Success with antidepressants?

Postby stripedflamingo » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:58 pm

Hello! I'm trying to decide whether antidepressants might be the next step in tackling my mental health issues and would like to hear other peoples experiences of taking antidepressants. I have tried sertraline once briefly, but would like to hear opinions on others out there to help inform my choice of which to try next. I'm aware what works for one person may not work for another, but it'd be helpful to get a gauge of peoples general thoughts.

A little background on me... I've suffered from bouts of depression on and off now for around 15 years, these have been of varying severity and after numerous courses of counselling I feel fairly aware of the root causes and triggers.

In the past I have been able to work through the tough times as and when they happen with the help of therapy and can normally pin point a problem to address. However my most recent and current episode of low mood feels completely different to anything I have experienced before. It has been ongoing for about 2 years and it's making me doubt my ability to resolve it without further intervention.

It's hard to put into words how I feel, but simply put I just feel empty the majority of the time, I feel like half the person I used to be, I find it hard to engage in things that used to interest me, lack motivation to invest time into my hobbies and feel numb during activities that would normally have been pleasurable to me. I've gone from a very chatty person, usually more so when depressed as it was a coping mechanism of mine to 'appear fine and bubbly etc' to feeling like I've been lobotomised, I could just stare into space for hours and I really struggle to make conversation with even the oldest of friends. I just no longer feel like myself at all.

I know these are all classic depression symptoms, the difference is before I still felt like I was me underneath the sadness, and I would be able to do something that would help, seeing friends for example used to help give me temporary relief, or doing something I enjoyed etc, but now I struggle to get any enjoyment out of these things and feel there are no times where I do not feel numb and empty.

I've reached a point where I feel I've tried all I can, during these 2 years I've had 8 months of 1-1 weekly counselling, and 3 months of group therapy, I've been open to friends and family about my struggles, tried to start new hobbies, focused on strengthening and growing friendships, even changed careers and I still feel numb. I've done everything that would normally work to no avail and the worry that this could become a permanent state terrifies me. I tried a course of Sertraline for 4 months but I stopped them a year and a half ago as they caused me to have a rapid weight gain. It was a shame I had to stop as they did make me feel temporarily as if I were starting to improve. But I felt the weight gain was in danger of triggering an old eating disorder to resurface.

Any experiences, thoughts of ideas anyone would like to share would be much appreciated!

Thank you in advance.
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Postby AddyMae » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:02 pm

I am very sorry you are going through this. I, myself have had similar experiences. However my diagnosis is a little more complex. I have been diagnosed with bi-polar and anxiety, but go through bouts of depression. I have tried several anti-depressents. Some helped, some made things worse. I found it vital to record at least the first two weeks on a new medication in a journal to see if there is a gradual change you might not notice. One other thing i learned is your reaction to them can change suddenly. Meaning they work really well for awhile then suddenly make the feelings worse. So please be causious. When you speak to your doctor I urge you to ask lots of questions, possible side effects, adverse reactions, have a game plan in place in case you do have an adverse reaction. What are the options he feels are appreciate for you.

I hope some of that helps.
Always remember you are not alone.
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