Long term antidepressants treatment

Posted , 8 users are following.

This is something I found today and thought it would be good to share it to anyone like me that has been on antidepressants for a long time and wondering why they get worse and not better. Please not this is only about long term use of antidepressants.

Antidepressants are crucial for treatment in the acute phase when untreated symptoms are at there worse. With long term use the brain sets to work compensating for the drug induced changes with a process called oppositional tolerance, the brain tries to re- establish its usual balance of production/ release and reuptake of neurotransmitters as every system of the body does when it's normal functioning has been disterbed . The meds artificially jack up the brains level of serotonin so the neurobiology of the system reacts by reducing its own production of the neurotransmitter. In other words if antidepressants use continues long enough the brain will create a system to cancel out its effects.

Well this is exactly what I have thought for a very long time now and one of the reasons I'm off mine after 32 years. By the way I found that information via the London institute if phyciatrists 

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  • Posted

    That's interesting Michael and does make a whole load of sense.  Thank you for sharing it.  Maybe that's one of the reasons why ad's need to be phased out slowly - so your brain can get used to it.  x
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    • Posted

      Yes I think your right about that. What really annoyed me is that I have mention this to my GP and he still insisted I carry on taking them. I'm glad I ignored him. I think the problem we are facing here is the fact that GP surgery,s get funding from the drug company's so it's in there interest to keep writing out precriptions. It's all about money and that's really sad to put money before human health and well being 
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  • Posted

    Hi Michael, was the article a hypothesis or published research? I can understand the logic but not so sure of the actual science behind it as it would suggest that if someone had a deficiency in something naturally produced by the body for example and which was substituted via tablets long term then the body would compensate again by reducing it's own supply so the deficiency would return? 

    Ive been on venlefaxine for 10 or so years at a low dose but had it increased flowing relapse and my recovery is taking longer so there may be some truth in it?

     

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    • Posted

      I think everything from the London institute of phyciatrist is published research. I does make some kind if sense to me. I think that what they are trying to say is that we build up a tolerance to it a bit like alcoholics, they have to drink more and more to get the same affect I know because I'm a recovered alcoholic myself. This explains why we have to keep having our doses increased to the point where the drug don't work anymore hence we are then changed to another drug then after time the same thing happens and this is the vicious cycle I have been in for 32 years 
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    • Posted

      Hi Aspinian

      I read a book called The Brain that Changes Itself. This led me to research long term antidepressant use, which led me to research about withdrawal. I am now off antidepressants and using supplements and a healthy high protein and animal fat diet to heal my brain. My understanding is that eventually and gradually my brain will be producing its own chemicals again, so I will reduce my supplements as long as I do not fall back into depression and anxiety again. I may need less supplements or even no supplements in time. It will depend on my genetics, lifestyle, diet and time for my brain to adapt to no antidepressants.

      Working well so far. Early days, but full of confidence.

      Good luck to you too.

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  • Posted

    Hi Michael, I am glad to hear that you are feeling better.... however, I simply cannot not agree with your opinion that GP'S prescribe for profit in any way for either themselves or the drug companies.... antidepressants have saved many lives, both literally ( preventing suicide ) and figurativ- Ely.. they are a very important part of the recovery process for very many with mild or severe depression.. when the serotonin levels in the brain have been increased, it is possible to slowly wean off to a lower dose....

    I firmly believe that for many they are the only possible answer to restore quality of life and to balance the equilibrium for day to day living and coping well.... I would not like to think that anyone would stop takingtheir medication if they thought it was only prescribed for profit........ Deirdre ..

