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I don't think I feel much different on antidepressants & want to give life a go without them but am slightly scared. Has anyone managed to cope without them by making lifestyle changes?

(6 Posts)
Trickymoments Sun 17-Apr-16 16:49:43

I've been on fluoxetine for
3.5 years since my 2nd dc was born. I am on 20mg but am starting
to wonder if they are actually having any effect & whether it's more a habit that I just take it every day.

I am also wondering if it is responsible for my loss of libido. My dh is understanding about this but I feel it is affecting our relationship as I just have no interest or desire.
I also feel quite emotionally numb as if I don't get really happy or sad about anything, I just feel nothing.
I do have periods of low mood & I am a terrible worrier but I'm not even sure anymore if that is enough to be called depression or is it just me as a person?

I read on another thread on here about an American guy Dr Ilardi who's done loads of research into the effects of antidepressants & as a result I'm reading his book.
He basically has shown that ad's often are not effective & that in his studies he found people with depression responded better to lifestlye changes such as diet, exercise, sunlight, socialising etc.

I've never really made an effort to tackle my diet or do enough exercise but now I'm starting to think I feel like i'm in a place where I'm ready to give this a go.

I am scared though about coming off the ad's. My gp is supportive & told me to reduce them very gradually but would equally be ok with me staying on them.

I would love to hear from anyone who has successfully managed to cope without ad's by changing their lifestyle.
Thank you

picklepie1 Mon 18-Apr-16 00:07:06

I was on AD for a little while (not as long as you). I was dead set against going on them as I thought it would "label and define" me.
Because of the depression I rarely left the house. The changing point for me was actually when my mum encouraged me to buy a horse after not owning one for about a year and a half. I was still on my AD for a while after actually finding one and buying it but slowly as I was getting out of the house more and going to the yard I realised that I was feeling a bit "perkier" shall we say. I think because I was just exercising and out in the fresh air did me so much good and I slowly came off of the medication.
It's different for everybody but honestly taking up a sport or hobby which gets you outdoors and moving around really helps. Even if you still need to be on your AD, it will help anyway.

In fact I would actively encourage you to go for a few riding lessons. It sounds odd but horses have a way of healing anything. They're natural therapists. It's helped so many people out. There's heaps of articles about men returning from the army and suffering with PTSD and turning to horses saved their lives.

Sending huge hugs anyway and sorry for rambling on thanks

Trickymoments Mon 18-Apr-16 08:56:51

Thank you picklepie that is very encouraging to read. I am going to try to make a difference by improving my diet & exercise.
I don't suppose I will know the effects the ad's are having until I stop them but I'm just scared as I feel like they've been supporting me for so long.
Trouble is if they are adding/causing my lack of libido this doen't help as then I feel my relationship is not great which makes me feel even more down!

I just wish I could feel normal🙁

picklepie1 Mon 18-Apr-16 09:44:59

I'm no GP but maybe try weaning off gently? My libido went when I was on them, fortunately my OH was in a stressful job and too tired anyway when he came home.

I definitely believe life style changes can work better than any medication. But it takes trial and error and a big leap of faith to know if it truly does for any individual.

And remember, there is no such thing as normalgrin but I get what you mean! Hope it works out thanks

Trickymoments Mon 18-Apr-16 09:52:30

Thank you picklepie, did your libido return when you stopped taking them? Don't feel you have to answer that! I just want to know there is hope I can get things back on track in that department😀

sadie9 Mon 18-Apr-16 10:15:52

Exercise will help everything. There is no reason to wait until you stop ADs to 'try' something else like exercise. Doesn't have to be like a big exercise programme/gym/trainer thing. Just get a pair of trainers. Go for a walk 15 or 20 mins in one direction, turn around and walk home. And try to aim for 5 times a week if possible. Even 10 mins one direction and 10 mins back home. Download a podcast or music to listen to.
What I found with libido, and I lost it due to menopause mostly. And it was difficult and still is sometimes. I found late at night time when it was time to go to sleep, was the worst time for me to be doing it. As I was tired and just wanted everyone to leave me alone and not want 'a piece of me'. When the kids were smaller and went to sleep early evening, we would purposely decide to do it like right after they were asleep in the evening. And then you still have a bit of an evening together. Then as they go older we would do it in the morning when they were downstairs in front of TV. Or at a lunchtime if your OH can get home - something like that. Depends on what age your kids are. Before we all had kids we often ended up in bed together undisturbed and relaxed. After kids, you are always tired and the opportunities to be just lying there with loads of opportunities are gone. So it naturally becomes a more pressurised activity (nearly said 'task' there!).
The sex gets a bit like the exercise. You can't wait until you 'feel' like doing it. You'll never feel like going for a walk, yet when you do you feel great after it. And you get so much out of it.
Same with the sex. Even if you do it once a fortnight even, or even once a month, once every 2 months - whatever. I was in a relationship I wanted to maintain, I knew it was so important to my DH so I just decided to stop obsessing about not doing and just bloody do it. It also kind of made me feel more normal. You could do the deed for 10 or 15mins versus spend days and weeks worrying about not doing it, and worrying about why we are not doing it. I can still take it or leave it. But I choose it now because I know it's best for us in the long run. And yes sometimes I am not in the mood and I do go through the motions and fake it a bit. A bit like you listen to your small kid telling you a really boring story - you have patience with it because you love them.
It's like going for the walks some days it's a slog, other days you really love it. It's the doing of it and the maintaining the habit rather than the quality of it.

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