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Modest: I don't want to start medication


Modest

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I've been in a bad place lately and I could use some advice. 

 

Since April I've been going through a relapse of mental health issues, and right now they're the worst they've ever been. 

 

It started when I was coming to the end of a stressful postgrad, I started getting panic attacks, something I used to get in the past but managed to overcome through therapy. 

I then broke up with my girlfriend, which was a stressful affair. The month of May I spent entirely searching for a job in the field I went to school for. I did this while I battled through my symptoms, and I developed some early morning waking, bad insomnia. I couldn't sleep, or think straight (Insomnia as since resolved for the most part, or at least not as bad).

I somehow managed to find a job in my field, and started at the beginning of June. The last 2 months have gone by fast, and I've felt awful for the majority of them. Still depressed,

this aching feeling in the pit of my chest. Just feel very low. 

 

We found out today that they're not going to extend my contract past this month. So it's back to being unemployed, and I just don't know if I have it in me to start looking for a job in this field again. 

 

I was happier last year working an old job. I don't even know why I left it. 2016 was one of the best years of my life. I can always go back to it. But I don't know if it'll make any difference. If I'll still feel just as sh*tty. 

 

I see a psychologist which is helpful, but I'm really bad at doing my CBT homework. I find it hard to track my moods, and what causes them. I just tend to feel this way. 

I see a psychiatrist, and he prescribed my Trintellix, but I'm terrified of these medications. I had an extreme reaction to Zoloft in the past, and all the research I've done, i'm on the side that these medications aren't as great as they're made out to be. I don't trust psychiatry. I don't want to put on an ever growing cocktail of pills. I don't think I have something terribly wrong with my brain. But I'm aching every day. Some days are better than others. But some I just can't take it. 

 

I'm not suicidal or anything. But I'm lost, scared for the future. Worried there's no point to anything. 

 

What has helped you guys the most? 

Thanks for reading. I wrote a lot more than I expected too.

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  • ChessieCat changed the title to Modest: I don't want to start medication
  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Modest and welcome to SA,

 

I am really pleased that you have found SA before making the decision to take the Trintellix.  My personal story is that I have been on ADs for 25 years and have now realised that if I had been taught and learnt and implemented non drug techniques that I most probably would not have "needed" the drug.

 

Did you notice that I included "implement".  We need to learn and do.  Just knowing about these techniques doesn't help.  The techniques are usually simple but making them a part of your life is the hard part.  Early last year my dog died and my daughter made the suggestion that I "check in with myself" throughout the day.  I set an hourly timer so that I would remember and considered my mental state.  This would prompt me to use techniques before things escalated.  I've found that it is now part of my life, without the timer, and it's amazing what a difference it has made.

 

Learning means that we can make informed decisions.  Here is the link to a website I created:  http://adwithdrawal.weebly.com/.  It has information and links to things I have found on the internet.  On the main page see:  Shocking Discovery - Approval Criteria Used by the FDA and there is a list of Suggested Books, but there are videos on the next page which provide much of the information.  On the links page see under:  DSM, Psychiatric Drugs, the Pharmaceutical Industry

 

Dr Claire Weekes was an Australian doctor who suffered from anxiety but she learnt and taught ways of coping.

 

Claire Weekes' Method of Recovering from a Sensitized Nervous System

 

Non-drug techniques

 

Also, if you have had a bad reaction to an AD in the past, you may be a person who is not able to tolerate these type of drugs.

 

And from an "old timer" (I'm nearly 60) please realise that life has its ups and downs.  We also have emotions.  Something I read in a book really stuck with me:  "they are only feelings and feelings change".

 

If you are a Facebook user, please realise that people generally only post the best of their lives, I doubt that many people would post about their innermost fears, concerns and worries.

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 27 Mar 2021:  Pristiq 0.295 mg

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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Thanks ChessieCat. 

I really appreciate such a detailed reply. 

I know all about Claire Weekes actually!



I dealt with Anxiety for a long time, almost 10 years. I read "Hope and Help for your Nerves " and it changed my life. 
 

For a full year I was pretty much anxiety free. I went from practically being an agoraphobiac, to driving with my best friend across the states. Working a job I loved, getting into a postgrad, finding a girlfriend. Just having a blast. 

This past relapse though has been more depression. I'm trying to figure it out. But I believe in non drug techniques to overcome this, as I have dealt with my mental health issues in the past with a similar way. I know it's doable. I've just been in so much pain lately... it's very hard. 

I'll check out your website right now. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Modest,

 

Welcome to Surviving Antidepressants.  Will have to echo what ChessieCat said, am also very glad that you found Surviving Antidepressants.  It is important for you to have access to information regarding these drugs so that you can make an informed decision before starting to take an anti-depressant.  Hopefully you will never have to deal with the horrors that some people have had to face and end up stuck on these drugs unnecessarily for decades.