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    • Posted

      Yes I totally agree with you they are life saving and can get people through the worst phase of there illness. But I did state that I was only talking about the effects of taking them for a very long period of time like myself. I was not my intentions to frighten anyone off from taking them. I only know about the the GPs getting funding because my brother works for one of the major drug company's. I'm sorry if I offended anyone but I was only being honest about what I have learnt and would never tell anyone not to see there GP and not take there meds, that would be very dangerous and irresponsible. I think maybe I won't post these things on here anymore as the last thing I want is to upset anyone. I do go on other forums like the antidepressant survival forum so I think it would of been more sensable to post it on there. My apologies to anyone I may have offended 
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    • Posted

      Hi Michael, please, there is no reason for you to apologise, I amsorry if you felt that.... I have been on antidepressants for at least ten years, I have been very fortunate that I suffered no side effects and they literally did and still do save my life.... I will probably take them for the rest of my life ( we have a lot of stress to face daily, we have three wonderful sons who live with us, sadly all three of them suffer from severe mental health problems )..... theyalso help me with pain 'relief, and also I am a recovering alcoholic.... without sertraline I would be dead by now, I was so down I could barely function, and I began to drink more and more.... I wish you all the very best and a wonderful new year.... Take care .... happy 2015 Deirdre.. 😃 😃
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply and I'm very happy that you meds work for you. I wish it was the same for me but I tried everything over the last 32 years only to end up in a worse state than I was before. That's why I have come off my meds now as no point in taking them if they make me worse. Been of them for 3 weeks after a 8 month taper and am going through hell with withdrawals still. It seems they work for some people but not for others, I have been in contact with loads of people in the same predicament as me and its hard because all the doctors have to offer is pills. I'm not sure where to go from here but going to try alternative medication and see how that goes for me. At time like this I could really hit the bottle again but that will just make things worse and undo my 6 years of sobriety. So it's all very hard right now and it's just a case of one day at a time 
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    • Posted

      Diedre, reading your message makes me very humble, as you have such a lot to deal with daily.  I have said many times that without anti depressants I would not be here now, and yet last year my doctor encouraged me to come off them after 20 years.  Well I was doing well for 16 months, but have relapsed. 

      to take anti depressant again or not?  I don't know, I really don't.

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  • Posted

    Michael,

    I agree with everything you have written. I haven't done the research that you obviously have but it makes complete sense. If you take a drug long term your body compensates for it. This also applies to pain killers, if you keep taking them they become less and less effective, quite scary, in future when you need them they may not work so well.

    Very useful blog Michael

    robert

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  • Posted

    Hey Michael that sounds very feasable.  Like yoiu been on anti depressants for a very long time.  Do you think we will manage without?  I know you are trying, and so am I. 

    I am taking "Kalms" and they have natural herbs.  Didn't take them over Christmas and went down, so I think they may be working, or perhapos it is placebo effect.  Trying to pull myself up.

    I do not ever want to go back onto anti depressants.  20+ years is long enough.

    Thank you for this information.  I read a couple of books which said exactly the same thing.  I will try hard to cope.  Do our brains eventually make up the lost neurotransmitters and serotonin?  Do you think so.  How long will it take is a question that cannot be answered, so we will have to see, you and I.

    Take care.

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    • Posted

      Yes are brains will make there own serotonin naturally. I researched this as I was concerned about it so that's good news isn't it?. I have read a few books about life after antidepressants and its all positive stuff so we have a very good chance. There is one bit in one of the books that always sticks in my mind and its about a woman that was happy and healthy got married and had a baby but ended up with post natal depression so was put on ADs. Her depression got worse so went through the usual ordeal of changing doses and medication. Anyway to cut a long story short she got worse and worse over time and nothing helped, she decided there was no point in going on like this be wondered what would happen if she stopped the meds. She done it carefully over a few months, oh and by the way her phyciatrist told her not to come off the meds as she would get more ill lol. Long story short she was back to her normal happy self within just 2 months and that was 8 years ago and she is still fine and lives a normal happy healthy life. Every thing she said in that book about how she felt on the meds I could relate to all of it. We will be fine I just know it in my heart 
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    • Posted

      Thank you that is an encouraging story.  Well I am not back to my normal happy self after 16 months.  Shame.  The anti depressants did help me, but I guess I feel the same on or off them.  So might as well manage without.  But I am so scared I will go down a long way again and have to go back on anti depressants.

