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voices_in_my_head
Okay I'm a bit hesitant to do this but I thought that maybe a few people on these boards have had some experience with this.

What seems like all of a sudden, (starting around late Julyish) I started feeling depressed. Really badly, actually - to the point of suicidal thoughts and such. But I ignored it for a bit, thinking that it would pass. Around the time that school started, though, I began having random panic attacks, and the depression started interferring with my life - I would randomly space out while others were talking to me, or be in such a bad mood that I just wouldn't do my school work at all. Also, each time the depression came back (I would be depressed for two weeks or so, then be happy-ish for like a week) it was progressivly worse. So, finally coming to the conclusion that it wasn't going to go away, and because I found out that Depression runs in the family, I went to the doctor.

I talked to this man for a total of about ten minutes, filled out a survey about my symptoms, and got my blood taken. So, he gave me Prozac (or, well...it's Fluoxetine, but it's the same thing really) with what seems like very little consideration.

So...I've only taken one dose so far, but I'm really worried about it, and worried that I don't really need it and I'm just being stupid, worried that I'm completly insane, and most of all worried about it changing my personality (I'm known for being a bit sarcastic and down by others...) so....any experience on this medication, with panic attacks and worrying or...anything?

Thanks guys. smile.gif
Ashbless
QUOTE (voices_in_my_head @ Oct 13 2007, 06:35 PM) *
I went to the doctor.

I talked to this man for a total of about ten minutes, filled out a survey about my symptoms, and got my blood taken. So, he gave me Prozac (or, well...it's Fluoxetine, but it's the same thing really) with what seems like very little consideration.

So...I've only taken one dose so far, but I'm really worried about it, and worried that I don't really need it and I'm just being stupid, worried that I'm completly insane, and most of all worried about it changing my personality (I'm known for being a bit sarcastic and down by others...) so....any experience on this medication, with panic attacks and worrying or...anything?

Thanks guys. smile.gif


Okay, I can tell you that a single dose of an anti-depressant medication won't do much at all. It's got to be taken for a few weeks as directed before there's enough of a regular concentration in your bloodstream to do any good.
If you didn't like the doctor's inattention go to another doctor. Do you have a regular family doctor? Is there a regular doctor that a family member who's struggled (and is winning) with depression goes to who will talk with you? Get a second opinion. Why not?
Ask why he or she chose that medication over other ones.
Another person to talk to is the pharmacist who dispensed the capsules. Pharmacists in Canada train in pharmacology for at least 4 years. They know the drugs. They know the side effects. They'll tell you if you ask. Lot of people just accept the pills and wander away. You're well within your rights to ask some questions. If the pharmacist is very busy then pick a better time and phone. If he/she brushes you off then go talk to another pharmacist. They're human and I know if I was really busy I'd want to answer quickly and get the person out of my hair. Most drugs have information sheets that the pharmacist will give you if you ask for them.
Good luck with your struggle. It's not an easy thing to get better from but you will get better.
Yes, you might need to rebalance the chemicals in your brain. Once balanced though you'll be more yourself again.
Oy! Where's Righteous? Doesn't he know a bit about this stuff?
*Hugs Voices*
All the best there darlin'
voices_in_my_head
Thanks Ash, I just really wanted an account of it from a person who had personally taken it, because medical information (I looked up the facts on it online) tends to sound a lot more scary that it really is. For example, the huge list of possible symptoms that rarely ever happen in reality.

This was my first time to see this docter, because we had gotten our insurance switched over. We used to have a family doctor that we all went to, but we don't exactly miss them - they were slow and had a tendency to get the diagnoses wrong, or forget that you were there. Overall he seemed like he knew what he was doing and was very professional and all...I'm just worried that he didn't get enough information. He's got me scheduled for an appointment next week though so...I guess I'll be able to bring that up then?
Ashbless
He may also want to know how you feel the medication is working and maybe tweak the dosage to get it right. Sometimes it does need some tweaking as each person's blood chemistry is a little different from the next persons.
My friend took a medicine for his serious skin condition and turned out to be one of a few rare people. So next thing was that he landed in the hospital with serious anemia. Needless to say the doctor changed the course of treatment. tongue.gif My friend occasionally jokes that at least he would've made a nice corpse as his skin never looked so good. Whichever friend is nearest a pillow then attempts to get him in the head by launching said soft object at him. Stuffed animals also work versus morbid humour.

Anyone out there to give Voices some feedback on fluoxetine?
voices_in_my_head
I think the adjusting would be what the appointment was made for, probably.

I've a friend who had to quit taking her acne medication as it caused water on the brain or something like that. She was seeing double for some time before the doctor actually believed her. tongue.gif
froggle-rock
Hey there Voices.

I'm in two minds about anti depressants. I read a little while ago in the New Scientist that suicide rate are on the up in Europe youth, relating to a period a few years ago when lots of people got concerned (sometimes rightly) and ceased taking the anti depressants because of anecdotal and medical research reports on the side effects and withdrawal symptoms of/from anti depressants. Just tried finding it in the OL New Scientist, but no luck.

Couldn't find what I wanted on NHSdirect, but it did say pretty much what Ash said,
Treatment with antidepressants usually starts with a TCA or SSRI. It takes about 2-3 weeks for the drugs to start working, and 4-6 weeks for them to fully take effect.


A good friend of mine started taking them back around Easter, and since he's had his dosage altered (can't remember which way) from what I've asked him and what he's told me they have made a difference. Advice that was given to me when I started taking anti depressants is that I shouldn't self medicate and I shouldn't stop taking them just because I have a good week and think I don't need them anymore. I guess I'm trying to say: don't give up on them because you don't feel an instant result and don't give up on them because you do feel a result.

I make Ash right in that pharmacists usually know their stuff when it comes to medication. And ask what you want to ask to the doctor, no use in worrying about those things to when you have enough on your plate.

Hope I was of some help.Let us know what the haps is *hugs*
Moosh
Hey Voices.

I've never actually taken anything for any of my mental/psychological issues, but I know people who have, and they mostly say the same kinds of things.

