are you on anti-depressants? - page 2

With nursing being such a high-stress career, and the constant problems with understaffing, overworking and being underpaid... did this drive you to start taking some type of anti-depressant? I know... Read More

  1. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    I've seen a lot of people whom I think should be taking antidepressants, but are not. They seem obviously clinically depressed, but are too proud, too in denial or think that anti-depressants are for weaklings, or "crazy people."

    I've heard people laughing at and making fun of people who take anti-depressants, and it disturbs me.

    True, some people who are in trouble financially and in their private lives brought about their own problems with their poor personal choices. But, could such a person also be depressed?
    Making poor personal choices does not cancel out the possibility of clinical depression. Some people treat their depression with illicit drugs and alcohol. I would prefer that these people take Prozac.

    Such people may never be able or willing to do the self-work required to change their lives for the better. If the best they can do is to obtain a script for an anti-depressant, at least they're doing SOMETHING.
  2. by   autumn-moon
    I will cop to taking antidepressants. I had tried many things in the past and the docs I saw did not diagnose me as depressed...they gave me Ativan, Xanax, or tell me to exercise or "get a hobby" etc. The was sort of an overriding dysphoria which started in my adolescence, but would occasionally flare up to the point where I would get out of bed, get dressed and do little else. I always wondered what was wrong with me, why I was so tired all the time, why I couldn't accomplish things or be as "good" and interesting and energetic and productive as "everyone else". Finally, I got to the point where I was excruciatingly exhausted during the day, desperately wanting to sleep and unable to fall asleep at night. I began self-medicating to make it thru the day as "functioning" human being and then, when the insomnia would hit at night I would end up taking sleeping pills the doc gave me and washing them down with ETOH (which I *knew* was dangerous, but I was desperate). This was when there weren't all these happy little commercials on TV to tell you what depression was and that depression was a *disease* with a treatment!! Well, after sitting in the bathtub and crying all afternoon, I was so desperate that I phoned the local mental health center just wanting to talk to someone who would listen and hopefully understand. They told me to come in STAT and I found out that I wasn't a useless human being after all....I had a *disease* and it wasn't my fault and *all I had to do was take a pill every day*!!!! That was probably one of the happiest days of my life. I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders and in about a month I was feeling like a real, functioning, interesting human being!! All those years of misery could have been avoided if only the docs had been better educated in spotting someone with clinical depression.

    Yes, lots of meds are probably overprescribed. But in my case, and in the case of lots and lots of other people who suffered needlessly for years, they have been a godsend. Now I am starting out on a career as an RN. Something that would NEVER have been possible without medication.

    And as far as the stress terrific doc described it as being similar to diabetes. Stress may aggravate the condition, requiring a temporary dosage adjustment, but a stressful job doesn't necessarily give you clinical depression.

    Ok....done with my "true confessions" but just thought it would illustrate the fact that antidepressants are very useful drugs for many people who are experiencing more than situational anxiety.

  3. by   RN2007
    Autumn-Moon, I sooooo agree with what you have said and understand how important it is for people to take antidepressants when they need them and they definitely should not feel as if they are copping out by doing so. Keep in mind, by the time many people understand that they need help and/or seek outside help, they are already in jeapardy of losing their jobs, marriages, etc, and sometimes they do not have time to let therapy to work out their issues even if it could do the job 100%. If someone is found to be really depressed, I am all for a Dr. putting them on an antidepressant quickly if needed, and also encouraging them to get counseling to help with their problems as well, because long term they may find that it was situational or that counseling is their best route for lowering or eliminating depression. Listen, we all should be above making others feel bad because they take medicines that make their bodies and and minds work better. And most definitely even nurses can take antidepressants while doing a great job of being a nurse or anything else.
  4. by   live4today
    I have been on Celexa for two years now. I feel great taking the drug. Tried to wean myself off of the drug a few months ago, and noticed a difference in me that wasn't for the better. Therefore, I take 20 mg of Celexa once a day, and feel great on the drug. Don't give a "schick" what people think. I do what is right for me...period!
  5. by   mario_ragucci
    My self won't allow me to take an anti-depressant, and basically am afraid too. I'm afraid they would change me in some mentally unforseen way. I'm a 38yo, male, always single.

    It is with shame I admit to not understanding SSRI and dopamine the way perhaps I wish I could. Also, I am not holier than thou because i've drank and partied with the best of them. Sometimes i want to take to experience what it is like, but I understand it takes weeks for the drug to tke effect.

    SSRIs and MAOIs are to brain and mood as viagra is to sex? It don't work that way. BTW - I politically question any entity that will profit monitarilly from my depressions as some Amerians are. Monkey-business.

