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Unread 04-23-2006, 04:26 PM   #1
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Default \'As-needed\' drugs for depression?

Hey everyone.

My question was this...I don't take drugs for my depression. It's cyclical, like I'll be depressed for a month or so then I'm not depressed at all, then anywhere from a week to months later it comes back. I think this is normal for those suffering from depression. Anyway, when I'm not depressed any longer, I feel like I'm the complete opposite of being depressed, and very happy with my life and the things in it (not bipolar though). But I do refuse to take medicine, and I think that's because I never want to be happy and have that happiness feel synthetic. I don't want to think 'Sure, I'm happy, but because I'm taking drugs to make me happy...' I want it to be real and know that it's ME feeling this way, not something ELSE forcing me to feel that way.

The problem is that my depression, as I'm sure most of you know who suffer from it, is...horrible. Last time was absolutely wretched - I think I was very close to doing something veryyyy stupid. I'm not me anymore, and it's the worst thing EVER. I cannot stand it and I fear its only going to get worse.

Ok - to the question: Is there anyway I can go on an anti-depressant when I'm feeling low, and come off it when I'm feeling better? And I mean in a week to month basis, not go on it for 2 years then come off it. I never know how long my episodes will last but I do know they eventually stop (atleast I know that now, when I'm happy). Now I don't have anything against anyone who takes AD's, I have family that does, but I just simply do NOT think they are for me. Any answers, thoughts? Thanks everyone.

(BTW - I've tried the other stuff to try and snap out of it like exercise, eating right, forcing myself out...none of that worked very well. Thanks!)
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Unread 04-23-2006, 05:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: \'As-needed\' drugs for depression?

For a start I would suggest that you reconsider what you are saying ADs actually do.

You say it's 'synthetic' happiness - I disagree that it is just the drug making you 'happy'. If your depression is due to biological imbalance then you probably don't make enough serotonin naturally - the AD helps this issue, it doesn't just make you suddenly feel falsely happy ... It more 'enables' happiness to take place. If you aren't happy ADs aren't just gonna make you feel really happy ...

I am similar to you in that i am pretty anti-meds, in fact I am still in a do-i-don't-i phase myself. But also read the research (you probably have already?) that says if you take the course of ADs properly (I think it is 6-12 months for most people) then you are much less likely to relapse. I think this period fluctuates according to how many major depressive episodes a person has had, etc.

good luck with your decision
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Unread 04-23-2006, 05:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: \'As-needed\' drugs for depression?

Dr unk. (((here))) Taking a medication for what it is prescribed for is a good thing...I think you know this. Some ppl might take, say heroin, for depression because it "takes them away from their problems." An anti-depressant isn't like that, because, as Dr Unksunflower stated... an "AD" replaces something your body isn't making (or using) enough of. People who are not depressed can take an AD with no real effect, I think...(might not be so true with the nifty new ssnri's.. IDK)

I'm not an MD nor pharmacist doctor (nor do I play one on tv )

Noone, imo, "snaps out of " true depression. Not everyone who suffers with depression cycles like you are ... I am wondering if you might be experiencing a hormonal shifting that is depressing your system. Estrogen and progesterone have been known to do that. If you don't wish to see an MD about that either, I would suggest you try natural nutritional supplements like Evening Primrose Oil, and see if, during those depressive events, that it helps smooth out the lows?

Good wishes with this. Mindset is important...to get through, imo. Good CBT has the same effect, btw, as medication for depression (at 6 months ) and better results longer term, I think. TC!
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Unread 04-23-2006, 09:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: \'As-needed\' drugs for depression?




I personally hate when people refer to ADs as "happy pills".

They do not make my "happy"....but they do allow those around me to be "happy" if you get what I mean .

The meds also allow me to like myself........something that with my depression, is the first thing that goes.

I too recommend taking meds for more than a couple of months............I did the on again, off again med rout and when my depression returned (and it always did), it was worse and harder to treat........

It is just my opinon.....but I would really consider a longer period on the ADs.

