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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Support Groups » dealing w/ what happened- anti-depressants?

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Author Topic: dealing w/ what happened- anti-depressants?
hs123
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Lemme just preface by saying I've had some amount of depression ever since I was in like 7th grade... Sometimes it's seasonal, and sometimes I just get really depressed for awhile, but in general I'm just not so happy--- but Ive just learned to cope with being somber...
I was on anti-depressants when I was in middle school and the beginning of highschool... Off and on different meds, because nothing seemed to work, so i decided to just deal with it on my own---

So here's the thing--- My psychiatrist is suggesting that I start a new anti-depressant to kindof, lessen the depression, and I was wondering if that's a good idea to do, with everything that happened... Like, I've heard the whole thing that people don't cope with their problems because they become reliant on the meds, and w/e... He said that it would be a low dose and that i could come off of it slowly---
but I was just wondering, is it generally a good idea... I mean, I know that some of the depression now is situational, and I have to learn to cope with everything before i stop feeling so sad about it all--- but i've also suffered from depression for awile---

Anyway, advice? opinions?

Posts: 401 | From: USA | Registered: Sep 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
diamonds4lucy
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Hi there. My advice is this:

-don't underestimate- or overestimate- what drugs can do. They're a tool like anything else, and what can work for one person can make another miserable.

-get a second opinion if at all possible. A good doctor won't mind if you go to another for a second opinion.

-make sure you're up to date with all your other checkups; depression is sometimes a side effect of other conditions.

-work with your doctor to explore all possible ways of helping you cope with your depression: diet, exercise, light boxes, therapy, etc.

Good luck- depression is a difficult path to navigate.

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hs123
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It's really hard to get an appointment with someone else--- because as a new patient it takes months to get in...

I've tried every medicine or technique in the book. From the SSRIs, to Mood stabalizers, to anti-anxiety medicine, to light boxes, to excersize routines--- Which is how I just chalked it up to the fact that I'm gonna have to deal with being a little somber--- and usually during the winter my depression peaks a bit...

But a lot of this is genetic... My dad has severe depression, my sister has depression and OCD, and my mom has an anxiety disorder... I'm a bit a mix of my dad and my mom--- Depression, and Severe anxiety (you might see that I flip out a bit over nothing... (don't worry I know- but the medicines didn't really work for me, all the other techniques have helped my family.
Like I said, I just try to ignore my kindof depressing thoughts--- which works MOST of the time.

I'm just basically wondering if it's--- I guess a bad coping method to take anti-depressants--- Eventhough I'm not really using this as coping-- at least, I dont think I am?
He just told me that if we could maybe clear up a little bit of my already underlying anxiety and depression, that maybe I could start working through everything more productively--- even though I do feel that I'm making progress...slowly but surely

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September
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Anti-depressants can't replace other types of therapy, but in conjunction with therapy, they can really help. It's exactly as your doctor put it: the anti-depressants can take the edge off some of your negative feelings and give you the opportunity to work through your issues more thoroughly. So, since you're not solely relying on the meds, they're not the sort of 'quick fix' you're worried they might be. But it's always smart to ask these questions and be aware of the limitations of anti-depressants, so good on you for paying attnetion.

I'm also happy to hear that you feel you're making some progress. That's awesome! [Smile]

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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hs123
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Thanks!
Yeah, I just got worried because well, when I was on anti-depressants before it was just for depression...
And I've heard people say that like, when people come off of anti-depressants they're still really depressed because the anti-depressants are what made them not depressed, and they never worked through their issues.
...In my experience, anti-depressants don't do much--- but that's just what I've experienced so far...

And I do feel like I'm making progress... I mean, I still have really bad days--- Like today- but I have good days also... I mean, a lot of times I do just feel like crying about everything, and i do... but I don't have a lot of flashbacks now--- I just have some bad dreams...
BUt I guess my doctor is probably right... If I could lessen the constant negative mood I'm in, maybe I could get through the actual issues better.

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hs123
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I'm sorry for this post--- I just need to vent though!

I'm so incredibly pissed off tonight, but at the same time, I'm also extremely sad... I don't even know why.
I'm just so upset, and I'm trying to logic it out but it's coming to nothing....
I'm really really pissed at the way my life is going right now, and I know that life doesn't follow a plan, but I feel like I've already dealt with do much, WHY WAS THIS THROWN IN MY FACE!
I just wish I could actually experience highschool, and be able to look back at it and see the good memories of being a senior, not all the crappy times I had.

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eryn_smiles
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Hope you're feeling a bit better hs123, its ok to need to vent. I vent all the time. Hang in there and take care of yourself. Hope your bowel issues also sort themselves out.
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Juniata
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Hi hs123,

As someone on with depression, anxiety, bipolar and a smidgeon of OCD who's on antidepressants and mood stabilizers and has a hefty depressive pedigree (it runs in my family), I thought I'd share my perspective. (Whew, bet you can't say that in one breath [Wink] Okay, maybe you can [Smile] )

I see from your post that you are going through difficult times. I also see that you have had depression on and off since 7th grade and that you have a family history of depression. That tends to tell me that your depression is nothing new, and not entirely related to your current situation. Instead, it seems likely that your preexisting depression may be making a really tough situation even harder.

You mentioned a concern that
quote:
I'm just basically wondering if it's--- I guess a bad coping method to take anti-depressants--- Eventhough I'm not really using this as coping-- at least, I dont think I am?
To me, being depressed is like trying to go about your daily activities with a fifty-pound bag of rocks on your back. You might not notice it at the time, but that burden really weighs you down. Even little tasks can seem daunting. And that's for normal life! If you're dealing with a crisis, that depression can be trying to take that bag of rocks up a mountain. I think that starting antidepressants is a perfectly reasonable option for you. Instead of looking at antidepressants as a coping mechanism, you might look at them as a tool to minimize your depression so that you can focus in on your other issues without the extra burden of depression. I'm sure that you could tough things out if you wanted to and deal with your depression without antidepressants. But they can be so effective (for example, they allow me to get out of bed, not cry continually, etc.) that I'd hate to think of you putting yourself through hell when you could get help.

If you are interested, here are a few basic/refresher facts about depression and antidepressants:

Depression is a physical disorder, like diabetes, caused by a chemical imbalance. Many people (particularly those who have not experienced depression) believe that depression can be banished by an act of will, that depression sufferers should somehow just "snap out of it." But that's like telling a diabetic that they should snap out of diabetes. Depression is a physical illness and asking someone to get over it with happy thoughts is very unfair.

That said, factors such as getting enough sleep and exercise and eating well and talk therapy (or just someone to talk to) are all key to dealing with depression. Sometimes those factors alone are enough, but not always. Antidepressants deal with depression by helping to restore the chemical balance in the brain so that your mood is in the normal, and not the depressed, range. It must be stressed that they do not deaden your mood or prevent you from feeling joy, happiness, sorrow or rage.

You seemed concerned about growing dependant on antidepressants--let me assure you that that is impossible. My psychiatrist, a very well informed professional who has worked with patients for 35 years told me specifically that antidepressants are NOT habit forming, that you can't build up tolerance for them or become addicted to them. Search the internet and you'll find the same.

You also mentioned that you haven't responded satisfactorily (sp?) to your medicines. People often need to try several medications before finding one that works for them. So, if you do decide to try antidepressants and you don't seem to respond well to one medicine--don't give up hope! Finding the right med for [you] may take a while, but is very possible.

Well, that's my very long post. Please ask me if you have questions--I've been studying this topic for years and love to talk about it!

I wish you the best of luck,
Juniata

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