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Thread: Do antidepressants really help?

  1. #1

    Do antidepressants really help?

    OK. I'll admit it, I'm depressed. AndI need to get help. I've been depressed pretty much since Violet was born. By depressed I mean sad and hopeless at times EVERY DAY, and never really happy. I've had suicidal thoughts but would never follow through because of my daughter.
    Anyhow, I've tried seeing consellors numerous times both pre and post SCI and once for post partum depression last fall. All they do is annoy me and then I don't go back. I've been reluctant to take antidepressants because I don't want to get addicted and also because I don't think it's a chemical problem. It's just SCI life.
    But anyhow, I'm sick of being so irritable, angry, sad and weepy. It's not fair to my partner, my daughter or myself. So can anyone tell me their experience with antidepressants? If I could find a good psychologist I'd consider that too. How do you find a good one?

    Thanks.

    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow"
    ~ Anon

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Emi,

    As someone who has suffered from depression half her life and has SCI due to a suicide attempt, I can honestly say antidepressants DO work!! I started the antidepressants before the suicide attempt (Note that it takes 4-6 weeks for antidepressants to start working). I have been on them for over a year now and have to say that I feel better now than I did before the SCI. Yes, even dealing with the SCI I feel better than I did when I was AB.

    Finding one that works for you can be a long road as not every antidepressant works for every person, but it is worth it in the end. Medications also may have to be adjusted periodically, too. But one day, out of the blue you'll wake up and realize that you are enjoying life again. I don't think anyone gets "addicted" to antidepressants. I have borderline personality disorder which causes me to become depressed and will suffer from depression until I get my issues worked out by seeing a counselor, which very possibly will take years.

    As for finding a good psychologist, I really have no advice to offer you there. I've tried many over the years and was seeing the one I have now when I had the suicide attempt. Since the attempt, the one I have has finally really gotten serious about things.

    I hope you are able to get rid of the depression whether you try antidepressants or not. I know what it's like to suffer from it, and with or without SCI it makes you feel miserable. Good luck. Hope you feel better soon.

    Tina
    C5-C7 Walking Quad
    Aug '03

  3. #3
    Senior Member amanda's Avatar
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    I was put on anti-depressant medicine when I was in the hospital for my injury. This was before I can remember.(I don't have any memory until about a month into this tornado they call "SCI") I guess I showed signs of depression even before I could talk, before my trach came out. yadda, yadda, yadda. Anyhow, I tried to quit taking these magic pills (Zoloft) not to long ago. I was feeling great and finally getting on with life. That was a big mistake. whew. that was not a good few weeks. Turns out it really CAN be a chemical imbalance. No matter how good your coping skills are, I guess our bodies all react differently. Maybe they know what they're talking about? I still feel great. My life is finally getting back to normal and things are getting easier. So, for me antidepressants seem to be doing their job. Maybe sometime soon I can ween myself off of them successfully. Until then, what's one more pill in my daily breakfast of meds?

    " The best way to predict the future is to invent it."
    - Alan Kay


  4. #4
    They may help some people. I think they're somewhat addictive though. Your body becomes so accustomed to them that coming off them can be hell. Be careful Emi.

    Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyways--Mary Kay Ash

  5. #5
    If you are suffering from depression then anti-depressants can definitely help. Your doctor needs to be flexible enough to change your meds if you feel no better after 2 or 3 months until you find something that works. Anti depressants are regarde as addictive to my knowledge.

  6. #6
    A therapist should be looking for a participating event or factor that may be causing this problem. For most the depression has been directly related to the Spinal Cord Injury. I don't see any harm in trying anti-depressants to see if they improve your spirits.

    PN

  7. #7
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    After 19yrs of paralysis, I had to finally cave. I'm taking Celexa and boy, good luck with the first try. These things work great! I haven't felt like this in about four years.

    As for psychologists, mine was through work.

    I would start with the place you were rehabed, ask them if they have the name of a good psychologist?

    Good luck Emi, you've had a lot of change in too short of time.

  8. #8
    Anti-depressants are NOT "happy" pills. Do not expect such medication to ever make you feel good. They may help relieve some of the symptoms you are experiencing that may be contributing to difficulty or inability to function as you did before (or when not depressed), but they do NOT make the issues (problems) go away... rather, they just help better equip you to deal with those issues. However, taking medication doesn't automatically equip you with the understanding and skills you may need to address whatever may be going on in your life, so some counseling should be considered, if not critical for those having suicidal thoughts.

    The antidepressants on the market are typically safe and not addictive if taken as prescribed.

    Emi, as far as you not believing that your depression isn't "chemical", my thought is, that although a person may not be suffering from something organic, symptoms experienced- ie anxiety, irritability, anger, sadness etc, are still physiologic responses which may be lessened by the medication, so you can better function and deal with your day. I think it is still very important that you have someone to talk and help you manage what is goin on that you are feeling so depressed. If someone annoys you because they are not sensitive to you or empathetic to your situation and needs, then continue looking for someone who is that you feel comfortable with. Don't give up on finding help.

    one more thing- there are some that may be appetite suppressants while others may be stimulants. I know weight is something you are also addressing, so you should also make this issue known to the prescribing doctor so the best med for you can be found. Good luck.

  9. #9
    Emi~
    Post-partum depression with SCI is a rough mix. The post-partum causes chemical imbalances leading to depression. Is it possible that the therapists annoy you because life in general annoys you?

    Sometimes therapy is not effective until the depression begins to lift. I don't personally believe in drugs without therapy but do believe that if the depression is not severe, then the therapy alone may help.

    Good luck, there is so much to enjoy in your life with Violet. Sounds like you need more than your spirits lifted.....PT me if you want.

    "A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles"....C. Reeve 1998


  10. #10
    Emi, please check your private topics.

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