Curious what the take is around here on antidepressants

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  • #51
Moonbear
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Monique said:
I don't think there is anything wrong with taking anti-depressants if it is really making you lathergic to the point you can't function anymore. I'd first try counceling though! See if talking and opening up about your problems make you feel better about yourself, that is the ultimate goal.
In general, yes, counseling first is a good way to go. In Gale's specific case, she's already done the counseling part, they've suggested medication a few times and she's refused, and she's now at a point where she's realizing she might need it and give it a try.

For some people, they can eventually go back off the antidepressants if the depression is secondary to another problem and once that problem is resolved, the medication is no longer needed; for others, it will be a lifelong issue.

Gale has shared with us that she's been feeling depressed for a long time, it got a little better when she was in dorms, but did not go away, so that probably suggests some of it is worsened by living at home, but the underlying problem is not related just to being at home, and she's shared that she's been thinking about suicide. That last one is the one that has me most concerned for her and tells me this is not something to sit around thinking about but is at a point where she needs to talk to a professional very soon, before it gets worse than it is already.

Lisa! said:
Oh that's so bad.I really don't want to agree with you about unpreventable deseases.I consider that people who have a normal life and of course personality don't get involved in these kind of problems.
Again, you're not listening to what we're saying here. The scientific literature says this is a physical problem, whether you want to believe it or not, it is true. And yes, normal people with normal lives, even those who seem to have it all, can suffer from depression. It is the attitude you're presenting here that people can just work through it themselves that leaves people feeling they can't talk about their depression and hesitant to seek help until they are so overwhelmed they resort to drastic measures. Gale has come here and taken the chance of talking with us about her problem and I for one care enough about her to not let someone get away with negativity that is based on opinion rather than facts that could push her away from getting the help she needs right now.

Here are just a handful of the many references from this year alone that report on the biological basis of depression.


Newberg AB, Amsterdam JD, Wintering N, Ploessl K, Swanson RL, Shults J, Alavi A.
123I-ADAM Binding to Serotonin Transporters in Patients with Major Depression and Healthy Controls: A Preliminary Study.
J Nucl Med. 2005 Jun;46(6):973-7.

Caetano SC, Fonseca M, Olvera RL, Nicoletti M, Hatch JP, Stanley JA, Hunter K, Lafer B, Pliszka SR, Soares JC.
Proton spectroscopy study of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in pediatric depressed patients.
Neurosci Lett. 2005 Jun 3; [Epub ahead of print]

Ehrlich S, Breeze JL, Hesdorffer DC, Noam GG, Hong X, Alban RL, Davis SE, Renshaw PF.
White matter hyperintensities and their association with suicidality in depressed young adults.
J Affect Disord. 2005 Jun;86(2-3):281-7.

Koks S, Nikopensius T, Koido K, Maron E, Altmae S, Heinaste E, Vabrit K, Tammekivi V, Hallast P, Kurg A, Shlik J, Vasar V, Metspalu A, Vasar E.
Analysis of SNP profiles in patients with major depressive disorder.
Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2005 Jun 1;:1-8 [Epub ahead of print]

Perico CA, Skaf CR, Yamada A, Duran F, Buchpiguel CA, Castro CC, Soares JC, Busatto GF.
Relationship between regional cerebral blood flow and separate symptom clusters of major depression: A single photon emission computed tomography study using statistical parametric mapping.
Neurosci Lett. 2005 May 24; [Epub ahead of print]

Karolewicz B, Stockmeier CA, Ordway GA.
Elevated Levels of the NR2C Subunit of the NMDA Receptor in the Locus Coeruleus in Depression.
Neuropsychopharmacology. 2005 May 25; [Epub ahead of print]
 
  • #52
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Everything in the body or brain is physical by definition; you don't need to supply any sources to assert that. But it is also mental. The attitudes you take have a great impact on your health and on the functions of your body. They are themselves aspects of the brain, and that's what they do. The "physical" argument says nothing about whether your equally physical mental attitudes and self-discovery can help you.

Sheer willpower is a fool's path, but that does not mean that overcoming depression without aid is a fool's path. If a yogi can control his circulation mentally to the point of turning one side of his hand red at will, you can learn a more harmonious mind. Ask yourself: how do you really feel at the moment? Try this: close your eyes and spend five to ten minutes just being aware of how you feel, and at the end of it write some stuff down.


Despite weak analogies to the contrary, taking drugs to alter your mind is significantly different from using prosthetics for your body. When it's your mind, it's really you. Plus, drugs are approximate. They cause a change in you which should help you, and perhaps will, but because it's a drug there can't be fine-tuning. It can get you in the general ball-park of the right chemical balance, and that's all it can do, since unlike your mind, a drug does not have much feedback about your mental state.

I have not taken drugs, for the preceding reasons and a couple more.

I think you should try the meditative method I described earlier, seriously, every day or a couple times a day for a month or two, and on your own (without drugs).


