Skip to comments.Who Are We? Coming of Age on Antidepressants
Posted on 04/16/2008 11:06:29 PM PDT by neverdem
Ive grown up on medication, my patient Julie told me recently. I dont have a sense of who I really am without it.
At 31, she had been on one antidepressant or another nearly continuously since she was 14. There was little question that she had very serious depression and had survived several suicide attempts. In fact, she credited the medication with saving her life.
But now she was raising an equally fundamental question: how the drugs might have affected her psychological development and core identity.
It was not an issue I had seriously considered before. Most of my patients, who are adults, developed their psychiatric problems after they had a pretty clear idea of who they were as individuals. During treatment, most of them could tell me whether they were back to their normal baseline.
Julie could certainly remember what depression felt like, but she could not recall feeling well except during her long treatment with antidepressant medications. And since she had not grown up before getting depressed, she could not gauge the hypothetical effects of antidepressants on her emotional and psychological development.
Her experience is far from unique...
The reason has to do with the way drugs are tested and approved. To get F.D.A. approval, a drug has to beat a placebo in two randomized clinical trials that typically involve a few hundred subjects who are treated for relatively short periods, usually 4 to 12 weeks...
This large gap in our clinical knowledge is compounded by the publics growing and well-founded skepticism about research sponsored by drug makers. A study in the January 2008 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, involving 74 clinical trials with 12 antidepressants, found that 97 percent of positive studies were published, versus 12 percent of negative studies...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I feel sharp as a knife now, and have lost 20 pounds in the past three months. That sh#t is poison.
Here's the kicker: I work in the pharmaceutical industry.
Here's my advice to those considering SSRIs: Have another drink, go to a shrink, eat Ben & Jerry's, smoke if you got'em. Anything but that psycho poison they try to prescribe.
Is It Me or My Meds?: Living with Antidepressants by David A. Karp
good book to read which addresses this subject
who would they be without the drugs?
Going off SSRI’s cold turkey can be dangerous. Better to taper off. Congratulations on kicking the poison. Psychotropic drugs are way overprescribed and I believe partly the culprit in the addled thinking and moral relativism that plagues us. Feel guilty? Take a pill to soothe your conscience. Here’s your soma!
I’ve been on meds since I was 6 and I know exactly what I am. A washed up tired loser going nowhere and lies awake at night wishing he wasn’t alive. Did the drugs do it? Damned if I know or maybe I was supposed to return to god and missed my appointment.
Agreed. I was lucky. After a week, I felt pretty good. But this course of action is not for everyone.
a frigging DOCTOR Friedman:
“But now she was raising an equally fundamental question: how the drugs might have affected her psychological development and core identity.
It was not an issue I had seriously considered before.”
Friggin doctors. Just give the drugs. Take away the symptoms. Don’t deal with the causes. Too busy pushing drugs to try to learn the causes and deal with them. Spend all their time learning about new drugs. Forget about practicing real medicine and ever actually attempting to heal people. Gotta keep going to pharmaceutical-company taught classes to learn about the new drugs coming up.
Gee I never stopped to wonder what the drugs actually have done to my patients as a person. The guy admits he never thought about it. I am so optimistic about what passes for medicine in this country.
Yep...all doctors are exactly alike.
Hang in there utherdoul.
Ask Him if you missed the appointment. See if you can make another one.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
I doubt you missed one.
You are still here for a reason.
Trust that God knows what He is doing, FRiend.
All our hardships train us for something in the future, whether it be to help another or to acquire a skill we will need for ourselves.
Ask and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you...
Does this doctor have any kids? Being a teenager is crappy enough for most--I'd never do it over, even knowing what I do. It is an emotionally brutal time when kids are sorting out thier place in the social heierarchy, what they want to do with their lives, and dealing with the raging flood of hormones fluxing through their systems in puberty.
How in the heck are kids goin to learn to cope with the disappointments and ups and downs of life if they are not exposed to the highs and lows which go with them--especially in the years they should be getting guidance and mentoring from parents or friends?
Just say no! and take your meds??
it is nuts.
Exactly. The basic premise behind the use of these meds is that pain is bad. It's not. It hurts, yes, but it's even worse to live your life as a zombie. I'd rather feel anything, even pain, than nothing.
PLEASE be careful going cold turkey off effexor! Did you talk to your doctor? You seriously need to slowly decrease your dose with that drug.
“Gotta keep going to pharmaceutical-company taught classes”
...often held at fabulous hotels or resorts...lots of alcohol, gourmet food, golf, etc....no bribery going on there...just making sure the physicians are aware of the “benefits” of the meds.
A young man I know was put on these drugs one after the other. His growth was stunted to where he is now only about 5 ft tall and is in prison.
However, I know someone else who claims to be benefiting from the drugs. They scare me to death.
Praying for you, friend.
Given the fact doctor prescribed drugs and botched medical procedures KILL thousand of patients every year, my support of the medical field has also declined.
I recently tried cold turkey off 10mg of Paxil/day. No can do. I even tried backing down to 5mg/day. That said, after 5 days of feeling terrible (dizzy, light-headed, fatigued) I decided that I'm going to need a week of vacation from work to fight this battle. There's NO WAY I can be effective in my position as a Data Analyst during that ramp down...