 

I would never have taken an anti-depressant if I had been told how much trouble they were going to cause and how difficult they are to come off of.  I can honestly say that they have never ever helped me for the intended purpose.  I was depressed and anxious, yes, but nothing that a good psychologist couldn't have helped me to work through.  

 

Wish I had the opportunity to make the decision over again because it is actually going to take me 10 years to safely taper off of Effexor.  Anti-depressant withdrawal is 10 times worse than not wanting to CBT homework ... perhaps CBT therapy just isn't your thing?  Maybe you could try a different type of therapy or take a different approach, ChessieCat has linked you to some very good resources.

 

I've found that life is never static, it changes all the time, often when we least expect it, we all have ups and downs and disappointments, and during those times we need to learn how take care of ourselves with even more gentleness.  Anti-depressant drugs really aren't the solution, they become part of the problem as they don't miraculously cure depression/anxiety like they would like everyone to think, they just numb your emotions so you end up going through life never really living.  

 

Hoping you choose a drug-free life and your depression lifts soon!!!  
 

 

 

Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism:  Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg (15 years Pristiq/Effexor)

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg; November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 
May 20, 2017 - reduced to 40.25 (holding for additional month due to late onset of withdrawal symptoms after this taper)
July 17, 2017 - reduced to 38.24
August 15, 2017 - reduced to 37.5 (50% of my original dose)

October 15, 2017 - reduced to 35.6

November 12, 2017 - reduced to 33.8
December 15, 2017 - up-dose to 35.6
December 28, 2017 - up-dose to 37.5

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Modest, where you are in your life sounds like me 7 years ago, before I had ever touched a psychotropic drug.  It started with Ativan to treat the early morning waking up and insomnia.  Today, 7 years later, I have been through hell due to the drugs.  Ativan led to SSRI's which led to Amphetamines, etc.  I would give anything to return to the moment I began Ativan and do it all over. 

 

Do not experiment with psychotropics, it's not worth the risk.  Adjust your lifestyle around your mental state.  Don't judge yourself too hard, and eat healthy. 

Year 0:      Social anxiety, obsessive thoughts, NO depression, NO suicidal ideations

Years 1-2: Ativan (benzo) <1mg as needed, not abused but developed physical dependence

Years 2-3: Paxil (20mg) augmented with Adderall XR (10-20mg) due to withdrawal from Ativan

Years 3-Present: Severe depression, headaches, psychiatric hospitalization, lost job, etc.

 

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AntiAntiPsychotic

advice: NEVER, EVER take any meds for depression

 

it makes things so much worse

 

just know, everyone is depressed, even those that don't admit it and there are better ways to deal with it then meds. Try meditation, eating healthy, learning something new, taking up a hobby, talking to a friend

 

ive realized over the course of my time (and I'm young, 28) the world can be a really depressing state of affairs, but you must know that your not at all alone in your depression. Fight it ! Because lord knows when it comes to meds, some of us WISH we can fight it.

 

 

Risperidone - started at 10mg

Decreased to 1mg within the month

Abilify - started at 10mg

Decreased to 1mg

[Oct - Nov 2016]

Continued for approx. 2 - 3 weeks upon psych ward release

Invega injection one time

[Feb 2017]

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Thanks everyone. Some days are better than others. My sleep is much better lately... Definitely don't want to go down the medication route. It's just some people are adamant about it helping them. 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Hi Modest, I'm not 100% anti-medications.  I think for a small number of people anti-depressants can and do help.  In my opinion, they need to be used as a last resort and only in extreme cases, and managed in a hospital setting.  The problem is they are being prescribed now for even the smallest ailment without taking into account the numerous side effects that they cause, over and above being extremely difficult to withdrawal from.  

 

It sounds like you have doubts, I see it in your post ... I'd suggest you speak with a psychologist first and see the options available to you that don't involve medication.

I see you are in Toronto and thought I'd attach a couple of links that you could use to connect to a psychologist who is experienced is dealing with anxiety and depression.  There are other options available that can help you learn to manage rather than medicate.  

 

Often therapists/psychologists are covered under extended health care plans and/or provide a sliding scale and I think you owe it to yourself to explore other options and take the best step forward to manage your depression and anxiety so that you can lead a healthy and fully engaged life.

 

A good psychologist/therapist can help a person move forward in their lives by exploring options that they hadn't even considered.  If I were you, I'd avoid psychiatrists and medical doctors as their training is medication focused and psychologists/therapists tend to have a more holistic approach to dealing with mental health issues.  

