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Greetings,

I'm not really sure how this all works as this is my first post.  I have struggled with anxiety and depression for some time now and I have been taking medication for about 5 years.  It is really a hard thing for me to accept that I have to take medication for a completely subjective condition.  I have this feeling that it makes me mentally weak.  But in the times that I have tried to wean myself off of medication, I have found that I am not able to function normally without it.  It's like my anxiety and depression are magnified by 5 from what they were before I was on meds.  I just want some closure that it is ok for me to take meds and hopefully have someone reach out to me that has experienced something similar.  Thank you in advance.  

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Hi and welcome to the Forums, MedJ7412.

It is nice to meet you.  

I am so sorry you are struggling with anxiety and depression.  Both of them can be so brutal.  Hopefully you will find this site to be of some use to you.  It has helped me a lot.

Although I am not a physician or medical professional of any kind, I have read some scholarly research which has linked depression to various forms of brain pathology:  atrophy of the two hippocampi in the brain not related to brain aging, abnormal loss of glial cells, thinning of parts of the cerebral cortex, reduced regional cerebral blood flow and energy utilization [glucose metabolism], shriveling of dendrites and other abnormalities.  I have read of similar research findings in studies of anxiety disorders.  

Of course all medical research is subject to limitations such as size of research study, objectivity of study, duration of study, confounding factors, research reaching opposite conclusions and new discoveries among others.  I recently read an article entitled:  "Depression as a neurological disorder with psychiatric symptoms."

As I said previously, I am not a medical professional of any kind.  I personally have been helped enormously by medication for depression, anxiety and panic attacks so perhaps I am biased.  In any case, please do not rely on anything I have said here.  I would encourage you, if you so desire, to do research on your own if you are concerned that depression and anxiety are strictly subjective problems.  Personally, I try to read both sides on controversial subjects,  striving to remain fair minded.  But I am also aware of the great difficulties involved in reducing one' own biases towards objectivity.

A theme I find in much of the research I have read is that the stress hormones in excess can damage regions of the brain down to the cellular level in those with a genetic predisposition to depression and anxiety.  Another thread I find running through the research is that interventions [both psychological and psychiatric] which reduce stress promote brain healing and normalization of brain function.

One of the pioneers of this research connecting stress to depression and anxiety wrote a book on the subject entitled:  "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers."  There is an interesting 2 minute and 57 second video with the same title which explains the book in simple terms.  Perhaps it would be of interest to you?   

I fear that my response to your post has perhaps been useless or worse than useless to you.  In any case, I hope you will get many responses to your post and many different perspectives and opinions.  

I also hope you will feel at home here on the Forums and amongst friends.  I wish you only good things in your battle against depression and anxiety ! ! !

- epictetus

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I have totally been there. I initially went on medication after my daughter was born. I had fought the idea that I might be suffering from depression. I identified my melencholia with my identity - basically I figured that I was just a complainer and I needed to adjust my attitude. In addition, bi-polar disorder runs strongly in my family - and I was terrified that the medication would cause me to go manic. I took the medication for a few years - and then I convinced myself that the depression has just been post-partum and due to the fact that I had a lot of stressors in my life at the time. So I stopped taking it. I went quite a while off medication - until I finally realized that the depression was back with a vengance.

What finally convinced me that the medication was not just a crutch was when I realized that depression has a lot in common with my husband high-blood pressure. It is a real medication condition and needs treatment. It is not situational or all in my head. If I would get on my husband's case for not taking his blood pressure medication - why do I not think of my depression meds the same way?

Anyway - welcome!

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6 hours ago, MedJ7412 said:

Greetings,

I'm not really sure how this all works as this is my first post.  I have struggled with anxiety and depression for some time now and I have been taking medication for about 5 years.  It is really a hard thing for me to accept that I have to take medication for a completely subjective condition.  I have this feeling that it makes me mentally weak.  But in the times that I have tried to wean myself off of medication, I have found that I am not able to function normally without it.  It's like my anxiety and depression are magnified by 5 from what they were before I was on meds.  I just want some closure that it is ok for me to take meds and hopefully have someone reach out to me that has experienced something similar.  Thank you in advance.  

My friend, I can totally relate to you and it is perfectly normal to take medications to

help make you more functional in fact my friend it actually makes you much wiser,

and stronger to take medications to become your best self. 

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I am so glad you were brave enough to reach out and share what you are going through. There is no reason to be upset about your medicine. I once had someone say to me would you take medicine for diabetes? Why is this different? It is just another part of the body that is missing something and medicine can fill the void. If it helps you feel better and your doctor recommends it then keep doing it. You can also do other things. Diet and exercise is very helpful. Meditation and stress control are also beneficial. Good luck to you friend!

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