Basically, what I hear is, as long as you are honest and accurate with your doctor, then they tend to know what they are doing in terms of whether you need it, and dosages etc. Of course that doesn't stop you worrying about it, and it doesn't matter if you might think that you're silly for worrying, talk to the doctor (or the pharmacist like Ash and Frogg said). It's part of their job to tell you what the stuff they're giving to you does, so don't feel bad for asking.

*hugs for you, 'cos I know how unfun this kind of stuff can be*
Mata
I have two perspectives to offer on anti-depressants, neither are from me, but from people I'm very close to. One person took them for about a month or two, but found he hated feeling happy when he knew it was only the chemicals making him feel that way. He was in a very difficult situation at the time, so I guess the drug was misprescribed because there was a reason for the depression so drugs wouldn't take that away. He decided to stop taking them and worked out the problems through some very tough decisions. Fifteen years on, I can tell you he is immensely happier.

The second experience is from a friend who has had long-term difficulties with depression. She has taken courses of anti-depressants a few times over the last eight years. Her life is basically stable, but she had a lot of challenges in the past. She finds that the anti-depressants are very good at getting her back onto level ground. Her issues are ongoing, but they are internal and the drugs are used occasionally to help her when she needs that extra hand.

The thing that splits the two experiences of the drugs, one negative and the other very positive, is the situation. If you are in a situation which is making you depressed then the drugs might help you handle the situation better, or they might make you frustrated that you're feeling the wrong way about the world. From what you're saying, your life hasn't changed significantly, only the way you are feeling about it, which would suggest that the drugs stand a good change of helping you get your thoughts back on track.

The good news from both the stories is that both people are doing okay in life, many years later. It may be that the drugs aren't right for you, but it is worth giving them a try. If you're concerned then raise this next week. I'm really pleased that the doctor has made a second appointment for you; they are only given a certain amount of time per-patient, but when needed they can book out a longer appointment, so I would fully expect your next visit will give you the opportunity to discuss this with a specialist.

We are definitely not specialists, but I'd be surprised if there's anyone on here who doesn't know someone, or who hasn't experienced, depression at some time. It can be worked with, and often it can be overcome, just stick with it.

*hugs*
voices_in_my_head
smile.gif thanks for the responses guys, really.

It's not situational, and it's not seasonal as far as I can tell (since it started in summer that would make no sense.) As far as I can tell it was just an inherited thing - My mom suffered from it as a teen, as did my grandmother, and her mother. So at least I have a whole side of the family that already understands it in a way.

Quick question, though. Since the medicine won't work until 3-4 weeks from now, how will my doctor know whether or not to adjust the medicine/dose after just a week?

*hugs back*
Thanks again guys. Good to know that I'm not just crazy or...weird or....some angsty teen or something. bleh.
vicrawr
I have a question and this may have already been answered and I haven't read it yet. Is this doctor a general medical practitioner or a doctor that specializes in mental health and medicine (psychiatrist)?

It does take a long while before you'll probably see any noticeable change. That said, don't give up on it. The medicines are altering the chemistry in your brain and that's no easy feat. I would say give it a good 6 months before you really evaluate how you're feeling and if the medicines are working or not. Not everyone reacts the same to every medication. It might take a certain one or a combination of some before you can get to feeling better. I got started out on a combination of Prozac and Wellbutrin by my family doctor. When that wasn't working, I went to an honest to goodness mental health facility. They took me off of the Prozac and put me on the highest dosage of Wellbutrin possible and things have gone great. Chin up, kiddo!

Edit: Also, on the side effects worry. Most people won't experience them. They merely put those up there to cover their behinds and to let people know that if they begin to experience one of them, it's due to the medication and not some other complication. When I first started, I had to deal with awful dry mouth. But it cleared up after a month or two. Now it's completely self-inflicted.
Mata
Don't worry Voices, you can be an angsty teen and depressed if you want! wink.gif

The doctor probably wants to see you again next week to spend a bit more time with you to get more a feel for what is going to work best for you in the long run. S/he has probably started you on drugs for two reasons: it tells your sub-conscious that you are taking action to push through this (a very powerful step to take), and to get you started on the most likely course of future action. The next appointment is most likely for the doctor to confirm initial impressions and see how you're doing. I'm very happy to hear that they decided to do this. *hugs again*
EvilSpork
If you think it's serious maybe the doctor saw this right away. It's good that you took a step in that direction, honestly. I've seen panic attacks and depression go unchecked, no doctor visits at all, and it usually just gets worse. As it gets worse people tend to be even less likely to get help in my experience.

*hugs* Hope you're doing better by the next visit. And after that next visit too!
voices_in_my_head
QUOTE (IrishGuy @ Oct 14 2007, 11:38 PM) *
I have a question and this may have already been answered and I haven't read it yet. Is this doctor a general medical practitioner or a doctor that specializes in mental health and medicine (psychiatrist)?

He's just a regular ol' Doctor.

QUOTE (Mata @ Oct 15 2007, 08:03 AM) *
Don't worry Voices, you can be an angsty teen and depressed if you want! wink.gif

Oh, sweet! I'll set up my Livejournal account right away then.

QUOTE (EvilSpoon @ Oct 15 2007, 09:17 AM) *
If you think it's serious maybe the doctor saw this right away. It's good that you took a step in that direction, honestly. I've seen panic attacks and depression go unchecked, no doctor visits at all, and it usually just gets worse.

I actually had waited quite awhile before I did anything, I just didn't realise how much it was effecting me until school started.

Thanks so so so much for all of the support and stuff guys, you've no idea how much that means to me. smile.gif
SPEAKERfortheLOST
"In the 60s and 70s people took drugs to make things weird, now they take them to make things 'normal'." - Unknown.

Voices, you have nothing to worry from taking anti-depressants. They are a relatively safe form of pharmaceutical drugs. You worry that this condition does not deserve drugs, maybe you are right. Though from what I understand you have a very good grasp on your families' medical history, that is not always the best indicator of what the malady is... More often, the cause is not heredity but more environmental in nature. The family heredity is shown to be a very large chain of coincidences due to the recollection discrepancies of the individuals...

A study being performed at my University is doing some interesting research into that very topic. The preliminary results indicate that people are likely to try to connect with a family member going through a similar trial to one that they encountered in their past at a closely related point in their lives... In other words, people try to make a connection to try and help the other...

