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View Full Version : Anti-depressants..opinions?


digitalfreaknyc
03-21-06, 11:06 AM
Been arguing with my family over these for a few years now and was looking for reactions from others.
They feel they're essential for people with a chemical imbalance to help them feel better but is it possible to accurately know if there is a "chemical imbalance?" I think they should ONLY be used as a last resort and only for a short time (not the rest of your life). Now, to be fair, I'm not talking about people with very real and serious mental illness.

I know this is a personal question so I implore everyone who responds to treat others with respect. It would be great if I could get some honest responses to this.

al_bundy
03-21-06, 11:09 AM
i would have to be really screwed up just to even think of using them. I would first look at exercise and diet changes which have been shown to have an effect on the hormones and chemicals that cause you to feel good or bad.

They can screw with your brain too. i know someone that has been on them for decades. idiot doctor tries to take that person off them cold turkey. result is hallucinations.

Bushdog
03-21-06, 11:32 AM
i would have to be really screwed up just to even think of using them. I would first look at exercise and diet changes which have been shown to have an effect on the hormones and chemicals that cause you to feel good or bad.

They can screw with your brain too. i know someone that has been on them for decades. idiot doctor tries to take that person off them cold turkey. result is hallucinations.
I'd probably look at counseling before just making sure to eat more fruit or jogging.

kvrdave
03-21-06, 11:32 AM
I am actually on a form of anti-depressant. I take them because they supposedly keep migraines away. I told my doctor that I wasn't comfortable with A) taking an anti-depressant, and B) medicating for life. He told me as anti-depressants go, this one isn't even any good. :lol: Supposedly it is also soppose to make me tired. Hasn't done that either. But I do think it has done some good for my migraines, and otherwise I feel no different.

I think if a person has issues, and a doctor says give them a try, one should see if they do anything beneficial. But I also think most people today are depressed too easily.

Bushdog
03-21-06, 11:38 AM
That explains so much on how your posting style changed a few years back and how you became Christian LiteŽ

digitalfreaknyc
03-21-06, 11:43 AM
I think people run to drugs too easily because they are an easy "out."

I tried an anti-anxiety medication last year because I was having panic attacks all the time. I wasn't on them for very long and was extremely hesitant when I started. I ended up stopping and feeling ok. About a month or two later, I took one pill (stupid, I know) because I knew I was going to have an extremely difficult day and wanted to avoid any attacks. I absolutely hated the way I felt. I felt drained. I was calm but I also felt a bit dead.

This issue is coming up with another family member now. It seems like almost everyone in my immediate family is jumping on the bandwagon and I absolutely hate that idea. It scares me that we're becoming a group of people (not just my family) who jump to the pill whenever we can't pull ourselves out of a rut. Plus, unless you can prove to me that there's something chemically wrong with me, I'd rather figure my shit out by myself.

I guess I'm just curious if anyone ever actually used them for a period of time and was able to get off of them safely and successfully.

adamblast
03-21-06, 11:51 AM
After a winter of skirting suicide I'm going back into therapy, and probably back on the meds myself. Anti-depressants are marginally more effective than any other kind of treatment, but that's not saying much.

I just hope they don't even me out *too* much, because I'm going to need a full range of emotional depth this spring and summer: it's looking like the local Shakespeare festival wants me for the leads in Macbeth and Three Musketeers.

I understand your ambivelance about meds and certainly the "fix-everything- with-meds" culture growing up around them, and you're not wrong, but those are more "things to watch for" than reasons not to get help.

al_bundy
03-21-06, 11:54 AM
when i was in the army in korea, i had a first sergeant that said that you will never find hapiness in a bottle, or something like that. Same thing with drugs. There are people with real chemical imbalances and other medical issues that are helped by these. But so many millions of people take these drugs, that I think most of them are simply trying to find hapiness by taking drugs.

Big Quasimodo
03-21-06, 11:54 AM
It is (or was, when I was more plugged into psychopharmacology) possible to test for a chemical imbalance. It was (is?) a urine test. The results of the testing suggest the treatment and the dosage is modified as needed by self-report and clinical observation. I would also say that most psychiatrists see anti-depressants as a long-term solution, at least over the course of years, not months. But individuals certainly should have input and should take responsibility for providing informed consent, if they are capable.

As far as discontinuing anti-depressant treatment, it's best to stop taking meds with the advice and assistance of the psychiatrist, as quitting cold turkey can sometimes have severe side-effects. And as you've mentioned, the severity of the depression has to be taken into account.

Finally a quick personal comment. Even if the piss test says there is a chemical imbalance, there is still a strong element of faith that goes into accepting those results. For example, if one doesn't feel psychologically depressed, but tests as chemically depressed, does one still agree to go on meds?

Big Quasimodo
03-21-06, 12:01 PM
Another observation. Some patients on anti-depressants report feeling less depressed, more optimistic, motivated, energetic, positive, etc. Others say they don't feel any differently AT ALL, yet the people around them (familiy, friends, therapists) assure them that they are acting differently (better). It really does, sometimes, take quite a bit of faith to stay the course of treatment.

And I completely empathize with the innate aversion to taking drugs that aren't perceived as "necessary". That makes it even harder.

Gallant Pig
03-21-06, 12:06 PM
I usually try and not post personal info on here, but I figured this might help some people. I think there is a strong stigma in our society against getting help and treatment from medication. I used to feel the same thing. I thought anti-depressants were a last chance to save yourself and nothing else. Like kvrdave however, I have had a change of opinion, and I do not think they are scary drugs that should be avoided at all cost. You should have an open mind and see a psychiatrist about it.

After having some trouble focusing at work when my boss went offsite fulltime, I decided to see what the pyschologist thought. It was clear I had ADHD but also mild social anxiety and depresssion. So I went on an anti-depressant called Effexor (along with Strattera). All I can say is I am very grateful Effexor exists, as it has helped me significantly. The straterra I'm less convinced and maybe discontinue usage. I'm not sure if I'll quit taking Effexor anytime soon, but I imagine eventually. Quitting cold turkey for it is the worst thing you can do, at least for Effexor.

RunBandoRun
03-21-06, 12:08 PM
Well. I take an anti-depressant AND an anxiolytic daily, and while I agree that there is no "magic pill" that can make all your problems disappear, for someone who has bona fide medical problems, these medications are a godsend.

I would also like to state that exercising and diet are important even if you ARE taking these meds. Swallowing a pill isn't enough. You have to take care of yourself in entirety. Even though the pills help, if I don't exercise and eat right, the depression and anxiety will reassert themselves.

The Bus
03-21-06, 12:10 PM
Saying taking anti-depressants is a cop out is like saying going to the ER when you have an axe wound is a cop out. Or getting bedrest when you've got the flu is a cop-out. It's pure nonsense and completely irresponsible to make such a blanket statement.

