Depression Community
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Avatar universal

Meds or Not?

Okay, I hope this post isn't removed by the folks who manage this forum.  I'm not attacking Dr's when I ask an honest and much needed question.  The question is why does it seem (or more like reality when you look at the raw data) so many Dr's are prescribing so many anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, and anti-pain drugs these days?

You walk into a Dr's office and presto, you are prescribed multiple drugs.  Very little time is spent understanding the nature or cause of your problems.  Here's the problem I have with this.  My experience has been Dr's are not honest or are just plain in denial when it comes to the side effects and dependency these drugs often have.   Most amazing to me is the denial when it comes to withdrawal (or "discontinuation syndrome").   I was prescribed Cymbalta by a general pract Dr.  After about 4 months of 120mg/day, I ran out over a holiday period.  After the 2 or 3 day off the drug I experienced dizziness, stomach aches, was incredible irritable, and had a strange buzzing sensation.  When I called my Dr a few days later he said it was impossible to have the symptoms from the Cymbalta (or lack thereof).  I thought I was going crazy.  After a few more days of being knocked off my feet, I knew without a doubt this was from the Cymbalta--or my body wanting it again.  So I called the drug maker and did some research as was even told very specifically by the drug maker that this was "a common" sympton of stopping "cold turkey".  So I called my so called Dr back and he still denied this could happen.  It took about 2 weeks to get back to normal....or something close.  What a frustrating ordeal.  If you are going to prescribe these drugs you should be knowledgeable and also not be close minded to their possible effects.  I realize more times than not I know at least as much about what is going on.....no, I know more, than these "highly educated" professionals.  I dont say this to sound smart or pompous....just seems to be the case.

So, what to do.  I've been prescribed at least 6 diff anti-depressants and 3 anti-anxiety drugs to deal with depression which has plagued me for years.  I'm off all medications now and am almost totally anxiety free.  Interesting, I never had anxiety issues until I was prescribed medications.  The dilemna is I still am on a roller coaster with depression.  I try so hard to push thru it and most times I can.  Most times....sometimes 'it" just takes a hold my entire being.   I do wish there was a magic pill to help me feel whole.  I am so tired of being prescribed things so arbitrarily and not being listened to when I describe the sickening side effects.    I've thought about suicide multiple times and still have not ruled that out as a viable option.  I am going to a psychiatrist next week and have decided in my mind this is it as far as seeking "professional" help.  I suppose my attitude towards Dr's doesnt help me......seems to be a learned response though.  I know in my heart if I just had someone to talk with and who would be non-judgemental it would do a world of good.  I tried that route once, but never felt so judged in my life when seeing this therapist.

I would like some honest feedback.  Are there any other solutions?  Any success with an antidepressant without the side effects and dependency (which I HATE!!)?  

At the end of my rope................
11 Responses
212753 tn?1275076711
If the therapist was judging you then they werent a very good therapist.I went through several before I have the one I have now. Do you exercise and eat balanced meals and get proper rest.
exercise like a brisk walk for 30 minustes will do wonders for the depression by raising you seritonin level.It is so important for you to take good care of yourself. Have you maybe tried the holistic approach to your depression? There are supplements and vitamins.I take take that have helped me reduce my zyprexa from 20mg to 5 mg. I am bi polar so I also deal with the depressionas well I take celexa for it and the zyprexa for my manic cycles I also see a therpist as well.My therapoist works hand in hand with my psychiatrist and I have never been better in my life than I ma now.
dont give up and keep trying till you find what is right for you.
LOve Venora
Avatar universal
like Venora, my therapist and psychiatrist work together when prescribing me something.  i've still had to try a few different things and doses, but it's better than a "shot in the dark" if you go to a general practitioner, ect.
Avatar universal
Thank-you for responding.  I have started again with a light exercise routine and it does seem to help.  My energy level has increased a little.  I generally eat well, do not smoke, and only occasionally have a glass of wine.  Like a lot of folks, I could always eat better.

I've tried various supplements over the years but havent really found something that works.  Plus I'm always leary since there really is not scientific or firm data out there on a lot of the supplements.  I'm guessing there are some which would work as effective as prescriptions but they certainly don't get the push behind them for obvious reasons ($$).

