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To think that anti depressants and time off work are suggested too freely to life's problems

(67 Posts)
reallytired Fri 26-Aug-11 12:47:04

Depression and anxiety are real illnesses and when there is medical depression or anxiety then medication can save lives. I feel medication should be reserved for those with moderate or servere depression.

I have just left my job with nothing to do go to. It was hell on earth where I worked. I have made a scary step, but I feel it was the right decision. I feel a massive wieght has been lifted off my shoulders.

There were people who went off sick or took medication because they could not hack where I worked either. Where I worked there was a culture of taking a few days off just because the working enviroment was stressful. My boss (who is not a doctor) suggested medication when I told him I wanted to leave. I think he meant well, but I did not have a medical problem.

I feel that GPs should be suggesting self help books and self help websites for mild depression or anxiety or possibly limited councelling. Being unhappy is not a medical problem and anti depressants do not help true unhappiness. I also think that being happy is not always the default state for a healthy human being.

I think I know what you mean and agree with you. Was watching a DIY SOS type program the other day and the woman said "I'm depressed because my living room is a mess". Sorry, but I've battled depression for years, thats just not how it works!! Being upset about something genuinely upsetting, and being medically depressed are not the same thing! angry

didyouseewhatshedid Fri 26-Aug-11 12:51:25

I think we can safely assume OP that you've never had the proper blues.

scrambedeggs Fri 26-Aug-11 12:53:27

you only have to read it on here, someone is a bit gloomy/husband is feeling down and you are overrun by the "ooh you sound depressed"

and sometimes feeling sad in life is normal, its an emotion like happiness

if someone close to you pegs it, its normal to be very upset and sad - it usually doesnt need medical intervention - but people are soooo quick to make it seem as if its some disease you have that needs treatment

GwendolineMaryLacey Fri 26-Aug-11 12:54:37

So your place of work was so bad that you left, but the people who weren't fortunate enough to be able to up and leave as you can and who are relying on medication to get them through their working day are taking the easy option? Right. hmm

hazeyjane Fri 26-Aug-11 13:05:32

Sometimes though if there are difficulties in life, and one does't have the mental strength to lift yourself out of the mire (by reading selfhelp books or exercise or adopting a positive attitude). If that is the case, and a low dose of antidepressants helps push you up the hill so that you can get through the day, and move forward, then why is that a problem?

WibblyBibble Fri 26-Aug-11 13:13:59

Oh fuck off. biscuit

ObiWan Fri 26-Aug-11 13:20:35

You are not depressed, so rightly disagree with the idea (put forward by your unqualified boss) that you might need 'medication'.

So far, so YANBU.

You have managed to extrapolate this to get the idea that people who have been prescribed medication/time off work by a qualified professional might just be a bit weak willed. Rather more BU.

I think it's pretty standard actually that concentrated treatment for depression only kicks in once the 'moderate' threashold for a particular individual has been attained.

You're fine, good for you.

I would assume in the first instance that a persons doctor would have made a reasonable assesment of their mental health before prescribing anything. Their doctor is probably better placed to do so than your boss, by whose opinions you seem to set a lot of store.

reallytired Fri 26-Aug-11 13:26:59

Actually I have experienced full blast depression. I had severe depression and medication saved my life. I was actively starving myself to death and had delusions. There is a world of difference between that kind of experience and work being crap. The sort of experience I am talking about attacks the inner soul of a person. It is a serious illness and very different to being work shy.

I have been scared of ever getting into that position again. I have been prescribed medication when frankly I did not need it. Medication if anything made life's problems worse because of the hideous side affects.

Prehaps a pychatric nurse should be attached to a GP's practice. He/she could spend more time working out if someone actually has clinical depression/ anxiety or whether life is being shit. A GP can not make a decent assessment in 5 minutes.

Even with severe depression medication does not solve life's problems. Anti depressants can temporary kick start the brain. What helped me no end was online CBT. It has taught me the skills that my parents failed to teach me.

I feel that some GPs give out medication like smarties. The problem with anti depressants being given out too freely is that it can create a situation of learned helplessness. People are not pushed to do something with the temporary lift that medication gives to their mood. Also long term use of anti depressants can possibly cause long term health problems.

GwendolineMaryLacey Fri 26-Aug-11 13:32:26

Work shy? FFS.

I've had serious, "proper" depression as well. Doesn't mean I'm an experienced psychiatrist. I don't suppose you are either. Neither do you have the first idea what is going on in other people's lives, despite thinking that you do. But, of course, you're better than those people because you could afford to walk out of your job. Silly them.

QueenStromba Fri 26-Aug-11 13:33:22

I wasn't given a sick note or antidepressants until six months after I first went to the doctor about my depression.

bubblesincoffee Fri 26-Aug-11 13:34:25

So because other people have needed a little time of work or anti depressants to cope whereas you have decided to leave your job, you thunk your solution is the right one for everyone.


Maybe some of your former colleagues simply couldn't afford to leave their jobs. You have been able to, which is great for you, but you shouldn'[t assume that it would be a reasonable option for everyone.

Their ad's have been prescribed by professionals, who probably know more about their circumsatnces and personal ability to cope than you do.

I agree, people should do things to help themselves, and time of work or medication is not always the only answer to problems. But people don't know what to do to help themselves. I think it's partly a British stiff upper lip thing, where people only really go to the docs when they are seriously struggling and feel they have no other option. Wheras if they knew ways to help prevent those levels of stress in the first place, it would often not get to that stage.

But by the time you are feeling bad enough that a doctor is going to prescibe medication, a self help book will probably be too late to help. What we need is more effective stress management strategies to become a common thing, and something that people can access easily without stigma.

nomoreheels Fri 26-Aug-11 13:34:30

I think I get what you're saying. It sounds like you're describing reactive rather than clinical depression. If the stressful thing is removed, you feel you'd be ok. I am in pretty much the same boat as you, work-wise. I used to wonder if I should request ADs from my GP to help me cope; thought it was to do with me. When I realised others were going off with stress too, it became clear that the organization was dysfunctional, not me.

