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Anti-depressants... your own experiences...

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posted on Jun, 18 2004 @ 05:10 PM
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First of all, I think depression is a unique experience for every person, and saying that it's a weakness is really belittling and insulting the uniqueness of every person's case. It smacks of telling people what to do, how to feel and that's arrogant. When faced with someone who is suffering from depression, I try to accompany them from my own experience, but mine is not theirs, and different things work for different people.

In 1997, I suffered severe exhaustion, anxiety and finally a nervous breakdown. Not only was I incredibly tired, but my energy levels were so low I was unable to make a decision about what I wanted to do with my life without having a panic attack. I finally had that breakdown and for the following four months, I was unable to be active more than three hours a days. I began taking Paxil to stabilize my serotonin levels, and Ativan (during the two initial days of the breakdown itself) to control my panic attacks.

Initially, it was really painful and humiliating, as a person who prides himself on his strength of intellect (I'm a writer/journalist) to see my rationality having to be supported by medication. But ultimately, what happened is that it's not the medication itself which changed me - it's the depression.

What I mean by that is that some have said that medication is used as a quick solve for depression problems. In my case, it wasn't a magic wand - it just gave me back my power of thought and reasoning so I could solve my problems on my own. Big difference.

Seven years later, I know I'm still fragile. Depression will often do that to you. And medication is my insurance policy, it just helps me ensure that I don't go too far down that path again.

As to those who say that depression is a weakness, or that taking medication for it is a weakness... If by weakness you mean admitting that sometimes there's stuff we can't deal with without a helping hand, if by weakness you mean admitting that one is not invincible and has limits, if by weakness you mean deciding that there is some suffering that is really not necessary and can be avoided... well, I plead guilty to your accusation of weakness.




posted on Jun, 18 2004 @ 05:36 PM
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I was forced to take Ritalin and Prozac as a teenager and all it did to me, was make me a zombie that couldn't feel any strong emotion. It was as if it was all a daydream thinking back, but I can remember the well not feeling anything emotional really. Psychoactive Drugs need to be researched alot more thoughouly IMO. BTW Prozac DOES cause suicidal tendancies, I have experianced it. When I stopped taking Prozac the suicidal thoghts stopped almost immediatly....



posted on Jun, 18 2004 @ 05:53 PM
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Otts, excellent post.

I know that the medicine- I take zoloft- sure has helped me get out of the major slump i was in, and it allowed me to think clearer than I've thought in years, and allowed me to start working on the depression in therapy.



posted on Jun, 18 2004 @ 06:34 PM
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Hi All,

I agree that Ott's has a great post. I developed Panic Disorder back in 1989 and was misdiagnosed until 1991 when I was subsequently retired form the US Navy after 12 years. I started taking Zoloft in 1991 along with Xanax for the panic. I recently switched to Celexa along with Clonapin. The reason for the switch is the fatigue. I am married with two kids and a military pension doesn't even put a dent in our expenses, so I need energy to make it through the work day. By the time I get home though, I am ready for bed. I guess that is my biggest question regarding anti-depressants. Do they cause the kind of fatigue and joint pain that I suffer through on a daily basis? Also, I seem to have no interest in doing anything except sit at home and read. Any thughts are appreciated.

Steve



posted on Jun, 18 2004 @ 08:31 PM
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Steve, I understand what you are saying. My shrink and I always are maintaining a balancing act between the meds...enough to fight the depression and panic disorder w/o making me so sleepy that I don't feel like doing anything.
My only recommendation is to find a psychiatrist who specializes in psychopharmacology. I've found one and he has helped me to strike the right medical balance between the meds. Often, your dosages need to be "tweaked" due to many factors. For example, when I quit smoking (hooray) I found that I had to cut back on one of my meds because the nicotine had been depleting it.
Good luck. I understand how tough it is. I maintained a job as a history professor while being a caregiver for my parents while trying to deal with my own issues of depression and panic disorder. It's not easy.
joey



posted on Jun, 18 2004 @ 10:17 PM
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Well said,otts.

steve, I was prescribed clonapin, by the doctor mentioned in my previous post. I only took it for about a week, it made me drowsy pretty much all day.



posted on Jun, 19 2004 @ 12:12 AM
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I had a bad experiance with Prozac. I got really bitchy and out of sorts till I finally started to have problems with violence towards innocent inanimate objects.. I was taken off of it and returned to normal.



posted on Jun, 19 2004 @ 09:37 AM
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Thanks all for the input



posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 08:25 PM
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...
... yeah thanks for thanking the peeps on my behalf swdecord... *cough* It's my thread *cough*
...
AMEN OTTS!



