Antidepressants destroy lives!

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PostTue Feb 05, 2013 12:55 am » by Noentry


Antidepressants can be a lifesaver. But others complain that the drugs take the edge off their memory, concentration, creativity, and drive. Is this true? Are the wrong people getting the medication? Are the wrong doctors prescribing it?

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I made an appointment to see an endocrinologist because something told me that my hormones had taken leave of their senses. I was only 40, but strange things were happening. I was fatigued and anxious, I'd lost my appetite, I couldn't sleep, my thick blonde hair had started to thin and turn gray, my skin was itchy-dry, and I wondered if I could make it through the day. Friends were concerned about my precipitous weight loss; I'd slipped past lithe to something on the order of skeletal.

The doctor ordered a blood panel, and the results were all within normal range. There was no evidence of thyroid dysfunction or the onset of perimenopause. I was suffering from depression, she suggested, and although it might be wise to get some psychotherapy, she'd be happy to write me a prescription for antidepressants. I filled it and dutifully began swallowing the pills. I had plenty of friends who were taking antidepressants, and I looked forward to developing a certain resilience, as they had. Soon, I thought, stress would roll off me like water off a duck's back.

But that didn't happen. Before long whatever zest I'd had for work and family disappeared. My emotions seemed to vanish, and with them, my sense of humor. One morning a little more than a month later, in the middle of an important meeting, I lost track of four out of the six key points I'd rehearsed the night before. The names of three coworkers around the conference table also evaporated into thin air. Under pressure I was usually as sharp as a buzz saw. It had to be the drug. After the meeting, I dashed to my office, twisted open the vial of pills, and dumped them into the trash.

Last year, as part of my research for a book about memory, I decided to find out whether antidepressants could engender cognitive side effects, such as changes in motivation, memory, and concentration, or if what happened to me was a metabolic fluke. With barely any research published on the topic, I started rather unscientifically by asking around: Were other people troubled by such symptoms? Most said no; antidepressants actually made them more clearheaded and animated. But I'd read that the novelist John Irving (The World According to Garp) stopped taking one of these drugs after concluding that it made him feel detached and dulled his urge to write. And when I posted inquiries on a few websites, including Oprah.com, within hours I found I was not alone.

http://www.oprah.com/health/Are-Antidep ... or-Harmful



I feel emotionally castrated because not only do I not have negative feelings, I barely feel anything at all. I'm an artist who can no longer draw or paint or create. Instead, I sit around and do absolutely nothing.
— B.J. Cade, 53

I have been on antidepressants for the past 20 years or so. I started taking them after my second divorce. I am currently weaning myself off medication because I have no zest for life. My edge is gone. It's a subtle loss, and it is not always realized. I want me back.
— Kathy Costello, 58

I have been on a combination of more than 20 different types of antidepressants, anxiety medication, antipsychotics, and sleeping pills (not all at one time!), and was eventually able to go off everything but my antidepressants and an OCD drug. I have no memory left—if I don't write things down, I immediately forget them. I am trying to go back to school to pursue a dream, but I can no longer get myself to function well enough to pass the GRE. I went from scoring at about the 80th percentile several years ago down to the 59th percentile. I'm trying to make changes, but I am so unmotivated that I am literally appalled at myself—and I know it's the meds.
— Christine Giffin, 33
"The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority.
The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority.
The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking."
A. A. Milne

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PostTue Feb 05, 2013 1:04 am » by Noentry


When's the right time?

Whether you've been on antidepressants for six months or six years, only you will know when the time is right for you to come off your medication, but always speak to your doctor (GP) first before you make any decisions.

Deciding when you are ready to come off antidepressants will depend on what you are taking them for - whether it's for moderate to severe depression or for other problems such as anxiety, panic disorders, eating disorders or chronic pain.

"With depression, doctors usually say to take them until you feel better and then for six months after that. It can be two to four weeks before you notice an effect on your mood," says GP Registrar Gemma Newman. "The pills aren't a quick fix, so if you stop taking them too early the depressed feelings are more likely to return."
Withdrawal symptoms

A third of people who are coming off antidepressants can have withdrawal symptoms - this doesn't mean that you are addicted, but it isn't unusual for people to find it difficult to come off antidepressants. If you're coming off Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), symptoms may include:

Dizziness;
Stomach upsets;
Vivid dreams;
Panic attacks;
Diarrhoea;
Flu-like symptoms;
Anxiety;
Sensations that feel like electric shocks.