The sad truth is that not only are some people over-medicated, but there is no one good anti-depressant. For lack of a better analogy, it's like making chili. You add some ingredients here and there to replace what's missing, but it's hit-or-miss. Some work great for people, others don't. Many have very bad side effects.

For anyone seriously considering medication, I'd also look into therapy, holistic approaches, changes in diet, exercise, sleep, etc.

digitalfreaknyc
03-21-06, 12:10 PM
But say these drugs do change a person and make them happier/more relaxed, etc. It just really irks me that someone took those drugs to get that feeling and they didn't fix whatever was wrong with their life to get there on their own. I went through a VERY dark period in my life about a year ago. That's when I took them for a short period of time. I just hated the idea of being on them forever. Depression runs in my family, so I'm told. I have 5 immediate family members that are/were on them and I honestly don't want to become the next should it come to that. I think they all took/are taking them because they feel it's easier to run away from their problems/fears than to actually deal with them. From personal experience, I can honestly say that over the last year, I have made ENORMOUS strides in making my life infinitely better. I'm not saying it's perfect-- far from it. I have to work at helping to stay at the same level that I was at the day before. But I can at least say that I did it on my own and that is a far greater accomplisment to me than relying on any drug.

digitalfreaknyc
03-21-06, 12:12 PM
After having some trouble focusing at work when my boss went offsite fulltime, I decided to see what the pyschologist thought. It was clear I had ADHD but also mild social anxiety and depresssion. So I went on an anti-depressant called Effexor (along with Strattera). All I can say is I am very grateful Effexor exists, as it has helped me significantly. The straterra I'm less convinced and maybe discontinue usage. I'm not sure if I'll quit taking Effexor anytime soon, but I imagine eventually. Quitting cold turkey for it is the worst thing you can do, at least for Effexor.

Effexor is what I was on. And I quit cold turkey.

Turd Ferguson
03-21-06, 12:17 PM
I've taken Paxil for years, and it's made a huge difference in my life. It's no more of a crutch for me than insulin is for a diabetic.

Gallant Pig
03-21-06, 12:19 PM
Effexor is what I was on. And I quit cold turkey.

That's not a great idea. It has very strong withdrawal effects. You should quit it gradually. It's also not something you take all of a sudden and expect it to start working immediately. It takes a good week before you actually see any benefits. If anything, it will make you feel worse if you take one, the first day you will get negative side effects.

digitalfreaknyc
03-21-06, 12:21 PM
I've taken Paxil for years, and it's made a huge difference in my life. It's no more of a crutch for me than insulin is for a diabetic.

Do you see any signs of getting off of it?

I guess for some reason that's ok with some people. For me, I see it as extremely unhealthy. I don't want to be dependent upon ANY substance in my life unless it's medically diagnosed and can be proved.

digitalfreaknyc
03-21-06, 12:23 PM
That's not a great idea. It has very strong withdrawal effects. You should quit it gradually. It's also not something you take all of a sudden and expect it to start working immediately. It takes a good week before you actually see any benefits. If anything, it will make you feel worse if you take one, the first day you will get negative side effects.

I took it for about 3 months I believe. I did see results. But again, I want to reach that point myself...not because some drug made me feel it.

I felt a helluva lot more alive once I got off of it. Like i said, taking it one day reminded me of how i felt when I got off of it and said "never again." I threw out the bottle when I got home.

wildcatlh
03-21-06, 12:26 PM
Personally, I'm on them and I'm sick of idiots who don't understanding talking about how easy it is to just go to therapy or just start thinking happier thoughts and whatever other bullshit it is they come up with to feel better about themselves.

Try living with this shit your whole life and maybe you'd understand.

digitalfreaknyc
03-21-06, 12:28 PM
Personally, I'm on them and I'm sick of idiots who don't understanding talking about how easy it is to just go to therapy or just start thinking happier thoughts and whatever other bullshit it is they come up with to feel better about themselves.

Try living with this shit your whole life and maybe you'd understand.

Please try reading my first post.

Let's not get into name calling or overly-emotional posts.

I have lived with it my whole life. So don't judge.

Besides...more posts like that and we'll have to call your Dr. and have him up your dosage. ;)

FantasticVSDoom
03-21-06, 12:28 PM
Yeah, you have to really be careful coming off psychotropic meds...If you think you had panic attacks before, sometimes coming straight off can lead to the mother of all panic attacks and worse. I have always suffered from GAD, even has Panic attacks for a while. Tried Paxil for a spell, but the sexual side effects were just to much for me, and I didnt want to be on medications. I was able to make a lot of changes in my life, but the anxiety is still there, I just have control over it. Unfortunately thats not possible for everyone. These disorders vary so wildly for people that there is no one size fits all approach. I deal with people who have varying disorders (in fact everyone I work with is dually diagnosed so its even worse for them) and it can be very difficult to try and find the right combo of drugs, therapy, and behavorial treatments that are effective

wildcatlh
03-21-06, 12:31 PM
Whatever. Then you've lived with it your whole life. It's likely not too bad, otherwise you wouldn't be saying this. I know I have a chemical imbalance. My life is damn good. I make spectacular money. I'm married to a beautiful woman who couldn't be any better. And I still get panic attacks, anxiety, and I'm depressed all the time. Therapy alone has never cut it for me.

And when posts are so blatantly ignorant that it's obvious that the author has no idea what he's talking about and doesn't care to learn it, there's not much else I can do than the name calling, although I don't consider what I said name-calling.

digitalfreaknyc
03-21-06, 12:34 PM
Anyway...moving on.

Again, I welcome anyone with intelligent posts and opinions that can check their emotions at the door.

nevermind
03-21-06, 12:37 PM
So don't judge.



I just love when you post this.

digitalfreaknyc
03-21-06, 12:38 PM
I just love when you post this.

Doesn't take long, does it guys?

ShallowHal
03-21-06, 12:39 PM
I've always wanted to try them for a few months. I'm not depressed, but I'd love to be happy about small stuff every day. If it helps me get through Ghost Ship without hating myself, it can't be all bad.

nevermind
03-21-06, 12:41 PM
Doesn't take long, does it guys?

I don't know what you mean by that - but I just like reminding you of (falsely) judging people here of being homophobic.

Which makes this:
Again, I welcome anyone with intelligent posts and opinions that can check their emotions at the door.
even funnier.

digitalfreaknyc
03-21-06, 12:41 PM
I don't know what you mean by that - but I just like reminding you of (falsely) judging people here of being homophobic.

Which makes this:

even funnier.

Sweet.

If you've got a beef with me, click the ignore button.

Otherwise, if you don't have something to add to this thread, don't bother clicking on it.

wildcatlh
03-21-06, 12:42 PM
Anyway...moving on.

Again, I welcome anyone with intelligent posts and opinions that can check their emotions at the door.