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 06:36 AM
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Originally posted by jameo131i
...
... yeah thanks for thanking the peeps on my behalf swdecord... *cough* It's my thread *cough*
...
AMEN OTTS!


Sorry jameo131i. It is a great thread. If it makes you feel any better, "drunk" penalized me 20 points for having too short of a post. On a lighter note, I have researched Panic Disorder and Depression for quite some time (at least 12 years) and one of the interesting commonalities is that fact that a lot of people who are diagnosed with the disorder are described as highly intelligent. In fact, a book I read one time (can't remember the name, called Panic Disorder "the smart person's disease." So, I guess we get a consolation prize. Maybe we think too much?



posted on Jun, 22 2004 @ 06:41 AM
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Well i've just been diagnosed with split personality disorder, can't remember what the big techinical name is. I still take anti-depressants for my depression, but i have to start taking new pills for the personality disorder. If you want my advice, if your depressed, don't let them put you on Prozac, it only makes you worse. I was on prozac for 4 months and i had spells of wanting to kill myself to wanting to kill everyone around me, nasty stuff



posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 12:45 AM
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I don't think we can make sweeping generalizations on meds which are based on our personal experience. For example: I have panic disorder and prozac works great for me. However, Lexapro and Effexor made me either depressed or super hyper.
Drug reactions are very individualized and one person may benefit greatly from a drug while another may not. That's why people with panic disorder and other so-called mental disorders (I just hate the lumping of everyone together as "mentally disordered lol), should really find a psychiatrist who knows a good deal about psychopharmacology.
One of the problems of have with those who say "don't ever take this drug" is that you are only speaking from your experience and someone else might have a totally positive experience. Plus, people with ocd or pantic disorder or depression are very susceptable to being "fearful" of anything that affects their body. (Which can be a good thing). Just my 2 cents.
joey



posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 08:26 AM
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I got clonapin and it works great for me... but I only take it as a "panic button", so by the time I get it down, I'm in such distress that it can't make me drowsy, just brings me back under control. It's very different for everyone, and I think that's one of the things that makes it so very difficult for people to get help. It's frustrating to go through trying several things until hitting the right one, especially when it can take a month or more for some of them to really show their effects. I have a friend who said he tried and the doctor kept changing it and nothing worked so he finally gave up. In this age of health insurance crisis where so many don't have insurance to help defray the costs, it's sometimes impossible to keep going to appointments and getting bloodwork and such. Unfortunately it's cost that keeps a lot of people from getting help.



posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 03:21 PM
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I was always told that the best thing is to talk to people. But people are strange and if you don't come across "normal" they shoot you down for it. Depression sucks
Has anyone been on Zispin (mirtazapine)? thats what i have to take now
Been depressed for a year now
Ok i'll stop moaning now...



posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 07:42 PM
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My fiancee was on Paxil, and it made her suicidal. The shrinks admit that they have no idea HOW psych-meds work.

Fact: they cause permanent changes in your brain chemisty. The drug companies are laughing all the way to the bank.... You go to a shrink, and the first thing they do is write an Rx.. no talk therapy...

Deal honestly with your emotions! If you're sad, be sad. Don't buy the crap they're selling you on the commercials during the 5 O'clock news.



posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 10:40 PM
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Ok... here's my experience:

Last spring I couldn't handle the depression anymore. It was getting way out of hand (I was being extremely moody and irritable, school was sucking... and I'm an artist!) Anyways, I have always been depressed, but have never had a problem dealing with it, just as I dealt with my anger management issue (yeah... damn counselors and shrinks never really helped at all... especially with how rebellious I was about it
).

So, I see a counselor at UW and she diagnoses me with ADD (already knew that... I used to have ADHD, but I grew out of the H), depression, and possible bi-polar disorder. YAY! She sends me to the shrink who confirms. So they put me on (at the time NEW drug) Strattera.

NOW... Strattera is supposed to be NOT a stimulant. Every day I took the crap I felt just like I was taking ephedrine! I took it for about a month, but I couldn't handle the 'growing hair' and 'crawling skin' 24/7, so I quit taking it. One thing I did notice was my attention span... wow, I never knew what it was like to be able to concentrate on something that was completely lame and uninteresting just because someone told me to! My 'bi-polar' seemed to wane greatly, and I kicked the depression within a day of the end of the 'loading' period. Seemed to work pretty good! And once I remembered what it was like to NOT be depressed, it was easy to be happy... even well after I stopped taking the drug.

