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How bad does it have to be?

(33 Posts)
PrettyCandles Tue 13-Oct-09 14:28:06

Having been told for the third time this year - by three different HCPs - that I may have depression, I now begin to doubt myself. Only one said definitely and advised me to take anti-depressants. But the others said to think about it.

I recovered from a far worse depression without a-ds some years ago. I am afraid of a-ds. I don't want to take them.

When do I give up and take them?

YommyMommy Tue 13-Oct-09 16:11:46

Hi PrettyCandles,

Don;t really have experience of depression mainly anxiety. I too avoided ad's due to being afraid of them and I have made significate progress on my own.

If you have recovered once without them and you feel that you would be able to do it again then there is ur answer

Sorry if I'm not much help! hmm

Just didn;t want ur post to go unanswered! x x x

PrettyCandles Tue 13-Oct-09 21:00:37

But 8y ago I had one small baby. Now I have 3 children, two of school-age. Not the same. Maybe I owe it to them to do things differently?

ErikaMaye Tue 13-Oct-09 21:11:22

Don't think of it as "giving up" - think of it as getting some medical assistance for an ailment like you would for any other condition. I was totally against going onto ADs until they got into my system. Then I thought, "Crikey, why didn't I do this years ago??" They're not a quick fix, but they do give you the space and help to deal with things.

Go back, say you've thought about it, and want to give it a try. Hey, if it doesn't work for you, you haven't lost anything. But you may gain a hell of a lot.

Doubting yourself, by the way, is a big indicator of depression. You're obviously concerned about how it is affecting your children, so if you are really frightened, use that love and concern you have for them to win over your fear.

PrettyCandles Tue 13-Oct-09 21:35:50

I'm afraid of what could go wrong if a-ds don't work for me. I've heard so much about addiction, dependancy, self-harming as a side-effect.

ErikaMaye Tue 13-Oct-09 21:54:33

People don't get addicted to the tablets, but to the happiness, and this tends to only happen when they're taken off them before they're ready. I was worried about it too, but came off them without a problem a few months ago. Am back on them now through choice, but didn't have withdrawal or anything.

Self harming and suicidal thoughts are included as possible side affects in the warnings very simply for legal reasons. Depression, just like any other illness, has highs and lows, and if someone happens to hit a low just when they start their ADs and decided (God forbid) to end their lives, they would be liable if they hadn't included a warning. Sickening, but true.

Some ADs work better for some people better than others, so just be prepared to try a couple before you find one that works for you. The first ones I was put on made me feel like a zombie - but they work fantastically for my DP. The ones I'm now on work wonderfully for me but had no affect for DP when he tried them.

Talk your concerns through with your doctor if you feel you need to - but PLEASE stay away from google!!!

PrettyCandles Tue 13-Oct-09 22:03:10

I'm definitely staying away from google on this!

How do you know that you're back on a-ds through choice, and not because your body can now no longer function without them?

I mean this as an honest question, not judgey or accusing.

If a-ds worked, then surely you would not need to go back onto them? You'd take them, be cured, come off them, and continue with your life - but now coping, not drowning.

ErikaMaye Tue 13-Oct-09 22:06:16

Its not like that though Depression is more similar to diabetes than flu - sometimes its a very long term thing, rather than pop a few pills and you're magically okay.

I came off them when I was six weeks pregnant, because I found out I was pregnant. I have Borderline Personaility Disorder, which is a long term condition. When I got to 25 weeks, a lot of stuff was going on that was dragging me back down, and I decided, after consulting with my physc and GP, that both baby and I would be safer if I started taking my medication again.

PrettyCandles Tue 13-Oct-09 22:09:34

I see why, in your case, you compare it to diabetes.

I think I'm jsut someone who struggles to cope.

ErikaMaye Tue 13-Oct-09 22:11:41

And you deserve to be happy! And more importantly - not in pain. Mental pain is just as draining and horrible as physical pain. If you had a sore leg or whatever, you'd take some painkillers for it, wouldn't you?

