Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.

Doctor wants me to stay on anti depressants for life?

(30 Posts)
HowTheFuckDoIDoThis Fri 18-Nov-16 11:01:59

I went to the doctor today as my depression is kicking in and knocking my anxiety to shit.

She explained my depression saying it is chronic and i need to accept that my mood is never going to get anywhere near that of an average persons (doing hand signs to show me the levels between me and an average person).

She said if it took someone with depression 6 months of using anti depressants to feel better - she would advise them to continue for another 6 months.

She said in my case with me having chronic depression - i should stay on them for good. Long term.

Now i dont personally feel my depression is extreme enough for that to be the case.
I have my dips when it does get too much, but i have a good handle on things up until the dip...which i feel i have more better days than i do bad regarding the depression. Anxiety - im not as good as keeping a lid on that.

I dont know. I just kind of feel it is an extreme approach and ive came out feeling worse than i did when i went in.

Does anybody else have to stay on anti depressants for good?

LadyMaryofDownt0n Fri 18-Nov-16 21:24:46

Hi just wanted to say quickly, that yes, I've had to accept long term AD's is the only way for me to cope & be somewhat "normal". I've been in them for three years now & when I forget to take them or try and wean off them I get very bad again very quickly.

Everyone's different but it's better to take the medication than feel suicidal everyday IMO.

Only you can say what's honestly best for you but I wouldn't see any reason why the doctor would prescribe long term meds if you didn't need them.

cattastic Sat 19-Nov-16 07:28:42

You don't have to stay on them if you don't want to, you do have a choice remember. Gp is only advising you.

I'm actually thinking to stay on lower dose long term. According to my CPN a lot of people do. I'm terrified that PND and anxiety will return, and I just don't want to suffer. And I don't have to. Try to see the positive side of long term meds.

HowTheFuckDoIDoThis Sat 19-Nov-16 09:22:55

I was a little frustrated about it all yesterday, realising that she is probably right. I have tried so hard to work on myself to not have to take them and always find myself back on them.

Thank you for your replies. Its good to see its quite common and you have both had positive experiences.

I will see how i get on with them

BIWI Sat 19-Nov-16 09:26:50

If it makes you feel better, then why wouldn't you?

There's a huge taboo, it seems to me, about taking anti-depressants - even as a short-term solution. Yet many of us will happily take the pill, or HRT for years!

Take her advice but see how you go - as PP have said, it's your choice ultimately.

sadandanxious Sat 19-Nov-16 09:56:56

I think I'll probably be on them for life. My mood is relatively stable on them but off them things are awful. If you had diabetes you wouldn't feel bad about having insulin shots. If you need them then that's okay and you shouldn't feel bad about it - though easier said than done I know. DP has also been on anti depressants for about 10 years and will likely be on them for life.

OrlandaFuriosa Sat 19-Nov-16 10:16:33

I so agree about the taboo and sad's post too.

I'm on them for the foreseeable. Most of the time I'm at a lower level; if there's a trigger I take myself up.

I have a dodgy leg. I'm in pain much if the time. So I take paracetamol when I need it and when it swells ibuprofen.

I can't see any difference, and I'm nicer to live with if I'm on ADs.

Don't worry about it. Do what you need for you. Honestly.

HowTheFuckDoIDoThis Sat 19-Nov-16 10:35:58

Thanks ladies. Im usually ok about taking them when i have a dip. I ger myself right again and can manage quite well without for a while.

A few month back i dipped and tried mirtazapine. They made me feel ten times worse. My family were worried and i was worried about myself. It dawned on me it was the tablets so i stopped immediately.

Everyone thinks ive been doing great without them, and i have...compared to how i was on them. My housework is pretty much non existent. Ive always been a little untidy, but not shamefully like i am at the minute.
I just want to be able to function at a somewhat decent level.
If these tablets can give me that, then i will seriously consider staying on them as i find myself in this position far too often.

Chansey Sat 19-Nov-16 10:44:58

I agree there is a definite taboo about taking antidepressants. It's daft. If you were diabetic you would accept lifelong medication and it should be the same with depression. It's caused by a chemical imbalance - simples! I have been advised I might need them permanently also. Although I hate the idea I am trying to accept it. I certainly don't want to go back to how I felt before.

HowTheFuckDoIDoThis Sat 19-Nov-16 10:59:54

Yes, i agree about taking them if needed. It just shocked me to hear that I need them for good. I guess I always had that hope it would eventually go. Even though it has been over 15 years that I have battled with it!

I am back on sertraline which is the one I have found helps me the most. The side effects are not very nice so far, so hopefully they go quickly!

5tardusty Sat 19-Nov-16 11:38:52

A family member of mine was advised to cut down his ADs as he had been doing great for a long time. The reduced dose knocked him right back and despite upping them again relatively quickly, it took him around a year to be free from anxiety and depression again.

If they were for your heart for instance, you wouldn't think twice about it. There are no prizes.

