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Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:15 PM

I use anti-depressants, gratefully.

I am starting to get a subtle societal message that try to convince people I'm not on the verge of a killing spree, or simply try to hide my medicated status. I realize I'm being rather unsavory with this post, but the anti-medication push is becoming a bit much for me. I think one's medication needs are between them and their doctor but I am starting to feel that the idea that one needs medication is beginning to make them appear "of the inferior type".

I did walk the zero personal tolerance road on anti-depressants for 18 years of trying to deal with emotions that were completely off the scale. Trust me, that was NOT normal ups and downs, it was down and then HELL. Fear striking my body in waves for no reason and with no trigger. I stood it, I wanted to be PURE, I wanted to be GOOD. I didn't want to be one of THEM. I was one of the people a few years ago posting against anti-depressants on DU and getting (rightfully) slammed; while turning off the computer and wondering if I just wouldn't be better off dead. Heart disease is the killer that you can talk about in my family, depression is the destroyer, equally prevalent, that you can't. I got frustrated with a lack of help as a teen and went through self-medication hell that almost killed me before I was 30 because no psychiatrist had been able to do much, saying when I was 18 that I should be able to come out of it, I had a college scholarship waiting on me after-all. Then when I self-medicated they decided I was a really sick failure and pumped me full of anti-psychotics until I was dull, couldn't see straight, and was physically bloated. After my self-medicating nightmare, and my bad psychiatrist misery, I gave everything up, no more meds, I would show everyone how pure I could be. My doctor even had trouble getting me to take meds for my cholesterol and I wouldn't even take flu shots. It was all just big pharma trying to snare us anyway wasn't it? By God, I was good. And the doctors wouldn't own my ass again, EVER. I grinned and bore my depression because I figured the alternative was so much worse.

A few years ago, after some more life-trials I won't go into, I finally relented and sought help for my depression and anxiety (which I have suffered as long as I remember). I talked with my doctor a long time and made sure he knew what I had been through and that I was NOT going there again, death would be better than going there again (and I was thinking about death a lot at that point). He was available and treated me like a fellow human being, much different from the treatment I had received first as a teenager and then as a failure of a young adult who just needed to be shut away in the opinions of doctors and family. I had gotten my freedom from those people in the intervening years of working and building my own existence; but still so much of myself was simply missing in the daily struggle to want to live, and be able to stand to be around others. I am glad I reached a point where I was willing to admit that and be a participating partner in my own medical solution finding.

Apparently, more medications had come into existence since I was a kid, and knowing that I could say no to anything that worked poorly, and try something else; I was helped by medication and am now experiencing normal ups and downs in my life. I wouldn't give this up. I'm alive, I can be around people, I can participate fully in life; which I could not do before. I DO feel, but I feel normal ranges for the first time ever. I had gone from being over and poorly medicated as a very young person and into my late 20's; to trying to grit my teeth and "be good" and take nothing through my 30's and into my 40's. Now, I don't want to kill anyone (never wanted to kill anyone else), or myself, for a change.

What someone does for themselves is great, no problem, that's one of the beliefs that makes me a confirmed liberal IMO. But overall, I just keep seeing more and more of some kind of drive for "purity" where mental health medications are concerned, or at least an idea that having to utilize available treatments in this area signifies weakness or a desire for someone to not feel anything at all. This trend is not healthy for many of us. I fell for this for a very long time and it was not beneficial for me personally, and I could be judgmental of others when I was on the anti-med bandwagon, because I guess if I had to feel that damn bad I needed to be better than someone, or maybe I was just an ass (maybe I still am , meds don't eliminate one's personality) . Once again, I don't have a problem with people's personal decisions, but the overall tone regarding mental illness medications that I frequently and subtly encounter lately is concerning. Perhaps people like me are becoming the liberal version of Romney's 47%? Though that is admittedly a harsh statement, I am seeing a growing stigma. Medication isn't the be all end all for mental illness, I get therapy also and have for years. I also have a spiritual path, (rather off the beaten path that it is) but that wasn't my whole solution either. Medications aren't perfect; but what on Earth is? More is discovered every day about everything! I've walked several paths on this and I think we are in a better place than we were 30 years ago. We need to go farther by far, but that won't happen if old stigmas become new again.

