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BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?

mousethief 04 Oct 00 - 06:01 PM
catspaw49 04 Oct 00 - 06:12 PM
SINSULL 04 Oct 00 - 06:18 PM
mousethief 04 Oct 00 - 06:21 PM
catspaw49 04 Oct 00 - 06:22 PM
mousethief 04 Oct 00 - 06:27 PM
SINSULL 04 Oct 00 - 06:32 PM
Jeri 04 Oct 00 - 06:36 PM
catspaw49 04 Oct 00 - 06:42 PM
mousethief 04 Oct 00 - 06:46 PM
catspaw49 04 Oct 00 - 06:48 PM
SINSULL 04 Oct 00 - 06:50 PM
bbelle 04 Oct 00 - 06:51 PM
catspaw49 04 Oct 00 - 07:00 PM
SINSULL 04 Oct 00 - 07:06 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 04 Oct 00 - 07:50 PM
SINSULL 04 Oct 00 - 08:03 PM
wysiwyg 04 Oct 00 - 08:11 PM
RichM 04 Oct 00 - 08:20 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 04 Oct 00 - 08:25 PM
SINSULL 04 Oct 00 - 08:39 PM
Troll 04 Oct 00 - 08:40 PM
wysiwyg 04 Oct 00 - 08:50 PM
Ebbie 04 Oct 00 - 08:52 PM
Rich(bodhránai gan ciall) 04 Oct 00 - 09:36 PM
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Little Neophyte 04 Oct 00 - 11:06 PM
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Subject: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: mousethief
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:01 PM

On another thread the question came up of whether antidepressant (medicine) treatment for depression is a good or a bad thing. I thought that thread was a bad place to argue the question, given the personal nature of the thread, so I made this one.

So what do mudcatters think? Let it all hang out. Are Prozac and its ilk a godsend, or the devil's spawn?

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:12 PM

Aw geeziz....I just posted again over there.

Clinical Depression is serious. It is caused by chemical imbalances that can be treated with anti-depressants. The drugs DO NOT solve the problems of everyday living, but they allow the person to become functional enough to accept love and support and to begin to make everyday decisions again.

CD is nothing to screw around with...period. Get a good and thorough physical. There are other ailments that will trigger the imbalances. Be truthful and open regarding your feelings with the doc and you will probably be referred to a psychiatrist who can ascertain the the dosage and correct type of drug.

I don't underestimate the power of love and care, but people suffering from CD will not be helped and indeed cannot accept what you may offer. CD is a medical problem and anyone who believes that drugs are a cop-out doesn't know jack shit of what they speak.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:18 PM

No - let them all commit suicide and rid the world of the problem forever. Sorry Mouse but this is too serious andtoo close to home for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: mousethief
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:21 PM

You might consider not posting then, Sinsull. I am a depressive and don't exactly appreciate the idea that you want me to commit suicide and make the world a better place.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:22 PM

Alex......that was straight up sarcasm from Sins.....Believe me she understands.......Check the other thread.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: mousethief
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:27 PM

I see that now. My mistake, Sins. Forgive me. I see we're on the same team. Fortunately I've not had any suicide attempts in any close friends, but I've got three people in my house (including myself) on antidepressants and am a firm believer in them.

I think some people don't want to think about mental illness being chemically caused because it's too uncomfortable to think of oneself in such physical terms. My ideas, my thoughts, my passions -- surely these are not chemical, but spiritual, these people think. I understand the feeling, believe me. But it's wrong. Like it or not, we are physical beings, and tiny changes in our brain chemistry can produce changes in moods and other psychological phenomena.

I'm 100% with what Sins said in the other thread.

Now where's Little Hawk so we can kick his can?

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:32 PM

Spaw,
Thanks but I can take care of myself. Mouse - if you are a depressive, you must know how difficult it is to take the first step towards help. I can not shut up and risk having someone who needs help read "godsend or devil's spawn" and retreat further into a dark corner where they can hide and "suck it up". I am sorry if I have offended anyone. It is not my intent. I am not sorry for letting you know that this discussion is to me inappropriate in tone. Nothing personal Mouse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Jeri
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:36 PM

What Spaw said...
It's fine for us to share our experiences with drugs, but none of us is qualified to give a medical opinion, and there are only a couple of people here who could give an informed opinion on specific drugs.

Now, my OPINION is that a good doctor will try to rule out other reasons for clinical depression (physical disease, grief, or drug interaction/overdosage for example) before throwing anti-depressants at someone. If drugs are called for, they can and do save lives.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:42 PM

Hey Sins...I never thought otherwise.

I've seen way too many over the edge kids and watched while, to everyone's best efforts, we screwed them up even more and didn't address the issues that should have been addressed.

This subject gets me up quicker than anything else nowadays I guess because I've seen the end results of everyone's best not meeting the need.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: mousethief
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:46 PM

My only intent with starting the thread was to get the discussion about antidepressants off of Thomas K's thread, where it had clearly started to hitchhike the thread. Duking it out with people who don't believe depression should ever be treated with antidepressants seemed to me an unfriendly way to take over Thomas K's thread. At the point when I started this thread, he had already seen that there were many who believed he should get his friend to a doctor, and what he does now is up to him.

Meanwhile I wanted a place where people who badmouth antidepressants could be thoroughly answered and that's why I created this thread.

I'm sorry my wording struck you as inappropriate in tone, Sinsull. But I do think the discussion is important, and I want people -- especially people who may either be depressed themselves, or have loved ones who are -- to know that psychiatrists are not out to make zombies of their clients, but rather can use medication to help people overcome what is often a chemical problem.

As somebody pointed out, even if depression is "caused" by an actual event in one's life, one can easily slip over a fuzzy line between "down in the dumps" and actual Clinical Depression. If it goes on for weeks, if it's affecting your sleep, your appetite, your sex drive -- then it may very well be clinical depression and you should run and not walk to your local mental health care provider and get checked out.

This sort of thing needs to be said, and sometimes if we are afraid of how it's going to sound, we end up not saying anything at all, and then more people suffer because of our silence. And THAT is why I started this thread. (That and I wanted to kick LH's butt.)

Pax, Sinsull?

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:48 PM

Well believe me I ain't speakin' for her!!!(:<))

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:50 PM

To Little Hawk, mousethief, and my beloved Spaw,
I am sorry for exploding in anger. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! And here I was pontificating on the anger thread about never speaking in anger. Thank heavens for Prozac or I might seriously be considering roof leaping myself. If I behave, can I still play?
Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: bbelle
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 06:51 PM

Alex ... you are in very good company, myself included. 'spaw and sins know my story. I wouldn't even begin to try to explain or argue, my side, in either thread. This is too close and too personal, for a lot of us.

I think I'll go start a music thread for all us bluegrassholelics.

shalom moonjen


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 07:00 PM

Sure, we'll let you play....but if you don't play nice I'm taking my ball and going home.

Actually, I'm going to MUDCAT RADIO!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 07:06 PM

I am sure Karen is glad to hear you're bringing it home. I tried not to. I really did.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 07:50 PM

Apologies if I repeat myself in this post - I've just seen a bundle of text disappear from under my nose, and I'm not sure where it went.
BR> Sinsull, relax! My dearest friend's manic-depressive husband killed himself 18 years ago. Last summer her daughter ended her first year at university top of the class, then went the same way. If her son (now 20) would only top himself too, I am sure my friend - herself a manic depressive who has been detained twice under the UK Mental Health Act - would realise that there is nothing left to live for, and then you can really have a party.

Or you could read a book called Touched with Fire by Kay Redfield Jamison, and realise that when we have killed off all the depressives, we will have killed off most of humankind's creative spirit. (Needless to say, I was not sidetracked by Spaw's brainless apology on your behalf.)

Mousethief's question was as reasonable as you could ask for, and deserved some thought. If we can't handle that, we might as well abandon this caff. Certainly there is good science and good medicine, but in my experience some clinicians are inclined to prescribe chlorpromazine, largactyl, lithium etc - and of course the cure-all Prozac - first, and ask questions afterwards.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 08:03 PM

Actually, im my case Prozac was recommended when all else failed. Read my post to the other thread and you will understand the sarcasm intended towards mouse's choice of words. Spaw does not have to apologize for me. I stand by my objection.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 08:11 PM

First, FEELINGS about this. (Not THINKING, just FEELINGS.) I've lived close to this too, and probably have been depressed myself at various points. I got help but not the kind that killed my dad, and this is not your happy happy pal Praise saying that, who some of you see awfully one-dimensionally, it's daddy's little girl who watched the whole long slide up close and who is still PLENTY bitter about the whole [inseret words of your choice] thing.

More FEELINGS. Of course help is different now than it was then, but still, I have had a couple of close brushes with the drug approach, and I remain leery. One in particular still gives me the willies. No, two. First, a teen on Prozac who should have had something else if anything, smashing a heavy oak rocking chair to flinders, pieces flying to cheek and eye, with a four foot iron bar swung overhead, within inches of his dearly loved little sister's face, glaring at me, it was my chair, he hated me, and I sat very still. The hatred, but not the lack of self-control, remained when he was taken off Prozac. Second, sitting in a doctor's office describing a symptom of going totally cold and passing out before getting warm. Prozac! Panic attacks! Medicate her ass! No, I wasn't EATING, I had no blood sugar to speak of, I had gotten stuck in a cycle of diarhhea and could not eat much at a time, and my metabolism was screwed up from the LAST doctor's bright idea. Guess what cured me... FOOD. Oatmeal and strawberries, thank you very much!

FEELINGS SHIFTING INTO THINKING. I love doctors, and I have worked hard to choose good ones, and I have one now, but you know what, we don't always have access to the good ones. And the bad ones skim their journals, spot the latest under-diagnosed popular trend in whoever walks in through the door, whips out their drug samples, and bye bye, love that managed care! Sort of hypochondria in reverse-- they imagine YOU have every disease they've read about! (Hypdoctria??)

Now, THINKING. Two disciplines I practice offer other more natural solutions, and there are others that do, too. The problem is, these more natural solutions require enormous resources of time, personal attention by support people, skill, and knowledge. And even when in abundant supply, these do not always work fast enough to save someone from a black decision or from ripping up their own life and the lives closest to them.

So yea AND nay... BOTH. What I believe is that we have to use our best thinking on this, as accurately in the actual situation as possible, just like we have to on everything else life confronts us with-- that we have to sort it out as well as we can, and do what makes the most sense as we go, being as flexible as we can as we learn new things, and taking as much responsibility for our own decisions as we possibly can.

And to me, that means that the people closest to any problem have to decide how to solve it. And that people who want to help can only help, not control it or force anything that the decision makers do not wish to be made so.

If my post in the other thread was one that any of you read as "just love them till they're better," then you have not taken the time to know me yet. I'm sorry if your buttons got pushed, but I was writing to Thomas, not you, right?

