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Featured Is it worth trying antidepressants?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Full Steam, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. Full Steam

    Full Steam Well-Known Member

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    I've been systematically fighting through all my exhaustion and depression symptoms, and I've removed the worst, but I still have limited energy and still rarely feel happy.

    I know it's not my thoughts causing this, it's more likely some physiological cause.

    I've removed all likely diet causes which helped, but something lingers.

    I have no other tactics left.

    To all of you that have tried them, did you find meds helped, and would you recommend them?
     
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  2. Full Steam

    Full Steam Well-Known Member

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    Should have added that I'm drinking every evening to cope and I want to stop.
     
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  3. Southern Discomfort

    Southern Discomfort Rambunctious Rambler V.I.P Member

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    The one I was on didn't work for me but even so I still think they're a good idea if you have no other options or are just too demotivated or lack the energy to try another tactic. But going on a drug is always a roll of the die, you cannot really guess if it's going to work for you or how the side effects that may happen will affect you so you really do need to be accepting of that fact and also be aware that it might take trying other types to find one that works for you in the best possible way. There is no one here who can offer you any recommendation for one type of medication because they're all very subjective to the person. You kind of have to be brave and take the plunge.

    Be aware though that you'll need to give them a good few weeks before you'll feel the positive effects so you may well be in for a rough ride. Definitely make sure you know when you're supposed to take them, GPs are absolutely terrible at telling you basic information about them. I ended up taking mine at night instead of the morning for the first few weeks because the idiot doctor didn't think about that, bloody annoying! And if you read the leaflet that comes with them, don't scare yourself at the listed side effects, take them into account but 98% of them won't affect you and because you won't have the existing conditions that are reported by some of these people, mania for example would have been reported by someone with bipolar, not someone with unipolar depression. The side effects that you may well get may diminish over the first few weeks of taking them. I'm a firm believer that if cannabis had the same leaflet that listed all the possible side effects most people may think twice about using it too!

    If you do have a rough ride on them, reach out to someone, even if it's us on the internet, it will make the experience a little bit manageable. Return to the doctor if needed. Remind yourself that any bad moments you get whilst starting them won't last forever and that it is a transitory experience. If things go really bad take yourself to a hospital ASAP.

    Don't subject yourself to the horror stories on the internet either. Bad idea. As I said, these are subjective experiences and won't tell you how what will happen to you. There's a lot of people out there who have absolutely no problem whatsoever on medication but they don't go about telling people these stories because they don't feel like they need to shout about it to people.


    That's pretty much all the stuff I wished someone had told me when I started them. Best of luck if you do go through it with.
     
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  4. Adder1234

    Adder1234 Active Member

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    I'm glad this subject came up because I realised the other day that the most relaxed time of all of 2016 for me was when I got given morphine on my way to get my appendix removed. Until then, I had forgotten what it felt like to not be constantly stressed and depressed.
     
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  5. Meg12

    Meg12 Strange Cat V.I.P Member

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    I take Zoloft but this doesn't help for everyone..... I'm experiencing the same thing in regards to I feel there's not much left to do as far as diet, exercise, sleep, etc. The most leveled out I feel is when I do yoga everyday.... but this is not always possible. If I was doing yoga to the point of exhaustion on a daily basis, I'd have it made! Drinking definitely led exponentially to more problems....I do understand how that feels like a quick fix at the time. In general, I just accept that my energy levels are never going to be typical. I can only really do one thing (if that) outside of the house a day... interacting with the world is just too exhausting.
     
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  6. Southern Discomfort

    Southern Discomfort Rambunctious Rambler V.I.P Member

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    Yeah, you don't need me to tell you that drinking is a bad idea when you're depressed. It helps in the short time but the psychological effects of it are bad in the long term. It will also stop medication from working, best to quit it.
     
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  7. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    Well, I was put on prozac many year's ago, for the wrong reasons. I was depressed, so I thought, because of a decision I had to make, which basically tore me apart.

    I put a lot of weight on. I constanstly needed to sleep and I mean: I would get up at 10 am and consider that too early and go for an "afternoon" nap, which lasted 4hrs or more.

    I suffered blinding depression and blinding migrains. I could not understand how I could be outside on a beautiful sunny day and feel this sense of blackness pushing down on me, which just made me go into a daze.

    I then got a sense that despite the dr upping the dose, that perhaps they are not such a good idea after all and so, tried to wean myself off them, but the whizzing sensation in my head, made me scared out of my wits and felt sure that if I looked at my eyes, they would be going mad!

    Something clicked, after 16 year's of being on these tablets and I realised that I had no choice but to do cold turkey and for a month, I suffered dreadful panic attacks throughout the day. And then: NOTHING I could not believe that the headaches vanished and I suddenly did not need to sleep so much and I lost a bit of weight.

    I finally came to the conclusion that the anti depressants were causing the depression, because since that time and before, I never experienced that kind of sensation, that I now know was depression.

    After doing a lot of research, my finds concluded with: if one does not have a mental issue ie chemical imbalance, then those tablets will actually cause depression.