I think, and I admit I am definitely an odd individual, that you should take a good close look at your life, day-to-day life and your life in whole, and see if there is something that is getting you down and work to correct that imbalance...

I wish you the best of luck and hope that you find what you seek.

Peace
vicrawr
QUOTE (voices_in_my_head @ Oct 15 2007, 06:46 PM) *
QUOTE (IrishGuy @ Oct 14 2007, 11:38 PM) *

I have a question and this may have already been answered and I haven't read it yet. Is this doctor a general medical practitioner or a doctor that specializes in mental health and medicine (psychiatrist)?

He's just a regular ol' Doctor.


My suggestion is to go somewhere that deals in just mental health. I know when I first went to a medical professional, I went to my family doctor as well. (Well, one of his partners, but that's beside the point.) He too had to print out a list to ask questions and then proceeded to give me a cheer up talk. And a trial prescription for something that didn't work. It was so discouraging that I didn't go back for about a year and when I did I went to a facility that dealt in mental health only. Haven't been sorry since. I'm not saying that your doctor is unable to handle your problems, but there may be medicines that he's not familiar with that could do you some good. Just a suggestion. I'm glad you finally went and did something.
trunks_girl26
I agree with Irish. Currently I'm on anxiety pills (which ended up being prescribed by my GP), but when they were given to me, she told me that I should also see someone who deals with mental health, in order to help ease my anxiety from several different angles.
voices_in_my_head
okay well. The medicine worked for about a week, then stopped completly when I had a panic attack last sunday, followed by a huge migrane and, of course, depression. So...he upped the dose to 30 mg a day, and I'm currently back to where I started mental-health wise. I just thought y'all might like an update on that.
vicrawr
Glad that little setback hasn't discouraged you. Keep it up!
Mata
I'm sure everyone here who has more experience will agree, it takes a while to get the right dose of anti-depressants. I'm glad that he didn't whack you straight onto a heavy dose, it shows that he's trying to find the best solution for you and is happy to work at it. Keep going! The good week that you had suggests that you're going along the right path.

Thanks for the update, I had been wondering how you were getting on.
voices_in_my_head
Oh christ this isn't going well at all....

Medicine starts to work again, but then my boyfriend out of no where starts ignoring me, I dump him, he starts dating one of my good friends a week later. Mind, we had been dating for seven months.

Then my best friend, the only person who listens to me when I try to talk about how I'm feeling, says that I'm selfish and don't care about her. Out of nowhere, again.

The above things cause to me have a massive panic attack yesterday and to skip school today in favour of sleeping. And....I got really mad and ended up smashing two glass bottles on the kitchen floor. It's all cleaned up now but I'm just so angry that I was finally making progress again and then something like this happens. It's so unlike me to lose my temper and do something rash like that. And then here I am Miss senisble and I ended up dating the worlds most insensitive and amazingly stupid guy? What the hell is wrong with me?

Sorry, guys. I just had to let off a little steam. Thanks for the encouragement. smile.gif

Edit: On second thought, has anyone on here ever had problems with panic attack before? if so, what did you do to help ward them off? Because my mom, sister, and grandma all have jobs now so I'm home alone a lot...and it would really be horrible if I got one while alone. So yeah....any ideas?
Moosh
Oooh yay panic attacks.

I have panic attacks, fairly regularly. Unfortunately I have no useful advice for you at all. I tend to have one, lie there crying, unable to move for ten minutes or so, then find someone to comfort me and feel crap for the rest of the day. It sometimes helps to find someone who'll just talk to you about what you're worried about, but as you're not in a rational state of mind, it doesn't really help that much, just the talking can calm you down.

As for being alone when you have them, yeah, it sucks.

Sorry I can't be more helpful.
Phyllis
QUOTE (voices_in_my_head @ Nov 16 2007, 01:56 AM) *
Edit: On second thought, has anyone on here ever had problems with panic attack before? if so, what did you do to help ward them off? Because my mom, sister, and grandma all have jobs now so I'm home alone a lot...and it would really be horrible if I got one while alone. So yeah....any ideas?

I used to employ Moosh's method, followed by lots of comfort eating. I don't recommend that.

I eventually found out that yoga helps to calm me. The stretching and concentrating on deep breathing help me to relax and turn my brain off for awhile. Most of the literature I've read suggests taking deep breaths and tensing then relaxing each muscle group, so it make sense.

Huh, I thought I posted in this topic when you originally posted it. I guess I didn't! Anyway, most studies on stuff like this have suggested that antidepressant medication is much much more effective when combined with therapy. Like others who have posted here, I tend to think that seeing someone who specifically deals with mental health might help you out quite a bit. A lot of times it's possible to find mental health clinics that charge on a sliding scale, if that's an issue. Or, since you're in high school, maybe you could talk to your school counselor? They aren't just there to help you choose a college, after all. I never saw my high school counselor, but I had weekly group sessions with my middle school counselor for a year or so. They helped me to deal with a lot of stuff I was going through at the time, if memory serves.
voices_in_my_head
Ugh, I'm usually so drained afterwards that I just go to sleep. I don't cry, like ever, so...that's out. On the good side:

(update)
Doctor upped it to 40 mg even though it was showing no signs of working whatsoever, BUT he did give me something to take when I begin to get an attack. (I'm kinda thinking...why didn't I get this before?) He also said that if the 40mgs a day didn't work, he would switch meds to one that he rarely uses but would make me gain weight, seeing on how I've lost about 5 pounds (from 107 to 102) since my first visit. With the good side of news, while my anxiety is actually getting worse, my depression is getting much better.

So, It's a start. Thought y'all would like an update, again. smile.gif

As for the school counselers...I would normally take that advice but you've got to keep in mind that I live in a very conservitive christian town, and that most of the people who work at the school are parents of kids I know. Not only would I get unbelievably angry if they said "I suggest you find God" as they're bound to, but I wouldn't feel okay with talking about this kind of stuff with a parent of kids I know...if that even makes sense at all?
Mata
Would they be allowed to say that? I know that if a counsellor in the UK suggested prayer or God they would be fired so fast you'd barely see their arse as it left the cannon.