 

http://www.psychotherapyontario.org/find-a-therapist

http://toronto.cmha.ca/mental-health/find-help/

 

Best of luck moving forward, please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.

 

Best,

BaroqueP

 

Edited by baroquep

Current Prescription Drugs for Hypothyroidism:  Synthroid 100mcg / Cytomel 5mcg (15 years Pristiq/Effexor)

Tapering Schedule
September 15, 2016 - switched from Pristiq 50mg to Effexor XR 75mg; November 10, 2016 - reduced to 67.5 Effexor XR
December 9, 2016 - reduced 60.75
January 5, 2017 - reduced 54.67
January 30, 2017 - reduced to 49.0
February 20, 2017 - reduced to 44.0 
May 20, 2017 - reduced to 40.25 (holding for additional month due to late onset of withdrawal symptoms after this taper)
July 17, 2017 - reduced to 38.24
August 15, 2017 - reduced to 37.5 (50% of my original dose)

October 15, 2017 - reduced to 35.6

November 12, 2017 - reduced to 33.8
December 15, 2017 - up-dose to 35.6
December 28, 2017 - up-dose to 37.5

Link to post

Do yourself a huge favour and don't ever start an antidepressant. If you had a bad reaction to zoloft, you should not touch ad's again! 

There are so many other ways: psychological help, CBT, yoga, mindfulness, meditation etc. 

I hope you will find your way.

 

(Do you know about Eckhart Tolle? Maybe he can change your perspective somehow. He has a lot of mini lectures on youtube.

 

or Jon Kabat Zinn? He has written "Wherever you go there you are" - a book that was life changing for me. On mindfulness.)

 

Take care! 

Current dose: 0! Free!  Quit June 2017.

 

2017: Last dose zoloft: 17 June 0,00065 mg 18 May 0, 001 mg 14 May 0,002 mg 9 May 0,003 mg 28 April 0,006 mg 19 April 0,009 mg 8 April 0,013 mg 25 March 0,019 mg 22 March 0,039 mg 18 March 0,052 mg 16 March 0,079 mg 4 March 0,086 1 March 0,099 mg 22 February 0,11 mg 15 February 0,13 mg 6 February 0,145 mg 24 January 0,15 mg 19 January 0,19 mg 10 January 0,20 mg 3 January

 

2016: 0,98 to 0,22 mg

2015: 2,35 to 1,01 mg

2014: 4,9 to 2,5 mg

2013: 9,1 to 5,1 mg

2012: 15,7 to 9,7 mg

2011: Started on 25 mg - then 50 mg- dropped to 25- to 12.5 mg - back to 25 mg - after 18.75 mg started tiny tapering to 16.6 mg

 

Started on 25 mg Zoloft in March 2011 due to stressrelated tinnitus that gave me panicattacks. Had a terrible reaction to Zoloft from start, but was told to "hold on". After four months I was stuck. Therefore the long taper. Crazy, I know... Super sensitive to drops and have dropped by 4-6 % from the previous dose.

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Hi modest ,I agree with amyk Eckhart is great,ive had so many light buld moments listening to him .

Get a book by robert withaker ,its called anothomy of an epidemic .read that and that should make your mind up about these drugs and the industry .

The fact you have depression and your wondering about meds,to me you have to take this extremely serious ,the most serious decision of your life .

Dont underestimate the power of proper nutrition,youd be better off doing a course in nutrition and sticking to that to help your mental health.

I for one am sorry I ever touched them .

Take care .

PB

 

Alcohol free since February 2015 

1MG diazepam

4.5MG PROZAC.

 

 

 

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  • Moderator Emeritus

Gwen Olsen was a pharmaceutical representative for 15 years:

 


Interview:  Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher (51 minutes Gwen Olsen - ex pharmaceutical representative)

 

Video:  Irving Kirsch:  Emperor's New Drugs:  Antidepressants and the Placebo Effect (1 hour 20 minutes)

 

6 hours ago, Modest said:

It's just some people are adamant about it helping them. 

 

What is Medication Spellbinding? Simple Truths in Psychiatry Video #3  This is one of the videos inSimple Truths About Psychiatry - Series of 10 by Dr Peter Breggin

NEW!!!     INTERVIEW with Altostrata, SA's founder    NEW!!! 

 

Plodding along inch by inch:  12" = 1',  3' =  36 " or 1 yard,  1760 yards  = 63,360" or 1 mile

Current from 27 Mar 2021:  Pristiq 0.295 mg

ADs since ~1992:  25+ years - 1 unknown, Prozac (muscle weakness), Zoloft; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after); Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (Serotonin Toxicity)  Tapering Oct 2015 

My tapering program   My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)  My website

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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