Antidepressants—I Want Results

It is estimated that ten million people in the United States take antidepressants.  That’s unbelievable! When I used antidepressants I had high expectations for immediate results.  When I did not feel better immediately, I was terrified–I was not I could wait until the drugs had a chance to work.  I was always fearful that the depression and anxiety would not go away.  I wondered if I would ever get better and feel good.  The reality is that most antidepressants will not start working for a couple of weeks, and in many instances, a month or two.

It was even more terrifying for me when one antidepressant did not work and the psychiatrist would have to change to another.  I developed this notion that there was an arsenal of drugs and cocktails available, and if one thing did not work than another would.  Over the course of my depressions, I have lost count of how many different antidepressants or combinations of antidepressants I have tried.  It was very frustrating for me and, I think, the psychiatrist.  One psychiatrist agreed with me that I had a high suicide potential, so he put me on a regimen of lithium.  Lithium is just a salt but, for whatever reason, it may be the most effective treatment for individuals with depression and high suicidal ideation.

When I took lithium, it “locked down” any kind of emotion.  I felt like I was in an “emotional strait-jacket.  I did not feel anything.  I was only functioning albeit high level.  Under the circumstances, lithium was probably the right choice for me.  I chose not to stay on Lithium, however, because of the potential impact on my internal organs, specifically the kidneys.  It is a drug that has to be closely monitored with blood tests.  While I was able to get myself off Lithium without side effects, some of the other antidepressants I’ve taken had some unsettling and alarming side effects.

Probably the most effective antidepressant I have used is one of the original Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. (SSRI’s)  On a couple of occasions, I have used Paxel very effectively.  Paxil alleviates OCD-type symptoms and is often used with individuals who worry too much.  It is effective with PTSD as well.  One of the side effects of Paxil is that it increases one’s appetite, and like most individuals who have taken it, I gained weight–a lot of weight.  Another unfortunate effect of Paxil is that once you are on it, it can be very difficult to get off it.  It is never recommended that you go off Paxil “cold turkey” because of the withdrawal symptoms also known as “Serotonin Syndrome.”    I attempted to do that and had some of the craziest experiences: headaches, strange tinkling experiences in the head, my heart pounding, and cold sweats.  I also had vivid dreams–what they call “hypnogogic dreams.”  These dreams were so real to life that sometimes I wasn’t sure if I was in a dream or actually awake.  They got so bad I was afraid to go to sleep.

My experience with depression and suicide were very scary and of great concern to those around me.  I felt there was something missing–perhaps a lot of things.  That led to my feelings of hopelessness for which I felt there were no options.  I was not thinking clearly, but talking with others was helpful in that I realized I was not alone.  When I did not get what I wanted and needed–love and attention–it drove me to think outrageous thoughts and behave in rather outrageous ways.

Depression is a complex disorder.  The question I ask is whether or not drugs cure depression or just hide symptoms and mask the reality.  Frankly, I do not think that drugs can or will cure depression. They may help or alleviate, but they do not cure.  While I have not had the label of bipolar thrown at me, lithium is used for major depression.  It locked down my emotions.  It numbed me to everything.  I realize that our healthcare community is so closely entwined with our pharmaceutical industry that the primary approach to anything perceived as a mental or emotional disorder is through drugs–anything to ease the pain.  But I have questions:  When does depression cease being a commonplace emotion and become a clinical disease?  Many things in life can be depressing.  When does depression cross over into a clinical condition?  When do you start sensing that something is not working?

Depression has always been with us.  This is not a new experience yet the usage of drug intervention has gone up dramatically.  Some of this usage is irresponsible and the usage of these drugs as a profit motive is, at best, ethically challenged.

17 comments

  1. Absolutely…I just think that we fallback to pharmaceuticals to quickly where talk therapy is as effective. There are no definitive studies that are real conclusive. Many of the studies are funded by the pharmaceutical companies. Part of the problem is the insurance industry looking at this a panacea for quicker and cheaper results than traditional therapy.