Ah yes. The old refuge of the person who knows they have no argument, so they choose to ignore everything. Classic internet maneuver.

digitalfreaknyc
03-21-06, 12:44 PM
Ah yes. The old refuge of the person who knows they have no argument, so they choose to ignore everything. Classic internet maneuver.

If you'll notice, *I* am not trying to argue in this thread.
You are.

I'm trying to get opinions that ARE NOT confrontational.

Big Quasimodo
03-21-06, 12:45 PM
But say these drugs do change a person and make them happier/more relaxed, etc. It just really irks me that someone took those drugs to get that feeling and they didn't fix whatever was wrong with their life to get there on their own. I went through a VERY dark period in my life about a year ago. That's when I took them for a short period of time. I just hated the idea of being on them forever. Depression runs in my family, so I'm told. I have 5 immediate family members that are/were on them and I honestly don't want to become the next should it come to that. I think they all took/are taking them because they feel it's easier to run away from their problems/fears than to actually deal with them. From personal experience, I can honestly say that over the last year, I have made ENORMOUS strides in making my life infinitely better. I'm not saying it's perfect-- far from it. I have to work at helping to stay at the same level that I was at the day before. But I can at least say that I did it on my own and that is a far greater accomplisment to me than relying on any drug.

I applaud your progress AND your pride in making it, however your disdain and prejudice against people who derive a benefit from taking medications is disenheartening and unfair. IMO. Again, you might do well to conceptualize a difference between chemical and enviornmental/situational depression.

And, as I indicated in my initial posts, while your self-reports of your behavior on and off medication is important and relevant, I wonder what those close to you have observed. Do they agree that you are "better" off of medication?

nevermind
03-21-06, 12:45 PM
OK sorry - I'll contribute to this thread.

Do you think it's possible that just "being happy", figuring out their own problems, changing their diet, exercising more, or seeing a counselor doesn't work for some people?

That maybe they are just born that way?

and the only way to improve that is medically?

OldBoy
03-21-06, 12:50 PM
I am actually on a form of anti-depressant. I take them because they supposedly keep migraines away. But I do think it has done some good for my migraines, and otherwise I feel no different.

do you mind if i ask what it is? i too suffer from migraines and look to anything for relief...

digitalfreaknyc
03-21-06, 12:51 PM
I applaud your progress AND your pride in making it, however your disdain and prejudice against people who derive a benefit from taking medications is disenheartening and unfair. IMO. Again, you might do well to conceptualize a difference between chemical and enviornmental/situational depression.

If any of my posts have come across as having "disdain or prejudice" for people who take them, that's not my case. On the contrary, I'm looking to see if people are actually helped by them without having to take them for their entire lives or if that's really it: they have to take them until they die because that's the only way they can exist.

Do you think it's possible that just "being happy", figuring out their own problems, changing their diet, exercising more, or seeing a counselor doesn't work for some people?

Anything is possible. However, I think that people are too quick to jump on the "anti-depressant" bandwagon. My MD prescribed Effexor after a 5 minute conversation with me. He asked me if I was having some of the signs of depression and just decided on a whim to put me on it. Didn't say that I needed to change anything else and said I should see a therapist as well. That, to me, is a problem with today's society. People are just thrown on these drugs without trying every other possible way of dealing with themselves.

I'm not saying that it's not possible for people to be born with this imbalance. I was just wondering if there were actual tests or a way of saying this with certainty before just throwing people on drugs.

And regardless of what some members think, I honestly created this thread with the best of intentions of trying to understand where my family members are coming from.

Big Quasimodo
03-21-06, 12:59 PM
If any of my posts have come across as having "disdain or prejudice" for people who take them, that's not my case. On the contrary, I'm looking to see if people are actually helped by them without having to take them for their entire lives or if that's really it: they have to take them until they die because that's the only way they can exist.

But I can at least say that I did it on my own and that is a far greater accomplisment to me than relying on any drug.

I took the statement above to imply that those who "did not do it on their own" achieved a lesser accomplishment. It just seems like you resent people's success in combating their depression with drugs. I bet most of the people, given an option of feeling well with drugs or without drugs, would choose the later. It seems compassionate to accept that, for these people, the option did not exist.

BDB
03-21-06, 12:59 PM
digitalfreaknyc = http://www.bdbfc.com/tomcruise.jpg

Finally the wheel has come full circle.

digitalfreaknyc
03-21-06, 01:05 PM
I took the statement above to imply that those who "did not do it on their own" achieved a lesser accomplishment. It just seems like you resent people's success in combating their depression with drugs. I bet most of the people, given an option of feeling well with drugs or without drugs, would choose the later. It seems compassionate to accept that, for these people, the option did not exist.

No. I'm COMPLETELY speaking for myself in that case.

I don't resent it at all. I've just seen the horrible reactions that drugs can cause in my own family and I just have never seen any good come of it. It seems like eventually the drug doesn't work any more and then someone either prescribes MORE of said drug, or takes them off of it (in which case they go crazy) and then they have to try and find another drug.

Again, just looking for other people's opinions. I'm not trying to judge anyone's choice of it. In fact, if it works for you then I hope you're happy with it. But I couldn't imagine (for myself) being on drugs for the rest of my life and being ok with it. I'm trying to understand the other side of it all.

LurkerDan
03-21-06, 01:37 PM
I know this is a personal question so I implore everyone who responds to treat others with respect. It would be great if I could get some honest responses to this.
It just really irks me that someone took those drugs to get that feeling and they didn't fix whatever was wrong with their life to get there on their own.
Let's not get into name calling or overly-emotional posts.

I have lived with it my whole life. So don't judge.

Besides...more posts like that and we'll have to call your Dr. and have him up your dosage. ;)
Way to listen to your own imploring there, champ.

I'm trying to get opinions that ARE NOT confrontational.
While offering confrontational opinions yourself?

digitalfreaknyc
03-21-06, 01:38 PM
Wow...looks like the DFNYC fan club is all here!

Nothing better to do with your day?

My one comment was a J-O-K-E and I made that clear.
And I've made it abundantly clear that my comments were NOT meant to be confrontational.

Jeez...I might as well close this thread since I've had just as many people picking on me as giving actual advice.

kvrdave
03-21-06, 01:44 PM
That explains so much on how your posting style changed a few years back and how you became Christian LiteŽ


:lol: I became Christian Lite?

LurkerDan
03-21-06, 01:47 PM
Wow...looks like the DFNYC fan club is all here!

Nothing better to do with your day?

My one comment was a J-O-K-E and I made that clear.
And I've made it abundantly clear that my comments were NOT meant to be confrontational.

Jeez...I might as well close this thread since I've had just as many people picking on me as giving actual advice.
Fan club? I have never had any interaction with you at all that I can recall. But saying that your comments are not meant to be confrontational doesn't mean they aren't.