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Reply I use anti-depressants, gratefully. (Original post)
get the red out Dec 2012 OP
hedgehog Dec 2012 #1
malz Dec 2012 #2
lunatica Dec 2012 #3
get the red out Dec 2012 #10
lunatica Dec 2012 #11
enough Dec 2012 #4
PasadenaTrudy Dec 2012 #5
Denninmi Dec 2012 #6
get the red out Dec 2012 #12
ellie Dec 2012 #7
dballance Dec 2012 #8
Control-Z Dec 2012 #9
phylny Dec 2012 #13
LisaLynne Dec 2012 #14
get the red out Dec 2012 #17
sibelian Dec 2012 #15
PDJane Dec 2012 #16
get the red out Dec 2012 #18
PDJane Dec 2012 #24
zaireeka Dec 2012 #41
progressoid Dec 2012 #44
get the red out Dec 2012 #46
PDJane Dec 2012 #48
musette_sf Dec 2012 #52
s-cubed Dec 2012 #19
justiceischeap Dec 2012 #20
grahamhgreen Dec 2012 #21
get the red out Dec 2012 #23
PDJane Dec 2012 #25
REP Dec 2012 #27
firehorse Dec 2012 #47
grahamhgreen Dec 2012 #53
Confusious Dec 2012 #33
SidDithers Dec 2012 #35
Sgent Dec 2012 #40
Odin2005 Dec 2012 #43
naturallyselected Dec 2012 #51
easttexaslefty Dec 2012 #22
bitchkitty Dec 2012 #26
ecstatic Dec 2012 #28
PDJane Dec 2012 #49
musical_soul Dec 2012 #29
Flying Squirrel Dec 2012 #30
ohheckyeah Dec 2012 #31
Confusious Dec 2012 #34
ohheckyeah Dec 2012 #36
Hekate Dec 2012 #32
get the red out Dec 2012 #38
TexasBushwhacker Dec 2012 #37
get the red out Dec 2012 #39
Odin2005 Dec 2012 #42
etherealtruth Dec 2012 #45
backscatter712 Dec 2012 #50

Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:18 PM

1. Thank you!

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:21 PM

2. Color me Zoloft

 

Thus far, it is the only med that's had any impact on my OCD, a 15-20% reduction.

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:24 PM

3. What you've missed in discussions about taking medications

is that the people who are better off are people who make the choices and who call the shots. Not those who take anything their doctors give them or decide to take nothing and suffer through hell.

You are the one who is now telling your doctors when you want things to work and how they're working and what you will allow in your life. Don't you think that's a good thing? I do. It makes you the boss of your life.

I'm sorry you had to go through so much hell to get where you are now, but it's you who you should be grateful to, for being brave enough to face your depression.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 02:11 PM

10. I agree, people should make their own decisions, with any help they wish

My big concern is that when something causes stigma, it automatically limits decisions people are willing to consider, it limits their options (often down to zero).

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Response to get the red out (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 02:15 PM

11. I have that same concern

Now, added to everything else people are equating mental illness with mass killers. I don't like that stinking thinking one bit. I'm very glad you and others here are speaking out about it.

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:40 PM

4. Like the diary earlier today, this is very interesting,

and I thank you for writing it too.

The entire subject needs a lot of thought, no matter which side one comes down on. I also think the right path can be different at different times in the individual's life.

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:43 PM

5. Cymbalta and Trazodone here! n/t

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:44 PM

6. Lamictal generic equivalent, 300 mgs a day.

Costs me $16 a month. No "big pharma" company is making a killing off it, it's generic off patent. Hell, Costco probably barely breaks even on it, they make their money on all of the stuff I buy in the rest of the store while I wait for pharmacy. Like the enormous box of Kashi cinnamon cereal I just bought, lol.

