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my antidepressents dont wrk anymore,im very depressed but have hyper phases, these do not last very long anymore but i have suffered this since i was 12. im now 33 and at the end of my tether. i cannot function properly and that makes me very depressed pl

By Anonymous January 30, 2012 - 10:35pm
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i have been given antidepressents by my doctor and at one point my anxiety was so bad i had sleeping tablets and diazapan,The times i have tried to come off the antidepressents wen im feeeling better i have taken an overdose in the month or so after.i think i need more than just my gp.but dont no wear to turn.

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Anonymous (reply to bbnrse)

i light ive bin away a wile ! unfortunatly forgot my password, i have been changed to sertraline 150 mg y my doctor but unfortunatly finding it hard to be reffered to see a physicatrist or health proffesional that can diagnose y illnes and then have more chance of suitable meds, more support and hopefully get my life back ,i am feeling better presently but paranoia and anxiety still niggle and i still get very frustrated with yself for not bieng able to cope for long periods without my squiffy brain playing me up. i have a daughter nd am also recently married( 1 year ago) my poor husband doesnt know wear th woman he met has gone.
Is there a way i can get the diagnosis or be seen so i can be put on th right meds ??

August 25, 2012 - 5:13pm

Hi bbnrse - no, they don't make them addictive on purpose. It's that the way they affect a person's brain makes it hard to get off of them. So, while depression is much more complicated than just serotonin and neurotransmitters, something definitely does happen when you start changing the balance of serotonin and neurotransmitters that makes it hard for your body to re-equilibrate or to find its own balance once the drugs are removed. It's kind of like stepping off of a boat after being out at sea - even though the dry land is completely stable, your balance mechanisms have gotten so used to shifting seas, you might feel like you're off balance. Only with depression, that transition is acutely discomforting instead of just disorienting.
I have had success helping people get off antidepressants using the amino acids 5-HTP and Tyrosine, which are neurotransmitter precursors. I used to think that these were valuable as depression treatments, but based on the new evidence I don't think so anymore.
As I mentioned, the drugs do appear to work for severe major depression. However, the studies that indicate this appear to mostly have lasted 4-8 weeks, so they don't tell us much about what happens when you're on the medications for years. I am hoping to find some studies that examine longer-term usage of antidepressants.

Dr. Daniel Heller
PMS Comfort

June 1, 2012 - 4:17pm

I was diagnosed with recurrant major depression and have been on one antidepressant or another for over 40 years. I have also been on antipsychotics as deemed necessary by the psychiatrist. At one point it was felt I was bipolar as well, and have schizo affective disorder for which I got my disability. I was no longer able to keep working and it was well documented. It has been impossible to get off the antidepressants and maybe the reasons you site, Dr. Heller, are why. Do they add stuff to them to make them addictive? or are they just that way. I have to change meds every 2-3 years because they become ineffective and I sink into that deep dark hole that I cannot climb out of. Just a few words from the peanut gallery. bbnrse

June 1, 2012 - 2:23pm

Hello Anon, bbnurse, Daisy, et al:

I have two main thoughts here, and I hope sharing them will be helpful.

One, depression that includes "hyper" episodes, which sometimes get described as anxiety, could potentially indicate bipolar disease. Bipolar is a very different condition neurologically than unipolar depression, and conventional depression meds will either make bipolar worse, or simply have no effect. What seems to work in bipolar are mood stabilizers, which are very different from antidepressants.

The second issue is much more delicate: what is emerging from years of research into antidepressants, including newer (since the 1990s) SSRIs, but also tricyclics and other meds, is that they are not any more effective than placebo in the majority of cases. This means SSRI antidepressants are ONLY effective for Major Depression, which amounts to only a fraction of the prescriptions made (though perhaps people reading this post do in fact have Major Depression and not the mild to moderate variety.) That, and that no lab or researcher or scientist has ever been able to demonstrate that the theory behind these medications (the neurotransmitter theory of depression) is accurate, verifiable, valid, or worthwhile.