But I do think it is important to love people with a lot more confidence in their underlying SENSE than our society generally seems to expect. I had hoped that asking her what she needed, Thomas might very well find her trusting him enough to respond by asking for help getting some help. And I certainly knew that many of you would respond as you did, and that there would be a variety of viewpoints for him to consider. I was trusting him to take what he needed, see? Because you know what, people often do, if we give them a little more room to do it.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: RichM
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 08:20 PM

Depression is such a mild word. It doesn't convey the terror of what the person who has it, feels. Those who have never had this disease have absolutely no idea what it's like.

If one's depression is caused by chemical imbalance,then prozac and like drugs work fine. It did for me.

If you have this disease, don't listen to those who tell you that you can overcome it with willpower. Or with herbal medicines. Find a sympathetic doctor and go from there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 08:25 PM

No mention of that other thread in your first post Sinsull. I'm not a mind-reader. And I'm not knocking Prozac. I'm expecially not knocking lithium, in case anyone wonders.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 08:39 PM

No you're not a mind reader, Fionn. I came from the other thread in disbelief that anyone would discourage a sick person from taking medication prescribed by a doctor because some doctors over-prescribe and got smacked in the face with a second thread which appeared to me to take up the subject too frivolously to ignore. My sarcastic remark reads like a most insensitive, crude, and vicious attack when not placed in the context of my previous comments. Spaw tried to put it in context and ended up looking as if he was blindly defending me. I was pissed that he thought I needed defending. I have cleared the air with mouse in a PM. I have publicly apologized for my anger to Spaw and Little Hawk. I repeat what I said above - I would be well advised not to speak in anger especially on a matter that requires a clear head.
Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Troll
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 08:40 PM

I tried willpower and self-medicated myself with booze and such for a large portion of my life. I credit chemicals and a caring and understanding family and group of physicians for the fact that I am still alive and that I have not physically harmed anyone in the last few years.
I am not "cured". I function-sometimes barely-but I function.And thats something, people. You don't know what it means to walk out to the mailbox until you can't
Right now posting is about as much contact as I can stand. But it gets better, little by little. There are good days (weeks, months) and bad. But the highs are not as high and the lows are not as low and sometimes I can love back a little.

troll


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 08:50 PM

Oh Troll honey. You love so powerful, a little IS a lot.

Soak up as much as it takes. There's plenty.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Ebbie
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 08:52 PM

Whew! Praise, I'm with you: these people are lovely!

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Rich(bodhránai gan ciall)
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 09:36 PM

Sinsull and Spaw, Don't feel bad about getting angry here. I've seen people cut there wrists because some self-appointed doctor told them they don't need their medication. (Well, I didn't watch it happen but you know what I mean) Usually, some windbag who wants to appear like he knows more than everyone else. "If you prayed as much as I do...", or "If you worked the 12 steps more diligently..." or "You think you've got problems? I've got [this and that and so on} going on and you don't see me running around crying about it."
Now I believe that drugs shouldn't be the instant answer and that a victim of depression should be diagnosed carefully, ie are there outside factors, stress, alcohol/drug abuse, etc. It seems like some doctors are really quick to throw a bottle of pills on a problem without really trying to diagnose it. I have some input to share on the subject that I won't put on an open forum, PM me if you want.

NOW the MOST important thing I have to post here is I am not a doctor. My opinions are just that, my opinions. Unfortunately, based on observation of some unfortunate people who suffer from a disease that , by the grace of God, I've not had to face myself.

Rich


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: catspaw49
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 10:14 PM

Rich, you have made a fine point that I think relates to the many who believe that drugs are a crutch. just like throwing money at education hasn't worked, throwing the latest drug at people became popular too and I believe its created a bad impression in the minds of some.

Professional help is much more than the drug du jour. Perhaps one of the worst things to come out of that haphazard and unprofessional approach is the belief that drugs don't work. The RIGHT drug for a particular person in a particular situation....well that's another story. In Karen's case for instance, Prozac and Zoloft had little effect, but Luvox has had spectacular results. There are many families of the a-d's and variations within the family, not to mention dosage, are all factors in the success of the treatment.

I think ol' Troll put it extremely well. The drugs are not a cure or a solution, but they make the process at least achievable when used properly. I saw too many "pros" go the "du jour" route with kids in care without really tracking on the situation. Mostly, in those cases, they just continued along. In a few the results were tragic. I was not a popular guy with the "pros" but we made progress and eventually have gotten good people to provide the services actually needed.

Tough love is a tough thing on both ends. It is the hardest thing I ever had to learn. At 2:30 AM one March morning I responded to a call from the agency and found myself in the home of a loving family, good friends, and tireless workers as foster parents. I watched as the EMT's took a 15 year old young man out through the door in a body bag and I helped to clean his room. I knew the boy well myself and I realized too late the value of tough love.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 11:06 PM

That's some story Catspaw. It makes me think about my dad.

My dad had a tendancy to be clinically depressed.
He had enough stuff on his plate to be good and depressed about too. He did accept shock treatment (at that time it was popular) but he rejected much of the counseling offered to him. He sort of got better but eventually he became seriously depressed again and was given medication. He pretented to be taking the medication but instead he was tossing it down the toilet. He continued to not want any counselling which he needed desperately.
Eventually he committed suicide.
My question is, if my dad had gotten the counseling he needed and had taken his medication, would he still be alive today?
I honestly do not think so. In this case, I believe no one could have helped my dad. He was determined to end his life and so he did.

Bonnie


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 04 Oct 00 - 11:31 PM

Bonnie,

You make a really important point--I am so sorry you had to learn it the way that you did. You can't give people with depression drugs, and you can't give them therapy and counseling, they have to make the commitment to help themselves, and then, with a bit of luck, the drugs and the therapy can be used to help them to bring their lives back under control--

I can't really bring myself to go into my experiences with this, only to say that right now, after many long and difficult years, my loved one seems to be managing--but it is only through personal effort that has been supplemented with things that have seemed to help--


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: kimmers
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 12:04 AM

I get involved in this issue all of the time, as I am a pediatrician. So, naturally I'm biased towards traditional medicine rather than alternatives.

Duration is an important differentiating factor. Often parents will bring their 13 or 14 year old daughter to me for evaluation for depression because of a few weeks of mood swings... after an interview, it sometimes becomes clear that the poor kid is experiencing normal adolescence. Careful follow-up and counseling is the key, and most of these kids do very well.

For those that are truly meeting the criteria for a depressive disorder, the newer antidepressants can be a godsend. But I never prescribe them without making sure that the kid also has been set up for counseling, and has a support system. Medication alone can't do it all.

Far more frustrating for me is the assumption by the lay public, especially educators, that there is a drug for every behavior problem. If I had a pill that would make violent delinquent adolescents stop setting their parent's houses on fire, then believe me I would be using it. But for many of those unfortunate kids, the conscience never had a chance to develop. A drug can't fix that.

Those of you who have depression, and have found help in the new medication advances, don't feel that you are somehow weaker for needing to use them. Count yourself smarter for realizing that you needed help.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 10:50 AM

Thanks for giving us a medical perspective on this, kimmers--especially for the points about the assumption that there is a drug for every behavior problem(or every problem!).

It is true that there is a contingent of people who don't believe drugs should ever be used for psychiatric and hehavioral disorders, and they can be vocal and annoying at times.

The biggest problems, though, come from the people who believe that there is a pill for everything, and that people should take that pill, get better, and shut up, and that if a problem persists, it is because parents or family members or the patient won't take their pills--

Depression cannot be cured--There are no drugs to make it go away--but, in many instances, there are drugs that can help control it--but different drugs work for different people, and it takes time to find the right ones.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: mousethief
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 10:54 AM

I said I never knew anybody attempt suicide but now I realize I was forgetting my stepson's friend's dad, a retired firefighter, who was diagnosed with a terminal illness, and fell into a very deep funk. Eventually he doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire. At that point he regretted his actions (this is putting it mildly) and got himself put out. He now has 3rd degree burns over most of his body, and is on antidepressants. Does he still have "reason" to be depressed? Damn right, more now than before.

But deep depression is caused by low seratonin levels in the brain, and whether the low seratonin is caused by negative life events or some other more closely biological cause doesn't really matter much. The meds can increase seratonin levels and get one out of the funk, and then you can start to really deal with the life events that may have brought the depression on. In his case there's not much he can do about those life events. He's still dying of the one disease, while healing from the burns. What would the anti-druggies like him to do? Tough it out? Live out the rest of his life in a funk? Get real. The meds work. Why shouldn't they be used?

I really think if his depression had been detected and treated (with meds) he might not have attempted suicide. He would still be dying of the terminal illness, but his final months or years of life would be far more pleasant without being in burn therapy, I'm sure.

Of course any drug can be over-prescribed or unthinkingly prescribed. And it's hard to really "take charge" of your own medical care when you don't give a rat's ass about even getting out of bed in the morning.

Fortunately for me, I had experience with several episodes of mild depression before I finally slid into the deep stuff, so I knew what to do, viz., I made an appointment with my one-time shrink and asked to be put back on the meds. I may never be able to stop taking them. Works for me. Beats the alternative.

Mind you, there was nothing in my life a year ago that you would have thought would have produced severe depression. I have a great life, a wonderful wife, decent kids, a comfortable home, a well-paying job (thanks be to God!). But some researchers believe repeated episodes of depression can permanently damage the brain's ability to produce and/or effectively use seratonin.

If you are at all interested in depressive illnesses, I can't recommend the book Listening to Prozac enough. It has really changed my thinking about mental illness and psychoactive medication.

Yeah, maybe it's a crutch. The way insulin is a crutch to a diabetic, or eyeglasses are a crutch to the myopic. Yet our society has no problem allowing these people to retain their dignity and self-esteem while using their so-called crutches. But get help for mental illness? Take medication for a mental or behavioral condition? God forbid!

I experienced my first depressive episode in high school. I tried to tell my parents about it but was told I had nothing to be depressed about (which was true) so to just buck up. My mom is now very apologetic about not knowing better (how could she have?) back then, bless her heart. I dont' blame my folks for anything but mention them as an example of the wrong sort of attitude. We need to educate people -- especially people with kids -- about mental illness so they won't make the same mistake.

Twenty-plus years later, there are some who would give the same advice. We have our work cut out for us.

Today I feel great. I am able to appreciate all of the really delicious things that life presents. I still get sad when sad things happen, but the weeks and weeks of not eating or sleeping, grouching at everybody, etc. etc., are gone. May they stay gone.

No longer sleepless in Seattle,
Alex
O..O
=o=

PS to those who are worried about me and Sinsull: 1. mind your own business, 2. we've made up by PM and are okay.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 11:27 AM

Thanks MT....very well put. And I never had any concern over you and Sinsull. You're both great folks.

Bonnie, I'm sure it is hard to relate the story of your Dad and what you say is undoubtedly true. Manic depressives are in a different category altogether and the story you tell is all too common. They are apt to take meds, but when they feel good, they tell themselves they're fine and slip back quite easily. It is almost impossible to keep them on meds that DO work, simply because they DO and when they feel good, they just won't believe the meds are needed. I can't imagine how tough that was on you.

