9 Replies

  • Posted

    If medication doesn't help...then what will make those that suffer from depression heal? No motivation, restlessness, constant cycle of degrading thoughts, loss of friendships and relationships, etc.. Although dependency on medication isn't the answer...I just wish there was something I could do to fix my broken brain.
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    • Posted

      Maybe you could turn that round and ask yourself how it does make people heal? To my knowledge, clinical trials show antidepressants are no better than a placebo. Counselling, talking therapy and anything else like that will contribute to healing.

      Telling people they have a 'brain disease' when there is no evidence to support this is a disgusting way of keeping pharmaceutical companies in business, it disempowers individuals and makes them believe they are going to be 'ill' for the rest fo their lives, and they have no choice or control over it. 

      If you look at it like this:

      A man is reading a book and goes outside. Why did he go outside?

      We can discuss the roles that chemicals, muscles ect play in this situation. Alternatively we could just ask him, what made you go outside? 

      Anti depressants and more inportantly psychiatry that over inflates the importance of them, fail to see this important perseon-centered aspect.

      I dont believe antidepressants should be used at all, unless in a crisis. They give people a crux, not a cure.

      People are hurt, distressed and overwhelmed, but they are not broken 

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    • Posted

      This post needs some balance.  Anti depressant medication does indeed help the majority of severely depressed users (data from the Royal College of Psychiatrists).  People do get broken, and to continue in the vein of simplistic theorising, I'll simply point you to our current suicide rates. To then state that medication should be used "in a crisis" whilst decrying that they're no better than sugar pills is not only contradictory, but irresponsible. The pharmaceutical industry has been prolonging and improving peoples lives for the last 100 years. Its saving millions of lives worldwide as I type, and being topical, the world is currently holding it's breath awaiting the pharmaceutical industry to battle ebola. The greatest risk to our ageing population, is forgetting to take their tablets.  Failing to take medication kills thousands of our elderly daily.  All natural lifestyle is a fantastic theory, but only if you're happy bringing life expectancy back to 62 , and that diabetics, asthmatics and measles have a death sentence. As to depressive illness, I for one don't wish to see the return of ECT, asylums (where the majority of inmates were indeed merely suffering from some form of depressive illness, post natal, bereavement, or post traumatic) or even the return of the "pull yourself together" school of thought.  You would be amazed at how many people have been helped by the antidepressant medicated crutch, which has saved lives, marriages, kept children in family homes, and ultimately enabled them to then walk on their own two feet, crutch free.  Indeed, I would go as far to say that anti-depressant medication has been as valuable to society as anti-biotics. 
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    • Posted

      Thank you Chris for showing the other side of the debate. I think its definitely important to hear all theories.

      I also want to say I now it might be distressing for some people to realise that they have been taking pills, that have the possibility of not working, because their illness is not one of a 'chemical imbalance' _

      "And, yes—the “chemical imbalance” image has been vigorously promoted by some pharmaceutical companies, often to the detriment of our patients’ understanding.3 In truth, the “chemical imbalance” notion was always a kind of urban legend- - never a theory seriously propounded by well-informed psychiatrists. - See more at: http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/blogs/couch-crisis/psychiatry-new-brain-mind-and-legend-chemical-imbalance#sthash.nOCF472k.dpuf

      If the notion of a chemical imbalance is not in fact true - does that then not suggest that anti depressants - marketed as 'correcting' chemical imbalances - may not actually serve their purpose?

      Suicide rates - anti depressants medication has been used for the last 50 years. If they were so effective, why has the suicide rate not fallen/ If you think it has, please provide me with evidence from your geographical location to support this.

      I dont think any of the suggestions such as asylums are the right idea, talking therapy works the best to my mind, with CBT now being the frontline treatment suggested by GPS in the UK. 

      What I think is that people should be given the unbiased facts, which are widley available if you would like to look on the above website or research this somewhere else. 

      What people dont take into account when they take medication is that their life changes during this time, they also believe this medication works. I think the 'effect's of medication can be attributed to this, and not the pills themselves. 

      All other illnesses mentioned, I dont believe are relevant. The pharmaceutical industry has improved quality of life in an immeasurable way by curing and helping people with illnesses that can be proven with medical facts. Depressions cause cannot be categorically attributed to a chemical imbalance - so why would I take medication that is specifically for that purpose when I have a better chance of recovery, and staying recovered with CBT, with no nasty side effects? 


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    • Posted

      Hi Sarah, I m a simple soul. I would entertain the 'chemical/anti-chemical imbalance' argument, if doctors were dragging perfectly healthy adults in off the street.  They're not. Nor are they19th century medicine men or witch doctors.  We are lucky that we live in a highly regulated and highly scrutinised medical and pharmaceutical industry.  So here's my simple view. I attended my doctors with symptoms.  My doctor told me about a medication that may help with those symptoms. I took the medication and he was right. 

      What my doctor hasn't done, is told me a lot of mumbo jumbo as to how he can erase past trauma.   He can't. Now whatever or however this medication works, to me, is utterly irrelevant. It works for me and I'm now able to tackle certain activities that were utterly impossible 3 months ago.  I'm not comfortable, but the panic, the anxiety attacks, the physical symptoms have completely stopped and the depression is lifting.  With the testing, the trials, the monitoring of these drugs, to even imply it's simply a placebo effect goes against 30 odd years of in depth scientific studies regards anti-depressants. You have seemed to home in on doctors treating "chemical imbalances".  They're not.  Doctors are treating symptoms.  Theyre using the best drugs available at the time, shown to have an effect on the symptoms we present with. 

