New to this site battling depression

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Hello: I have been battling depression for two years on/off( although it's been around many years just milder). I entered into menopause two years ago and had been blaming my depression/anxiety on that and went on hormone therapy.  Two years ago I was hospitalized twice for wanting to die.  Was put on so many antidepressants and none really worked.  I gave up and just continued trying different hormone replacements.  I guess it was easier for me to accept being on a hormone medication rather than being on antidepressants. About eight months ago I tried a new hormone replacement therapy, and my mood and my depression/ anxiety improved substantially. I thought I had found the proper treatment for my depression. But .... The depression, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping has all returned. So this is finally making me realize that I need to really treat this depression and anxiety with medication.  But being someone that is highly anxious, I'm fearful of taking antidepressants for fear of the side effects  and how I just did not do well with them in the past. Having this uncontrollable anxiety makes me feel fearful of everything including taking medication. I fear that I will never be able to find anything that will help me and I am stuck in this doom and gloom life right now. I'm so fearful of everything that I even have difficulty picking up a phone and making an appointment with the psychiatrist. I don't seem to trust psychiatrist because of my past experience with them. I have about five different phone numbers of different psychiatrist and I can't seem to even pick one make an appointment. I would really appreciate somebody stepping forward and giving me their success story about their use of antidepressants and how it's helped them. Thanks

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  • Posted

    My view is that antidepressants are not an effective remedy for depression.  They do affect your brain chemistry, and, as many people will testify, they can give temporary relief.  They can also bring very undesirable side effects, including more acute mental pain.  Withdrawal can be long and painful, so much so that there are many people who never come off antidepressants, either opting to increase the dose because bad withdrawal symptoms would appear to indicate the medication was doing them good, or, more commonly, to try a different antidepressant in the hope of finding one that works better.  Once into this cycle it is very easy to be thoroughly confused about what is helping you and what isn't.

    Don't forget that depression is a normal human reaction to life's challenges and that, with the help of friends, many manage to come to terms with the problems that are bugging them.  If your life is temporarily in a bit of a mess, coming to terms with it is going to be a challenge.  Without medication, you will be dealing with the psychological and life-style issues that face you squarely.  With medication, you will be dealing with the same issues plus a brain chemistry change of uncertain consequences.

    I've been there, reluctantly taken antidepressants before I knew much about them, and have been happily free of them for 20 years.  No, not happily ever after, that's a fable, but coping with life's problems as they present themselves.

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    • Posted

      I completely understand your point of view graham28516. But what you are saying is mind over matter? Get therapy and find the source of your depression and work on that? Right? That may work to a certain degree but when a person is in a high state of anxiety and depression, they are unreachable! The anxiety is so fierce that a person is far from having the ability to process and do what is being told of them to do. A person's world is closed to reality. All the person can do is focus on their depression. Nothing seems hopeful. Nothing seems possible. So a person goes on an antidepressant knowing all the possible things that can come from it because they want to LIVE again. They are so stuck in a dark hole that completely disables them from living. Work is affected, relationships are affected, health is affected and of course, possible suicide is not far in a person's mind. Are we not dependent on all forms of medications to survive? Blood pressure medication, stomach medication for gerd, diabetes medication, etc.   Take a blood pressure medication away from a person and watch the withdrawals from that. Any medication will cause withdrawals and side effects too. I'm not so sure your mind over matter tactic is fair. To say this may work for some people is true. But to say just talk to friends about your depression and don't go on antidepressants because it will be a nightmare in the long run, may be true , but may possibly save a life even if it means a lifelong Slave to the medication just the same as any other type of medication. Am I deathly afraid of going on an antidepressant? You bet! I know everything that can happen which is why I haven't jumped on it yet. But not living and hurting those around me and barely functioning is not a healthy option either. All the exercise and talk therapy in the world cannot always pull a person out of depression/ anxiety. I am all for trying to find the cause of something and treat it. It can make a person go mad if they cannot find the source of it. Doctors can't always find the source either. So the problem is treated like any other disorder or disease. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you, Lucy, for responding as you have.  Mind over matter is not a phrase I like, but you are right; I am tending that way.  Understanding and choices and thinking about things are what go on in our minds, and I don't fully equate our minds with brain material, though our brains are where our thinking happens.  Fiddling with brain chemistry is now a common practice with unpredictable results.  Luke Montagu recently wrote that there are two major misconceptions: (i) mental illness has a biological basis, like cancer or diabetes, caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain, and (ii) today's drug treatments target and correct this chemical imbalance, just like antibiotics fight infection or insulin treats diabetes. [The Sedated Society, ed. James Davies, 2017, p. 120]

