Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Mental Health & HIV

Considering Depression meds

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tryingtostay:
Hello all.  Hope everyone is doing well and keeping up the fight!  Strength, to everyone :)

Well as winter closes in I can feel the depression setting in like a ton of bricks.  I just got a flu shot too and I'm experiencing a bad reaction from it, but other than that i'm trying to keep the optimism!

I need to be cautious with taking anything.  Since the infection I've learned my body tends to experience symptoms more severely than my pre-HIV days so I'm opening up a thread for discussion on peoples experience with them.  When I first was diagnosed with HIV, my first ID Dr suggested I try Zoloft.  I didn't stay on them and experienced a bad bad bottoming out.  I was doing minimal dosages like half a pill every other day (cause my body wasn't liking it) and just stopped cold turkey.   So even the littlest amount put me in a bad drop. 

Are the new class of Anti anxiety/depressants good, and how do they work? 

What has the least side effects?

Any other info would be good. 

Spring and summer of 2018 I started exercising regularly and it's helped alleviate my depression and I continue on exercising when I can.  Walking and Jogging are where I've started.  Obviously I can't do it all year round unless I join a gym though I can't financially afford it: even asked my social worker if the hospital has some kind of recreation center or gym with a pool in it.  So is getting on meds the best approach?  Are they life long?

Thanks for your time,

headed out for a walk/jog now (50*f out, weee)

harleymc:
The anti depressant/ anti anxiety drugs are very variable.

It can take a few goes to get one that agrees with you

MarkintheDark:
So many ways to go with the meds.  Sounds, too, like you might be affected by SAD (seasonal affective disorder).  Good you're aware and being proactive.

Zoloft may seem to be the go-to med, but a psychiatrist is your best bet for making an intelligent, guided choice.  Personally, I went back to Prozac b/c it tends to be more energizing to my physiology.

For some really complete discussions, I'd suggest DepressionForums.org (https://www.depressionforums.org/forums/) as an excellent resource.  Completely HIV friendly.

Jim Allen:
Its good you are recognising the concern early and looking for support to act on it.


--- Quote ---Walking and Jogging are where I've started.  Obviously I can't do it all year round unless I join a gym though I can't financially afford it: even asked my social worker if the hospital has some kind of recreation center or gym with a pool in it. 
--- End quote ---

Glad to hear the excersise helped. Managing depression rarely is a one step solution and multiple of things like excersise can help.

The winter, yeah I can see how a jog in the park is going to be a struggle. Unless you happen to be into winter sports and your area gets snow? All I can suggest is keeping your eyes peeled for any discounts on gyms over the upcoming months.


--- Quote ---So is getting on meds the best approach?  Are they life long?
--- End quote ---

The whole "life long" thing is a bit of a myth, plenty of them on this topic. There are a few longer-term antidepressant users but its simply not the majority of people

Antidepressants are a tool, they can work but its not going to fix the circumstances that caused the initial depression, it can reduce the symptoms, rebalance the brain so to speak enabling people to work on the issues. Therapy or lifesryle changes etc etc


--- Quote ---Are the new class of Anti anxiety/depressants good, and how do they work? 

What has the least side effects?

Any other info would be good.

--- End quote ---

I posted a while back about effectiveness on antidepressants
https://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=68981.msg

I found this link a handy cheatsheet on the types of antidepressants and some of the pro's and con's maybe it will help when you talk next to your doctor. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/antidepressants/art-20046273

There are plenty of tips in the two threads ive linked at the end this post however, speak to your doctor and act sooner rather than later.

Take it easy, keep us posted on how you get on and we're here if you ever need to chat

Jim


https://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=69487.0

https://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=67682.0

hippo1010:
I'm not very experienced with antidepressants, but I am married to a man who has seasonal affective disorder, and he has tried different medication. For him, it was always a compromise of side effects. Some were stronger than others, and some are more manageable than others. There are always going to be side effects, and they vary from person to person. Seems to me that trying them might the best way of finding out if they work.

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