Hang tough, and remember we’re here if you need us.
Went to my MD for sleeping problem a few years ago. She prescribed Zoloft and I slept like I was dead but I gained 20 lbs in a month. Went off it. Went back this past year because I have googled my @ss off to find out what’s wrong with me. Thyroid/adrenals. She wanted to give me zoloft agin. Said no. She decided (with my prodding) to so a sonogram of my thyroid. Came back with multiple nodules. She wanted to wait to see what it will do and STILL wanted to give me antidepressants. I said no and to refer to an endocrinologist. He suspects Cushings and isn’t prescribing an EFing antidepressant.
I've concluded from these two (they don't know each other) and from my own experience with migraines, that any neurological issue will eventually "learn" its way around any Rx that you throw at it. Eventually they don't work anymore, but any attempt to withdraw becomes a horrifying prospect.
Meanwhile, I have two teenagers (!). Depression in them manifests as anger, defiance, withdrawal, and low frustration tolorance. When they get like that, they get a glass of water and a little pill cup containing the following:
1000 mg. fish oil, enteric coated
1 B complex tablet, timed released, 50mg each
1 extra folic acid, 400 mcg. (around $.01 apiece!)
1 extra B1 (thiamine) 50-100mg each.
Works like a champ. They're fine within a few hours. Lasts a few days, unless I remember to chase them down with more before another "down" mood kicks in.
They used to protest, but it's worked so reliably that they now know that they'll feel better quickly, so they're quite willing.
Thank you for the recipe, I just may give it a shot.
“Here’s my advice to those considering SSRIs: Have another drink, go to a shrink, eat Ben & Jerry’s, smoke if you got’em. Anything but that psycho poison they try to prescribe.”
As a former Celexa victim, I agree 100 percent with your post.
I still get those accursed “zaps” on occasion, and I’ve been off the drug for five years! (Only took it for 18 months...)
I would never dismiss the benefit of SSRI’s out of hand.
Drugs work differently on different people. My daughter cannot take SSRI’s but she’s done really well on Wellbutrin.
I hope people won’t be frightened off of getting help because of these studies or because some people have had bad experiences.
I forgot about vit. D, also. Usually I forget that one, but in higher doses D helps with depression also. Walmart now carries D in 2000 I.U. tablets.
Google that or any of the above with "depression," and you'll see amazing stuff, all double-blind, peer reviewed, etc.
Good for you. A parent that really cares for your child. They put my mom on this crap and it’s taken more and more of it over the years just to get her to be somewhat comfortable. She’s on so many meds I don’t even know how many. It’s a mess and I resent the docs and their meds to the point I won’t go to a doc unless there’s absolutely no other way. I’m gonna die some day anyway.
Vitamin D is an amazing vitamin. I’ve ramped up mine and I haven’t had a cold since.
Holy mackeral! You sound like you could use some major prayer intervention, FRiend. I’m certain many FReepers would be willing to help. Your thoughts?
The preferred way to stop SSRI therapy is to switch to fluoxetine, i.e. generic Prozac, and gradually reduce the dose to zero. IIRC, someone wrote on this forum that it took that person months of tapering in order to do it with tolerable symptoms.
Fluoxetine has the longest half-life of the all the SSRI antidepressants. A fluoxetine taper will minimize withdrawal symptoms. Find a doc who knows this.
My best friend was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. They put him on some high powered pills, and he spent six months as a zombie.
One day he said “Enough!” and found a doctor who would help the problem, not treat the symptoms.
There are very few disorders where medication alone is the answer.
It worked for me but I don't see how people can take the stuff for years on end.
The side effects were a problem.
Difficulty falling asleep.
Long, intense technicolor dreams every night. I would wake up exhausted.
It definitely helped my attitude during the day but it distorted my visual acuity in that every object had the most vivid, almost neon colors.
Then there was also a sexual side-effect as well.
I never felt addicted and simply had no desire get more after a few months of use.
These drugs are extremely powerful for adults and there's no way I would advise any parent to put their child on them unless it were a last resort.
Beware of the folic acid. It could mask a B12 deficiency which is a lot more common than thought, especially with prevacid, etc. B12 deficiency can mimic depression, dementia, alzheimers, etc, because it plays a HUGE role in the nervous system.
I have a deficiency, discovered late. Someday when my #s get up to normal, I will start the process of quitting cymbalta and see what happens.
The posters who hate the meds usually get here before the ones who appreciate them. For the case of this thread, Wellbutrin is evil as well.
Because not everyone gets the side effects, or if they do, it is minor.
Thanks for sharing what works with your children. I bet that might work for other people as well. Certainly they could try it without suffering any ill effects (unless allergies to fish or something!).
It’s not that everyone considers medicines evil. It isn’t as much a question of ‘evil’ as a question of ‘ONLY’. What we have a problem with is that they are regarded as being safer and better and always the superior form of treatment for anything anyone has. That mentality shuts a lot of potential doors for other healing possibilities, given the fact that 40-50% of people on a given drug, the drug won’t work for them.