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Anti-depressants?

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by wellard, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. I have finally booked an appointment to see my GP. Have been feeling very low for a long time now and have finally plucked up the courage to speak to my GP. I was just wandering if anyone could share their experiences of what happens if a doctor thinks you are depressed and their experiences of taking anti-depressants. I am really scared right now.
     
  2. I have finally booked an appointment to see my GP. Have been feeling very low for a long time now and have finally plucked up the courage to speak to my GP. I was just wandering if anyone could share their experiences of what happens if a doctor thinks you are depressed and their experiences of taking anti-depressants. I am really scared right now.
     
  3. I absolutely lost the plot when I went in to see my GP. Thankfully, my mum had suggested I write absolutely everything down so I just handed that to him while I sobbed my way through a box of tissues. He asked me to fill in a little scale thing about how I was feeling and I was put on a low dose. When I had my month review I filled in the scale again and the dosage was increased. When I return again he will use the scale to see if the ADs are having some sort of effect.
    I finally feel like I can function again now that I am on them and am annoyed with myself for leaving things for so long. They made me feel really really sick for the first few days but after that I have been absolutely fine.
     
  4. I was fortunate when I had a breakdown: firstly although it appeared to me to have come from a clear blue sky, my GP had seen it coming for a while (a four-month headache, hyperventilating - I thought it was a chest infection hahaha - 2 bereavements, 2 doses of flu in the same year) so was straight on the ball. And secondly because the first AD she tried on me worked really well.
    If you are prescribed ADs you may find the side-effects difficult for a while. How long depends on your individual reaction and the type of AD. If you find they are intolerable or going on too long, just go back. It is common to need a few attempts to find one that suits, not that it helps when you feel like sh1t anyway.
    I felt the symptoms of the depression lift after about a month. It took a bit longer for the panic attacks to completely subside. SSRIs are a bit quicker, I understand, that the tri-cyclic i had.
    Good luck with it.
     
  5. I think my GP was the same Lily. We kept dancing around all this stuff of I'm so tired all the time maybe it is thyroid, maybe it is CFS etc etc. I think he was waiting for me to finally own up to the fact that my bereavements and grief were consuming my life. I'm glad I have such a good GP really. I'm on the SSRIs
     
  6. I take 40mg of citalopram every day. It has given me my life back after battling with mental illness for years. They did make me feel sick and dizzy at first but that settled down after 10 days.

    The most important thing is that you find a doctor that understands. The first doctor I saw simply gave me a load of highly addicitve sleeping tablets and sent me away. My current doctor has been helping me with my depression for the last 5 years and is a great support. I also see a mental health nurse once a month and occupational health every six weeks. The support is out there so seeing your doctor is the first step to feeling better :)


     
  7. Well done for making the appointment.[​IMG] From your other post you have a lot going on, and you and your GP might decide that AD will help.
    He/she will let you talk about what is making things difficult, how long etc and what effect it is having on you and your life, how you are feeling, how your sleep/appetite etc is affected.
    I was in denial that I could have depression. I just thought that lack of sleep was making me feel so dreadful. After listening to me cry my way through my problems and symptoms, my GP suggested that ADs might help. I thought about it for a week before I took a prescription.
    GP will monitor your progress. You get scored on your questionnaire - hopefully your mood will lift when the ADs kick in. They are not a quick fix. It can take a time before you start to feel better and can sometimes feel worse when you first start to take them. As others have said, one might suit you better than another, but your GP will monitor this too. Mine made me so sick I developed gastritis - they were a stomach irritant and I had been taking them on an empty stomach.
    It sounds as if you are thinking that ADs will help you and I hope that you get some help from your GP. Something you might like to think about is whether to ask for referral to a counsellor. I saw one as part of my treatment and I am so pleased I did. There is often a wait, so an early request would be sensible if you want to give it a go. They can help you help yourself by changing the way you think/respond to a situation, helpng you with relaxation techniques etc. They don't tell you what to do but help you think things out for yourself. They might also help you with self confidence and self esteeem, as it sounds as if these might have taken a bit of a bashing recently. One thing that has helped me is some exercise every day and is known to be a 'stress buster'.
    Let us know how it goes.
     
