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anyone else on meds for 10 or more years?
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anyone else on meds for 10 or more years?

Where to start?????..............  Well, I have been on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds for over 10 years.  I recently tried to go off the meds (Cymbalta). I slowly weaned myself off over a period of a month and a half and I was med free for about 1 month.  At the time, I was struggling a bit but also hopeful that I might actually be able to function without meds.  Well, I had a major breakdown. It seemed to come out of nowhere.  I went from slightly struggling to having severe depression and major anxiety. I was in a constant state of panic.  I had to start back on the Cymbalta, and I had to take Lorazapem to control the anxiety attacks until the Cymbalta got back into my system.  I have beeen taking the Cymbalta for about 6 weeks now.  I am "functioning" and not having constant panic attacks, but I still have some depression and very low energy.

So, why am I writing?????  I guess because I am just sooooooo tired of all this.  Even though I am "functioning", I still wish for so much more. I still wish for peace, happiness, and some energy every day.  I have tried multiple different medications over a 10 year period, and I have been in therapy all this time as well. I am giving up hope that I will find anything that will help me.

Also, I just hate feeling so "broken". After realizing once again just how dependant I am on the meds and seeing how dysfunctional I am without them, I am having all kinds of negative thoughts and emotions about the meds and my condition.  

I know lots of people that have had situational depression and have had to take meds for 6 months to a year or so, but I do not have any friends that have been on meds for 10 + years like me.  I guess that gives me a sense of isolation and adds to the "broken" feeling.

Has anyone ever taken meds for 10 + years and then ever successfully discontinued meds?

I would love it if someday I could not be dependant on meds.  Right now I know that is not realistic, and I would be happy if I even found a med or something that worked better for me, but right now I am feeling hopeless.

Well, if anyone has any thoughts or suggestions I would appreciate it.
Thanks
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I sent you a PM.
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Avatar_f_tn
I've been where you are.  Do you have a pdoc? Have you thought you might be Bipolar?
I know that's scary, but if you are, by what you've said, the drugs you've been on won't work. I went through 15 yrs of being on SSRI's and SNRI's(like cymbalta), and nothing really truly worked. I was a ball of anxiety, which affected my work, and I almost got fired from my job.

Cymbalta triggered me into a depressive and anxious state, and it was only getting worse. Part of the diagnostic tools for pdocs is to see the reactions to Cymbalta and Effexor.

It took me being taken off this class of drug, placed on a mood stabilzer and a med for my anxiety to make me feel generally well. I still get hiccups, but it only lasts for a day.
I'm not an anxiety med per se, but another drug class used as such. It's been a godsend. I'm on Lamactil for the depression, and it helps with the high levels of anxiety I was feeling. You really need to write down all of your symptoms, down to the weirdest thing and see your pdoc. I know that BP sounds horrific, I used to think so, but I'm on the right meds, after suffering for 15 years of thinking this is as good as it's going to get, but it got better.
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I've been on and off Prozac & lorazepam for a few years and each time my depression comes back it's worse than before.  I finally went to see a psychiatrist, and she said that the problem is that people who suffer from depression go off their meds once they feel better.  There's a greater chance of relapsing and she said that each time you go back on the meds it takes longer for them to work.  She wants me to stay on meds for the rest of my life so that I don't have a deeper depression each time I relapse.  I know how you are feeling because I'm going through the same thing.  This is my third time and it is taking a lot longer.  I feel like you do; I just want to feel good about my life again. Please know you are not alone, and that it may take longer this time to work for you.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello kjmeow,

I am new here and this is my first posting. One of the reasons that I joined, is for the very reason that you are asking your question about being on meds for 10 years. I too have been on various anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds for almost 11 years now. I am 53 years old and my first prescription for Valium was given to me when I was 15 years old. I have been taking  benzos off and on for 38 years. Currently I have been on Valium for more than 10 years without a break.

The reason that I say I have been on Meds for 11 years is because I was referred to a psychiatrist by a drug and alcohol treatment center in 1997. He started me on Paxil and since then I have tried so many anti-depressants and ant-anxiety meds that I have lost count. I too have felt broken at times.

I am writing to let you know that you are not alone and certainly not to glamorize the use of medications. Actually I feel very trapped and unhappy, but something keeps me going and I want to encourage you to keep trying. I have not been very good at exercising or keeping up a healthy diet. I have done a lot of cognative behavioral counseling with a different therapist.

I think that the meds can help if we also follow a life-style change as well as working through some of the bigger issues that we all carry around. I should speak in I statements so I will say that I have been carrying around some big issues and have worked through some of them. When I have resolved an issue, I usually get some relief. I guess that I am my own worse enemy in that I know some of the things that make me feel better and yet I don't stick to them. Lack of exercise and falling away from healthy eating habits are a part of my down fall.

