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Wanting Psych Nurses opinions on antidepressant effectiveness

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Those of you who work in the psych field and/or take medication yourself...do you think antidepressants, by and large, work? I know there are side effects to them however there are side effects to all medication, even OTC and herbs. There seems to be a lot of conflicting information out there about this and even tho' I'm an RN, I'm not in this particular field so the info. I can find may not be as up to date. I am interested for personal reasons - not professional so if you prefer to private message me please do. I am really torn on how to procedure for myself on this subject. Thank you.

Here's a link to a big article Newsweek ran earlier this year, discussing a significant meta-analysis that was done on the many clinical studies on antidepressants over the years. Based on my own reading over >25 years in psychiatric nursing and psychotherapy (I'm a child psych CNS), I doubt v. much that antidepressants do much for anyone at all beyond the placebo effect, which is known to be v. powerful in depression (except, of course, that they make obscene amounts of $$$ for the pharmaceutical companies).

Why Antidepressants Are No Better Than Placebos - Newsweek

Thank you. I'm going to read the article now.

I have been a mental health nurse for over 30 years and have seen some great advances in medications. I think the new SSRI's are good meds: not addicting, do not affect cognitive functioning in a negative way, and allow those that are truely depressed (you will know if you are one of those) to have some relief from this condition which has been listed as one of the most treatable diseases. Lots of hospital nurses do not see the full effects of the meds as the clients are in the unit for such short stays. Antidepressants take about 4-6 weeks for full effects, and are worth the trial. As genetics and genomics increases our understanding of our individual differences we may soon see a time when your blood is drawn and you are prescribed the "perfect' psych med for your condition. Don't let anyone tell you these meds are bogus. They do work and have saved the lives of many many fine people who suffer with depression.

Thank you for replying. After much consideration, I have decided to give the medications a chance. I've suffered with anxiety most of my life, depression as well but it really sunk its claws in when my mother died last year. I simply cannot - no matter what I do - pull out from the slow nose dive I seem to be in. It has, to be honest, reached the point, I barely leave the house, haven't worked worth anything to mention in a year. If I were not married to a very patient and understanding person, we would be even further behind. My guilt and shame over being depressed - the feelings of utter worthlessness - I can't really describe. This is different from "the blues" - I'm sure you understand that. I am willing to try most anything to get some relief and some semblance of life back. I have lost many opportunities both professionally and personally over the years - especially this last one - for my sake and the sake of my family, I have to try. I know there are side effects but I am willing to take the bitter if it will get me to at least some sweet. Thank you again for replying.

Thank you for replying. After much consideration, I have decided to give the medications a chance. I've suffered with anxiety most of my life, depression as well but it really sunk its claws in when my mother died last year. I simply cannot - no matter what I do - pull out from the slow nose dive I seem to be in. It has, to be honest, reached the point, I barely leave the house, haven't worked worth anything to mention in a year. If I were not married to a very patient and understanding person, we would be even further behind. My guilt and shame over being depressed - the feelings of utter worthlessness - I can't really describe. This is different from "the blues" - I'm sure you understand that. I am willing to try most anything to get some relief and some semblance of life back. I have lost many opportunities both professionally and personally over the years - especially this last one - for my sake and the sake of my family, I have to try. I know there are side effects but I am willing to take the bitter if it will get me to at least some sweet. Thank you again for replying.

I hope you will also be participating in some serious psychotherapy -- there have been quite a few good studies over the years that have shown that medication and therapy together are significantly more effective in treating depression than either medication or therapy alone. Unfortunately, many people nowadays are put on antidepressants by their PCP, who does not also insist (or even suggest) they seek out therapy, but just writes the ol' scrip and sends them on their way ...

There have been some good suggestions given on how to evaluate a course of action, but because this is a personal matter, that's as far as the topic can go.

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