Do antidepressents actually help?

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RetroGamer87
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08 Oct 2014, 11:20 am

My GP suggested I could go on antidepressants but suggested I try cognitive therapy first. I'm not sure about antidepressants. They could make me happier but if they make me too happy they might make me lose motivation to solve the problems that make me unhappy in the first place (like being unemployed).

On the one hand, if I'm happy all the time I might think I don't have any problems therefor I won't strive to overcome them.

On the other hand, if they gave me more energy and confidence that might make me more able to overcome the problems that made me depressed in the first place.

So which is it?

Was anyone else helped or hindered by antidepressants?


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AspieUtah
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08 Oct 2014, 11:24 am

It is up to you, but Scientific American reported http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... -dont-they on a Journal of the American Medical Association article about the effectiveness of SSRIs. Personally, I titrated off SSRIs several years ago after having used them for several years. Using them was the worst medical mistake I ever made.


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08 Oct 2014, 11:33 am

I tried them for awhile many years ago -- didn't do me that much good. I think you're wise to be leery of them. Doctors are way too quick to prescribe that crap, in my opinion. All other options should be explored first. Personally, I've found exercise to be the best anti-depressant.


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RetroGamer87
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08 Oct 2014, 11:36 am

Some of the other drugs doctors have put me on? Oh boy. I'll never get those years back.

Exercise makes me feel happier too but I want to work at overcoming the barriers holding me back in life, not merely be happier. I'll still exercise though.


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08 Oct 2014, 11:50 am

Yes, do everything you can to break down those "barriers." Even at my advanced age, I still have some to break through. It's an on going process. Best of luck to you!


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08 Oct 2014, 12:32 pm

I'm taking Prozac at the moment. Weirdly I was put on it for pms related symptons and I've found that it works for me as an antidepressant too. I didn't realise how depressed I had become until I started getting better. I've had no side effects that I can tell. I went cold turkey on them by accident for a week or two because I forgot to take them and didn't have adverse withdrawl symptoms, though I did start feeling a bit fatalistic about everything again, but I wasn't suicidal or anything extreme.

Everyone has different brain chemistry, so what works for one person won't work for another. I'd try the CBT first and see how you get on. That appears to work for some people, so it might help you get that push you feel you need to work on your problems.

Exercise is good too. I definately feel in better spirits when I exercise regularly.



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08 Oct 2014, 12:37 pm

Mine don't make me "happier", but more emotionally level and resilient. This is in combo with CBT monthly.



Alevai
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08 Oct 2014, 1:36 pm

RetroGamer87 wrote:
My GP suggested I could go on antidepressants but suggested I try cognitive therapy first. I'm not sure about antidepressants. They could make me happier but if they make me too happy they might make me lose motivation to solve the problems that make me unhappy in the first place (like being unemployed).

On the one hand, if I'm happy all the time I might think I don't have any problems therefor I won't strive to overcome them.

On the other hand, if they gave me more energy and confidence that might make me more able to overcome the problems that made me depressed in the first place.

So which is it?

Was anyone else helped or hindered by antidepressants?


I've been on antidepressants for years but quit a couple of years ago. It stopped me from thinking about suicide every day I woke up... in that way, yes it does help. It makes you "stable" enough so that you can actually work on your life. Fast forward a couple of years... and now I can tell you i've done a lot of things when i was on it that I wouldn't have had otherwise. Both good things and bad things. After a while I felt I had to stop it and get off the antidepressants... because frankly I didn't recognize myself anymore... I felt like I was living someone else's life... it was quite weird.

Getting off an antidepressant is a whole other story. I felt more suicidal than ever before in my life.. to the point where it scared me.. I was really afraid I was going to do it. It took a few weeks for the withdrawal symptoms to leave.

So now i'm back to step one.. I don't know if it helped or if it didn't, because I have nothing else to compare it to.