  8. Another well done for making the appointment, it can be so hard to recognise that there is a problem let along work up the courage to get help for it. From your other post it seems like your depression is in reaction to life circumstances (rather than organic), so I'd urge you to seek councelling as well as antidepressants. Your doctor should be able to advise you on what's available locally. Often there's a long wait for an NHS referral, but you could consider looking privately (it's not horifically expensive and sometimes there'll be a sliding scale for those in financial difficulties). Antidepressants can still be a great help though if lifting the fog and helping you see clearer and make changes.
    Mind are a fantastic organisation for advice, information, and support: http://www.mind.org.uk/ They also have local branch websites to help you find support in your area.
    I truly hope that your Doctor is kind and supportive and that you find the help you need to overcome this. I'm not comfortable talking about my own experiences much on here, but I also want to add that exercise, or even simply going for a walk can help boost mood. It won't cure depression, but I can tell you it could definitely help. I also found making 'to do' lists made things seem less overwhelming and provided a sense of achievement. Depends on your personal experience of depression though obviously. I wish you all the best, and I'm sorry that you're struggling with this.
     
  9. lilykitty

    lilykitty New commenter

    I know from experiences it's a scary, disorientating time made worse if you feel you are not sure if you can trust your judgement.
    I would second everyone's comments on here. Anti-depressants (unfortunately) aren't happy pills and you may have some side effects at first - I felt very drowsy and a bit sick for the first few days / week. It is really important that you keep taking them though and this soon passes.
    I would describe ADs as a tool which will help you work through the depression, with rest, reflection on the triggers or underlying causes and talking also essential.
    When it comes to understanding depression, I cannot recommend the following link highly enough:
    http://www.dep-end.org/cantopher1.htm
    Good luck!
     
  10. I echo everything everyone said on here! Because of my Psychology degree I have a bit of technical knowledge about ADs and what they do, so was also a bit nervous about taking ADs and also telling my GP exactly what was wrong with me (felt I was being very weak etc) but even though, I was in bits, my GP was very understanding and practical (she listened to what I said, let me cry, reassured me when I was beating myself up for feeling the way I did and constantly crying in front of her). She also (which was very important to me) speaks to me always as a person of intelligence who is capable of making my own decisions about what treatment I want and answers any questions that I have. E.g. She asked me how I felt about taking medication as if we were making the decision together, instead of saying. Hmm, right, take one of these every day and you'll feel better! Trust me I'm a doctor! LOL!
    So, I would say that there's nothing to worry about, don't feel pushed into anything you're not comfortable with and despite what the Media says, if you're given ADs, for god sake take them, because GPs won't give them to you unless you really need them. Also, I've had hardly any side effects since taking them (PM me if you want to know exactly what I'm taking-I don't want to give too many details about my situation in public), apart from feeling a bit sick, yawning a bit and 'full' (as in just eaten a big meal even if I hadn't) until about 4 weeks after taking them. These days, I don't notice it at all! I feel like my 'old self' again! So, again, don't listen to the doom mongers who say you'll put on/lose loads of weight etc (which I was also worried about but I didn't-well I have lost loads of weight but that's because I've been doing yoga everyday since 4 weeks after I took the mds because I was worried that I would put on weight. I hoped that it would reduce my worries about that and everything else. It certainly has!). It really does depend on the type of AD and person. My GP and Tim Cantopher's excellent book were the only sources of info I took seriously!
    Hope this helps and good luck!
     
  11. Thank you very much for all of your kind replies, experiences and advice. Haven't had a good few days so I think I have made the right decision to go to the doctors. I am just hoping that my marriage can stand this. At the moment it is not looking good.
     