Kimmers.......Again, thanks for an MD's wiew. Want to move here? We could use you. I agree that many parents (teachers too) want drugs for "normal" behaviors that are simply aggravating to them. I think that's where so many get the idea that people like myself believe in "throwing pills" when we don't. I believe in caring and understanding and getting to the heart of the matter......If meds are a part of the treatment, they should be looked upon in that way. It is a medication and a PART of the solution. Without them, properly prescribed and dosed, all of the other things may be in vain.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Ferrara
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 11:50 AM

Just a comment, maybe not welcome, that the cure can be as bad or even worse than the disease. Psychotropic meds can have really fierce side effects. One needs a good doctor who will listen and will make you aware from the start, of the potential side effects so you can find a drug whose benefits outweigh the problems.

I say this, having taken lithium for five years to counteract the manic effects of the prednisone that I will be taking for the rest of my life, to keep me from rejecting my transplanted heart... Who was that talking about crutches? Lots of people including me would die fairly quickly without their medications.

Finding a balance that minimizes the problems caused by the drugs has been the biggest challenge of the last five years. Medication is a blessing, but not an unmixed one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Lox
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 11:52 AM

My best mate committed suicide, and since then I've taken what you might call an amateur interest in mental health as an issue.

One of the things that I keep hearing is how the treatment of mental health, and psychiatric medicine in general is still in it's infancy in any country you care to mention.

In fact, according to the world health organization, the best mental health care system in the world is in Iran.

What?

Yes! Iran! Why? Because every community has a kind of social worker, as stipulated in the Koran.

This social workers job is to visit everyone in their community as regularly as possible.

They therefore know everybody on a personal basis, and so are able to spot the signs of emotional and/or mental difficulties early in the people they visit.

They are able to ensure that people nip their problems in the bud, because they give people with difficulties the opportunity to talk openly about what might or might not be troubling them.

I am a firm believer in the power of the community (when it exists). I myself have had emotional and psychological difficulties in my life, and they have taken a few years to deal with.

They don't go away overnight, and I think we must always be aware that we could slip into an unbalanced state of mind at any moment depending on the circumstances.

A group of friends is a remarkable forum in which to share problems and worries.

Sometimes we become so depressed that we lose faith in our friends even. It is at this point that you turn to them and say "help!".

I told my friends that I didn't want drugs or psychoanalysis, because I was thinking too hard as it was and I had taken a few recreational drugs in the preceding years.

I wanted to detox and to clear my mind of the debris of an inward looking, very critical imagination.

I felt, and I still feel, that the answer was emotional support when I needed it, and patience when I didn't deserve it.

I am against drugs as a cure to psychological problems.

I am a human being, and am therefore made up of every fucked up little quirk that makes humans what they are. I am capable of anger, love, fear, paranoia, psychosis, rational thought, genius, crass stupidity, generosity, selfishness.

I have a vivid and creative imagination, which, if ignored, will go to work by itself. I prefer to entertain it, and give it something beautiful, creative and/or constructive to do. If I don't, it will create illusions in my every day life.

It's not something to be scared of, and shat on with some chemical, it's something to explore and understand and use to make your life and others more rewarding and fulfilling.

I could rant on about this for ever, but you'll probably get bored.

My friend killed himself out of fear of his creative side. If anything characterized him, it was his creativity. The day that he began loathing it was the day that he lost all love and respect for himself.

love it, use it, take care of it and nurture it because it's unique, and you'll thank yourself for being so patient and kind. Be your own mother, father, sister and brother. Mollycoddle yourself. Don't try and cure yourself of "yourself". Your emotions, thoughts, dreams etc are not a disease. they are what make you a human being, and believe me, they are pretty wonderful - if puzzling - creatures.

Blah Blah Blah

lox


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 12:04 PM

Hey, guys...I have again been very busy and don't honestly have quite enough time to read this whole thread right now...or its predecessor...but I'll give you some background so you get where I'm coming from.

I too have suffered a great deal from clinical depression from about age 14 through my 20's, 30's, and 40's. These were depressive episodes that lasted for periods of 3 months or more, sometimes 6 months. During those times I would be very withdrawn and would tend to isolate myself. I would also be very low on energy.

I very much doubt there was a "chemical" basis for it, however, other than certain dietary factors. I have gradually learned how to improve my diet and lifestyle, and that has helped.

There were times when I felt suicidal, but I am so rational that I could always talk myself out of it...besides, I simply couldn't come up with a "method" that seemed acceptable to me. Good thing.

I think the original cause of my depressions was mainly the feeling of powerlessness, of not being in charge of my own destiny or my own life. And loneliness.

My parents managed to totally dominate me when I was a child and adolescent. Their philosophies of life were pretty much diametrically opposite, but they were each determined to imprint their own identity on ME. Needless to say, that was confusing to a young mind trying to find ITS OWN identity.

The basic message was:

1. you are powerless
2. we know everything that's good for you
3. the only way to be loved is to please us
4. the furniture is more valuable than you, so for God's sake don't scratch the table or spill anything on the carpet 5. money and possessions are the inside track of life 6. if you want to get by in life, you have got to please other people, because they have the power, you don't 7. we are of a higher class than our neighbours, and just about everbody else around here, except maybe people like Bertrand Russell. 8. we are too good for this town

And so on...pretty sickening, eh?

Can you see why I might have had reasons to become depressed?

Add to this the fact that I was a very shy bookworm, picked on by every sadistic creep and bully from 1st grade to the end of High School...I had such a miserable time in school that I felt like I was being sent to a concentration camp 5 days a week.

I LIKED my teachers. It was the other students who were making my life miserable.

I soon came to the conclusion that the only way to be happy was to be BY MYSELF, with a good book or something like that. I became very solitary in nature.

I didn't even consider going out with girls (although I certainly LIKED them) till I was 21, at which time I moved to Toronto, and got away from my parents, my High School and my past.

I proceeded to try to become an amalgam of my favourite folksingers (Dylan, Baez, and Buffy Sainte-Marie) and fairly much succeeded in that as time went by.

So...depression. It dogged me through most of my life, and repeatedly brought my life to a halt. It checkmated most of my efforts at music, education, career, and relationlships. At one time or another I sought professional help through a variety of sources. I was never much impressed with using drugs to treat depression, having tried several (Prozac, Lithium, etc.). They all had so little effect that I might as well have been chewing bubble gum for all they did...except the Prozac, which on most occasions did nothing at all, but on one occasion put me in the most suicidal mood I have ever been in. The fact that I was breaking up with a girlfriend at the same time, of course, didn't help.

I checked myself voluntarily into a psychiatric ward, and stayed for a month. It was interesting. What I saw there was too much band-aid approach to illness, too many drugs (which mask symptoms, but do not usually address the real problems), too many troubled people and not enough staff. Some of the staff were VERY GOOD, I am happy to say.

Over the past ten years I have finally got a handle on all of this, mainly because I have radically changed my mind about who has power over my life. I do. Nobody else does, period. I have a far better opinion of myself than when I was younger. I also have an absolute confidence now in the presence and power of spiritual forces (call it "God" if you want to) that are beside me and within me and love me...as they do all people. I feel valuable, and I feel loved.

I am highly suspicious of anti-depressant drugs, and drugs generally, legal or otherwise. However, I do accept that there are some individuals who find them helpful. Everyone has to make up their own mind about that, and give it a try if they want, and see how it goes.

If you feel that anti-depressants work for you, that's fine with me. I don't trust them, myself, based on my own experience, but I may be different from you. If it works, use it.

I think that the medical industry in general (allied with the pharmaceutical industry) supplies far too many drugs in the course of most treatment, and that this in itself has caused a great deal of illness and death.

It has been said: "You are not the victim of the world you see, you are the victim of the way you see the world."

And it's true. I see the world now as a VERY good and wonderful place...despite tyranny and oppression, despite misunderstanding, despite all to the contrary...the world is good and life is good.

When one is depressed, one doesn't see it that way, and that can be very rough. I feel for anyone who is going through that, cos I have been there.

Now I have gotta get to work, but I will check in later. If anyone has a particular concern, PM me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Jeri
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 12:28 PM

I also think it's not a good idea for people to take drugs for psychological problems that have psychological causes.

What a lot of us tend to not know, or refuse to believe, is that the cause can be physiological. You can't control diabetes by telling a person to get over it or through counselling, and you can't control chemical abnormalities in the brain that way either.

Many of us think everyone's experience is the same as ours, and it's not. Give other people and their medical professionals the benefit of the doubt, eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 01:30 PM

Yes, Jeri, that may well be so. I think that diet, lack of sunlight, lack of exercise, lack of pure water, shallow breathing, heredity, and a huge variety of other factors can all contribute to depression.

I don't think there was much incidence of depression in aboriginal societies where people lived in Nature, but I might be wrong about that. It bears further looking into.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 01:36 PM

Well Hawk, there probably weren't too many incidences of a lot of things and I don't think they lived as long all the time either. Death is a part of life, but we have been able to extend it at times when many would have died before.........Like Rita (Ferrara) above....or me. I think you may view it differently when your choice is life or death.

Spaw ... "Barely Living, Through Chemistry"(but alive nonetheless)


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: kimmers
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 01:57 PM

Little Hawk, while your experience certainly sounds as if you are someone who responds far better to therapy and self-help than medications, I still maintain that there is a place for them in many cases of depression.

As far as the comment regarding "the medical industry, allied with the pharmaceutical industry..." this is a common perception, and it doesn't really jive with reality. I find the pharmaceutical industry annoying for the most part. Many of their new meds are simply a re-hashing of some old med, for a new and higher price. We pediatricians tend to be curmudgeons, sticking with our old favorites until someone shows us a darn good reason to use the new product. In fact, with the heavy advertising of new drugs in the lay press, I sometimes hear more about new drugs from the patients than from my colleagues!!

I have no vested interest in prescribing Ritalin or Prozac or any other psychoactive drug. I would in fact love it if I never had to deal with the hassles of prescribing such medications. I don't get kick-backs from the drug companies for recommending their product. If there was a simple, cheap, safe, effective alternative, you can bet I'd be handing it out. Despite this, many people persist in believing that we are somehow in a conspiracy with the drug companies to use these meds as a quick and easy solution.

Mental health care is desperately underfunded in so many areas. Where I live, a child with an emotional or behavioral problem who is on public assistance may obtain mental health care in only one of two ways: through the severely understaffed county health care system (with one psychiatrist) or through their primary health care provider... me, in other words, despite the fact that I am not a psychiatrist. If I want one of these kids to have an actual therapist, all I can do is hand them the phone number for county mental health and hope that they call. I do not doubt that we could get by with fewer medications if we had more therapists and more funding for them, as well as family members who weren't so screwed up themselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 02:23 PM

Kimmers, I couldn't agree more....and especially with your last paragraph. That battle is common to communities across the land. We have fought hard here to get the things that are needed, but resources are still sorely lacking. As a part of the Child Welfare System for almost ten years, I may have agreed with Hilary at one time.....you know, the old African expression, "It takes an entire village to raise a child." Well, that's true, but it WOULD be easier if so many "villagers" (and parents) weren't complete assholes. Sorry, the cynicism is setting in pretty hard nowadays.