Dozer Sat 19-Nov-16 11:43:03

Have you had talking therapy?

dangermouseisace Sat 19-Nov-16 11:57:29

I've only been off them for a sum total of 4 years (not in one go) out of the past 21. My GP years ago said someone like me who has had many episodes is just better off on them long term. My newer GP is not of that thinking (or wasn't until I had 2 bad episodes within a 6 month period). In the end it is your choice what you do, but there is nothing wrong with being on them long term if they help you live your life. My DM has been on them for longer than me without a break (maybe that's why she hasn't had as many bad episodes as me...). She's been able to work continually, live her life etc so maybe there is something in it, and might be less unusual than we think..,,

HowTheFuckDoIDoThis Sat 19-Nov-16 12:11:26

I have tried everything, including talking therapy. The ony thing i have never done is stuck out the meds for a long period of time. So i will accept that i need to, and do my level best to stick with them!

The talking therapy dozer, i have had many times. Even the doctors say it is pointless being referred back to them, unless i really wanted it.

hippyhippyshake Sat 19-Nov-16 12:14:57

I have been on citalopram for 15 years. I started on 20mg a day and soon cut it to 10mg. For the last 10 years I have been on a 'therapeutic' dose, probably between 2mg and 5mg a day. If I drink alcohol I leave it for the day. I would never say that I could cut it out completely and the thought of being without it scares the hell out of me. There's nothing wrong with the long-term if you find a drug that works for you. For me it's a a small price to pay for never having suicidal thoughts and living a full and happy life.

notagiraffe Sat 19-Nov-16 12:15:16

I'm happy to be on them for life. For some reason my body just doesn't make its own serotonin or dopamine or whatever it is supposed to make. For years I felt like a naturally happy person being crushed under the weight of the dark beast of depression. I loved life but the oppressive illness never let that show. Having been on ADs steadily for a decade now, instead of the six months on, two years off of life beforehand, I am so much happier and feel much more myself. There are side effects to consider - putting on too much weight, unbearable carb cravings, sleeping too much. But these are nothing in comparison with the benefits.

Tamberlane Sat 19-Nov-16 23:23:17

This is the problem with the stigma about mental illness.its just not fair.Its a medical condition for many people.And does seem to sometimes run in families so a possible genetic link.A chemical imbalance thats causing you to be off and if drugs can treat that imbalance and give you a good quality of life then why not take them.
No one judges diabetics for using insulin to manage their chemical imbalance or suggests they come off insulin to see how they get on without relying on "those drugs"
Why should a chemical imbalance in the brain be different.If they treatment is working for you and lets you have your quality of life back...then go for it!

Trills Sat 19-Nov-16 23:36:36

I agree with BIWI.

If you are ill, and this medication makes you better, then take it.

There's nothing shameful about that.

Itisnoteasybeingdifferent Sat 19-Nov-16 23:43:44

Can I offer a perspective? My DP is insulin dependant. She can only function is she injects insulin four times a day. If she doesn't, her life expectancy can be measured in hours, not even days. However, knowing that reality does not make it easier to live with.

What I am trying to say, is that adjusting to a different life expectation is not easy and you have no reason to be ashamed or unhappy that you find it difficult.

As to myself, I don't like being drugged up, but I can live with myself easier when I am taking meds.. It is also a lot easier for my DP. It is a matter of what you choose to do. Please keep posting as you make your way forward...And if you change your username, do let us know.

OrlandaFuriosa Sat 19-Nov-16 23:53:24

Well, join me in the no housework syndrome. It's actually making me miserable so tonight I even did some filing, tomorrow I'm going to try to sort out the dishwasher. And I might even do mire filing and ironing,,, I've git about 8 years' worth..

If you want an ADs and housework buddy, I'm your mate...

Trills Sat 19-Nov-16 23:54:38

you have no reason to be ashamed or unhappy that you find it difficult

Yes this absolutely.

LucyBabs Sun 20-Nov-16 00:02:50

I've been on ads for 4 years. I had PND which I was coming through but then my DM died and 4 months later my DF died.. I wanted to stop taking them a year after my dm died I reduced the dose and felt awful..depressed and anxious. I can't see a time i don't take ads.
I hate it I don't like relying on them.
I'm not sure but I think my body has become so used to it now that I cant stop sad

CondensedMilkSarnies Sun 20-Nov-16 00:15:52

It's so sad that mental health and taking Ad's is such a misunderstood and stigmatised subject.

The brain is an organ of the body the same as kidneys , liver , heart etc . All of these organs can go a bit 'wrong' meaning a person has to take tablets. No one bats an eyelid if someone takes tablets in order to make these work properly.

Take your tablets and I hope they make you feel better X

notagiraffe Tue 22-Nov-16 08:31:16

Exactly what Condensed and Tamburlane said. Their attitude to mental health needs to be more widespread. The brain is an organ. When organs fail and need medication to stay healthy, we take that medication. It's not a source of shame, it's a wonderful, practical solution to a physical problem.

I'm so tired of being ashamed of MH problems. I'm as fine as the next person on the right medication - which does need to be adjusted or changed every so often. I malfunction completely without them. The side effects are annoying (I'm fat now, never was before.) But the benefits are enormous.

BishopBrennansArse Tue 22-Nov-16 09:23:24

I need life long immunosuppressants due to RA.
Mental illnesses are also sometime life long.
I can see DH being on ssri mess for life.

There's nothing shameful about it smile

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now