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Pro Meds? Or Anti Meds?


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Poll: Pro Meds or Anti Meds? (941 member(s) have cast votes)

Pro Meds or Anti Meds?

  1. Voted Pro (572 votes [60.79%])

    Percentage of vote: 60.79%

  2. Voted Anti (155 votes [16.47%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.47%

  3. Voted Undecided (214 votes [22.74%])

    Percentage of vote: 22.74%

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#1 frangipani

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 07:52 PM

Everyone's entitled to their own opinions but I've been a little disturbed lately about the stigma inside our own community regarding taking meds.

"Easy way out", "being dependent", etc. are some of the ways taking meds are viewed by some. I was asked the other day whether I think I'll be on meds for life. I said "probably" and that I prefer it to the alternative, which is living in a mental/emotional hell.

Mental illness can be life threatening. Why is it that people treat cancer with chemo/radiation, diabetes with insulin, broken bones with casts, but are afraid to restore their sanity with medication? Yes, the science of psychiatry is murky and meds can be overprescribed but so can other forms of healthcare (some surgeries come to mind). If something is broken, is it weak to want to fix it, especially when one symptom of the brokenness is that doing things that involve effort feels impossible? Why is struggling deemed the better way to go than getting help?

And what about the "I felt better so I stopped cold turkey?" Do people believe that mental illness is like an infection that clears up after a course of antibiotics? If the only thing that was making you feel better were the meds (i.e., no added therapy or lifestyle changes), what's the likelihood that the depression won't return as soon as the meds are out of your system? What do you think changed?

These are just questions, not accusations. I've just been a little bothered and wanted to know what you all think.

I apologize if any of this offends anyone.
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In treatment since: 2001
 
Current dx's: Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder
Past dx's: Dysthymia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Alcohol Abuse (sober since March 2013)
 
Current rx's: Viibryd (40mg), Abilify (7.5mg), Vyvanse (70mg)
Past rx's: Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Trazodone, Remeron, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Cymbalta, Seroquel, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Klonopin, Xanax, Ativan, Lamictal, Topamax, Trileptal, Buspar, Vistaril, Adderall
 
Current tx's: None
Past tx's: Individual therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy
 
Hospitalizations: Five
 
 
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#2 JMB

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 08:27 PM

Since I have started meds, I have gone from being undecided to pro. I compare it to things like diabetes or blood pressure meds. Usually something that one needs to take long term with times of adjusting and/or changing the meds.
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#3 shio

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 09:33 PM

I voted pro.
Meds is not a cure all but it really helps to make everyday liveable.
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#4 jellybean27

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 09:37 PM

:hearts: Back when i first was diagnosed w my depression i would take them for awhile then once they started workin i would stop them i hated having to take pills to make me happy, then i would go back into my dark hole then i would start takin them again, I did that routine the first 4 yrs or so. After i really learned what my illness was was when i started takin them everyday. Now i dont miss a day :flowers:
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#5 amakgv

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 09:44 PM

Meds help a lot of people. And often people need the meds whether they like it or not.
But I do believe that meds are often over-prescribed. There are too many people on them who would benefit by therapy and lifestyle changes alone.
Meds are for the seriously depressed, not situational depression, not mild depression.
That's where I think many of the problems lie. People DO think meds will just make it all better, and that's absolutely not the case.
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#6 frangipani

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 10:06 PM

I agree with you, Amanda. I guess I'm just looking at it from the other side of the spectrum. When people really are ill and are averse to getting treatment with meds. When meds CAN make some things better (most of us know they're not "happy pills" and don't automatically create a sunshiney life) and people, for whatever reasons, choose to continue to suffer.

It's bad enough sometimes to hear people on the outside saying "just snap out of it" or "just do x, y, and z" when you can hardly get out of bed. But seeing people in the situation and being determined to go untreated is a hard thing to observe.
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In treatment since: 2001
 
Current dx's: Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder
Past dx's: Dysthymia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Alcohol Abuse (sober since March 2013)
 
Current rx's: Viibryd (40mg), Abilify (7.5mg), Vyvanse (70mg)
Past rx's: Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Trazodone, Remeron, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Cymbalta, Seroquel, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Klonopin, Xanax, Ativan, Lamictal, Topamax, Trileptal, Buspar, Vistaril, Adderall
 
Current tx's: None
Past tx's: Individual therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy
 
Hospitalizations: Five
 
 
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#7 mimsy

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 10:10 PM

Everyone's entitled to their own opinions but I've been a little disturbed lately about the stigma inside our own community regarding taking meds.

