A word for those of you considering taking medication, especially concerning mental health:)

  • andreduce

    Posts: 76

    Aug 17, 2012 6:29 AM GMT
    Hey dudes,

    So, I don't post too often on here, and when I do, it's usually pretty short and sweet. And I especially don't start a thread too often, but this is something that I feel kinda strongly about, and thought it was important enough to speak with you guys about.

    I'll try to make this short, but it's still a little on the long side.

    So to start off, I should explain that I have earned my education studying drugs: how they work, what to expect, when you can expect benefits, etc. I don't know about other countries, but here in the United States, drugs are everywhere..."If you got an ill,...take a pill" as I say. We Americans are constantly bombarded with advertisements for the latest cholesterol lowering medication, or pill for heart failure, or new cancer drug on the market. If it treats something, its everywhere.

    Now personally, I have seen how many pills some people (I bet, including many of you) need to take on a daily or weekly basis, and it has become a sort of routine for me: an expectation, just part of my job as I work with people and their medications.

    However, for a while there, I never had put myself in the shoes of others. It was never ME who had to take a prescription pill, it was never ME who had to look to see how many refills I had left, it was never ME who needed anything...I was perfectly healthy.

    But I was not.

    For the past several years, and particularly the past year, I have struggled with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD for short). Not to the point that it was debilitating or anything, but it had a significant impact on my schooling, and my life in general. This post is not about discussing my personal issues but rather I want to talk about what I did about it.

    Things in my world got so bad to the point that I knew I needed help. I needed to talk to a professional. So I did. The first two appointments I took for mental health were not a failure per se, but I did not feel like I got out of them what I wanted.

    It was not until my third health care provider (second psychiatrist) that I truly developed a great patient-provider relationship. Our conversations always went well, and I felt like I could really speak about what was truly bothering me.

    And then the topic of taking a medication came up.

    Not that I was opposed to it (cause really, I never was opposed) but I felt a serious hesitancy to start taking something that I knew affected my mind. I mean, fuck, I knew exactly how it worked, and what neurotransmitter in the brain it enhanced, and all that shit. I knew that it was a very well tolerated medication, and that it was very prevalent in the population. But still, I was hesitant.

    I waited weeks before I finally gave in to accepting a prescription for this medication, and even after I had the prescription, I waited probably another few weeks before I had it filled. I don't know if it was the fear that I would not feel any benefit from it, or I would get some weird rare side effect, but I was just sooo hesitant.

    But I was hurting, and so I finally started to take the medicine.

    It has been about 3 months since I started this drug, and boy, can I say I feel a lot better. There is still a fair amount of issues I am dealing with, but all in all I can truly say that this medicine has helped me overcome a lot in my life, and I am so forever grateful that it is available for meicon_smile.gif

    I wouldn't say things are perfect now or anything; they are far from it. But at the same time, I am a much happier man now.

    So to finish up, the whole reason for writing this is that I want to get across the point that, if you are reading this, and you are on the fence about whether or not to take a medication that you have discussed with your doctor (or have yet to discuss), maybe its time you take that opportunity to be bold and try something new. From my perspective, mental health medications do not make a 'different' you, they only make a better you. A 'you' that has been pounding on the door, crying, trying to get out and be free.

    If you are reading this and feel you can personally relate, allow yourself that opportunity to live a fuller, more joyful, more productive life. Really, you have nothing to lose. Talk to your doctor and your pharmacist and any other health providers you speak with, and get all the information and advice you need to make an educated decision about your health.

    You may find it being one of the best decisions you have ever made for yourself.

    Thanks for reading y'allicon_biggrin.gif


  • swall1963

    Posts: 161

    Aug 17, 2012 10:53 AM GMT
    Dude, stay on your meds and stop posting until you are under control.
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    Aug 17, 2012 12:00 PM GMT
    The right doctor and the right meds can work wonders for some conditions. I know from personal experience ith anxiety attacks and panic disorder.

    I wish you great success in becoming the better you.
  • FireDoor211

    Posts: 1030

    Aug 17, 2012 12:08 PM GMT
    This should be taken with a grain of salt because everyone has very different experiences. I was taking anti depressants Nd I started puking blood and blacking out. If you absolutely need to be on a medication then go for it but only as an absolute last resort. This stuff can be so dangerous, and sometimes deadly. I would strongly advise seeking other methods of care.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 17, 2012 1:50 PM GMT
    My experience from now dead friends and relatives is that drugs are unsustainable slippery slope. Next step after the initial
    " success " will be adding additional Drugs to balance/ counteract the effects of the first one ..... Etc etc . It is all about chemistry but with a natural
    Diet and Vinyasa yoga the body's chemistry can be restored naturally and you will have fixed the cause not just masked the effect.