Also, what are you living for? Do you have real personal goals? You need to have them, and maybe living up to what people expect from you--and I may or may not be reading too much into your wish to be a "functional member of society" instead of other things--is not enough. This is something I have thought about for myself, and if it's been a problem for you then it's been a problem for me as well, and the way to solve it is to seek things that you yourself really want to do and really see as valuable.
 
  • #53
adrenaline
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Moonbear said:
There has been recent publicity about teens committing suicide AFTER starting to take antidepressants, but from what I'm familiar with of such cases, what happens is they already have those suicidal thoughts before starting the medication, but don't have the energy to follow through; they're just lying around in a constant funk. When they start the medication, as it's starting to work, but hasn't fully reversed the depression, they reach a stage where they have the energy to carry through on those thoughts while they still have those thoughts. That's the stage where people close to them need to be educated about the risks and to carefully watch them.
Actually, there were never any completed suicides. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/492840?src=search

These studies just showed that some teenagers had increased suicidal thoughts and behavior pointing to suicide. This is something the media never made clear. In all honestly, I really think the kids were bipolar and not unipolar depressed and the SSRIs flipped them into a very agitated, manic state. (Contrary to belief, a bipolar has a higher tendency to commit suicide during the manic rather than the depressed state.) In other words, if you are bipolar, an antidepressant without a mood stabilizer can make things worse.
 
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  • #54
Nereid
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I'd like to return to something that Astronuc said ... exercise.

First though, I fully agree with what Moonbear has been saying - discussing your long-term feelings, Gale, with a doctor, soon, is really important (perhaps you've already done that?).

I've heard that for some people, a certain amount of regular exercise makes a huge difference. Something about brain endorphins? Like most things, it varies considerably from one person to another, I'm sure. For myself, if I don't get in at least an hour's brisk walking every second day, I start to feel bad, and by around the fourth day, in addition to headaches and general irritability, feelings of depression start showing up. It's not a virtuous circle either - go for too long, and exercise seems about as inviting as torture. However, if I do get my legs a-walking, I start to feel better after ~20 minutes, and at the end of the walk, my mood has generally picked up a lot.
 
  • #55
Monique
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Today I watched Oprah, where Brooke Shields candidly spoke about her postpartum depression. It shows the reality of depression and how it suddenly can overcome you. It is very courageous to speak up out about it, it requires respect.

She mentioned how she absolutely did not want to take drugs, because of the stigmatization. Then she did try them and started feeling better within the course of three weeks (but with the warning that you should not suddenly stop taking it).
 
  • #56
JasonRox
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Nereid said:
I'd like to return to something that Astronuc said ... exercise.

First though, I fully agree with what Moonbear has been saying - discussing your long-term feelings, Gale, with a doctor, soon, is really important (perhaps you've already done that?).

I've heard that for some people, a certain amount of regular exercise makes a huge difference. Something about brain endorphins? Like most things, it varies considerably from one person to another, I'm sure. For myself, if I don't get in at least an hour's brisk walking every second day, I start to feel bad, and by around the fourth day, in addition to headaches and general irritability, feelings of depression start showing up. It's not a virtuous circle either - go for too long, and exercise seems about as inviting as torture. However, if I do get my legs a-walking, I start to feel better after ~20 minutes, and at the end of the walk, my mood has generally picked up a lot.
Yeah, I also agree with what Astronuc said.

Eating healthy and sleeping properly helps alot physically and mentally. Even drinking more water is beneficial, since most people are dehydrated. The best thing to do is go to google.com and search what vitamins and minerals do for you. They do wonderful things! Sure drinking milk is great, but not the best. Get a variety of good foods, so you're body is sure to absord those vitamins and minerals.

Note: I have been eating really healthy in the past month, and there is no turning back anymore. I've been eating better than the average person before, and still felt good, but not this GOOD!

Take it one step at a time. Drink less soda. Stop drinking soda. Stop eating chips. Stop eating fast food. Switch to whole wheat.

One step at a time...
 
  • #57
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right well, i've realized this long ago actually. i cut soda from my diet ages ago. same with fast food, (which wasn't hard considering how far away from it i am.) i do have a weakness for chips. but i don't eat them much. unfortunately when i do, i tend to binge. same with everything really... but i've still been pretty healthy for a while. i also keep picking up running or walking and yoga. i've been doing yoga pretty consistently for a year or so now too. unfortunately, none of the above is an every day thing. but pretty generally for the last year or so i've been trying to better my overall health... and mostly i have. i also tried taking a multi-vitamin too.. not as successful with that.

anyways, i've tried most of the generic stuff... like i said, its not always an every day thing... so mayeb thats whats wrong still... but i don't know really.

i'll be seeing the doctor this monday, and possibly a therapist on friday or next week... i hope things work out... today was a crappy day. very depressed.... no reason...

i'm gonna try and fix my sleeping too... sleep during the day again, and wake up early. try to keep up with my morning runs, (which were right before i went to sleep before... heh,) and i dunno... i was hoping my physical therapy would make my body feel better so i'd feel better... but not so much yet... we'll see...
 
  • #58
JasonRox
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Also, too much sleep can cause depression, so don't assume sleeping over it will help.

I wish I knew what depression really was because I don't really know. I know about sadness and stuff, but I've never got like depressed or something.
 