Even if you just go to the doctors to explain all these mixtures of emotions in regard to everything, I think you would be doing yourself a huge favour.

ByThePowerOfGreyskull Tue 13-Oct-09 22:12:32

pretty candles, for me taking AD's wasn't much of a choice, BUT, I resisted for as long as I could,
The local mental health team likened it to having a broken leg, without children you can cope with alsorts of parts of life with a broken leg, HOWEVER, when you are trying to juggle 2 children etc you need more help than you needed before you had children, the problem is still the same. (I hope that makes some sense)

I have no desire to reduce my dosage yet because I am now aware of the problems that I had that were causing me to feel so bad, once I have dealt with that I can deal with the tablets, however without the tablets I don't have the mind space to deal with the original issues. (once again not sure if that makes sense)

Is there a reason that you are depressed aside from the day to day grind of life?

If none of the above is relevant then no worries, please know there are lots of people out here to listen to you if you want to talk, shout, scream, talk about nonsense for a while smile

PrettyCandles Wed 14-Oct-09 13:35:02

Greyskull, that makes a lot of sense.

I'm just terrified of the bloody things.

I@ve heard so much about psychological side-effects - people who never had suicidal thoughts, killing themselves (or trying to) while on a-ds; people self-harming for the first time, while on a-ds; people coming off a-ds, doing it properly, under medical supervision, and finding themselves worse off than they were before they began taking a-ds.

I think, though, that it's no longer about me and what I want or fear. I think that my problems may well be the legacy of growing up with a mum with untreated depression. She denies having had it, though she says she had a 'nervous breakdown', but I recognise her in me when I am at my worst. I owe it to my children not to give them this legacy. So I think I must take the pills.

ByThePowerOfGreyskull Wed 14-Oct-09 15:20:14

PC that is exactly why I am going through the process I am, I will not let myself turn into the vision of the future that I have, for me it was preferable to end it all but now since then with support I am learning how to not be that person.

Reallytired Wed 14-Oct-09 15:54:12

Taking anti depressants is not admitting failure, but admitting you have a problem and not fannying about with pointless things like councelling. Anti depressants require a good doctor. People get into problems if they have a lazy doctor who puts them onto medication and only reviews it every six months.

I took anti depressants seven years ago. I had completely stopped eating which was an interesting combination with breastfeeding. The anti depressants got me out of quite a dangerous position.

I made a good recovery and I didn't get addicted.

alwayslookingforanswers Wed 14-Oct-09 15:55:42

"and not fannying about with pointless things like councelling."

hmm - well counselling isn't always pointless.

PrettyCandles Wed 14-Oct-09 15:57:38

Reallytired, I don't understand about the doctor - could you explain, please?

cupcake123 Wed 14-Oct-09 15:59:26

I have been on various psychiatric medications for a long time now - 8 years or so I think - and I will be on them for the rest of my life (I have bipolar disorder).

I remember being resistant to the idea of drugs before I got so severely depressed that I could not get out of bed, slept for 22 hours a day and cried for the remaining 2. When I got to that point, I would have done/taken absolutely ANYTHING to feel better. So I think that for some people, that's just how it has to be: you literally have to be at the point where you are in intolerable pain before you give in and accept the drugs. Looking back I cannot believe I resisted the idea for so long - I will take painkillers if I have a pain in my head or a tooth or my tummy, so why wouldn't I take anything for the psychic pain I was in?

With regard to side effects etc, I think you have to look at the studies, find out how frequently the various side effects happen, and then do a cost-benefit analysis.
The side effects of some drugs can be horrible, it's true, but if your doctor is any good at all, he/she will be willing to stick with you and experiment with a series of drugs to see which one works best for you.

There is an EXCELLENT website all about every aspect of a huge range of psych meds here.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do smile

PrettyCandles Wed 14-Oct-09 15:59:39

The right sort of counselling is helpful. Especially when you get into the wrong sort of mindset. But perhaps things have gone too far, and I need something 'stronger'.

