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Author Topic: Scared to death of considering antidepressants  (Read 7730 times)

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Offline wiser

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  • Posts: 40
Scared to death of considering antidepressants
« on: November 26, 2007, 09:13:13 AM »
I need some encouragement out there. I am taking Atripla and know the depressive side effects possible with it. However, I have always been somewhat depressive and have all my life been able to handle it with usual healthy living, meditation, etc. etc.. But in the past six months I am feeling more and more demoralized and the old ways are not working. I tried talk therapy for 16 weeks and have good insight into the life issues that can depress me, but haven't been able to get out of funk. I think it is time to try an antidepressant. I am reading that Paxil might work well with Susitiva. I also have Obsessive Compulsive traits and social anxiety which Paxil also can help. I am just scared to death to start adding a new medication to my life. The Atripla is doing its job for the HIV and I don't want to play around with that. I feel like I am at the beginning of a possibly long hassled road of drug experimentation and really am resisting it. Any advice or experience about my going for the Paxil as a first attempt to help wth the mood and depression issues. My doctor tends to give me choices rather than take control and prescribe. So I'd like to go to him with some preparation and thought.

Offline ubotts

  • Member
  • Posts: 347
Re: Scared to death of considering antidepressants
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2007, 09:32:53 AM »
When I first started meds, I thought I was going out of my mind..

I was first put on
sustiva, which made me have crazy nightmares..

I would wake up and say to myself, was that a dream or did that really happen.

Anyway..I went to my psych..and she gave me Lexapro..Its not very strong, but it helped at that time..

Now 3 yrs later, I decided to take myself off the lexapro, so I did..

I am OK with the meds now, and feeling a bit more secure about myself..

My Doctor said to me.." This will not cure your problems, but it will keep the floor from
falling out underneath you...and it did ...

If you need an antidepressant, by all means, go for it..Theres no shame in being
depressed, and we with our medical status have every right to be depressed..

It may seem like a living hell right now, but you learn to live with it, and move on in

Hope that helps you some... :)
Live Love Laugh and dance like no ones watching.
Laughter is the best medicine, so try to have a laugh everyday..Even if your not feeling your best, think about something that was funny at one time in your life and work with it..   :o)

Offline Andy Velez

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  • Posts: 32,240
Re: Scared to death of considering antidepressants
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2007, 01:14:10 PM »
Wiser, I definitely respect your hesitancy to throw yet another chemical into the mix. We are after just a chemical mix ourselves so each additional one matters. Having said that, trying something temporarily when you need it can be helpful.

Your personal chemistry may make one better for you than another. For instance, Celexa is in chemically very similar to Lexapro. But one might work better for you than the other. You mentioned that your doctor tends to be less proactive than some. I suggest you tell him what your concerns are as simply as you can and ask him to give you options, including side effects. Then if you go with one you will want it carefully monitored for side effects emotionally as well as physically.

For instance, I was speaking with someone this morning who began an anti-depressant a few days ago. Today he said he was so "tired" that he couldn't get up. I suggested he call his prescribing doctor and discuss it. He might be overmedicated because there was no basis for his being so tired this morning. So it's a matter of getting something helpful in the right balance for you.

Keep us posted on how it's going.

Andy Velez

Offline DCGUY2007

  • Member
  • Posts: 315
Re: Scared to death of considering antidepressants
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2007, 02:53:56 AM »

I have tried Paxil before  It is even prescribed sometimes for people who are not depressed but have premature ejaculation. It has been around for a while now.I switch to another med but never had any major problems with Paxil.

I think when you find an antidepressant that works you will be very happy you tried it. Taking them doesn't mean you have to be on them the rest of your life.  I think sometimes when we are very depressed or anxious there is a tendency to think we can do this if we just read more self-help books, go to more support groups, exercise etc. Sometimes this works, but sometimes for those of us that are prone to depression, compulsive disorder or severe anxiety we need more. Why suffer when there is medication that can help? If Paxil doesn't work there are other medications that probably will.

I would consult my doctor again ask him which antidepressant he/she prefers to start you on. If you don't feel   comfortable with the doctor change to another one. If you can't change Physicians do research like you are doing now.Then make a decision. Be careful though. I have done lots and lots of research on a medication only to scare myself to death before even trying it. I'm sure you will find an antidepressant that will work. If you have tried everything else , self help books etc, don't continue to suffer, try an antidepressant. I hope you feel better  :)

Offline bobino

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  • Posts: 264
Re: Scared to death of considering antidepressants
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2007, 01:03:41 AM »

Hey Wiser,

One thing that I would advise you to do is to see a psychopharmacologist if you can.  These are psychiatrists specializing in psychotropic medications.  If you find a good one, he or she will have far, far more experience in prescribing antidepressants than your GP or ID doc.  Since your doctor seems reticent about recommending drugs anyway, it's worth a try. 