Thanks again for your "Doc's View" posting. But you gotta' give those pharmaceutical boys a break!!! They got some neat free pens!!!(:<))

Spaw (husband of medtech)


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 02:40 PM

My family has a lot of manic depression in it, and a little regular normal old depression. Even one of my young niblings has been diagnosed with manic-depression, when he was 9 (he's 13 now, and they've gotten his meds right finally, and he's doing great).

I have what was termed an "agitated" depression - if I get depressed I can't sit still, rather than not being able to get out of bed. Both are incredibly dysfunctional. Back in grad school, I got so depressed at one point that I realized I was looking for ways to die (not suicidal, per se, just really accident-prone, including a near-collision between my car and a train). That realization had me in therapy before nightfall - I called the suicide hotline and everything. The shrink I ended up seeing through Student Health did not put me on any medication; her theory (into which I bought) was that I had enough to be depressed about (Daddy being killed by terrorists a few years earlier, the childhood issues, yada yada) that she didn't think I did, at that point, HAVE a chemical imbalance. Well, the psychotherapy worked to a point. I got a lot better, a lot more functional, and went on with my life sans therapy because the money had run out. THEN, years later, here I am in an abusive relationship, which I finally fled to save my children. I don't know, and I don't think so, whether I'd have ever left on my own account. So then there I was, back in therapy - and now she has me on the SSRI-type of antidepressant. AND IT'S GREAT. I am still in psychotherapy, in conjuction with the drugs. I can now be much more clear about what is bothering me, and can keep my temper with my kids - and even with my X2b!

So I guess my take is, not everything that is wrong with depression (or many other "psychiatric" disorders) is mental. You need THERAPY to deal with the mental aspects, but drugs can "cure" a physical defect, even if said defect is in the way a neurotransmitter is metabolized. The argument against using these drugs reminds me of arguments against using THC for glaucoma - how can it be good for you if it feels so good? Well, it isn't the case that you only THINK your glaucoma is better because you're stoned, it really IS better - AND you're stoned. I think that reluctance is a holdover from the Puritans, where having fun can't be good for you. But that's just my $.02.

Therapy can help you deal with the world; drugs can help you deal with you.

As an aside, back in the grad school, at one point my doctor tried to get me onto Prozac not because of my depression, but because of something else coming up that ws about to be overly stressful... I took exactly one and went totally MANIC. I had the BEST DAY OF MY LIFE EVER. It was fantastic. It also was incredibly dysfunctional! I never took it again. My shrink said that apparently that is a Litmus test for manic depression - if antidepressants make you manic. Basically, it's a good thing I got into therapy when I did, or I might have really gone psychotic and not been able to come back.

I know that some of you who know me personally might wonder if I am back - or indeed if I was ever here... but that's another story.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 02:52 PM

And - can someone point me to the other thread?


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 03:12 PM

Someone mentioned that depression is caused by low levels of serotonin. This is kind of misleading--What causes the Serotonin levels to be low? What regulates serotonin production? You can go on and on--and many of the questions have no known answer, because we really know very little about how the brain does what it does, and in fact, we aren't all that clear on what all the functions of the brain really are--

The questions about the relationship between the mind, our consciousness, our spiritual selves, and how they relate to the physical brain and its chemistry, which really are at the root of the questions about psychology--well, forget about em--

Not much is understood about the way that many of the psychiatric drugs function, or why they work sometimes and not other times. The truth is that no one really can tell you what depression is...we recognize it chiefly by external signs, and we tend to miss those a lot of the time--Don't even think that you can understand what is going on in internally--

One thing that is starting to be clear--there is a definite correlation between physical trauma and depression--people who have suffered brain trauma almost always suffer from long term depression problems, the relatively recent use of a variety of brain scanning technologies is showing that a lot of people with depression have chemical and physical abnormalities within the brain that are similar to those who have suffered brain trauma.

A good guess is that many depression sufferers had an undetected brain trauma, perhaps at birth, or as the result of an undocumented or forgotten accident during childhood, or perhaps as the result of an illness, or even the exposure to undetected toxins.

To my way of thinking, the depression usually doesn't come from problems in childhood or in social adjustment--but it undermines the victim's ability to deal with those problems when they occur--Some people overcome every kind of problem, but some people, suffering from depression, can be unable to overcome any kind of problem--


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 03:57 PM

Depression may not be caused by low serotonin, but boy, beefing up the serotonin sure helps!


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 08:27 PM

Okay, this might sound like I'm criticising people who are happy with their medications and I don't mean that.

I'm in favor of using medication with patients who are in a crisis. Sometimes that's the only thing that keeps them alive long enough for other kinds of therapy to have time to start working, but I'm also leery of the side effects that some antidepressants have. I suppose I would be much more apt to say, go ahead and medicate! if I were sure that each person who was being "diagnosed" with depression had received a thorough physical, and any underlying problems were being addressed.

You see, I'm not a big believer in the DSM. That's the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual which is the "bible" of the psychiatric profession. It describes depression as a syndrome, when I think, on many occasions, depression is a symptom. Lead poisoning, infections, and other kinds of trauma can put the body and mind out of balance, and send serotonin levels down to the cellar. And no matter how much anti-depression medication and therapy someone gets for their depression, if the cause of the depression is an old typhus infection, then they're only going to be cured by the _right_ medication. In this case, antibiotics.

There's a book by Sydney Walker, called "A Dose of Sanity" which is pretty good about talking about the issue. He's got a soapbox, of course, so read opposing viewpoints as well, but I think his arguments are clear.

BTW, so you have some background on this, my uncle killed himself when I was a baby, and his son (who had found the body) killed himself just a couple of years ago. In my uncle's case, he was taking a 'shoebox' full of drugs -- and my cousin had been fighting depression, with medications, for years. My father, who claimed to be manic-depressive in a mild sort of way, had a lot of physical problems too, and in the years before he died, he used to read up and catch all of the drug interaction problems for his own shoebox full of drugs long before any of his doctors did. Which is why I still check the PDR before taking any new prescriptions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 08:59 PM

I have a good friend who was diagnosed as schizophrenic many years ago. He's a terrific songwriter and poet, but his illness has made him basically unemployable, and he's on a government pension that he can get by on...just. He writes an enormous amount of material, and I have the impression that in an odd way his illness has actually helped him to write...quite aside from providing him with free time to do so.

What he experiences is voices...which say all kinds of negative and critical things to him. The only way he can stop the voices is to take heavy doses of meds, in combination with transcendental meditation. He's been doing that for the last couple of decades.

There are a lot of pretty bad side effects from the meds. His skin has become very sensitive to sunlight, and keeps breaking out, and he has gained a lot of weight, putting a strain on his heart, etc. He also gets exhausted very easily, and spends a lot of time in bed.

He knows that the meds have played havoc with his physical health. He experimented for periods of a few months off the meds, and his physical health improved considerably, but the voices kept bothering him.

A tough situation, indeed. I believe the meds are slowly killing him, but he feels that he can't do without them.

As has been pointed out above, each case is unique.

I don't think there's any conspiracy between the medical profession and the drug companies, by the way. I appreciate the sincere efforts of medical professionals to help their patients as best they possibly can.

I do think it's scandalous, however, that in Canada there is full government health insurance coverage for treatment by conventional MD's, while there is little or no such coverage for alternative health practitioners. In Cuba there is totall coverage for both, and it's modern and readily available for visitors and Cubans alike. In the USA...well, I think you all know about that.

Song lyric:
"If livin' were a thing that money could buy...you know, the rich would live, and the poor would die..." (All My Trials)


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: hesperis
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 10:49 PM

"If it goes on for weeks, if it's affecting your sleep, your appetite, your sex drive --" These are just SOME of the symptoms I get from allergies. I've had allergies for as long as I've been alive. My family has suffered from increasingly severe allergies for at least four generations. Whenever I visit a doctor, they try to push anti-depressants on me, because they think that'll solve the problem enough to get me earning a living and "being a contribution to society".

I have been tested as allergic to protein, calcium, vit. C, B vitamins, iron, vit. A, corn, mixed grains, salt, sugars, mixed chemicals, dust, mold, and several other things. I am LUCKY that my main reaction is just extreme fatigue, and not anaphylaxis.

Whatever food I eat, does not feed me. Whatever I breathe, interferes with my taking that next breath. My teeth and bones are rotting, because I am allergic to calcium. I have problems with all my internal organs because of allergies.

I cannot earn a living, because if I work at all I don't have energy for anything else. It's basically Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, without the help that people and governments give to the sufferers of CFS.

I have lived in poverty for most of my life, enough that I define "rich" as someone who has enough money to pay all the bills and actually take a vacation once a year. Oh, and to pay for dental work.

I have enough real-world reasons to be depressed, that I don't understand why people don't try to cure THOSE, rather than throwing a pill at it and hoping it'll go away.

And the doctors want me to take antidepressants?!!!

Any medication that doesn't deal with the underlying allergies, is fighting a battle that it will lose. Maybe I'll feel better and more capable.......................and then I'll collapse, yet again, because my body is attacking itself. Antidepressants don't cure THAT.

I'm not strong enough to work TWO days a week, much less the four days it'd take to get off social assistance.

And every time I go to the doctor, trying to get another month's exemption from having to do a job search 40 hours a week in order to have the government pay my rent, they try to push these stupid drugs at me. Because social services doesn't think that allergies are a "real" disease.

I've watched all my high school peers go away to university or college, and get jobs and careers and get married, and buy beautiful homes, and I'm stuck in a stinking basement apartment that floods periodically. It's the best place I can afford, and I'm lucky to have an apartment for so little, instead of one small, cramped room. If I earn any extra money, most of it gets taken off the next month's cheque, leaving me worse off than before. Because if I get extra money, most of it goes on food that doesn't react too badly in my stomach, and the thousand little things that I don't have money for after rent and phone and internet and food and necessary female products. (I'm trying to learn some skills on the internet, so that when I am healthy, I won't be useless. And I'm trying to make friends on the internet, because the friends I can make in person usually drop out of my life when I get sick and I don't call them or see them, or come hang out anymore, because I hurt too much, or I'm finally asleep.)

Well, guess what? I'm already a contribution to society, even when I'm up all night crying because I can't see a legal way out of the poverty and disease I was born with.