Example: My comments about race are not meant to be confrontational, I'm just trying to understand. But why are so many black people on welfare? Why can't they get jobs and get off welfare like white people do?

If you are a black person and read that statement, are you going to say "hey, he didn't mean to be confrontational, so it's cool."? That's what I am getting at.

You say that you just want to understand, but then you also say things that indicate a sense of superiority over people who use AD's. You may not view it as such, but when you indicate that being on them is somehow bad, or that people should be able to beat their depression without being on them, and that you have done so, that says I'm superior to those who can't get off the AD's. Maybe some people don't need them, maybe therapy and other changes could do the trick. And perhaps, perhaps, for those people your attitude is ok. But to someone who needs AD's just to function, your statements come off as darn confrontational. But instead of realizing that and reevaluating, you instead are playing the victim...

RunBandoRun
03-21-06, 01:48 PM
I don't want to be seen as either jumping on the pigpile OR sticking up for DFNYC. So I will just reiterate what I said earlier.

Some of us who are on antidepressants and/or anxiolytics are on them because the "just snap out of it" or "go to counseling" didn't work or wasn't enough. In my own case, I have a major medical condition which is linked to several other dysfunctions, so for example, I am also on medication for glucose imbalance even though I am not diabetic.

DFNYC does have a point when he says that people cannot become totally dependent on swallowing a pill instead of working toward their own wellness. However, even ON these meds, there are days when I am so anxious that I spend the day fighting back tears. There are mornings when I am so depressed that I don't want to get out of bed. And there are times when I feel like nothing I'm doing is really helping. Without the meds, these days were much more frequent, so I know the medicine helps, but it's not just the medicine.

It's very easy to say people and/or doctors "rush" to seek a chemical solution to problems. The fact is, these drugs are a godsend for many people, myself included.

kitkat
03-21-06, 02:40 PM
It just really irks me that someone took those drugs to get that feeling and they didn't fix whatever was wrong with their life to get there on their own.

You seem to be discounting the whole idea that depression can have a medical/biological cause.

We all have things in our lives that go wrong from time to time. People biologically prone to depression will often react to them quite badly. Healthy people can much more easily take them in stride. In the former case, it's not the bad life event that's the real problem, it's the imbalance. In that case, drugs often are how to fix what was wrong.

The Bus
03-21-06, 02:52 PM
You seem to be discounting the whole idea that depression can have a medical/biological cause.

We all have things in our lives that go wrong from time to time. People biologically prone to depression will often react to them quite badly. Healthy people can much more easily take them in stride. In the former case, it's not the bad life event that's the real problem, it's the imbalance. In that case, drugs often are how to fix what was wrong.

Exactly. It's kind of like telling someone who is wheelchair bound to stop being lazy and walk like the rest of us do. It's a bit irresponsible and it demonstrates a lack of basic understanding of the problem.

I think in the next century we will make a lot more advances in understanding the brain. Just like a hundred years ago we didn't have the knowledge we do today about cancer, strokes, etc. It's just a matter of time. I wouldn't be surprised if there was some sort of blood pressure / cholesterol type test that measured chemical balances. You go get your physical and your doctor says, "Well, it looks like the norepinephrine is under control, but the serotonin levels are still way off the chart. Let's keep monitoring them because with your family history of Parkinson's I don't want to adjust those levels too much beyond where they are now."

NotThatGuy
03-21-06, 03:05 PM
General Disclaimer: I am not a licensed medical doctor, nor should my advice be taken as such. I am speaking from a therapist's perspective and I have an academic understanding of this subject, but do not claim anything more than that.

There is no magic pill...it doesn't matter what disease, condition, problem you are trying to fix. Pharma solutions are a delicate balance between a person's physiologic makeup, diet, exercise regime, etc. For many, a pharma solution has been life changing (good and bad). Anectdotal research is all over the map, and the large research studies can also be less conclusive than we'd ideally like, though there are still some great findings out there.

Most people are talking about depression, so I'll use that as my example. It has been shown in a number of studies that the most effective treatment method for "depression" (MDD, Anehedonia, Dsythimia, etc) is a combination of talk therapy and a pharma solution. Some people just want a pill, and if that works for them....fine, but according to the research, it is a less effective LONG TERM solution.

I'd like to digress for a moment to talk about anti-depressants in general. They are often one of the most misunderstood types of drugs. First off, they do not cause suicide, people erroneously misquote the actual study. (The study showed an increase in suicidal ideations in the experimental group, which is merely one factor in suicide attempts), nor are all meds created equal.

Also, someone mentioned going "cold turkey" off of their anti-depressants....NOT a good idea. Typically your doctor will advise you on a schedule to ween off. Depending on dosing, susceptability to side-effects, physiology etc.....a person may be opening themselves up to a very unpleasant and possibly life threaten experience. Every medication has a different suggested protocol, and some have warning about severe withdrawl symptoms.

As for chemical imbalance testing....yes they have it, but that does not directly corrolate with a pharma treatment for depression. If you want an interesting read, take some time to read the release notes with your typical anti-depressant, and you'll realize that they actually don't say that heightened levels of seretonin, norepininephrine, will automatically stop depression.

You CAN regulate other areas of your life that MAY effect your general mood, but for some, a pharma solution is the only long-term solution. As for permentant changes to the brain.....yes and no, it depends on the medication. Dependancy is a valid concern, but you can mediate most risks by lifestyle changes, the development of more effective coping mechanisms, etc.

Here are some random findings about long-term / short term efficacy and outcome that might offer some interesting debate:

The risk of relapse into another episode of depression if an antidepressant is stopped within the first 6 to 12 months following a treatment response is at least 50%.

This finding helped explain why people's 'short term' plans typically don't work well. This doesn't mean you have to stay on meds for your lifetime, but it speaks to the problems with people wanting to 'get through a rough patch'.

The best estimate for the risk of relapse into another episode of depression while taking an antidepressant for the first 6 months following a treatment response is 10%.

This is the goal. Again, it is possible to acheive similar results with lower/no dosing of anti-depressants, but it is very much a balancing act.

The chance of a depressed patient responding to any known antidepressant is 66%.

Hopefully this number will go up with the next generation of anti-depressants.

The chances of a depressed patient responding to a placebo is 33%

It isn't always a chemical problem.

btw....I can provide sources for the information if anyone is curious. I don't know the sources off the top of my head, but I can dig them up. They are pretty commonly referenced numbers within the psychopharm community.

-p

Bushdog
03-21-06, 03:05 PM
:lol: I became Christian Lite?You don't represent the Religious Right whackos very well. You tend to accept more reasoned approaches. ;)

Nick Danger
03-21-06, 03:07 PM
I was able to minimize the effects of chronic low-level depression with counselling. I resisted suggestions that I take drugs because I wanted to try to get through life without them. Right now, life is good and I hardly ever feel suicidal.