"Easy way out", "being dependent", etc. are some of the ways taking meds are viewed by some. I was asked the other day whether I think I'll be on meds for life. I said "probably" and that I prefer it to the alternative, which is living in a mental/emotional hell.

................. and meds can be overprescribed but so can other forms of healthcare (some surgeries come to mind). .................

And what about the "I felt better so I stopped cold turkey?" Do people believe that mental illness is like an infection that clears up after a course of antibiotics?


Good topic Frangi. I voted undecided, since I have mixed feelings on the subject; there are times when I feel like meds have literally saved my life -- other times, I've wondered, "but for what?" since I worry about the unknown long term effects on the brain and motivation/ambition, and whether I'm "hooked."

The bolded parts above, to me, go together. I think a lot of times when people who don't have clinical depression go to the doctor and say "oh, I split up w/ my partner, I'm depressed," most docs nowadays are comfortable giving them ADs for a short time, just to get them over the hump. These are not people who need to be on them long-term, but just have situational depression. However, I think sometimes docs do this a little too hastily when therapy might be just as effective and less intrusive on the body. Plus there's the whole issue of prescribing to young people; yikes, not even going to go there; too tricky.

It's disgruntling to me as well when people look down on people taking mental health meds, for the same reasons you mentioned -- though I am surprised to hear that you are getting this from people who actually suffer from mental illness; I get it from non-sufferers who just don't get it at all. I keep my cards pretty close to my chest when it comes to that topic w/r/t talking to "other" people; very selective in who I share that with - unless I am in a dire situation like losing a job and have to disclose it. And that is b/c so many people just have no clue what it's like or about, or how debilitating it can really be; it's hard for them to imagine it if they haven't felt it. But shoot, people who HAVE felt it and happen to do better w/o the meds, they don't have that excuse to be rude and insensitive and judgmental about it.

It's funny though that I've gotten that same thing w/ people who have quit smoking cold turkey looking down on me for using nicotine replacement to do it (not currently/lately; unfortunately I am smoking like a chimney :hearts: ).
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#8 tigerlily

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 10:19 PM

I think meds definitely have an important place in treatment, but am wary of the companies who make them. We've been sold on a class of antidepressants that they claim are "second generation" when in fact they are not much different from "first generation". They don't utilize much new research at all, if new research has even been done. I suppose they figure everyone's buying what they have, so what's the point in spending money trying to improve it? It's extremely frustrating to think how much better treatment could be compared to what's available.

I also tend to think meds are actually best used in short term situations since we're really not entirely sure what the long term side effects can be with many of them. There should be a more comprehensive plan for long term treatment that may include Eastern medicine as well as Western. But I also recognize that long term meds are necessary at this point in time because other treatment plans are so hard to come by.

I think mental health treatment in general is a shambles when compared to other illnesses. I believe it's the only disease where the patient has to steer their own way to health (therapy, meds, other treatments) when they're the least able to make those kinds of decisions. If you have cancer, you have a doctor who tells you what the plan of action will be - sugery, chemotherapy, radiation. Not so with mental illness. The burden is entirely on the patient. Amazing when you consider mental illness is the number one cause of disability and can lead to so many other problems, like homelessness. Think of how many societal ills we could manage if we had decent mental health care in the world.

Edited by tigerlily, 17 February 2009 - 10:22 PM.

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#9 mimsy

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 06:25 AM

I think mental health treatment in general is a shambles when compared to other illnesses. I believe it's the only disease where the patient has to steer their own way to health (therapy, meds, other treatments) when they're the least able to make those kinds of decisions. If you have cancer, you have a doctor who tells you what the plan of action will be - sugery, chemotherapy, radiation. Not so with mental illness. The burden is entirely on the patient. Amazing when you consider mental illness is the number one cause of disability and can lead to so many other problems, like homelessness. Think of how many societal ills we could manage if we had decent mental health care in the world.