    Read the counterindication sheet of the drug you are taking!


  • FireDoor211

    Posts: 1030

    Aug 17, 2012 2:52 PM GMT
    Alpha13 saidMy experience from now dead friends and relatives is that drugs are unsustainable slippery slope. Next step after the initial
    " success " will be adding additional Drugs to balance/ counteract the effects of the first one ..... Etc etc . It is all about chemistry but with a natural
    Diet and Vinyasa yoga the body's chemistry can be restored naturally and you will have fixed the cause not just masked the effect.

    Read the counterindication sheet of the drug you are taking!




    I was on the same track. I was taking drugs and then more drugs to counteract the side affects. I have gone a more wholistic path and I haven't ever looked back.
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    Aug 17, 2012 5:06 PM GMT
    Really enjoyed reading this.

    The guys above clearly didn't read your post properly. What I took from it was, people who are in your position, should not necessarily be afraid of getting help from SSRI's.

    You weren't saying that everyone who takes it will be cured. Obviously, some people react differently than others.

    I've had a rough couple of months, dealing with severe anxiety and panic attacks. I have only very recently started talking to a psychologist and am starting to get help. I'm VERY resistant about medication, for all the exact reasons you stated also. This was very calming for me to read.

    I'm still discussing medications at this point. But I do feel better about them after reading your experiences. Thank you icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 17, 2012 5:13 PM GMT
    It's all so individual. Some people need the drugs on a permanent basis, particularly when there are structural issues that no amount of meditation sans a miracle will solve. Yoga will not grow an amputated limb. Some can work around their problems or even work though them with the right thinking but not everyone has the will or the intelligence to do that. Some need the drugs temporarily to show their mind a different way of working and then they're able to work without the drug.

    And that can all depend on physical chemistry of the brain, other physical/structural issues, on the drugs themselves, on the psychological make up of the individual, on other support systems, on the person's environment & resources, etc.

    The OP's post is very good though. You're a smart guy. Glad its working for you. My grandmother would have lived a longer life had she the right drugs. She was manic depressive who tried even shock therapy. This story goes back to when lithium was experimental. On the drug she was doing fine. But there was a period when the drug was just coming out when they took it off the market and that is when she killed herself.

    So someone staying on a drug that was working would have saved my own mother a lifetime of the pain that came from losing her mom too soon.
  • Sparkycat

    Posts: 1064

    Aug 17, 2012 6:53 PM GMT
    I take celexa, wellbutrin, klonipin, Celexa is an ssri that causes sexual side effects. Wellbutrin does not. I've been on these drugs for years. I'm tired of having low libido and a penis that doesn't work. So, I'm slowly tapering off the Celexa over the course of six weeks or so leading to stopping it. I didn't ask my doctor's approval. I simply told him I was going to do it. I've encountered a shocking number of incompetent shrinks and doctors who don't listen to their patients. So, I've read and researched a great deal, and I'm taking control of my health and my body. If I get off of Celexa ok, I'll try getting off the klonipin, which is basically an addictive tranquilizer that loses effectiveness after being taken for a long period of time.

    My advice to everyone is to remember you are in charge of you health and your body, and you have the final say in whatever treatment you take on. If a doctor suggest a med(s), don't just accept it. Research, research, research to find out the bad and the good. Doctors often don't tell you about all the side effects. Often they don't know about all the side effects. Don't take anything until you have educated yourself and can make an informed choice.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 18, 2012 12:55 AM GMT
    All sorts of considerations, here... most importantly long-term effects on your other vital organs such as your kidneys. I have a friend who is bipolar and has been taking meds for several decades -- a little here, a little there -- to address depression, suicidal thoughts, manic episodes... you name it.

    Certainly, it made his life somewhat more manageable but it also caused a slow deterioration of the organs that clean out the blood of all these harmful yet temporarily helpful drugs or affect the immune system in unwanted ways. Drugs are toxic. No buts about that. In combination, it can be overwhelming for the body. They can very well upset the homeostasis of the body's rhythms and biochemistry. They may have (indirectly) caused other health issues with his heart and prostate, etc. If the kidneys weaken, so does everything else.