I am starting to realize the source of my depression as I start peeling away the onion of my life.  I have a lot of hurt and rejection from very young which I never dealt with in a healthy manner.  And quite frankly, I dont feel it helpful to drudge that stuff up now in my 40s--you know what I mean.  

I have done some research of my own.  Not to try and play Dr or find "something wrong", but to better understand what is going on.  I came across an article on Borderline Personality Disorder and it could have been a definition of my life and thought processes.....as much as i hate to admit it.  Very moody, very intense and stormy relationship issues, defeating thinking/behavior (suicidal thoughts), and some occasional memory lapses/blackouts where I dont remember things.  Could be I'm reading too much into things, but the description was spot on.  However, I hesitate to go to the Dr and say I read this and have them do their normal "its all in your head" (duh) routine.  

I'm trying so hard to get a positive attitude and move forward.  Its hard when you feel like you've wasted so much of your life just trying to get up and out of bed and function at the minimal level.  I had so many goals and dreams and have let them all go by the wayside as i ride this rollercoaster.  Suppose its never too late.....or is it?  

Avatar universal
Look, in my opinion I don't think antidepressants are worth the major trouble (withdrawing after the fact).  I believe if you are severely depressed and suicidal than yes get on the drugs.  BUT if you have occassional bouts of sadness or depression than don't go on medication.   It's an easy way out in the beginning but it's not worth it.   I believe exercise, talk therapy, warm baths at night, Yoga,  being active, biking or whatever should help alleviate all of our problems on this forum.  All this medication is really hurting our bodies and you are not aware of until you get off them.  They kick your butt and I am still going through withdrawls symptoms and I have been off the Lexapro for 36 days?  How messed up is that?

Seriously, if you or anyone is in severe depression than take the medication asap.  But if you are not that candidate then I believe there are other ways of helping youself.   Look, the reality is that we live in a crazy world plus everything that we do or hear is going so fast.  We need to SLOW DOWN  a bit and THINK REALLY HARD BEFORE putting these toxins into our system.  

Good luck.  
212753 tn?1275076711
The therapy willhelp you get all that old baggage off you back and let you move forward.$0s is still young and you have lots of life to live.I was 40 when I was dx bi polarnow I am 50 and I am having the time of my life. Go to the odc with how you feel about the BPD and get evaluated.then go from there. Let me know how it goes for you.I will keep you in my prayers.
Love Venora
242912 tn?1402547092
If you think that BPD fits you, I would like to encourage you to look this up further on the web.  There is a ton of info on this.  Also, my therapist gave me a book "New Hope for people with BPD" by Neil R. Bockian, Ph.D.  I was dxd about 4yrs ago at the age of 43 and FINALLY felt like I wasn' t all alone and crazy.  There is a name for how I have felt and acted all my life.  Good luck to you and let us know how you are.                                                                          

P.S. I most certainly agree with you about all the drugs prescribed today by GPs.  Here's a pill now get out of my office.
Avatar universal
Thank-you for the encouragement and book reference.  Worth looking into since the author has same first name :).  The more I research BPD to more it fits--almost perfectly.

I pulled an article off the internet and asked my wife to read it, not trying to steer her one way or the other.  She was amazed and said it sounded EXACTLY like me and my thought and behavior patterns.  

Not that I wish to be labeled or be diagosed with a disorder, but somehow it helps to have something to wrap around and understand.

I'm 41 myself.   When I turned 40 all hell broke lose mentally and emotionally for me.  I have no clue why.  When I was younger I used to kind of kid about men with "mid life crisis".  I understand better now that its not a kidding matter for some men.  

The old quote about "most men live lifes of quiet desperation" rings so true.  I work in what is considered a very "macho" line of work.  People there (usually men) make jokes about people who are depressed or not "tough".  It is hard sometimes to put up such a front when inside you are so messed up.

I went to a psychiatrist today.  However, I did not mention the BPD issue.  Its my opinion I cannot say anything as in what I think my be a diagnosis.  The psychiatrist I see is quite nice and understanding, but is very busy and seems centered on drup therapy more than anything.  