Totally agree w/ this!!!! SO frustrating and such a cruel catch 22; there really is such a high burden on the patient to do their own research and etc (when they are least able to do it). And I also believe a higher investment in mental health would prevent a lot of crime as well as homelessness. At least here in the US. There has been some progress, but the general public's ignorance in recognizing mental health diseases as "real" remains, which then leaves the patient w/ the stigma issue again and not having enough support since they can't confide in many people -- again, when they need that support the most.

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#10 DesertLily

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 09:15 AM

I am definitely pro meds. They help me with my impulsive behavior, suicide ideation, and depression. I still have to be proactive in my recovery and with using my dbt skills, but the meds definitely help. I'd be a lot worse off without them.
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#11 gentle sun

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 10:24 AM

I would say pro meds; however, sometimes I wonder if they are prescribed long term when the person could have been a short-term candidate instead. I never knew a doctor that would make sure of that; they seem to just keep giving out the refills or maybe changing them, but thats all. Hope that made sense.
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#12 r_kage

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 11:04 AM

Wow! So many interesting points are being made on this thread!

I voted 'pro-med' because I'm glad we have this option. Even though I personally do not find them to be helping me as much as I would like, I know that some people have benefitted tremendously. One thing I do not like, though, is that having finally decided to try the med route, it would be looked greatly down upon if I were to decide that I don't think the benefits outweigh the risks. Unlike other medical conditions, I will go so far as to say that if I should at some point express that the benefits do not outweigh the risks, it would be regarded that my mental condition clouds my judgment. Does anyone else feel like that?

***

Additionally, I, like many others here, do not trust the pharmaceutical companies. Psychiatrists, as a group, receive far more kickbacks from pharmacuetical companies than other branches of medicine, and it is that diagnosing mental conditions is highly subjective (currently) that pharmacuetical companies lobby hard to expand diagnostic classes and advertise heavily to make people who probably do not have a condition push their docs for a prescription. I'm very glad that my psychiatrist does not seem bought up by pharmaceutical companies.
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Rhonda

Age 38; dx: Asperger Syndrome, treatment-resistant depression


"My Amazing Ability....to avoid doing work!!! It's quite brilliant. I should bottle it and sell it to workaholics, although that would require w.o.r.k. and god knows when I'd get around to it." ~Elise

#13 mmoose

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 11:07 AM

Hi Frangipani,
I'll vote pro. But second many of the opinions and observations above. Meds are just one tool. We need to learn others. Anything and everything that helps us cope and feel better needs to be considered.

I'm anti-meds in general. I don't want to be on any med for the rest of my life. Overprescribed and often thrown at someone as a quick fix by a doc that's overworked. But I do take my antibiotics, get my tetnous shots etc.

I was kinda surprised noticing the same thing lately...seems that there has been some activity lately with people being afraid of starting on a med. Good observation and thanks for the topic.
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martymoose

#14 novelista

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 11:58 AM

I voted pro. I believe, however, that too many people look to medication as a panacea, a cure-all, a magic bullet. Without cognitive behavioral therapy or other therapy, the patient probably won't get as healthy as they could get. I think medication and therapy go hand-in-hand.

Also, there are a lot of "victims" out there who want medication so they don't have to cope with reality. So they try this drug or that drug and don't let the drugs build up enough to do the job because of "side effects."

You have to WANT to get better and you have to DO the work involved to get better, because medication alone just isn't going to do it.

Edited to add: You have to be an informed patient, and not just take your doctor's word for it. Do the research. Make up your own mind about drugs, but don't let pride or fear get in the way of your health.

Edited by novelista, 18 February 2009 - 12:00 PM.

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#15 millee

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 01:38 PM

I have to say that I hate, loathe and despise the fact that I have to take a pill every day just to get out of bed in the mornings. That having been said, I have two friends who both have broken thyroids and also have to take a pill every day (for the rest of their lives) to make up for the lack of proper thyroid function. They hate having to take a pill every day as well and, like me, tend to occasionally and very stubbornly "forget" to take their meds until they, like me, can't get out of bed in the morning and resign themselves to the facts of their situation.

So, I voted pro meds because for some people they are totally necessary. However, research shows that people with mild or situational depression will get batter with basically any treatment you throw at them, therapy, meds, whatever. Seriously, do a search in PubMed sometime and you'll see what I mean. The fact that meds seem to be the treatment of choice in a situation where there are clearly other just as viable options is a bit worrying. It also adds to the stigma for people, like me, who have major depression and require long-term meds just to stay afloat.

