Anti-depressants - A good idea?

A bit of insight here:

Back in February, I was diagnosed with depression. At the time, I was in my final year of uni and had made no progress on my final year project, which caused a lot of stress. This won't have caused the depression, but sure as hell made it worse. There were other factors involved as well.

Anti-depressants were mentioned then, but I was told that for the first 6 weeks or so they make you worse. I felt like I would not have been able to handle it back then, as I didn't feel I had anyone I could really turn to for comfort. I also did not feel I could handle being worse, as I was in a bad state at the time.

University has finished now, and I am a week away from starting work. I've since got back in touch with my best friend and we're back to being really close. I also live with family now.

My situation has improved; I don't tend to feel as bad as I did back then, but it's obvious my depression is still affecting my mood from time to time. One thing that plays on my mind when the depression does hit me is my ex girlfriend, and it's been over a year since we broke up now.

Anyway, I intend to see my GP in the morning to bring up an issue with my wrist. I'm thinking I should mention my depression and try and get a prescription for anti-depressants.

What I'm really looking for with this thread is first-hand experiences with the drug:

Did it make you feel worse during a certain period after starting them? How much worse did it make you feel?

But most of all, did they ultimately make you feel like you could well and truly be yourself again?

Ultimately though, do you feel that you're better off with them?

I know these might seem like stupid questions, but it's been playing on my mind for a while now and I need to make a decision. A big factor is that I start work next week and don't want to risk of giving a bad impression due to the negative side-effects of the first few weeks of taking it.

P.s. Tried posting this thread and got a 404 after posting. I checked the advice board and couldn't see it, so if it gets posted twice, please forgive me.

Edit: Looks like it did post the first time after all >.<
Can a mod please delete 1 for me?

Think hard and careful about antidepressants. There is a high chance that you will feel worse the first month you are on them (the side effects don't go away for about 6 weeks, and then you start to see the benefits). I would also strongly suggest you try therapy and other ways of treating your depression like exercising regularly, eating healthy, and getting a decent chunk of sleep.

Pills are NOT some magic cure for you depression; they are at best a way to make the depression more tolerable and make you more able to seek additional help. Doctors (at least in the U.S.) are too quick to put someone on medication, and in all honesty, we don't know the long term effects of antidepressants or how they even work.

You most likely will need to try several different pills before you find the right one. Many will effect you in different ways, and because of our lack of knowledge on the medication, the only way to find the right one is through trial and error. If you are still going to bring it up, I would suggest something like Wellbutrin (bupropion), as it is more activating with less sexual side-effects.

Unless your doctor suggests them and you can't bare daily activities without them, then don't take the pills. I had a bad experience when I first started my first antidepressant (Zoloft), as it made me an emotional wreck and unable to think logically. I attempted suicide twice before switching to Prozac, which made me drowsy as hell, and now Wellbutrin, which is currently having the most benefit. I would like to stop my meds as they still make me mellow and give me brain fog, but am sticking with them until I adjust to my new life as a university freshman. There is a good chance I have Bipolar Disorder rather than Clinical Depression, which may explain my turn for the worse when I started the meds meant for Depression.

I'm not sharing this to scare you; antidepressants can be a life saver if your condition is critical and you are unable to function in normal life. I just want you to try other avenues before jumping into pills. Therapy and diet are good places to start.

I appreciate the advice.

For the most part, I get through daily tasks fine. The depression only really gets to me when I let myself get stuck in my own head, which only happens when I'm not busy. Since you basically said it's only really worth having them if you can't get through daily tasks properly, then it probably would be a bad idea for me to get them, especially due to starting work soon.

Thank you.

While I have never used anti depressant i can't speak from experience but based on what i hear from my dad (a shrink) it really depends. Everyone reacts differently to anti-depressants and there are many anti-depressants which act differently too. However there are many potential side effects so i'd suggest only trying them if you really can't get through without. For some people they even help a lot (without having many side effects) even if things are not that bad but it's a risk.

Personally I wouldn't use them. To really get a good idea on your depression someone should really see you on multiple occassions, possibly check serotonin levels. You know, get a really good idea about your emotional state.

Instead, nowadays, you see a doctor for all of 5 minutes and they give you psychotropic drugs.

