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Hi - recently joined this forum - if I can share any of my experiences to help people I will. Nature or nurture (I don't know) but I've suffered from depression for most of my life going back to teenage years. I'm now a professional man just made redundant mid 40's. I'm lucky in that I have good transferrable skills - but the ability (or lack of) to cope with work, relationships etc. puts the brain in stress mode. Being stressed for too long leads to depression, and in some cases the loss of the ability to function properly at all - why? because our brains are not designed to deal with the long term stress modern life demands. The answer? Your GP will have a list of ADs to try one at time.
I've been on Prozac, Seroxat, Effexor, Sertraline, Amitriptyline and most recent Valdoxan. I've been given a log in for CBT and spend hundreds on seeing someone privately.
First of all - I'm not a medical professional and whether it's a genuine or placebo effect I believe drugs are convenient but sometimes necessary. Out of the above I found that Seroxat did havesome effect. Prozac did nothing, Effexor gave me headaches, Sertraline terrible stomach problems, Amitrityline gave me a very dry mouth. Not to mention the sexual side effects that most of these drugs give - loss of libido, painful orgasms or the inability to orgasm at all. Read the reviews of Valdoxan - sounds a bit like a marketing campaign. I'm giving it another 2 weeks before deciding - definitely not the reaction I was hoping for. CBT - this requires commitment and motivation - depressed people are less likely to be able to commit to this even though CBT and changing the way you think is effective.
All of the above may or may not help depressed people. My main point is that, in this day and age, why we have such poor options. I suggest we're a few decades behind physical treatments due to the stigma of mental illness.
By all means keep taking your tablets (in fact never stop without professional help). But try to establish efficacy - has it really made a difference (if so great). Is the mood improvement worth all the side effects.
My view is NOT advice. Current drugs at best give you a 'crutch' that allows you to address the factors in your life that have led to depression. In my experience current ADs are poor options but if it gets you going great. Drug companies are desperately trying to find 'the' drug. Valdoxan I don't believe is the answer. Drugs that mimic the effect of Ketamine is an immensely better angle for drug companies to go (please don't buy Ketamine - it will kill you). There are some drugs out there that are used 'off label' for depression. One of these is Modafinil - originally developed for sleep disorders. Now used as a cognitive enhancer by many students. Tests have been done showing fighter pilots given 600mg of Modafinil out performed their colleagues. Studies have shown that this drug improves motivation, focus, cognitive ability, improves ADHD symptoms, and most importantly has a very positive effect on lifting depression. Another route for drug companies maybe.
The bottom line - drug companies have to get their fingers out and develop drugs that work quickly and without making you feel 10 times worse for the first few weeks. More importantly there should be much better information on why depression occurs, what we can do to avoid it. More simple CBT methods to help make small changes in the way we think - people with bad depression need to move in small steps.
Sorry for the long post - there is no magic formula to curing depression, just finding a combination of things that help us to focus on life changes that reduce stress and depression.
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