Ah well. Life is full of petunias. That's great unless you're allergic to petunias . . .

millee :hearts:
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#16 Score22

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 09:35 PM

It depends. If the meds are being used temporarily in order to help an individual while other things start working, they are good. If they are being used as teh only way to treat the problem over a long term, I don't like them. This is only for me thuogh. I don't care if others use them for long periods (unless they are really important to me).
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#17 draider

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 01:52 PM

i voted undecided, but am trying them cuz i'm sick of not being able to enjoy the stuff in my life that i used to enjoy...here i am with this wonderful life situation(family,friends,girlfriend,great support system), and the D*** depression beast is holding me back from enjoying these things...so far not much change on the meds but i'm only on day 2...so heres to hope for the life i used to know...screw that...heres to an even better one
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#18 Torchwood

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 02:29 PM

It depends. If the meds are being used temporarily in order to help an individual while other things start working, they are good. If they are being used as teh only way to treat the problem over a long term, I don't like them. This is only for me thuogh. I don't care if others use them for long periods (unless they are really important to me).



Chemical imbalance is not going to change just by changing your lifestyle etc. yes it can help depression but for alot of people meds are needed long term along with lifestyle changes/Therapy etc just to feel well enough to cope with life.

BTW i voted Pro :hearts:


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I dont know whats right or whats real anymore, i dont know how i'm meant to feel anymore - Lily Allen


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Meds - Seroquel and Escitalopram

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#19 LoonATiK

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 02:43 PM

i'm pro all the way.
i wouldn't be here, literally, without lamictal. even my psychiatrist will tell you that.
meds let you see the world from above your disorder. you can then make rational choices and participate in therapy to a much greater extent. until that point, you're basically an unthinking and unfeeling shell. how can people "snap out of it"?
that line of thought is insane. it's like asking someone with heart disease to "snap out of it". sure, there are therapies, but the bottom line is that the disease will always exist. the same with MI.
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Current cocktail: Abilify 30mg. Adderall XR 30mg, Lamictal 400mg, Wellbutrin 300mg, Lithium 1200mg

DX: BP1, ADHD, and PTSD

In tribute to my dad, BP1 suicide.

"She sits in a corner by the door...there must be more I can tell her. If she really wants me to help her, I'll do what I can to show her the way, and maybe one day I will free her. But I know, no one can see through her. Lisa, Lisa, sad Lisa, Lisa..."

-- Sad Lisa by Cat Stevens

#20 Mercury

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 12:46 AM

I voted pro meds because they have always been so very helpful for me. I'm a Bipolar and I think meds are even more mandatory for me. I believe it is a brain chemical imbalance that causes it and that is why medications make it manageable.
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"So oftentimes it happens/ That we live our lives in chains/ And we never even know we have the key . . . . " ~The Eagles

#21 frangipani

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 08:22 PM

Wow, there are so many good points made here! Thanks for all the insightful responses!

I kind of don't know where to begin, but here goes:

I don't know what the long-term effects of taking all these meds will be. Personally, I don't care at this point. It's not worth it to me to live until 100 without having really been able to live in the meantime because I've been opposed to taking meds. That said, I was in a program with a woman who developed sclerosis of the liver just from all the medication she'd taken over her life. I think about that sometimes but have decided that, to a certain extent, I have to live my life in the present and without meds, I'd have no life at all right now.

Pharmaceutical companies are around to make money. I know we're on a MI forum but they push drugs to all doctors. Take GERD, for example. There are ways to reduce acid in the stomach and not have to take pills but docs push the pills instead of saying "Don't eat x" or "Don't lie down after eating" or... Personally, I'd like to shake the hands of the makers of Abilify. It sucks that they make so much money off of people's illnesses but you can't overlook the fact that they are helping people.

One thing to think about as well is the fact that we live in a market economy. Are people just looking for instant gratification and the pharm companies are just filling the need? Are they to blame or are we? (Just throwing some food for thought out there. Personally, I believe each person needs to take responsibility for his/her own decisions regarding what healthcare they choose to receive. There's just too much information available nowadays not to be informed.)

I have a beef with insurance companies, though. When I had regular insurance, I could get all the meds I was prescribed but ONLY GOT 30 THERAPY SESSIONS PER YEAR!!! What was up with that?!?!?! Not even 52 (for one week per year)...just 30! I was in therapy three times a week...my benefits would run out by the middle of February and then the rest was out-of-pocket. Argh!

