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frangipani

Pro Meds? Or Anti Meds?

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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I voted pro meds. It is beyond me how people can say that exercise, eating right and adequate rest goes a long way in treating depression. For me, depression eliminated my appetite to the point I vomitted everything I ate, I couldn't sleep because of severe anxiety and was so depleted in nutrient value that exercise could have killed me. I dropped to 80 lbs. and am 5'2. Therapy was useless because I couldn't concentrate and my exhaustion mentally, emotionally and physically was all I could feel. After using medication, I did attend therapy. Therapy never helped me as there were no issues in my life that warranted it. I had no reason to be depressed and anxious. I have no repressed memories as I had a wonderful childhood. I felt so bad that I didn't want to live, but I didn't want to die either. I strongly believe that my brain chemicals simply went haywire and became depleted. Medication saved my life and I don't care that I have to take a pill every day to be able to survive and truly live. Do I like that I have to depend on a pill? NO but I am eternally grateful to the medication that gives me a life that I can enjoy living. I am abnormal off medication and I am normal on medication.

There are huge differences in the types of depression out there. You can't compare apples to apples with depression. I do believe that many people are looking for something to make them happy and medication doesn't eliminate a difficult life or circumstances. Many people should use therapy if they have unresolved issues. But there are a large amount of the population that simply have a malfunction in brain chemistry and can't live without medication. I am one of them!

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Great post, mom2pg.

I find therapy helps me more when I'm stable on a med, than otherwise. Therapy alone can't pull me out of the depths of despair. It does help make my life happier, though, when I'm already stable.

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Everyone has really good and interesting things to say! Until I had a good long healthy spell, I found it difficult to articulate exactly why I needed medications. Now I know that I need medications to get me to a place where I can use all the skills I learned in therapy. Some things are just impossible to do without a certain level of health, and the right meds gave me that.

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I'm pro meds in a general sense, though I've seen in some of my friends that they don't work for everyone. I know for a fact that I can't get through a day without tears and panic if I don't take my meds; I hate that fact. Really really hate it. I can't stand the thought that I have to take pills to behave like a normal (hah! what's that mean?) human being. I guess it is the same as anyone needing to take insulin or AZT or anything like that, but I just can't get myself to really honestly believe it 100%. Anyone else have that problem?

So yes, pro meds, anti-having-to-be-on-them.

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I guess it is the same as anyone needing to take insulin or AZT or anything like that, but I just can't get myself to really honestly believe it 100%. Anyone else have that problem?

So yes, pro meds, anti-having-to-be-on-them.

I totally, totally understand and agree. :hugs:

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I started taking meds last October when I was very bad off, and they seemed to have little positive effect. My PCP put me on a low dose of Zoloft, it did nothing. Then she started me on Effexor, it did nothing except make me anxious, nauseous, and miserable. Then she insisted I see a psychiatrist, who, after spending 10 minutes with me, declared I had Borderline Personality Disorder, merely upped my dosage of Effexor to 250mg. The second visit with this guy, he looked over my chart and seemed confused and said he didn't know why I was even on medication because my problems were not of a chemical nature and could not be helped by medication. Minutes after he said that, he decided I was bipolar and prescribed a mood stabilizer.

Needless to say, this particular psychiatrist was pretty incompetent. I should have been more wary when I discovered he scheduled appointments 15 minutes apart. So I didn't take the mood stabilizer and weaned myself off the Effexor and now I feel FANTASTIC. Around the time I started Effexor, I also began having other weird symptoms (arthritis, pain all over my body, migraines, the list goes on and on.) Blood tests also came up funky. Several doctors, including a rheumatologist, thought these symptoms pointed to a serious condition (lupus), but when I went off the meds, my symptoms disappeared and my blood tests went back to normal.

Enough rambling. :) My experience with meds was not good at all. I got very sick, and much more depressed. However, I know that meds have worked wonders for other people and keep them functioning. For me, the best antidepressant has been working out several days a week, doing things I love to do,, keeping my stress level down, and going to counseling. If you're considering meds, just please be sure that you have a competent doctor. A good doctor should take time with you, especially on a first visit for this problem. Also, keep a written list of all symptoms/side effects you experience and when you began to experience them. This will help your doctor out tremendously, so that they can determine if the symptoms are related to the medication or to a more serious problem. I don't want anyone else to go through hell like I did.

So to sum all this up and answer the question, I'm not pro or anti medication. I'm in favor of each person doing what is best for them. For some, medication might be a lifesaver. Others, not so much.

