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Red11: taking antidepressants for a short time only, can it help?


red11

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Hi,

I'm 35 y.o.  male, the last five years have been awful.i think i have depression or something like it.  and it keeps getting worse.  I never had depression , even though i had some social anxiety when i was a teen but never depressed. I still have some social anxiety but it did not harm my career or education or even my social life, I was able to keep it under control most of the time. i don't think this depression  is directly  related to my social anxiety.

anyways,  5 years ago, I started to get upset over the smallest issues/events, and continue to have obsessive thoughts about these events for days, weeks , even years. then  the problem developed to the point where i started to avoid people & stopped driving my car, so i can avoid new events that will get me upset. but now the worst, where i almost never leave the house , not even to the grocery store ( but I'm totally active inside the house, i read & exercise everyday, i fix things around the house, i eat clean food. but i have to get back to work)

Since the problem started , i thought i will get over it without antidepressants. 3 years ago I went to two therapists(talk therapy), and they were useless, one of them gave up & suggested i start taking antidepressants, but I refused. I tried meditation, self help books, herbs/supplements. nothing worked. some worked for few weeks only.

so now i think i have no option but to go to a psychiatrist and use antidepressants. but i don't like taking drugs , specially antidepressants. so my compromise is,  i take an antidepressant for a short term, 1 to 6 months.  is this a realistic approach? since i read articles that says that most people should take antidepressants for over a year or even a life time.

thanks

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hello red11, 

 

I'm sorry you haven't been able to get effective help for your depression and anxiety.  SA is a site for people who want to come OFF their meds.  Most of us are here because we came to realize that antidepressants were doing us more harm than good, or were treated for pain or other non-psych conditions with antidepressants and found ourselves suffering from depression ON the medication. And many of us came here suffering in withdrawal, or having suffered and then reinstated, only to finally learn about why we had "relapsed"  (me).   Antidepressants and other psych meds actually cause the brain to change, brain damage if you will.  ADs increase serotonin levels to which the body responds by dialing back it's own production and resorption (down-regulation).  It is these oppositional modifications that cause antidepressant withdrawal syndrome.  Severe anxiety and depression are features of withdrawal!  This forum is all about support for surviving withdrawal and promoting a slow taper method for those who wish to avoid withdrawal while coming off their meds.

 

Because of the great harm we've seen these meds cause, I can say with certainty that we are not here to make recommendations about going on meds.  There are many members who do feel that meds gave them their life back, but at a great cost down the road.  We have lost members who fell into the darkest depths of withdrawal, unable to recover.  These drugs are seriously powerful neuro-toxic substances, and should be reserved for only the most dire cases.

 

I think you just haven't found the right "therapy" to help you with your thinking.  Our Non-drug techniques to cope with emotional symptoms is with withdrawal in mind, but the methods/techniques discussed are helpful for anyone suffering from emotional troubles.

 

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System is an excellent method for anxiety.  

 

I personally found the teachings of Eckhart Tolle to be immensely helpful in restructuring how I process "life." http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/10992-eckhart-tolle-the-pain-body-and-mental-suffering-during-withdrawal/

 

 I would say that anxiety and depression are faulty coping mechanisms that we fall into, and we can rewire our brains to process stress in a healthier way.  Mindfulness/meditation is proven to be helpful for depression.  Many have had success with Emotional Freedom Techniques (tapping):  http://www.emofree.com/eft-tutorial/tapping-basics/how-to-do-eft.html

 

I hope that you find the answers you are looking for, hopefully avoiding the meds :-)

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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Hi,

Many thanks for your lengthy reply. Thanks for the links. I have a question regarding this :
 

 

 

Most of us are here because we came to realize that antidepressants were doing us more harm than good, or were treated for pain or other non-psych conditions with antidepressants and found ourselves suffering from depression ON the medication.

 

Do you mean that if a non-depressed person took antidepressants they could be depressed? like permanently ? because i did take antidepressants when i was 14 (prozac, seroxat) for social anxiety, 1 year each. They were useless for social anxiety, could they have caused my depression ?  even thou that was a long time ago. i always regretted taking them at that young age.


I tried CBT, mindful meditation, EFT. none of them helped. not even a little.


thanks.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Red, welcome to SA. You have no idea how happy it made me that you have come here to ask about antidepressants BEFORE taking them! 

 

To answer your question, no they wouldn't make you permanently depressed, ironically depression is a side effect of the drugs and many people who are put on them for pain etc end up severely depressed but recover after tapering.