    Sometimes I think the unknown folks who take them are mad at me because of my undepresion. Usually I draw fire for most of my opinions on depression, and I'm sorry.
  6. by   PediRN
    Depressed people taking anti-depressants don't get "high", they just feel normal! If you weren't depressed and you took anti-depressants, you wouldn't feel any different (although you may experience some of the side effects). These meds correct an imbalance in brain chemistry if one exists. That's all.
  7. by   sbic56

    My experience with them was, initially, I did feel high on SSRI's, probably because of being sooo down prior to taking them. Not a bad thing, mind you, but just wanted to point out that some people do feel some form of alterred consciousness. I found that the SSRI's worked within a few days for me...not the norm. As with any drug, these can have very individual effects and side effects for each individual.
  8. by   renerian
    I was on antidepressants one year. Off now six months. My problem which got overwhelming was having two stepkids with legal problems and one of which has three mental disorders and and an eating disorder which turned our home upside down for over 6 years. I needed help of a med, got counseling as all of us in the house did except the one who refused help who needed it the most. Light at the end of the tunnel now so I went off them.

  9. by   CseMgr1
    Two years ago, I found myself unable to get out of bed, after I had broken up with my boyfriend. After a week, I managed to find the energy to call my employer's mental health provider, who immediately connected me with a therapist. Thank GOD for her! After listening to me rant and rave, she advised me to "lower my expectations of people", and to start taking an antidepressant. What a difference! After not being able to sleep, I woke up one morning two weeks after I had started taking Zoloft, and it was suddenly...springtime ! I don't think I would have survived without it!
  10. by   AHarri66
    A number of years back I took Paxil for a year. This after years of depression, SAD, and self-destructive behavior. Of course I didn't realize it was self-destructive then. I started with counseling, then added group counseling. My therapist kept advising an anti-depressant, but I was afraid I would be "zoned out." When I finally relented, it was the best thing I could have done. After about a week, the "broken record" shut off in my head, and I could begin to work on my stinkin' thinkin' (borrowing a term from AA.) My progress with the Paxil was amazing, and after a year I had learned enough to restructure my thinking patterns and reset my synapses.

    Sounds odd, maybe, but I believe that anti-depressants work to their best degree when coupled with therapy and real work so that eventually they are not needed any more. The theory being that one "resets" the facilitated pathways so that it's not quite so easy for the "sad" neurotransmitters to flow. Depression does not come about by itself, there are underlying thought processes and emotions that initiate and/or maintain the state.

    It has been almost 10 years since I last took Paxil, and while I have occassional "down" days like everyone else, I have never spiralled back down to the depths. My life has done a 180*. I know a few people who believe they can never stop taking their SSRI's...these same people don't do the work necessary to make it possible. Either they don't work with a therapist, or they do but are so stuck in "victim" mode that they make no progress.

    I think anti-depressants are a wonderful thing. I also think many times they are either over-prescribed, or used as a crutch. What is worse in my mind, though, is the over-prescription of anti-anxiety meds without the anti-depressant. Anxiety is often the biggest symptom of depression, yet many providers overlook that and treat the symptom instead of the disorder.

    Okay, enough out of me...
  11. by   PediRN

    the day after I started taking Prozac for the first time, I felt the depression lift. I attributed the lift to having hope for the first time since childhood. Like someone said in another thread, "I stopped crying over spilled nailpolish". I still have emotions, but they're appropriate to the situation.

    I do get angry when I hear that we should just "snap out of it". Until you've walked a mile in my shoes.....etc, etc.
  12. by   prmenrs

    I think there are 2 settings where antidepressants are useful:

    -a temporary, but overwhelming situation. The person takes the medication, has the energy to tackle the problem (with or without help), solves it, gets off the meds, and never looks back.

    -a permanent chemical disorder. In this case, "talk therapy" is unlikely to help--EVER. Fixing the chemistry allows the person to live their lives, enjoy their lives, and removing the medication results in SEVERE problems, including death.

    There are times when BOTH settings exist: providing medication and counseling will work, but taking the person off meds never seems to work. Once the acute situation is relieved, the person continues to take meds on a permanent basis.

    I've spent a lot of time and money doing both--but I'm definitely in the permanent med category, now. Don't mess w/my meds, and nobody gets hurt. Especially me.

    Lastly, which comes first: depression or lousy life decisions?
  13. by   sbic56

    I enjoyed your post. I don't think your explanation of how the paxil worked for you sounds odd at all. You used it as a tool in conjunction with some really constructive therapy. The extra work you put in sounds like it paid off. Congrats!