  • #59
I have depression, but it's came and gone throughout the years. I'm taking medication at the moment, but I'm still being monitored to see how powerful a dose I need to take. Oversleeping and undersleeping shouldn't make much a difference either way - I wouldn't worry about it. At least if you sleep longer you won't have to wait as long for any medications to work as you will have slept half your waiting time away - most meds take a few weeks, at minimum, to begin working properly.

Just a note: depression typically isn't something that is treated occasionally. Like me, you can have a type of depression that comes and goes throughout the course of years, but depression medications aren't meant to be taken because you've been having a rough few weeks and feel bad. Depression medications aren't for sadness that results from environmental conditions. Depression medications are for treating a lingering or permanent chemical imbalance in the brain that may or may not have arisen due to environmental issues. Overmedication for depression has become a big issue, but I'd definately recommend getting things checked out.
 
  • #60
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JasonRox said:
Also, too much sleep can cause depression, so don't assume sleeping over it will help.

I wish I knew what depression really was because I don't really know. I know about sadness and stuff, but I've never got like depressed or something.
well, i've been sleeping maybe 5 hours for every 40 i'm awake... i'm pretty sure a little sleep will be more helpful than harmful...

and the feelings i'd sort of associate with depression are just like... hopelessness mostly because you can't imagine what could change that'd make you happy. worthless, sometimes i feel like i'm supposed to be sad because i can't see all the joyous things in life. apathy. like, i'm depressed and thats not going to change, so nothing matters. and its really hard to change the mindset because you feel like you won't be able to change no matter how hard you try, and even if you do, that it won't really matter.

then i think on top of that plays the rest of your emotions. lots of people get really anxious. i do a lot. because i'm sad, it means i suck, and if i suck, people won't like me, and if people don't like me, then that's very sad and i don't feel like being alive any more. a lot of times people get really emotional and every little thing can make them cry or get angry. i tend to feel really stupid when i feel depressed too. like, i know i shouldn't be depressed, but i am, and so i feel stupid for having unwarrented emotions. that leads back in to feeling worthless and then apathetic and the hopeless...

thats the real problem with depression... its sort of a vicious cycle. once you're in that frame of mind... you can't get out of it. and lots of things can get you to feel that way. its like, not sad so much as... i dunno... it just sucks. you don't want to be alive cause it just sucks. you don't feel like you're living at all. you're just sort of watching time go by and hoping for something to magically change.

i don't know if that explains it at all....
 
  • #61
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Regular sleep time, mood chart, no recreational drugs (e. g., caffeine, benedryl, sudafed, ephedrine, fad stimulants, etc.), sensible diet, exercise, support groups, hobbies, light box (for seasonal affective disorder), structured routine, socialization, meditation, pets, effective therapist, controlled stress and compliance with therapy.

Some helpful sites:

http://www.nami.org, http://www.nimh.nih.gov, http://www.narsad.org, http://www.nmha.org, http://www.locatorplus.gov, http://www.dbsalliance.org
 
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  • #62
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Gale17 said:
thats the real problem with depression... its sort of a vicious cycle. once you're in that frame of mind... you can't get out of it. and lots of things can get you to feel that way. its like, not sad so much as...
Gale, I think the suggestion offered by Loren Booda (in his earlier post) is something you should definitely check out. Cognitive therapy is specifically geared toward getting people out of vicious thought cycles.

There are cogitive therapists just about everywhere now, or you can check out the most popular book out there on the subject, Feeling Good by David Burns. There are about a zillion copies out there, you should have no trouble finding it at a library.
 
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  • #63
saltydog
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My goodness people. No one's asked? Can I be nossy Gale? What's wrong with home? I mean don't have to say. I can think of a ton of things really. Are you aware of the problems that many/most girls go through when growing up? Surely you must. I don't wish to imply your problems are not severe but may I suggest that it might be possible that you're really not that different from most girls: all of you are sisters. It's sad really what young girls go through these days. I know. I have a daughter . . . "Reviving Ophelia", by Mary Pipher. Where were all the dads . . it was a painful read . . .
 
  • #64
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Most people are not healthy, so I always vote bad eating habits.

Eating habits are so bad nowadays, that it is now mandatory for some companies to insert certain vitamins and minerals into their products because everyone eats like morons.

Also, eating healthy is almost always associated with eating less. People think by eating less at McDonald's, than their counterpart, then they are eating healthy or healthier. The bottom line is... if you're eating junk food, however the portion size, it is unhealthy period.

I see so many people trying to lose weight by eating less also. Biggest mistake you can do. All this does is shoot your metabolism to death, then you complain that your metabolism is slow. So, I recommend reading about weight loss (not advertised weight loss).

Like the above person said, this can be because of age or family related issues.

I prefer to look at diet and exercise because we all know that in North America no one gets it. I mean NO ONE, not even the ones at the GYMS! Sad.

Note: If you are awake for 40 hours and sleep 5 hours, this isn't helping your general health one bit. It's not about a thing you plan on doing, it's about the thing you are going to do.
 

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