Been on it 4 months now, and it's pretty nice not having to run down the hall to the men's room 10-12 times a day to throw up from a panic attack, or have a sudden, uncontrollable wave of tears hit me while driving on the freeway at 70 mph. Or, frankly, to wonder if I wouldn't just be better off dead.

I refuse to even address the entire mental illness = automatically violent meme. I'm not the one with the problem in that department, it's the ignorant bastards who assume everyone who has ever had any type of mental health issue is the next Adam Lanza who have the problem, and that's called stupidity. But, if they want to stereotype and stigmatize, just remember, I'm the guy in a suit and tie driving a white Chevy SUV around Detroit, and I'm probably a hell of a lot better adjusted than they are.

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Response to Denninmi (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 02:16 PM

12. I take a generic med also

I first tried a non-generic "newer" medication, because it had helped my Sister so much, but my insurance wouldn't cover it and my Dr suggested on he thought would do as well that was generic. It actually works better for me then the other one, with very few side effects, and is cheap. My insurance's limitations actually helped in this one case, LOL.

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:44 PM

7. Agreed.

My emotions are a roller coaster ride, from happiness to despair in minutes. I am going to back on anti-depressents because who can live like this?

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 01:45 PM

8. STIGMA. You said it all right there

In our country we're perfectly happy to have diabetics on continuous medication to regulate their health. And we're fine with people taking daily blood pressure medicine.

But we're still in a country where if people go to a therapist or psychiatrist they are thought less of and if they take some anti-depressant they are even more thought of as defective.

Why we refuse to accept the brain is an organ just like the heart or the pancreas I do not understand. Sometimes it needs some care just like the other organs we happily medicate on a daily basis.

Yes, the brain is certainly more complicated than a broken bone or inflamed appendix. Doctors need to be very vigilant monitoring patients if they prescribe drugs because those drugs have shown a wide variety of effects in people. Often it is the intended effect to improve one's mood. Some times it is actually the opposite effect. I can attest to this as I was prescribed the popular SSRI Cymbalta at one time. The warnings that came with the drug indicated that younger people might have such negative side effects as suicide thoughts. While I was certainly not a "younger" person at the time since I was in my late 30's I found myself in the woods on a mountain with drugs and alcohol trying to end my life. Fortunately I did not own a gun or I might have been successful.

We have to remember that every drug has pros and cons. There are people who are allergic to penicillin but yet it has probably saved millions of lives.

I suspect the Cymbalta that was so wrong for me has probably been helpful for many other people.

We have to stop the stigma though. I can take insulin or blood pressure medicine every day and no one will blink an eye. But if I admit to taking an SSRI then I'm automatically defective and perhaps crazy. This line of thought must stop.

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 02:04 PM

9. You're really lucky to have found

a medication that works for you. There is nothing quite like ass kicking depression and anxiety.

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 02:17 PM

13. Generic Lexapro here.

Finally, after years of a dysthymic disorder I have, as you say, the normal ups and downs of life. I've been taking medication for six years, and have stopped yelling, flying off the handle, feeling inadequate, worrying, feeling down in the dumps, you name it. I'm just - me!

At my last physical, I said to my PA (and I adore her!), "I think I'm ready to stop taking the Lexapro" and she smiled at me and responded, "That's when you know it's working." We had a discussion about it, and I agreed with her.

I will add that I as well am not feeling the need to get a gun and hose anybody down, to kill myself, or to do harm to anything other than the house centipedes that occasionally terrorize our daughters. I do, however, have an overwhelming love for my life and am happier than I have ever been.