Good luck and take care..
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Unread 04-23-2006, 10:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: \'As-needed\' drugs for depression?

</font><blockquote><div id="quote"><font class="small">Quote:</font>
Danialla said:



I personally hate when people refer to ADs as "happy pills".

They do not make my "happy"....but they do allow those around me to be "happy" if you get what I mean .

The meds also allow me to like myself........something that with my depression, is the first thing that goes.

I too recommend taking meds for more than a couple of months............I did the on again, off again med rout and when my depression returned (and it always did), it was worse and harder to treat........

It is just my opinon.....but I would really consider a longer period on the ADs.

Good luck and take care..

</div></font></blockquote><font class="post">

Yap as i posted in another thread my dr actually said that the reason he thought mine kept coming back was cos I never gave meds a proper chance.

It is of course different for everyone. And that is just one take on it. It freaks me out more to think about taking something for a long time though. Heh. what hereiam says about 'as needed' would be awesome.
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Unread 04-24-2006, 12:14 AM   #6
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Default Re: \'As-needed\' drugs for depression?

dsf - It's true, I have read the research, but I'm sure you still understand where I'm coming from since you're in the do-i-dont-i phase yourself. It's just hard, ya know? Thanks for the response.

Sky - I don't 'snap out' persay, but it does seem like I ween out of it within a few days. I only say it cycles because it continues to come back...that's why I was asking about the 'as-needed' things because I'm not always depressed. Infact when I'm happy, I do very very well in life and school and relationships and things like that. It's a significant difference, even if it does make the depression worse (when you know what you're missing out on).

Danialla - Long term would be better, I suppose. Thing is I haven't even taken them to begin with! I hope things turn out well for you.

Thanks for everyones responses. Sorry if I offended anyone by making AD's sound like 'happy pills' but in reality - that's what they are. That's what they do. If they don't 'make you happy' they make your brain produce the chemicals that do...so, by proxy, they make you happy. Or able to function, or whatever. I don't have anything personally against them because like I said I have many friends/family that do take them, but I just don't feel like they are for me.

Good luck to everyone...
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Unread 04-24-2006, 02:58 AM   #7
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Default Re: \'As-needed\' drugs for depression?

here, it sound like we are quite similar ... but i have had it pointed out to me that 'just because you have good days/good weeks doesn't mean you aren't depressed'.

I dunno ... I have drugs I could take ... but I haven't cos of pretty much the same reasons as you.

Maybe it is worth trying. I guess we will see.

luck to you too hon.
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Unread 04-24-2006, 08:34 AM   #8
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Default Re: \'As-needed\' drugs for depression?

</font><blockquote><div id="quote"><font class="small">Quote:</font>
hereiam said:
dsf - It's true, I have read the research, but I'm sure you still understand where I'm coming from since you're in the do-i-dont-i phase yourself. It's just hard, ya know? Thanks for the response.

Sky - I don't 'snap out' persay, but it does seem like I ween out of it within a few days. I only say it cycles because it continues to come back...that's why I was asking about the 'as-needed' things because I'm not always depressed. Infact when I'm happy, I do very very well in life and school and relationships and things like that. It's a significant difference, even if it does make the depression worse (when you know what you're missing out on).

Danialla - Long term would be better, I suppose. Thing is I haven't even taken them to begin with! I hope things turn out well for you.

Thanks for everyones responses. Sorry if I offended anyone by making AD's sound like 'happy pills' but in reality - that's what they are. That's what they do. If they don't 'make you happy' they make your brain produce the chemicals that do...so, by proxy, they make you happy. Or able to function, or whatever. I don't have anything personally against them because like I said I have many friends/family that do take them, but I just don't feel like they are for me.

Good luck to everyone...

</div></font></blockquote><font class="post">

If you are able to "wean" out of it in a few days or weeks then in my opinion you are not dealing with "Clinical Recurrent Major Depression".......and that is a good thing!!!

Unfortunately, I deal with the Clinical variety, and trust me my pills don't Make me "happy"... They allow me to be "happy". There is a difference.

