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Long Term Anti depressant users .... 12 years for me now and counting

(141 Posts)
kizzie Mon 25-Jul-11 11:29:36

Hi everyone - this is a semi regular question from me but just wanted to catch up with others.

(Not that Im boring or anything ! blush)

I was given ad's 12 years ago for PND. Ive never managed to come off them completely since although have had long periods on quite lowish doses. (Equivalent of 10mg and below of something like prozac/citalopram)

Im on a similar dose to that now (although its an older tricyclic) after having a big crash again last year. Things not completely smooth (still some break through anxiety and lows - 'blips') but had some good weeks so hoping that at some stage will back to complete stability again.

IF that happens (fingers crossed) then planning to stay on lowish dose for some time to come as dont want to risk another major dip.

Im also taking fish oils. And really (really this time) trying to do all the relaxation exercises etc.

Anyway I just wondered:

- how do you feel re. taking long terms ad's
- are you worried about long term impacts
- have partic medications worked better longer term than others etc etc
- anything really, just interested to hear from others in same position. I just cant quite believe that at 29 I had no previous mental health issues. Now at 41 Ive been on ad's for soooo long.

Pixieonabroomstick Mon 25-Jul-11 12:14:05

Ive been on them from 12 -16 and now im back on them at 23 , for good this time.
To be honest i used to care/worry now i dont. Ive made the choice IYSWIM and im ok with it so its done with for me.
Ive not considered long term impacts much but i feel id rather have what i have now than be the way i was before whatever the consequences might be.
Im not sure if thats helpful at all but its true for me. smile

kizzie Mon 25-Jul-11 12:18:45

It is helpful pixie because its just good to hear from others who have been on them (or will be on them) over long periods of life.

People often talk about being on them for 6 months or so but necessarily the longer term.

It sounds like they have made a positive difference for you smile. DO you might if i ask what you take/dose?

PersonalClown Mon 25-Jul-11 12:21:30

On and off since I was 20, although major depression signs since I was 14 ish.

I'm now 32 and now realised that its best for my mental health to stay on a daily low dose. I've come off before and been fine for months/years but I always crash at some point. The last time I was self harming and I have no intention of getting to that place again.

hocuspontas Mon 25-Jul-11 12:26:23

It's actually good to know that there are other long time users. I have been on Citalopram for 13 years now. I take the drops and only have a few a day. I tried a couple of times to get down to nothing and felt the old feelings come back so I'm quite happy to stay on this for the foreseeable future. My doctor is happy with this as well. She calls it a 'therapeutic dose'. I don't know whether this is a medical term or not! I have a month's equivalent of 10mgs on a repeat prescription and this lasts 6 months. My only worry is that they will stop making it and that I will return to the bad old days. sad

festiemum Mon 25-Jul-11 12:30:14

Yes, me too, since I was 20 (I'm 37 now).

I had many years of feeling I had to come off them for a bit. Then I'd crash again; have to take time out from work/life etc to recover and start it all again. This was happening every couple of years.

Then I spoke to a GP who amazed me with the revelation that, since my condition was obviously chronic/long term; there was no need to think of my meds in terms of something I had to 'come off'.

I am currently on a low dose of Prozac, which suits me very well. After the birth of my last child, I had a nasty bout of PND, which coincided with the break up of my relationship. At that point I was taking 100mg of Sertraline. I asked to move back to my regular dose of Prozac once I was out of that hole, since Sertraline has a much shorter half life than Prozac, and if I forgot my meds, I got nasty withdrawal symptoms.

The major revelation to me is that if I manage my meds; I needn't go through my severe anxiety/ moderate depressions again. That is extremely liberating, to say the least!

Great thread, btw! smile

FuzzpigFourFiveSix Mon 25-Jul-11 12:36:32

10 years on and off for me, since I was 14. More on than off I think.

When I have a break from them I feel terrible if I admit I need to go back, as I felt like I'd failed. But I'm over that now I think. I've accepted it's part of who I am, some people just need help for their brain chemistry is all smile

kizzie Mon 25-Jul-11 13:20:53

Thanks so much for replying everyone.

Interesting to see a few of you mentioning 'low dose'. I wonder whether this is really a way of maintaining good health and I should just accept this. i think I put in the OP that Im on the equivalent of about 10mg of prozac/citalopram. Sounds like a couple of you are on really tiny doses. But just enough to keep everything even.

At the moment Im not 100%. Have really good days/weeks but still some horrible blips. But hoping to get back to being ok most of the time - as I have been on this dose in the past.

Its good to see the replies here. On the surface I probably dont look like a stereoptypical ad long timer. (I was on ad's for the whole of my 30's shock). But I think thats because its not spoken about enough and there are probably many many people like me.

TheOriginalFAB Mon 25-Jul-11 13:22:53

I have been on them on and off for 10 years. I hadn't even realised that shock. I will be on them for life.

kizzie Mon 25-Jul-11 13:42:57

Is that what your dr has said FAB or what you feel is best for you?

TheOriginalFAB Mon 25-Jul-11 13:44:11

The hospital doctor has said so.

I have an illness. I need medication. Just the way it is.