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 02:20 PM

14. Thank you for posting this.

I was also completely against anti-depressants for the majority of my life. I thought it was a weakness to get any sort of help with emotions. You should just deal with it, right? And I did think that taking them would make me a robot or zap my creativity or personality or something. Well, after suffering for 30 years, my doctor finally suggested just trying them for a little bit. Well, for me they work. I am more productive and creative now because I don't have to battle my depression to get myself to a point of actually DOING something. And my emotions are all still there, but they don't rule me any longer, if that makes sense. I still feel all the big things, but I am able to cope with the little stuff that used to just throw me for a loop.

I know they are not for everyone and I still feel strongly that yeah, they are probably over-prescribed like every other medication we have, but things have been swinging towards intolerance in some of the threads here. The trouble is, this is another subject where there are no absolutes.

Thank you for sharing and I'm glad you're in a good place now!

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Response to LisaLynne (Reply #14)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 03:14 PM

17. The "little stuff", that's a good point!

I didn't have a pet for all those years and my husband said he didn't want one either (I was afraid I wouldn't be a good enough owner and he was afraid of loss at the end of their shorter lives). Finally, shortly after I was prescribed medication, we suddenly decided to get a puppy (suddenly being after years of hoping yet fearing to try to care for a pet). That would not have worked as well if I had thought the world was going to end every time she had an accident in the house! I worry I couldn't have dealt with her at all and am afraid I would have screamed at her or frightened her if I had been the depressed me, unable to cope and gritting my teeth to hold on. 2 1/2 years later I actually know my neighbors, I met them walking the dog! I used to sneak into the house barely speaking to anyone because I felt so low. In the past two years I've enrolled in more dog training classes than I can count, the latest being training our sweet dog in agility, and it's FUN! I go to dog agility trials and just start talking to people I don't even know, like I'm a fellow human being or something. The difference amazes me thinking about it.

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 02:26 PM

15. Wise decision, it sounds like.

There are no panaceas...



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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 02:28 PM

16. I was probably the only depressed three year old anyone's ever encountered.

And yes, this is a genetic thing, too, at least partly. Another part of it was being the only girl and being trained with violence to passivity and introversion.

And yes, I too take medication. I have been told by the purists that I am 'killing myself' with these meds. What no-one seems to realize is that a somewhat shortened life span is a small price to pay for being free of the pain that meant I would have literally killed myself (I tried for years. The first attempt was at ten.).

Part of it is making sure that the difference between depression and bi-polar disorder is clear, and I have discovered that it isn't, always. I had a man who should know better jump to the other side of the elevator and look terrified when I confronted him about spreading the rumour that I was 'manic-depressive'. I have a rather well-developed sense of the ridiculous, and he left me slack-jawed and laughing.

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Response to PDJane (Reply #16)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 03:22 PM

18. I am glad you stood up for yourself

People don't expect to be confronted! Good job. I'm glad you survived your childhood, that's a hard thing to do in a lot of circumstances, survive until one has autonomy and can really seek a solution.

I had a very hard time in my 20's with Psychiatrists simply assuming I had bi-polar disorder and prescribing the wrong medications. Their theory then was that since I was drinking to self-medicate, I had to be bi-polar because depressed people didn't drink and bi-polar people did. They didn't really seem to care what my symptoms were.

I agree on the cries of "you're killing yourself"; if a person suffering from depression doesn't kill themselves outright I am sure the stress plays a role in shortening their lifespan greatly. Or they simply do like my uncle did after suffering from years and years of depression, refuse life-saving surgery for another physical condition and leave this world that way.

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Response to get the red out (Reply #18)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:04 PM

24. It's been my experience that depressives DO drink, often to oblivion.

In fact, it's one of the things that is on a checklist of symptoms of depression here; most of the people in treatment at the Addiction Research Foundation seem to be depressed. A lot of addicts seem to have been victims of sexual abuse, too; they are addicted before the age of reason, and have a hard time seeing why they should get un-addicted.

I've also watched alcoholics stuff themselves with sweets; when they're not drinking, they crave sugar. One of those things.