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08 Oct 2014, 1:57 pm

They helped me stop being obsessed with sadness/loneliness. Your mileage may vary.



RetroGamer87
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08 Oct 2014, 5:35 pm

Alevai wrote:
I felt like I was living someone else's life... it was quite weird.


Would that really be so bad for me? There are some days when I want nothing more than to live someone else's life.


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08 Oct 2014, 5:38 pm

has no effect on me


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redrobin62
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08 Oct 2014, 6:31 pm

I take Prozac and Wellbutrin. Together, they seem to work for me.



nick007
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08 Oct 2014, 8:31 pm

I was on em along with other psych meds for 5 years for a psychotic depression & after I was off em I felt better than the 5 years I spent on them. They probably did help hold me together some but they were doing me more harm than good in the end. The one I kept going back to was Lexapro because I tolerated it OK & it seemed to help some but my doc had me take 50% more than the daily max dose; I took max at night & half that in the morning because I tolerated it but it didn't help enough. I found what helped me the most was posting about things online trying to analyze myself. I learned what my problems were & realized my depression was triggered by anxiety issues so I researched anxiety meds & got my doc to prescribe one that wasn't an antidepressant. I then realized that OCD was a major problem too so I researched OCD meds & got one that wasn't an antidepressant. I did alot better after I was on those two for abit. My doc put me on Trazodone afew months ago because some things were going on in life that were making me depressed & causing me to have problems sleeping. I got over some of the stuff but I'm still taking Trazodone because I haven't noticed any side-effects except blood-pressure dropping when I get up in middle of the night. My girlfriend was saying I seemed depressed before those things happened but I wasn't aware I was feeling depressed. My behavior got OK after being on Trazodone abit which is why I'm still on it. My girlfriend's psych said it's antidepressant effects are weak but it's enough for me & in a different class than other antidepressants & used off-label for problems sleeping which made me more willing to try it. I don't think it's helping me sleep now but sense I'm doing better on it than I was before; I want to stay on it.


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mattschwartz01
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08 Oct 2014, 11:11 pm

RetroGamer87 wrote:
My GP suggested I could go on antidepressants but suggested I try cognitive therapy first. I'm not sure about antidepressants. They could make me happier but if they make me too happy they might make me lose motivation to solve the problems that make me unhappy in the first place (like being unemployed).

On the one hand, if I'm happy all the time I might think I don't have any problems therefor I won't strive to overcome them.

On the other hand, if they gave me more energy and confidence that might make me more able to overcome the problems that made me depressed in the first place.

So which is it?

Was anyone else helped or hindered by antidepressants?


Both compliment each other very well. Medication can help the efficacy of cognitive behavior therapy. In my case, I take Prozac and see a therapist. The medication makes it easier to use the techniques he suggests.



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09 Oct 2014, 7:16 am

I tried on three different occasions. In all three cases, they did absolutely, positively nothing. One in particular had some nasty withdrawal and I have no plans to ever try one again. I have done better by confronting my anxiety and control issues and I realize they stem from very deep seeded childhood beliefs about how worthless I am.



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09 Oct 2014, 2:37 pm

Alevai wrote:
After a while I felt I had to stop it and get off the antidepressants... because frankly I didn't recognize myself anymore... I felt like I was living someone else's life... it was quite weird..


I struggled with depression for longer than I should without meds or therapy, I dislike medication, very much so. When I was on Lexapro (2 separate occasions) the first time was 6 months and I think it helped me. The second time was frightening; I stopped feeling like myself and started to feel hollow, like parts of me were disappearing. The doctor reckoned that it was a sign that I needed a stronger dose and that it was symptomatic of worsening depression, I disagreed and came off Lexapro. I took up meditation instead.

I don?t know if Sertraline is actually working for me, there is a lot going on. Im tearful and the mornings are not easier. My ability to communicate is improving though.
Perhaps I have not been prescribed the correct medication yet, but i don?t like being a guinea pig for educated guesses either.