 

  Have you ever seen the Speakmans on ITV This Morning? They are therapists and use 'schema conditioning' therapy with truly amazing results. I watch them when I know they are going to be on, (not one for daytime tv usually) and went to their 'show' in Nottingham.  I use a lot of their techniques myself after suffering childhood trauma and many traumas that snowballed from there, one traumatic event after another leading to decades of psych drugs. 

 

If you google them you will find their website and tv channel with their success stories.    The biggest thing I learned is that I had to take control and accept responsibility for NOW, The only thing that stops me from doing things that make me anxious is ME.  I have physical health problems that limit what I can do but mentally am working on overcoming the things that led me to being on drugs for years.  You CAN do this, and get better without drugs, you just need to find the right key to unlock the door. 

Just to add that I too saw some counsellors that made things much worse but eventually had one that was quite good but was on the waiting list for 5 YEARS! 

**I am not a medical professional, if in doubt please consult a doctor with withdrawal knowledge.

 

 

Different drugs occasionally (mostly benzos) 1976 - 1981 (no problem)

1993 - 2002 in and out of hospital. every type of drug + ECT. Staring with seroxat

2002  effexor. 

Tapered  March 2012 to March 2013, ending with 5 beads.

Withdrawal April 2013 . Reinstated 5 beads reduced to 4 beads May 2013

Restarted taper  Nov 2013  

OFF EFFEXOR Feb 2015    :D 

Tapered atenolol and omeprazole Dec 2013 - May 2014

 

Tapering tramadol, Feb 2015 100mg , March 2015 50mg  

 July 2017 30mg.  May 15 2018 25mg

Taking fish oil, magnesium, B12, folic acid, bilberry eyebright for eye pressure. 

 

My story http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4199-hello-mammap-checking-in/page-33

 

Lesson learned, slow down taper at lower doses. Taper no more than 10% of CURRENT dose if possible

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Good points, mammaP - it is unfortunate that finding the right therapist can be such a shot in the dark.  It is one area of care where no two do it the same way. 

 

I found the teachings of Eckhart Tolle to be immensely helpful for my existential angst :-) http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/10992-eckhart-tolle-the-pain-body-and-mental-suffering-during-withdrawal/

 

I am also learning about the MTHFR gene mutations that can lead to anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, miscarriages, and many more issues depending on which part of the gene is mutated and which type of mutation. This was a good article I read recently:  http://www.heraldsun.com.au/lifestyle/health/how-i-beat-my-10year-battle-with-anxiety-after-discovering-folinic-acid/news-story/71d1e10b1eb190d212e338dd18faadad

 

I have decided to try methyl B12 and folinic acid just to see, and have been waking feeling more refreshed, less drugged/sedated than I had been.  It is worth investigating for anxiety that is intractible no matter what you've tried.   I will caution, though, that the B vitamins can be very activating for some in withdrawal or tapering or bumping around changing drugs, and so one should start by taking a minuscule amount to make sure there is no adverse reaction first.

 

Red, are you taking Omega-3 Fish Oil and Magnesium?

 

SG

Started ADs back around 1995 after bad break-up, starting with Prozac.  Switched to Wellbutrin, and then to Effexor in 2002
Effexor XR 2002-2014 up to 225 mg at one point, down to 37.5 mg towards end but back up to 75 mg in 2014; now realize I had W/D as I dropped down, memory very poor about history.  Extreme emotions, poor concentration as I stepped back down, didn't connect the dots!
Summer 2014 reduced to 0 very quickly, was sick of anhedonia/sexual dysfunction due to meds, depression never controlled if not worse. Didn't recognize WD since symptoms built slowly (thought I had ADD! and menopausal on top of it), starting with severe sweats, very bad cog-fog and memory issues, culminating in weight loss, severe anxiety and depression, panic, severe apathy and insomnia by eight months off.  Saw p-doc who put me on Remeron, increased from 7.5 mg/day to 37.5 mg by May 22, 2015; still doing very badly though able to sleep.

June 1. 2015 Reinstated Effexor XR 37.5 mg, Remeron dropped to 30 mg PM. Immediate relief of symptoms, like nothing had ever happened!  Joined SA and began on advice of friend who recognized it was WD all along! Began tapering in July 2015.

Been tapering both meds ever since, focusing on one more than the other or doing no more than 5% of each per month.

12 mg Effexor and 5.8 mg Remeron (mirtazapine SolTabs to make a solution with OraPlus) as of 5/4/2017 

Update 3/14/18: 2.9 mg Remeron and 6 mg Effexor; 6/10/18:  2.6 mg Remeron and 4.9 mg Effexor

 

My intro: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/9313-squirrellygirl-effexor-withdrawal-etc/page-2#entry196679

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

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