I think depression is far too vague to know what is best for someone. My personal experience is as follows. I thought I had depression. Well, I did, but I thought it was all I had. After some therapy, research, soul searching I realised I had general anxiety disorder. Namely, I got more anxious about things than I really had to. Usually things that were out of my control. I then realised that I wasn't getting a break from feeling anxious. Which made me depressed. So I got treatment for anxiety and the depression went on it's own. So be very careful being "diagnosed" as depressed by your GP.

The best advice I ever got about depression was the triangle of depression, or the triange of shit as my therapist called it;
1. I am shit
2. The world is shit
3. It's going to go on being shit.

These are not things you say to yourself, but how you feel about things. You need all 3 to truly feel depressed, but you only need to break one to give you some hope and end the cycle. So get about changing them.

1) Firstly, you're not shit. Sometimes it's hard to tell when you haven't got a lot of oppurtunities NOT to be shit. Ex-partners are great at making you feel like this. If they don't want you, it must be because you are inherently shit. You might know this, but find it hard to convince yourself. But think of it another way. Think of some girl you have met, who you think is lovely but you have no interest in dating. Doesn't make them a bad person, doesn't make them shit. You just don't feel that way about them. This is your ex-girlfriend. But on the plus side, you've got enough appeal that at one point she DID think you might be right for her. It just wasn't meant to be, that's all. You are not shit.

2. Change your environment. You're already on the way there by the sounds of it, but if you're not happy with the world around you, then change the world around you. We're creatures of habit. Change your habits and the world will change. I think you've got this covered though.

3. Things change. Good and bad, but no matter how bad things have been I've always gone back to feeling happy and "normal" at some point. And sure enough there are times I've felt like shit again. But I have to weapons now A) Things are NEVER as bad as they seem, they just never are, and B) Things change.

So I've stuck to that for the last 20 years and it's served me well. The only recent wobble I had was my mum dying, then finding out my wife loved someone else after 7 years of marriage. Now THAT was really shitty. But I got through it using the knowledge above.

A GP offerred anti-depressants but I rejected it for two reasons. If I felt worse then clearly, they were a horrible mistake. But if they made me feel better, how long do I take them for? How do I know what I'm feeling is genuine and not some chemical enhancement? My wife (going through her depression not surprisingly) tried them. She wigged out big time and stopped taking them after 3 days. She keeps thinking about trying them again, whereas I sought counselling, friends, reading the right books, and giving it time. I seem to be in far better shape mentally than she is.

Good luck to you but I'd say be a little kinder to yourself, use your intuition and make your judgement based on that. When it comes to freaking out you're better off going for Diazepam (Valium) I think. It's immediate, and you only need to take it once you're freaking out. Doctors are terrified about people being addicted to it which is pretty unlikely unless you're dumb enough to take it every day so they can be wary about prescribing it. Which frightens me when I see how willing they are to give long-term psychoactive drugs to people after chatting for 5 mintues.

You've pretty much hit the nail on the head with the causes of my depression.

I left uni to move back home 3 months ago, and for the most part haven't done much. August has been a busier month for me, but due to lack of funds I couldn't be as active as I'd have liked to.

My upcoming job promises a change in routine which should help.

Hell, mine could also be anxiety issues as well. I didn't even realise that could be the case.

I pretty much won't take them unless I need them now.

I'm sorry to hear about what happened with you and your ex wife. I can't imagine how that would have felt.

I posted this in the other thread not realising it was a duplicate.

I'm in a very similar boat. I suffer from depression which was kick started by the break up with my ex-girlfriend, which was also just over a year ago now, I'm a lot better than I was but still have almost nightly manic bouts of it. I'm currently on a 30mg dose of Mirtazapine which is taken every night about an hour before bed because it's not just an anti-depressant but a sleeping tablet too. I have been off it for 2 day periods and things got very sharp very quickly to say the least.

It has been however a massive help, I don't think even now I would be able to sleep without it and really helps bring the worst of it under control. However it's very hard to come off of I'm told and from my experiences being off it I would agree. It's something that needs to be come off of gradually by reducing the dosage.

If things have been really bad for a while then I would definitely recommend it. I don't know how bad it is for you though, I was so bad when I went on to it I had barely eaten for 2 weeks (lost 2 stone in that time period) and had developed severe suicidal tendencies. But you don't need to be this bad to go onto meds.

