever decreasing circles which in turn gives you the opportunity to think normally. The more you can think about all the positive things in your life, now and in the past, the easier it becomes to feel that lift that takes you out of depression.

    Do not imagine this is quick or easy. What is most important is to realise that when you feel better you are only starting out towards overcoming depression. Your brain needs that rest and help that the meds provide and it needs that for a long period. From my experience I needed at least a year. You are the one person who can overcome your depression. You must decide to fight it and tell yourself it is not going to win.

    Your three questions have been tackled but not in the way you might have expected. Just set yourself on a determined course and then stick with it, starting with a GP you can respect and get on with.

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  • Posted

    I agree about your GP you must feel comfortable enough to open up totally about how you are feeling or they will not know the best course of action to take.

    I really like my GP and even tho i have moved to a different area I have stayed with them, however the mental health care where i live leaves a lot to be desired but thats another story.

    I have been on Fluroxitine for many years and my weight hasnt really changed until recently when ive started to lose weight, all medications have side effects that will be different for everyone do not dismiss a medication without trying it.

    weight seems to be a factor in all of this maybe that is an area that needs exploring as it seems you have low self esteem (dont worry so do i and prob most people on here)

    Please dont give up, ive wanted to so many times but we must make people aware of our conditions and not let them sweep them under the carpet, a mental health illness is just as devastating to a person as a physical one!

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  • Posted

    I have been on Citilipram for about 1yr, & am just beginning to feel the benefits of it. I started on 10 for 1 month, then 20, then 40 which I am now on.I have begun to notice a decrease in my, what used to be, overwhelming anxiety.I had to give a short speech at my father-in-laws funeral last week, something I could never have done without being a complete bag of nerves. I never felt in the least bit nervous, in fact I enjoyed doing it. I have also had 3 consecutive good days for the first time in many years. It may not last, but I will take comfort & confidence from the fact I have had these good days. My Gp was also very understanding, which is a great help. When you feel down & depressed, the last thing you need is an argumentative GP.
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  • Posted

    By the way, you are NOT a complete moron. You sound like a perfectly normal person in a difficult situation! (like the rest of us).

    Follow the advice given above by others, don't overthink it, you need to find a sympathetic health professional. If not a doctor, find out if there is a local Mental Health Trust. You may be able to see someone from there.

    Sometimes I can't think of anything positive. What I find helps is to look at what I do have. This may sound simplistic but it is wonderful that I have hot and cold water coming out of my taps. I can bathe in warm, clean water. I can eat food and drink from many different parts of the world. I am protected from the rain and wind by the walls and roof of my house. I am kept warm by my heating system. Where I live is clean (reasonably),warm and safe. I have books, magazines and information about practically anything. I have entertainment provided for me 24/7 by TV, radio and laptop. Human beings have strived and endeavoured to attain this quality of living for hundreds of thousands of years and mostly they haved lived in shit and starvation. I remind myself that I am so lucky just to be able to poo indoors!

    It helps a bit to think about these things (and I am NOT saying that we should be happy because we have all this. We are unhappy because we suffer from depression and we would still feel depressed in any environment, but that doesn't mean we cannot still appreciate things sometimes).

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  • Posted

    Thanks for your replies everyone

    I am fairly limited with GPs in my area, however there are a couple I could swap to. It's hard to ask friends if they know any good ones because I currently have 0 friends in my local area (I do have friends, it's just they've all moved recently.) I think it will be a case of just going to one and hoping for the best. It's hard when I'm worried they'll be unpleasant. (When i lived on London I must have seen about 4 different GPs in all and none seemed very helpful.)

    athol91131, I know what your saying about being grateful for things and it's a nice suggestion. When I start thinking like that though it usually backfires and I end up feeling horribly guilty about being a pampered westerner, and how I sit around moaning when I should be doing something to better the world. Or I just start thinking out how awful the world is and how many people are suffering and I feel bad because I worry about such pathetically small things. It's like I try and get a wider view of things and get some perspective but my mind just twists it back again. sad

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