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Old 01-11-2010, 08:12 AM
 
Location: United States
2,497 posts, read 6,235,508 times
Reputation: 2219

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This is my "great debate."
I am 33 years old. From age 17 to 29 I suffered from depression and would have to go on meds. Welbutrin, Effexor, Prozac I done them all. I would see the counsellor (sp?) once a month and all that jazz. They had no problem "up'ing my dose" when times got harder. On these meds I felt like a controlled zombie. If I was a couple hours late on my dose I would get shaky and have strange thoughts. One day about 4 years ago I went to my doctor and I told him I want to get off the meds. He was hesitant but did in fact ween me off to see what happens. Within 1 month I was off all that junk.
Here I am 4 years later and in that many years have only had maybe 3 small episodes of depression that lasted only a day each, and I was not severely depressed, just down. I feel better mentally than I ever have on the meds.
When I was on the meds I would get depressed and think about things more, further intensifying whatever situation I was in.
So now I realize that everyone is different, some people may need depression meds. But do you think that maybe we are over medicating people? Maybe medicine is not the cure for depression?
Just want to hear some of your opinions and/or stories.
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Texas
42,205 posts, read 49,768,169 times
Reputation: 66976
I think part of the reason this country is overmedicated (and I agree, we are overmedicated) is because patients want the quick fix right now. And so many things that can be worked through without medication take too much time and effort, that if there's a pill that will do the work for you (as in a lot of people with high cholesterol and hypertension), then screw the work, gimme the pill.
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 21,519,881 times
Reputation: 19858
It took me 15 years to follow medical advice and get anti-depressants ( Effexor 225 mgs) . I have always been very anti-drugs of any kind and always thought I should do without. Eventually after relying on my "stiff upper lip" attitude, CBT and therapy, counselling etc... with absolutely no success whatsoever I gave in to my GP and started the Effexor. I started with a low dose which did absolutely nothing then went on the 225 which has made a lot of difference. It has taken the edge of the severe depression and my moods are more even and I am a lot less prone to suicidal thoughts, and really dark moments.

I tried upping the dose once when I was going through a really bad phase but it was awful I felt dopey, and dazed most of the time and almost stoned. I was lethargic and I decided it was not working for me. 225 is obviously the right dose for me. I hate taking them but I see little choice. 15 years of absolute hell taught me that sometimes my ideals about what is "right" are not always true....

I have lived with Chronic depression ( brought on by Leukaemia) for many, many years now and have tried all the hard work and the going it alone , un-medicated . It really was not pretty.

Some of us do need the medication though I agree the West if grossly over-medicated.
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:10 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 22,461,476 times
Reputation: 3869
Sounds great!

Here are my thoughts...

- Depression is a multi-faceted problem. All depressed people are not depressed for the same reasons. Sometimes it's family history, often is bio-chemical or hormonal imbalance, other times it's episodic. As Mooseketeer pointed out, leukemia and its treatments can lead to depression. As a result, there is no one "cure" for depression.

- Anti-depressants will work differently in different people. Some people respond marvelously to the Prozac/Zoloft family of drugs, others don't. It's kind of a crap-shoot.

- Anti-depressants really don't "cure" a lot of people. Rather, they help a person feel like their head is above water, and they can begin working through the issues that have led to the depression. Many people only need to be on medication for awhile - and that's a great thing.

- Everybody needs a good support system. For some people it's going out for "a beer with the buds" once in awhile. For some it's a hobby. For others it's a visit with their pastor every couple weeks.

- If you start spiraling back into depression (which is somewhat common of people who go off meds), please don't refuse to go see a doctor about it.


Good luck!
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Houston
529 posts, read 1,140,631 times
Reputation: 373
That's awesome jc76, my wife had a similar experience. She started taking zoloft after a bout of depression when she was 17yo, she decided to stop taking the meds about 2 years ago (when she was 25) and she has been doing great, at least that's what she tells me and I see her doing fine.

I do think we are medicating too much, especially depression and pain killers, it's a combination of affordability and access tot he drugs, patiens ask for them and doctors are very willing to go ahead, but I don't know what can be done.