Maybe a short term anti-anxiety is more what you need.
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Unread 04-24-2006, 10:50 AM   #9
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Default Re: \'As-needed\' drugs for depression?

I do precisely as you inquire about. I go on antidepressants on an "as needed" basis. That's how I manage my illness.

The thing is, you are unique. There is no rule to apply to your individual situation. You can learn about what has worked for other people. You can listen to advice from medical doctors. But nothing anyone can say will ever precisely predict what will or will not work for you.

My experience is my experience. My methods are my methods. I do not advocate them for others.

I, personally, cannot tolerate medication over the long term. I am simply too sensitive to medication. I get side effects that aren't even listed in the medical literature, and I get most of the ones that are listed.

Most of the time, I can maintain a stable mood through nutrition and supplements and intensive self-care. When my mood shifts to a point which I consider to be threatening, where I am at risk of becoming severely depressed, I go straight to my doctor, tell him my truth, and obtain drugs to sledgehammer the impending depressive phase into smithereens. In hindsight, it seldom takes me more than eight weeks to accomplish that. Then, I have to go through the discontinuation symptoms and all of that, and recover from the drug itself.

That is my story. If you are looking for validation, and seeing my words gives you comfort, then that is good. However, what I describe is not consistent with most general medical advice. Medical advice is structured to apply to most people. I have found that I am not typical, and I have had to adapt the general advice to my specific circumstances. I am the expert on me, but only because I have spent a great deal of time, effort, and thought, to become expert.

Lar
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Unread 04-24-2006, 01:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: \'As-needed\' drugs for depression?

</font><blockquote><div id="quote"><font class="small">Quote:</font>
Larry_Hoover said:
I do precisely as you inquire about. I go on antidepressants on an "as needed" basis. That's how I manage my illness.

The thing is, you are unique. There is no rule to apply to your individual situation. You can learn about what has worked for other people. You can listen to advice from medical doctors. But nothing anyone can say will ever precisely predict what will or will not work for you.

My experience is my experience. My methods are my methods. I do not advocate them for others.

I, personally, cannot tolerate medication over the long term. I am simply too sensitive to medication. I get side effects that aren't even listed in the medical literature, and I get most of the ones that are listed.

Most of the time, I can maintain a stable mood through nutrition and supplements and intensive self-care. When my mood shifts to a point which I consider to be threatening, where I am at risk of becoming severely depressed, I go straight to my doctor, tell him my truth, and obtain drugs to sledgehammer the impending depressive phase into smithereens. In hindsight, it seldom takes me more than eight weeks to accomplish that. Then, I have to go through the discontinuation symptoms and all of that, and recover from the drug itself.

That is my story. If you are looking for validation, and seeing my words gives you comfort, then that is good. However, what I describe is not consistent with most general medical advice. Medical advice is structured to apply to most people. I have found that I am not typical, and I have had to adapt the general advice to my specific circumstances. I am the expert on me, but only because I have spent a great deal of time, effort, and thought, to become expert.

Lar

</div></font></blockquote><font class="post">

Larry, I just have a few questions.......

What medications does your Dr. perscribe that have the ability to smash or sledgehammer the impending depressive phase into smithereens.

How far into an impending depressive phase do you get before getting to the Dr (ie 2 weeks, a month, etc.)?
Or is it the "quality" of the depression you are feeling that sends up your own red flags?

Are you able to use the same medication each time?

I have tried your approach in the past........not due to the side effects of the meds (I am blessed with being very medication tolerant), but due to feeling better and my own fear of the stigma attached to taking psych meds.

I have found that starting and stopping meds for the past 20 yrs has contributed to my treatment resistant depression w/pschotic features........and the fact that my suicidal thoughts can go from 0 to 60 in nothing flat....

After doing that for twenty years, I have been medication compliant for the past 6 years!!! Yes, I will be on meds for life...........but damn, I wish I would have done it sooner.........for me and for those around me that suffered as much as I did...

But, as you stated Larry, each person is different and needs to follow the plan that works for them.............just DON'T call them "HAPPY PILLS"!

Take care everyone!!!
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