Best thing to do is just consult your GP, there's a wide variety of services available in the UK for young people dealing with this and you can get referred through your GP (I'm guessing you're young and in the UK since you've used the terms uni and GP.)

frobalt:
A bit of insight here:

Back in February, I was diagnosed with depression. At the time, I was in my final year of uni and had made no progress on my final year project, which caused a lot of stress. This won't have caused the depression, but sure as hell made it worse. There were other factors involved as well.

Anti-depressants were mentioned then, but I was told that for the first 6 weeks or so they make you worse. I felt like I would not have been able to handle it back then, as I didn't feel I had anyone I could really turn to for comfort. I also did not feel I could handle being worse, as I was in a bad state at the time.

University has finished now, and I am a week away from starting work. I've since got back in touch with my best friend and we're back to being really close. I also live with family now.

My situation has improved; I don't tend to feel as bad as I did back then, but it's obvious my depression is still affecting my mood from time to time. One thing that plays on my mind when the depression does hit me is my ex girlfriend, and it's been over a year since we broke up now.

Anyway, I intend to see my GP in the morning to bring up an issue with my wrist. I'm thinking I should mention my depression and try and get a prescription for anti-depressants.

What I'm really looking for with this thread is first-hand experiences with the drug:

Did it make you feel worse during a certain period after starting them? How much worse did it make you feel?

But most of all, did they ultimately make you feel like you could well and truly be yourself again?

Ultimately though, do you feel that you're better off with them?

I know these might seem like stupid questions, but it's been playing on my mind for a while now and I need to make a decision. A big factor is that I start work next week and don't want to risk of giving a bad impression due to the negative side-effects of the first few weeks of taking it.

P.s. Tried posting this thread and got a 404 after posting. I checked the advice board and couldn't see it, so if it gets posted twice, please forgive me.

Edit: Looks like it did post the first time after all >.<
Can a mod please delete 1 for me?

When I took anti-depressants or mood stabilizers, my emotions functioned like a geyser. I ended up having a good day for about 3 days but the rage and tension built quickly and I would have fits of rage off of the simplest things and always end up yelling and scaring my sister and making my mother and father a mess.

It wasn't JUST the pills it was me, but I moved on and got better. Pills aren't going to solve your problems, not even temporarily, what you need is a change of pace. Break your comfort zones, go out and meet people, meet another girl, find more hobbies, play some sports, do SOMETHING that gets your mind off your ex. Because as thing sit right now, you are going to end up hurting yourself even more by not helping yourself.

I wrote an editorial advocating anti-depressants about a year back. I think it applies to this thread.

http://www.westerncourier.com/opinions/rx-can-offer-needed-life-fix/article_6de515ae-2d00-11e2-b19e-0019bb30f31a.html

Here's the text if you don't want to follow the link.

Regardless of anybody's ignorant "just snap out of it" assertions, mental disorders are very real. It can take a lifetime for somebody to understand how to combat their personal affliction.

Although there are often no external symptoms, the internal battle is so large that the individual should use every beneficial resource available to him.

One of these resources is prescription medication administered by a trained psychiatrist. Proper medication usage can be a game-changer and should be considered by everybody whose personal disorder holds them back from their full potential.
Prescription pills often get a bad rap. People avoid psychiatric medication out of personal pride or the fear of becoming an over-medicated zombie. In many cases, this is an element of the selfdestructive behavior common with emotional disorders. Most medication requires a few weeks of consistent dosing for there to be noticeable effects, and that's a long time for somebody engaged in the unhealthy lifestyle choices that result from their affliction.

Still, despite the social stigmas and not-always-immediate results, the effects of prescription medication can be literally life-changing. People fortunate enough not to be engaged in a daily battle with their own head will never understand this, but the epiphany of "I don't want to die. Life is worth living," makes every doctor visit, co-payment, and prescription change worth it. Having the fog clear after years of depression, anxiety or whatever else, is a miracle on par with a blind person regaining their vision, and it can be achieved with a little patience and proper medical council.

To allay a common fear: psychiatric medication does not turn a person into a zombie, at least, not at its proper dosages. There's a reason this stuff isn't sold over-the-counter and requires consistent doctor visits. When working properly, the pills can take the sting out of a person's depression, lower the intensity of manic episodes, or eliminate the all-encompassing nature of an anxiety attack without changing who that person is in any way. Mental medication doesn't eliminate emotional symptoms, but it stops them from taking center-stage. Anti-depressants won't stop a person from ever being sad, but it will give them the willpower to get out of bed and start making good things happen.

