Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Problem With Anti Depressants

I have struggled a lot over the years to find the right mixture of anti depressants that will help me get up off the floor. I would take one and think that it was a great improvement, only to realize later that it was only helping me sit up. After a year of thinking that was as good as it was gonna get, I'd get tired of still having symptoms and go back to the doctor. Eventually, I advanced to crawling, and a bit of walking. However, a small stumble would bring me flat down on my face and it took a long time to brush myself off and get back up again.

I'd like to think that right now I'm at the waking stage again, in heels, even, and I'm doing pretty good. There might be a little wobble here and there, but I haven't rolled my ankle yet. Then again, I'm not running any marathons, either.

One of the big problems is that I could never tell just how well I was doing. How can you expect someone who's been sitting on the floor what it will feel to crawl or walk, especially if they haven't had that experience in ages? They've forgotten what that feels like, so they're thinking that they're better off than lying down on the floor. That's where I was for a while; I didn't know that there was more room to improve. I was just happy with where I was.

I think the main factor in knowing where you are is to ask the people around you. It took a metaphorical bucket of cold water being poured over my head before the message finally got through to me that I still had a long way to go. It was overwhelming and terrifying. It felt like learning to walk all over again.

Not only is it hard to realize just how bad things are when you're in the midst of them, then you have to take into account how the doctors are practically grasping at strings to find the right medication for you. I've tried Celexa, Paxil, Effexor, Lexapro, Wellbutrin and Deplin. The doctors have tried upping dosages, combining medications and switching medications altogether.

Then, if you look at the research, there's a huge debate on how well these drugs actually work. There's a lot of different numbers out there, but basically the efficacy rates of antidepressants is pretty low and the chance of relapsing is pretty high. Oh, and let's not mention that sometimes a side effect of a new medication could be suicidal ideations.

I gotta say, it's not very uplifting to hear that kind of stuff, especially since I'm a "glass half empty" kind of person. However, I've had success. I have to just keep thinking positively that my medications will continue to help, and if they don't, I've got a psychiatrist who can help!


  1. You have articulated the way I feel but I didn't know how to say it. I am at the stage of accepting that this may be as good as it gets so I'm trying to move along. I'm walking, but very carefully I know I could trip at any time. If you have a psychiatrist you trust hold on to him/her. The whole antidepressant thing is a crapshoot but it's not your doctor's fault.

  2. Yeah. I know the doctors aren't at fault.

    Someone else said to me recently "I just want THE ANSWER." That's how I feel.

    It's so easy to medicate for other problems in life (high blood pressure, diabetes, etc) but no real solid answer on what will work for depression. I can just get very frustrating at times.

    Thankfully, psychiatrists have the benefit of having helped many people and can often see trends that your primary doctor doesn't know about.