Mrs Danger has anxiety problems severe enough that, without medication, she can't even do simple things like go to the supermarket. With the meds, going shopping is managable if she psyches herself up first. The drugs have done more good for her than all the talking-therapy she ever had.

NotThatGuy
03-21-06, 03:08 PM
A few more comments:

Viabina brings up a great point about treating anxiety disorders with anxialytics.....typically they have better response rates to a pharma solution, compared to a talk therapy solution. You can reduce occurances and your ability to cope with anxiety, but it takes times, and even then sometimes is not possible.

As for depression not having a biological / chemical basis...that idea is bunk. There is still a stigma, but I usually tell patients who have problems with meds compliance that failing to take their meds is like a diabetic who ignores their insulin.

-p

The Bus
03-21-06, 03:18 PM
As for chemical imbalance testing....yes they have it, but that does not directly corrolate with a pharma treatment for depression.

My post was meant to illustrate one way how treatment might be like in the future, not anything happening currently. I honestly don't know enough about it to go into detail; I quizzed The Short Bus on brain chemicals before I put up my "what-if?" post.

I'll summarize my understanding of the subject thusly: it's ignorant to think that medications or pharmaceutical treatment is worthless or a placebo at best. At the same time, pharmaceutical companies in search of profit do their very best to have their medication appear as a panacea; in turn, some people see the drugs as an apotheosis in chewable strawberry-banana-flavored tablet form. The truth is somewhere in between.

NotThatGuy
03-21-06, 03:26 PM
...some people see the drugs as an apotheosis in chewable strawberry-banana-flavored tablet form. The truth is somewhere in between.

If they had bacon+syrup flavored tablets, then we'd have a reason to celebrate!!

-p

RunBandoRun
03-21-06, 03:35 PM
If they had bacon+syrup flavored tablets, then we'd have a reason to celebrate!!

-p

McGrumpies? :D

NotThatGuy
03-21-06, 03:45 PM
*off topic*

If they had bacon+syrup flavored viagra pills, there would be a record number of Meat Gazings......which could get odd, especially in the office. It is like, "Hey Bob, have you gotten that report.......er.....you have uhm.....how 'bout some bacon?" Of course you could have some pavlovian implications, at the mention of bacon people would get a chubbie....of course, this probably happens to some people already, so it would be reinforced!

-p

kvrdave
03-21-06, 04:07 PM
You don't represent the Religious Right whackos very well. You tend to accept more reasoned approaches. ;)

I'll work on it. -wink-


Actually, I have only been on this stuff for about 4 months. I have kept a chart as to what my migraines used to be like (severity and frequency) and what they are like now, and I'm not convinced it does much good. The doctor tried to get me to take them a year before than, and that was when I decided I wanted some good baseline data for it.

Turd Ferguson
03-21-06, 04:28 PM
Do you see any signs of getting off of it?

I guess for some reason that's ok with some people. For me, I see it as extremely unhealthy. I don't want to be dependent upon ANY substance in my life unless it's medically diagnosed and can be proved.

Frankly, I always see being on some form of antidepressant. I guess it comes down to the fact that I'm comfortable with my doctor's diagnosis and believe that my depression is, in fact, proven.

Depression runs in my mom's side of the family. My grandfather had it bad and I often wonder how his life would have been different if he had the benefit of an antidepressant.

chente
03-21-06, 06:43 PM
But say these drugs do change a person and make them happier/more relaxed, etc. It just really irks me that someone took those drugs to get that feeling and they didn't fix whatever was wrong with their life to get there on their own. I went through a VERY dark period in my life about a year ago. That's when I took them for a short period of time. I just hated the idea of being on them forever.

You don't have to be on them forever. I think I read that the average person who takes them are on them for 9 months. I took Paxil for a year when I was having a really rough time in my life. Hated my incredibly stressfull job, was in the deaththroes of a very bad relationship, lost my cousin, grandfather and godfather all in one year. I was having panic attacks too. They definitely helped me deal with the overloading cascade of emotions I was going though and helped me be able to address my problems one at a time until my life became more normal. Broke up with my girlfriend, moved out, got a new job, dealt with my grief and now am so much happier with my life. The pills didn't solve my problems, but they did help me deal with the overload so that I could solve them myself. Then I quit taking them with no after-effects. I don't consider myself weak having asked for and accepted help when I really needed it. It was a big step, though. Too bad there is so much stigma associated with them.

The Short Bus
03-21-06, 10:45 PM
My post was meant to illustrate one way how treatment might be like in the future, not anything happening currently. I honestly don't know enough about it to go into detail; I quizzed The Short Bus on brain chemicals before I put up my "what-if?" post.

I'll summarize my understanding of the subject thusly: it's ignorant to think that medications or pharmaceutical treatment is worthless or a placebo at best. At the same time, pharmaceutical companies in search of profit do their very best to have their medication appear as a panacea; in turn, some people see the drugs as an apotheosis in chewable strawberry-banana-flavored tablet form. The truth is somewhere in between.



You did quite well with your neuro post, I was very proud.

I would just like to point out that alcohol is a drug that does far more damage than antidepressants (physiologically, mentally) and it is socially accepted (unless you're pregnant, at an AA meeting, or a toddler). So perhaps I shall start a new thread on self-medicating with booze. opinions?




I didn't mean for this to be such a long post, but I must get this out of my head..
Research suggests more women are diagnosed with depressive disorders than men (there may be other reasons why that is, especially because women are more likely to seek medical attention).. but of those women, many of them are of the childbearing age. Antidepressants are contraindicated during pregnancy, so for many women that is a period of time that they either must go through withdrawal is already on antidepressants, or risk having their baby subjected to the drugs, or if they do not go on the drugs at all, their mood while pregnant may not be conducive to normal gestation. Once they have given birth, women are at high risk of developing post-partum blues, followed by post-partum depression if the blues worsen. If they were to go back on antidepressants then they could not breastfeed because it is passed in the mother's milk, so their child will be the "formula" fed baby which has its own implications in this opinionated world. The good news is the mommy will be happy and can raise a child under pleasant conditions that may not have occurred had the mom been depressed and unmedicated (ie: andrea yates and her five drowned children). But the kids would have had better immune systems from the mom's milk, so that's a plus...

I know my post was all over the place, but basically, there is a lot more to think about than simply the idea of being medicated for life. The chances are you will be on some medicine to sustain your organ function at some point in your life despite the fact that you do not want to depend on drugs presently.

The Short Bus
03-21-06, 10:55 PM
*off topic*

If they had bacon+syrup flavored viagra pills, there would be a record number of Meat Gazings......which could get odd, especially in the office. It is like, "Hey Bob, have you gotten that report.......er.....you have uhm.....how 'bout some bacon?" Of course you could have some pavlovian implications, at the mention of bacon people would get a chubbie....of course, this probably happens to some people already, so it would be reinforced!