While it's easier now than it was when I was a teen, we haven't managed to get on top of it yet...

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Response to PDJane (Reply #24)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 07:43 AM

41. Yep

 

In and out of two rehabs for alcohol in 6 months...Psychiatrist suggested I try Citalaphorim (generic Celexa) for anxiety. Within one week the incessant craving was through-almost magically. Haven't had (or really wanted) a drink in 8 months.

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Response to zaireeka (Reply #41)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 09:01 AM

44. Good for you.

I just switched to citalaphorim. Seems to be working better than Lexapro for me.

Welcome to DU!

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Response to zaireeka (Reply #41)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 09:09 AM

46. Wonderful!!!

I am so glad for you! That's a great advance to hear about.

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Response to zaireeka (Reply #41)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:46 PM

48. Celexa is the drug of choice here for depressives who drink.

From my experience, it does work, and I am glad that it worked for you! Every little bit........

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Response to PDJane (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:20 PM

52. same here

I have no memory of "happy carefree childhood". Just some days being better than others. I hear you.

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 04:00 PM

19. Me, too. nt

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 04:08 PM

20. I think a lot of people don't get "depression"

Those of us that suffer from depression aren't just sad or grieving, etc. We have a medical condition. Sometimes the medications we take work, sometimes they don't. It's debatable over the long term whether adding MAO suppressors to the brain long-term is a good thing or not, but I'd rather be alive and find out than off myself and never know.

I'm anti-meds, I hate to take them but I also realize that I need them too. I just recently went back on after a 7 year hiatus (I've been on anti-depressants from the age of 14 off and on --more on than off) because I was finally recognizing the tell-tale signs that I've been depressed for a really, really long time. When it got to the point where I didn't want to leave the house any longer, I knew it was time to get back on.

So yeah, if you're against anti-depressants, than don't take them but don't judge or belittle those of us who do. Struggling with the mental illness is enough for us, don't throw the stigma on top of it.

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:51 PM

21. You all should give 5-htp and or St. Johns Wort a try. Safer, if it will work for ya!

Works for me!

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #21)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 09:54 PM

23. I did try both

I got minimum temporary relief with pretty severe sleep disruptions.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #21)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:06 PM

25. Yep, done that. Short term relief, and the dosage had to be rather high.

Nightmares went along with that, too, although I'm glad it works for you. It does for some, not for others.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #21)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:27 PM

27. Don't play doctor on the Internet.

Prescribing for anyone without taking a full medical history - let alone without a medical degree and a license to practice - is seriously fucked up.

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Response to REP (Reply #27)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 12:41 PM

47. thank you.

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Response to REP (Reply #27)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:39 PM

53. True,but the problem is the Docs ignore the black box warning, and tend to

be dismissive of naturopathy. So the info doesn't get out unless people here about it from a friend. You can turn on any TV show and see adds for SSRI's , but not natural meds so much.

I would suggest talking to a nutritionist or naturopath. But these items can be more effective for many people.

Black Box warning:

"Suicidality and Antidepressant Drugs

Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of or any other antidepressant in a child, adolescent, or young adult must balance this risk with the clinical need. Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24; there was a reduction in risk with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults aged 65 and older. Depression and certain other psychiatric disorders are themselves associated with increases in the risk of suicide. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior. Families and caregivers should be advised of the need for close observation and communication with the prescriber. is not approved for use in pediatric patients. (See Warnings: Clinical Worsening and Suicide Risk, Precautions: Information for Patients, and Precautions: Pediatric Use)"


..................


"Despite the warnings on SSRI labels to watch patients closely for signs of suicidality, a recent study found that less than 18% of patients on the drugs received even the minimum level of follow-up care in the most critical time after being prescribed SSRIs.

According to the report in the August 2006, American Journal of Managed Care, nearly half of the patients had no follow-up visits during the first month, and fewer than 18% saw a practitioner for mental health follow-up care during that time.