I'm not a doctor, but it sounds like he's trying to keep you on as little medication as possible to still get the effects. He's clearly concerned about over-medicating, which is good, but may perhaps be a little cautious. Depression and anxiety seem to be things that respond best in the long-term, so he's probably right to try a gentle introduction to begin with so he can get a better idea of how sensitive you are to the drugs. He probably hoped that you wouldn't need to panic-attack ones.

I'm really happy to hear that your depression has improved so much an so soon. I hope that leads to good results on tackling the anxiety! Go team Voices!
voices_in_my_head
Whoo! I'm getting my super hero outfit tommorow. tongue.gif

Technically they're not allowed to say that, but around this area they're extremely lax about that policy. For example, the moment of silence, which was put in place by the Texas school board after 9/11, is now suggested to be used as "prayer time". Whenever they're talking about a student or teacher who is in some trouble over the announcements they would say "Please pray for them....if you're into that kinda thing." So yeah, techinically they couldn't, but due to the extreme religious value in our town, it's not like anyone would stop them. Although, the phrase " fired so fast you'd barely see their arse as it left the cannon" did make me laugh. tongue.gif

I just don't see why he would go ahead and raise the dose even more although it was showing absoulutely no signs of helping. I understand that the Anti-depressents that Doctors are allowed to give to teens are very limited but...is there any point in continuing with the same one if it's clearly not helping? I'm thinking about setting up another appointment with him sooner than the scheduled one (I'm gonna make my parents broke with this...) because the depression is actually coming back now, which is very worrying.

Ugh. I'm tired of this, really. I'm usually so hands-on about my problems but in this case it's a huge waiting trial-and-error game and it's driving me crazy. BUT I will keep on...it's just frustrating.
Phyllis
QUOTE (Mata @ Nov 25 2007, 07:03 PM) *
Would they be allowed to say that? I know that if a counsellor in the UK suggested prayer or God they would be fired so fast you'd barely see their arse as it left the cannon.

They would in Oregon as well. ohmy.gif And I went to high school in what is an extremely conservative town for the Pacific Northwest.

But yeah, I can totally understand not wanting to use the school counseling service in that scenario. Even though I'm sure they wouldn't say anything to their kids because of confidentiality and all that, I would still feel a bit weird talking to the parents of my classmates about my problems. ph34r.gif
voices_in_my_head
Any other state that I've ever lived in was the same - religion was a taboo topic in school. Something about Texas Culture, though (paticuarly the Panhandle area where I live), is that it's barely even considered that someone would be offended by religion in school, or that anyone would be a non-religious person. I'm so used to it that it doesn't really matter, you just keep your mouth shut if you don't have a religion around here, and it's all fine.

I got my medication for the Panic attacks filled today - it's Xanex. My mom's spazzing out because she's worried about me getting dependent on them and...well, it's a concern.
Pikasyuu
the best idea is to take them ONLY as indicated. I had a perscription for vicodin about a month ago, and there was a huge ruckus about pain medication being habit forming, et-cetera - the fact that you're worried about dependency at all is a good sign and shows that you at least have enough sense to pay attention to the possibilities. If you want to calm her down a little bit, you should explain to her why you don't think you'll become dependent and that she's welcome to watch you take whatever dosage you have. not sure if it'll help, but, good luck.
Mata
I know this is a bit tangential, but I've seen near miracles for mood stabilisation from evening primrose oil. I had an ex who I could tell by midday if she'd taken any that morning or not. It probably wouldn't do anything about depression, but it might help with the anxiety. It's just a thought, and it wouldn't do any harm to give it a try. You can buy it in capsules in any decent health food shop.
voices_in_my_head
QUOTE (Mata @ Nov 27 2007, 07:24 PM) *
I had an ex who I could tell by midday if she'd taken any that morning or not.

I suppose that explains the title of "ex"? tongue.gif

My mom's hiding it from me, actually. I think she's more worried about me being too panicked to bother with the right dose or something? She's letting me take it and keeping one out for me if I need it so...I'm not complaining.

As for the primrose oil...I'll try that out, for sure. I'm quite willing to do anything that would help me get better soon at this point. smile.gif
Daria
Also star anise oil. Which ever you take, they come in little capsules that you swallow with water and they do magic. My mum used to, and I think still does, take them because her hormones were all over the place and so therefore her mood. As her children, we could tell by midday whether she had taken one that morning or not wink.gif
lost in ireland
QUOTE (voices_in_my_head @ Oct 14 2007, 01:35 AM) *
Okay I'm a bit hesitant to do this but I thought that maybe a few people on these boards have had some experience with this.

What seems like all of a sudden, (starting around late Julyish) I started feeling depressed. Really badly, actually - to the point of suicidal thoughts and such. But I ignored it for a bit, thinking that it would pass. Around the time that school started, though, I began having random panic attacks, and the depression started interferring with my life - I would randomly space out while others were talking to me, or be in such a bad mood that I just wouldn't do my school work at all. Also, each time the depression came back (I would be depressed for two weeks or so, then be happy-ish for like a week) it was progressivly worse. So, finally coming to the conclusion that it wasn't going to go away, and because I found out that Depression runs in the family, I went to the doctor.

I talked to this man for a total of about ten minutes, filled out a survey about my symptoms, and got my blood taken. So, he gave me Prozac (or, well...it's Fluoxetine, but it's the same thing really) with what seems like very little consideration.

So...I've only taken one dose so far, but I'm really worried about it, and worried that I don't really need it and I'm just being stupid, worried that I'm completly insane, and most of all worried about it changing my personality (I'm known for being a bit sarcastic and down by others...) so....any experience on this medication, with panic attacks and worrying or...anything?

