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To ask your advice about what antidepressants I should take or what to do in general....

(34 Posts)
Flamingo1980 Tue 21-Jun-16 17:59:41

I posted on here about eight months ago asking for advice about my (then) situation - which has now changed and so I want to see what your advice/experiences are now my situation is different but I feel the same so I'm at a loss as to what to do really.
Last year I was living in a tiny one bedroom flat in the middle of winter, having a tricky relationship with my two year old daughter. I was feeling depressed and that life was meaningless and pointless. I asked you lot if you thought I was depressed and I got some great advice so thank you.
I am now living in a big beautiful house with a sunny garden, it's summer and my relationship with my daughter is much better.
I am gutted to report that I still feel completely flat, and that life is meaningless and pointless. I have about three fleeting glimmers of happiness a week when my daughter does something sweet or I buy a nice lamp or something. The rest of the time I feel flat, empty, and I just don't enjoy anyone or anything. It's a massive effort to meet up with friends and make conversation for a few hours, and at the end of it I always think "well what was the point of that?".
I can't think of anything to look forward to and I struggle to play with my daughter or enjoy her. I used to be full of fun and life and character. I now feel life my very soul is just draining out of me and I'm powerless to stop it. I have no hobbies or interests and an almost non existent social life.
I'm 36, I have a part time nursing job and no partner (by choice). I feel lonely nearly all of the time and I'm hugely introverted so surrounding myself with people serves mostly to just stress me out and drain me.
I'm going to go to the doctors and ask for antidepressants.
What ones have you taken that you think would work for me?
Any other bits of advice? I feel so so lost.

yorkshapudding Tue 21-Jun-16 18:42:27

OP I'm a mental health nurse. You will probably get a lot of responses saying "take X, it worked for me" or "don't take Y, its terrible" but the reality is that different antidepressant medications affect people differently. What works well for one person may not work so well for another. You may experience troublesome side effects on a particular medication where another person may not get any. There is an element of trial and error and you may have to try a couple to find what suits you. There is substantial evidence that antidepressants work best in combination with talking therapy so you might want to think about asking your GP about this too. I have also worked with a lot of people who found Mindfulness and/or Yoga helpful for managing their low mood.

scortja Tue 21-Jun-16 18:59:09

And maybe combine with a high dose of omega 3..

Flamingo1980 Tue 21-Jun-16 19:41:31

Thank you Yorks that's good advice. I've had loads of talking therapy which works a bit at the time but im still in this position so hence why I thought I must need AD's.

Realitea Tue 21-Jun-16 20:22:22

Have you tried St. John's wort? It's really good! I was very low and it worked. I took the karmamood brand. I didn't think something natural could work but it did.

VeryNaice Tue 21-Jun-16 20:26:38

I've just started taking a 5HTP supplement along with Omega 3 and Vitamin D. I read a book called The Mood Cure which had a lot of interesting suggestions. I did the survey and discovered I was low on serotonin which is what the 5HTP is supposed to fix. There are other recommendation in the book for different types of depression, stress problems and adrenal burnout.

I'm finding it quite helpful so far.

My husband takes Sertraline and reports that he feels better on it.

Fomalhaut Tue 21-Jun-16 20:49:05

It's quite individual - what works for one doesn't work for another. You might also have to try a few different ones before you find one you get along with. Most can have a few side effects at first.
So it's impossible to say 'try drug X'.

Are you breastfeeding? If so, sertraline is probably the best place to start as lower amounts transfer to milk.

I think the most important things though are to:

1. Go to your doc and request a trial of ADs.
2. Discuss with doc possible side effects/benefits
3. Try drug for a few weeks
4. go back if you're not seeing an effect.

I tried citalopram for example,many it just made me jittery and grind my teeth. Prozac worked wonders for me. Now I've just started sertraline (breastfeeding.)

Depression is a bitch. Take care and be kind to yourself.