Dr Healy says, all patients need to be warned that, if they feel strange or anxious they should return to their doctor. But his concern, he says, "is that doctors indoctrinated by drug company input and faced with a patient saying they feel worse will double the dose rather than reducing it or switching to a different treatment."

- http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/articles/ssri_birth_defects/ssri-doctors-00707.html?utm_expid=3607522-0&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Furl%3Fsa%3Dt%26rct%3Dj%26q%3D%26esrc%3Ds%26source%3Dweb%26cd%3D6%26ved%3D0CFoQFjAF%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.lawyersandsettlements.com%252Farticles%252Fssri_birth_defects%252Fssri-doctors-00707.html%26ei%3DBefhUNXvLaXmiwLU4oDIAg%26usg%3DAFQjCNEzOi3X4WEQPRHNo27-7HdKv0hr4A%26bvm%3Dbv.1355534169%2Cd.cGE#.UOHoaYVupxM

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #21)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:11 AM

33. I found I had depression after taking wort

That shit has side effects also. It's not free.

Especially if you have to take 1 every 45 minutes to stay normal.

That's why I take the meds. Fewer side effects then taking 20 or so worts a day, and it works.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #21)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:21 AM

35. Or, they could continue taking what works for them...

and not listen to some anonymous poster who may or may not be pushing an agenda.

Sid

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #21)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 07:05 AM

40. The problem with SJW

is that its a precursor to the old MAOI style drugs -- which in therapeutic doses can cause numerous side effects and have very low compliance due to food and other requirements, thus they've been abandoned in general psychiatry (although there maybe some special situations where they are used. This really isn't a huge issue with SJW -- since no one takes enough to give them a therapeutic does in the first place.

If someone has mild depression, the placebo effect maybe enough to meet their needs. For moderate to severe depression, your putting your life in the hands of a drug which is relatively untested, and not unregulated as to purity, contamination, and bio-availability.

Certain items can certainly be useful -- fish oil for instance has been shown in clinical trials to be very useful, and there are good brands available which undergo full auditing and compliance checks for safety, bio-availability, consistency, etc. Look for anything with the USP label (US Pharmacopia), of which Kirkland and Nature Made have the widest selection. Certain vitamins are also well regulated with known health benefits -- Folate, Iron in certain anemias, and Vitamin D.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #21)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 08:45 AM

43. St. John's wort is just a weak SSRI.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #21)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 02:15 PM

51. Don't be so sure they're safer

SJW, when it works, works via the exact same mechanisms as prescription ADs, but less effectively. The whole idea that - if it's natural, it must be safer - is nonsense. Plenty of toxic natural chemicals, and if prescription ADs potentially cause negative brain chemistry changes, then a natural substance that works via the same mechanisms can cause the same changes.



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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:29 PM

22. Thanks for sharing.

I was thinking about this subject this morning.
As I read the anti-depressant threads in the last couple of days, it pissed me off royally.
It my son had reached out for help, maybe he wouldn't be dead by suicide.
If I didn't take them now, I would be dead.
I can't understand how some can make blanket statements about such a personal thing as mental health issues.

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:15 PM

26. Good for you for speaking out.

If you suffer from chronic migraines and take prescribed medicine for them, there's no shame in that, and there's no shame in taking medicine to help deal with depression.

I hated being on Celexa for a year, a few years back, and went through hella withdrawals to get off them. I wouldn't recommend that someone who is mildly blue get on some of these drugs. But there's depression, and then there's DEPRESSION. I am damned grateful that my doctor recognized that I was in serious crisis and prescribed them. Even if it was hard to quit them.

I'm off antidepressants now (and made it through Christmas without murdering anyone, yay!) but I would take them again in a heartbeat if I felt I needed them.

Thanks for the post.

