Antidepressants

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Antidepressants

Postby kayla+ » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:01 am

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Posts: 1 Hi, I've just been prescribed anti depressants but am worried about them making my dyspraxia worse or other things like sucicide or making exams and studying harder. My mother doesn't want me to take them but the doctor thinks they'd help. i feel low and tired but not depressed.
Any advice?
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby Alice » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am

Unless your Mum is a doctor, I don't think she is in a position to be telling you to disregard the doctor's advice. Doctors are taught about these things in medical school, and do think before subscribing medication. It is true that they aren't allways right, but they do have a better chance of getting it right then some random person, no matter how that person is related to the patient. Take the medication and, if you experience bad side effects, go back to the doctor when you need too.
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby Dan » Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:22 pm

Whilst I mostly agree with you Alice. Depression is not curable by drugs, it's only treated. I have a friend who is addicted to SSRIs and everytime he closes his eyes or moves them he gets a huge electric shock go round his brain. It's common with SSRI withdrawal and it sounds absolutely horrifying. Doctors do not educate their patients enough about these drugs. I believe it is possible something like Ritalin may be more of a benefit due to the smaller releases of Serotonin. Remember, SSRIs also limit what other drugs you can take and this can make life a bit more complicated. I'm not suggesting you use recreational drugs, but if you had MDMA for example, there is a high chance you'd die. Even other medicines such as Tramadol in combination with an SSRI could kill you. It's not worth the risk in most cases.

Try the drug for a couple of weeks, if you feel a positive change, continue, if you don't, stop immediately.
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby parnassus » Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:27 am

Hi Kayla,

Antidepressants should actually help you to feel less tired and better able to concentrate. I took them for a while and this was the main benefit for me. There is no reason to suppose that they would make your dyspraxia worse - I've never heard of that happening before.

If your doctor has prescribed this medication for you then he evidently thinks that depression is a possibility, even if it is only very mild. From what I've seen, a lot of people fail to recognise depressive symptoms in themselves because they have their own personal idea of what depression is supposed to feel like. If they aren't experiencing those feelings, they decide that they can't possibly be depressed. It doesn't necessarily work that way. In my early teens I thought that having depression meant that you felt miserable all the time and never had any fun. Because I enjoyed several things and had periods of happiness, it would never have occurred to me to describe myself as depressed, even though I was quite unwell at that point. (I was being very badly bullied and struggling to cope at school.) It was only when I got better that I could see how low I had actually been. Is it possible that you might be in a similar position?

I don't know which type of antidepressant you've been prescribed, but I want to stress here that SSRIs are not addictive. They are among the most commonly prescribed antidepressant medications for precisely this reason. The likelihood of experiencing a harmful side effect is very small. Here is a factsheet from the NHS that gives more details:

http://www.nmhct.nhs.uk/pharmacy/depr2.htm

As the factsheet points out, it can take a lot longer than two weeks for a person to start feeling the benefit of an antidepressant, so it isn't sensible to try the medication for a fortnight and stop if it doesn't seem to be working. No one here is a doctor, and no one here can safely advise you to come off prescription meds. If a doctor has suggested that you take something, don't come off it without speaking to them first.

Also, taking tablets can't give you an electric shock. To receive an electric shock you need to be in contact with a source of electricity. Some people do experience sensations similar to electric shock if they come off SSRI medication without warning, but if you taper it off gradually then there is no reason to suppose that you will have this type of side effect. The same could be said of any drug, no matter what it's designed to treat. Follow your doctor's advice and you should be OK.

The medication that I took was called Fluoxetine, and while it didn't cure me, it made it possible for me to help myself. It steadied my mood just enough to give me the stability that I needed to face the problems that had left me feeling this way in the first place. I couldn't have begun to patch things up when I was feeling so low and tired, and the Fluoxetine took the edge off that tiredness. When I was ready to come off the tablets, I followed the directions from my treatment team, and experienced no side effects at all. I was dizzy for the first few days of taking the tablets, but it was inconvenient rather than painful and it soon passed.
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby Dan » Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:39 am

Vicky, you most DEFINITELY withdraw from SSRIs. They nickname it "discontinuation syndrome". The effects of SSRI withdrawal are nasty. Tapering is not always possible,

I'm not saying they can't help. I also disagree that you won't see benefits in 2 weeks. You will start to see benefits/problems at about 2 weeks. I do agree that it takes about 8 weeks for the effects to fully kick in.

I really don't recommend trying an SSRI first. I recommend an SNRI or SDRI instead as their side effects are less serious although they're not as good at dealing with anxiety.

Vicky, what makes you say they're not addictive? ANY drug that releases Serotonin through one mechanism or another has the potential to be addictive.
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby Danni » Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:09 am

Dan, you're wrong. Venlafaxine (Effexor) discontinuation is the worst of all the antidepressants. That's the drug that causes the brain zaps, feelings like electric shocks, nausea, dizziness, brain fog, depersonalisation (and they're just the ones I remember). It felt so bad I never ever want to go through it again, and it's the first drug on my "must never take again" list. SSRIs, though I don't get on with them, are nowhere near as bad. Fluoxetine may not have worked for me, but at the same time I had no bad side effects except a bit of dizziness at the beginning, which went away after a couple of weeks (which compared to most side effects I get it's nothing).

There can be discontinuation from SSRIs, but it's nowhere near as bad (I've been on most of them, and know lots of people who have, and none have experienced discontination as bad as venlafaxine discontinuation.