Oh, I could go on and on...and I will. But I have to put my responses out there in pieces. (The Klonopin...lol...is sapping me of all energy...I have to take a break.)
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In treatment since: 2001
 
Current dx's: Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder
Past dx's: Dysthymia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Alcohol Abuse (sober since March 2013)
 
Current rx's: Viibryd (40mg), Abilify (7.5mg), Vyvanse (70mg)
Past rx's: Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Trazodone, Remeron, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Cymbalta, Seroquel, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Klonopin, Xanax, Ativan, Lamictal, Topamax, Trileptal, Buspar, Vistaril, Adderall
 
Current tx's: None
Past tx's: Individual therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy
 
Hospitalizations: Five
 
 
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#22 Deja

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 09:06 PM

Great points frangipani,

I voted "Pro" because for the first time in my life, I don't have daily panic attacks. The only variable that changed was an anti-anxiety medication.

However, I'm still on the fence about ADs. I take them, but... sometimes I think therapy is better than a pill? I'm in therapy too =/
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dx: mdd. current meds: emsam patch 12mg, xanax 2mg-prn

#23 patchouli794

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 09:43 PM

I don't know what the long-term effects of taking all these meds will be. Personally, I don't care at this point.


...and this is me, all the way. My medications have helped me to survive day to day. If my quality of life is lessened in any way down the road, or even if my life is shortened by them somehow, it will have been worth it just to be able to put the razor blade down and stop fantasizing about my own death.

But, that being said, I have also experienced an incredible hell while coming off of Effexor XR two years ago. My psychiatrist initially told me to stop the drug cold turkey, and I did, and it was awful. During the throes of my withdrawal, I called him and told him what was happening. He advised me to taper off instead, and at my next scheduled appointment, he actually apologized to me for not being more knowledgeable about the withdrawal.

The bottom line is, many of these medications are life-saving. However, our doctors need to be completely educated on the drugs before they prescribe them. I believe that too many doctors have no clue what these drugs are capable of, leaving the research and discovery up to the patient. And that's not at all how it should be.
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#24 frangipani

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 10:06 PM

However, our doctors need to be completely educated on the drugs before they prescribe them. I believe that too many doctors have no clue what these drugs are capable of, leaving the research and discovery up to the patient. And that's not at all how it should be.

OMG...I totally agree! What a disaster the Effexor withdrawal must have been! I just had an appt. with a new pdoc and when I mentioned Luvox, she was about to consult a book. Ugh. I hate that. I had another pdoc who used to consult the PDR during every appt. and while it's commendable to want to be sure about the answers, it's nice to have a doctor who actually KNOWS the answers. I mean, what are they getting paid hundreds of dollars an hour for?

Okay, rant over. This new pdoc...well, I'm giving her a call when she's back in the office on Tuesday to tell her that I want to talk about Luvox (she didn't really have anything to say about it when I sprung it on her), BuSpar, and increased Zoloft. I'm going to give her a chance to get her research together before our next appt. I'm not crazy about the idea of having to tip off my docs beforehand--it doesn't inspire much confidence--but I'm going to give her a chance.

One thing about new docs, sometimes it's a little good to have fresh blood. I had one pdoc who seemed like he didn't like me to be involved in my treatment. Like he'd been in the field for so long that he just wanted to tell me what to do and leave it at that. He'd keep telling me to get off the internet. What?!?!?! No way. Especially given the fact that the medical advice in this field is so subjective, I want to know everything I can before I trust that my doctors know what they're doing. I mean, they're only human too. And I'M the one taking the pills...I definitely want to be involved since I'm the one taking the risks.

About therapy. I think therapy's important but I have to honestly say that meds are my first line of treatment. For me, I couldn't even get to my therapy appointment or get my brain working to a point where I could use my skills if my meds weren't under control. I don't know whether I'm too med-dependent but when my meds are off, everything stops.