Thanks guys. smile.gif


hi there,

depression is a side of medicine, that is yet to be proven, i had a massive nervous breakdown in california last year lost my business, my home my relation ship & i am not looking for sympathy, after several months of treatment by hacks in the medical industry and months of pill taking i was dignosed as bi polar, what are you studying? strees on the brain from science can be very hard to cope with, do you surf the web a lot again too much information can wreck your head

depression sets in i feel when you cannot real the goals you set for yourself, basically i feel when life throws you a ringer and you don,t know what to do, the medictions are there to suppress emotions and help you cope, in my case they paid not attention to the drugs and i ended up losing most of the felling in my hands and arms pain is an emotion,

the best thing is to talk to people and in Ireland i don,t know about the uk it is not a very open subject, do take the medication but it has to go hand in hand with good cousiling again a hard thing to find,

i have beeb taking several drugs to calm ne down but i think my biggest problem is the fact that i was used to a certain way of doing things a certain way of life it is gone and it is hard to cope, get yourself into a routine do pretty much the same thing each day so your emotions are not all over the shop, you are young you will cope but you have to train yourself to notice when the pain is begining and find a different thin to do to trick you mind into rejecting the depression. dance scream do whatever it takes and if people look at you strange tell them you are having a great day and you are celebrating it, but get a good consillor to guide you through.
gerbilfromhell
SSRIs can be incredibly helpful, but they are often difficult to stick with and especially to adjust to.

I don't know how these medicines would interact, but you might want to look into tryptophan, at least while you're adjusting to the prozac. As I understand it, SSRIs like prozac/zoloft/etc. essentially make the seratonin in your brain 'work harder,' but tryptophan simply decomposes into seratonin and some sort of vitamin, so it's more of a 'take as needed' solution.

That being said, of course, I've seen SSRIs work wonders on people; I just think that the tryptophan treatments are far more beneficial. You should ask your doctor if taking both (prozac regularly, tryptophan when especially needed) is ok. My friends often do and it hasn't given them any noticeable problems and it can be really amazing for when you want to feel better in the next hour, rather than in 2-3 months.

http://www.doctoryourself.com/prozac.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5-HTP#Research (5-hydroxytryptophan is what you buy in vitamin shops, tryptophan itself is an amino acid).

"I got my medication for the Panic attacks filled today - it's Xanex. My mom's spazzing out because she's worried about me getting dependent on them and...well, it's a concern."

That is something to watch out for. As long as you keep track of yourself and your relation to it there should be no problem, but don't assume that just because the doctor says 'take this much this often,' that that instantly means that no dependency will form. A girl in one of my classes ended up incredibly strung out after knee surgery from around two weeks of vicodin and percoset. I mean, xanax certainly isn't as dependancy-forming as opiates like vicodin as Syuu was mentioning, but it does carry some risk. It's certainly not something to freak out about, though; just be careful and you'll be fine.

Hope this helps; good luck.
priscilla
I Have been on Antidepressants for 12 years now since i found out i couldn't have children.
They have never caused me any problems and they have helped me alot. I was like you had concerns at first but if a tablet a day keeps me happy then i will take it.

Having depression is nothing to be ashamed off and it also runs in my Family also.

If i miss them my husband knows as i start to have mood swings and get tearful.

Don't worry about having to take them it doesn't make you any different if you are on them and all i can say they have helped me alot.

Take care x biggrin.gif
voices_in_my_head
I was really hoping to not have to bring this topic up again, except maybe to inform everyone that I'm better.

To catch you all up:
The doctor kept pushing the amount of prozac up until he had reached the max dose, and when that still wasn't working, he decided to switch meds (finally).
At first he'd suggested Zoloft, but we'd heard nothing but bad about it, and had gotten many suggestions for a drug called Lexapro.
Well, the Lexapro worked. Quite well, even. I was seeing results in a week, feeling good, and everything.

Problem was this - (And I do truely hope I don't sound like a whiney b**ch when I say this)
I couldn't stand the feeling. Sadly, I could tell the difference between normal-happy and fake-happy. It just felt so plastic. When things normally would have upset me, I found myself with a happy-go-lucky attitude, and I absoulutely hated the idea of being something I wasn't...it just bothered the hell out of me.
So I stopped taking it.

And all was well, for awhile. No panic attacks, only the mildest of depression spells. Life was good. But it's been recently that the attacks are back, and I'm running low on Xanex. We missed the Pshycyatrist appointment, meaning that I'll have to go back to the dr. again if I'm going to get a refill.

So What should I say, really?
I'd honestly not like to go back on medicine if possible, that fake feeling was the worst. And sure, maybe many people would opt for that over feeling suicidal, but the way I see it - what's the point of living if you're not yourself? My question for y'all is, though, what exactly can these peopel do besides give me more meds, pat me on the back, and tell me I'll be okay?

Just as a side note, here, I've also noticed that my highs and lows are getting more extreme. Just a few hours ago I was curled up in my bed staring at the ceiling and right now I'm typing this, talking to friends online, and blasting music in the best of moods. My days now range from times when I literally can't function (I've missed quite a few days because of this, now) to times when I'm talking to people I barely know, skipping around, and acting almost like a small child out of happiness. What's up with that?

And! I couldn't find any of the star anise oil or primrose? Is there a place to order these online, maybe?
elphaba2
Made my toes curl up when I read that, dear.

I feel like about eighty percent of that reaction's based on the people in my family who take meds for brain stuff (mood stuff, attention stuff, schizophrenic stuff), that I've been conditioned to believe that meds = good. That the side effects are always, always worth it. Basically, whenever anyone I know has gone off meds, bad things have ensued. Ranging from bad to life-ruining bad. It creates this very strong impression--and I know that you know yourself but every single fiber of my mind is telling me to tell you to get back on the PharmaceutAmerica ™ horse. There have been too many horror stories that I've witnessed.

That said.

There are people who have had serious brain stuff who've been able to regulate it themselves. My Bipolar Road Trip is a book by a bipolar chick about her journey to a better brain-state, and she gets there without drugs, eventually. It's not usually a recommended path because it's so dangerous (people in pursuit of a better brain state often wind up in awful, expensive, unhappy situations because of it) but it has been done, and by people who were worse off than you. I will not deny that.

There are also people with incident-related depression who show every single symptom of clinical depression, who even the best doctors in the world would diagnose with a chemical imbalance--who don't. Who can live their lives well and fully without meds and without problems. This is maybe where the whole being-a-teenager comes in. It's astounding, because I'm hardly ancient, but the depth with which I feel emotion, particularly negative emotions--the suddenness of them, and the intensity--has gone down piles and piles since even a year ago. I still get angry and I still get sad, but I haven't at all felt suicidal or out of control or anything really like that lately (and I used to). I hate to sound like a gym teacher standing awkwardly in front of a diagram of a dental dam, (and I hate to think that I could be devaluing your pain in any way) but hormones really are insane.