So, although I am not the best example of a healthy role model, I do encourage you to carry on. Perhaps some of the other members of this forum who have been around longer that I have can offer you more positives in the area of things that have worked for them. I am looking forward to hearing what others have to say in hopes that I too may learn something new.

In Light,
Aatma
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560272_tn?1311353893
I have been off and on Prozac for 10 years. I am currently on nothing except vitamins and I am at my worse point ever, I can barely leave my home and have no energy. Fixing a meal for the family is usually torture. But I'm also overweight for the first time in my life. Have you tried excercise, healthy eating, and taking a multi-vitamin? Might help , might not. I don't have much advice except to let you know I know exactly how you feel.
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Avatar_f_tn
Exactly what is a pdoc? Are you referring to a psychiatrist?

Is Lamactil the only med you are taking, or are there others? Are these meds generally used for bipolar?  I don't think I am bipolar, and I don't think my therapist does either, but I am still curious to know what drug combo's work for other people.

Well, thanks to you and everyone else for the support.
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Hello.  I have been taking meds for over 10 years.  I am 42 and I have excepted the fact that I have depression and I have to take medication for the rest of my life!  I deffinately agree that excercise and healthy eating habits can help and perhaps cure depression.  But I am on and off of dieting and excercising all the time so I can't just rely on that.  Therapy and depression classes really help.  Don't feel broken.  You are not.  You just have health problem and that's okay.  Try to concentrate on the positive things in your life which with depression is easier said than done.  I take it one day at a time.  Somedays I feel like why should I even get up?  But I usually jump in the shower and I get out.  Staying home and feeling sorry for yourself, makes things worse.  For some reason showers really help me!  & walking...
I wish you the best.  
Oh, I am on Lexapro by the way which is for both depression and anxiety & I love it.
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Avatar_f_tn
i got on paxil when i was 14 and quit when i was 29, now i am back at a place where i am considering taking meds again
i do not want to be back on them, depending on psyc meds and all
i remember when i was 29 i just got sick of worring about having enough meds, so i just quit, but i did go through a detox period
and thats normal, you will also have a tough time with the benzo when you quit,
i suggest that you taper off your meds
what other meds are you taking?
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Avatar_f_tn
Right now I do not think I should taper off my meds. I recently tried tapering off, and I was doing fine for a while but then I had a major breakdown.  It was hell! I realized once again that I can not function without the help of meds, and even with the meds there is still lots of room for improvement.  Right now I am taking Cymbalta.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes I do have Bipolar, and yes pdoc means psychiatrist. I also have a diagnoisis of Major Depression seperate to the BP, which I didn't think was possible. I also have Situational Deppresion, like getting into a funk over xmas, and caused by external forces. So in total I have 3 types. I've had depression since I was 7, that's as far back as I can remember.

Lamactil is a mood stabilizer and can work as an anti depressant, it's done wonders for me,(understatement). I took me 6 weeks to get off Cymbalta which I had only been on for about 4 weeks. I have taken most SSRIs, luvox, zoloft, wellbutrin, celexa, cipralex as we as Effexxor and Cymbalta. I'm also taking Lithium to augment my Lamactil as I have refractory (hard to treat depresson) I am on Seroquel, because I get so much anxiety, but orginally it was put on the market as an atypical anti psychotic.

I wouldn't suggest anyone get off meds, regardless of how slowly without the care of a pdoc, if you do have depression, it's just not going to go away. It's mostly a neurological chemical imbalance, just like epilepsy.  I had to wean off the Cymbalta till I was only taking a few grains, and I was still getting brain zaps, nausea an dizziness. I had to take ativan to cope with that, and an anti nauseant.

People should know there are a ton of other drugs that work just as well as the SSRI's, and without the sexual side effects. I know have a libido *gasp*. I've felt dead in that department for 15 yrs since I started ssris.
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If you go off medication things will worsen. That is definite. "Dependent on meds"? That's not how it works. You need prescription medication to treat a psychiatric disability. I agree what people are saying about Lamictal if you have bipolar. Sometimes people who are diagnosed with depression may actually have bipolar if they don't discuss the times when they are manic. However, if you have clinical depression, then mood stabilizers generally aren't used for that. As for myself I have been on medication since 1991. Right now I am on a Phase II FDA study antipsychotic glycine and have made a full recovery. The glutaminergic antagonists are being studied for other disabilities than schizophrenia or schizoaffective (which I have). I know I need this because once when I forgot to bring it along to someone's house (being experimental its a powdered compound) I got extremely psychotic. I will be on medication for life. The treatments in study are far more effective and have far less side effects so I don't even think about it. I live with a psychiatric disability.
  More importantly they are developing new classes of anti-depressents as well. For a full list of psychiatric medications in development google "psychmeds123". New anti-depressents are released all the time (unlike anti-psychotics). If you've tried what's out there and it hasn't worked for you then its a matter of time. But for full information on currently available anti-depressents and depression in general google "Depression Central".
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