Flamingo1980 Tue 21-Jun-16 21:13:09

I tried St. John's wort with no noticeable effect.
I'll try omega 3 that's a good idea.
I'm not breastfeeding no.
I'll get that mood book too!

Craftylittlething Tue 21-Jun-16 21:17:26

I hope you feel well soon, are you excercising and spending time outdoors. Both help me massively

Wolfiefan Tue 21-Jun-16 21:19:16

I found meds helped me to get to a stage where I could do CBT.
And yes. Get out. Exercise. It really does help.
Good luck.

Itriedtodohandstandsforyou Tue 21-Jun-16 21:24:40

In terms of trial and error though I found the lower dose Citalopram was great for me after trying a couple of others first, took a couple of months to kick in but really did help lift my mood. Take care.

Felascloak Tue 21-Jun-16 21:36:47

Having looked into natural things like 5htp they arent tested for safety or effectiveness and can still have nasty side effects. So I think you should speak to your gp. They should do blood tests for thyroid and maybe vitamin D which can cause depression if levels are low.
Let your doc decide which if any antidepressants to suggest. I hope you feel better soon flowers

Fomalhaut Tue 21-Jun-16 21:53:05

Things like 5 htp can also have quite serious interactions with other drugs.
Make sure you disclose ALL herbal etc stuff to your doc.

LauderSyme Tue 21-Jun-16 21:58:53

Flamingo, I'm so sorry you are feeling like this. Hugs and sympathy flowers
Your descriptions of your feelings sound like you are definitely suffering with depression, some of what you say is the text book definition of depression.
I have had depression (and anxiety) all my adult life - 25 years or so - and I totally recognise what you describe.
I have been taking anti depressants on and off for over ten years and have had 3 serious breakdowns which occurred before I started taking them.
One of the reasons depression is such a bastard is because it makes you blame yourself for being ill with it.
Another is that it makes it extremely hard for you to reach out for help and treatment. So well done on having found the strength to reach out!
I think you are ill and anti depressants might help you a lot. They help me to maintain my emotional bank balance in the black.
Without them my balance is, inevitably, in the red, and life is very hard. With them I can enjoy living, rather than finding it painful.
Being able to actually enjoy life, to feel happy and interested and motivated is a total revelation!
I have had a lot of talking therapy and CBT too, which have been of immense help.
I have taken several different medications; Citalopram suited me best but it really is an individual thing which you and your doctor can work out.
Don't take St Johns Wort without talking to your doctor, it can have dangerous interactions.
Other things which do me good and are known for raising serotonin are exercise and singing out loud! Best done regularly to maintain a therapeutic effect.
Hang in there Flamingo, there is hope and joy and love and I am sure you will reach a place where you are living in the light again flowers

scribbles1980 Tue 21-Jun-16 22:03:12

I was feeling like you op

I went to my gp & he explained that my seratonin levels were low. He said that if I had diabetes then I would not hesitate to take medication.
I won't lie the first few weeks were not great. Just had no energy.
I had a lot of support from the mental health board. After around 6 weeks the meds kicked in.
I can honestly say they have changed my life.
I feel so much better .
I know that ads don't work for everyone and it is a case of trial and error.
I am taking citalopram and I have no side effects ar all.
Wishing you well & good luck

DangerousBeanz Tue 21-Jun-16 22:30:56

I also take citalopram and it works well for me. I life felt so black before and then one day a few weeks after I'd been on them I went outside and the birds were singing. The world literally looked a bit more colourful.
Go to your GP. See what they recommend. My life really has improved so much that I'm now happy to openly discuss my mental health with anyone. Don't suffer needlessly when a little tablet can help so much.

BillSykesDog Tue 21-Jun-16 22:46:53

As York says, it's trial and error. Sertraline is horrendous for me but I have friends for whom it works brilliantly.

My doctor also recommended the following site, it's a free online CBT course run by a University in Australia. It's very reputable and and often NHS recommended. I found it really useful. And you can start with it immediately rather than waiting for referrals etc.