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:46 PM

28. I think some people are arguing that medication shouldn't be the first tool used

Medications work well for the vast majority of people, but there are some people who experience terrible side effects that can lead to psychotic behavior, addiction, suicide, death or violence. Because of that, there is legitimate concern about all other options being exhausted prior to prescribing certain drugs. For example, a daycare center was pressuring my sister to put her 3 year old son on ADHD medications. While there may come a time when certain drugs are unavoidable, putting him on them now without trying other methods of getting him to behave would appear inappropriate to most people. On the other hand, you went far too long without the medicine you needed. There has to be a balance of not going the drug route too soon, but not waiting too long when nothing else is working (and sometimes nothing else would work for certain conditions).

I hate that you feel stereotyped... but you're not alone, as a lot of people have been stereotyped with this latest shooting: quiet people, shy people, awkward people, anyone with Asperger's, guys who play video games, etc.

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #28)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:53 PM

49. The school tried to put my son on ADHD drugs.

I refused. Why? Because a child who would come home, go into his room, and play with a building toy or read for three hours at a stretch is not ADHD.

The other problem with those drugs is that they can decrease the IQ by ten points, and the decrease is permanent. That's not something I wanted.

I managed to have him tested outside the school system, and had those tests written into the school records, which stopped that nonsense.

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 11:02 PM

29. Good post.

I also had my own problems with depression. I struggled for 15 years. I tried different things to get it under control, and it would get under control for a while. Then, it would come back. Finally, I had an episode that made me realize I needed help. I thought the problem was my medicine for seizures. It's an anti-depressant, and I became depressed after getting back on them years ago. Never was the same since then. I explained this to my neurologist and told him that I wanted to try another medication. He said most of his patients didn't have my problem and then suggested I try medication. He explained that the chances of having horrible side effects was slim. I gave it a try along with therapy. After a while, I stopped seeing my therapist so I could have the time to focus on my career. I've slowly been reducing the amount I take under doctor supervision.

I think it's great that you spoke out because people need to realize that mental illness is not all in your head. It's often a physical problem. Nobody would look down on somebody for taking Tylenol. Why should this be looked down upon? There have been cases of a patient being medicated in the wrong way (as was your case the first time). This doesn't mean to throw the baby out with the bath water.

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 11:05 PM

30. I take antidepressants. It would be unfair to the people around me to do otherwise.

I tried to get off them a year ago, gradually reducing them over the course of about 8 weeks. Within a short time I was suicidal, and the effect it was having on my girlfriend and my daughter finally convinced me that if I wasn't going to take medication for myself, I should at least take it for the people I loved.

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 11:11 PM

31. I just made a post in another thread

about information from Journal of the American Medical Association about SSRIs. For those with mild to moderate depression, SSRIs are little, if any better, than placebos. For those with major depression they are more effective. I think that explains the difference in experience.

For anyone who suffers from major depression, I'm glad there are drugs to help. For me, they were prescribed for back pain and insomnia and created more harm than good.

http://jeffreydach.com/2010/01/21/jama-says-ssri-antidepressants-are-placebos-by-jeffrey-dach-md.aspx

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Response to ohheckyeah (Reply #31)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:18 AM

34. That's an old study

More current studies have criticized that study for the following reasons:

A. They used an average of the test subjects. If three quarters do better and one quarter do worse, the one quarter who did worse made the average flat.

B. Most antidepressant trials use the worst off subjects, and there's a screening processes to make sure the subjects are the real deal. The study used none of those, just pulling people off the streets and paying them. they could have been the real deal, or they just could have been lying to get money.

Add those two together and you have a flawed study.

http://healthland.time.com/2012/01/18/new-research-on-the-antidepressant-versus-placebo-debate/

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Response to Confusious (Reply #34)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:45 AM

36. I wish I still had a Physician's Desk Reference.

It was shocking how many drugs did little better than placebo....not just SSRIs but many, many drugs.

I accept the study was flawed. I would like to see the actual clinical trial data on not only SSRIs but other drugs as well.

