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To wonder if anti depressants would help me after all?

(17 Posts)
Timeforanamechangey Thu 22-Oct-15 17:44:00

I'm having a tough time at the moment. Working two jobs to makes ends meet, studying, recently split from DP, trying to find another place to live as well as older issues.

I've had an assessment for councilling which I feel would be really helpful but I'm on a waiting list and haven't heard anything for weeks. I'm getting to the end of my tether and really need some help.

I'm wondering if I show go back to the GP and see if anti depressants might be helpful for me in the mean time/alongside councilling? I've always been adament that I would not take AD's as several people I know very close to me including my own dm have had horrible experiences on them and I'm worried that I'll either a) feel so apathetic whilst on them that life will seem pointless and they won't actually help or b) that they work so well I will be on them forever and be unable to cope without them (happened to a close friend of mine).

I know they work very well for some people but I just don't know if I should try them. I know they take a few weeks to work but I just can't stand feeling the way I do at the moment, it's breaking me sad

WhoseBadgerIsThis Thu 22-Oct-15 18:11:07

I would say go to the GP and chat it over - more advice is always useful. If it helps, I know several people who have taken ADs with no problem, and have managed to come off them ok too

Fluffyears Thu 22-Oct-15 18:12:49

I have personal experience as I am in my 2nd time taking AD's. First took them in my early 20's and I'm now 36 and on them again. The reason people sometimes can't get off them is their brain doesn't make bough natural serotonin so they need the synthetic one. I haven't have a bad experience apart from an upset stomach. What I find is I feel kinda numb (not apathetic) like if something bad happens, before I'd have fallen apart, now I don't care too much and just get on with things. Your GP can help you find the right one for you with the right dosage.

cdwales Thu 22-Oct-15 18:20:05

Hi, this rings a bell with me! I had to wait two years for psychotherapy and finally went on the Happy Pills when my mother died suddenly...
I would share my conclusions and hope that they help your deliberations:
1. Happy pills are a cushion - they slightly distance one from the desperation. At max dose they make me not care at all which is OTT and not good. Hence they are a potentially useful tool not a solution.
2. The issues fuelling one's depression and acquiring skills to handle it are a whole different ball game... when I finally got psychotherapy I was taught Mindfulness which is fab. I am now passing this on as a life skill to my teenagers!
3. By Happy Pills I mean tricyclic antidepressants. GPs will have their favourite and prescribe a smaller or larger dose depending on how low you present to them (and here they are thinking suicide risk even if you aren't due to your responsibilities as a mother).
4. IT IS UP TO THE PATIENT - YOU - TO GO BACK TO THE GP after say three weeks and again... to discuss your experience and adjust the dose to find the optimum level for you. It might also be that their fave is not best suited to you and by discussing your symptoms they might switch you to another. But be aware that they are reluctant to do this in case you 'do something' on the changeover. Mind you they do this at the drop of a hat when prescription guidelines are altered by the manufacturer... I have been on three over five years and this last one is def the best!
Oh and ideally someone to chat to to discuss how it is going is really useful - can be online doesn't have to be face to face.
All the best!

WhoseBadgerIsThis Thu 22-Oct-15 18:25:40

Pretty sure that tricyclic antidepressants are not the first-line choice these days - there are safer ones GPs are more likely to prescribe

catfordbetty Thu 22-Oct-15 18:40:19

Pretty sure that tricyclic antidepressants are not the first-line choice these days

They're not. Your doctor is much more likely to prescribe you a SSRI to improve your serotonin level. Lots of people have been helped by them - have another chat with your GP.

AdjustableWench Thu 22-Oct-15 19:03:28

The first med the GP will usually prescribe is fluoxetine (prozac). It works well for most people, which is why it's usually the first thing GPs try. My experience was that it cuts off the top end of the range of emotions as well as the bottom end, leaving me feeling relatively balanced most of the time, but never euphoric. However, after some time I started to notice side effects and my GP switched me to venlafaxine, which worked better for me. I have friends who thrive on citalopram and seroxat. Sometimes you have to try a few before you find the right one. There's no shame in taking ADs; it's better than feeling like shit all the time.

The research I've read suggests that a combination of medication and therapy is most effective for most patients. So keep talking to your GP and make sure you stay on the waiting list for counselling, and definitely consider taking ADs if you're struggling.

KatharineClifton Thu 22-Oct-15 19:37:21

Yep, do it.

What AdjustableWench says about combinations ended up being the exact thing I needed, after 20 years on and off AD's I tried a combination and it's amazing. Prozac is one of them (with mirtazapine) but I'm not experiencing letter-box symptoms like s/he describes - I did with pre-ssri types. I think most people I know are prescribed citalopram to start off with in a stupid low dose which builds up. Citalopram causes pretty horrible digestive symptoms for the first few weeks.

Getyercoat Thu 22-Oct-15 19:41:33

I would hang on for counselling first.
It's often not the case that people can't cope without medication, it's that withdrawal can be protracted and brutal, sometimes the serotonin reuptake never kicks back in post-medication, and medical professionals are extremely quick to dismiss that and put it down to "depression coming back" when the problem is really withdrawal.

Timeforanamechangey Fri 23-Oct-15 08:56:34

I think that's what worries me, is that once I get used to them I might find it really hard to come off them, it happened to a friend of mine, after 12 years she can't cope without them :/

Trooperslane Fri 23-Oct-15 09:44:43

Not being funny but so what if you need to be on them forever?

I really don't mean that harshly.

Timeforanamechangey Fri 23-Oct-15 17:07:27

I just don't like the idea of having to take tablets for the rest of my life (unless it's for a physical medical issue that can't be resolved another way, I do currently take other medication for this reason that I will have to take for life).

I've heard people I'm close to experience horrible side effects, I know I cant veto them completely because of other people's experiences but it doesn't worry me.

Timeforanamechangey Fri 23-Oct-15 17:07:58

^does worry me!

barkingfly Fri 23-Oct-15 17:54:28

Don't worry. I take an anti-inflammatory daily for physical pain and an anti-depressant for emotional pain. Having to take a pill every day for the rest of my life is a small price to pay. I don't think I would be here without anti-ds.

Narp Fri 23-Oct-15 18:06:31

My father has been on them for about 20 years. Talking therapy has not worked for him and the alternative is a terrible anxious depression.

I am not saying this is you. But I'm saying that it's worth discussing it further

Narp Fri 23-Oct-15 18:07:36

Also, many people use a combination of ADs and psychotherapy or counselling.

RatherBeRiding Fri 23-Oct-15 18:09:17

I have recently restarted Citalopram at the lowest dosage after having been off it for a while and finding that I was becoming anxious and irritable and generally down. I have never had a single side effect although coming off it was rather protracted. I stopped because I too didn't like the thought of being on it forever. Now I think - so what? Lots of people take all kinds of medication for life. Citalopram helps me enormously - and apart from feeling "normal" as opposed to anxious and unhappy I really wouldn't know I was taking it.

I've been lucky that this is the only one I have ever tried and it has worked like a charm. I understand that some people need to try different ones before they find the one that works best.

Don't dismiss ADs for the wrong reasons - they can be, literally, a life saver.

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