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To ask people who suffer with depression to chat to me

(35 Posts)
dontknowwhatnametopick Mon 10-Nov-14 13:46:04

Hi everyone, over the last couple of months I have struggled with life. I split up with my DS's dad at the beginning of the year, my DS and I moved area, DS started school, I'm having to tolerate shared care between me and my ex, my sons behaviour at the moment is terrible and lots of changes with my job.

I cry at the drop of a hat, I have in motivation, I can't sleep, no appetite and worse of all I'm getting really frustrated with DS really easy and I end up shouting at him.

I feel guilty all the time and anxious. I went to my GP today who thinks I have depression. I am gutted my life has got to this point as normally I am such a strong, level headed person.

I seem to have lost the inability to see things logically (see my post from last week about ear rings). What worries me the most is the way I react to DS when he is playing up!

Anyway GP has asked me start antidepressant medication. I don't know how I feel about this. I feel like such a failure and let down.

Please tell me I'm not alone?!

Sorry for the ramble

upduffedsecret Mon 10-Nov-14 14:08:26

there's no shame or failure in antidepressants. it's like thinking an asthmatic is a failure for needing an inhaler... if you find the right medication for you, it's amazing.

LostandConfused33 Mon 10-Nov-14 14:15:41

You are not alone.

Taking anti-depressant medication is not a failure, it's a sensible step to getting better. I started them for the 3rd time yesterday, I know the signs now, sometimes I can control it with diet, exercise and sleep but sometimes that's not enough and I need extra help. It allows me to get back on track enough to stop panicking about work so I start leaving the office at a sensible time and have the time to eat, sleep and exercise well. I hope it can do similar for you.

Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain. The medication is correcting the imbalance. Plenty of strong and capable people have suffered from depression and you have had the courage to see your GP which is the hardest step.

I would suggest you try the ADs, give them a few weeks and reassess how you feel. They can make you feel a bit odd to start with but after a few weeks you should start to have glimpses of the 'old you' back. If not, talk about changing the type, different things work for different people.

Since it sounds like your depression is caused (at least in part) by the situation counselling might well also help, your GP can possibly refer you to someone.

Also, check out the mental health board here for support.

Final tip, take the 1st tablet in the evening and sleep through the spaced out wierdness!

LostandConfused33 Mon 10-Nov-14 14:22:12

Yes to drawing parallels to physical conditions. I liken it to diabetes, the mild form can be improved with the right behaviours (diet etc) but the more severe form needs the chemical imbalance to be correctly directly with medication. You'd never say a type 1 diabetic failed because they needed insulin!

SmillasSenseOfSnow Mon 10-Nov-14 14:23:11

Definitely give them a go. They're not going to turn you into someone else or a zombie or whatever, they're really not like that (despite many people thinking they must be). You'll still be exactly the same - just hopefully a bit relieved from being thoroughly miserable most of the time.

Do be aware that however you might feel the first evening you take them (maybe the second as well but less so), it isn't how they normally are. I found that I wasn't just spaced out but also really very restless and a bit stressed every time I started them - but it stops very soon after. If you can sleep through it then even better, but don't worry about it if you are awake and experience the slight weirdness/discomfort. You really can't feel anything upon taking them after the first one or two (and maybe a little again if the dose gets upped), any more than you get a weird hormonal rush when taking the pill each evening (ie you don't at all).

flapjackattack Mon 10-Nov-14 14:23:21

The medication is for the symptoms, like a cold, your body needs to recover. This time it's your mind.
This might be the only time you experience it. It might not. I bet you would take cold remedies to get on with your day?

curlyweasel Mon 10-Nov-14 14:24:09

You are definitely not alone. Get help and support and be kind to yourself. xx

Moonraker37 Mon 10-Nov-14 14:24:48

I finally registered on MN after being a lurker for ages after reading your post. You are certainly not alone. You do sound depressed and I'm not surprised with your tough year. I just wanted to tell you I was on Sertraline for postnatal depression for a year and a half after my first son. I've recently come off it. Like you I was scared to take medication but it was the best thing I did. Really helped. You still feel 100% like yourself just more able to cope with things. It will get better, even though it feels like crap now. Sending you a hug. Take the meds... You've nothing to lose.

parakeet Mon 10-Nov-14 14:29:42

I am glad some of the people posting on here have found antidepressants helped them, but I think you should be aware OP that other people find antidepressants very unpleasant, and, most disturbingly, can find them very hard to stop taking, once started.