-p


I'm thinking Slim Jim style viagra chews.. both a phallic symbol and tasty.. and lab rats love them. I smell operant conditioning.

bhk
03-21-06, 11:52 PM
I don't treat people for depression, that isn't my specialty but I'll post what I remember. First, there is a stigma to the diagnosis of depression even if someone isn't taking medications. Second, as physicians, it is difficult to guage how depressed someone is without a long interview which many family docs and internists just don't have the time to do. That along with the liability of someone who is depressed committing suicide is why antidepressants are prescribed so commonly. There was a study recently that compared regular exercise to antidepressants for mild depression and found them very similar.
For severe depression, there has yet to be anything better than ECT. I've seen around 40 ECT done when I was a medical student around 16 years ago and all were done under anesthesia so it doesn't involve shocking the patient and them thrashing about. Hope that helps.

kvrdave
03-22-06, 12:27 AM
Here's what pisses me off. I am a very happy guy. I have a great life. Because of migraines I am on a mild anti-depressant because it has shown to be effective in keeping them away. But it sure as hell seems to me that they should make me, a non-depressed individual, even happier. I should be the happiest guy in the whole freaking world. But as it sits, I'm merely happy as hell. :grunt:

dave-o
03-22-06, 12:30 AM
General Disclaimer: I am not a licensed medical doctor, nor should my advice be taken as such. I am speaking from a therapist's perspective and I have an academic understanding of this subject, but do not claim anything more than that.

There is no magic pill...it doesn't matter what disease, condition, problem you are trying to fix. Pharma solutions are a delicate balance between a person's physiologic makeup, diet, exercise regime, etc. For many, a pharma solution has been life changing (good and bad). Anectdotal research is all over the map, and the large research studies can also be less conclusive than we'd ideally like, though there are still some great findings out there.

Most people are talking about depression, so I'll use that as my example. It has been shown in a number of studies that the most effective treatment method for "depression" (MDD, Anehedonia, Dsythimia, etc) is a combination of talk therapy and a pharma solution. Some people just want a pill, and if that works for them....fine, but according to the research, it is a less effective LONG TERM solution.

I'd like to digress for a moment to talk about anti-depressants in general. They are often one of the most misunderstood types of drugs. First off, they do not cause suicide, people erroneously misquote the actual study. (The study showed an increase in suicidal ideations in the experimental group, which is merely one factor in suicide attempts), nor are all meds created equal.

Also, someone mentioned going "cold turkey" off of their anti-depressants....NOT a good idea. Typically your doctor will advise you on a schedule to ween off. Depending on dosing, susceptability to side-effects, physiology etc.....a person may be opening themselves up to a very unpleasant and possibly life threaten experience. Every medication has a different suggested protocol, and some have warning about severe withdrawl symptoms.

As for chemical imbalance testing....yes they have it, but that does not directly corrolate with a pharma treatment for depression. If you want an interesting read, take some time to read the release notes with your typical anti-depressant, and you'll realize that they actually don't say that heightened levels of seretonin, norepininephrine, will automatically stop depression.

You CAN regulate other areas of your life that MAY effect your general mood, but for some, a pharma solution is the only long-term solution. As for permentant changes to the brain.....yes and no, it depends on the medication. Dependancy is a valid concern, but you can mediate most risks by lifestyle changes, the development of more effective coping mechanisms, etc.

Here are some random findings about long-term / short term efficacy and outcome that might offer some interesting debate:

The risk of relapse into another episode of depression if an antidepressant is stopped within the first 6 to 12 months following a treatment response is at least 50%.

This finding helped explain why people's 'short term' plans typically don't work well. This doesn't mean you have to stay on meds for your lifetime, but it speaks to the problems with people wanting to 'get through a rough patch'.

The best estimate for the risk of relapse into another episode of depression while taking an antidepressant for the first 6 months following a treatment response is 10%.

This is the goal. Again, it is possible to acheive similar results with lower/no dosing of anti-depressants, but it is very much a balancing act.

The chance of a depressed patient responding to any known antidepressant is 66%.

Hopefully this number will go up with the next generation of anti-depressants.

The chances of a depressed patient responding to a placebo is 33%

It isn't always a chemical problem.

btw....I can provide sources for the information if anyone is curious. I don't know the sources off the top of my head, but I can dig them up. They are pretty commonly referenced numbers within the psychopharm community.

-p


Great post. :thumbsup:

As another clinical psychologist who has worked with many patients suffering from a large variety of mental disorders I can back you up on everything you said.

Specifically, I want to reiterate that it has been consistently shown that the best prognosis for those with depression and many other mental illnesses is a combination of therapy and medication. This cannot be emphasized enough in my mind.

There are some people out there who have come to the conclusion that therapy does not work for them, and although this may be true in some cases. There are many others who have not found the 'right' therapist or the right type of therapy for them. There are many different types of therapy and an infinite variety of therapists out there. It is important to not be discouraged if your first or second or third attempts at therapy have not worked out.

All therapies work, some are better for certain conditions, some may suit a type of personality better, and some people may not be at a point in their life where they are truly ready for the experience. However, every major study done on the subject (that I am aware of) have consistently shown that any therapy (no matter the theoretical orienatation) is better than no therapy.

Adding to the many great facts and statistics that Ped listed I also want to mention that recent studies have proven that 'talk therapy' actually results in chemical and even structural changes in the brain (as seen by various brain imaging techniques).


One last note (getting back to the original topic). I think one of the hardest things for someone seeking help is finding a good psychologist and psychiatrist. In my experience it is quite difficult to find a psychiatrist that truly does a complete and thorough psychiatric evaluation. I have seen way too many pill pushers that are quick to categorize and give what ever the diagnosis dou jour is. Add to this the fact that a very high percentage of those receiving psychotropic medications get them from primary care physicians who are not qualified to do a psych eval. and we have a glut of misdagnosed and overmedicated people out there.

However, none of this takes away from the fact that there are people who truly need these medications, not to "feel happy" as many like to snidely say, but to feel even remotely 'normal' and to live their lives with out too much interference.

NotThatGuy
03-22-06, 01:00 AM
The typical psychiatric referall takes 4-6 WEEKS in a suburban / urban area. Wait times of 5-7+ weeks can happen in rural areas of the country*. Because there are such extended delays, it often gets pushed onto the General Practioner (GP).

Unfortunately because of today's healthcare issues, GP's are put in a tough spot. On the one hand they want to provide services to their patients, but they don't have the time (nor expertise, usually) to go through a full psych evaluation. It just isn't feasible, even in an ideal world, so they are now working with limited information. They can prescribe based on general information, but it is a deilcate process, which causes both pause and problems. I wish there were more referrals and less prescriptions written. Many of the psychological problems people have could be helped by talk therapy, but it is often left by the waist-side.

