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Posts posted by Saros

  1. Welcome to the forums. Are you asking if SNRIs are better tolerated than SSRIs?

    There may be some general trends, but I think it's highly variable from person to person. The forum posts seem to indicate as much. For what it's worth I tried sertraline and had mild side effects. I tried venlafaxine and had terrible side effects. Other people here have had few if any side effects while on either.

    The only advice I could offer is to give it a chance, and that could take a few months. There may be some start-up side effects that dissipate over time, so it might be pragmatic to persevere a little while. If the side effects are intolderable even on a short-term basis, you could talk to your doctor about trying something else.

  2. What can I do?

    (Aside from seeking therapy, which is a daunting task in itself.)

    I've heard that some ADD meds (e.g. Adderall), and some anti-psychotics, can increase motivation. Could something like that help? Or is it a very bad idea?

    Therapy is a good option for many people. Ruling out that option because it is daunting limits your potential solutions, and solutions can sometimes be hard to come by for some people. As for meds, your lack of motivation could be caused by depression. Any med that lifts your depression will bring you motivation. There are many, many potential meds, and a psychiatrist could help you come up with a plan. As for adderall and anti-psychotics: I've been prescribed both as off-label anti-depressants. Neither really helped my depression, and therefore neither helped with my motivation. Your mileage may vary, but I don't know why a psych would jump to them first unless something else is going on.

    How do you separate depression from yourself? At which point does depression 'fuse' with your personality, making it impossible to distinguish where the 'self' ends and where the depression begins?

    Depression is not a separate creature living alongside your normal personality, though some people might like to think that way. It's a significant change in your mental status and personality, determined through clinical diagnosis. Personality is fluid. Work can change it..

    As for sharing my feelings, I'm not sure that it helps. Exposing myself like this fills me with shame and revulsion. It feels masturbatory and exhibitionistic. Like I'm looking for an excuse not to change. "It's not me, it's the depression!"

    Masturbatory and exhibitionistic? No. Obviously I could be way off base, but my first thought is that you seem to be making excuses for feeling ashamed about it, and that's why you don't want to talk about it. I certainly didn't feel good about opening up about my depression to a professional. It was a relief when finally done. Why not give it a try? You don't have anything to lose but some time and money, and could gain a tool for improvement.

    Who knows if it's even depression? Could be a personality disorder, could be a thyroid problem, could be a lack of vitamins... or it could just be self-reinforcing laziness that has taken on a life of its own, my poor choices snowballing and leading to depression as a symptom of the laziness that engendered it.

    As I said earlier, depression is a clinical diagnosis - based on the symptoms your present. As long as the identifying symptoms are present, it doesn't matter if you're hypothyroid, have a suite of unhealthy coping mechanisms, or are severely malnourished - you're still depressed.

    Good luck figuring things out from here. Hope it gets better. Healthy eating, exercise, along with sunlight, a regular sleep cycle, and socializing, seems to help some people.

  3. Had a consultation with an ECT/TMS hospital, but my doctor called them and cancelled it because I havent tried enough anti depressants apparently.

    Ive tried, wellbutrin, lexapro, lithium, lamotrigine, anxiety meds, and an SNRI that i forget the name of. I just havent been on any of them long enough without a bad reaction to say they didnt work.

    Im annoyed, its clear that meds do not work for anhedonia. Why cant doctors see that.

    In reviewing the medication subforums, I've found several anecdotal posts of people saying their medications made them feel more emotions. Based on that, I think it's incorrect to categorically state "meds do not work for anhedonia". Also, in addition to those you listed, what about TCa/TeCA/MAOI?

    If you are set on ECT, you can always try switching to a new pdoc. In my limited experience, some are willing to consider ECT much earlier than others.

  4. For what it's worth, I thought that everything but his endorsement of omega-3s were common suggestions from mental health specialists as options in overcoming depression. My two psychiatrists have counseled them, in addition to therapy and medication. So maybe I'm drawing on limited personal experience.

    The only problem I have with his TLC program is that he's based it on an "is-ought" premise: "Humans lived this way, so they should live this way". While it may prove effective in treating depression (and that's great if so!), I don't think it's scientifically strong evidence nor (and more importantly) does it do much for explaining the fundamental mechanics of depression. The result: it may work for some people, and it may not work for others, and we won't have any idea of why there's a difference.

    Still worth trying, though. No sense in denying benign options.

  5. In my opinion, a cursory review of the wikipedia page for Peter Breggin throws up some red flags. I might be unfairly concerned that a scientist who makes his data collection and analyses the groundwork for an ideological crusade is more likely to weight his data unevenly. Or make a posteriori hypotheses after the data are already analyzed. I'm not asserting Breggin has done either of these things, and I'm confident believing there is some sound data, I'm just naturally sceptical of a "true believer" and how he uses said data. Perhaps I'm being unfair in my knee-jerk characterization of Breggin. In my field, I have, more than once, had to object to the methodology and conclusions reached by a scientist or group that is transparently agenda-based, and it has resulted in some pretty unpleasant professional relationships. So call it a hot-button issue with me.

  6. I agree with all the above posts. In additional to all the meds, choir is right in pointing out that, in additional to many more meds being available, therapy with a mental health specialist is a good option.

    What I would add is: get a new doctor. Your current one is apparently both uninformed and unprofessional.

  7. My pdoc counseled me that occasionally drinking was fine on wellbutrin, with the caveat that it might lower the seizure threshhold. We regarded it as a low risk. I'd encourage you to have the same discussion with your doc.

  8. Depression can certainly pick up new symptoms as it changes in severity, and new symptoms can become unmasked, which I'm sure many people can attest to. I've picked up a few quirks. With that I could believe diagnoses would get muddled over time, especially if the pdoc changed a few times. Never heard of a categorical change, but I'm more out of the loop than in.