Here's where this gets wierd... a couple weeks after I get put on Strattera we get a PuR water filter because I can't stand the taste of the chlorine and other crap in the water. We have always had a filter since then, until about a month and a half ago. Guess what happened! My depressive modes came back, right along with my seemingly 'bi-polar disorder'! Some may think that I'm grabbing for excuses for my depression, but I only just made the connection about 2 weeks ago. It seems like it takes about 2 weeks of drinking clean, filtered water for me to get back to a healthy mental state (jeez... I've even been accusing my GF of cheating on me, and under the most irrational circumstances!). Since our filter broke I'm right back to the state of mind I was in before.

The only thing that sucks about this realization coming so soon is that I may have built a mental trigger that will turn off the depression and irrationality/bi-polar when I get my filtered water back... so, anyone else wanna confirm this? lol.

Don't take drugs, DRINK CLEAN WATER!!! Try it... I almost think that the chemicals that are in the water somehow inhibit alot of the water from getting soaked into your body... I feel so dehydrated all the time, but when I drink filtered water I don't have problems and only need to drink about half the water that I do straight from the tap. If you're wondering about the corellation, think about how you feel after a night of drinking when you are just on the verge of a mild hangover (no headache, just 'out there' feeling, irritable, etc..).

So... that's my story. (btw, Strattera is used for Adult ADD, but is also used as antidepressants at times. Kinda scary stuff if you ask me... my body obviously didn't like it at all). Oh yeah... I was also on Trazodone HCL for my insomnia at the same time (Trazodone was originally developed as an anti-depressant, but when taken in the strength needed pretty much turns you into a complete zombie, so the most common use now is as an extreme sleep aid for insomniacs... some crazy stuff, lol! I still have a bunch left, too, but just deal with my insomnia like I deal with my ADD... I don't like the drugs). To date, the best aid... AID!... for me is the good ol' herb... marijuana. When I get in a depressed state, I smoke some and sit back outside of myself and examine what is depressing me, or why I am angry. Lets me play counselor with myself, rather than someone else trying to interpret the crap.



posted on Jun, 25 2004 @ 04:52 AM
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I heard about this on the news here in Australia about 2 weeks ago... the story was about an anti-depressant called Aropax which is commonly prescribed in Australia, and how studies in the UK have shown that it cause children and adolescents to kill or harm themselves.

A story about it can be read here:
www.smh.com.au...

I have also found a story about SSRI's (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and how researchers in Australia think that they shouldn't be used to treat people under the age of 18.
The link to the page is here:
www.talkaboutsupport.com...

Can readers/posters share their views on whether or not children should take SSRI? OR Has anyone used or know of anyone who has taken Aropax?



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 05:14 AM
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[edit on 27/6/2004 by jameo131i]



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 07:53 AM
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I think SSRI's (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) was the first drug i was put on. This was going back a year ago, i was 17 at the time. I was under 18 so i couldn't be given certain drugs, but when i started taking my first anti-depressants it made me feel so worse then before, i was cutting myself every night and i couldn't sleep at all. I also found it hard to eat at all, i use to go 3 days without eating. Nasty stuff



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 10:16 PM
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I don't mean to sound as if I'm beating a dead horse, but I really think this should be kept in mind: SSRI's have saved, literally, hundreds of thousands of people from unmitigated hell. Only someone who as suffered from clinical depression and/or panic disorder with agoraphobia (like me) can know how horrible these diseases are...and, yes, they are diseases.
On the other hand, I've gone through my share of doseage and med adjustment to achieve a place that feels "normal". Yes, some of the SSRI's didn't work with my body chemistry and I felt like hell.
With that said, I hope that people can keep an open mind about the use of antidepressants. They are not all bad. They can be lifesavers. They are very powerful chemicals and can be very bad if your body doesn't react with them correctly.
There's no "right" or "wrong" about this subject. The one thing that I hope we can all agree to is this: clinical depression (as opposed to a down day or the blues) is a debilitating and life threatening ILLNESS and should be treated as such. For many, this means the use of medications and adjunct therapy. Do I rely soley on my meds? NO! I also use talk therapy, visualization, guided relaxation, and a numbe of other alternative methods to relieve the symptoms of depression. However, I can state, that without the use of antidepressants, I KNOW I would be unable to live the kind of life I live today. At one point, I was housebound with agoraphobia for months. Now, I live in a big city, travel freely, drive my car, go to places to shop etc. I am grateful I have a good psychiatrist who put me on the right meds, listens to my fears, and makes sure that I'm working on this disease.
I become very upset when people equate this illness with weakness, lack of strength, lack of willpower etc. To paraphrase one psychiatrist: "Some of the bravest people in world are those who deal with panic, depression, agoraphobia, etc. and get out of bed each day to face their illness and deal with it."
joey









 
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