When meds were first suggested to me, I had a problem with it. Didn't want to be dependent on medication. My brother told me something that's often been said here (I think)...that meds help you do the things you need to do to make yourself better. It's like a two-step process. They don't instantly make everything go away, but they help you help yourself. At least that's the case for me.
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In treatment since: 2001
 
Current dx's: Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder
Past dx's: Dysthymia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Alcohol Abuse (sober since March 2013)
 
Current rx's: Viibryd (40mg), Abilify (7.5mg), Vyvanse (70mg)
Past rx's: Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Trazodone, Remeron, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Cymbalta, Seroquel, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Klonopin, Xanax, Ativan, Lamictal, Topamax, Trileptal, Buspar, Vistaril, Adderall
 
Current tx's: None
Past tx's: Individual therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy
 
Hospitalizations: Five
 
 
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#25 valera

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 10:18 PM

I've never had a pdoc consult a book in front of me before but I'd probably give them a break on it. Since I got diagnosed I have been trying to wrap my mind around all these different medications, what they're for, the side effects, what they help, what they don't, the sheer amount of information is mind boggling. I don't see how anyone could remember it all and keep it straight, especially for all the different types of mental illness. I think being a doctor is more about knowing what to do with information and how to apply it rather than having every piece of information on every drug memorized. Its like if someone heard I'm getting a PhD in Russian literature and expected me to have every work ever written memorized along with everything ever written about them.
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#26 frangipani

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 10:28 PM

Good point, val. I guess, with the first doc, I was upset because a) he kept consulting the PDR on what seemed like basic questions, b) he STILL gave me iffy information (like max dosages, etc.), and c) he never got back to me about a possible toxicity that I experienced, I wound up in the hospital a week later, missed an appt with him because of my hospitalization, and he still sent me a bill! (Which I never paid...he must've gotten over it, though, because the bills stopped coming.)

With this second doc, I'm giving her a chance. It's a balance. I don't like to feel I have more knowledge than my doctors but I still like to be heavily involved in my treatment. What keeps striking me lately is that, on many levels, psychiatry is very anecdotal. There are massive studies but they come mostly from people's experiences (as opposed to more definitive science like physical tests). So doctors are treating me based on what others say they've experienced; why should they then discount what I say I'M experiencing when on the same drug?

I don't know. I just keep on throwing things out here. This is a very interesting topic to me.
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In treatment since: 2001
 
Current dx's: Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder
Past dx's: Dysthymia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Alcohol Abuse (sober since March 2013)
 
Current rx's: Viibryd (40mg), Abilify (7.5mg), Vyvanse (70mg)
Past rx's: Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Trazodone, Remeron, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Cymbalta, Seroquel, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Klonopin, Xanax, Ativan, Lamictal, Topamax, Trileptal, Buspar, Vistaril, Adderall
 
Current tx's: None
Past tx's: Individual therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy
 
Hospitalizations: Five
 
 
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#27 Scattered13

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 05:25 AM

I voted 'anti', which probably looks a little strange when you consider just how many meds I'm on for different things. The reason I'm against medication is not anything to do with why other people take meds, and very much to with my own thoughts and beliefs about me.

I hate taking meds. I always have. Before I had RA I wouldn't take paracetamol for a headache, let alone medications which changed how my body works. I believe that my body works the way it does for a reason and I shouldn't change that. The first time I had to go on anti-depressants I did everything I could to avoid taking them. I decided I didn't need them. I know now that was the illness talking. This time, I was still reluctant to go on them: to me it was a weakness in myself. If other people need ADs to get them through that is fine, but in myself it is a weakness. My GP let me try it my way for 6 weeks until they insisted I went back on meds. And here I am. Still taking them, still hating them, longing for the day when I won't need them but trying to face up to the fact my doctors say I'll probably be on and off them for the rest of my life.
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Dx: psychotic depression, panic disorder, rheumatoid arthitis, 'something else going on'
Rx: mirtazapine 45mg,respiridone 1mg, adalimumab 40mg, azathioprine 150mg, hydroxychloroquine 400mg, prednisolone 5mg, diclofenac sodium 150mg, codeine 30mg, zaleplon 10mg, calcium and vit.d

#28 aussigirl

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 06:20 AM

I voted 'anti', which probably looks a little strange when you consider just how many meds I'm on for different things. The reason I'm against medication is not anything to do with why other people take meds, and very much to with my own thoughts and beliefs about me.