You're also more likely to get withdrawal symptoms if you're skipping doses, or if you're on other medication that may act with the antidepressant. You may also find your withdrawal symptoms worse if you initially suffered from anxiety when you started taking antidepressants.
How should you come off antidepressants?

The most important thing is to make sure that you reduce your tablets gradually - if you stop them quickly you're more likely to get withdrawal symptoms. "Withdrawal symptoms will depend on the strength of the medication you are taking - tablets with a shorter duration of effect will generally cause more symptoms," says Dr Newman.

Bonnie, 25, has been on Seroxat for seven years after suffering a nervous breakdown. "I wanted to come off Seroxat a year after I started taking it because I didn't feel it was making any difference. I'd also heard reports about how people had felt suicidal on it, which was similar to how I was feeling. I've tried many different ways to come off it and it's only now that I've nearly got there, six years later."
How to reduce your dose

Tapering the dose gradually is the safest and healthiest way to stop antidepressants. Ask your doctor if you can try a liquid dose of your medication - unfortunately only certain drugs are available in liquid form. This can then be diluted to reduce your dosage. "Generally you should stop them over a period of at least four weeks, and after six to eight months of treatment you should stop them over a period of six weeks to two months. After long-term treatment you should reduce the dose by a quarter every month or so," says Dr Newman.
GP

Speak to your GP before coming off them

"The advice my doctor gave me was to reduce my dose by 5mg a week, but that felt really impossible," says Bonnie. "When I spoke to the Seroxat User Group they told me to take the liquid form and come down by 1mg at a time, so it's a much more gradual process. It can really help to seek advice from people who know what you are going through. Don't feel defeated if you go to your doctor and they tell you to come back in a couple of weeks and come off more than you feel is possible."
What support will I get?

It's important to remember that your doctor knows your medical history and can help to support you while you come off your medication. They can keep an eye on you while they are reducing your tablet dose and monitor how you are feeling.

"All young people should be offered counselling when they are feeling low, both before antidepressants are given, and during the treatment," says Gemma. Most health authorities have Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) or talking therapies available free of charge on the NHS - the only issue may be long waiting lists. "I'm getting counselling as well as taking antidepressants, but you only get a limited amount of six sessions and they hate it if you ask for more," says 19 year-old Jodie. "I've been offered the chance to see a psychiatrist but that's going to take at least a year because the waiting list is so long."

If you're waiting for treatment, you may be find it useful to try computerised CBT programmes such as Beating the Blues. Endorsed by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), the website has been designed to help you understand and change the connection between feelings, thoughts and actions. Others include Living Life to the Full and Mood Gym.
Can I refuse medication?

Yes - you have a legal right to refuse medication. Talk to your doctor and also with any friend or family member who supports you and find out why they feel you may need more time on the medication. If, after discussing it you still disagree with your doctor, they will be able to help you come off the tablets gradually. Remember they are there to give sound advice, but they must also respect your wishes.

http://www.thesite.org/healthandwellbei ... epressants

There is no need to go Rambo. 1 step at a time.
What is important is to free yourselves from this addiction.
How many times has your need to stop taking them crossed your mind ?
"The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority.
The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority.
The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking."
A. A. Milne

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PostTue Feb 05, 2013 1:19 am » by Noentry


Going off antidepressants turned me into a nympho.


When I went off Celexa, I expected my self-doubt to return. What I didn't anticipate was the surge of my desire.

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The voice in the shower is back – that scolding, merciless, how-could-you growl that erupts in moments of solitude. You shouldn’t have sent that e-mail. You sure screwed up that meeting. You don’t know anything.

For the two years I was on 20mg daily of Celexa, the SSRI antidepressant, all I heard in the morning was the rush of water. The blaring radio of self-recrimination became benign static. I never told myself I was an idiot while conditioning my hair.

As of a couple of months ago, I’m off the meds, and the negative monologue is back in transmission. My fuse is way shorter. I have days when I feel sad for no reason. Routine setbacks can feel like the end of the world.