This comes as a shock to patients with depression as well as other conditions that have been treated with antidepressants, like PMDD and PMS, as well as to doctors, psychologists, and concerned individuals who know people with these conditions.

I realize how difficult it is to accept such a shocking conclusion. Here is some recent coverage of this emerging scientific paradigm shift:

http://j.mp/JYTX5C (New York Times)

http://j.mp/K39BuK (New York Review of Books, articles by former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine)

http://j.mp/IBiJId (from the PMS Comfort Blog, my brief commentary on this subject as it may relate to PMDD and PMS)

One very important point made by Professor Irving Kirsch of Harvard in his book "The Emperor's New Drugs" - while antidepressants may have no advantages over placebo for treating depression, they do have one notable disadvantage: coming off them exacerbates depression, which can lead doctor and patient to conclude that the medicine was working or is necessary.

As you might expect, there is some pushback against this new understanding, but it comes mostly from drug companies; doctors and practitioners who believe the evidence they've seen but don't have the perspective available from the studies that examine tens of thousands of patients, rather than one at a time - and that include placebo and other treatments; and from patients who are shocked and dismayed to hear that the information their doctor has given them may not be correct.

The main takeaway here, in my opinion, is that if being on medication isn't working, or feels like a rollercoaster or merry-go-round, it's not your imagination or your fault. The brightest scientists in the world would say your experience is more normal than you might think. Another takeaway is that if you DO want to to get off psychotropic medication, you are justified in this desire, and your doctor should work with you. Also, if you want to get off medication, you absolutely MUST work WITH your doctor to get off it, since it's not easy, and getting off the medication can make things worse.

Finally, if your medication is working, and you're happy with it, you certainly can stay on it. Getting off of it might be more complicated, even though the long term effects of these medications don't appear rosy, and are underpublicized (of course!) by drug companies. On the other hand, there are things that appear to work as well as medication: placebo, which is a belief in and hope for getting better; exercise, which is excellent for your mood and brain; and counselling, which is more work and harder than taking one pill per day, but works better than medication, especially in the long run.

Whew! Long post. I'm interested in your thoughts and concerns, and would be happy to continue this discussion.

Dr. Daniel Heller
PMS Comfort

June 1, 2012 - 12:49pm

I too have been on various antidepressants, antipsychotics, and even antiseizure medications for depression over the last 21 years. Right now, my GP is handling the meds as I am stable but I do have a psychiatrist in the wings if I start to falter. I would highly recommend seeing a psychiatrist. As stated previously, they have the extra training to know what types of meds work well together to boost us. Hope this helps!

February 18, 2012 - 3:18pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hi Anon,

Welcome to EmpowHER.  Sorry to hear how you are feeling.  It might be good to talk to your doctor about you feel and also seek help from a psychotherapist. 

Here is a link on depression, of articles and groups that you can find help and support from others feeling the same. Please don't give up and visit this site, you will find help here.





January 31, 2012 - 9:33am
(reply to Anonymous)


February 5, 2012 - 10:33pm

I have been on one antidepressant or another for the past 53 years! I have also taken antipsychotics as needed. I have found over the years that after awhile, usually a couple of years, the antidepressants stop working and I need to change to another one. This generally takes care of the problem, but there are times I've needed to add an antipsychotic to boost it's effects not necessarily due to psychotic symptoms. When I added Abilify to my antidepressant it seemed to work much better for me. Also, I would like to say that the family doctor or GP does not have the training that a psychiatrist has so does not know the interactions and effects of various psychiatric drugs, so you may need to see a psychiatrist for better treatment. Anymore they don't talk to you they just prescribe medications so you don't have to worry about being "shrunk". I hope this helps you. bbnrse

January 31, 2012 - 8:31am
(reply to bbnrse)

thankyou bbnrse.

February 5, 2012 - 10:42pm
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