A Word About Anti-Depressants

A Word About Anti-Depressants

I no longer think that my prescribed anti-depressants are helping my state of mind. Since I have been unable to arrange an appointment with my doctor until the middle of next week I have taken the unilateral decision to halve my dose.

I was finding that I am less able to function. My concentration is impaired and it has been affecting my work: I have had to take time off sick because of the side-effects. These include nausea and light-headedness. I have come to realize that my difficulties in establishing a routine in the morning are not entirely due to my autism: the medication is preventing me from concentrating sufficiently to move from one task to another.

When I finally do see my doctor I am going to tell him that I no longer wish to take these SSRIs. I will start the process of weaning myself off of them. I am not saying that I no longer have depressive episodes; I am saying that I do not believe that this medication is helping. I would rather try to deal with the low mood with a mind unclouded by chemicals.

21 thoughts on “A Word About Anti-Depressants

  1. SSRIs do not work for me either, in fact they make everything worse. I wax and wane about taking medication, and right now I am taking it. I found an NDRI works great for my anxiety and depression with very little side effects at all,

    Medication woes are no fun and I very much understand exactly what you’re saying about the clouded mind,

    I wish you luck ❤

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  2. Hey Alex. Been a while since I commented, sorry about that. I have been reading all your posts, but I’m having a really hard time. I can’t remember if I commented on the post about your wife’s illnesses but I wanted to. :/ So sorry.

    I’m not taking any medication and I’ve been having a harder and harder time focusing. Currently it has reduced my productivity to that of an average normal person, haha. So at least it’s not causing huge problems (yet), but it is causing huge anxiety over my decreasing ability to do what I’m good at.

    I don’t really know what to do. If you have any suggestions, I need help. I’m not sure how much longer I can survive.

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    1. So sorry to hear you’re having problems focusing. I have been struggling with that issue for some months now. Apart from a brief period when the medication appeared to be helping I have not found much relief. Eating well and sleeping regularly are as much help as anything else I’ve tried. I hope you can overcome it. x

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  3. I’m sorry to hear you are having such a hard time with these meds. I have needed to take time off school and work because of side effects from medication, and it was for me a very frustrating experience. “These are supposed to make me ABLE to get through my day! They aren’t supposed to make my head spin/hands tremor/stomach churn/sleep cycle reverse (and so on).”

    It sounds like you’re handling it responsibly, and I wish you the very best of luck. I’m glad to hear you’re not just stopping the meds entirely without a doctor’s knowledge. Not pointing fingers! It’s just that I’ve done that myself (as well as seen people I care about do it) and it rarely ends well. I hope when you meet with your doctor next he can guide you through weaning off of these meds quickly enough to feel comfortable again as soon as possible.

    I completely respect that you would rather experience your natural mental state without chemicals clouding judgment or dulling your world. If you don’t mind some unsolicited advice from a friend who really just hopes you can be happy and healthy and has no agenda to get you on or off of pharmaceuticals…you might not want to throw out medication option before trying several classes of medication. For me, SSRIs make me suicidal and decrease my rational thinking and impulse control – not a good mix! Certain mood stabilizers like lithium make me pretty much dead to the world, and while that’s better than literally dead, it really wasn’t preferable to being unmedicated. The list of meds that aren’t good choices for me goes on and on, but when I did find the medications that brought me stability, clarity, and a healthy balance of ups and downs without damaging side effect – it really changed me for the better. It can take years of experimenting, and for a lot of people (maybe you!) that’s just completely not worth it, and it can certainly do more harm than good sometimes. For others, the destination after the long and painful journey makes the process worthwhile. I know you are anything but a closed-minded individual, and I know if you are with a doctor you trust and he suggests trying something else you will consider it thoughtfully, so please don’t take this comment as me dismissing your concerns or the pain of your side effects or your dissatisfaction with your medications or – more than anything else – your ability to make well-informed decisions about what is best for you. I just thought I’d share my perspective.

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    1. Because the circumstances underlying my depression have changed: more stable home life and transitioning — including changing my name — I am willing to try weaning myself off of the medication. I feel that I would be able to cope with some low moods as long as I can regain my focus. I am more inclined to try therapies such as artistic expression including my writing as a way to handle my feelings. Thank you ((Nattily)) x

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      1. That sounds awesome! I get therapeutic value just READING your poetry and prose! I can’t even imagine how helpful it must be for you. 😉

        Just to reiterate, I did not mean to sound like you absolutely must be on meds. I think the world could be a much more tolerant and better place if we did always say, “problem? take this!” I get nervous at black and white thinking when it comes to medical decisions. It’s clear though that you’re taking care of yourself and however works for you is obviously the “right” way to do just that. ❤

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  4. I “feel you.” Over the years, I tried nearly every antidepressant out there. None of them worked for me. All of them made me feel awful. A few of them sent me to the emergency room. It is rough to try to deal with things and stuff without medical assistance.

    It can be done, though. The thing to do is to remember to pay attention to what makes you feel better and explore those things. In my own case, I find that taking decisive action on a problem is a real mood boost and defending my right to have alone time with low sensory input is important for protecting my ability to remain un-depressed.

    Keep a close eye on your own factors, see what helps, and work to incorporate more of that in your life. I’m sorry to hear the meds didn’t help. I wish they helped me, too. It takes a lot more work and often more personal sacrifice to do it without the meds.

    Best wishes to you and hang in there!

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  5. I’ve been using SSRI’s for about 25 years now. It tried to do without several times. Can’t even remember how often. The last time a managed 6 months, but went back because the anxiety and racing thoughts were untenable.
    Luckily these ones (lexapro) have hardly any side effects which helps a lot.

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  6. I am so sorry you are having trouble with your meds. For me, they are a lifesaver, but I know just what you mean about feeling unwell on them. I hope you find balance soon. ❤

    Lori

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  7. Tried anti-depressants too, doctor and therapist both insisted. But after almost an entire year on them, I am slowly getting off them. The only improvements during that time coincided with increases in my hormone prescription. And even now at a quarter-dose of anti-depressant every other day, none improvements have gone away. Having the right hormones in my brain made a big difference. Will be very glad to finally be off them entirely by next week. Obviously good for some people, but very bad for self.

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    1. I have been on these meds in varying doses for seven months now, and for most of that time they have done their job in terms of evening out the dips in my mood. The trouble is that I’ve had side-effects of one kind or another on more days than I have felt good. I’m still on the waiting list for the gender clinic so it’ll be some months yet before I can be prescribed hormones, but in the meantime my situation has improved. Thank you ((Ari)) x

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      1. Have heard that most people have such long waits, how terrible even if it is “normal”. So sorry, hope it is not much longer a wait for you. I had literally no wait, for hormones or for surgery. But that could be because of my emotional state when I went in… Had not intended to transition at all, just went to clinic to get stitches for a cut, but that is what the on-call doctor that day decided was needed. She got me in to see a gender therapist within a few days. The therapist then got me to a doctor for hormones the same day I first saw her and I had the letter for surgery the next week. It appears they were all right. Surgery helped too of course, but its the hormones that have had such a huge impact on emotional state. Not that they fixed everything, not even close, but even just “tolerable” is a dramatic improvement.

        Hope for more improvements for you too. 🙂

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  8. Best wishes. I hope you are in a better place and do not infact need these, or maybe not in the same dose. I hope this all means life can look brighter for you, in time.

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