Before three years ago, I was struggling several times daily, with suicidal thoughts and feelings, especially during ragweed season. Two years ago, I discovered an herbal ALLERGY medication, that has eliminated the suicidal impulses, but not the lack of energy, or the poverty. I have recently discovered from a friend, an alternative treatment that actually cures allergies, and I am trying to scrape together the money to take it. I was working as a dishwasher two nights a week. Until I started sneezing every time I went into work and discovered I'm not just allergic to the cigarette smoke... There's also the mold, bleach, nut oils, etc.
Of course, now social services is going to start taking money off my cheque, and getting on my back for having left the job, and the next few months are going to be very hard. I would need over $1,000 each month to pay for rent, bills, special food, treatment, female stuff, and clothing care. I'm getting about half that, and if I earn anything, most of it just gets taken off. (And my rent takes over 80% of my income. For financial health, housing is supposed to cost less than 40%.)

You can't just throw drugs at these sorts of problems. But who actually knows what to do that will actually alleviate poverty? Or how to help the people who just slip through the cracks of the government safety net?

And I'm smart, and talented, and beautiful. And it isn't of any use without health.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Amergin
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 10:49 PM

Me and my family have a history of depression....I was lucky enough to win this disorder through genetics....a few years ago I was officially diagnosed and put on Paxil and Trazodone....Suddenly a crushing weight was took off of my shoulders and I became functional again....after the year was up, I was convinced that I didn't really need it anymore...Boy was I wrong....about a year ago I crashed again...was disfunctional for almost a year....finally, I got a job and after seeking advice here on this forum, I got put on Zoloft....and things have been better since.... I have to admit though that I barely survived this year... I wrote the following poem, while at the very bluff that is mentioned in it....If I had that line instead of a pen and paper, I wouldn't have been here forcing you to suffer with my poetry....

Piece of Paper

He stands there in all his natural beauty, gazing down the bluff, staring into the depths of the stagnant pond, imagining the feel of the water, rushing past his body, filling every entrance, every pore, ripping off the paper taped to his breast.

He jumps, knees bending, one two three steps, running, stamping the grass blades back into the womb, gently pushing off the ground with the bottom of his right foot, the air flows past his body, every cell tingling with the excitement of flight, the thrill of the air tugging on the paper taped to his breast.

He lies there, head snuggling with the cliffside, the gentle breezes softly pushing his naked body along the jagged rocks, scraping the green nylon line entwined about his broken neck, and the shattered remnants of a piece of paper taped to his breast ripples with each mournful sigh of god.

Thank you folks....Blessed be.

Amergin


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: hesperis
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 10:58 PM

My whole long post just above was the wordy way to say:
That my problems have clear causes.
That I resent it when doctors try to push medication on me for something that would clear up if the underlying causes were treated.
That this is my personal reaction to my personal situation. If something works for you, I have no problems with you doing it. Whatever works.

Amergin - I am glad it was pencil and paper.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: hesperis
Date: 05 Oct 00 - 11:03 PM

Oops, pen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Oct 00 - 02:36 AM

I have experienced something very similar to what hesperis has described. And she is right about this... sometimes the solution to the problem comes with taking better care of people and making sure that their physical needs are adequately met.

Having said that, I also wish to say that the situation with regard to the lack of adequate resources for mental health care (at least in the U.S.), is a self perpetuating scenario. This is, in part, because of the attitude held by insurance providers, that drugs can fix everything.

I am currently a student, working on my bachelors degree. My long term goal is to get a masters degree in counseling (if my body holds out that long). One of the classes I am taking this semester is a senior level course in Counseling Psychology.

People, you need to know that we, the mental health professionals of the future, are being taught in the classroom that we should expect to have a difficult time providing adequate mental health care to those who need it, because the insurance companies won't pay for it. Believe me, this is a BIG issue in my Counseling Psychology class. And this situation exists, in part, because of the reliance on medications to solve all problems.

What mental health professionals want the insurance industry to know is that while medications can be effective, to some extent, they don't entirely replace the need for good mental health care.

If you care about whether or not you, or your loved ones will be able to recieve good mental health care in the future, if you need it, you need to make it known to those who can do something about it. You need to let them know that you want both kinds of help available through your insurance provider. (And that includes medicaid and other social services kinds of insurance).

By "those who can do something about it", I mean your elected government officials.

Carol


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 06 Oct 00 - 06:04 PM

Carol, have they told you that Medicare only pays 40% of the charges for mental health and psychiatric related service? That is after the deductable has been reached--

Hesperis, I have been where you are, and I have often said that the financial problems created by the system cause more despair that the medical problems that you have to deal with, and in fact, often keep you from dealing with them.

The lack of support for alternative therapies is particularly irritating, because they refuse $75 dollar visits to chiropractors, homeopaths(find a good one, Hesperis, they can help those allergies in a way no allergist can!!) and a few dollars for vitamin supplements or other preventive items, yet will drop thousands of dollars on questionable surgery and equal amounts on tests that have no therapeutic value--


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Oct 00 - 06:34 PM

M. Ted

Yes, they have. And they also said that many insurance providers are putting a very strict limit on the number of sessions the insured person can have with the mental health professional. This number is becoming unbelievably small. Sometimes it's as few as four or eight visits.

They're starting to teach us how to do a kind of mental health triage, in which we focus like a lazer on one specific issue that can be dealt with in the fewest number of sessions.

Having been the recipient of quite a lot of counseling and therapy in my own life, as well as one who will be trying to help people as a professional in the future, I have to say that this situation sends chills down my spine.

Carol


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: catspaw49
Date: 06 Oct 00 - 06:54 PM

Have you seen the cartoon titled "Single Session Therapy?"

Its a guy slapping the hell out of the patient and screaming, "Snap out of it!" Used to have one on my office wall.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: CarolC
Date: 06 Oct 00 - 06:59 PM

That seems to be where things are headed, Spaw.

Carol


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 06 Oct 00 - 07:06 PM


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: little john cameron
Date: 06 Oct 00 - 07:52 PM

OOPS!!! Ah jist noticed that ah pit this on the wrang threed, so here it is again.

Subject: RE: Help: When a friend is depressed From: little john cameron Date: 06-Oct-00 - 05:30 PM

I just got back from a trip so i am a bit behind on this one. After i was released from the hospital about a month or so i started to feel terrible.No energy,various pains that moved around,just about everything you can imagine i had it.Iwas checked out on every machine in the hospital and they couldn;t find anything wrong.Finally i was referred to a pschiatrist.She said she thought i was probably depressed and should come into the ward. No, says i now that i know what it is i'll be able to handle it.I gadually got worse.Moaning and groaning and driving everyone nuts. One day i got in such a state that i called her and she got me in right away. Lying in the bed sleeping all the time,crying,couldn't be bothered eating and all the time the mysterious pains.

She put me on Zoloft as the diagnoses was panic attacks and depression. After about 3weeks i started to come out of it.Started to talk to the other patients and walk around a bit.The attacks still came and went at random but gradually became managable.

Iam ok now but have to keep taking Zoloft every day or they come back.

It was quite a trip i can tell you. Little Hawk is right about the lack of serotonin.This came about by a stroke i had which in turn caused an upset in the balance in my brain. It is a "Fight or flight"thing that happens and my body gets ready to do something about it but there is no danger,so it doesn't know what to do and the result is these panic attacks.The danger is in my head but nevertheless seems real to me. When the brain starts to pump out adrenalin and there is no fight it doesn't know that and keeps going.

Anyway,the answer is to get help as soon as possible as it will only get worse.

There is also information on the net about depression and stress . GET HELP!!! You can't do it alone. I KNOW!! LJC


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: WyoWoman
Date: 06 Oct 00 - 08:06 PM

Get a copy of Cheri Huber's "The Depression Book" and/or "Regardless of What You've Been Told, there's Nothing WRong with You." She's a zen teacher and a truly lovely person. And her premise is that we live in a society that has to suppress people (depress them) to get them to "go along to get along" -- and that it begins when we're in the hospital nursery and just keeps going.

Her point, and I agree, is that if you have a chemical imbalance, by all means, take chemicals to deal with it. But also use depression to look at what we need to work on in our lives. Dealing with depression can produce monumental emotional and spiritual breakthroughs. Taking a medication and calling that good can result in a stasis that might be not-suicidal, but also not very lively.

So -- AND HEAR ME LOUDLY AND CLEARLY ON THIS PART, PLEASE, before you go posting about what a creep I am because I don't believe in taking anti-depressants -- it's not an either-or-kind of thing. Do BOTH. Take what you need to take to get your balance restored, or to keep yourself from doing you or someone else harm, AND work on your stuff. We all have it and we all have to work on it at some time or other, so we might as well dig in. AND... have a counselor or good friend (someone who is not equally depressed) be your companion through the process. No one should go through this kind of growth alone.

(and yes, I've been there, too. I do know whereof I speak.)

ww


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Rich(bodhránai gan ciall)
Date: 07 Oct 00 - 02:30 PM

You know, if you're really having a battle with clinical depression, there are much better places to go for medical advice than to an online music forum. I could be wrong but I don't think there are a whole lot of doctors here. I'm not trying to be smart but this is an issue where well intended but poorly informed advice can kill you!
I ran into my primary doctor at a Brave Old World concert a few years ago, but I wouldn't necessarily ask him for advice on music.
Please get qualified help if you need it. I don't want to lose any of you.

Love,
Rich


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Oct 00 - 05:09 PM

Hesperis pointed out some important things. The first responsibility of a civilized society is to protect its people the way a mother and father protect their children. That means....provide any and all medical treatment free of charge. Provide full education right through University free of charge. Ensure that everyone has a decent place to live, and work to do if they are capable of working. Make that part of the Bill of Rights. Ensure a minimum annual income for everyone, working or no working, and that income should be sufficient to live decently.

Beyond that basic level, everyone would be free to strive for a higher income, a more lavish lifestyle, based on their own efforts, abilities and accomplishments. Thus people would be protected at a basic level, but would still have plenty of motivation to apply and improve themselves.

Is that socialism? You bet it is. It's also social justice. They have it in Sweden, and Cuba, and some other places. It does not destroy people's initiative, nor does it create the despised "welfare state" that conservatives rail against. It creates a healthy, well-educated, prosperous population.

It eliminates almost all causes of crime, poverty and social despair.

In North America we have a society that is based on survival of the fittest (meaning the richest). A society where some are rich beyond reason, where most are in a drugged stupor of commercial materialism, and where those on the bottom are tossed a few crumbs of totally inadequate social assistance...just enough to leave them in poverty and despair, which has a way of perpetuating itself, generation after generation.

There's no excuse for it. If we built half as many atomic bombs and stealth bombers we would have more than enough money to redress the situation...and still plenty enough armaments to destroy the world.

The system is corrupt, and like Rome it will fall.

What I am recommending in its place is a society very similar to that in Sweden...or in the TV series "Star Trek Next Generation". It can and must be done eventually, all over this planet.

Money was created to serve humanity...NOT the other way around. Your politicians (Democrats and Republicans alike) haven't yet had the guts to address that truth with any real conviction, or make any real changes.

I guess this is thread drift, but it does apply to the discussion in a number of ways.

LH


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Oct 00 - 05:17 PM

...uh,huh......

