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Antidepressants as the first step?

(14 Posts)
NoPinkPlease Mon 12-Sep-11 23:19:18

My DP is unhappy and stressed.
Work is shit and he's planning on resigning before he's disciplined. He's desperately looking for a new job and eventually at work last week he cried at his desk and came home.

Trip to dr suggested stress or possible depression. They gave him the checklist thing and he came out borderline depressed.

On the visit to the GP today, she's prescribed antidepressants. No discussion about anything else he could do - counselling, exercise, sleep, life changes. Just that these will help him get through the next few weeks. I don't want him to suffer but it seems to be dealing with the symptoms but not addressing the cause. What do you think? And what should / could I say to DP? This is really horrible for all of us :-(

RIZZ0 Mon 12-Sep-11 23:36:11

Everyone is different, but I wouldn't make Ad's my first resort.

When diagnosed with mild depression and anxiety I was offered them but refused. I was offered CBT counselling which I accepted and it was helpful.

I also got myself down to the health food/alternative health shop and invested in:
-high strength Omega 3 fish oils (good for supporting the brain to cope with stress and anxiety)
-good quality multivitamins (Solgar)
-some rhodiola ( gets prescribed for exhaustion like St John's Wort does for depression)
-some teas to help relaxation (lemonbalm) and sleep
-took up yoga and swimming
-cut down on booze a bit.

Looking around at family members dependent on AD's that don't seem to get them anywhere, I really feel it was one of my better decisions in life. I had a second setback after the birth of my first child but re-introduced the above and it all helped again.

Sorry to hear he's feeling rough and you're all suffering. Can he go back to the docs for a referral for a few sessions of counselling?

If he's thinking of leaving work anyway, perhaps he could do worse that take the diagnosis to work to see what, if any support they are prepared to give him.

strawberry17 Tue 13-Sep-11 12:02:44

I don't often venture here now but I too wouldn't go to antidepressants as a first resort, (speaking from shed loads of experience) I would explore other avenues first. There are many potential side effects with antidepressants and can be hard to get off for some people (not all). With RIZZO on this one.

orangeflutie Tue 13-Sep-11 13:14:08

It's a tricky one but I would say best to try ADs first. Your DP will then hopefully start to feel more positive and motivated which will help him in looking for another job. He will then be able to make other lifestyle changes to help lift moods.

If he has problems with sleeping, the ADs will usually help with this too.

NoPinkPlease Tue 13-Sep-11 19:28:08

Thanks for your views.

After discussing it today, he's going to give CBT a go and look at some self help stuff on the internet. Then go for antidepressants if no improvement.

It's hard watching him feel sad but this has been threatening to emerge for a while I think, so good in a way that it's come to a head and he might be able to move on a bit. I hope.

Thanks again for views and support.

MissBetsyTrotwood Tue 13-Sep-11 19:34:52

I was told to look into Moodgym (self help online resource) by the GP as I refused ADs. This was following a diagnosis of anxiety and depression. I didn't get on with it but am finding CBT to be really really helpful.

I think refusing them was the right choice for me but who knows? Week to week things change.

Sometimes ADs can 'open up' the CBT a bit. Good luck.

ThatsNotYours Tue 13-Sep-11 20:37:55

Sometimes a person is too depressed to have the motivation to do CBT.

Hence, they might need ADs as a first resort, then followed / supported with CBT when they feel more motivated.

We are all different. So, the decision to take/not take ADs is very much person specific.

Were you present at DP's GP visit ? / would DP agree to you visiting the GP with him and having this discussion jointly with the GP?

Chocattack Tue 13-Sep-11 20:47:41

Personally I wouldn't take ADs as the first step. I've had various ADs and various therapies (sometimes together, other times separately) and by far the best improvement has been through counselling. Though of course everyone's different. Also, NICE guidelines say talking therapies should be first line of attack for mild depression so I'm a bit surprised that his gp having diagnosed borderline depression went straight for the ADs. It's good he's going to try CBT and self-help so hope it improves things for him (and you) smile.

ThatsNotYours Tue 13-Sep-11 20:56:52

OP what would be your objection for DP to going straight for ADs???

twentyten Tue 13-Sep-11 21:01:35

Hi. My dh was In s similar way due to a number of factors. He went on ads for a short while and saw an excellent counsellor who really helped him see things differently. He has always been a bit sceptical but cbt has really helped him- only lhas sessions for s few months but is now far stronger and copes with life. The doc also encouraged golf and walking!!! Good luck to you .

strawberry17 Tue 13-Sep-11 21:08:33

CBT is excellent, I have done this a few years ago and counselling. But CBT really gets to the bottom of your thinking patterns, I still use some of the skills I learned today to try and identify "hot" thoughts and turn round negative thoughts.

ThatsNotYours Tue 13-Sep-11 21:33:39

NPP - Going back to your post. You said that DP was 'planning on resigning before he's disciplined' - is this a plausible outcome???
Making such a big decision when depressed isn't advisable as often the underlying depression can often be the main cause, not always the job, and one isn't always thinking rationally!

 Starting a new job, for any of us, is often about ''proving yourself to your employer', esp. during any probationary period  - sounds like a lot if extra pressure for someone already vulnerable?   

Is DP able to take a leave of absence or be signed off sick to provide some time to address their issues?

NoPinkPlease Tue 13-Sep-11 23:48:11

TNY - I'm against the antidepressants on their own mainly. He (and me a bit) needs to look at what's caused it and address the underlying thing. I say that mainly cos I think he's not depressed but very very stressed with work and small kids and supporting my part time study. It's really hard work for all of us and it's taking it's toll. If we don't do something about our lives, I could just see the antidepressants covering the problem and then his feelings coming back.

As for work, he hates his boss and has for long time. He isn't going to do anything quickly but wants to get another job and if the disciplinary action against him is on record then he's going to struggle to get a new job. So considering resigning, negotiating paid notice and hopefully getting something soon. If not, we can survive on my salary if we pull the small ones out of nursery. So, lots of things to sort... In part, the job stuff's getting jn the way of him getting his head straight, in others, I'm worried about him not having a purpose and SAHD isn't the easiest role in the world...

So... Lots to sort out.

Thanks everyone.

ThatsNotYours Wed 14-Sep-11 21:57:26


I know this might sound crass but what does DP actually want. You say that YOU are against antidepressants on their own mainly, but they may offer quicker relief than CBT. 

Also (yes, there are crap GPs!), but don't dismiss that he isn't actually depressed.  

There may be an underlying root cause that you and DP find, or there may not be. Mental health issues, like other illnesses, sometimes just happen. 

Yes, aweful things happen to people which can cause MH problems. 
Equally, you can become very exhausted expending time on analytical review trying to justify why it has happened.   

Please don't see CBT on it's own as a panacea.   

Also, job references are very mindful of litigation these days, and any internal disciplinary action short of being actually fired (and even that is getting very litigious), shouldn't be in a reference. 

Depression is covered by the Disability Discrimination  Act so there is legislative protection in respect of employer action there too.

Please avoid him, or you, making any hasty decisions.

Best wishes x 

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