*I'll actually be lobbying on this issue during the upcoming legislative year. The wait times and gaps in care are lengthening. In many of the smaller towns and communities there are no qualified people to handle services, or there are an insufficient amount to properly service the citizens.

-p

movielib
03-22-06, 01:08 AM
:lol: I became Christian Lite?
Ironically, for us to accept that you are a crazy right-wing fundamentalist wacko, you are going to have to stop calling the crazies in your church "crazy." ;)

kvrdave
03-22-06, 01:31 AM
:lol: They are the ones that need to change then. But if you want to heal the sick.....-wink-

dave-o
03-22-06, 01:35 AM
The typical psychiatric referall takes 4-6 WEEKS in a suburban / urban area. Wait times of 5-7+ weeks can happen in rural areas of the country*. Because there are such extended delays, it often gets pushed onto the General Practioner (GP).

Unfortunately because of today's healthcare issues, GP's are put in a tough spot. On the one hand they want to provide services to their patients, but they don't have the time (nor expertise, usually) to go through a full psych evaluation. It just isn't feasible, even in an ideal world, so they are now working with limited information. They can prescribe based on general information, but it is a deilcate process, which causes both pause and problems. I wish there were more referrals and less prescriptions written. Many of the psychological problems people have could be helped by talk therapy, but it is often left by the waist-side.

*I'll actually be lobbying on this issue during the upcoming legislative year. The wait times and gaps in care are lengthening. In many of the smaller towns and communities there are no qualified people to handle services, or there are an insufficient amount to properly service the citizens.

-p


These are good points. Some of the better GPs that I have worked with will always have a list of psychologists handy (ones that they trust or have worked with before). This way, they can have the psychologist do a psych eval. and then pass on the results back to them. This is especially helpful for those that are not ready to make the step of entering into therapy (since it is just an evaluation). This also will circumvent the pscyhiatrist and the long wait times. My past work at hospitals has also been similar to this type of setup. The psychiatrist will rely heavily on the psychologists evaluations (due to not enough time or skill, or both).

I am lucky, because I only work at multidisciplinary clinics that staff both therapists and psychiatrists, where the patients must be involved in some type of therapy if they are seeing one of our psychiatrists. This type of model has really worked well in my experience. For those who are against therapy, don't worry, we just simply refer these patients to an outside psychiatrist that doesn't have these requirements.

When this type of approach is used, I find that it greatly reduces the incidence of misdiagnosis and/or overmedication.

dolphinboy
03-22-06, 01:59 AM
.
For severe depression, there has yet to be anything better than ECT. I've seen around 40 ECT done when I was a medical student around 16 years ago and all were done under anesthesia so it doesn't involve shocking the patient and them thrashing about. Hope that helps.

Oh boy, though, when you wake up your head hurts worse than you could possibly imagine and it literally takes days sometimes to get back all your memory function and by then it's usually time for another treatment.

I always wondered if it really helped or if the shock itself messed/scrambled things so much up in the brain that there was going to be a 50/50 chance of whatever was bothering you improving.

If you choose this, be sure to have family and friends around who can help. You'll really need someone to count on.

PS-The anesthesia has nothing to do with people thrashing around. While they put you under you are given a muscle relaxant which keeps you still.

bhk
03-22-06, 02:20 AM
PS-The anesthesia has nothing to do with people thrashing around. While they put you under you are given a muscle relaxant which keeps you still.

Technically, it is a paralyzing agent and is almost always given with gen anesthesia.
I always wondered if it really helped or if the shock itself messed/scrambled things so much up in the brain that there was going to be a 50/50 chance of whatever was bothering you improving.

It really does help. The mechanism is thought to be due to a release of neurotransmitters due to the seizure caused by the ECT. The memory problems are fairly typical of a post-ictal state. For people with severe depression in which medications don't help, it is a fairly useful option.

iggystar
03-22-06, 08:41 AM
I think that is sad that there is a stigma regarding anti-depressants.

So many people, like myself, suffer for years just thinking it's "normal" to feel down every day. By down I mean, "just don't want to get out of bed" to "maybe I should jump off a bridge". Some people live in those emotions daily.

I for one just thought it was my normal way of thinking, that being blue was just me. I actually didn't think I was depressed until a friend pointed out that I might benefit from some help.

My opinion of anti-depressants....I think they help. For me, they help so my lows aren't crushingly low, however, the most benefit I've ever gotten was from a good therapist along with meds. I usually end up not taking the meds for very long (a few months at a time when needed under a therapists direction), but the tools in therapy are what really work with reshaping how I think, how I can steer my moods.

I think thought that people need to be more open minded and not think of medication negatively. People who are depressed should seek counseling to determine if medication is right, not just worrying about how long they need to take them or if the meds will be a crutch. Let the professionals guide you.

The Bus
03-22-06, 09:01 AM
Forget about that shit. Those kinds of drugs are the answer of the unremarkable majority to what they cannot hope to understand about the privileged few.

A good book about this is Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/068483183X/dvdtalk/qid=1142994474/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/102-6921355-7676966?s=books&v=glance&n=283155)

I think it's better if you let the "privileged few" decide for themselves. Given a choice over being able to lead a normal life or leading a dreary, painful life where I can paint well is not a choice I want to give to other people.

NotThatGuy
03-22-06, 09:05 AM
It really does help. The mechanism is thought to be due to a release of neurotransmitters due to the seizure caused by the ECT. The memory problems are fairly typical of a post-ictal state. For people with severe depression in which medications don't help, it is a fairly useful option.

I've read the research, and I know it usually works, but ECT really is only for the very severe cases because of the rather unpleasant side effects. The "haze" is something that most people don't like, but I guess if the alternative is literal immobility and constant suicidal ideations, etc.....then the trade-off makes sense.

-p

al_bundy
03-22-06, 09:06 AM
I think that is sad that there is a stigma regarding anti-depressants.

So many people, like myself, suffer for years just thinking it's "normal" to feel down every day. By down I mean, "just don't want to get out of bed" to "maybe I should jump off a bridge". Some people live in those emotions daily.

I for one just thought it was my normal way of thinking, that being blue was just me. I actually didn't think I was depressed until a friend pointed out that I might benefit from some help.

My opinion of anti-depressants....I think they help. For me, they help so my lows aren't crushingly low, however, the most benefit I've ever gotten was from a good therapist along with meds. I usually end up not taking the meds for very long (a few months at a time when needed under a therapists direction), but the tools in therapy are what really work with reshaping how I think, how I can steer my moods.

I think thought that people need to be more open minded and not think of medication negatively. People who are depressed should seek counseling to determine if medication is right, not just worrying about how long they need to take them or if the meds will be a crutch. Let the professionals guide you.

but the question is why do you feel that way? Do you not like your job, or just the constant sameness of doing the same thing everyday? If it's your environment that you don't like, than taking a pill isn't going to change anything.