Also, the theory that they "correct a chemical imbalance" is now thought by many scientists to be wrong.

Finally the latest evidence suggests they do nothing more than act like a placebo for people with mild or moderate depression. And that people such as yourself should try counselling or CBT first, only going to antidepressants as a last resort.

I wish you all the best.

russiandwarf Mon 10-Nov-14 14:30:13

I have felt the same way as you about taking them as just re-started myself a few weeks ago. Sometimes though when you can't see the wood for the trees you need to give yourself a leg up. Don't think it's forever you just need to give yourself a hand to get back on track, especially as so much has changed for you recently. Once you are feeling more like yourself you will be able to assess things better. You definitely need to be able to get some quality sleep as well and the tablets should help. Please don't feel like a failure x

Smartleatherbag Mon 10-Nov-14 14:37:29

Hi. Sorry you've had such a hard time. You've suffered a lot of loss. It's great that you've started getting some help. It isn't a sign of weakness to seek and take help.

I've been on ssris for over twenty years (!) I understand your misgivings - some GPs do give them out too readily imo. If you are getting the physical symptoms of depression then they can be very helpful ALONGSDIDE the opportunity to talk about things and getting support in practical terms in your life too. Alone, they are pointless. Could you manage to ask for a referral to community mental health service? Or is there a Depression Alliance group near you? COuld a friend help you look ito all this, as I know it's hard to do anything at times like this. The chemical imbalance in the brain is theoretical only, but ads are better than placebo in most clinical trials so worth considering. Some side effects are unpleasant but most are transitory. If they don't agree with you, you can change them or taper off them and reassess.

I am in a minority, being on them so long. Most people are not on them anything like this long. I had PTSD and it was badly managed in the past. Thing s have moved on!

Very best wishes

Smartleatherbag Mon 10-Nov-14 14:39:41

Parakeet, I agree with you, btw, was just toning it down a bit for potentially fragile OP. Ben GOldacre's wotk on SSRIs is fab and very much backs up your post.

frumpet Mon 10-Nov-14 15:21:28

I think that most people agree that AD's taken in isolation are not as effective as when used in conjunction with talking therapies , the problem being of course that every pharmacy in the land has a ready supply of the pills , but you can wait for months and months to access CBT or counselling.

Did your GP mention anything about putting you on a list for counselling or CBT at all ?

dontknowwhatnametopick Mon 10-Nov-14 19:28:44

Thanks everyone, I've been given fluoxetine, I don't know anything about this and the leaflet is all very vague, has anyone else taken this? What can I expect from it?

Ohfourfoxache Mon 10-Nov-14 19:32:07

You might have side effects, you might not - not everyone had side effects. But it will take a while to take effect. It's not a magic "instantaneously feel better" cure, but it will build up. You need to take it as prescribed for a good 2 or 3 weeks before you'll start to notice he difference.

dontknowwhatnametopick Mon 10-Nov-14 19:34:15

Does this mean no alcohol?! I'm not a heavy drinker maybe 2 glasses of wine a week but guessing that's a no no

Wolfiefan Mon 10-Nov-14 19:34:38

I'm just starting to wean myself off citalopram. It has really helped me. I have also had some CBT. I have thought of it as a prop to help me recover. It's not a cure all and does take a while to work.
Wishing you better health. xx

RedBushedT Mon 10-Nov-14 19:38:17

I've been on fluoxitine since January of this year. I plan to come off it in spring next year.
it's been fine. Only side effect I've had is frequent yawning! Which is a minor irritation. Other than that, I feel good. I couldn't stop bursting into tears early this year, felt anxious about EVERYTHING and like life was just too much hard work. Now, I feel lots better (even going into winter..)
I can laugh again and am so glad I took the anti depressants. I've always been terrified of them, thought I'd get addicted, that they would change who I am. But they haven't, and I'm confident I'll be off them next year asks hopefully still be my normal, happy self. Look on them as a temporary crutch. At the moment you are struggling, they will prop you up so you can cope and recover. Then you can stop them when you feel ready.