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,Anonymous Member
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 03:47 PM

I wanted to revive this thread, rather than starting a whole new one, to ask those of you who have taken Prozac if you had any miserable side effects. I know they have to warn people of all the possible side effects of a drug, even if the incidence of such is only a fraction of a percent. I am choosing to remain anonymous for now only because I haven't yet discussed this with my husband.

I went through therapy last year, and it was helpful. I can now recognize some of the things that get me depressed, and I can handle them better. But I still have the problem of Not Caring. As in, I don't care if I get up today or not. I don't care if I walk out into the street and get hit by a truck. I don't care if my nose falls off. I don't care if I never speak to (insert any person's name here) again. Things like that.

I notice it is much worse during that Crazy Monthly Woman Hormone Swing. Which means I have about 2 good weeks out of 4 every month.

I am going to the doctor next week, and I am going to ask about trying Prozac. I think I owe it to myself, and the people around me, to at least give it a try.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Amos
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 04:03 PM

Tried it once and it made me sick for 24 hours. Yuck!! Comfrey root is the only "antidepressant" I can use. But it is very different person to person. I have known some who really did well on something like Welbutrin, for example, and others whose only effective drug was a microscopic dose of amphtamine.    \

I also believe, myself, that the roots of depression are cognitive, and much earlier in personal experience than is usually even considered. So in general, I don't recommend or encourage the psychodrugs. Mebbe it's just me but I think they are harmful in a spiritual way.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,Anonymous Member
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 04:11 PM

I have already taken care of the cognitive part. There is still something missing. I am hoping if I take care of the physical part of it, the cognitive part will improve even more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Janie
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 04:37 PM

I have been on Prozac for several years now. (I'm also a cognitive-behavioral therapist) Any of the SSRI's can cause side effects. For most people, the effects are minimal and last only for a few days or weeks. Nausea is the most common side effect, and usually only lasts a few days. Taking the Prozac with food, and at night, can help with the initial nausea. Most doctors will start you at a lower dose and gradually increase it to a therapeutic level to minimize those early side effects. As with any medication, there are some people who just aren't going to be able to tolerate the Prozac. There are many other effective antidepressants to try if it turns out you can't tolerate the Prozac.

Before I was on Prozac I took Paxil. I experienced some really nasty side effects when I decided to taper off of it, and have encountered a number of people who had a similar experience--so you may want to steer clear of it.

Good luck.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Amos
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 05:31 PM

As an afterthought, anything you can do to induce the body to produce its own antidepressants, through diet, meditatyion, other practices, or exercise, is preferable.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,Anonymous Guest
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 05:53 PM

I'm already doing that too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,another anon member
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 06:25 PM

Check into Celexa. Does wonders for me. A low does has made me feel like my normal self again. No side effects, and I've been on it since last spring. I wish I had started it sooner. Celexa is one of the newer antidepressants, I think, a better generation than Prozac. I've also lost weight because I don't do mood eating any more.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Gareth
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 07:42 PM

Nasty - I've seen what Prozack did to two members of my fammilly. Not funny.

I've also seen what the alternative - in my case Alcohol, did to me, again not funny ( in reflexion when I'am sober) - As some Mudcatters will have seen, One pint aint enuf, and one pint is too many.

In all three cases (myself included) alternative engagements have helped.

But perhaps that might explain why in my case its either drink (binge) or NO DRINK

Ah Hell - Confessions !! But if you ain't been there dont laugh - It might be your illness next.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,Anonymous Member
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 07:52 PM

Gareth, are you sure it was the Prozac, or was it possible that the Prozac simply didn't work for them? You didn't provide any details. There are many drugs available because what works for one, may not work for the other.

I have heard that Celexa is a pretty good choice. I will have to see if my insurance will cover it.

I have done everything on my end that I believe I can reasonably do. Counseling helped. Exercise is great and I'm in the best shape of my life. I eat well. Strangers have stopped me in public and asked what I do to stay in shape. I'm religious. I pray. I feel a lot better than I did this time last year.

But I don't feel as good as I could. Personally I am willing to put up with a little nausea for awhile if it will get rid of the "I don't care if I live or die" feeling.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: SINSULL
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 08:06 PM

The only side effect I had initially was burning during urination. Lasted a week. Then, inch by inch the feeling that someone was clutching my chest so tight I could hardly breathe just went away.

I have been taking Prozac for over five years. On two occasions it stopped working and I had to play with dosage (under a doctor's supervision) temporarily.

After five years of therapy I decided with support from my therapist to gradually wean myself off Prozac and see if I could control depression without it. It was a disaster. I was fine for about six weeks and then suddenly developed full blown depression with a new twist - panic attacks. It seemed to me in retrospect that years of therapy had put all my issues out in the open. When the seratonin dropped, there was no place to hide. The numbing lack of feeling of my previous depressions was gone. I felt everything full force.

Never again. My doctor has suggested that I switch to a newer drug with the additional benefit of weight loss but it would mean getting the Prozac out of my system.

My most vivid memory of depression pre-therapy/Prozac is the day I looked at a sharp knife and wondered if I would feel any pain if I cut myself. And I looked at the hot stove and wondered if I grabbed the burner and branded myself, would it hurt? I was numb to pain, feelings, the entire world.

Last weekend I spent time with my niece who sought out therapy and anti-depressants when my brother and I begged her to get help. She is happy and vibrant, recently divorced from a loser, and hired to head up a complete department in a local college. She also spent the summer training with a world famous doctor because the new Kelly simply walked up to him after a lecture and insisted on a meeting.

Guest - I do not support drugging people into happiness. I do believe that refusing to consider drug therapy to counteract clinical depression makes about as much sense as a diabetic refusing insulin. When I first was prescribed prozac, I fought it tooth and nail. I was mortified at the idea that I was too weak to handle life. I was terrified that people would find out. Now I am happy and healthy (still overweight but I continue to fight the battle) and don't care who knows or what they think. PM me if it will help.

Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Jeri
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 08:33 PM

I took it for my migraines for about a year and had no negative side effects and a couple of good ones. I was able to focus on things and I felt more like, well, ME. (This might have not been such a great thing for other people, but I sure was happy with it.) They quit working on the headaches and I gained about 40 lbs. Went off of 'em until a different neurologist started me back on them - at more than twice the previous dose.

In retrospect, I might have been ok if I'd been started gradually. As it was, I had nearly all the side effects in the book within a week and stopped.

Anybody who thinks proper medication with Prozac turns a person into a zombie really doesn't have a clue. Tri-cyclic antidepressants, yes. (Did those too.) The modern SRI's (what's the second 'S' for?) are more beneficial, and get better all the time. If I had that "don't give a rat's ass about life" feeling all the time instead of just once in a while and my doctor thought anti-depressants sounded like a good idea, I wouldn't hesitate to give them a try.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Janie
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 08:48 PM

Jeri--I'm having a slightly senior moment and no PDR at home. Either the 1st S or the 2nd S stands for "selective"

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 09:12 PM

...was on Prozac for a few months. What I noticed was a general ambivalence and apathy towards everything, much like what Guest described above when s/he said s/he didn't care about such and such. That's the way I felt when I was on Prozac, as if an earth moving machine had levelled my emotional landscape flat as a table. At least when I was depressed I was feeling something, i.e., depressed. With Prozac I wasn't feeling anything at all, which, in my opinion, was worse. I felt detached and aloof, far away from everything. I felt that if I had been eating at McDonald's and a crazed maniac came in and blew everyone away but me, it wouldn't have bothered me. Later, friends would try to jog my memory about an event that happened while I was 'medicated' for those few months, and I would have no recollection of it. I think I was in a mental fog all that time. Nothing made an impression on me. I didn't have any interest in anything. Total lack of sex drive as well. In my opinion, it was worse than being dead, because I was alive but not connected to anyone or anything - a walking corpse. I'll take depression any day. It may be a godsend for some folks, but it wasn't the right medication for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 09:43 PM

Selective Serotonin Inhibitors. For me, yea for sure. Lexapro is my drug of choice. I think I probably have Seasonal Affective Disorder. I'm not too bad without it in summer, but winter....don't go there. I don't get suicidal at all, but boy o boy do I have major mood swings, nasty temper.........


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Sorcha
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 09:50 PM

Sorry, Selective Serotonin Receptor Inhibitors. Anon Member, I was on Zoloft for years and developed serious libido problems. With the advice of another Catter I researched all anti depressants and decided to try Lexapro. Several months now, the libibo prob has gone away and NO other side effects. I cannot/will not take the Tricyclics--all the side effects in the book. I too tried to get off completely, SINSULL, and it was also a disaster. The drugs have saved my marriage if not my life. Feel free to PM me when you are ready to come out of the closet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Bobert
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 09:54 PM

Yo, Anon. GUEST. Amos suggested some natural things that can be used for fighting depression and you said that you are doing them. I want to focus on exercise here. Just how much exercie are you doing?

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 11:09 PM

Zoloft has helped my outlook quite a bit. It allows me to guide someone very close to me through her regimen of high tech shock treatments. Those are now down to once a month and they are 100% less barbaric than in the old movies. Best of all, they have stabilized her quite a bit after her MANY medications over the years simply pretty much quit doing the job. The meds she takes now are for "other" mental illness aspects other than depression. It's important for me to BE THERE for her and Zoloft helps a bunch. Neither of us can drive now so we get transported 70 miles and back by medical tansport (with my wheelchair) to and from those ECT treatments of hers. It has been a hell of a road for both of us---but we are making it happen so far. Being depressed myself as a symptom of my MS (etc.) allowed me to understand her pain better. My passion used to be my music. Now I've pretty much dedicated that energy to keeping her on an even keel----and WITH me.

Art


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 03:57 AM

In some cases depression is a manifestation of sin with our personal lives. Repent, Seek Forgiveness, Go Forth and Rejoice.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: mooman
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 05:08 AM

I have suffered from (still suffer from?) depression and have had both five years psychotherapy/psychoanalysis (with a well-qualified and sympathetic psychiatrist) which was excellent and have been on medication. After I finished the psychotherapy, I later lapsed again into anxiety and depression, largely through stress and job pressures, and was prescribed Prozac.

Prozac, for me, was a complete disaster and I had strong reactions to it including feelings of loss of control and swings between feeling hot and cold. I know for millions of others it works very well. I went back to the doctor who immediately changed me to Effexor (venlafaxine HCl) which has worked extremely well for me with no side effects. Venlafaxine works on both serotonin and norepinephrine and is one of the newer antidepressants. I continue to take it although I have reduced my dosage.

I now do a great deal of meditation (at least once daily) and this also helps with the underlying root causes of the depression....I hope eventually to wean myself off of the Effexor.