      Do you think that however bad we feel, we ought to manage without medication?  I am not bad like I used to be, so I really, really want to manage without.  Wish I could feel like that woman you mentioned, better after a few months. 

      I have read where people have got worse and worse on medication, so a good thing to come off it.  Lets hope you and I really do get back to something like normal in time.  I am pretty ancient now thought, so not so important in my case.  Most of my life has gone.  Shame so much of it blighted by depression.

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  • Posted

    Hi Michael

    Thank you for this information which my own research and experience agrees with. I am coming off antidepressants with the help of natural supplements 5 htp, magnesium, passion flower,B12, hops, l-tyrisone and fish oil.  I have not experienced withdrawal but I went off anti depressants cold turkey.  You can imagine how nervous I was about relapsing, especially since i knew that my brain had probably compensated by cutting back on production of the very chemicals I needed to prevent depression.  So far I am very very pleased with my progress.

    I also would like to add that there is a need to take antidepressants for acute depression and I have lived a very stable life thanks to my meds for many years.  It was only when my symptoms became a problem that I found out that they were probably caused by long term anti depressant use.

    At this stage I can personally recommend using supplements when you need to come off antidepressants but my personal life situation just happens to be very happy and low stress these days, so they may not work for everyone.

    In saying all this I can honestly say that I do not regret using antidepressants. I just should have come off them earlier I think.

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    • Posted

      Hi abella

      Thanks for your reply and I'm happy to hear that you are doing ok off the meds. I agree with that ADs are very helpful in the acute phase and I think that's the whole idea of them but to be on them for years on end is really not the way to go 

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    • Posted

      Hey Michael,how are you?  It just crossed my mind that we took anti depressants because our serotonin levels were low.  Does that mean when we stop our levels will go back to what they were before?  In which case won't they be at the low level again, and that is why we needed the medication?  Bit of a conundrum for me to understand.  What do you think?

      Will our brains gradually revert to what they were, in our case, many years ago.  When we were well without depression.  Without the anti depressants we took for many years, will we be able to function normally again?  As I said, months since I have been off anti depressants.  A lot better than I was before I took them, but not like I was when I was that person who had no depression at all. 

      I do hope you and I and Abella, and lots of others here, can once again say goodbye to depression and anti depressants for ever.  How wonderful that would be.

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    • Posted

      Hi Abella, I too take lots of supplements.  I took quite a few when on anti depressants, but have now added Vitamin D and Kalms, which like you say contain valerian, passian flower and hops.  I take Omega3, Multivitamins and minerals, Vitamin B complex, cod liver oil.  I have tried 5HTP and St John's Wort too, but they did not seem to help.  Do you recommend magnesium and l-tyrosine too?  If so, I would like to try them too.  I have read that magnesium can help, so I think I might try it.  Anything is worth trying don';t you think? 

      I was on anti depressants for over 20 years, and been off them for over a year.  I am a lot better than I was at the acute stage.  Struggling with ups and downs and set backs, but like you, do not want to go back onto anti depressants. 

      I am so glad you life is now stress free and happy.  I must say mine is not stressful now, so am managing. 

      How long have you been off the medication?  I am so pleased things are going well for you.

      Anne

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    • Posted

      Hello Anne

      I have been doing my usual research about all this and have found some interesting information. We can get our serotonin levels back to normal and keep them there. Most of it is down to diet. There are so many natural ways we can do this with ought the pills. You will find out some very interesting and positive solutions to deal with this condition we have.