    I thought I had a chemical imbalance, but what proved to be the fact was that it is my environment and past that causes me to suffer meloncholy.

    I take natural anti anxiety tablets now and they work an absolute treat for me.

    Seeing a psychiatrist tomorrow and will have to calm the nerves, because it is dangerous to have constant anxiety; causes the heart to beat too fast, which in turn can cause heart conjestion, which I discovered whilst being in hospital!

    They assumed ( which was fair enough) that my rapid heart beat was connected to overactive thyroid and so, I was put on beta blockers and when I went back to the hospital for a check up, sure enough my heart was beating too fast and they wanted to continue with beta blockers, but guess what? My tension and blood pressure were normal and so, even the dr concluded it was ANXIETY causing the rapid heart beat all the time and not the overactive thyroid.

    Sorry I deviated.
     
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  8. Full Steam

    Full Steam Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to all for your help.

    I only drink 2-3 beers per night and I've not had a hang over for year, but still... not good.

    Additionally, I've noticed an odd effect from beer which I think may be from the opiate like substances in gluten. Maybe not, but I'm otherwise gluten and dairy free which has helped loads, so I want gluten out of my life for good.

    I think the booze just helps with what I'm thinking is anxiety, and maybe sensory over load.

    I get an electrical feeling and my brain slows down. Alcohol helps with that, but probably zaps my energy and increase depression.
     
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  9. OkRad

    OkRad Well-Known Member

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    I would say take consideration of any sensory issues you have. Mine are horrible, so meds makes them way way worse. HOwever, some people with sensory issues do OK on meds, so it's a crapshoot.

    Natural meds do help me as well. They are way more gentle and work with your body, too.
     
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  10. toothless

    toothless this is mr shadow,my support cat V.I.P Member

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    i recommend smoking CBD oil in a vape stick for anxiety,a few long puffs of that really helps me and stops me from having to reach for a so called controlled drug.
    its completely legal to buy and smoke from vape shops,despite the fact it is a component of cannabis alongside THC which is what makes people loopy and high,but CBD isnt pyschoactive-there is no 'high' it just removes nerve pain and calms your feelings-which as a person with severe spinal nerve damage and extreme anxiety; is perfect for me, i made a video about CBD on my youtube channel if you would like to check it out,i dont think ive said much more than what ive said here though anyway.
    i always preach about CBD as i believe it has a lot to offer auties/aspies/NTs with anxiety etc,and it doesnt come with the side effects that anti depressents come with.

    ive been on quite a few different anti depressents and every one of them has made me even more anxious and manic,one of them-mirtazapine made me pyschotic and very challenging at a low dose after having it upped-i lost my home because of my behavior and the requirement of police regulary there,annoyingly my shrink said 'mirtazapine doesnt cause pyschosis' well maybe not in normal people but it sure did in me,i really hated her attitude towards me.
    sertraline which im on now has that effect as well as not actually helping the depression i do not know why i am still on it,the only one that worked was an SNRI [not SSRI] called cymbalta,i didnt feel manic on it but every so often it stopped working on my depression and id have it upped,it got to the point where i was taking more than the max allowed dose and my pysch said its best to just change the medication,it went bad from there.

    this is just my experience of anti depressents and everyone reacts differently to them but shrinks really need to be aware that autistic peoples neurobiology is different and we can react different to whats written down on their research papers of normal peoples reactions.
    i personally believe i am bipolar anyway,not unipolar,and people with bipolar shouldnt be on SSRIs as it causes a raise in the manic and pyschotic symptoms.
    but getting my shrink to recognise bipolar is like talking to a 'brick wall' as the stupid saying goes-she thinks she knows everything so isnt open to suggestion,i think i would get better understanding out of a brick wall at least when im psychotic i know i would.
     
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  11. Southern Discomfort

    Southern Discomfort Rambunctious Rambler V.I.P Member

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    Well actually there's no evidence whatsoever that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance. People who say otherwise haven't done their research.
     
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  12. Southern Discomfort

    Southern Discomfort Rambunctious Rambler V.I.P Member

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    I don't know about other people but I find at least on the three drugs I've tried that I appear to be very sensitive to them. Sertraline was very difficult at only 50 mg (the second lowest dose, the usual start dose for depression), risperidone achieved everything I needed only at 1 mg (the usual starting dose in adults) although I did need the dose upped twice to keep up with the depression. Lamotrigine was effective at 50 mg (the usual second lowest dose). Granted lamotrigine interacts with risperidone but still.

    I think we probably are subjected to more variances of medication levels than the mean amount of allistics.


    I'm obviously not a doctor but I would think it's very hard to tell in autistic people. I thought I went manic on one drug but I probably just had an elevated mood when my serotonin levels being higher than usual. I'm not saying you experienced the same thing though. I think the behaviour and what we feel when neurochemicals are being altered in us can really throw us off of what we think we are like as normal. You do get autism and bipolar comorbity of course with some people.
     