The points behind all of this are:

- it is important to find a good doctor, preferably a specialist
- different antidepressants work differently for different people and what works for one person may not be right for another
- finding the correct dosage is important and, again, a good specialist is recommended
- other treatments like psychotherapy or psychoanalysis may be valuable although not everyone is receptive to such treatment
- other activities like meditation or, especially, exercise may be very useful
- natural remedies, e.g. St. John's Wort (Zibrine is a reasonable strength preparation) do work for many people
- depression is very common (one in three or one in four of the population at some time in there lives if my memory serves me right) and there can be many causes of depression
- people are sometimes reluctant to talk about depression and may especially be reluctant to reveal it to employers who often, unfortunately, have mediaeval ideas about it.
- depression can be treated effectively in very many cases and there is no reason to suffer if this is the case. Often, a small correction in brain chemistry makes all the difference to your daily life and, if there are other underlying causes, can help you to address them.

Don't hesitate to PM me if I can be of any assistance.

Peace

mooman


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: harpgirl
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 05:58 AM

There is a boatload of excellent advice on this thread for anyone struggling with depression problems.

I've been in the business thirty years (of course around here, that and a $1.75 will get me a grande at Border's!)and those that "have been there and done that" are giving you better information than you will get from a professional about how to manage life's struggles! Get some medical help and find a sympathetic therapist! Good luck! love, harpgirl


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Julie B
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 07:12 AM

Those in the UK may be interested to learn of the "Outlook Depression Fellowship" organisation, founded in 1993 by someone called Geoff Thompson who had suffered terrible depression (survived several suicide attempts) for many many years, but never stopped looking for an answer. He honed his own "recovery plan", a kind of correspondence course of depression, and it's helped thousands of depression suffers since. I spotted one of their leaflets in my doctors surgery.

The Outlook "course" comprises many "modules" with literature and cassette tapes. Sadly it's not free, as it's not government funded and the organisation naturally has to be able to cover it's costs, or it could not exist at all. Participants are asked to contribute at a level they can afford, but the minimum is £15 a module (max 11 modules - you can cancel at any time), with £30 being the normal contribution. But £300, if you can afford it, seems a small price to pay to get your life back from depression. And Geoff REALLY understands what depression sufferers are going through as he was one.

Anyway, details are:

"Outlook is a non-profit making organisation backed by professionals. We have had great success in training thousands of depression sufferes thoughout the UK in how to control depression by using a self-help recovery plan. For a free info pack under no obligation call 0161-926-8480 "


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: mg
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 10:49 AM

By all means do what you need to do in serious cases. I would of course look at diet...eliminate all white sugar and flour and trans fats. Make sure you are eating sufficient fats for your body type. If you don't have the right fats, you won't have the right nervous system to handle this. Don't fear chocolate..make your own with stevia and dark chocolate if you want. It ups the amount of seratonin. Get enough sun every day. Fresh air. Daily walks..at least two short ones.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,ellenpoly
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 10:51 AM

This is a fascinating thread!

One thing it points up is how much and how good it is to share one's experience.
My story is much like a lot or yours. I come from a family of depressives,and suicides.
I've been in and out of therapy my entire life, and finally after all else failed, I was entreated to try Prozac.
It did indeed change my life.
I stayed on it for 2 and a half years, which was all I could afford with no insurance.Fortunately, it seems to have done the trick. Eight years later and I'm still without a major depression. I wake up every day with a joy I never thought I'd know...

Though I am,and will always be, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

But what I wanted to say here is that I would give ANYTHING ON EARTH if my mother had been around to try anti-depressants. Her doctor prescribed her depression with, wait for it,SLEEPING PILLS!
Need I tell you how she died?
I miss her every day of my life,and only hope that anyone out there reading this does whatever, WHATEVER it takes to help yourself.
Personally, I think it all helps-therapy,diet,community,sunlight,and medication. Keep looking and asking. There is obviously a huge community our there (here) waiting and willing to share and help.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,ellenpoly
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 10:54 AM

And please forgive my typos...!


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,hrothgleas@hotmail.com
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 11:05 AM

Imagine my surprise that this thread has lasted for 3 years...

Huge family history of depression/bipolar problems. (Six branches of my dad's family - six of six where depression shows.)

I know many things i have to do to stay mentallly/spiritually/emotionally healthy. When I'm on my meds, I can do those things. Without, I fade in and out.

Depression is a cold and lumpish thing. Mania is terrifying. When depressed, I have only to remember not to do anything stupid - this too shall pass. I've done very dangerous stuff while manic... Thank God that for me, mania comes rarely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,Anonymous Member
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 12:21 PM

I exercise every day except Sunday for at least 30 minutes.

My diet is pretty much impeccable.

Religious GUEST, go fuck yourself. You don't have a clue.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 01:22 PM

I won't bore you with the history of how I got where I am, suffice to say between growing up, my job, and to some extent the family I started, all contributed to severe depression and anxiety. Not being able to "Get Over It" as the Eagles so eloquently put it. Depression contributing to weight problems, sleeping problems, magnifying aches and pains, a downward spiral. Those closest to me only knew that I had changed without being able to tell me how, but no...they didn't think it was depression. When the suicidal thoughts came I got help. I'm on celexa now. I used to try to remain totally drug free, thinking that my body was a temple and that I was polluting it somehow by taking these drugs. But then I thought about it. Even temples get leaky roofs and cracked foundations and have to be repaired! They don't fix themselves or "get over it". I initially doubted that the medicine was working until the week I ran out and kept forgetting to get the prescription refilled. I went down like the Titanic!

If you feel (or don't feel as the case may be)like you need help please get it. Therapy to help you deal with the underlying mental problems, possibly chemical to immediately deal with the physical side (it might take a little time to find the right drug for you), watch your diet and exercise, and it doesn't hurt to explore the spiritual side. Each of these things alone can help, together they can (notice I don't say will)help you get on your feet.

And in case you're wondering, it is hard to write this.

God Bless


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,Anonymous Member
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 01:43 PM

Thanks Chief. The analogy of the leaky temple is much appreciated. I am already working on the mental and spiritual, and have been for some time. I think the physical needs a little push, that's all. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 01:50 PM

I think the message thru all of this thread is that "it is worth trying" if you have problems...but it is not for everyone...

I am not what anyone would call 'depressive'...but I have had some problems with feeling down and un-motivated...just sort of 'flat', so 3-4 times doctors have convinced me to try anti-depressives to see if they would help...(once in a clinical trial for a new one!)

To put it succinctly, they turned me into a zombie. They fogged my brain and turned my libido to mush. I was not manic, I was not depressed...I was just plain nothing...so I stopped. Extra caffiene is just as useful for ME...but I have several friends who truly respond to Celexa and other drugs.

It is a VERY delicate matter to adjust this sort of medication to fit the needs of different individuals, but when it works, it is amazing!

Be SURE your doctor (medical or psychiatrist) understands and listens and follows up with you...some just throw pills at you mechanically and don't really hear the problem....


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,Anonymous Member
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 03:13 PM

I already know what the problem is. The psychologist referred to it as chronic recurrent depression.

My insurance will only cover generic fluoxetine (which is Prozac), Paxil, or Zoloft.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 04:02 PM

consult with a naturopathic physician about rhodiola rhodesia..I have started to hear of it..an adaptogen.

Once again, if you do not give your body the right hormonal substrates, which is fat/cholesterol, and if you don't give it the fats to build up cell membranes, in your nervous system and elsewhere, you can count on some problems with something. Read Dr. Mary Enig, Ph.D. in biochemistry and fats researcher. Your ethnic heritage and body metabolism will determine what fats you need. I don't think anyone has quite the answer, but they are saying for people of Russian, Scandinavian, Irish, Welsha nd Native American ancestry to eat a whole lot of salmon type fish and/or take fish oil supplements. We evolved with fish handy and our metabolisms don't take other fats and turn them into the fatty acids we need. Some people do very well with saturated fats; others need less or who knows, maybe none, although I find that unlikely. If you are depressed and watching every fat gram, take a second look at your diet. And get rid of the refined and manufactured foods (except maybe for Coke which is the elixer of the angels). mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,Anonymous Member
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 04:39 PM

I appreciate that you are all trying to help but please understand I have already done many of the things you are advocating. I get plenty of physical activity, and my diet is pretty much beyond reproach, except for the occasional cheeseburger that I absolutely must have. I have already been to therapy, and have not ruled out the possibility of going back. This is a lifelong battle and I believe it must ultimately be fought by any means necessary.

Now. Does anyone else have any personal experiences with side effects?


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 09:29 PM

Your body might need more than the occasional cheeseburger. It might need a daily cheeseburger. Please check out the metabolic body typing diet or something like that...there is all sorts of research converging on the need for good fats, sometimes fairly high amounts of protein for some people...some do well on what we are told is the perfect diet, and some do horribly and one result could be depression and other mental problems.....not to knock your diet but just because 4,000 nutritionists say to eat soybeans and groats night and noon doesn't mean it is what a particular body needs...mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Alice
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 11:24 PM

Anonymous Member, I'm one who takes Celexa. No side effects, only the Good effect intended by the medication, relief from depression.

I went to a local community clinic earlier this year because I do not have health insurance. I was able to get the Celexa, 30mg a day, for a subsidized prescription. Try checking into other ways of getting medication besides your health plan, if all they will give you is Prozac. It is interesting now that several people I've met also are on Celexa. We all share the positive feeling that it has changed our lives tremendously for the better.

Alice


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,Anonymous Member
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 11:45 PM

mg - I am pretty confident I am eating what I need, and even what I want. And I don't WANT a daily cheeseburger. However I do eat cheese almost every day. Although I imagine someone is going to tell me that's going to stop up my heart and my bowels.

I have heard good things about Celexa. My insurance will cover it IF I get an exemption - but there's another hoop to jump through.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,Ellenpoly
Date: 15 Aug 03 - 05:47 AM

I did have a few side effects from Prozac. It brought my libido down to zero,and because I was in theatre then I was worried that I wouldn't be able to access my more intense emotions when I needed to. But then again, that's what acting is all about.Faking it magnificently...
Just remember that antidepressants are just like any drug. The first one may not work for you. I tried one (it was one of the older kinds)and I was also a zombie. That didn't work for someone who has to be at their peak performance first thing in the morning (I was also doing children's theatre.)But the point is not to give up. Get a therapist who will work with you on this,and monitor your reactions. Don't feel like it's any kind of personal failure if one drug doesn't suit you. If and when you get it right, you'll know. And even then, there will be times when the dosage will need to change.
Depression a hard nut to crack, but working to find an even keel is worth the effort. I would not be alive to write this if that were not the case, believe me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,Anonymous Member
Date: 15 Aug 03 - 08:42 AM

I talked to a friend who said Prozac did nothing for him. Didn't make him sick, but didn't help him either. He has better results with Paxil, but it gives him those Lackanooky Blues. (which isn't a big deal, he is single and doesn't date much - his mental situation is usually too much for anyone to put up with for very long)

My mother seems to have had good luck with Prozac - however, I do not discuss these sorts of things with her. Don't ask. Long story. I would have talked to my father but he died a few years back.

Another friend has had good luck with Zoloft.