I hate taking meds. I always have. Before I had RA I wouldn't take paracetamol for a headache, let alone medications which changed how my body works. I believe that my body works the way it does for a reason and I shouldn't change that. The first time I had to go on anti-depressants I did everything I could to avoid taking them. I decided I didn't need them. I know now that was the illness talking. This time, I was still reluctant to go on them: to me it was a weakness in myself. If other people need ADs to get them through that is fine, but in myself it is a weakness. My GP let me try it my way for 6 weeks until they insisted I went back on meds. And here I am. Still taking them, still hating them, longing for the day when I won't need them but trying to face up to the fact my doctors say I'll probably be on and off them for the rest of my life.


I agree with you 100%... I hate taking any medication. I got off all my meds last Oct, wasn't even taking vitamins. I just decided I was over having to take something every day!!! Unfortunately, life got the better of me and I'm now back on more than I have been on for years. I'm still against them, even though I know they help me... weird huh?!?!
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maybe the truth is...

we hide to see who will look for us
we cry to see who will wipe away our tears
and we get our hearts broeken to see who will care enough to fix them again


#29 kirkwuk

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 07:10 AM

I definitely voted pro. Those of us who have moderate/severe depression in the working world wouldn't survive without the meds, that's a fact. I'm only here because of the meds, I owe them that much.

And I don't want to say it's impossible to get over the illness without the meds, but it's a lot harder, and a lot more painful. Meds take away that price. What I'm doing it the only way - get the meds working and stay on them, and slowly decrease as you begin to get your life back.

Edited by kirkwuk, 22 February 2009 - 07:11 AM.

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Beating depression since 2007

#30 clairesf

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 05:30 PM

I think meds definitely have an important place in treatment, but am wary of the companies who make them. We've been sold on a class of antidepressants that they claim are "second generation" when in fact they are not much different from "first generation". They don't utilize much new research at all, if new research has even been done. I suppose they figure everyone's buying what they have, so what's the point in spending money trying to improve it? It's extremely frustrating to think how much better treatment could be compared to what's available.

I also tend to think meds are actually best used in short term situations since we're really not entirely sure what the long term side effects can be with many of them. There should be a more comprehensive plan for long term treatment that may include Eastern medicine as well as Western. But I also recognize that long term meds are necessary at this point in time because other treatment plans are so hard to come by.

I think mental health treatment in general is a shambles when compared to other illnesses. I believe it's the only disease where the patient has to steer their own way to health (therapy, meds, other treatments) when they're the least able to make those kinds of decisions. If you have cancer, you have a doctor who tells you what the plan of action will be - sugery, chemotherapy, radiation. Not so with mental illness. The burden is entirely on the patient. Amazing when you consider mental illness is the number one cause of disability and can lead to so many other problems, like homelessness. Think of how many societal ills we could manage if we had decent mental health care in the world.


I probably shouldn't be saying this, but the big difference in the first and second generation antidepressants is toxicity. MAOIs and tricyclics are much more toxic than the SSRIs and can easily be used as a means to commit suicide.

There was a time when the experts made the decisions on mental health treatment and a whole lot of people spent years in locked facilities swacked on thorazine and other sedative medications. In the 40s a depressed person who landed at the wrong hospital could find themselves lobotomized. I won't even begin on the eugenics movement but until 1964 a person could be sterilized in California solely on the authority of a psychiatrist. It's much better to have patients involved in the decision making process. The modern approach is to help people recover from mental illness and live in the larger community.
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And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. - Anais Nin

#31 rowanramshackle

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 06:30 PM

pro. i need my medications to live. i've tried coming off them before, and i was completely unable to function. i'd almost definitely be dead without them.
they're not the only solution, and i'm sure not the only right one, or appropriate one for sufferers of depression. but they can help, in some cases a little, in some cases a lot.
depression and mental illnesses are an illness like any other. if you're going to be anti psychiatric meds, you might as well be anti cancer treatment.
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Every day, ever hour, Wish that I was bulletproof

#32 IndyStorm

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 06:37 PM

I'm new to anti-depressant medication. Although I have a sister who has been on Prozac most of her life and have seen the difference it makes when she's on it and off it (night and day), I was for most of my life against mind drugs. I thought - if you take a pill that makes you think differently, how can you be the same person inside? I don't want to make all my memories disappear and all that.

But, around the end of September 2008 I saw a therapist for the first time. I originally went because I thought I was shy. He said I was not shy but more depressed. Since then I've discovered all my negative thoughts and have been in a battle with them, including practicing suicide, trying to gain the courage to leave this earth.

