I was wondering what the latest news on meds for depression is ? I was on a very high dose for more than 15 years, then the doctor said because it seemed the meds were no longer working, & I was already above the recommended dosage he would have to change my meds, that meant coming off all meds for 5 days. At the end of the 5 days I all but bounced into his office in love with life again, and to this day, a year later, have not been on any medication. I still have to work hard at it though. t’s not easy, it’s 2 steps forward and one step back, but it would seem I am better off the meds. What is the conventional wisdom on this topic? Madam X
There are a lot of solidly good General Practitioners about – my own Doctor is a sterling example, but the thing even the best Doctors lack most is time. Most Doctors prescribe antidepressants regardless of whether they are the best method of dealing with depression. It is a scattergun approach as they can only tell if an antidepressant works for you if you don’t report discomfort or side effects – add to that the difficulty, that some drugs such as Prozac take three months to build up in the blood stream before they have an effect. Even that issue is clouded by the placebo effect – people feeling better because they got a little attention & spoke about it feel reassured & better before the pill can possibly work.
I personally have poor reactions in side effects to medications, and was told that my “no dose” list was the largest of anyone in the surgery – mainly because I don’t come back in a few weeks with a different ailment, I take notice of the effects meds have on me, so I’m not back reporting new ailments, but relevant side effects. Most blood pressure treatments are unsuitable for me, for example. I’m very aware that depression meds is a huge industry, but one that ideally shouldn’t exist on such a scale. The majority of people report being depressed if they feel a bit down, which isn’t the same as being depressed. Clinical depression is the only category of depression that should be treated with drugs in my opinion. To me, clinical depression includes nervous breakdown, PTSD, Psychotic disorder and personality disorder. Being a bit fed up, a bit stressed etc are circumstantial depressions, relatively minor brain chemical difficulties that are best treated by talking treatments (which most Doctors have not the time to do) to locate the causes of the down feelings and process from them. To some extent, PTSD falls into this category, though good therapy being hard to find, it is more difficult to treat and requires a longer period. To give antidepressants to people who are not clinically depressed actually causes problems. This is because depression is actually a symptom of the causative condition, and while the cause is not being addressed, the symptom is. Think of it like this: A kettle full of water is placed over a cooker ring. The water heats up. Depression is equivalent to the steam coming from the spout. “Doctor, I have steam coming out of my spout” “Take three ice cubes three times a day”. “Doctor, it helps a bit, but I still get steam” “Increase the dose to 5 ice cubes”. Or the Doctor prescribes something more effective, such as sealing the spout. The kettle then has no way to let steam out and it gets worse. Okay, thats a humourous way to see it, but effectively, the cause needs an outlet or symptom. If you cure a symptom without addressing the cause, you develop a new symptom. The cause is still there, so symptoms continue to develop. I think you are wise to feel able to do without anti depressants most of the time if you feel okay. Co-counselling may be a way for you to cope – in other words, find someone with similar needs and have regular meetings in private, use the time to take turns talking and listening. If you can find a listening skills course (or basic counselling skills level 1), that would be the ideal place to find someone to co-counsel with, and the skills to go about it. Done at the right time in life, you may be able to negate the need for anti depressant meds permanently. I hope this helps.
Illustrating my point regarding symptoms, when children grow up, but still live at home with parents, they frequently develop symptoms that are associated with not “flying the nest”. Usually this can be skin rashes or asthmatic breathing difficulties, The symptoms can be treated, but there is no cure better than growth and independence.