Edited by cjewelsb

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I'm pro-meds, but as with all treatments, it should be whatever works for the individual person. Something that works for one person isn't going to work for everyone.

Personally, I was prescribed an antidepressant to help with symptoms of fibromyalgia, and I have found that it has helped with the depression as well. But I've wondered lately if I need something more.

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*snip*

Hi awesomo,

Ah, the initial feeling-invincible phase. I miss that. It's a little scary though. I just want to give you a little encouragement. I know you know this, but hearing someone else say it can be helpful :nod: a couple of weeks isn't that long a time, and a roller coaster ride is pretty normal at first. However, I think the fact that you had that initial rush can be taken as a good sign that the meds will have a good effect on you. If they had no side effects and no ups and downs I would worry that it wasn't going to do anything for you. Hang in there.

P.S. I love your avatar.

Thanks ocarina :)

After several more meetings with my doc, she increased my dosage to 100mg and prescribed me some oxazepam for anxiety.

I'd be wary of this if it weren't for the fact that she's fully respected my desire to be an active participant in my treatment (as opposed to telling me what to do), and has been very balanced in her assessment, not pushing any drugs, not omitting any side-effects, and telling me about different options for therapy, lifestyle adjustments, etc. Considering some of the horror stories some people write on this website, I was very lucky to get her.

The meds have started to work a little - I've become a morning person (I used to absolutely hate mornings with a passion - anything before noon-1pm was pushing it). Also, I think of death in much less desirable terms, although I still don't have anything against oblivion as a form of relief. I just don't embrace the idea as much as I used to.

So the meds seem to be working. It's only been about a month and a half, so only time will tell... but things are looking up.

Edited by awesomo

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Also, I think of death in much less desirable terms, although I still don't have anything against oblivion as a form of relief. I just don't embrace the idea as much as I used to.

I can relate to this, I feel the same when my meds start to work. I'm really glad that the meds have started to work for you, and you're right, your doctor does sound awesome :) Mine is mostly awesome but she can be way too pushy with the meds. Keep up the good work!

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Everyone has really good and interesting things to say! Until I had a good long healthy spell, I found it difficult to articulate exactly why I needed medications. Now I know that I need medications to get me to a place where I can use all the skills I learned in therapy. Some things are just impossible to do without a certain level of health, and the right meds gave me that.

I'm glad you life is better KairasAsh with the help of medication. You does help you to live a better, qualify life.

Lindahurt

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Hi frangipani, hi everyone

I have just joined "DF" and I thought I'd contribute my 2 cents to this conversation, since i've had a bit of experience with meds. I first started taking anti-depressants when I was 19. That was about 20 yrs ago (ok, so now you know my age :-). I started because I knew if I didn't do something drastic at that point I was going to die. Don't mean to be melodramatic, but that's how I felt. I was a student at a great college, loved the place, was studying psychology (how's that for irony???) and had "everything going for me" but...I was miserable!!! Long story short, started therapy (after developing an eating disorder bec of the depression), and only agreed to take meds because I felt like it was my last alternative....and it worked!! Yes, it took several dosage adjustments but I can honestly say it changed my life - actually, it kept me alive. So, the point of my little story is...

if taking meds and not ******* myself means I took the easy way out, so ok....I took the easy way out!! Of course I know meds are not right for everyone, nor am I advocating them, but gee, if this is the one option that works for someone (and deciding to take them is rarely an easy decision) why judge someone for wanting to have something that resembles a normal life?

I also hope I didn't offend anyone. Just wanted to share my perspective

Edited by Cla

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Hi frangipani, hi everyone

I have just joined "DF" and I thought I'd contribute my 2 cents to this conversation, since i've had a bit of experience with meds. I first started taking anti-depressants when I was 19. That was about 20 yrs ago (ok, so now you know my age :-). I started because I knew if I didn't do something drastic at that point I was going to die. Don't mean to be melodramatic, but that's how I felt. I was a student at a great college, loved the place, was studying psychology (how's that for irony???) and had "everything going for me" but...I was miserable!!! Long story short, started therapy (after developing an eating disorder bec of the depression), and only agreed to take meds because I felt like it was my last alternative....and it worked!! Yes, it took several dosage adjustments but I can honestly say it changed my life - actually, it kept me alive. So, the point of my little story is...

if taking meds and not ******* myself means I took the easy way out, so ok....I took the easy way out!! Of course I know meds are not right for everyone, nor am I advocating them, but gee, if this is the one option that works for someone (and deciding to take them is rarely an easy decision) why judge someone for wanting to have something that resembles a normal life?

