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Using anti-depressants or cognitive behavioural therapy for grief

(12 Posts)
Punkatheart Mon 26-Sep-11 12:05:50

I have fought it...fought it really hard...but I cannot get out of the cycle of sadness, guilt and fury at the abandonment of our family by OH. I did some time ago say to my GP that I would never 'do' anti-depressants....but I am barely functioning some days and then others I am almost delusional with plans and hope. It doesn't feel stable or right and most importantly, I am a snappy and tearful parent. My poor little girl is going through enough.

I would like to collect any experiences from you and if I decide not to go the tablet route, I am very interested in cognitive behavioural therapy. Anyone done it? My case is complicated by also taking Interferon, which can cause depression...but I think this is justifiably reactive depression.


sternface Mon 26-Sep-11 12:20:55

How old is your daughter?

I don't think anti-depressants are ever a good idea for depression that is not due to a chemical imbalance. What you are describing is a perfectly normal reaction to a horrendous set of circumstances. You don't mention talking therapies at all and I wonder why that is?

garlicnutty Mon 26-Sep-11 12:22:04

You shouldn't really be trying to 'fix' grief. It's a natural process, grim though it is. If it's stopping you functioning, go for the meds. Along with the benefits of having your emotional ups & downs flattened out a bit, they help your body to restore the normal balance of hormones, etc smile

CBT teaches you to decide which feelings to act on, basically. Is that what you need?
There's a nice little CBT course (free) online, here.

Punkatheart Mon 26-Sep-11 12:27:11

Cognitive behavioural therapy is a talking therapy sternface....I would prefer that. Apparently it is also a myth that anti-depressants can only be used for clinical depression - according to GP - but I am nervous about feeling 'numb' a strange way yes, I want to know what I am feeling but I also want to be a good parent to my DD, who is 14 and has enough teenage stuff of her own to deal with anyway.

Will check out the online course but I would really like some warm human interaction as well....

lolaflores Mon 26-Sep-11 12:37:57

Grief counselling is available, but I think that it is for those have come to a stuck place. Grief is a horrible relentless feeling, anti-d to my experience have not made me feel numb, but have helped with sleeping etc. Therapy and counselling are clinically proven to have the best outcome with lowest relapse rate. But it is a natural process and your daughter is having it too. It sounds to me like you are a responsible parent for your daughter as you are concerned about her well being. But, you can't just keep all this inside. Some groups are available for support for others in same place.

My father died when I was 8. lt has taken a long time to get it in perspective but only because the grieving process in our house was seen as a dirty word, everyone pretended that it wasn't happening and things got quite warped. I am 43 now and there are days when it feels like yesterday and other times when it is easier. Can't say more than that

DestinationUnknown Mon 26-Sep-11 12:43:19

Oh Punk I'm sorry for all that you're going through. I've been through similar circs. I'd advise going with the ADs to get yourself functioning and supporting your DD, then having CBT with a view to working through everything and finding a way forward and coming off the ADs. Yes they numb you a bit, but you do still feel emotions.

This is just my view obviously, but it's worked so far for me - I felt myself turning into a wreck, disengaged and unable to function which was rubbish for me but worse for my ds. ADs have enabled me to just get on with stuff and cope generally.

sternface Mon 26-Sep-11 12:44:00

Yes, but what I was trying to get at was to find out why you're attracted to that type of therapy, instead of seeing a counsellor, possibly over a long period of time? As I understand it, CBT is given in a time-defined period. This is often attractive to the cash-strapped NHS, but it doesn't sound as though it fits your circumstances as you've described them.

However, I think you have to weigh up what your GP is advising and whether you trust her judgement. If she's not someone who prescribes tablets as an easy way of getting someone out of the room and she thinks medication would help as a short-term crutch in order to help you function, then this might be the best route.

I think I'd be worried that in this situation, they might dull anger and curiosity about why this has happened to you.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Mon 26-Sep-11 16:37:31

Using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) you can start right now to alleviate your feelings of grief, anger, abandonment, and sadness.

This is Brad Yates using the technique to clear feelings of rejection and abandonment and you'll find a selection of his videos on youtube that you may feel will be more appropriate to your situation. Try as many as you want and pick one or two to use regularly once or twice a day until you feel better about yourself and your situation.

Grief is something that we all have to face at some point in our lives. Mourning and grieving loss and coping with resultant feelings of anger and resentment until we reach a resolution of, or come to some accomodation with, our feelings can be a lengthy process during which we may experience many fluctuations from despair to elation in our ever-changing moods.

However, unless we are suffering from clinical depression or other mental disorders, I believe that wherever possible we should avoid chemicals that distort or suppress our responses to life-changing events.

Such is the demand for NHS funded counselling services that, by the time you get an appointment, you may find yourself in an entirely different place emotionally and dredging up your present state of mind may cause those emotions to revisit you with a vengeance.

Don't hang on to negative thoughts any longer than you need to; there's a wealth of information on the net that will help you move forward into a much brighter future than the past you've left behind.

hairylights Mon 26-Sep-11 17:14:58

A short course of anti depressions may give you the platform to start feeling better from. Working through your grief with a counsellor will certainly help. (I've used both successfully).

Punkatheart Mon 26-Sep-11 20:13:41

Thank you so much everyone. Have been to hospital today to have my lymph nodes felt...all clear. Tomorrow I sit down with my GP (an excellent lady) and talk through my next steps.

Will look at the vids Izzy..anything is worth a go...

hiddenhome Mon 26-Sep-11 20:28:39

I'm on Citalopram and am having CBT. I can honestly say that the Citalopram has completely turned my life around and I feel great. Been on them since November and I'm so much happier and confident now. The CBT is helping with the negative thought processes.

Punkatheart Wed 28-Sep-11 06:57:32

Thank you for sharing that, hidden. I have been to the GP and been assessed as severely depressed. The doctor will be talking to my doctors in London, to check the best course of action. But I am going to try the talking therapies, with an eye on the tablets if I really cannot cope.....

Glad to hear that the CBT is working for you and I hope it continues well and upward.

It is a week and a half since my DD heard from her father and her heart is setting really hard against him now. I also have had to write to my MIL - as we are so strapped for cash and we are being badly neglected. It feels so humiliating.

No - I cannot understand how one loving human being can treat someone so poorly...although my GP also said that OH sounds depressed too. What a pair of bookends we are.

Looking forward to some sunshine this week. Wishing you all the best, hidden...and anyone else from The Heartbreak Club.

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