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  2. Having a small fistful of cashews can help too. One nice home remedy 🙂 also sharing your thoughts as much as you can with caring friends and family.

    The point is to distract attention from the thing that is causing the depression. I started watching a lot of comedies and even reading science fiction. Sci fi distracts the mind from daily humdrum of life.

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  3. Have you tried any natural healing???/ I have had MAJOR improvements when I was going for bodytalk treatments which balances all communication within the brain and the body- as well as hormones- experienes- emotions anything the human body-mind can go through – and I now practice it – which I have a lot of people who overcome anxiety and depression without meds!! Its amazing to see their lives change– contat me if you want more inf!! Id be glad to jump on a call with you for free of course 🙂

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    • Thank you for reaching out. I have used and studied a lot. I learned that my own best doctor is myself. I am very much into homeopathy, diet, and exercise. In fact, I credit much of that for allowing myself not to continue being dependent on drugs or any other process addiction. Are you doing Reiku?

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      • Hi there glad you replied! And you are very welcome- i dealt with severe anxiety and depression about 7-8 years ago— and its come along way- I actually just decided to give up marijuana- as I used it for 12 years to fill a void- (hence – what i was “avoiding” in my life) And feel amazing without it — I am a massage therapist for 8 years plus few years of studying prior- learned reiki- and went for bodytalk treatments for my anxiety/ depression!! I am doing tons of bodytalk long distance healing sessions- you dont even need to know the person- but the energy and perspectives that come up helps to balance and reestablish the communication in the brain and body!! It helped mine and so many of my clients overcome their anxiety its trul a blessing!! That is amazing to hear you arent dependant on drugs and other addictions— it is also true that you are your own best doctor- as your intuitiion will tell you over and over what u need to do … soemtimes we dont listen!!! Definitely add me to facebook – Melissa Krochak or my website is http://www.unwindwithmelissa.com 🙂 hopefully we can dig deeper into your subconscious and see where the root cause of these emotions are coming from!!

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      • I know some of what you speak. Sometimes, you have to let go a lot of things. I have never have done anything on the telephone. I do know the value of massage and body work. You have an impressive background. Going to India to train with the masters is a lot more than what others can say. Depression and anxiety are tough issues. I did look at your website. I like your blogging. I may call you sometime. Thank you for the offer.

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      • Yes you can definitely send an email if you want to set something up to ask more info and get the details no how long distance healing can work!! If you can find massage or bodytalk near you that woul dbe great too if you are more comfortable with that— as it does help to release stored emotions and help you to focus on breathing which when we inhale – resembles breathing in and taking in life – lungs also represent depression- and exhaling represents letting things go! 🙂 Breathing and meditation classes I also teach online for 1/2 hour at a time or longer if people prefer!! I just dont like knowing so many ppl are suffering with anxiety when I know it can be overcome 🙂 – I cant help everyone – but its all about educating ourselves!! Wishing you the best !

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      • I have used native and shamanistic tactics with some positive effect. There is a shaman in Denton. May I suggest reading books by Lewis Mehl-Madrona? He is a psychiatrist that is native that uses non-allopathic process.

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      • awesome that sounds amazing!!! I would love to learn more about shamanistic practices – as Im in Puerto Vallarta right now and want to find the right one to learn more from 🙂 Thank you for the info I will definitely ceck out Lewis- mehl madrona!! Gracias!

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      • I would be happy to talk. While I do not consider myself as such, there is a lot of power transferance. Used properly, it does work.. I blessed that I have learned enough to know that spirituality is very real and always there.

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      • Ya the power of intention and law of attraction -if we pay attention to our emotions and feelings we get from our thoughts- the unvierse provides us with so much insight. But sometimes as humans- we cannot figure everything out either…. takes some assitance. Would you consider a free coaching call to see where you are at – or if we could incorporate some meditation techniques and breathing exercises to help anxiety- or tension- there is also more info at http://unwindwithmelissa.com/healings! Talk soon Brent

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