I know all of this, and I'm glad to hear that you've been OK? Better? but know that everyone wants the best for you, and in my case, that urge is towards you making sure you protect yourself. Via meds. But that is me and my background.

I hope you get well in whatever way works.
Daria
You can probably buy Evening Primrose or Star Anise oils from online natural heathfood stores- google is your friend!
Regarding the medication... I'm not sure what to say. I don't have any personal experience with anti-depressants, but from the ups and downs side of things: I get big lows (and sometimes quite euphoric highs)- they last from anything between a couple of hours to about a week. And they can really really suck- last year, I was going through one and was sat in a train station physically holding on to the seat to stop the curious side of me from jumping off the platform. I wasn't suicidal- just curious. Mine stem from stress and what I guess is OCD (I get more lows if the house is messy and I haven't had the time or inclination to tidy it all up- which then causes depression-like symptoms, irratic behaviour and plucking of my eyebrows >_>). These can get so bad that I will not be able to leave the house, even to do things I really want to do (like go to a gig or a party) and I will just end up feeling melancholy and bored with everything (current life situation included). To get out of them, I just try to relax- I listen to specific music that has really good memories attached to it, I have a bath, I lay on the bed in the dark and concentrate on my breathing, I meditate, I read, I make things with my hands (sculptures and the like) or I cook. Just stuff that you can get totally engrossed in and ... well, it's almost like meditation but in a physical form instead of mentally.

You'll probably find that none of the above helps, but sometimes (regardless of whether you are on meds or not) it's good just to take a step back, a big breath, and just... chill out.
*hugs*
voices_in_my_head
Elphaba - The thing is, that the medication worked, and wonderfully. The doctor had had me on 60 mg of Prozac a day when 10mg of Lexapro worked infinently better. The possible results of untreated depression are very clear to me - a close family member had a stay in a mental hospital for attempting suicide quite awhile back. (before I was born, even) I can't say, though, that being happy is worth the complete loss of who I was. Does this even make sense to anyone else? My entire life I'm defined by my morbid-sarcastic sense of humor, the rants I do, and the complete "F*** it" attitude toward other's opinions. And, sadly, these sort of things stemed from depression, at some point. So when I was chemically happy - I wasn't even the same person. I was miserable - it was like I had lost my entire self identity. And because of that I'm willing to try just about anything besides medication to get rid of the depression. I'm just not willing to risk loosing myself over gaining a fake happy.
Also - the "being a teen" factor has been taken into consideration. Because my...symptoms are so advanced, I do not think that is the cause of it. However....it sure as hell doesn't help, I'd assume. Then again it's possible that I'm really just not handling teen-dom that well....argh.

Daria - "chilling out", as you put it, does help me - but only for limited times. smile.gif I've taken up painting and the such as a hobby in hopes to use it as an outlit for it all. It does help quite a bit, but that's only assuming I can get up the moral to do it. If no other options present themselves, you can be assured I'll be taking that advice.

I am considering re-making the appointment with the therapist, in hopes that he'll be able to give me some clarity on this issue. Who else is more qualified to explain it to me, than him? Which leads me to yet another question (and I do hope I'm not asking too many...): what should one look for in a good Therapist? What would be good questions to ask on a first visit? Anything I should avoid?

Sorry for burrying you all in a slew of questions, here, but this whole "getting help" thing is quite new to me. Well. Maybe not new. But the first time doing it didn't work out...smile.gif who knows - I could get a second chance?
Ashbless
You get as many chances to get it, whatever it in life is, right as you need.
Just keep at it.

Those first two drugs were not right for you. Okay. Maybe see if the Doc will try you on others. There's a bunch out there. I can think of three different types of antidepressants just off the top of my head.

Yes! Talk to the therapist about it. Talk to your Mom about it. Talk to us about it. I think it's right to ask as many questions about stuff as you can think of. Ask, read stuff, think about what's said, and take what you find as having a chance of being wrong. Just because it works for one person doesn't mean it'll work for you.

Check health foods stores for the different oils mentioned. They may also be mixed in with the vitamins at the pharmacy. St. John's wort is another. Definitely mention to the Doctor or the pharmacist if you're taking them as some health food type stuff interacts with medications. I'm only a tech so I don't know off the top of my head which ones. The pharmacist will know.

Go team you!
Mata
There are different types of therapists. One distinction that you might want to know is between active and passive (also called non-/directive). A passive therapist will encourage you to talk about whatever you want, an active one will ask you more questions and try to lead you to things that they think are important for you to discuss. This is the type that you see on TV and movies (mainly because they're more useful for scriptwriters) but both types can get very good results.

Give a person a few sessions until you have a good idea how you feel about it. If it's not feeling right to you then try someone else, possibly someone who has a different style.
voices_in_my_head
Thanks guys.

I ended up going back to the dr. for migranes and increased panic attacks. Apparently the migranes have something or another to do with my neck. But anyway, he ended up putting me on some medication that treats all three - depression, anxiety, and migranes.
Which is all well and good except there's a relitively high chance it'll turn me into a half-asleep zombie.

I start it friday.

Rescheduling for a therapist will have to wait until later, though, as I'm already running up the dr. bill as is. (getting ten cavities filled, and four wisdom teeth removed this summer, on top of the med. expenses.)
Mata
Hm... It's a long shot, but the teeth thing might be related to everything else. I know a chap who went very bonkers after tooth infection (seriously, he literally was wearing a tinfoil hat to keep out alien signals from his brain). You never know, getting your teeth sorted might be a step in helping everything stabilise!
Calantyr
Silly Mata, everyone knows it's because of the alien implants the government puts in your filings. Didn't the X-Files teach you anything? wink.gif

But on a serious note, good luck man.
Roadkillgerbil
Hey Voices,

I'm new here and wouldn't normally jump into such a personal thread but I've got a masters degree in cognitive and clinical neuroscience and have specialised in depression to some extent. I've also been researching herbal medicine for the last two years. I'm really sorry you've been having such a bad time.