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  • Posted

    Hi:

    Firstly, keep this in mind, ANYTHING you put into your body will cause side effects.  Just look up the side effects of an aspirin and look at some of the side effects of additives in your food.  

    Because of my illnesses, I believe in the olde saying "better living through chemistry."  Without anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications, I would not be here today to tell you how these medications have improved and prolonged my life.

    I suffer from bi-polar depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), generalized anxiety (never lets me totally rest), PTSD, insomnia and panic disorder.  In short, I was a total mental mess. 

    I was educated by my psychiatrist who told me that I have control over some of my conditions but not all.  My bi-polar state is caused by the chemicals that flow in my brain.  The only way I can attempt to control that is with medication.  My panic disorder was unfortunately passed to me via both my parents.  For some people the anxiety from that disorder can be controlled through external therapies and believe me I tried many.

    I went through single and group therapy, light therapy, cognetive therapy and hypnosis therapy all to no avail (hormone therapy was not an option for me because I am a breast cancer survivor -- I could hardly wait to go thru menopause).  It was not until, with the help of my psychiatrist, that I began experimenting with anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications that I began to felt some relief. 

    I agree, it's not easy to start taking an anti-depressant.  Like you, I was so terrified in the beginning that I insisted on tables (never capsules) so I could cut them into quarters or halves.  I explained this to my doc and she said that's fine don't cause more anxiety by thinking that you have to take the initial recommended dose. She said cut them into crumbs if you are so afraid.  I did and little by little I was able to increase the dose to where it began giving me relief.  It takes anti-depressant medications approx. 3 weeks before you begin feeling beneficial effects.  So you can expect some unpleasant side effects at first but they may be mild (our bodies handle what's put into them in different ways). I worked my way up to a dose that was effective -- took a while but I'm happy I stayed with it.

    Because I was such a mental mess (almost afraid to leave the house but I had to go to work in order to live), I, like you, was extremely reluctant to start these medications.  But it was either that or stay at home and sit in the corner sucking my thumb (no life to speak of).  So I made up my mind that I was tried of feeling bad and began taking the meds.  Since my system seems to quickly learn how to sabotage medications, I must have gone thru every one on the market over a period of 3 or more years.  One would work for 3-4 months and then my bode would get around it and the med would stop working.  I felt like I was on a roller coaster to hell but ah ha we found one that worked and I must say has continued to work for the past 15+ years.  Helps me sleep, helps me stop crying, helps me have more confidence in myself, gives me energy that I didn't know I had, etc.  Also with the anti-depressant, doc also gave me and anti-anxiety med and a mood stabilizer to ward off what I call the "blue meanies" during the winter.  They all work. There is no question in my mind that I will be on these meds for the rest of my life or until they stop working and I have to seek out others and I'm sure glad they are available to me. 

    So do a bit of research on the net to see which psychiatrists in your area specialize in what conditions (in your case depression and anxiety) and make an appointment.  You have nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain.  You can get your life back and even tho you may have to try different medications, there are so many that you are bound to find one, like I did that will ease your pain and fear. 

    My story is a successful one.  I am not a trippy happy camper but I'm functioning and doing a lot more than I did before when I was frozen with fear/anxiety.  Get help.  There is no reason not to.  Why continue to suffer?

    Good luck and my best wishes to you.