      You ask about suicide rates. Again I m a simplistic soul.  There is huge debate about suicide data.  Certainly, up until the 60's and 70's suicide was not recorded as it is today.  Religious and cultural pressure hid suicide as a huge shame within families.  Insurance companies would not pay out on suicide and hence coroners, where they could, would register suicidal deaths as accidental or natural.  Today, even in the 21st century, the government do not keep data regards suicide rates.  The daily mail recently did an article on suicide rates in the military and veteran communities.  The DM had to write to every coroner in the UK to ask for local data under the freedom of information act.  There was no central collation of this information.  In light of our 21st century acceptance of mental health issues, compared to the shame and religious vilification of yesteryear, I would have expected suicide rates, (certainly the reporting of suicide) to have at least doubled or trebled in recent years.  That clearly isn't the case.  For me this is on a par with the seatbelt argument.  How many lives have been saved by seatbelts? Who knows.  We know people are still dying daily in cars, but would the number be threefold without seatbelts?  I haven't a clue nor would I even attempt to try and work it out.

      Depression and anxiety is a medical fact. There are medications, trialled, tested and regulated, that are shown to be successful in treating the symptoms of anxiety and depression.  Thats all there is to it really.  

      I completely dispute the view that anyone with depression has a better chance of recovery drug free. Yes, certainly many people do indeed recover naturally from bouts of depression, trauma, accidents, bereavement etc but for some recovery is simply out of their grasp.  This is where medication comes into it's own. Something in that little tablet, has stopped my panic attacks, my perceived heart attacks, my inability to breath, my feeling faint, numb etc etc etc. My depression has lifted.  My obsessive intrusive nighttime thoughts have stopped.   It hasn't undone previous events, nor have I any expectation of time travel, indeed it's all about living with past events.  Today I m living, so this for me, is where the chemical conspirasicts completely miss the point. Xx

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    • Posted

      Im glad your symptoms are lifting. Im just wondering if they are doing so because he told you thats what would happen and obviously, being a doctor, you and any other right minded person would believe him? There is that factor at play.

      The chemical imbalance 'story' we are discussing is a myth,because there is no evidence, other than people saying they feel better and that cannot be directly attributed to just medication. 

      There are no trials that say anti depressants are any better than CBT something that does not involve putting anything into your body. If depression was a bodily illness, attributable to chemical imabalances, how could these people recover without medication? But they do. 

      There are no medical facts concerning anti-depressants and depression, I would do the research because it is not conspiracy, chemical imbalances are unproven and have now been taken out of DSM-V in an explanation for depression for that very reason. I think your faith in the tablet and what you believe it does has made you better, but non the less I am very glad it has. Maybe we can agree that aslong as people are getting access to what helps them, then that is the best possible outcome.

      I just wanted the people who do not feel better, nomatter what medication they try, to know it might be because there is no life-long illness and to do the research.


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  • Posted

    Meds are really great.  When they work well but they're not perfect and don't always work.  Seems SSRIs help for severe depression just to get out of the hole but take awhile to work.  For moderate conditions, do they have benefits that outweigh negatives for you?

    I started reading Andrew Solomon's Noonday Demons, that might help you figure this out.

    An SSRI can energize the depressed, and made me more anxious. But stopped panic, go figure. I'd take a perfect med or counselor but we have to find what best. 


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    • Posted

      I think you've hit the button here, is it the chasm between moderate depression and severe?.  Is it the abuse of over prescribing in a quick fix society? (As with anti-biotics?).  Is indeed moderate depression a healthy natural state that allows us to then experience the highs of joy and happiness in a natural cycle?  Have we set expectations too high?  That people should expect to live their lives like an episode of Friends?  I do think there is certainly an abuse by the medical profession to over prescribe AD's, but is that the fault of the GPs or the patients who demand them? Severe depression is a world apart from that.  In my own situation, I sought help when I was at a point that physically I couldn't go about my daily life.  I had been moderately depressed for a long time, but it was the then escalating panic attacks/anxiety that pushed me to seek help.  I am lucky that I have a fabulous GP.  He acknowledges that I don't take medication for the depression, I take it to help with the symptoms of panic which in turn allows me to then tackle those panic inducing situations.  There's  no point in putting on a life jacket, if you're not going to get back in the water? And that's exactly how I view medication in my situation. It's a life jacket, it's a buoyancy aid, but it's utterly useless if I'm just going to sit in it and watch telly.  I have to get back in the water and trust the help it gives me.  I do accept that moderate depression is entirely natural, and completely expected, when looking at events or situations that we humans find ourselves faced with.  Severe depression is a whole new ball game and in my opinion, the realms where ADs, the god send that they are, come into their own. Xxxx
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    • Posted

      Thanks Chris, I really enjoyed this post. Those question are indeed really thought provoking and interesting. We do seem to be a quick fix society.

      IN regards to whose fault it is, there is actually a great article on the website mentioned above that talks about that question, with a DR who said the patients are at fault, and the author arguing against. 

      I think people's opinions will always differ on the benefits of antidepressants - unique patients with unique lives but its great to have this discussion with people whatever that is smile 

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