I also hope I didn't offend anyone. Just wanted to share my perspective

That's a great story Cla (well, a happy ending to the story)! I'm glad the meds worked so well for you. I'm struggling with my med right now but I do know from past experience that when you get the right med, miracles really can happen! Oh, and :welcomeani:

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Hi Ocarina,

Thanks for your warm welcome. It's hard to find the right treatment/therapy/medication. I'm sure I can talk for a lot of us when I say I wish there was some type of test to at least tell us what we should try and persevere with: a) therapy? try all the different school of thoughts? or stick with one and keep going through therapists till we find one we like? b) meds? so many choices, so many side effects....(not to mention so much $$$) c) combination treatment? how much of each?

the drugs worked wonderfully for me for a while. Recently, not so much. I am on 450 mg of Effexor XR, and reaching the conclusion that something has to change. I still have 2 week periods when things are bad, which is enough of a time to become disruptive to my life, my kids and my husband (on monday I asked him to come home from work early because I couldn't cope....)

I'm hoping to enter one of my "good spells" - dare I call it normal :-) ??? - soon. I hope you find the right med/ right dosage soon. When meds work, we can live great, productive lives - a miracle indeed!icon4.gif

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Hi Ocarina,

Thanks for your warm welcome. It's hard to find the right treatment/therapy/medication. I'm sure I can talk for a lot of us when I say I wish there was some type of test to at least tell us what we should try and persevere with: a) therapy? try all the different school of thoughts? or stick with one and keep going through therapists till we find one we like? b) meds? so many choices, so many side effects....(not to mention so much $$$) c) combination treatment? how much of each?

the drugs worked wonderfully for me for a while. Recently, not so much. I am on 450 mg of Effexor XR, and reaching the conclusion that something has to change. I still have 2 week periods when things are bad, which is enough of a time to become disruptive to my life, my kids and my husband (on monday I asked him to come home from work early because I couldn't cope....)

I'm hoping to enter one of my "good spells" - dare I call it normal :-) ??? - soon. I hope you find the right med/ right dosage soon. When meds work, we can live great, productive lives - a miracle indeed!icon4.gif

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I voted undecided after taking Effexor ER for close to Ten years. I went off of them 3 months ago. It was rough. In a three month period I had to slowly go from 300 mg to 150 mg to 75 mg to 37 mg and this last month beginning in November I have been Med free. This last month was bad. I kept having those brain zaps for quite sometime. Especially if I moved quickly. Now I am back to crying for no reason again. having anxiety attacks, and of course I am depressed.... Effexor works for anxiety people it really does. You have to be on it for a long time to realize this. I'm talking six months to a year. Why did I vote Undecided? Well first off. It makes me feel impersonal. I couldn't have cared less about anything. I felt no ups, no downs. No anger, no happiness. Just existing and wondering why, but I felt no need to end it all. So that's good I guess, but if a robber put a gun to my head and said give me your money or I shoot. I would have said. "So what's stopping you from pulling the trigger? Certainly not me..." Like I said I could have not cared less about anything while on this Med. As I reflect being off my Meds. I think of past wrongs, and it bothers me. I think more of my family now. I worry about them now. I worry about myself now. I feel like I'm just a small being in a large pool of nothingness. Also I go in and out of my moods. One minute I feel everything looks so clear. The next I am totally in a brain fog. I guess I could go back to the Med's, try something different but I hate taking them. I hate the feeling they give me. That's all I am going to say right now. As I really at this point am truly undecided....

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I'm hoping to enter one of my "good spells" - dare I call it normal :-) ??? - soon. I hope you find the right med/ right dosage soon. When meds work, we can live great, productive lives - a miracle indeed!icon4.gif

Me too, here's hoping that we both feel better soon!