    If you can somehow find alternative remedies—such as more holistic attention to diet and exercise, even spirituality/meditation and therapy—that may be a better solution than drugs alone. Drugs might be best viewed as a short-term solution, not a long-term solution IMHO. That said, I'm glad the OP found some relief for the time. When you're well is when you have the energy and attention to find alternative, more permanent solutions for your health.
  • spacemagic

    Posts: 520

    Aug 18, 2012 1:49 AM GMT
    Andreduce, I'm glad you found a medication that works for you. I totally get where you're coming from. I've suffered from anxiety and depression for several years, and was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. It wasn't until I found the right combination of meds that I finally felt like the real me. I tried going off my meds for about six months, while eating cleanly and exercising regularly. The end result was a near mental breakdown. The other posters can say what they will about medicines being poison, or holistic remedies being clearly superior; that's all well and good. That's one perspective. The best some of us can do is take our poison and try to be as healthy as possible.
  • tyler_helm

    Posts: 299

    Aug 18, 2012 2:15 AM GMT
    I am on two pretty standard medications (not drugs). I am the fourth Generation of a Family of Manic Depressiants. I am the one of many in my generation to face the legacy of depression and anxiety. The previous generations drank and some committed suicide. I watched this play out I refused to follow in their footsteps.
    When I was finally diagnosed as severly to manic depressed and committed for a short time I took control of my life I, ate better and was more active. I stay on meds and do very well. I monitor my organs and health and do fine. I choose to not let the Dr.'s determine my need. I do well I am able to function like "Normal".
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    Aug 24, 2012 10:55 PM GMT

    Seven years ago I was diagnosed with Major Depression and Anxiety. I was initially hesitant to try meds, but I knew that my situation was pretty serious. There was a good chance I might have died by suicide. My psychiatrist very helpfully asked me to think of meds as 'scaffolding we would stand on to allow the talk therapy to work'.

    It took a few tries to find a combination of medicines that worked. At one point I was on Celexa, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Adderall, Risperdal, Seroquel, Ambien and Klonopin and I was only just functioning well.

    I am glad to say that a year ago we started backing off the meds and ten days ago I took the last of my psych meds. It was a very, very long haul, but the results speak for themselves: I am alive and well and more able than ever to experience my feelings as friends not foes.

    I am lucky to live in a place with great access to first class doctors and to health insurance that covers mental health needs very well. That helps a lot because you need to have confidence in the people treating you and good care can be costly.
  • bischero

    Posts: 847

    Aug 24, 2012 11:21 PM GMT
    Sooooo glad you posted this... for many different reasons. icon_razz.gificon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 24, 2012 11:25 PM GMT
    Take drugs...it's so much easier than trying to find out what's really wrong......icon_wink.gif
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    Aug 24, 2012 11:28 PM GMT
    spacemagic saidAndreduce, I'm glad you found a medication that works for you. I totally get where you're coming from. I've suffered from anxiety and depression for several years, and was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. It wasn't until I found the right combination of meds that I finally felt like the real me. I tried going off my meds for about six months, while eating cleanly and exercising regularly. The end result was a near mental breakdown. The other posters can say what they will about medicines being poison, or holistic remedies being clearly superior; that's all well and good. That's one perspective. The best some of us can do is take our poison and try to be as healthy as possible.

    This!
  • bischero

    Posts: 847

    Aug 24, 2012 11:42 PM GMT
    turbobilly saidTake drugs...it's so much easier than trying to find out what's really wrong......icon_wink.gif


    I hope the winky face here denotes that you don't really mean that.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 25, 2012 12:00 AM GMT
    great post, good insight, glad to hear you are doing well... I took an SSRI for three years as a kid and don't regret it at all.

    it's nice to see one of these kinds of threads rather than common "stay on your meds, nutball" insults flung around here like medicine is a sign of weakness. so disappointing
  • DerangedMind

    Posts: 47

    Sep 22, 2012 5:59 PM GMT
    I definitely know how you feel.

    About a year ago, I was diagnosed with ADHD due to my horrendous college performance. Since I was rather reluctant to take medication at first, me, my psychologist, and the Students with Disabilities department pretty much tried everything to improve my school performance, with little to no benefit or change.

    They finally convinced me to at least try taking meds, and that if i didn't like how they worked i could always get off of them. i've been taking them for almost a month now, and it's insane the amount of help they've been for me. it's like night and day type of difference. i'm still unsure about how i feel of them, but at least they have helped me develop good habits such as scheduling and such (one of my major weaknesses), and now i can sit through a whole lecture taking notes without daydreaming and being distracted, which has helped enormously with my learning.

    i think it's even helped indirectly with my social anxiety, since part of my problem is due to not having an idea of what other people are talking about, especially in larger groups. now that i'm taking it, conversations are not just random noise that i have to interpret, so i've found myself more willing to talk to people. not that i'm a social god now or anything, since i still don't know what people are saying half the time, but it's helped some.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 30, 2012 1:58 AM GMT
    SSRIs can be an enormous help for people!