And yet, I decided to go off the drugs anyway, and to resume my acquaintanceship with the Voice. Yes, it’s lousy, and its friends are worse: The Emotional Roller Coaster. The Shame. The Social Anxiety. But I have made peace with them because of one cherished member of the entourage: the Libido.

Two years ago, I was overwhelmed by the responsibilities of a stressful job and a small child. When I started crying, I found it hard to stop. I made an appointment with a psychiatrist and told him I thought I was having panic attacks.

“There’s no crying in panic attacks,” he said, echoing the “no crying in baseball” cliché. “You’re depressed.”

Hearing that just made me cry harder. But I took the prescription, and enjoyed two years as an ultra-sane, extra-productive member of society. I raised my kid. I kept my marriage functioning well. I wrote two books. I kept the house reasonably clean. I saw friends. I was a multitasking advertisement for SSRIs.

I was an antidepressant evangelist, even, until the drug’s emotional protection started to feel more like a dirty windshield than shining armor. My husband complained about how placid I was even during fights, how it was like I was floating above events rather than being a part of them.

The official word was that maybe I didn’t need them anymore. My therapist said the brain benefits from its time in the SSRI bubble, and forms new pathways and new ways to cope with stress. It learns, he said, what it feels like to be happy, so it’s easier for it to go to that place even in the absence of the pills.

When I forgot to take a pill one day, I decided to go cold turkey. Big mistake. Three days in, I had vertigo, what’s known as “brain zaps,” and nearly fainted on a subway platform — all phenomena of “discontinuation syndrome.” (Discontinuation syndrome is eloquently described in this New York Times article by science writer Bruce Stutz.) But once I started tapering gradually, the brain zaps and other unpleasantness slowly went away.

And what was left was desire. I suddenly remembered what it was like to actually want to have sex. And not like, “Sure, why not?” a few times a week, which is what my sex life had become. But actually wanting it. Thinking about it at inappropriate times. Lusting after people behind counters. Having more fun in bed, and a whole lot faster (those who have been on SSRIs will know what I mean).

Along with thinking about sex all the time, I was writing a lot. I started keeping a journal (longhand!) again for the first time in probably 10 years. I started discovering new music and really being into it. I stayed up late just to read and write, and not for work, but for fun. It was like the feeling of falling in love, but not with anyone in particular — although my husband was the beneficiary of the sudden nymphomania.

And still now, a few more weeks in, I feel extra-engaged with the world, for better and worse. I snap at my son and husband way more than before. If the kid won’t stay in his bed at bedtime I can get so annoyed I have to go into the other room and take deep breaths until I calm down. But I also hold them closer and laugh louder at their jokes. I’m back to getting crushes on strangers. I blush more. I reloaded my iTunes with the Replacements. I bawled at “Toy Story 3.”

As an amateur student of brain chemistry, I wasn’t surprised that I’d been quasi-neutered by Celexa. Helen Fisher, Ph.D., the author of several popular books, talks about how antidepressants inhibit our ability to feel romantic. “An estimated 70 percent of patients taking these medications suffer diminished libido,” she writes in “Why We Love,” “And these drugs can often induce apathy, what psychiatrists call ‘emotional blunting.’”

When I went on the antidepressants, I figured a little muting would be fine. In fact, faced with an emotional meltdown, some detachment from reality sounded like a pretty great idea.

And when the lower-libido side effect kicked in, I didn’t think feeling a little less sexy mattered that much. I was in my early 30s, a mother, and was still regularly sleeping with the same man I’d been with for almost a decade. Who was complaining, right?

But there’s a difference between getting things done and savoring them. In those two years, I never stayed up until 2 a.m. just to read a novel. I never cried at a sad movie. I never looked forward to sex all day: the euphoria of it. The intimacy of it. It’s a natural counterpoint to the agony of self-recrimination, because it lets the self take a break.

Maybe emotional volatility and sexual enthusiasm always go together, or maybe it’s just me. Yes, I worry that my depression will return and trading sanity for sex will seem like a bad bargain. But as long as the lows aren’t crippling, I want to try to ride them out. Antidepressants save lives all the time, and I know for a fact how good they can be when you’re trying to climb out of an emotional pit. But now that I’m out, I want to see if I can throw the rope away without falling back in.