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    • Posted

      Hello anne

      I have been working hard on my research and found out some very helpful information. I have tryed to post it on here but it seems that the moderators won't allow it for some strange reason so I'm very annoyed and frustrated. This forum is here for us to give each other help and advice and that's exactly what I'm trying to do. I have found out so much useful information recently and just wanted to share it but it seems I'm not allowed. I'm very upset about this and feel like using another forum now. I'm not having a very good day as I have also run out of all the supplements I have been taking and I'm sure they are helping me. I can't buy anymore as living in poverty at the moment due to the fact that I have been off work for so long. I'm self employed so don't get sick pay. I can't even go on benifits because of something that happened a while ago, all a long story but I'm sure I posted on here a while ago. This is not really a good start to the new year don't know what I'm going to do. I live alone and have all the rent bills food ect to pay for so I'm in a state of panic to be honest as I don't have a penny to my name 

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    • Posted

      I am sorry about that Michael.  Oh dear I don't know how to encourage you.  Are you able to go onto Invalidity Benefit, if that it is still called.  I had to go onto it when depression was so bad I could no longer work. 

      Are you able to sign on?  How will you cope? 

      Wish I could help.

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    • Posted

      Hello Anne 

      Thanks for your kind message. I used to be on sick benefits but was made to go to a fitness for work assessment in may last year even though I took letters from my phyciatrist and GP they said I was fit for work so my benefits were stopped. I was forced to go on unemployment benefits as I had no work to go too. I was in no fit state to work so just went along with it. In August I met a young girl at an AA meeting that I attend as I'm a recovering alcoholic, she was really struggling and also suffers from depression. The council found her a flat and it was in a terrable state so me being me and taking pity on her I said I would do the place up for her. I thought it a good idea as it would help her and also thought it would be good for me to try and do something and get myself used to working again. I am a painter decorator, handy man so have the skills needed to do the work. I was going there just on the odd few days when I felt kind of well enough in myself to do it. To cut a long story short someone reported me to the DWP for working while on benefits maybe one of my neighbours, I will never know. I was called in to the job centre and interagated about all this and even though I said I was just helping someone and not getting paid for it they accused me of telling lies. Trouble is I couldn't prove anything. I lost my temper at the lady out of pure frustration and got marched out of there by the security men and am now banned from the job centre. They stopped all my benefits after that so I went to the CAB they done everything they could but its all taking so long as the case is now going to court but there is nothing I can do in the meantime. All this because I helped someone, it's just so unfair. My landlords won't listen to me anymore as I have already been to court over my massive rent arrears and was put on a payment plan which I have now breached through no fault of my own so I'm in a tricky situation 

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    • Posted

      Oh Micael how awful that your kindness was misinterpreted and that they did not believe you.  How come the young lady did not confirm that you were not being paid?  beauocracy at its worst, as I don't suppose they would have believed her, they just wanted to believe that you were being paid.  I am so upset for you.  I don't blame you for losing your temper. 

      You have been through some really tough times and yet you still post here and help others.  You are indeed a truly nice person.  Oh my goodness everything awful has happened to you, and I so feel for you. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Michael

      I would advise you to speak to the manager of the DWP. Not just the branch but the region.  I have done this in my job as a family support worker (way back in the day!!!!) for people who had serious financial problems and it always worked well. The manager doesn't want his name to be associated with anything that goes against the mission statement, whereas the staff in the branches get a bit cynical and think everyone is suspect.  The manager assumes that you wouldn't have needed to speak to him if the branch had met your needs.  Just try not to criticise his staff when you speak to him (he won't like that) and explain that you should not have reacted like you did.  It was fear and anxiety about losing your benefit and made you angry that she didn't appear to believe you.  Tell him, the staff member didn't deserve to be treated like that.  she was only trying to do your job.

      You may even try to get an advocate (like I was) to do the appealing because he / she won't feel so emotional about the situation, as you.

         Sure hope it works anyway.  Thinking about your dire situation, and how unreasonable it is to be branded as a cheat when you are just eeking out a living, as it is.

      Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Thanks abella

      I will give that a try that's really kind of you to give me that advice. Ps I did send a letter to my local job centre to apoligise for my outburst as it was wrong of me to swear at a lady like I did. It's not her fault she's a c##t lol

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