Pixieonabroomstick Mon 25-Jul-11 14:00:32

I take prozac 5mg. I have been on more as well as some other drugs (briefly , and i did not want them at the time but as i was only about 13 i had no choice at all , which was why i then refused them from 16-23 due to the way it was forced on me.)
I am lucky (apparently) in that i respond very well to prozac with no side effects to speak of and it works very well for me.

Pixieonabroomstick Mon 25-Jul-11 14:02:28

shoulds add this is a low dose and i do feel it just restores the balance to what it should be. even so there are still bad days as i feel theses things do fluctuate even with contant meds but on the whole its very very good and works well.

kizzie Mon 25-Jul-11 14:04:37

I think its really good that you are so so clear on it Fab - thats where i need to get to with it all.

Pixie how do you manage to take 5mg. Do you split the tablets into pieces or do you just take a 20mg tablet every few days?

Pixieonabroomstick Mon 25-Jul-11 14:08:41

Oh shit. I meant 20mg which is 5ml. I have a liquid form. Oops !

Memoo Mon 25-Jul-11 14:10:03

I've been on them for over 10 years. I have now accepted that I will probably always battle with depression and that I'll likely be on medication for life.

If we were a group of diabetes sufferers we wouldn't beat ourselves up over taking medication long term.

strawberry17 Mon 25-Jul-11 14:52:54

I USED to think I was going to be on them for ever and was going to have to resign myself to that. Until I discovered that I wasn't tapering off them properly and that the every other day thing doctors tell you to do to get off them is a load of crap. However I couldn't ever resign myself to it because of the awful impact on the quality of my sex life. I have been tapering from 5mls liquid prozac since 2008 and now down to 1.5mls. It's been going well but if I found that I got to a point where I couldn't taper/reduce my liquid prozac any further I think I could live with that now. Very similar to you Kizzie I was put on Lustral originally 12+ years ago for PND and I am now 43.

kizzie Mon 25-Jul-11 16:02:33

Hi Strawberry - was thinking of you when I started this thread- wondered if you would post. I think our situations are very similar.

Ah I see pixie - didnt realise you were taking liquid.

You are right memoo - we wouldnt. I wonder if its just the thought of it impacting my brain in some way that makes me question it more than say a different type of medication.

Anyway - at least im in lovely company with you all smile

strawberry17 Mon 25-Jul-11 16:03:42

I have a day off today so I am around smile

kizzie Mon 25-Jul-11 16:04:43

hocuspontas - can i just ask how you manage to take your tiny dose. Do you cut the tablets?

RockinSockBunnies Mon 25-Jul-11 16:06:39

Glad I found this thread. I've been on ADs for ten years now and don't plan to ever come off them.

However, has anyone here conceived whilst on ADs? I want to TTC in the next couple of years (DD was conceived before I was on ADs) but really don't want to chance coming off the tablets. Has anyone any experience of SSRIs and pregnancy, especially Sertraline?


strawberry17 Mon 25-Jul-11 16:10:43

No but I did breastfeed for a year whilst on sertraline and all seems to be ok and twelve years on my son is absolutely fine, bright and healthy if that's any reassurance!

kizzie Mon 25-Jul-11 16:11:24

Hi RockinSockBunnies - I dont have experience of that but there have been various threads on that subject so might be worth you doing a search if no one comes forward on this thread

kizzie Mon 25-Jul-11 16:12:46

Strawberry - im at work - but still on here shock

orangeflutie Mon 25-Jul-11 16:48:40

Hi I've been reading with interest as I've only fairly recently been diagnosed with depression and anxiety and have been taking ADs for two years now. I started off on 20mg citalapram, very briefly tried Mirtazapine and am now on 75mg dosulepin, a tricyclic. I actually believe I've been depressed for longer but didn't realise what it was.

During the summer holidays last year I managed to gradually reduce until I was taking 25mg. I felt ok on this dose but was advised not to go any lower as winter was approaching. I managed to stay on this until December. Unfortunately during this month I found out I would have to have surgery sometime this year, which caused me worry resulting in insomnia and then I got lower. I gradually crept back up to 75mg.

I went to see my doctor last week as I was feeling low in the morning. My mood would then lift a bit at lunchtime but by the evening I would get anxious. She said I was showing signs of diurnal depression. We had a long chat about recent events. I had surgery in June and prior to this an unpleasant phone conversation with my mum. She was very sympathetic and put a few things in perspective for me but did say that if I wanted I could increase to 100mg, and to let her know this week.

I don't know at the moment whether to increase my dose as I felt a lot better after seeing my doctor. However I'm thinking I will probably be on meds a lot longer than I originally thought. I don't know whether my depression is circumstantial (I've had a rough few years), chemical or hormonal. Most of the time I'm happy to take the pills, especially as they work well for me, help me sleep and I don't get any nasty side effects.

I am wondering whether there are any risks to health being on ADs long term. I did read recently on the leaflet in my pill packet ' there is an increased risk of bone fractures whilst being on this type of medication'. This does worry me a little but then I have to balance this with keeping well. I don't want to go right down again, so what do you do?

This thread is interesting and has made me think how many people out there just struggle along feeling miserable but don't see anyone about it or take ADs?

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