The author Lev Grossman has a great essay called “Writing and Antidepressants: A Match Made in Purgatory,” in which he says of his rush of feeling after stopping his meds, “My brain was having ideas and making connections and generally hyper-functioning … All the little blinking lights were on. I don’t think they’d been on in a while.”

That’s how I feel now: like the lights are on, and blazing — some that should probably be off, sure, but also the ones that must be on for anything as complicated as desire to flourish. It’s not like I’m having a better time right now, but it feels like a more real spiritually gratifying time. Being off antidepressants has meant appreciating the value of discomfort. Sex is messy when it’s done right. And maybe so is life.

http://www.salon.com/2010/07/07/sex_and ... pressants/

As good a reason as any.



Only you can take the first step.
Breaking the cycle of antidepressant addiction will change your life for the better.

Antidepressants steal your time and leaves so much waste.
Time to stop, then you will can start to clean up the mess.
"The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority.
The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority.
The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking."
A. A. Milne

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PostTue Feb 05, 2013 1:30 am » by Phoenix rising


Good post and info, i had the worst experience of my life when i was talking into taking antidepressants by my doctor, I wasn't depressed but in terrible pain for severe headaches, the doctor suggested in clinical trials antidepressants were known to help with severe headaches, well what actually happened is they made it worse and for a month i had terrible fought's about ending things, very dark times, i seriously think i am still living with the repercussions now, I've never been the same all these years later, so its a vicious circle, i told the doctor how i felt and argued strongly against it but with stupid doctors jargon talk i actually walked out of there with a prescription for twice the dose i was on, they may as well have been holding a gun to my head, anyway i didn't take them and a few weeks later i started to get better, since then i have had a heavy distrust of going to the doctors, one of the things doctors do is if they can't find a reason why you are feeling ill they start to think its in you're head and this is how they push these deadly meds on you, from many stories of fiends i have heard similar stories and i can only think they have to maintain their pharma budgets otherwise they will lose money for the next year, antidepressants are expensive drugs so the more of them they push the better chance of maintaining their budgets, my advice is if you want to live longer stay away from you're doctors and try at all times to go down the natural route.


By the way I have also lost a lot of the zest for life, its really hard to explain but its like someone has pulled the motivation part of me away, and i have terrible fatigue problems, sleeping problems, bone weakness, the list goes on, my only solace was music, i am a musician and i believe this has helped me to some degree
Last edited by Phoenix rising on Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostTue Feb 05, 2013 1:32 am » by Slith


Awesome thread man. Very informative and will assist many who read it. :flop:
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PostTue Feb 05, 2013 1:38 am » by E6722maj


Noentry wrote: the drugs take the edge off their memory, concentration, creativity, and drive. Is this true?



yes

.
whatever

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PostTue Feb 05, 2013 1:51 am » by Noentry


Phoenix rising that is brill. Great you caught it early.
Well done. :clapper:


I know some one with a similar story.

He stopped smoking.
In the mornings his fingers started tingling,
He went to doctor and he was prescribed something by the doctor.
He told me about his visit and I questioned him on what they were.
I read the instructions and he was prescribed antidepressants.
The doctor didn't even tell him they were AD.
He was pissed.
He went back and gave a bollocking to that doctor.
Doctors love nothing better then to throw AD's around like they are candy.


Imagine, some people being on them for years, It is hard to break the cycle of addiction and depression.
It takes real conviction.
"The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority.
The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority.
The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking."
A. A. Milne

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PostTue Feb 05, 2013 1:53 am » by Noentry


Slith wrote:Awesome thread man. Very informative and will assist many who read it. :flop:


Thanks. I hope so Slith
:cheers:
"The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority.
The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority.
The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking."
A. A. Milne

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PostTue Feb 05, 2013 1:54 am » by Noentry


E6722maj wrote:
Noentry wrote: the drugs take the edge off their memory, concentration, creativity, and drive. Is this true?



yes

.


Disturbing what is pawned of as medicine these days.
:cheers:
"The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority.
The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority.
The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking."
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PostTue Feb 05, 2013 1:56 am » by Kinninigan


:flop:



nice thread...but the best anti-depressent is going to the "what does everyonelook like" thread always makes me happy












:peep:


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