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Fighting depression with medication...

Discussion in 'General Support and Advice' started by Just1Dude, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. Just1Dude

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    I've finally given up fighting it on my own. For as long as I can remember, I have always dealt with depression. First and last time I attempted suicide I was 8. As I grew up I brushed that aside blaming being a kid and not really *knowing* what I was doing. When I was 13, I was officially diagnosed and given some treatment time and a prescription.

    When I was in High School(10th grade) I decided I didn't need a pill to be happy. For a while there I was doing great, but at the same time I was a very busy High School student and I had a lot of friends. I was always on the go whether it be a school function or out with friends. It was the same in college.

    I really thought I had either kicked it or grown out of it, but over the past couple of years (I am 32 now). It has come back with a vengeance. My life has definitely slowed down. We all know the way of life and how people grow up and sometimes grow a part. Plus I have really dealt with my sexuality head on just recently, maybe 3 years ago with my immediate family and close friends.

    I am not suicidal, but the bouts have been happening more frequently and have been lasting longer and longer. I have been having multiple random breakdowns daily. For a few weeks here and there I will feel okay and I will forget about my past bout, but anything can trigger me. It can be a random movie (doesn't have to be sad), tv show.. or even a certain spot in town or the way the sun is shining. It has drug me down so much currently that I felt like it was trying to kill me.

    Usually I make short term and long term goal lists and that is therapeutic for me (I talked about this on here last year), but nothing was dragging me out and I am back to where no matter where I see myself.. I will never be "okay."

    It took a lot to go to the doctor today. I am turning 33 this year, and when I was talking to him I felt like I transformed back into that little 12/13 year old boy who looked like he was on the verge of death.

    He started me out on a low dose of anti-depressants and I am going to visit a therapist. I am not sure how I feel about the therapy, but they want to keep an eye on any adverse effects so I appreciate that.

    I feel weak, but I am so tired of feeling so bleak. I hate that feeling of thinking that nothing will ever be okay. I know that I am depressed, but I can't break through.

    I know depression effects a ton of people, so I wanted to reach out and ask if anyone has been on anti-depressants and if it has helped you any at all? Do you feel like a different person mentally and did you have to fight yourself to finally go in and see someone?
     
    #1 Just1Dude, Apr 30, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  2. mychemromance99

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    It seems like you are less likely to be depressed when you are busy and are ocuppied with some work, or you are hanging around with your friends.

    I don't mean to say that you should overburden yourself with work and simply "go out more, hang out with your friends", that's not a solution or a cure for your depression.

    But it wouldn't hurt to keep yourself a little busy.

    Maybe set some short term goals for yourself.

    All that combined with medication and therapy could help you feel much better.

    Feel free to post on my wall or PM me if you wish to talk more about it.
    I function in a similar way.
    For me, the fastest route to feeling depressed again is not being productive.

    Hope you feel better.
     
    #2 mychemromance99, Apr 30, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  3. Ruby Dragon

    Ruby Dragon Well-Known Member

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    I'm so happy to read that you're back on meds and seeing a therapist.
    I'm bipolar, and have dealt with bad depression. I was on antidepressants but they sent me into a manic state, so my psychiatrist took me off them and just prescribed strong mood stabilizers, which seem to work for me. My mood is more level now and I love being able to function normally (Or at least as normal as possible).
     
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  4. bingostring

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    You have taken a very positive step in seeing your doctor and talking about therapy.

    Follow advice on what medications may be best for you. You may be offered higher doses, or different medications, and may even a combination of medications. Tell the doctor when there are no noticeable changes or bad side effects.

    Later on you can always get referred to a psychiatrist to discuss alternative medications as psychiatrists really specialise in this. General doctors only have a basic background on this sort of thing.

    Don't expect the meds to take all the problems away. Meds may be a long term thing that just runs in the background and you will make bigger strides through therapy and learning some new life skills. By life skills, I mean new interests that allow your mind to operate differently and push you in to a larger social circle than you have now. Things that get you out doing new things, meeting people and making new friendships. If you are feeling withdrawn and isolated that cycle needs to be challenged head on. However toe-curclingly uncomfortable it may make you feel.

    Have you thought about social or activity groups? (hiking, cycling, gaming, painting, cinema, charity volunteering ) ... or further education courses where you will meet like minded people. Challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone. Find gay social or other gay activity groups if that would allow you to have more gay friends/ support network in your life.

    Keep up with your short term and long term goal lists. For each major goal, list out all the secondary steps needed to achieve the goal and make each step manageable and not overwhelming.
     
  5. Chip

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    I fully support your decision to go back on meds. There's nothing "weak" about supporting what our body and brain needs to make us function.

    The challenge is finding the right medication. Meds for depression is a very inexact science because the non-specific effect (how the drug affects each individual differently) has a huge variance with psych medications. So I would strongly suggest that you see a psychiatrist rather than your regular family doctor, as the psychiatrist will be far more familiar with the available medications, the dosing variations, and will be much better equipped to help you get the right combination of medication and dosage to do the job for you.

    Therapy is also a really important piece here; there are some extremely effective means of treating depression using psychotherapy, and in many cases, people are eventually able to get off of meds if they choose to do so. And almost always, the neural pathway deficiency causing the depression has its root in some early childhood issue that can be effectively addressed and healed in therapy.
     
  6. Devil Dave

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    I've never been on medication for depression and I don't think I like the idea of it either, although it has worked for some people I know. I much prefer talking to a therapist, because I'm not putting anything in my body, I'm just expressing my thoughts and feelings, without the use of drugs.

    A therapist can help you identify reasons for why you are feeling low, and then take steps to overcoming these negative emotions. Dealing with my depression in this way made me feel more confident and independent, it helped me accept things about myself that I was struggling with. This gave me a feeling of accomplishment. I don't think that taking medication that alters my mood would have given me this sort of feeling.
     
  7. Chip

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    I completely understand your position, and I don't disagree that understanding the issue through therapy is an excellent idea and probably the first choice I would make.

    At the same time, we have to be careful not to inadvertently shame people who use medication. We would probably tell someone with a serious infection that didn't take antibiotics but nonetheless survived that they were crazy. Medications for depression are no different. While it is possible to rewire the neural pathways that cause depression, that takes time and effort, and the medications for depression help to make it manageable, so that we can do the work to rewire the neural pathways. And for some, their brains may be wired in a way that they may require some level of medication in the long term.

    Please be careful in how you present these things, because the last thing we want to do is shame or discourage someone from taking the steps they need to take to get better.
     
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  8. wickedwitch

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    Yes, yes, yes, and yes. :blush:

    I haven't read any posts except the first so apologies if I'm repeating something.

    I actually had to "hit bottom" much like alcoholics do before getting treatment, that's how stubborn I was about "doing it myself" and/or "nothing's wrong". Through much trial and error I have found that the treatment that worked the best for me, in addition to lifestyle changes (exercise, proper sleep/diet, etc.) included 3 things: 1. meds 2. supportive therapy and 3. skills-building, the most powerful of which was Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. Devil Dave

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    I did not mean to shame anyone, and I did mention that medication has worked for some people I know. I was just giving my reasons for not wanting to turn to medication. My depression was not as severe as a lot of other cases, and if my circumstances were different, I might even have been recommended to take medication. So I can't judge everyone else by their experience.