  12. Sorry that you've had a bad few days. Have you spoken to your partner about the depression or doctors? You are taking steps to make things better, and that is commendable.
    Whilst you're waiting for the Drs appt, did you know the Samaritans also have an e-mail address as well as their hotline? Again it's all anonymous, and can be useful if you're experiencing a lot of personal problems. I'm not suggesting you're suicidal; they can be very helpful even if it's not a crisis point.
     
  13. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    I think Samaritans are more about self-help and while off-loading your problems may be a good thing, you've already done that. I found the Samaritans made me feel worse about myself and my inability to cope - the right Doctor is the key.
    Be good to yourself and remember you are on the path to recovery already!
    Lots of hugs (((((((((xx)))))))))
    Joni x
     
  14. Really glad things have turned out good for you. When I read what other people have gone through, it seems like I shouldn't be winging so much. Thank you for your kind reply.
     
  15. flickaz

    flickaz New commenter

    Wellard sorry to hijack your thread but thought it was easier than starting my own.
    Basically doctor and MH nurse referred me to psychologist, he assessed me and decided I need some time on ADs before he thinks anything else will touch me. That was at the beginning of July and I've finally plucked up courage to go back to my doctor and get the ADs as recommended by the psychologist. I've read/heard all the horror stories about feeling sick/dizzy etc. Does this happen with all ADs? Is there anyone with a more positive experience of starting on them or will I have to endure 2 weeks of feeling physically rubbish as well as mentally?
     
  16. Try not to focus on the horror stories too much.
    I felt horrendous at first but it passed within a few days. The benefits that it has had on my life far outweighted those few days of feeling funny!!
    I found that drinking coffee for those few days was a big no no as it made me feel really sick.
     
  17. Depends which one you get. I got an old-fashioned tri-cyclic which i don't think they prscribe much any more and I didn't feel sick or dizzy at all. I did however feel very sleepy for a couple of weeks, got a dry mouth and shaky hands. They all wore off after a few weeks. Not everyone gets nauseous with SSRIs. I didn't get on with them but that's because they weren't the best choice for what my particular problem was. I didn't get diarrhoea, stomach pains or nausea but I did get insomnia and completely lost my appetite for food and sex. After three weeks - when if I'd had no other choice, that might have worn off anyway - I just switched back to the old ones.
    The best plan is to accept that you might feel lousy and arrange your life for a fortnight as though you definitely will. It takes the pressure off trying to cope and being afraid you won't be able to and flapping about it. I put a calendar on the wall and coloured in four weeks, which s how long my side effects were said to last. I put a big black cross through every day I was taking them and was pleased to find that it was all entirely manageable well before the fours weeks were up. I'm a visual learner, me!!!
     
  18. I didn't feel rubbish physically. I had a very, very slightly upset tummy for a couple of days and it did take a couple of weeks for them to make a difference to how I was feeling but once they kicked in properly the difference they made was huge, the dose was gradually increased until I felt I was coping better. So glad I started taking them.
     
  19. flickaz

    flickaz New commenter

    Thanks for all the advice. Guess I'll have to see what the doctor says. First appointment I could get was for next Wednesday which is rubbish timing as I'm back at work on Thursday. Guess I'd better plan myself some nice easy lessons for the first couple of weeks back!
     
  20. As I said in my previous post (PM for the exact name of what I'm taking if interested, all I felt was a bit sick (as in very full) and tired for the first couple of weeks but other that have got on extremely well with them! As others on here have already said, ignore the horror stories and potential side effects listed on the packet if you get them. They vary from person to person. Some people are really bad with certain types (as in Lilly's case), while others are fine with others (e.g. me).
    By the way, although I felt better immediately after taking my meds, the actual symptoms I was taking them for didn't go completely until about 7 weeks on them. As I said, I now feel as if I'm not on them at all (except for the occasional moment when I need them and then I yawn a bit when that happens! A small price to pay for an overactive brain which is getting a well-deserved rest! LOL!)
    I'm sure you'll be fine but don't worry about pestering the doc and us if you're worried at all!
    Good luck!
     

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