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I use to be against meds or at least very scared to take them. I remember being so afraid the first time I tried wellbutrin. for 1 reason because I wasn't sure how I would react to it and I've never tried anything like it before. the second reason that it was real that I really did have something wrong with me that needed to be treated. the first 3 weeks I went through every side effect listed but I stuck with it. my doctor had emphasised to me how important that was. after the side effects subsided I couldn't believe how I felt. I didn't feel like I was taking anything that was altering my mind but I felt normal. feeling normal was a very I be feeling at the time I remember. I hadn't felt "normal" since I was a child. but I didn't realize that until I felt it again. 1 moment that still stands out to me 5 years later is standing in line at the grocery store and saying hello to the clerk. might sound a little strange but it was something that I have never done before I always just waited quietly in line and hoped no 1 would notice me until I left the store. just that very small incident stuck with me. I found myself not afraid to go out and do things, say hello to strangers, have the energy act like a "normal human being." after being on an off meds many years later I still think there are some of us who just have something wrong with our brains. and right now medication is the only way to try to fix it. I remember seeing depression out of the shadows and watching the scene when a woman has brain surgery. she was conscious like in lots of brain surgery you see on tv and when they found the sweet spot in her brain and touched it she spoke and said that the depression was gone immediately. I realize this was an experimental surgery and nothing else could help this woman. but I often wonder how she is today. I would give anything for someone to help that little spot in my brain and get this stuff out. my doctor believes anti depressants are over prescribed and that only about 10 percent of the people who are given antidepressants actually need them. that being said he believes I am 1 of those 10 percent who needs to stay on it probably for the rest of my life. even going on and off the meds sometimes the positive effects from being on the meds would carry over to when I was not on the meds for example saying hello at the grocery store. I now knew that nothing terrible would happen if I participated in some small talk in the checkout line. I'm back on wellbutrin, third day after being off for year and a half. And praying this [email protected]#t will someday leave my brain for good.

Edited by olddodge92

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I voted pro. I use to be deeply concerned and suspicious about medication for mental illness. They just seemed scary and you always heard bad press about them!

6 years ago I took my first AD, and I honestly believe I would be dead by now if I had not have finally accepted that I needed the help that the medication would provide.

Depression and other mental health issues are all illnesses just like any other and you would not turn down medicine to treat Cancer, so I think they same should apply.

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Pro. It's the chicken and egg problem. Do chemical changes in the brain create depression, or does depression create chemical changes? The best bet is to tackle both depression and the chemical changes at the same time; by using therapy and meds.

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I have been on ADs since 1996 due to dysthymia since teenage years and a major depressive episode in 1996. I was doing pretty well on the meds until the last few years when I have been noticing cognitive and memory issues as well as some physical things such as slower reaction times. Recently I have been seeking some answers to these problems. A few articles I've read question the long term use of ADs for these very reasons. I am seeing a neuropsychologist in a couple of weeks and this may help me decide if I should try to stop meds (with a doctor's help) or continue as I have been.

Its a difficult choice to make as I know it will take a long time and alot of work for me to get off the meds. On the other hand, I am feeling disabled mentally and haven't been able to work in 2 years.

Wish science would find better solutions to our mental illnesses.

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I voted Pro.

I don´t think med are optinal. Do people suffering from other illness consider their meds to be optional?

I wonder if in your community they consider a patient with diabitis weak because he needs to take insulin.

Edited by Helium

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I voted undecided after taking Effexor ER for close to Ten years. I went off of them 3 months ago. It was rough. In a three month period I had to slowly go from 300 mg to 150 mg to 75 mg to 37 mg and this last month beginning in November I have been Med free. This last month was bad. I kept having those brain zaps for quite sometime. Especially if I moved quickly. Now I am back to crying for no reason again. having anxiety attacks, and of course I am depressed.... Effexor works for anxiety people it really does. You have to be on it for a long time to realize this. I'm talking six months to a year. Why did I vote Undecided? Well first off. It makes me feel impersonal. I couldn't have cared less about anything. I felt no ups, no downs. No anger, no happiness. Just existing and wondering why, but I felt no need to end it all. So that's good I guess, but if a robber put a gun to my head and said give me your money or I shoot. I would have said. "So what's stopping you from pulling the trigger? Certainly not me..." Like I said I could have not cared less about anything while on this Med. As I reflect being off my Meds. I think of past wrongs, and it bothers me. I think more of my family now. I worry about them now. I worry about myself now. I feel like I'm just a small being in a large pool of nothingness. Also I go in and out of my moods. One minute I feel everything looks so clear. The next I am totally in a brain fog. I guess I could go back to the Med's, try something different but I hate taking them. I hate the feeling they give me. That's all I am going to say right now. As I really at this point am truly undecided....

(((hugs)))

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I voted undecided. I know that prozac works, but I've got this idea in my head that I should fight the cause, not the symptoms. I'm starting to come round the to pro meds side, however. If you're depressed, making a change on your own can be very hard. I think if I went back on prozac or other medication, I would want to stay on for a longer period (i.e. more than a couple of months).

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Personally I'm both pro and anti. For some people the medication has been lifesaving and has really worked for them, but for myself I'd never consider medication because my condition is mild/manageable. I'm not pro or anti medication, but I tend to see it as a last resort when an illness is dominating your life.

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