Anyhow - I am going to the doctor next week, and we'll talk about it. Thankfully this is someone I have seen for awhile, and I trust her very much.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,Alice without cookie
Date: 15 Aug 03 - 01:10 PM

Dear Anon, Celexa is worth jumping through that extra hoop. The doctor I went to said Celexa is one of the newest antidepressants and that she doesn't prescribe the older ones like Paxil or Prozac because of the side effects. I can sincerely say that I have not noticed side effects with Celexa; I just feel normal again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 15 Aug 03 - 01:55 PM

Its a little strange the way one drug works and others don't. The doctors had me try lexapro which is supposed to be better for anxiety. It didn't work at all.

My wife keeps getting prescribed different meds (the doctor thinks she is suffering from depression she says she isn't) She has tried several with side affects like severe drowsiness, involuntary shakes, and insomnia.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 15 Aug 03 - 11:58 PM

How about weight gain?? Some psychoactive drugs warp one's metabolism until you turn water into fat or so it seems. Well, you can't have everything. If a person is depressed it's amazing that there are now drugs that can truly help. There are always side effects to every drug out there.

Art


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Rapparee
Date: 16 Aug 03 - 08:01 PM

I take 20 mg. of Celexa per day. No problems, no side effects (apart from the twitching, purple spots, bright red eyes, hair clumps falling out...no, I'm just kidding).

My father-in-law takes Paxil. Without it he is nearly suicidally despressed. With it he can function normally.

If you need it, go for it. There is help.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Janie
Date: 16 Aug 03 - 10:10 PM

Anon Member,

Don't worry too much at this point about which one you should try, just work with your doctor on this. I imagine your insurance drug formulary allows exceptions if it is medically documented that you can't take what is on the formulary, but as far as you know at this point in time, any of those three will work fine.   I do note decreased libido on the Prozac. Ditto when I was on the Paxil...it is a quite common side effect of the SSRI's. No other lasting side effects for me on either Prozac or Paxil--but as noted before, the Paxil was really nasty to come off of. That doesn't mean it would be difficult for you however.

As I have read your post here, it sounds like you have a good handle on what you need. Trust yourself.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 16 Aug 03 - 10:33 PM

I always knew there were a whole bunch of sick critters at this site. Not all of them have logged into this strand....BUT....

There are many more lab-animals lurking within other threads.

PLEASE do not rely on the "kindness of kindred kritters" PLEASE.....DO TALK to your doctor and PERSONALY RESEARCH the chemical compositions and interactions of the compounds you place in your body!

There is a lot more knowledge that there was in the 60's.

You can start with ... one of the world's best resources.:

http://www.merck.com/pubs/mmanual/section15/chapter189/189d.htm

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Exercise and beer is a damn powerful antidepressant - you just gotta get off your pathetic fat-ass to access it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,Anonymous Member
Date: 17 Aug 03 - 01:18 AM

Thanks Garg --- I am reading everything I can get my hands on, and I have a doctor whose opinion I trust. I have not considered this lightly at all. I did want to know what sort of experiences other people have had, though, and it's just as I expected - a mixed bag. I am fortunate to have the support of family and friends, and that goes a LONG way. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,Anonymous Member
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 03:45 PM

I started Prozac three weeks ago. I feel great and have had almost no side effects. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Janie
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 05:25 PM

That is really good to hear. thanks for letting know how it is going.

Janie


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 05:04 PM

I think the point here was to ask about the different drugs and their experienced side affects. A lot of good info has passed without anyone advocating any particular drug, just what has worked for them. No one is writing a prescription here.

Sick Critters? Kindness of Critters? It may just be my depression but I feel that these are negative labels. Yes I am certifiably sick! Getting others to understand that this is not a joke is part of the problem. I wish it was as visible as a broken arm, but its not. Please don't tell me you are the sort that would stand at the ground floor chanting Jump!

I would be the first to tell you to look in the PDR III or other available guides and to consult a doctor ( a nutritionist might be a good idea to keep from degrading or changing the performance of a drug by consuming something that might counteract the drug or have a sylogistic (sp?) effect).

And beer, or any alcohol, is an extreme depressive.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: RichM
Date: 11 Sep 03 - 05:25 PM

I have taken prozac for about 10 years.
Currently I am taking 20 mg a day. I fought taking it--considering it an easy out, and an admission of failure of character. I tried to quit it several times, but sunk further each time into depressive episodes.
With Prozac I am *normal*.
I remember thinking shortly after beginning prozac: so this is what normal feels like! I had always thought from the time I was 5 or 6 years old, that my depressive feelings were what everyone felt! Now I know different.

Drugs have literally saved my life several times: from recurring bouts of pneumonia and from cancer, heart attack and massive peritonitis. Yes, exercise diet, and healthy eating is important. But it can't prevent all sickness. It is not an admission of personal failure if you use antidepressants.


Work with a good doctor to find the antidepressant regime that works for YOU.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Deckman
Date: 12 Sep 03 - 06:34 AM

This is a ballsey thread, and I'm VERY impressed with the courage displayed here. It ain't easy taking your clothes off in public. And, as Ellenpoly said, it can be good to share. In my own case, I've been very fortunate to escape the hell of depression personally. However, I do want to mention another aspect of this subject, insanity. My Mother passed away 18 months ago. For the last year and a half of her life, she was insane. She died insane. She, and Dad, lived in a nursing home four blocks from me. I was called over there almost daily to help with the necessaries. Depression, mental stability, alcoholism, mental illness, all had been life long problems for her. My point is this ... get help and get it now.

The world of drugs and research is an everchanging one. I've read some very good advice here: get a good Doctor, trust him, trust others, reach out to others, get therapy, get a support group, etc.

Fight to stay alive. CHEERS and best wishes to all, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: harlowpoet
Date: 13 Sep 03 - 03:49 AM

There are hundreds if not thousands of various anti-depressants on the market, and I dont see the general population getting less depressed. Nor are the shares of the drugs companies that make them any less depressed.

Chemical intervention isn't going to get rid of underlying problems that cause depression, and will just leave you at the mercy of the drugs companies that give you these foul concoctions (read the long list of side effects that come with them).

I've been there as well, and with the right outlook, its not a permanent state. Leave the drugs alone, or at least use those ones from the natural health store, which have been proven for thousands of years. They are cheaper as well


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Lyrical Lady
Date: 13 Sep 03 - 12:58 PM

IMO ... if you like sex then paxil is not the drug for you.
At least it wasn't for me. My doctor prescribed paxil for me as a preventive to stress. I'm in throws of a very nast y divorce at the moment and high does of stress triggers my diverticulosis, which in my case is quite severe and requires constant mangement. Well, paxil certainly did the trick. I just breezed through the day not giving a shit about anything. It wasn't until I heard about the death of a friend that I realized something was wrong. I had no reaction. I didn't grieve, I didn't cry...I cared... but had no physical response! I then switched to celexcia ... it was fine but as the days went on, I would forget to take it and eventually I just stopped taking anything. But like Sorcha, I too feel I suffer from SADS, this summer has been great, all this lovely west coast sunshine!

Now for the best part... lately, I have been feeling better than ever I remember...why?...I QUIT smoking! My body is sooo happy with me.. all this wonderful oxygen! I can breathe..I have so much energy now... and because I don't smoke, I don't drink ! (well, not very much!) and that has worked wonders as well! This winter I plan to get a special lamp and I think that will do the trick.

Anyhoodles, for what it's worth... that's my story!

LL


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Lyrical Lady
Date: 15 Sep 03 - 03:44 PM

refresh please..........


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,Anonymous Member
Date: 15 Sep 03 - 05:15 PM

Harlowpoet, if you read my previous posts, you will note that I have already done everything I can possibly do without chemical intervention. The sad truth is, even the medical community doesn't exactly know what the specific underlying causes of depression really are. Not enough serotonin? Sure, but why? They don't know. Everyone's experience with depression is different. Some people won't need pharmaceuticals. Others of us will.

Would you tell a person with diabetes not to take insulin? I doubt it.

Week Four of Prozac. I feel great. I'm still waiting for that long list of horrible side effects.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 16 Sep 03 - 12:17 PM

Been away from the 'cat quite a while now, partly due to my depression. I've been on 40mg citalopram hydrobromide for 10 months now, and I've just been to the doctor today and I'm finally coming off them, although it'll take about 3 - 4 months before I'm pill-free. They worked for me - I'm still alive, and that's an achievement. Looking forward to getting my sexlife back. ;)
Anyway, good luck to all those struggling through - hold on 'til you get to the other side.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Bagpuss
Date: 17 Sep 03 - 11:46 AM

Well without anti depressants, Im sure I would be dead by now. I've tried will power, I've tried reading up on and giving myself cognitive therapy, I've tried aromatherapy, homoeopathy etc which all helped in the milder stages of the illness, but did nothing for a full blown attack. St Johns wort was a bit more effective, but nothing really works as well as a combination of my lightbox and one of the newer antidepressants (venlafaxine and mirtazepine) - prozac and other SSRIs did nothing for me.

I too have had people try to persuade me that the drugs are only disguising my symptoms, and that there must be something really wrong in my life that I need to sort out rather than take drugs, but they really don't know what they are talking about. I have a great life, the only blight being that I suffer from this illness that makes my life seem awful sometimes.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: GUEST,Anonymous Member
Date: 17 Sep 03 - 03:47 PM

See, Bagpuss, that's what bugs me. People who have never been clinically depressed have absolutely no idea what it's like. They don't know what it's like to cry every single minute you are alone, trying to hide it from everyone around you. And not just for one day, or two... but for a year. Every day for a year. At least. They don't know what it's like to go to bed EVERY NIGHT and not care if you wake up in the morning. They don't know what it's like to feel like absolutely nothing in the world matters, and that everyone would be so much better off without you... heck, they probably wouldn't even notice if you just vanished into thin air.

They ask, what's wrong? And you can't tell them what's wrong, because you don't know. It isn't one thing, or two things, but a whole fucking pile of things that have crashed down onto your head, a mountain so large you can't even begin to excavate yourself from it.

I'm not talking about having a bad hair day. I'm not talking about being in a bad mood because you had a fight with someone close to you. I'm talking about absolutely not caring one whit if you live or die.

And the despair that I have experienced doesn't even touch what others have been through. My depression is mild compared to some.

Thanks to counseling and Prozac, that little Gollum voice that says "you don't have any friends - nobody likes you" is very, very faint nowadays. I look forward to things.

I have love in my heart again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Claire M
Date: 08 Sep 12 - 04:06 PM

Hiya,

I was on anti-depressants all through college. I actually had a sleep disorder & thyroid problem. I'm not sure if my disability causes depression but it's not going to go away so they didn't help.

I call it the black cloud & turned it into a story.


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: gnu
Date: 08 Sep 12 - 04:11 PM

Where can we read your story?


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Subject: RE: BS: Chemical antidepressants -- yea or nay?
From: Claire M
Date: 09 Sep 12 - 11:08 AM

Hiya,

Don't know how to put it up/where to put it but I could PM it to you if you want.


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Mudcat time: 4 August 10:14 PM EDT

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