To be clear, there is no such thing as a magic pill. Individuals react to medication differently, and it's incredibly uncommon for a doctor to get it right with the first prescription. Like all medications, psychiatric drugs have side effects that vary from person to person, and it usually take months and multiple doctor visits to find a combination that tackles an individual's mental symptoms without any major side effects. Still, if the patient is committed to the process and honest with their doctor, they can come out the other end happier and more capable than they ever thought possible.
Prescription pills are not a solitary solution. Mental disorders affect every element of a person's lifestyle, and the person must work to make positive adjustments to how they live in order to fully combat their personal demons. Mental medication makes this possible by quieting those demons, and can be that final push up the hill a person needs for healthier perspective on life.

The National Institute of Mental Health has found that a quarter of adults are diagnosable with a mental illness. As isolating as these disorders can feel, emotional afflictions are common and have numerous treatment options that have proven to be effective. There's no denying that summoning the courage to admit a personal problem and begin a drug regime is a difficult thing to do, but it should be strongly considered by anybody who wants to overcome their given disorder. The results can be truly life-changing.

My mom and brother are on anti-depressants, and while I had a prescription they didn't work as well for me. For the first six weeks, they didn't make anyone feel worse but they didn't make anyone feel immediately better. It takes time for them to start working. The worst part about starting them is the side effects, many will make you drowsy. After a while you'll build up a tolerance.

Anti-depressants will not make you feel happy, they prevent you from feeling depressed. Without them my mom knows without a doubt she would kill herself, and possibly take me and my brother with her. It keeps her from being shackled by her emotions so she has the chance to be happy, and she's taken full advantage of that and has a happy life. That last choice is all on you, and the drugs won't help with it.

Mine was only temporary while I was depressed when my dad was dieing of cancer. My mom loves how they worked for her so she wanted to get me on them too. I didn't feel depressed anymore, but I wasn't happy and just felt empty. I didn't adjust to the side effects either so the Zoloft I was on made me dizzy all the time. That was what made me stop, so I can't say if I kept it up if it would have gone away or not because I couldn't stand it any longer.

I personally can't recommend anti depressants. They don't take away the depression, they suppress it. I was on them for a year or so. And after half a year, they only made me very stressed. And I could still feel the depression under the surface, just not the part when it manifests itself. It was a pretty bad feeling. Being depressed was less stressful and bad for my life. A better way to help depression is to fix the problem. Which is...10 times harder to do, but it works 10 times better as well.

generals3:
While I have never used anti depressant i can't speak from experience but based on what i hear from my dad (a shrink) it really depends. Everyone reacts differently to anti-depressants and there are many anti-depressants which act differently too. However there are many potential side effects so i'd suggest only trying them if you really can't get through without. For some people they even help a lot (without having many side effects) even if things are not that bad but it's a risk.

Exactly this.

The important thing is to find yourself a doctor that a) knows what they're doing, and 2) listens to you and lets you participate in the decision making process. Ask questions, bring a friend that can ask them for you if you forget, and think about what YOU want to try. Don't base your decision on antidepressants solely on what other depressed people have told you, because it varies GREATLY. For me Zoloft worked marvelously the first time without side effects, drowsiness or numbness; it however didn't work as well the second time. I had a different chemistry, presumably.

I had a great shrink for my second battle with depression, and she made sure the treatment was always adapted to my needs and persistently encouraged me to tell her straight away if there was something I was worried about, didn't understand, or didn't want to participate in. She said the reason she encouraged this was because she knew that I often adapt to what others want me to do rather than tell them what I really want. Very perceptive woman.

I have a friend who went to a therapist as well, though they didn't work well together and he didn't feel comfortable with her techniques and standards, so he asked for a new one. From what I heard, that switch was the best thing that could've happened to him.

Bottom line, go dig for a doctor, ask all the questions and get all the info you need, and perhaps most importantly: It will get better. The things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end.

I'd advise against it, judging your situation at the moment, you don't seem to need them. What you are going through is simple depression at the changes that occur in your life. The pills are for people whose depression is so bad that they can't function normally, and that need the extra boost. You're doing great, you don't need them. What will happen is you will feel better, but then you'll stop managing stress efficiently, because well, the pills were doing it for you.

Look at life like the wheel of fortune. It will always spin to the high 12 (the happy moments), and the it will always hit the low 6( the crap moments). All you have to do when you hit that six o clock spot is persevere, know that it will end. Know that the happy moments will return.

 

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