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Why is my GP(s) always pressuring me to stop antidepressants?

(8 Posts)
debbiecr Sat 01-Oct-16 08:53:23

I have a long history of depression ranging from basic dysthymia to severe/acute episodes - prior to my 20s this all happened in South Africa and so understandably my UK GPs don't have the full details. Things stabilised in my 20s and I was on a low dose drug for a long time. When I had my baby 2 years ago, who had severe medical needs, things were so upside down I stopped taking my ADs. I was depressed which I put down to normal PND and our stressful life in and out of hospital in my son. Last December I had had enough and asked my GP to prescribe for me again. My life has turned around this year and I feel so much better. But every time I see them or go for a repeat, they ask me "have you thought about stopping". I can't quite articulate to them that I do not want to stop. On Monday for example, having skipped my weekend doses due to running out, I decided to see what would happen if I didn't take any. It's now Saturday and I can definitely feel the effects. I am not depressed but I am very short tempered and have the urge to buy clothes when we are in a massive savings drive at the moment. Things definitely happen when I am not taking ADs and I feel angry with the GPs for not understanding. Anyone gone through similar?

OnceThereWasThisGirlWho Sat 01-Oct-16 13:00:50

You really shouldn't be stopping them suddenly like that. You need to taper off slowly under the guidance of your GP. Stopping suddenly will have bad effects. Depends on the drug itself, perhaps posters here can advise you more if were able to give the name?
Have you had any other treatments, counselling etc?
Your GP will be encouraging you to come off them as they are intended as a shorter term thing, not to be taken for the rest of your life, apparenty.
What made you suddenly decide to "see what would happen" if you didn't take any? Does some part of you want to stop taking them? Or were you just wanting to be able to go to the GP and say "See, I crashed without them"?

OnceThereWasThisGirlWho Sat 01-Oct-16 13:06:28

The tone of my post sounds harsher than I meant - sorry! flowers

dangermouseisace Sat 01-Oct-16 23:37:03

when I moved my GP was always keen to reduce my dose with a view to coming off them completely. My GP in my old town, having known me for nearly 20 years had previously said that I should just stay on them long term given the number of relapses I had without them.

I was happy to go along with trying to get off them as I hate taking medication. Turns out the GP in my old town was probably right- with reductions everything went very pear shaped. I surmised that new GP's don't know you, they can only go on what they see. I think if you explain your concerns- that you don't feel that you are in a place where you are ready to stop yet, then they will understand. All drugs have side effects so it is understandable that they would seek to get people off medication if they no longer needed it. You still need it though, but you have to tell them, otherwise they won't know!

JenBehavingBadly Sun 02-Oct-16 11:38:41

If you're feeling better, it's not unreasonable to consider coming off them, but of course that's your choice.

Stopping these meds cold turkey will give you withdrawal side effects ranging from feeling down to nausea to anxiety and the rest.

If you don't want to stop yet then don't. If you want to give it a go, you need to taper off them for a reasonable period rather than stop cold.

TroysMammy Sun 02-Oct-16 11:45:46

Have you asked the GP why he has asked you if you had thought about stopping them? Is there a medical reason or has research has shown long term use leads to long term problems. The cost to the NHS? Do you need them or are they a crutch you can't do without? Would counselling or CBT help? Lots of questions you need to ask before making an informed decision.

Comejointhemurder Sun 02-Oct-16 11:53:57

If you've been on them for years it's not unreasonable to suggest you try and come off them.

It's difficult for GPs to strike the right balance. They're often accused of throwing meds at people but also can't do right in suggesting people come off them.

I work in MH and have also been on antidepressants. I think it's always best that people don't take medication they don't need anymore when it's tried safely to stop them.

erinaceus Sun 02-Oct-16 17:50:41

The only thing I have to add, is that if you do not feel ready to stop taking them, then you can tell your GP this much. If you do feel ready to stop them, and you do this without the guidance of a doctor, it is possible for the result to be quite - how can I say it - dramatic - and not in a good way. BTDT. This does not happen to everybody though. Some people just stop taking them with no ill effects.

What you might feel as pressure from your GP, might just be them making a suggestion. If you feel better taking ADs, it might be better to take them. I took them for a decade and a half, mostly on but a few periods off them when I always relapsed. Things have changed for me recently and I am not taking any ADs at the moment, but I wouldn't hesitate to go back on them if I felt as if I needed to.

I am not sure if that helps at all, because it does not really answer your question.

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