To offer a little personal perspective, I spent more than two years trying different antidepressants before I found one that worked and didn't have unacceptable side-effects.  I was on Effexor, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, nortriptyline, desipramine, imipramine, and finally trazodone.  I've also been on Lexapro and Celexa.  So I've sampled the SSRIs and the tricyclics, while trying Wellbutrin and trazodone for good measure.  I don't mean to make light of it, but finding the right drug is a process.  It can be a total pain the ass, and there were times when I thought I'd strangle the psychopharamacologist, but in the end, it was well, well worth the effort.  I'm much happier now.  It just took some time to find the right balance.  Long story short, don't give up.  You'll be glad you didn't.

Suivons les rivières
Gardons les torrents
Restons en colère
Soyons vigilants

Offline Joe K

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  • Member
  • Posts: 5,820
  • 31 Years Poz
Re: Scared to death of considering antidepressants
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2007, 01:42:10 PM »
Hey Wiser,

I have suffered with severe depression and anxiety for almost three decades and John is right, finding the right drugs for you will be a process.  But it will be a process that will well be worth your effort.  I take 14 various drugs and so when I want to explore drug options, I will only see a psychiatrist to have my meds adjusted.  I also find that most doctors, especially when you see a specialist like a psychiatrist, will honor that doctors decision and you always want to review any proposed new drugs with your HIV doctor.  But they are not trained in mental health and you many need some combination of drugs to get the relief that is right for you.

For myself, I take Wellbutrin for general depression, Citalopram for anxiety, Ridlin because the first two drugs exhaust me and at night I take Trazadone which lets me sleep through the night.  Granted that's a lot of drugs, but I have a lot of mental health issues and so it takes what it takes to treat it.  The best part of all of these drugs is that have few side effects and even though the Trazadone helps me to sleep, I do not wake up groggy like I would if I used a sleeping pill.

Depending upon your issues, you may want to reconsider therapy, but only after you have started any drugs and been on them for at least 4 weeks, because that is how long it generally takes for your brains chemicals to stabilize, but until your chemicals are stabilized, therapy is generally considered to be much less effective.

My whole point is work with the professionals to get the help you need.  If one drug works, then great, if you need more, at least give it a month to see if you feel better, because the one thing about mental health issues, especially depression, is that once the meds start to work, you will wake up one day and feel better.  The next day you will feel even better and that may continue for a bit.  Once you have adjusted you will be able to see just how affected you were by depression or whatever.  Believe me when I tell you that this is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.

Also, I have a Blog on the site and have written a number of entries on my battle with mental health, you may find some of it informative.  At the very least is will confirm to you that you are not going crazy and there is help for the asking.

Offline wiser

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  • Posts: 40
Re: Scared to death of considering antidepressants
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2007, 05:43:00 PM »
Thanks to all of you for the advice and encouragement. I got through Thanksgiving rather well and bought a Christmas tree for the first time in years and am enjoying the smell. I really am still in the "grin and bear it" phase, but things have gone from catastrophic to frustrating and annoying. I am continuing the research on the antidepressants and the input from you all has been excellent. "Scared to death" has moved to anxious and procrastinating so that is some growth.

Offline DCGUY2007

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Re: Scared to death of considering antidepressants
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2007, 10:13:10 AM »
From scared to death to anxious and procrastinating is progress   :)

Offline +PHc

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  • Posts: 5
    • +Conversations in Time.
Re: Scared to death of considering antidepressants
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2007, 01:24:15 AM »
For me antidepressants, and mood-stabilizers, and even - as scary as it sounds - sometimes antipsychotics, have been a long and hassled road of drug experimentation on top of all the AIDS meds.  But with time, and a good psychiatrist, the long hassling road has more than paid off.  I forget that and quit psychmeds sometimes, and then re-remember how much I have to be grateful for.  But it took a long time, and a lot of patience to find what worked for me.  I wish you the best.   

Offline shadowfluid

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  • Posts: 398
  • Mike
Re: Scared to death of considering antidepressants
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2007, 03:26:17 AM »
I totally know how you feel.  I've been dealing with anxiety and depression since August (3 months after diagnosis).
I tried Celexa but it made me too agitated so i swore off all anti-di's. Anyway, I'm pretty much getting worse every week and dropping weight, plus I'm so sick of feeling this way, so i think I'm going to try Remeron, which was prescribed to me weeks ago.  I can't help but predict the worst and think other people's negative experiences on anti-d's will happen to me.  Therapy has helped my anxiety greatly but my depression is here to stay.  So frustrating.  Good luck with everything and hopefully it all works out. - mike
Jan 08       321/23%  VL 92,000 (very mild shingles)
Feb 1 08    Start Truvada+Viramune
March 08    470/33%  VL 320
mid-May     Start Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada
June 08      571/ 40%     VL   80
August 08   585/ 33%     VL >50
Nov  Lab error!!!!!!!!wah.
Jan 09        535      Undetectable
March 11     756

Offline taxi777

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  • Posts: 4
Re: Scared to death of considering antidepressants
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2007, 01:16:08 AM »
I've had a lot of success with paxil. Been on it for over a month. Dreams are fine. Temper flareups are gone. I still get mad but am able to let it go and not fixate. I take 10 mgs in the am/10 mgs in the evening. If I do 20 all at once I get kind of nappy a couple of hours later.


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