Guttersnipe Wed 14-Oct-09 16:03:27

For me, the key question would be: do I think I will get myself back on an even track given time and determination? If the answer is yes, I wouldn't go on Ads. If I felt I was beyond helping myself though, I would give Ads a go, but I admit I would be like you PC in that I would be scared about dependency and the Ads only working in the short term.

Reallytired Wed 14-Oct-09 16:21:40

"Reallytired, I don't understand about the doctor - could you explain, please? "

Anti depressant mediation needs to be managed to make sure the person is on the right dose and its the correct mediation for them. For example seven years ago my GP saw me fortnightly! (I had had completely stopped eating and looking back I really don't know what planet I was on. blush As I got better I saw the GP, monthly, then every two months and then every three months

I also went to a postnatal depression support group were there were women who were equally ill who were being seen once every six months. They were just left to rot on repeat presciptions for year on end.

It is no small wonder that I made a far more swift and effective recovery than these other women.

cupcake123 Wed 14-Oct-09 16:34:46

I totally agree with what Reallytired is saying about the importance drug treatment being properly monitored by your doctor - and about counselling often being total bollocks. When I was very badly depressed I was made by my psychiatrist at the time to go to group CBT and it tipped me over the edge. The women running the group were lovely and very well meaning, but the group was for people with long-term, unresponsive depression, and it was horrifying. I was in my early 20s at the time and I would have to sit in this room with these people in their 40s, 50s and 60s who had never had a job, whose relationships had all broken down, who were suicidal all the time etc. I felt like I had been written off and I went off the deep end. The so-called "therapy" we got was grossly insulting too, which didn't help: we got given a sheet of paper with a list of things to do to help us feel better, and it included such gems as "Think about good times," "Take a walk along the beach with friends," and - I am not making this up - "Kick the autumn leaves."

It was a farce.

I know counselling can be good, but good counsellors are hard to come by. I just thank god for my drugs, but I know that they're not the answer for everyone.

PrettyCandles Wed 14-Oct-09 17:29:08

Kicking the autumn leaves is not such a bad idea.

But it's all al oad of crap anyway. If I was really ill I wouldn't be getting out of bed in the morning and looking after my family.

Depression is just an excuse for being a failure and I should just get up of my lazy arase and live my life.

Reallytired Wed 14-Oct-09 17:50:57

"But it's all al oad of crap anyway. If I was really ill I wouldn't be getting out of bed in the morning and looking after my family."

Prehaps the question is whether you are looking after your family to the best of your ablity. Or do you need mediation to help you to do this?

"Depression is just an excuse for being a failure and I should just get up of my lazy arase and live my life."

You know this isn't true. Medication gives you the lift to allow you to live again.

I am sure that if I had not taken medication seven years ago I would have starved myself to death. I also had some rather eerm.. interesting ideas about the world. There is no way I could have got out of THAT sort of mess on my own. Its pure naivety to think will power is enough. I was truely ill.

I have been off medication for over five years now and done loads of great things since.

PrettyCandles Wed 14-Oct-09 18:21:34

Oh - I didn't realise that you had been able to stop taking ads. That makes things look different.

But I'm not as bad as you were. Nor even as bad as I was 8 years ago. That's why I feel like I should be able to just get on with things. If I got on with things then they wouldn't loom over me so much and I wouldn't get so...depressed.

Reallytired Wed 14-Oct-09 18:30:35

I took meds for about 18 months in total. Once you hit on the right anti depressant and you feel better then you usually take the anti depressant for a further six months.

My depression got bad as I ignored it. I hoped it would go away and I stuck my head in the sand. With hindsight that was a complete mistake.

Its impossible to assess how bad your own depression is. Or certainly I couldn't.

HCP do not want to get people addicted to medication. They recommend medication because that is what is needed. They aren't on commission.

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