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Been prescribed anti-depressants. Why does it feel like admitting defeat?

(73 Posts)
Dragonbutter Thu 28-Aug-08 11:54:44

Have all the symptoms of depression...tearfulness, lack of confidence, insomnia, anxiety, constant worrying, irritability.

I've been trying to 'snap out of it' for a while by forcing myself to get out and be sociable. I've even taken a part time job to get me out of the house, but nothing is helping and i'm getting worse and i'm not functioning as i need to.

Finally i went to the GP yesterday who prescribed 20mg Citalopram. Took first one last night and woke this morning feeling nauseous and have a bad headache.

I'm doing the right thing in taking them aren't I?

cheesychips Thu 28-Aug-08 12:03:10


Very strong of you to face up to the fact that this is (at the moment) bigger than you can cope with.

I had PND with my 2nd child and my wonderful GP told me that there is LOTS you can do to help yourself - but a course of AD will help you get to a place where you can start to do them! There was no point telling me to take exercise when getting out of bed was akin to climbing mount Everest.

They will help you move to a place where all the other things you are doing will make a difference. You have taken a very positive step to helping yourself.

Well done, and good luck!

Mummyfor3 Thu 28-Aug-08 12:04:29

Dragonbutter, STOP right now wasting valuble nervous energy on giving yourself a hard time!!

Well done for seeking help as "snapping out of it" did not happen - as it does not to a LOT of people. AD are ONE tool against depression and have as big a chance of working as well as some other approaches. Do you also have access to counselling/psychologist? Doing both can be very succesful.

Citalopram has the reputation of being relatively well tolerated, however every person's response is of course different. In my experience give it at least 5 days, when the worst of the sideeffects should begin to settle. Feeling better moodwise can take 1 month or longer if you are unlucky.

Have a look at - good evidence based advice, look under "depression" and "antidepressants" (sorry, I have not figured out how to post links).

BE KIND TO YOURSELF! Look after yourseslf and make an effort to do some daily exercise, as in walk around the block, or of course more if you feel up to it. Eat well! A little of what you fancy does not do you any harm, but do not over/undereat. Sleep (if you can) or at least rest.

Remind yourself that YOU WILL GET BETTER as it is easy to be unable to see that when you are unwell. Hope you have good social support. V best of luck!!

stitch Thu 28-Aug-08 12:05:45

the naseousnes s is an side effect. should go away soon.
personally, iwould have advised youto take up a sport, or do lots of gym/excersie classes before starting the ad's. the natural endorphins produced with the excercise help mild depression. you can still try that if you want. but taking ad's isnt always defeat. sometimes it is the sensible solution

Dragonbutter Thu 28-Aug-08 12:11:04

I've been trying the exercise approach too. I walk miles everyday anyway, but have also been playing tennis. I really enjoy my exercise (apart from the bit where i'm pushing a huge double buggy up hills), but i wind up really tired and emotionally low.

Social support isn't so good. Relationship with DH is great though and he is very understanding. No family nearby so difficult to get a break. I haven't spoken to my friends about it because i don't want them to think i'm attention seeking or making demands on them. If people are too nice to be i start crying and then feel bad for them.

Thanks for your supportive replies smile

cheesychips Thu 28-Aug-08 12:11:06

Stitch, in the midst of depression suggesting going to the gym is like suggesting running a marathon! When the simplest of tasks seem beyond you and have to leave yourself a post-it note to remember that 'normal' people brush their teeth you aren't going to join an exercise class.

Agree whole heartedly that exercise makes a difference, running saved my life, but you often need help BEFORE you can contemplate it.

Dragonbutter Thu 28-Aug-08 12:16:50

Have just cancelled my gym membership for financial reasons sad

Shitehawk Thu 28-Aug-08 12:17:43

You are doing the right thing. They will help - the initial side-effects are a pain but they will pass.

You have realised there is a problem, you have spoken to someone about it, you have asked for help and have been given something which will help. That's not admitting defeat; that's a brave step to take.

Stitch is right that exercise can be of great benefit - it can lift your mood enough for you to see the wood for the trees and can give you a mental lift which can last for hours. Even just getting out for a walk in the fresh air is good. But when you are depressed it's hard enough to even get out of bed, let alone take up a sport. Let the ads kick in, then think about other things you can do (like exercise) to help yourself.

stitch Thu 28-Aug-08 12:18:05

cheesy, with mild depression i have found that if you manage to make the effort to go to thegym, do the excercise class, then the feel good effect is often enought to enable the person to make theeffort again and agian, and it then helps with everything else. i did qualify my suggestion by saying it helps with mild depression. i didnt say it was a cure all for everything..

BloodySmartarse Thu 28-Aug-08 12:21:02

have only read op

yes, i had that feeling, of admitting defeat. i reckon thats part of 'it' tho...

the side effects wear off in a couple of weeks and by then, hopefully you'll be feeling a little more like yourself and able to think about things without crumbling or whatver your 'thing' is characterised by from one minute to the next.

going on ad's recently has saved my life i think. putting it off for so long as i did was a bit of a mistake imo. (tho maybe i needed to see how low i would get before i admitted i needed help? oh who knows, and its irrelevent to you anyways)

BEST of wishes for you, and keep coming here is my advice. theres so much wisdom and comfort to be had from talking on here ime. [thanks ladies one and all for that]

Dragonbutter Thu 28-Aug-08 12:35:36

i'm feeling better now than i did this morning. the nausea has settled but the headache is still bad.

i really hope they work and i can put up the side effects.

i tried AD's a few years ago but gave up when the side effects got unbearable. At that time i decided to give up my job and become a SAHM to make life easier. But now, I dont have anymore to give up to make life easier.

and maybe if i had my career back and was earning decent money, then a lot of pressure would be off us as a family?
but right now, i'm so low i'd crumble at interview stage.

