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Avatar universal

HELP - PREPARING FOR THE WORLD OF DEPRESSION MEDS

I'll be brief with my history and then I have a question to ask.
Was diagnosed years ago with bipolar and depression.  Used lamactil as treatment for a few months then just stopped because I moved away and never looked for a new psychiatrist.  I don't think it helped much anyway.
First of all I don't think I am bipolar, I believe a more accurate diagnosis would be General Anxiety Disorder, possibly ADHD (note that I was on ritalin as a kid), and depression.
I have scheduled a psych appointment, it will be my first in years.  I just can't handle the anxiety attacks and long term depression anymore.  BUT I AM WORRIED IN A MAJOR WAY ABOUT THE MEDICINES THAT MIGHT BE PRESCRIBED !! - The side effects and non-effective stories about medications reads like a never ending nightmare.  Also addiction and withdraw appears to be part of the game.  I thought I was going for help, but it almost looks like a trap.  Is there hope ?  Where are all the success stories ?  Maybe that will help.  I am afraid of the Meds now even before being prescibed anything. HELP.
12 Responses
Avatar universal
It's the nature of this board for people to vent and share their stories and experiences.   Really, it makes sense that a Depression Board would be more negative than positive, and that too is part of human nature is to want to discuss the things that scare us rather than the things that have helped us.

I'm in practice treating patients and I see so many people who thought they were hopeless, who had practically given up and they are on their meds and getting better all the time.  
I see people on medications that are allowing them to live normal lives, sometimes for the first time in countless years and decades.
I see people struggling with all sorts of problems that most people would think are insurmountable, and they are now successful people coping day to day and making it work in the real world.

Some people can have problems with antidepressants.  Please don't let that discourage you.  You, your body, your physiology are completely unique and where someone else has had a difficult time, it may be easy for you.  

And to honest, I see patients who are struggling with their meds.
Often a patient will do well on a certain medicine only to see the positive side-effects fade and negative effects take over.
That doesn't happen often but it happens to certain people.

Look at the things you struggle with now.  The things that trouble you and worry you and make your life more difficult than  it should be.    What if you could be relieved of those burdens?
Treatment can do that.   Try going into it with a positive outlook because that will affect the course of treatment.  
You're doing something positive for yourself and you should feel good about that.   So many people never get help, or deny that they have problems, or self-medicate with alcohol or other street drugs.  

Depression medications are imperfect.  They target whole body systems and not just the brain areas which modulate mood.  But they are safe, they will work if you give them time and give yourself time.   When you look in the PDR or on the Internet you see all sorts of horrible side-effects to meds.   Doctors have to report ALL effects witnessed when they participate in clinical trials of medications.    The fact is that most medications have very predicatable side effects (dry mouth, sedation, etc..) The rare side effects we read about are just that - rare.  They may have happened to just a few people during the drugs various trials.  

The last fact I will leave you with doesn't sound very profound but it is hugely important.  These medications do more good and allow people to reclaim a happy, constructive existence in this world.  Before these medicines came along, many more people commited suicide, or suffered in silence, some were placed in  institutions.  

We live in better times, not perfect, no - but better and I wish you the best in your treatment.

Avatar universal
I think I really needed that dose of hope.  I think I may have been overexposed to negative reports.  As you mentioned most of the posts on websites like these are by nature going to be negative or address problems.  Most of those that are having success prabubly don't haunt these websites, because they don't need to.  They are living better, productive lives.  Thanks again, I have perspective back.
149087 tn?1258457420
Hello Moon.. Sorry to hear about your situation. I myself am borderline bipolar, so they say. I have tried a few different meds and as of now I am on Cymbalta, which helps really well with the depression. I can tell if I miss a dose because I can not even get out of bed and all I want to do is cry. I am also on Geodon for my anger issues. This is a med that is usually prescribed for schitsophrenia (sp?) but again if I miss a dose I get very angry and can not stand to be around anyone, every little thing will set me off. I also take Xanax for my anxiety when I have to go out in public. I just get so irritated when I am in public because I feel like everyone is in MY way. I just want to push them out of the way. Its really bad to say that but thats how I get.

Now I have tried effexor and wellbutrin as well. I hated the Effexor. It made me feel like a crack head. I could not sleep and I could not eat. I looked like **** because of this. Then trying to go off of it was hell. I had really bad freaky nightmares and my body twitched nonstop and I felt as if I was being electrocuted because of the zapping in me. They put me on wellbutrin because I lost the urge to have sex. I could care less about it and it about ruined my marriage. Actually it did ruin my marriage, I ended up divorced. The wellbutrin did not bring back my sex drive like they said it would. Having said that, I still do not have a sex drive being on cymbalta and geodon. I should add that I also take amytriptaline at night to help me sleep. I believe this is also another antidepressant. So in total I take 3 different antidepressants, 1 anxiety pill, and with those 4 I now seem to be on a good combination for my attitude and mood swings.

I am sorry this got so long, but I hope it helps you some deciding what you would like to be on or try.

If you have been thinking about taking effexor, I would suggest doing a search on it like on google and read some of the stories about it. It is really a bad one to try to come off of.
Good Luck and please keep us posted.....
Also HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!
Avatar universal
Wow - thanks for your input.  By adding professional perspective to this message board you are doing a great service.
Avatar universal
Jeez, that last post tells exactly what I am afraid of.
Patients all doped up to the point that if you miss taking one dam pill your freaking world falls apart.  Doomsday nightmares, eletrical shocks going through your system, complete meltdown of your sex drive.  Yea, I'm looking forward to this.

Not to be offensive (because I do appreciate all your comments), but before I have to live like the person that posted the last comment, I will: 1.  Just suck this anxiety and depression up like a soldier and live with it. OR 2. Kill myself

You know what - I actually do appreciate that last post.  I think it has stiffened my resolve.  I am not going to be a dam lab rat, I am not going to be among the walking doped - where I take one pill to fart and one be able to comb my hair.  See ya, I'm outa here.
Avatar universal
You have to choose the path you want to be on.
  
If you want to be a soldier and just put in your time, know this, that the time you have here is all the time you get.   I would hope you make it the best time you can have, the most productive and useful time which can allow you to feel pleasure and be able to enjoy the things that make you happy.  

There is no easy way out when you have depression/anxiety.  No quick fix; you won't wake up one day and realize it has all been a dream.  This is the reality you get and this is the life you have.
When you're a soldier you stick with it.   The motto we had in boot camp was "I can hack it!"   If you want to be a soldier then tell yourself "I can hack it, I can take it, I'm tough and I'm not going to give up without a fight!"   People are always stronger then they think they are and can rise to occasions which they think would normally crush them.

Read the negative stuff here, its for real and that is what a few people unfortunately have had to go through. For every negative experience with meds there are hundreds and maybe thousands of good, positive, life changing experiences which no one hears about because when you get better you move on with your life, you leave (no offense intended) but you leave places like this behind you.

Give modern medicine a chance, give yourself a chance.  It pains me to think you would give up without any fight at all.
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