  9. I don't know much about the subject, except that some so-called "personality disorders" are just a pathologizing of uncommon or rare human behavior by the authors of the DSM. I blame it on doctors who think like hammers and just see nails everywhere. A personality that departs from the "norm" (if there is such a thing) is not necessarily a disorder.

    My feelings stem from being diagnosed a couple times as schizoid. To the credit of both attending psychiatrists, they did not regard it as a disorder needing to be "cured", and helped me to stop pathologizing myself when comparing myself to my peers.

    Honestly, I feel a GP shouldn't be making statements like that, especially vague ones. What's the utility in a half-baked diagnosis? It will only cause undue worry. I'd defer to a mental health specialist who has time to get to know you a little better, and better training for a diagnosis.

    That all being said, I did have a long friendship with someone who had a narcissitic personality, and that included several unhealthy factors (for her and those around her) which a therapist has tried to help with. In some meaures, it was treated as a developmental disorder and therapy has had some success.

  10. Also consider that who you are and of the symptoms you have identified, these will be unchanged regardless of any label applied to you tomorrow. Your symptoms are not more or less real depending on whether they're grouped under the umbrella of a syndrome. You can begin working (possibly with a mental health specialist) to manage those symptoms immediately.

  11. FYI, I'm not looking for "fallacies or holes in [your] reasoning", but just thinking out loud. And I'm no therapist or specialist, or am I even given to much thought before presenting an argument. Take these things as my way of saying you should take a grain of salt with everything I write. Indeed, I won't be offended if you simply dismiss it all out of hand.

    Maybe a good thing to keep in mind is I'm not really qualified to defend, identify, or argue for cognitive distortions. Dismissing them based on my own amateur thoughts might be unfair to the concept or someone who could make a better argument.

    I see how you could think so, from what I've written, maybe my position is not that clear, I went to it a little bit more in my other topic. I can go through all of the conditions and how they do not apply if you'd like :)

    Mental filtering - I don't think I focus on the negatives...

    Mr Shadow, your first post is only negatives, and your conclusion that 'life is terrible' is drawn from those negatives. Viewing your post through the lens of 'emotional reasoning' or 'all-or-nothing thinking', this seems an unsound set of premises from which to deliver a conclusion. I think there are many more things that should be considered before passing judgement.

    Overgeneralization - well...

    "I suddenly realize how stupidly inefficient our bodies are, how we need to shove food down our throats 24/7, how we need to lay dormant for 33 % of the time", thus life is hateful and terrible. This is repeated with respect to religion, real-estate, careers, etc. You're overgeneralizing because you're moving from a very limited set of premises to a global generalization. I think you're premises are limited because you're mental filtering based on certain emotional triggers you've identified.

    I don't think that I'm wrong in claiming of being one of the few with particular line of reasoning...

    You sound like a flavor of nihilist.

    Emotional reasoning - I almost never follow my emotions...

    From your first post: "...how stupid and pointless everything...I hate it all...stupidly inefficient ...we fool ourselves...fake religions and hopes and illusions of "love" or companionship...selfish survival instincts...driven by fear and fake pleasures..We're all slaves...stacked up like a bunch of stupid ants...in a hellish loop...then you die, worthless, exhausted, disappointed, given up...I always hated life." It's absolutely loaded with emotions, isn't it? Emotions are part and parcel of your entire argument, including the conclusion.

    All-or-nothing thinking - sure, "hate everything about this world" certainly looks like an exaggeration, but...

    We have to eat, therefore our bodies are "stupidly ineffecient". What metric are you using to determine this? I happen to think we're fantastically effecient, given the things we can do. You go to the extreme in judging it's effeciency, but I don't see anything meriting such an extreme.

    Everything is "chemical explosions in the brains", therefore everything is "fake". How is something fake? The sensations of pain and hunger are just "chemical explosions" but are definitely not "fake". Why would something having a basis in material reality make it fake? Why would positive emotions be any less fake than pain?

    We're "driven by fake fear and pleasures" therefore we're all slaves. Why do you go to such an extreme? I still choose one thing or another, even though I may or may not enjoy it.

    We pay "outrageous prices for small apartments" and we just get used up until we die, and nothing is "given back". You're discounting half the world, including your creativity that you replied with as something of value. There are many more things to experience. Many are good, many are bad.

    I dunno.

  12. I agree with both Midfulguy and Mrshadow. Just guessing, but it sounds like you might be feeling ashamed, guilty, or embarassed. You would be in the majority to feel the stigma associated with depression. However, a review of depression epidemiology shows that it's not uncommon and it is a serious, real problem. The stigma is unfair.

    I'm guessing you haven't talked to anyone about this, then? I remember it was a relief when I was finally able to talk to someone about it, especially a professional.

  13. I'm not an expert, and I don't really know you, but I agree with hysterical. Your posts suggest cognitive distortions, and depression is a logical explanation. Reading, I wondered about mental filtering, overgeneralization, emotional reasoning, and all-or-nothing thinking.

    I imagine you're already familiar with these, but for those without any background in psychology, Wikipedia has a concise summary of some common cognitive distortions.

  14. Your therapist doesn't think she can help you without you making a certain commitment. I don't believe she's acting unethically. I'm not a mental health specialist and I don't know anything about you, so I can't say whether her thinking is sound. I can tell you right now you're in control and it's up to you how to proceed forward. You have the choice of seeing a prescribing physician and looking into antidepressants, or dropping her as a therapist. If you do the latter and look for a new therapist, I would suggest you establish your expectations regarding use of antidepressants at the very start of therapy, and in doing so finding a good match and avoiding the situation you're now in.

    I think regarding her thinking as a "scheme to make money" is probably irrational, as she will not prescribe or sell you medication.

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