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weathering the storm without medication?

I was wondering if anybody on here could help me out with some ideas.
I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder back when I was 15, and the first time I kind of broke down, I took Lexapro. It stabilized the mood swings, but a few months later, everything I was dealing with was either coming back or staying where it was prior to the drug. I was really put off by the changes in my personality, especially the feeling of being a little bit of a zombie, going on autopilot. The acid trip dreams were a real blast too. And it made two of my teeth come out.
I can feel another breakdown/relapse coming on, but I want to try something else before having to resort back to medication. I really, really don't like the idea of psyche meds.
I was using therapy back in the day too...but I don't personally have any faith in that. Paying somebody (who under the surface...is probably as much of a loon as I am) hundreds of dollars an hour to talk to me about my family life and upbringing just feels redundant.

Has anybody tried anything different that helped keep them a little more stable?
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585414 tn?1288941302
I wouldn't give up on the idea of medication because you had a bad experience with one specific medication. If you feel a breakdown coming on then it would be the time to start back on medication again. But find out what your other options are. Google "Depression Central" and there are some other good websites on the links page that can tell you what your options are. Discuss that with a psychiatrist. Clinical depression is biochemical. Talk therapy although good won't work by itself. And if you had an issue of coverage I might suggest if you are working to see if your state has the Medicaid Buy in for Working People with Disabilities. That's one option and there are others so you wouldn't have to pay out of pocket. But if you inform yourself about medication options and talk them over with a psychiatrist then the approach might be different and things might work better. Don't give up on the idea of treatment working for you.
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641819 tn?1240325930
Medication can be a real key to managing this - if that didn't work for you, it's good to try another. For me Paxil made me absolutely NUTS. Plucking hair, thinking of cutting nuts. Never had that before. Other ones, such as the imipramine that I'm on at the moment, work very well as well as help other things like my migraines.

Therapy can be more helpful too, depending on what you do. Sometimes talking is nice, but I've found much more power in attenting group therapy that teaches you tools to manage things, or working one on one with those tools. For example cognitive therapy was fantastic in teaching me how to manage my thoughts so they don't get carried away.

Of course there are the other thigns that you should always do because they are so helpful, even as hard as they are to do. Exercise. Eat right. Do not drink alcohol. Don't take any illicit drugs. Get out into the sunshine/get a sun lamp. Go out of the house as much as possible to interact with people and friends.

Wishing you the best in finding what suits you. Remember it's ok to try different therapists/drugs. They all are different and suit different people.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
with me it's periodic, and I'm on the hunt for a medication that works for me, as the ones I've tried just don't. I hope I can find one because I have to take a chemo therapy that causes me great depression, so for me, it's saving my life....For me, whenever I start thinking a "loop" of thoughts similar to the ones youre mentioning, I know I am in an episode. I say this because I can relate, hope you think I'm not judging. I realize that I need to make an "attitude adjustment" even if I'm pretty sure I can't...or won't...because I think "nothing will work, woe is me, might as well give up..." That is the depression talking load and clear...first of all...I remind myself that these are "just thoughts"...they don't necessarily define me...they are just indicating that I am in a blue mood at that moment and nothing else.

And the one thing I found out in this journey, is that I don't have to believe my thoughts all the time. Especially if they are NEGATIVE. Since I have positive thoughts too, why not try and believe the positive ones? Positive thoughts slide off us a lot quicker...and the negative ones tend to stick....I really try to turn that around, though I'm not always successful....And when the negative ones come...I just look at them, and know that I am human and get negative thoughts...and then let them pass if I can...If they are bombarding me I try and bring out the big guns...because nothing will keep depression around better than NO ACTION. So even if it's the last thing I want to do...I take action...cause really, it gets so bad that I can't stand it...

I have tapes that I listen to...and DVD's...sometimes I go to boards like this, and read about what other people are going through...anything to get out of my own head....I try to make a purpose for myself...walk down the street and notice things...trees...squirrels...a cat...I really try and pay attention to those things, cause it helps get me out of my own head...I do animal rescue and I try to work at that...I also know some people who are on chemotherapy right now, and I call them to see if I can be of service, and try to cheer them up, even though I'm convinced that I'm worse off than they are in terms of my thinking...but they don't know that..lol...and helping something, other than myself - will quite often lift my mood...one of the most unfortunate aspects of depression is that it tends to make us so self absorbed...not to beat ourselves up, we do enough of that...but just to point out that that's what the chemicals in our brains do to us, I feel...one of the most important things I do is just try to believe that it will get better, and cognitive therapy (as was pointed out) there is a really good book on it, by Burns...The Feeling Good Book...it has a graph on there that you can compare thoughts...and analyze them, and it really helps...sometimes things aren't working...so I just pretend they will work, until they do...I have a whole arsenal of things that I do, because the meds I've tried don't seem to work...though I'll keep trying...

The ironic thing about depression, depressingly ironic...is that it takes away your motivation and gives you such a bad outlook on things, that it's really, really hard to do the things you need to do to feel better...but to me, it gets so bad that I'm compelled to try anything...most of the time I can get to where I feel better...most of the time...take what you need and leave the rest behind...I hope you feel better soon...
Helpful - 0
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