But sadly for some it's impossible to leave their jobs or solve the situation that is making them stressed & reactively depressed. And while it's a damn shame to have to resort to ADs for it, I understand why they do.

nomoreheels Fri 26-Aug-11 13:47:14

Oh and GPs do prescribe ADs a lot IME as it's the only quick option for initial treatment. Mental health services for non-urgent cases (eg not at immediate risk of suicide, harm or psychosis) are often limited. Waiting lists for counselling can be 6 months - year, and then you usually only get 6-8 sessions. Psychology waiting lists are worse, 12 months or more. Unless you can afford to pay privately, ADs may be the only thing your GP can think to offer there & then.

reallytired Fri 26-Aug-11 13:48:47

Many of my former collegues have left, but some of them haven't even though they could get jobs elsewhere.

There are not many people who have limited options on who their employer can be. Councelling and CBT can help people work out their options for improving their lives. There is a huge difference between needing help and being utterly helpless.

Medication helps with a dysfunctional brain, but it can mess up a healthy brain.

TheRealTillyMinto Fri 26-Aug-11 13:51:05

i think there is a danger of normal human emotions being medicalized. my DP's dad was given AD after his wife died. he was grieving. she died young and in a lot of pain. of course he felt dreadful. but he did not need 'curing'.

brighthair Fri 26-Aug-11 14:00:34

I have generalised anxiety and panic attacks. I had the meds because I waited 2 years for CBT and I was contemplating driving into a brick wall rather than have another panic attack, and there was no other help available

pippilongsmurfing Fri 26-Aug-11 14:08:20

That is ridiculous.

If self help books/websites cured depression/anxiety there would be no need for medication would there??

Are people with what you deem "mild" anxiety/depression to be made to wait in misery until their problems become "severe" enough for medication?

Often, getting medication early on in depression can help the patient from sufferring very severe crippling depression.

Why is it any of your business if people have time off sick or take meds for depression?

If they were taking the piss by having too much time off sick for no real reason then surely your boss would have tried to sack them.

Also, unless you are either in other peoples heads or a doctor, how do you know what they feel like?

ObiWan Fri 26-Aug-11 14:08:20

But by the time many people steel themselves to see a G.P. they are past the point of waiting to see whether it will get better.

They are unable to function properly (be that as a reaction to their circumstances, grief, PND etc) and are past the point where a Pollyanna approach will do any good.
There are also people for whom the very idea of self-help books or CBT being suggested is enough to put them off seeking help.

If someone thinks a self help book or therapy will help, they often can and will arrange it without consulting a G.P.

G.Ps usually see the more severe cases.

Cocoflower Fri 26-Aug-11 14:21:42

There are two types of depression

One is chemical- the type that needs medication

The other, far more common one is Reactionary depression

This is when a person due to their circumstances becomes depressed (i,e loss of loved one, debt, divorce etc) , and in this case due to an unfavorable working environment

Therefore in all reality you can have as much CBT, medication as you want etc as you want by the only want ever eradicate the depression is to change the cause- i.e leave the job

SouthernFriedTofu Fri 26-Aug-11 14:29:54

Actually I was going in to the doctors regulary because I wasn't feeling well I knew I wasn't depressed though (I have suffered from severe depression in the past) my gp kept insisting that she put me on meds. I told her I wasn't depressed something was physically wrong. I kept telling her she wouldn't listen, and after switching doc surgeries I found out something was wrong. I was hormonal and moody due to coming off my bc pill and not knowing I Had PCOS, that combined with the physical side affects that I hadn't experienced before due to being regulated on the pill were making me a bit sad. But I knew it wasn't depression. Doctors do hand out anti depression drugs like sweete IM personal E

SouthernFriedTofu Fri 26-Aug-11 14:32:10

I also think that when I was suffering from severe depressoin in the past I wasn't helped by drugs because there was nothing chemcially wrong to fix I had a real world reason for my depression.

glastocat Fri 26-Aug-11 14:35:32

You are talking nonsense. I was put on long term sick leave by my workplace's Occupational health doctor. It was partially triggered by my father's sudden death, and partially due to an incredibly stressfull working environment. I couldn't afford to quit, and I couldn't get another job (there is massive unemplyment in Ireland).I was also on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication (I still am). After a long absence I came back to work on a phased basis, and am now back full time. Work is not half so stressful as it was before, and I suspect it is because I was not the only person who was badly affected by the working environment. There are more staff now, and overtime is now discouraged rather than compulsory. I was unable to cope at work but kept dragging myself in, getting sicker and sicker. Thank god for qualified professionals who knew better than I did.

reallytired Fri 26-Aug-11 14:42:26

I am not opposed the the use of medication, but the over use. Many patients are just parked on anti depressants and left to languish.

I don't think there is any thing "Pollyanna" about CBT or self help. It is often the way someone percieves an adversity rather than the adversity itself that makes someone depressed. It is possible teach people how to be more relient.

Anti depressants can turn servere depression into mild depression. I feel it would be useful if doctors gave a recommended list of good books and websites. It would save the patient a lot of time as there are a lot of rubbish self help books.

As this links says many doctors don't even think to suggest simple things like exercise or looking at diet. Putting someone on anti medication for the next twenty years is the easy option.

porcamiseria Fri 26-Aug-11 15:41:09

i tend to agree

life is SHIT sometimes, and I dont think it can always be cured, like the poster that said people get offereed ADs for bereavement, sigh

and work is shit sometimes, and people taking time off for stress is just a sticking plaster

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