Starting with the migraines, I have a really dodgy neck and jaw (I had to have a chiro break my jaw every 3 days at one point) and these gave me migraines too. It's just awful but I would recommend a chiropractor if you can find a reputable one. Don't be alarmed if they treat other parts of your spine too. A good chiro will treat you as a whole person, rather than a collection of complaints. Otherwise, often the application of heat packs on a regular basis can loosen the muscles to such an extent that the vertabrae and so on pull themselves back into place.

If you're being moved around and put on all kinds of different drugs/treatments, I would strongly recommend keeping some sort of diary. Include information such as your mood (traditionally just a score out of 10), energy levels and things like that. That might allow you to make a better judgement of how well each treatment is working. If you're worried about feeling like a zombie (and I have seen people who ended up like that), I would also include a score of how alert or 'switched on' you're feeling.

If you want to try non-medical treatments, I don't think anyone's talked about gardening or exercise yet (or I could have missed it). It's very unlikely that either of these will be a 'cure' but they can often help. Getting outside, planting things and seeing them grow gives a sense of achievement, a connection with more of the world and the exercise and fresh air release mood-enhancing chemicals in the brain. The same is true of straight exercise. If you are having panic attacks, I fully appreciate that these may not be things you want to do and I also know that it's very hard to motivate yourself to leave the house when you're already feeling depressed. That said, if you are able to manage it, you may find that they have a stabilising effect on your mood. I've just started seriously weight-training and the effect on my mood has been incredible.

You mentioned earlier in this thread that you were concerned about becoming addicted. One of the danger signs I've always watched out for (note, this part is based on my experience, not my training. We're in opinion territory here) is when someone talks (or thinks) about needing a medication or treatment or whatever. As long as you stay alert for that kind of thinking and remain cautious you should be ok.

In terms of herbal medicine, you would have to be very careful to ensure that nothing is going to react with the medication you have been prescribed. If in doubt, don't take it would have to be my advice. That said, I have seen some very good results with a number of herbal remedies. (Another note to cover my back: I am not a registered herbalist and cannot, therefore, make any prescriptions. These are just the opinions of a competant amatur.) St Johns Wort is a time-honoured favourite for beating depression but there is quite a large range. The useful thing about herbal medicine is that they tend to simply stabilise your mood, not give you an artificial one. You shouldn't get that 'plastic' feeling from them. I'll have a look when I get home and find the list of herbs I have used before.

The only other thing I would like to add is that people suffering from depression seem to spend a lot of their time being told how they 'should' feel. People will tell you to cheer up or not to get upset about things. You said that your friend has already accused you of being selfish. People will go a long way to avoid having to deal with the fact that someone else is upset/depressed. At the end of the day, you have to deal with how you are actually feeling, not the way others would like you to feel. Accept that these feelings are real and valid and that, whilst you don't want them, at them moment you have them and that's what you have to work on. This goes double for getting angry. Most of the people I know who've suffered major depression have been people who try to avoid conflict and who don't want to get angry at people. Anger is a powerful, enabling emotion and if someone has done something wrong, being angry about it is a great deal more healthy than being upset. Normally I find I'm both, but I focus my attention on the self-righteous anger and eventually feel better. Hitting inanimate objects also helps at that point. smile.gif

One of my closest friends has recently been admitted to hospital due to VERY severe depression, so I've spent quite a long time thinking about and researching it lately. I really do hope things get better for you but there are always more options to try.
Mata
Blimey.

Very good information there Rkg. Welcome to my forums!

I especially like your point about focussing on how you actually feel rather than how you are you are supposed to be feeling. I have a strong suspicion that most people aren't nearly as happy as they pretend to be, or as they tell themselves that they are. This doesn't mean that they are depressed, only that they use that as a coping mechanism. I think it's got to be healthier to look at how you genuinely feel and deal with that rather than pretend that everything is okay.

Then again, there's something to be said for deliberately thinking about happy things - apparently it trains the brain to feel happy! There's a difference there between pretending to be happy, and taking steps to improve your general moods.

Well, Rkg seems far more qualified than me, so listen to her instead!
voices_in_my_head
Thanks so, so, so much.

I was told at some point something or another about constant pain from other (physical) problems can cause depression, or cause it to worsen, so I'm hoping that the fillings and such will help at least a little bit.

For the migranes I was given a bunch of odd stretches to keep my neck nice and healthy, and since I've started doing them I've already seen improvement on the amount of headaches I've been getting.

Gardening is one I haven't heard from anyone yet, actually. I'll be looking into that for sure what with it being spring and all. However, with me living a desert area - my choices are limited.

The last part of your post - about feeling how I "should" feel and such, got me thinking. I get a lot of input from people telling me how I should act - You shouldn't be angry with them, you're being unreasonable, you shouldn't be so upset right now, ect. The problem is, though, that if I simply express how I feel instead of pretending to be whatever it is I should be, my life becomes just that much more stressful. It's a whole day of "What's wrong with chelsey? is she mad at me? what'd I do? whatever she's just being moody/teen-age angsty" and so on. I dunno, I suppose I'm still thinking that part over.

But still, thank you for that, It's made me realise something.

However, I am extremely tired right now - The medicine is good at keeping it's promises, I think.
Roadkillgerbil
You're welcome. It's nice for the years of study to actually be useful now and again.

As a sufferer of chronic pain (the neck problems I mentioned earlier), I can confirm that, for me, it reduces my ability to 'just cope'. It makes everything harder. Anything you want you do just feels like so much hard work. It's not fun and I really do sympathise.

I'm glad the neck stretches are working for you. If you're seeing an improvement from those, you may be able to use that as a stepping stone to low-level exercise. This isn't me trying to push you down a particular path and I apologise if it comes across that way, but I'm used to the feeling that you need to 'trick' yourself into doing things you know will help. If you're already doing some neck stretches every day, you could try including some leg streches too. Every so often, you can add something small to your schedule. Over time, you'll find you're doing much more exercise than you realised. That's just a suggestion but it's how I forced myself into more activity.