I feel I can beat this myself, with love and support from my wife.  I have 2 wonderful kids who need more to be there for them.  That is motivation enough.   Thank-you for your kind words and support!!
242912 tn?1402547092
I am so glad this was helpful, I suspect more people have this disorder than even THEY know.  I also think the key to feeling better is to do your own research and try to help yourself.   All pshchs are very busy, I was just lucky enough to find therapist number 25 to really listen to me for almost a year and then "hesitantly" bring this up to me saying it freaked alot of people out because it sounds so "mental illness" like as I like to say.  My opinion is that once you understand WHY you feel like you do, then depression gets better.  Maybe not completly gone, but better.  Also, just taking good care of yourself like eating regular meals, maybe a walk at night and keeping a regular sleep schedule is key.  Also, having a supportive spouse is a HUGE bonus.   The best of luck and peace of mind.
Avatar universal
Make sure your psychiatrist is board certified.  The first one is went to was not and he did not do much for me.  I finally found a board certified psychiatrist and what a difference.  He asked questions and gave me tests, etc.  He prescribed an additional med and it has done wonders for me.
Avatar universal
I'm going through the same thing right now. My psychiatrist gave me only 10 mg of Prozac because I just wanted to take the edge off and did not want to become drug dependant. I got bad side effects and he told me to just stop taking it after regular intake for over a year. Six days later, here I am. I can't even get out of bed to go to school. I'm dizzy, suicidal, lightheaded and nauseus. I called him and he said it was impossible for this to be happening on such a small dosage. I hate doctors. Sorry to all the one to this forum, but so far I have not yet met one who actually listened to my problem and did not just push me out of the office with a perscription.
Avatar universal
I am going to give you my HONEST opinion on this matter because some of the things you are saying I whole heartedly agree with.

First off I agree that some doctor's are sometimes arbitrarily prescribing antidepressants and a lot of the time they aren’t prescribing the one that is best suited for the individual. Now, when I say “doctor’s” I am mainly referring to general practice and family doctors and not doctors who are specifically in the field of mental health like psychiatrists and psychotherapists and other MENTAL HEALTH professionals. So I want to make that clear before I go on.

I have found over the past 20 plus years of dealing with my own depression and chemical imbalance is that doctor’s don’t take the time to find out enough information about the patient and their training is limited in the area of mental health issues so what I see happening is that they are prescribing medication based on guess work and limited knowledge of mental health medications. In addition they also might be prescribing medications that have worked for other patients or have had success with when prescribing it in the past. However “other patients” don’t have the exact same issues or body chemistry as you do because we are all unique and it takes a little more time than a typical doctor visit to figure that out. I also think that some doctors are allowing money and pharmaceutical companies dictate what is best for patients instead of doing what is the best for the individual patient. This isn’t ALWAYS the case but unfortunately I believe it is often the case.

So now, because of this it is my opinion that when dealing with mental health issues it is best to see a mental health professional and not your family doctor or general practice doctor. After years of problems I finally found success when I made an appointment with a psychiatrist and she took the time to talk to me and test me and she found a medication for me that worked wonders after having tried about 7 that failed and were prescribed by my various family doctors. She was also very honest about the side effects of many of the drugs on the market and after listening to my concerns about withdrawal and antidepressant induced weight gain, which had happened to me, she put me on one that didn't do that to me. Once we figured out the chemical imbalance side of the equation and got that handled she then referred me to a therapist and it was he who I discussed the issues with that were bothering me.

So in my opinion medication, when needed does work wonders. If you don't need it and are just depressed over life issues, stress, a death in the family, divorce, loss of a job, etc, then a therapist or counselor is the best bet because basically all you need is to work through some tough times and issues and don't have a problem with your chemistry. But ultimately a mental health professional can help you determine what you need along with a good self assessment on what is bothering you and why, like if you are excessively depressed for no apparent reason or something has happened in your life to make you feel depressed.

As for thinking that you are possibly dealing with bi-polar disease I would highly recommend you allow a trained mental health professional make that final diagnosis and prescribe the correct medication for you rather than going in and telling your doctor that you think you may have a problem with bi-polar disease and giving them a list of symptoms that fit the description. It is best you are tested and THEN diagnosed properly and treated accordingly.

Good luck to you and I hope all the best for you with these issues. They are tough but talking about it and taking action is the best thing you could have done for yourself.
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