I was raised abroad and the culture regarding medication was certainly different, when I came here for college I was very surprised that a lot of the girls I dated or their friends were in some sort of medication, it was like 40% of all the girls I knew in college and like 60% in gradschool were in some type of medication (I'm talking about american women only). I'm pretty sure there's people who need it but I always wondered if there are that many people that actually do?
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:03 AM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,225 posts, read 50,519,955 times
Reputation: 60110
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc76 View Post
This is my "great debate."
I am 33 years old. From age 17 to 29 I suffered from depression and would have to go on meds. Welbutrin, Effexor, Prozac I done them all. I would see the counsellor (sp?) once a month and all that jazz. They had no problem "up'ing my dose" when times got harder. On these meds I felt like a controlled zombie. If I was a couple hours late on my dose I would get shaky and have strange thoughts. One day about 4 years ago I went to my doctor and I told him I want to get off the meds. He was hesitant but did in fact ween me off to see what happens. Within 1 month I was off all that junk.
Here I am 4 years later and in that many years have only had maybe 3 small episodes of depression that lasted only a day each, and I was not severely depressed, just down. I feel better mentally than I ever have on the meds.
When I was on the meds I would get depressed and think about things more, further intensifying whatever situation I was in.
So now I realize that everyone is different, some people may need depression meds. But do you think that maybe we are over medicating people? Maybe medicine is not the cure for depression?
Just want to hear some of your opinions and/or stories.
Psych medication for depression can be beneficial, although it is not an exact science, but it should be used to jumpstart good talk therapy, not in place of it. A shrink once likened it to having someone give you a push when you are learning to ride a bicycle. It will help you get going faster, but it is not a substitute for learning to pedal yourself.

Unfortunately, too often people either are medicated by the doctors and not given the information as to the importance of therapy, or they start therapy and quit when it gets painful or they get angry at the therapist--which ironically are the most important parts of the therapy to get through.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:20 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 22,461,476 times
Reputation: 3869
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Psych medication for depression can be beneficial, although it is not an exact science, but it should be used to jumpstart good talk therapy, not in place of it. A shrink once likened it to having someone give you a push when you are learning to ride a bicycle. It will help you get going faster, but it is not a substitute for learning to pedal yourself.

Unfortunately, too often people either are medicated by the doctors and not given the information as to the importance of therapy, or they start therapy and quit when it gets painful or they get angry at the therapist--which ironically are the most important parts of the therapy to get through.
Yep. To use another illustration, it's a bit like having a life-jacket on. It will help keep your head above water, but you're still going to have to do the hard work of swimming to shore.

And you're absolutely right about how people quit therapy when it gets tough, or when they get angry at the therapist. That is precisely when they really need to keep going!
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:45 AM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,225 posts, read 50,519,955 times
Reputation: 60110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaha Rocks View Post
Yep. To use another illustration, it's a bit like having a life-jacket on. It will help keep your head above water, but you're still going to have to do the hard work of swimming to shore.

And you're absolutely right about how people quit therapy when it gets tough, or when they get angry at the therapist. That is precisely when they really need to keep going!
Exactly! Therapy works on transference. If you're not getting angry with your therapist at some point, the therapy isn't working!
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Maine
190 posts, read 414,632 times
Reputation: 120
I was on SSRI meds for a couple years for severe anxiety that I had been dealing with for many years that was at that point causing me to be unable to do simple tasks like drive a car and sometimes leave my house. I still feel to this day that they saved my life and after my two year stint with them I have (knock on wood) not had anywhere near the same problems with anxiety or panic attacks since but They also destroyed my sex life in the process and cost me a pretty serious relationship. Mind altering drugs like Zoloft, lexapro or Prozac are IMO absolutely over prescribed in this country. They tried to prescribe my 74 year old grandma these drugs for depression when my dad died but she refused to take them and gradually accepted the death of here son like the rest of the family. They also prescribed Zoloft to my 15 year old niece because she was getting picked on in school for being overweight and she ended up gaining another 50 pounds and was more unhappy than she was before. I'm not a doctor but neither of these situations required mind altering drugs IMO. Maybe someone should have prescribed some exercise to my niece and some therapy to my grandma.
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Indiana
324 posts, read 493,331 times
Reputation: 351
I think, this debate is at the wrong place. Here's the depression thread: http://www.city-data.com/forum/healt...t-options.html
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