Depression/Mental Health Forum
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Avatar universal

Question for DR. AJ

I see you posting many replies here so I hope it's OK for me to address a question directly to you.

I have been depressed all my life.  For the first time in my life I am willing to accept the label "Depressed" and actively seek treatment.  Currently I am in therapy and on meds--started with Celexa--couldn't handle the side effects and am now on Wellbutrin and xanex  (to sleep at night).  These meds have all been in the last month.

Through the therapy I have come to realize that my depression started with childhood abuse--physical, emotional and sexual.  These are not easy concepts for men to face--I think.  Certainly that is my personal experience and probably why it has taken me so long to address them and understand my depression in terms of them.

OK I'll try to get to my question.  I want to know if it's realistic for me to work towards getting off these drugs eventually.  I hate the idea of being dependent on drugs AND I do feel that they all have sides effects and play havoc with the body in ways not fully understood.  

I see a tremendous push by the drug companies to sell these drugs and that is not a comforting thought.  Also I think that many psychiatrists tend towards the meds. because it's an effective way to treat depression i.e, it gives the docs a good sense of helping their patients--but is it the right solution in the long run?  Shouldn't the ultimate goal be for drug free mental health!??
3 Responses
Avatar universal
Dear Paul

Since Dr.AJ is not available, I will try to answer your question.
Many Psychiatrists feel that medications are not the only way to
treat depression. If a person can function normally without
medications, he or she need not have to take medications
since all medications have side effects. Medication usage
varies from person to person depending on the severity of the
condition. Some times without using medications, a person
may not be able to pull out of the depression. If your depression
can be relieved by therapy, I would think that you get off the
medications as you wish. Therapy is always a good alternative.

Avatar universal
Although I have had no reasons for being depressed (perfect life so to speak)  I have been depressed off and on now for several years.  I took prozac for a year and it helped.  I was fine when I came off of it.  Then about 2 years later the depression started again. My doctor says that it can come and go throughout life. I am presently trying to find something to help mine again now.  (Husband doesn't approve of prozac again because of the bad rep it has)  I have a feeling that you are ashamed of taking drugs to help.  Being depressed is a chemical imbalance, an illness, nothing to be ashamed of.  If you have a headache, you take tylenol to fix it.  This is similar, I believe.  You may not have to take them forever to be happy. But, if you do, be thankful that there is medication out there to help; unlike so many other illnesses.  I hope I helped.  Good Luck.
Avatar universal
I just like to think of the drugs as a way of gaining some "perspective" on things without the depression getting in the way. I do think you have to change behavioural habits and assess your own reactions to situations etc in the light of your past, and that it's important to do this in conjunction with medication. Support groups are also really helpful for some people, though not all.
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