I'm really glad the last part of my post had you thinking. That was a big part of the point of that bit. It just seems to me that it's socially 'ok' to tell someone how they should feel and it bugs me.

You're absolutely right about the fact that saying exactly how you feel will lead to more stress in your day to day life, especially to begin with. People don't know how to deal with someone who moves out of the social roles they put you in. The most common response is to try to push you back into your neatly-defined box. There will also always be times when you need to put a socially-acceptable face on, such as I have to do at work. Clients asking how I am should never receive a rundown of the tragedies of my week, much as it might be amusing. For me, things are slightly easier because I am naturally quite confrontational and I've been being "odd", "mean" and generally confusingly honest for over a decade. If you don't mind upsetting someone, it can be quite fun to ask them why you shouldn't be upset about something.

"You shouldn't let it upset you."
"Why?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, person x has been a complete $&%$&. They did a, b and c wrong, which made my life extremely difficult. Why shouldn't I be upset?"
"Uhh... What I mean is that you shouldn't let it get you down."
"I'm not down. I'm angry. They did something they shouldn't and now I'm angry. I'm ok with this."
"But, but ... ?!?"

Being aggressively rational at people can be fun! biggrin.gif

Given the effect it can have on your day-to-day life, I think that this type of approach is most useful when lines have not just been crossed, but have been stamped on, rubbed about and then squatted on. I'll give you the example that made this really clear in my head. A guy in my friendship group sexually assaulted me. It was slightly complicated as we were dating at the time but I took him aside later on and made it clear that I was aware that what he had done was both illegal and unforgivable. I told him that he had to stay away from me from now on and that this was a permanent thing. Unforgivable means that I don't forgive. The clue is in the name! Anyway, over the next few months I had to start getting an injunction and he got barred from the local goth club and so on because of what he'd done/tried to carry on doing (he didn't go to the club beore the incident). Over time, he got the message and stopped trying to contact me. 6 months after this, a friend came over to talk to me and told me that he'd told this guy to start coming to the goth club because it was now all "water under the bridge". This bascially stemmed from the social rule of 'don't hold a grudge'. In this case, I'm quite happy holding a grudge. I was gobsmacked that I was thought to be in the wrong, not because I was 'wrong' but because I broke a social rule. It stopped people being able to gloss over the facts and that made them uncomfortable. Once I realised that this friend was trying to force me to feel a particular way just to make his life easier, I was able to make the decision that he had no place in my life and I now no longer see him.

As long as you remember that you're allowed to feel any way you want to, you're doing better than 90% of the world.

As for the idea that you'd be accused of being a stroppy teenager, I'm afraid that never changes. There's always someone ready to put your feelings/beliefs/choices down to your age. I'm 26 and I'm still getting told that my attitudes to procreation and marriage and so on are something I'll 'grow out of'.

Anyway, I think I sort of went off on one there, so I should probably sign off. I also wanted to add, though, that the advice you've got from everyone here has been excellent. I was surprised to see consistently good, effective advice along a whole thread. You've got a really good resource here and you're wise to make use of it.

Oh, and I'm sorry I haven't looked up that herbal medicine recipe yet. I will do it this week. I've been being a bit slack. Hope your week's started well. Take care.

And Mata, thanks for the welcome. It's nice to be appreciated. smile.gif
voices_in_my_head
Thanks. I wish I could respond with something at least equally intelligent-sounding but I seem unable to at the moment. All I can say is that perhaps I'll handle the sh** that I get for missing school so much for this and the like a bit better now.

Which kinda brings me to my next point. This medicine made me sick. Sick sick sick sick sick. Or well it sedated me to the point that I slept so much it made me sick. Starting at twelve last night, I've slept about 17 hours. (Nearly without interruption, too - There was a period of almost an hour earlier where I was forced to drink water and eat before sleeping more.) So now I'm still tired. and very sick-feeling.

sad.gif This is all becoming a series of dissapointments again, I'm afraid.

However - I am not giving up on the whole medication thing again just yet, as awful as this paticular one has been. My "support team" of sorts has a much better foundation this time around - My family has stopped denying it, friends are (although only slightly) more accepting, I've got a boyfriend who is more mature and understanding of the whole situation than I ever could've hoped (Who is on his way over currently in hopes of being some consolance) and of course I've all of you here. I guess what I'm getting at is that I'd really like to thank you all for all the help (and worry, it seems) that you've put into this. It really does help, possibly more than you'd think.

As a side note, RoadKillGerbil, it's fine that you haven't gotten around the herbal medicine thing yet - I think that most things like St. John's Wort aren't supposed to be taken with SSRIs anyway so I'll prolly have to wait until it's all out of my system anyway.

Alright. I'm off. But thank you again, you guyses.
casey
Hi Dear,

I have read your posts on depression, panic attacks and suicidal tendencies. I am happy that you are on the road to recovery. I too had these problems. My husband got me a buddi to make sure I am fine at all times. This is how the Buddi is useful to people like us. Buddi is a tracking device, the person wearing the device can be tracked 24/7. The Buddi is small and can be worn without much difficulty. The Buddi can also be used to alert authorities (the customer service) in case of emergency. It might be of great use to you and to the people caring for you. Do take great care of yourself and hope you make a rather quick recovery. Bye
spiffilicious05
Depression is definitely something I've had to deal with all my life (within my family and at times myself). I understand completely your reluctance to take medications, especially if they give you undesired side effects. I would have to go with Daria's advice on 'chilling' out - I really think it helps. For me chilling out involved playing my guitar/piano and signing up for the crew team (something I've come to love). You never know, you may find out a lot about who you are through whatever outlets you decide to try.

As for the migraines I found a trick that's slightly odd but it helps. I'm not quite sure where to get them but I have this scalp massager thing and when you put it on your head and move it around (it's a bit like a comb) it makes your head feel all tingly but in a good way. I found that using that for a few minutes at the beginning or during a migraine really alleviated the pain. You could also get someone to play (gently) with your hair; it stimulates the nerve endings/blood vessels and sends pleasure signals to your brain.

ooo I found something close to what I have, I know it looks really silly but I swear it works!

http://www.reliefmart.com/octomassager.htm
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