NotThatGuy
03-22-06, 09:12 AM
Sometimes it is truly a chemical imbalance, and no environmental change will really make a difference. They have a couple of assessments that can screen for environmental stressors, but they are more effective as measures to confirm a problem, instead of identity specific problems.

-p

iggystar
03-22-06, 09:33 AM
but the question is why do you feel that way? Do you not like your job, or just the constant sameness of doing the same thing everyday? If it's your environment that you don't like, than taking a pill isn't going to change anything.

As I mentioned, anti-depressants have helped in as much that when I'm depressed I'm not awash in utter hopelessness.

There are environmental reasons that can play on emotions, however, in my case it was a matter of just feeling sad no matter what the circumstances. Those sad days would sometimes lead to worse days and behaviors that were uncharacteristic of me. For instance, crying at the drop of a hat. That's not me, but during one bout of depression a person could look at me wrong and I was bawling.

Now being depressed is something I've dealt with for years, but when it started to lead to darker thoughts, feeling hopeless when I had no reason to feel that way, that's when I sought counseling and decided on meds for awhile.

Read some of the other posts, one person mentioned having a good job, nice money and beautiful wife, only to be depressed.

Bushdog
03-22-06, 09:36 AM
Sometimes it is truly a chemical imbalance, and no environmental change will really make a difference. They have a couple of assessments that can screen for environmental stressors, but they are more effective as measures to confirm a problem, instead of identity specific problems.

-pYou have a lot of nerve giving educated, informed, (soon enough) professional advice. There are a lot of people here giving their opinions (wholly unsupported by facts, evidence, etc...) who you are interfereing with. Please refrain and allow the armchair therapists to work!

RunBandoRun
03-22-06, 10:19 AM
but the question is why do you feel that way? Do you not like your job, or just the constant sameness of doing the same thing everyday? If it's your environment that you don't like, than taking a pill isn't going to change anything.

I thought we were done with the "just snap out of it" suggestions. :hairpull:

It's not a matter of changing jobs or moving the furniture around. There are some mornings when I have to struggle to get out of bed and face the day, I feel so depressed. There are other times I am so stressed and anxious that I have panic attacks. I need the medicine I take to keep me from going completely out of my mind. For some people, taking a pill changes a LOT, and for the better.

FantasticVSDoom
03-22-06, 12:59 PM
I think the point that some are making is just taking a pill doesnt change a whole lot either if all you are doing is taking the pill...What medications do is make you more "related", so you can begin to make the environmental and behavioral changes needed to go about recovery. So of course its not simply, "snap out of it", but its also not simply, "pop this pill" either.

dolphinboy
03-22-06, 01:16 PM
Technically, it is a paralyzing agent and is almost always given with gen anesthesia.

It really does help. The mechanism is thought to be due to a release of neurotransmitters due to the seizure caused by the ECT. The memory problems are fairly typical of a post-ictal state. For people with severe depression in which medications don't help, it is a fairly useful option.

Depends on what you mean by useful.

In killing time, causing pain, and making someone have trouble knowing who they are and where they are, and losing other specific memories for sometimes long periods of time it's useful.

But, I've not just witnessed it, or heard about it, I've had about 10 treatments. No help whatsoever for me. Seems just as hit or miss as any other treatment out there, so I was just advising anyone considering it, to know that it's not an easy thing to go through and the help of family and friends to be there for you during your treatments is very important if you consider this.

iggystar
03-22-06, 01:36 PM
I think the point that some are making is just taking a pill doesnt change a whole lot either if all you are doing is taking the pill...What medications do is make you more "related", so you can begin to make the environmental and behavioral changes needed to go about recovery. So of course its not simply, "snap out of it", but its also not simply, "pop this pill" either.

The vibe I'm getting though is this. Those who are OK with taking meds are already indicating it takes more than a pill. But those who are against the meds keep saying it's not the pill that will make you feel better...not acknowledging that "we" know this or offering much else beside a "change your environment" solution.

NotThatGuy
03-22-06, 01:40 PM
It is important that people hear both sides on this, so thank you for sharing that. I am not a fan of ECT as a general treatment, but for many it is a last chance option. Like I said, the "haze" that happens to a lot of people is something that most are not willing to deal with. There are similar problems with peope staying on anti-psychotics. People would rather deal with the hallucinations / delusions and related issues then drift through life in a state of numbness. It is very much dependant on your quality of life, and what are realistic options for each person.

-p

dolphinboy
03-22-06, 02:54 PM
It is important that people hear both sides on this, so thank you for sharing that. I am not a fan of ECT as a general treatment, but for many it is a last chance option. Like I said, the "haze" that happens to a lot of people is something that most are not willing to deal with. There are similar problems with peope staying on anti-psychotics. People would rather deal with the hallucinations / delusions and related issues then drift through life in a state of numbness. It is very much dependant on your quality of life, and what are realistic options for each person.

-p


I am not totally up to date with treatments, I suffered badly in my mid-20's and this was given to my NOT as a last option.

I never had any hallucinations/delusions or related issues, so I'm not sure where that comes from. I certainly didn't make any choice. The treatments didn't improve the depression and I was having terrible headaches from the treatments and I started to be concerned with the memory issues I was having. I still don't remember much of the 2 months in 1995 that this took place.

Again, I've not done any research, but I did go through a lot of treatments, was in high end treatment centers, met a lot of people, and it seems to me like the ECT worked about as often as medication did. For some reason ECT worked for some people and medication worked for others. Neither worked for me. I grew out of it and I can't explain that either.

Isn't there a "new" last option? Where they implant something near your voice box that sends electric shocks to the brain and makes you sound funny? Something stimulator, stars with a V. I can't imagine doing that, but when I was feeling as bad as I was back then, like with the ECT, I was willing to do anything and I probably would have done it if they told me that it would have helped me. If I hadn't gotten better on its own, I'd be dead.

FantasticVSDoom
03-22-06, 03:17 PM
The vibe I'm getting though is this. Those who are OK with taking meds are already indicating it takes more than a pill. But those who are against the meds keep saying it's not the pill that will make you feel better...not acknowledging that "we" know this or offering much else beside a "change your environment" solution.
I agree, just trying to clear the air a bit...

NotThatGuy
03-22-06, 03:29 PM
I never had any hallucinations/delusions or related issues, so I'm not sure where that comes from.

This doesn't directly relate to depression; I was simply making the comparison between another type of client (schizophrenics) avoiding a specific type of treatment because of the side effects.

I certainly didn't make any choice.

That is unfortunate. It is important to understand all of the options, and to find a professional who you can trust. Even if I trust my provider, I *still* would suggest independant research and a second opinion to ensure the best treatment.

-p