  13. Bolletje

    Bolletje Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion, both from personal experience as a patient and as a psychiatry intern, meds can definitely be helpful, but by themselves they won't make a much difference if you're not undergoing some form of therapy as well. This has been scientifically proven, at least, that's what I've been told in med school ;)
    How accessible therapy is to you depends on your country of course, although I think long waiting lists are a universal problem. If therapy is not an option I guess you'd be better off with a little medicinal help than with nothing.

    I've had a few bouts of serious depression. During my first serious episode I got prescribed SSRIs when my suicidal thoughts progressed to serious contemplation. Since it takes about 2-6 weeks for these meds to take effect and I had therapy 5 days a week during that time, I wasn't sure which of the two helped me back on my feet, but I did have a lot of side effects. Most noticeably I had an insatiable appetite (gained 15 kg in 3 months), completely lost my libido and was unable to achieve an orgasm by any means possible. And to top it off, going off my medication (because my bag got stolen on holiday and I was out of mess) triggered a minor manic episode for me.

    So the next time I was equally depressed I told my shrink that even though I was having suicidal thoughts, I wanted to try just therapy this time. I had the same amount of therapy, and my recovery was just as fast as before. Without the nasty side effects, and without having to wean off of the meds.
     
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  14. Full Steam

    Full Steam Well-Known Member

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    Do antidepressants negatively affect energy levels?

    I need more energy not less.

    Thanks for the Cbd recommendation, I'll try it if I can find it.
     
  15. Full Steam

    Full Steam Well-Known Member

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    Thanks very much for all replies.

    I woke up this morning feeling a bit down and then something minor sent me into a tail spin.

    I realised that I've not been taking my vitamins to support my methylation cycle, so i started again, with a bit of 5-HTP, and this has brought me out of it.

    I can now see I've been getting slowly more depressed over tthe last few days, due to methylation cycle problems.

    Methylation cycle affects neurotransmitter function and if certain chemicals get low you body prioritise things like detox over creating serotonin and dopamine.

    I went from feeling very low in both mood and energy to feeling great, and full of beans, so I'm not going to pursue the meds right now.

    I actualy think that me considering meds is one of the first noticable signs of depression starting.

    I am going to look at CBD oil though, and I also think there's a sensory and ritualistic element to my alcohol use.

    I started smoking weed in college, then swapped for beer later on, but I can trace it back further, and i ate sensory foods after school.

    My sensory food (I think) is crunchy food with softness in there, and I used to eat cornflakes and ice cream or pickled onions and cheese.

    So I'll try replacing beer with pickles and crisps :D
     
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  16. Alcyon

    Alcyon Well-Known Member

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    Full Steam , I'm happy to hear that you might have found a way out without having to resort to meds.

    I've been hemming and hawing over whether or not I should wade in here. I have experience with anti-depressants spanning about twenty-five years; starting with trycyclics (that's old skool!) and well into the SSRI era. If I had to do it all over again, I'd skip the drugs and focus on result-driven behavioral therapy and modifying my diet. I have now been clean for about a decade.

    I have a measure of respect for, and have benefited from, the work some, not all, psychiatrists do. But the more I read about not altogether firm foundation of the biological model of psychiatry, so blatantly driven by unaccountable commercial interests, the more I'm inclined to think that one day people will look back at the crudity of treatment and say "those poor people."
     
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  17. Full Steam

    Full Steam Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I've never been comfortable with the idea of meds myself, but it sometimes feels like suffering in silence.

    I am always very reluctant to reach out to doctors in the first place. Maybe partly as I trust myself and my research ability more than any generalised med practitioner.

    In addition to which, psychiatry can only help by looking at, talking to and categorising the subject behaviours.

    But we are not subjects, we are each the object of our own experience, without direct experience of objective reality (an impossibility), psychiatry can only ever been a blunt tool poking away at the most complex thing in the known universe (a human brain).
    "
    That said, I'm not saying never to meds though, just "not right now.
     
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  18. Alcyon

    Alcyon Well-Known Member

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    I agree with both sentiments. I would never say never, and I would never wish to denigrate another's positive experience with meds.

    As to your first observation, I find it chilling to think that I was born less than a decade after lobotomies fell from favour; a blunt tool indeed...
     
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  19. Jorg

    Jorg Well-Known Member

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    Although I reccomend you to look for a professional opinion (psychratist) to see if you need them and which one is best for you I can say that if you're depressive and have tryed anything for yourself for a long period of time anti-depressants are your best shot, I know you probably believe nothing will work and it is useless, I've traveled on those dark roads too and when I was on my lowest and darkest place professional help and the right medicines saved my life.

    Also, you can help the meds and yourself by going out with friends, making exercise daily and having goals to accomplish.

    Again this may seen utopic from your actual point of view but trust me, professional help and the right medication can save your life.

    PS: Remember that every med needs time to enter the body and adjust to you until you can see results, I took Prozac (well, the generic one) and it took like 6 weeks until I started to feel better.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
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  20. Bolletje

    Bolletje Well-Known Member

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    SSRI's, which are still the most commonly used antidepressants, don't have a sedative effect, but they won't give you a boost in energy either. The only effect they'd have on your energy levels would be you getting more energy when the depression starts to get better.
     
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