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Pro Meds? Or Anti Meds?


frangipani

Pro Meds or Anti Meds?  

941 members have voted

  1. 1. Pro Meds or Anti Meds?

    • Pro
      572
    • Anti
      155
    • Undecided
      214


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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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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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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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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
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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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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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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 don

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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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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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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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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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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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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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  • 2 months later...

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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Thanks to everyone in this thread.

It has become very clear to me, both experiential as well as input here and in my personal life that it is just that PERSONAL. Isn't great that we have options, both nature, meditative and medical. I believe the medical field(having studied in the human condition, both formerly and personally) is very young in thinking in terms of mental illness. Think back to the 1970's when mental illness was something hidden and "scary". Although for me, I still have "scary" days, there is so much more support even though I believe the approaches all the way around are still "experimental". The medical system in most countries needs some sort of over-haul, but the industry definitely needs to explore more in mental healthcare and well being.

It's strange to know I am part of a weird experiment. With the drugs I take, or the personal decision to work alternative and preventative practices. What is important is that everyone can own their treatment approach and feel that it is their decision based on being well informed. education! yes, education is needed.

Thanks.

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I'm only undecided on the matter because medications don't work for everyone. To some, antidepressants and similar drugs seem like panaceas -- magical cure-alls that will remedy all woe. For other people, the drugs work wonders because they were needed. Not everyone needs the drugs, though, and there seems to be a misconception that they'll work on everyone.

I always thought I needed antidepressants. I've had issues with depression for over half my life (I'm 20), but I was always too scared to get the courage to see a doctor or talk to someone. When I was finally given an opportunity to discuss my problems with a doctor, I was written a prescription for Zoloft after saying two sentences. This was not a psychiatrist; this was a general practitioner.

After three weeks on the drug, I essentially dropped out of school but continued to act like a student, drove to San Francisco by myself on a whim (500+ miles) and didn't tell anyone, and suddenly developed a fashionista persona with an eBay addiction. A therapist referred me to a psychiatrist who quickly took me off the drug and put me on two new ones (Lamictal and Seroquel). I was put on lithium a few months later, and at my peak I was taking the maximum doses I could of lithium and lamictal.

My mania subsided after some time, but I never could reach fully-functioning status. I used the drugs as an excuse to act out -- "Oh, I'm crazy, so it's ok if I drop 20 credits and live in a dorm without going to school and date three guys at once."

A lot of people take these drugs and figure out how to function, but all my drugs did was deter me from actually becoming strong enough to rid myself of prescriptions. I stopped taking all my meds in protest five months ago, and I've never gone back. I'm falling into depression again, but I'm determined to succeed without meds this time (something I've never truly done, but it's worth a shot, isn't it?).

However, I've seen it work for some, so I know they can't be bad for everyone.

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I'm only undecided on the matter because medications don't work for everyone.

Unless someone has a history of antidepressants being dangerous, there is really no reason to distrust them "in general." It's all about how much of a risk you're willing to take for your happiness. Some people can't recover without medications. Some people can't recover without therapy. Some need both. If you refuse a treatment option because you're afraid of medications, there's no guarantee you'll get better. You may think the 1% chance of harm from the medications is worth waiting a few months to see if therapy works. That's up to you. Personally, when I'm depressed, I don't really care if something bad happens. I'll take whatever I can get.

I'd suggest being "undecided" on antidepressants is the same as being undecided on other medications. You're not exactly "undecided." You're just recognizing that they aren't 100% useful for everyone.

I'm very supportive of antidepressants as both a mechanism for improving treatment and an actual cure. I think some cases of depression are actually curable with antidepressants. The evidence suggests that. Of course, you have to "do something," but people fail to realize that the person was already willing to try. They just failed internally. When antidepressants cure patients, they never get credit because there isn't an observable phenomenon to attach the credit. Once neuroscience advances, you'll see people unable to get out of bed, hooked up to brain scans, suddenly become motivated when given specific chemicals. Then antidepressants will get the credit they deserve.

I'm supportive of therapy as well. The brain changes according to new information. That's how it works. The right therapy for the right person can cure someone. However, it's not a guarantee. Physical science can theoretically cure anything. There is no evidence that therapy can cure cancer, for instance. There are some philosophers who think it's possible. There's no evidence for it yet, though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is a question I've struggled with for many, many years. And now I feel very strongly about. Mental illnesses are just like any other illnesses that often require medication. While some can resolve issues through therapy, others cannot because of chemical imbalances. Yes, chemical imbalance is REAL. It really ticks me off when people try to tell me to "work through my issues". Well I already have, and guess what? I'm still bipolar! lol It's not going to get fixed. Of course, there are certain things you can learn through cognitive behavioral therapy that can help you through your symptoms.

If you can go without medication, that's wonderful. But you should never, EVER, feel ashamed to go through the medication route.

I was told very early on in my dx that I would be on medication most if not all of my life. Talk about a hard pill to swallow (literally). I had a hard time accepting the fact that this is a mental illness, just like any other illness. But having gone through what I have I know now that it is what it is. A chemical imbalance that I have no control over. I cannot control the hormones and chemicals in my body.

Bottom line is people die because of untreated mental illness. If medication keeps people alive, then my God, take it.

Edited by asecretchord
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Absolutely pro meds! I first struggled with depression when the only meds were the MAOIs and the Tricyclics, neither class worked for me. Thank God for the advent of the SSRIs. I'm all for freedom of choice though. Everyone has to decide whether or not they need meds, and then whether or not they want to take them.

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i re-read frangipani's post, and wanted to add that lately, i've been getting this from my mom. she thinks i should quit abilify because it's obviously dangerous. now, where are the studies to show it's dangerous? it's not to say that it works perfectly well for everyone, but it does for me, and i like it because it increases my stability.

my mom is in the camp of thinking that mood disorders are like an infection and that obviously, because i feel better, i shouldn't take meds. i'm constantly fighting with her because i take meds, and i'm 30 years old, married, have my own place, and prior to May i also worked.

my cousin is bipolar, and went off of meds to have her baby. she hasn't needed to go back on her meds. my mom thinks that *obviously*, because my cousin feels fine, that i would too. i just don't understand this line of thinking! :hearts:

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I voted anti simply because I find the side-effects so difficult to deal with I would prefer to struggle on without them. I like the fact that they for me a plan B - they;'re always there if I feel I really can't cope. And I've been feeling a lot like that lately

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