GiddyOnZackHunt Tue 21-Jun-16 22:55:09

To echo pp, different meds, even from the same family, affect people differently. I took prozac 30 years ago and it worked. Last time I was prescribed it I had a massive anxiety crisis. Sertraline didn't cause the same problems although it's an SSRI.

StrangeLookingParasite Tue 21-Jun-16 23:08:21

I have chronic, inherited depression (thanks family!), which I strongly suspect is busted serotonin mechanism. I take a low dose of the ever-popular Citalopram too, which works well for me, and kicks in about 12 hours after I start taking it. Friends of mine, alternatively, take Prozac, which suits them well. I found it made me horribly agitated and anxious.
The description you give, of a world basically greyed out, sounds exactly like my depression. SSRI's are wonderful things.

VeryNaice Wed 22-Jun-16 05:46:00

I should probably have mentioned in my previous post OP that I have tried a number of SSRIs (fluoxetine, mertazipine, citalopram) and unfortunately they made me very jittery and uncomfortable. As other poster have mentioned, your GP is your first port of call for depressive symptoms and supplements should only be considered after careful research and consideration of possible side effects and other drug interactions.

Do check out the book though (it's very interesting) but still see your GP and remember that in many cases antidepressants are effective in treating the symptoms of depression.

I wish you well, depression is a horrible condition.

Flamingo1980 Thu 23-Jun-16 07:58:38

Thank you ladies, all brilliant and clever advice as usual. I love this site!
I do need to exercise more. I'm intrigued there's an online CBT course I will try that. I do mindfulness and find it useful.
I feel the problem is that when I see my friends I am so good at acting normal that no one knows how i feel and so I get no support which doesn't help. I'm not one for attention seeking or cries for help. Except on here!

Flamingo1980 Thu 23-Jun-16 08:01:27

My other question about antidepressants is that I've heard they can make you feel numb and emotionless. But that's how I feel already! Will they make that worse or better? I thought they should make you feel happy?

Fomalhaut Thu 23-Jun-16 12:18:27

They don't make you feel happy - they kind of give you space for you to make yourself happier. Like cracking open a door to a dark room - you let a bit of light in and you can see what you're doing.

They aren't going to make you skip round on clouds, but they should hopefully lift you enough to make a start.

curlyboymum Thu 23-Jun-16 13:02:11

I was feeling similar to you about six months ago. I saw my GP who was very helpful. Tried ADs - I won't say which, as other posters have said they all work differently for different people. It took me 3 different ones before I found the one that worked for me. It is all about trial and error. First one made me feel like stone, no emotions at all. Second turned me into a zombie, couldn't stop falling asleep. Third one works well, I feel like a new person; it has also helped with my anxiety which had become crippling. It did take a month or so to really kick in, and by then most of the side effects had passed. Still get terrible nausea, but I can live with that - and the key is to find what's liveable with for you.

I'm also doing talking therapy. Like you, I'd seen a counsellor in the past, but it hadn't been that effective. This time I felt like a fraud on my first session, and said I was now taking ADs, so probably didn't really qualify. However the counsellor said that it was much better to be taking ADs before starting the counselling, as it would help. She was right, as I have now had the emotional and physical energy to tackle issues and actually do something about areas of my live that I wasn't happy with.

Anyway, you have taken a huge first step by admitting to yourself that you might need ADs and coming on MN. Finding the right one for you may take time, but don't give up. It's worth persisting even if you don't feel like making the effort. Good luck and hope you're feeling better soon.

mirime Thu 23-Jun-16 13:48:57

I've taken Prozac, Sertraline and a SSNRI Effexor.

If your GP thinks medication would help try what they suggest and see how you go. They all made me feel numb, but for me at least, that was a bit of a welcome relief really. With the first two the side effects were intolerable, the Effexor worked for me though and after a bit I felt 'normal' - ie not weirdly happy but not depressed either.

Do see your GP straight away if you're worried about side effects - I struggled on for too long with the Sertraline when I should have just gone and had a chat about them sooner.

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