Kayla, if your doctor has recommended you take an antidepressant, it's probably a good idea. If you're under 18, he shouldn't have prescribed anything other than fluoxetine, and if that's the one he's prescribed then you should be fine. If you get any bad side effects, you should contact him, but they're uncommon.
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby Dan » Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:57 pm

Danni wrote:Dan, you're wrong. Venlafaxine (Effexor) discontinuation is the worst of all the antidepressants. That's the drug that causes the brain zaps, feelings like electric shocks, nausea, dizziness, brain fog, depersonalisation (and they're just the ones I remember). It felt so bad I never ever want to go through it again, and it's the first drug on my "must never take again" list. SSRIs, though I don't get on with them, are nowhere near as bad. Fluoxetine may not have worked for me, but at the same time I had no bad side effects except a bit of dizziness at the beginning, which went away after a couple of weeks (which compared to most side effects I get it's nothing).

There can be discontinuation from SSRIs, but it's nowhere near as bad (I've been on most of them, and know lots of people who have, and none have experienced discontination as bad as venlafaxine discontinuation.

Kayla, if your doctor has recommended you take an antidepressant, it's probably a good idea. If you're under 18, he shouldn't have prescribed anything other than fluoxetine, and if that's the one he's prescribed then you should be fine. If you get any bad side effects, you should contact him, but they're uncommon.


I wasn't suggesting that Effexor had no withdrawal. They ALL have bad withdrawal. I was suggesting it's a reasonably good anti-depressant from what I hear.

Also, brain zaps is due to Serotonin, not Dopamine or Noradrenaline. All SSRIs have the potential to cause brain zaps. They all work by a very similar mechanism. The absolute worst to try is Prozac. It has a half life of 6 months so it takes a long time to feel back to normal.
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby Danni » Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:59 pm

6 months? Where on earth are you getting that from? 3-4 days is more realistic.
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby Alice » Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:18 pm

It is true that you may not realise you are depressed, and your family may not either. Looking back to the time when I had "angst" as a teenager, I think I was probably depressed.

With me, it was a reluctance to attatch any kind of severity to the situation which made me not realise. I couldn't be depressed because there were probably some pepole out there who felt worse, and to call myself depressed would be to belittle their suffering. For every symptom I had I decided that since I had heard of someone with a worse version of that symptom, I must not be experiencing that symptom at all and was only being mellodramatic. This sounds realy strange, but in the state of mind I was in, it was almost as if I considered myself unworthy of being mentaly ill. While it was true that I was not severely depressed, I wasn't exactly well either.

All drugs have potential side effects, there is an antihystamine that makes me feel like I want to curl up and cry for hours (unfortunately not an exaduration), not through any pain or physical symptoms, it just makes me feel that way from when it kicks in to when it wears off. It doesn't do much for my alergies either. That doesn't mean no-one should take it, it just means it is the wrong drug for me
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby Dan » Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:08 am

Danni wrote:6 months? Where on earth are you getting that from? 3-4 days is more realistic.


I didn't mean the actual half life, but I've heard the effects aggregate over a long period of time and take a long time to diminish when people cease use.

Also, Alice, is that antihistamine diphenhydramine by any chance? If so, it does the same for me.
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby Thirteen-thirty-seven » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:57 am

People should go to doctors/nurses/pharmacists for medical advice, not internet forums. However good people's intentions are, they may not know what they are talking about.

Medical advice from randomers on the internet almost killed me and was partly to blame for things I did which caused serious harm to others. (Not that I'm saying those things weren't also largely the result of misuse of my own free will, and also partly because of circumstances beyond anybody's control.)

Doctors are not always right and if a drug makes you seriously ill, you should not take it, but you shouldn't avoid a medical treatment because of internet randomers. However good their intentions are, you have absolutely no guarantee that they have the faintest idea what they're talking about.
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby Alice » Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:23 pm

Dan wrote: Also, Alice, is that antihistamine diphenhydramine by any chance? If so, it does the same for me.

No, Cetirizine.

Thirteen-thirty-seven wrote:People should go to doctors/nurses/pharmacists for medical advice, not internet forums. However good people's intentions are, they may not know what they are talking about.

Medical advice from randomers on the internet almost killed me and was partly to blame for things I did which caused serious harm to others. (Not that I'm saying those things weren't also largely the result of misuse of my own free will, and also partly because of circumstances beyond anybody's control.)

Doctors are not always right and if a drug makes you seriously ill, you should not take it, but you shouldn't avoid a medical treatment because of internet randomers. However good their intentions are, you have absolutely no guarantee that they have the faintest idea what they're talking about.

I agree with you completely on this. My Mum says that one of her main problems at work is pepole thinking she doesn't know how to treat them because of something someone told them, that they read in the paper and misinturprated, or they read on the internet. Yes, doctors do sometimes get it wrong, but they have a better chance of getting it right then pepole who aren't doctors, that's what they're trained to do.
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby Dan » Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:37 pm

Cetrizine does nothing for me. Just makes me feel really drowsy. Chlorepheramine Maleate works well for me though.
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby Alice » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:29 pm

Dan wrote:Cetrizine does nothing for me. Just makes me feel really drowsy. Chlorepheramine Maleate works well for me though.

It doesn't help my alergies either, I wish all it did was make me drowsy. Aparrently it works quite well for some pepole though.
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Re: Antidepressants

Postby Dan » Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:44 pm

What allergy do you have? I have a pretty severe dust mite allergy. My eyes are almost tearing 24/7 and my nose is always running. It's really annoying. I wish there was an antihistamine that worked with no side effects, alas, that is not the case. I share your pain!
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