NoImSpartacus Mon 10-Nov-14 19:56:53

I've been taken fluoxetine (aka Prozac) since July of this year. They took a couple of months to work, and for me, they have been wonderful. Definitely no placebo affect here. I was anxious, no motivation, stressed, totally couldn't cope with life and now I'm happy, sociable, confident; how I would be without whatever it was that made me so depressed. I was waking up with a pit in my stomach, I never get that horrible feeling now, I can cope with things so well, cognitively I'm sharper too without all the brain fog and nonsense getting in the way. I'm able to reason with myself and my self esteem is healthy again. Only side effect is I wake up every night at around 3am, but always manage to get back to sleep. A small price to pay for being happy again.

I'm still a strong person, taking ads doesn't alter that fact, but life was getting harder for me mentally and there was help available and I grabbed it with both hands. There is no shame whatsoever in taking medication to treat an illness.

NoImSpartacus Mon 10-Nov-14 19:59:47

Oh and a couple of glasses of wine with Prozac is fine, my doctor has confirmed that and I've tested the theory

Many times grin

Good luck OP

bedraggledmumoftwo Mon 10-Nov-14 20:00:48

I think the stigma around ads stops many people taking them when they need them. I got diagnosed with depression 9 years ago, but never filled my prescription as i didn't want the stigma. 6 years later and the baby blues somewhat predictably turned into pnd and anxiety. I had cbt, which helped, and have been on sertraline since, and don't know what i was worried about! I have during that time adjusted down to 25mg from 100mg while i was pregnant with dd2 so am not worried about being able to stop. I recently started feeling bad and started taking my full dose again and feel better again. Like others said, it is not instant, but one day a woman commented on my singing along to the music playing in the supermarket! I was embarrassed but then realised i hadn't walked around singing for years! I have never felt numb either, perhaps that comes with high doses. But it certainly stops me feeling stressed and anxious.

raltheraffe Mon 10-Nov-14 20:04:25

I would advise you follow your doctor's advice. Just in case your GP did not tell you, ADs take 10-14 days to have an effect on mood and the SE are greatest in the first few days and then they subside. So you will probably feel worse off in the first week, but you need to persist a couple of weeks before it pays off.
ADs are a good place to start, however there is a lot more than just taking medications that you can do to improve mood. Mindfulness can help, as can Mood Mapping. Moodscope is an excellent free website and I would strongly recommend you sign up to that. Exercise, avoiding caffeine and alcohol are also helpful.

Back2Two Mon 10-Nov-14 20:06:29

Spartacus and redbush have put it very well.

My opinion was that ADs didn't so much change me as a person- they actually allowed me to be myself again. Myself on a good day.

They may have slight side effects and coming off them can be a long process. But I am eternally grateful for ADs in my life. They bought me back to my life from a horrible place. Without a shadow of a doubt, NOT just a placebo effect.

Once you get back over the top of the pit you've been stuck in (and ADs can you help you to get there) then you may find talking therapies, exercise, hobbies, etc will help as well.

And, you speak about struggling with your son (starting school can be a trying time ....they are away from our control much more, and they are exhausted most of the time). Well, my experience of ADs was also that I was able to really enjoy my dc again. And that in itself was such a joy. The medication can change the spiral from downwards to upwards.

Rinkydinkypink Mon 10-Nov-14 20:11:18

First off your definitely not on your own. I'm back on ADs after fighting depression for probably years.

The failure, guilt and hopelessness you say your feeling is actually a few of the red flags I know as my depression increasing.

Anti depressants help the majority of people who take them. There are exceptions to every rule.

I can handle the down turns for a while but once everything comes together I've frankly had it. I can keep going for so long but the last ten years for me has been hell and brilliant.

Welcome to the depression club. I think you'll find we have a lot of members. We also have a lot in common. None of us are failures! None of us are worthless! None of us want to live with depression!

thanks

WitchesGlove Mon 10-Nov-14 20:19:31

Have you considered counselling, there are organizations with cheap sessions if money is tight?

Or exercising more? If you can find the time

Do you have a pet? That can help people massively. HTH x

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