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you frazzled. I have researched so much about what could be causing my depression/anxiety blaming it on my stomach problems , hormone replacement medication, stomach medication, inflammation in my body, etc. everything that I could possibly think was causing it, making myself more and more anxious with no hope, so that I would not need to go on them. I'm sensitive to any medications and it's a nightmare to find anything that works. I'm afraid of the weight gain, the sexual side effects, the insomnia etc. that can come with them and then the inability to stop them due to  unpleasant withdrawals. So I'm afraid to start and afraid to go off of them ( even though I haven't even started). Crazy huh? I'm making myself highly anxious and my family is losing patience. At some point I'm going to need to take the jump. 

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  • Posted

    Hi, I agree with Graham. The antidepressants do not work. If they did, there would be no depressed people - all we are doing is becoming addicted and making the drug companies even richer - they know they don't work but look how rich they are becoming! I've been on antidepressants for years and finally decided to stop, I missed a few for a week or two then just stopped altogether. I can say that I feel a lot more alert, don't have any side effects from coming off them and although I'm not exactly waking up full of the joys of Spring, I now know I can cope. It's much better to talk to someone and even allow yourself to be miserable for a while but then tell yourself, that's enough now, let's get on with it! I remind myself of not dwelling on  the past, as it's gone and also not worrying too much about the future either. I set little goals which are achievable - nothing dramatic but stuff like, clear out a couple of drawers or get out of the house by x time and go for a walk or meet someone for coffee.  I also just reflect on the NOW - what is actually happening at this very minute and I feel ok. I hope you manage to find a strategy that works for you. Good luck 

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  • Posted

    Hi there. I'm going thru the medication rollercoaster ride just now so at the mo 2 s.s.r.i's haven't worked. But I was well for years on fluoxetine so I did have success on that one. Xx I also suffer with hormones a lot so that affects my medication and its effectiveness on my depression at certain times so I understand where you're coming from. I think u should give another class of antidepressants a try that uv'e not tried before with some therapy see if a mixture of the two work for u. Xx good luck. X

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  • Posted

    No-one knows what will actually work for them until they've tried it - for at least 2 months!!

    I'm on a combination of anti-depressant and anti-anxiety - known as SSNI and that has served me well for 10 years.. . I'm still petrified of the menopause though (hormones are a different thing entirely, hey?) and have been "reassured"  by my doc that i'm already on meds prescribed for this... I understand your unwillingness with psychiatrists - it's essential that you find one you can relate to, which DOES mean you have to give them a go...!!

    I found success with counselling alongside pills, personally I think that's essential. It's unfair to put people on pills without the mental back up.

    It might be worth mentioning Duloxotine to your doctor though, it treats two symptoms at once, and for me (many attempts at unwanted medication) no side effects. 

    All the best lovely xx

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  • Posted

    Thank you all for taking the time to chime in on my discussion and giving me your points of view. Here in the u.s. , there seems to be an explosion of people suffering from depression and anxiety. So many that psychiatrists and therapists cannot keep up with them. I wonder why. Appointments take a long time to be seen. My General doctor has informed me that he has put so many people on antidepressants, and he has now had to hire a therapist to his staff. The SSRIs have been around since the 1980's and although somebody above mentioned that antidepressants don't work, I can't imagine that they do nothing otherwise there wouldn't be people taking them. False improvements?? I do realize that there are a percentage of people that it does nothing for them. We all deserve to feel better and to live life to fullest. Anyone will eventually need to take something to feel better and make it through life whether it's blood pressure medication, diabetes medication, or antidepressants. I'm still in the process of making that leap. 

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  • Posted

    My pleasure, & whatever u decide hope all goes well for you xxx

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  • Posted

    I think everyone is different and I find ad's work well for me.  They also do for a lot of people so don't be put off by others experiences. 

    Remember it is only our experiences.  Not sure it's a good idea for people to say things like 'never take them coz they are dangerous'.  Everyone can only talk based on their own experiences after all. 

    There are people out there who need to take them and whom they will help a lot.  Likewise others will have either bad side effects or they don't help at all.  The only thing we can do here is provide the information and obviously our experiences too and let the poster decide for themselves.  x.  

     

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