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 11:34 PM

32. Wellbutrin here. I identified that on my mom's side of the family...

... people really seemed to fall apart in midlife, with alcohol the main medication. How did I find this out, since I didn't live anywhere near these relatives? I called mom frequently and listened to her complain and complain and complain about them. (She was one of those "pure" ones who would neither medicate nor self-medicate, and honestly her life would have been far better -- and mine too -- if she had been willing to try something pharmaceutical. edited to add: In all fairness, she was born in 1924, and she really felt there was a stigma attached to anything that might conceivably have to do with mental illness or defect. But it made it quite hard to deal with her on the subject.)

The lightbulb went on one day, and it helped both my sister and myself. At the time my sister was suffering from migraines and severe social anxiety disorder, both of which interfered very badly with her life and career. I went down the list with her: uncle A had to retire early from his professorship because he was crippled with social anxiety disorder, aunt B was a secret drinker, uncle C was a drunk and had a temper and his family finally had one of those interventions, aunt D was very depressed and could hardly leave the house.... How many of the drinkers were self-medicating, I wondered? What kind of biochemical disaster kicked in in midlife in our family? Mind you, the information from our mother was not in those terms -- she complained about their perceived weakness of will, their inability to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, and if only they would do this or that. In her mind, medication was one of those weak-will things, just like alcohol.

The insight did help my sister get the help she needed; even if in the end it was not enough to make life normal, at least it has made it bearable. For myself, I finally got an antidepressant, and it has helped. Again -- not normal, whatever that is, but a lot better.

The ranting and raving here around guns has been bizarre enough on so many levels, but the part where people started going off on absolutely everyone who has ever taken or is taking a psychoactive medication had my jaw dropping. WTF is it with people?

Anyway, thanks for posting your experience -- and thanks to the rest in this thread likewise. All the best in the New Year.

Hekate

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Response to Hekate (Reply #32)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 06:39 AM

38. I identify!

My sister, who also suffers from depression, began suffering from crippling migraines in college prior to recognizing her depression. I now wonder if the two are related? Our Mother has always been one of those people that family walks on egg shells around due to her extremely volatile moods and rages, but she avoided the perceived disgrace of diagnosis into old age. The damage done to our family is incalculable and continues still.

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:56 AM

37. I wouldn't be alive without them

I have struggled with depression my whole adult life. My mother had depression and my father was a bipolar alcoholic, so I have genes from both parents. After holding it together enough to work or go to college (or both!) for over 30 years, I am currently disabled, working towards being able to work again, meds, exercise, diet and therapy. I've had weird responses to medication before but still had the good sense to get myself to the doctor and get my meds adjusted. When I started this journey, I hoped the depression would be something I grew out of, but on the contrary, it's gotten worse as I've gotten older. My attorney that helped me get disability said to hang in there, there were a lot of new treatments in development and that there will be major changes in the next 5 years.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #37)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 06:44 AM

39. Blessings to you

I wish you well, this is hard but at least you know what the problem is. My therapist always points out that struggling through any illness and making it and still having a life and getting things done is an accomplishment.

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 08:41 AM

42. I have not had a single panic attack since taking Paxil.

The resident Scientologists can go jump in a lake.

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 09:09 AM

45. Depression is extremely serious

I am glad you have found treatment that works for you and I wish you continued success battling this serious illness.

These current attacks on the mentally ill have been trotted out by those with "political" agendas (not wanting to hijack this and turn this into a "gun thread" ... the NRA has done more to undo the progress against societal stigmas against mental illness than anyone could have imagined ... virtually no one was spewing this bigoted line until the sociopaths at the NRA began their PR offensive against the mentally ill).

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Response to get the red out (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:57 PM

50. Thank you for your story!

Too often, we keep getting the oversimplified "solutions" that amount to putting people with chronic depression (which is as common as the flu) or other mental ailments on the equivalent of a sex-offender list.

The more people hear the real story of mental illness, the less they get stigmatized.

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