(see how i find myself on a downward spiral? pick any topic, i can only find negative. sad)

does letting it out like this really help? does talking about it all facilitate my depression and allow me to wallow?

stitch Thu 28-Aug-08 12:39:29

i dont know dragon. .....
stick with the ad's for a week. that is how long tey should take toget into your system. hopefully, by then you should see some benefits. meanwhile, stick witht the walking you do, and anythng else thatmakes you feel better. i mumsnet. that makes me feel good. do what it takes.

BloodySmartarse Thu 28-Aug-08 12:42:37

ah dragon, thats a question i wrestle with too.

i only know, thinking about it, that it hasnt gone away by itself regardless of my approach... but i honestly dont know the answer for sure.

re side effects: try playing with the time you take them. someone i know took them mid afternoon, so that the sleepiness kicked in about bedtime and the nausea was overnight (and so not a problem)... see what works for you.

i too gave up due to side effects once before (as well as other guilt related reasons) but ime it really is worth sticking it out for at least a month, now youve started, and see then how you feel about them.

purplemonkeydishwasher Thu 28-Aug-08 12:48:27

dragonbutter -

i'm not even sure what to say but i want you to know that i understand totally where you are coming form.
you try a million different things to make yourself feel better and when they don't you beat yourself up over it. you aren't admitting defeat. you are admitting that you are human and you need a little help.
i was on citalopram for a while and the nausea does go away after a while. and it helps with the depression and the anxiety as well (and the insomnia that goes with it)
you will be ok. better than ok in fact.

and talk to your friends. that;s why they are there. you aren't attention seeking or making demands. you just need their friendship. they will be there for you. i would have been lost without my friends. they got me through the darkest bits. just by being there. never underestimate the power of cake and tea!!

i hope you start to feel better soon.

regularlyoverwhelmed Thu 28-Aug-08 12:49:30

I've been there too , have been on 20mg citalopram for almost a year now having avoided ads for years due to silly preconceptions. Have to say was the best thing I ever did and after the initial awfulness of the side effects is so well worth it. Please stick with them. I do still get a ringing in my ears but it is nothng compared to how hopeless I was feeling this time last year.

As for whether you'd be better able to cope if you were working and had a bit more money - I dunno - I am in that situation but wish I could give it up and stay at home. I feel so overwhelmed by it all at times (even on the ads!) I don't give it up though as a)can't reallt afford to and b) my GP advised not to make any major decisions while depressed and while I am managing the depression through the medication I am still not sure running from something is the solution. Bet I'd start to find problems with being at home if I did that.

Could you get a part time job? I think that would be my ideal. A little bit of everything.

Good luck! really hope they help

Dragonbutter Thu 28-Aug-08 12:54:11

i will call them. they probably think i've been having such a fabulous summer i haven't had time to meet up, when in fact i'm still in my pyjamas makin my way through the huge bottomless laundry pile.

baby awake now, so will log off.
thanks for all your replies. i appreciate it.

Dragonbutter Thu 28-Aug-08 12:59:30

i got a part time job a couple of months ago. it's minimum wage and i'm way overqualified but it's a break from the kids. and a break for them from me. it's only a few hours a week so not exactly helping financially tbh.

regularly. it's a tough decision, and i'm glad i gave up my job when i did as it allowed me to step off the treadmill. the depression lifted and life improved.
unfortunately now, i'm realising it's not going to be so easy to just get back on the treadmill when i want to. so i don't know what the answer is there.

Dragonbutter Thu 28-Aug-08 15:49:57

so is it fairly normal for the side effects to improve with time since your last dose?
i'm gradually feeling better as the day goes on.

Mummyfor3 Thu 28-Aug-08 17:53:08

Dragonbutter, I am just finishing off at work and am glad to see you had more encouraging responses. And yes, typically SE get better as time passes.

I just feel compelled to respond to you saying "pick a topic, I can only find negatives": once the AD have given you a bit of a lift, consider CBT=cognitive behavioural therapy if it is available in your area. This is not psychotherapy in the traditional sense in that it does not dwell on your past/childhood/upbringing etc but v practical management strategies on how to help you to see the glass half full rather than half empty more oftern, iykwim smile. Feeling more positive can, to some extent, be a learnt skill, but of course you have to be well enough to embark on anything new.

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Thu 28-Aug-08 17:54:34

In answer to your opening question


I can understand the admitting defeat thing as I had that and it has taken a looooooong time to realise I am better on them than not.

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Thu 28-Aug-08 17:55:34

I think you need to take them for more than a week to give them a chance to be honest. A week is no time at all.

dustystar Thu 28-Aug-08 18:03:39

It is quite common to have some side effects for up to 2 weeks so unless they are unbearable its worth sticking with it if you can. Different meds suit different people though so if you find citalopram doesn't suit you there are plenty of alternatives available.

Well done and good luckx

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Thu 28-Aug-08 18:07:43

When I started on them I had the most horrendous dreams and the GP said they were a side effect. I still have dreams but they aren't quite as bad now. Help to make me wake up knackered though. sad

moodlumthehoodlum Thu 28-Aug-08 18:12:35

Dragonbutter - I could have written your post. Its exactly how I feel.

But, I started taking citalopram a month ago - just 20mg, like you, and although the side effects weren't great for a couple (max) of days, I have NONE now, and a month down the line feel better than i have for years.

I think the whole anxiety about taking them, and feeling of defeat is a symptom of the depression, and as someone said earlier, the AD's enable you to be in a position to cope.

HTH. I'm completely in the same boat smile

Iworryalot Thu 28-Aug-08 18:37:46

I to have been prescribed these 10mg but have not yet tried them for fear of the side effects i have health anx and worry constantly ......

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