I was tired of my negative thoughts winning so I started Lexapro a few weeks ago. I'm not sure if it's working or not but so far I have not been focusing on negative things so far. A few times I have focused on negative things but I've got them out of my mind in a few minutes. Actually, I donít like to think about negative things anymore. It gives me a headache to think negatively now. I donít know if it's the pills or now.

So, I used to be against pills but now I'm all for them. I did tell my therapist - I want my mind gone, I want my mind wiped away, give me electric shock therapy! So I sort of gave up and gave into anti-depressant drugs.

I used to think depression was not real but was something crybabies cried about. I've changed that opinion big time.
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#33 mimsy

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 09:40 PM

Wow Indystorm, what a story. Although I'm sorry about the WAY you had to come about changing your mind about depression, it's comforting to those of us who have been called "crybabies" (or worse) by those who don't understand it -- just to know that someone CAN change their mind -- I HOPE that actually EXPERIENCING depression isn't the ONLY way to accomplish that change of mind, but unfortunately, that is often the case.

I'm so glad for the progress you're having in getting control of your negative thoughts! Remember to check in w/ your prescribing doc periodically anyway though, even if you're feeling good now. Sounds like you're off to a great start in recovering though; your post was very clearly stated and positive -- thank you for sharing!

Best,
Mims
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#34 Monkey man

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 01:35 PM

hi

befor i star6ted taking meds i was quite anti the idea of them because i thought it was simply pasting over the cracks so to speak.

but since i started taking them about 5 months ago i have felt a vast improvement in myself most of the time and this has changed my opinion but i can still understand why some people are against them.

regards
Random
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#35 matty_449

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Posted 01 March 2009 - 01:44 PM

Definetly meds.

What bothers me the most is people in my work, they seem to have the idea that because i am off with something that is invisible to a degree i am not ill. But i swear, if i had the option of depression and a broken bone, i would definetly chose the later, unless it was a fractured tail bone. I once feel off a fence onto a log, it could have been something worse injured in that region, but either way it was very unpleasent.
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#36 StarGazed

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 04:32 AM

I don't really trust htem, so I'm hesitant to try, but I'm not anti. The ones I tried, citalopram, didn't do anything for me, though.
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#37 achingheart

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 05:24 AM

I'm of the view and experience that meds can help stabilise things whilst working through things therapeutically. Like, creating a safe space in the mind for awareness and growth.
I use homeopathy as complementary medicine, alongside long term analytic psychotherapy and anti-depressant medication. With the help of herbal medicine and homeopathy I've been able to wean myself completely off sleeping medication that I was using regularly during difficult times alongside my sedating anti-depressant.

My view is that there is a place for everything - psychotherapy, traditional medication and holistic medicine - which existed long before modern anti-depressants. All can exist alongside, with careful and intelligent use.
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Shadows echo deep and ache forever lonely in my heart, until caring gentle arms approach lost broken drowning child and see her in her loveliness, and hold her safe.


#38 Bede

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 05:52 AM

I was anti-meds for years. Tried everything at the health food store, finally went to the Doc and get meds. They have totally changed my life around for the better. I wish I'd not have wasted so much time and money on things that didn't work or work for very long, not to mention all the years my family and I suffered because I refused to treat my depression medically.
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#39 sege

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 10:56 PM

And what about the "I felt better so I stopped cold turkey?" Do people believe that mental illness is like an infection that clears up after a course of antibiotics? If the only thing that was making you feel better were the meds (i.e., no added therapy or lifestyle changes), what's the likelihood that the depression won't return as soon as the meds are out of your system? What do you think changed?


i did this in november. i had been on meds for nearly 4 years, and i didn't want to be on them for the rest of my life. when i first went on meds i was anti-meds and was reluctant but my therapist described meds as taking a car on the interstate to get somewhere as opposed to taking a bike (which would be w/o meds). so i though that eventually i would be able to function without them.
so of course, i soon relapsed after i quit the meds, and now i'm back on them. i guess i will be on them for life, and i don't know how i feel about that.
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#40 girlypants

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 12:16 AM

I voted pro, they have helped me so much. I tried fairly recently to come off of the meds and I relapsed so I know that when I take them they are doing me good. I do, however think that they should be used alongside other methods such as therapy where ever possible because that has helped me a lot too.

Girly
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girlypants




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