Between a rock and a hard place

I have recently started on antidepressants due to feeling so low and getting progressively less active. The only trouble is, is that I have a hard choice between feeling dis-spirited and feeling spaced out. I'm not sure which is worse, but then again feeling spaced is arguably worse. How many of us rely on antidepressants to see us through the day?

23 Replies

I do martin, have done for several yrs. If they're making you feel spaced out, that's horrible. You may find you need to try several different ones before you find that which suits you best. I take citalopram, which suits me fine, although it took a week or two before I got used to it. Every now and again I come off it for a while (gradually of course), then life throws me another load of s*** and I'm back on it again. Tbh I feel better when taking it, and sleep better too, so am happy with my chemical crutch.

love, ff x

Me too, I have taken good ones and bad ones, but manage quite happily on Citalopram now, without it total misery guts. It takes a two or three weeks to get along with a new medication, hang in there, if you see no improvement in 6 weeks go and knock on the doc's door again, though he or she should be keeping a close eye on you to begin with anyway. I have taken antidepressants for donkeys years, I don't care what people think of me for using them. If they help me deal with what rubbish life chucks at you, well I am happy to use them. Hope they help you get well soon.


Me three,I've taken 'happy pills' on and off for 10 years. But with out a break for 5 yrs. I also had to work my way through the tabs, some gave me nightmares, some spaced.. not good when driving others facial ticks or dystonia as the docs call it. You dont have to put up with ant side effect there will be one for you. I take citalopram as well. My gp has been talking about reducing my dosage, 40mg, for 18 months however I know that I have to initiate this not have it forced on me. You can stay in control of your treatment it isn't a case of one thing or the other. Go back to your gp and tell him/her how you feel. Good luck

Hi tj - I was on 40mg for about 18 months, but recently felt confident enough to reduce to 20mg. I agree it has to come from you. One day I just felt ready so I cut them in half, didn't need to reduce slowly as you do when you're trying to come off completely. I think I'll stick at 20 though, my problems aren't going to go away and 20 helps me stay on an even keel. Good luck xx

I take peroxatine and have done for years. the spaced out feeling should go in a few weeks, if not as daxie says visit your gp. :)

When I first went on ADs they totally spaced me out, I just lay on the settee for a fortnight, didn't exercise, didn't do anything so lost muscle and energy and breathing now not so good. That was 6 months ago, tried a different AD which suited me better, but am still very deconditioned, hope it comes back. Which was worse the depression and feelinfg fit, or no depression and feeling unfit.

Lib x

my daughter in law suffers from chronic depression and has been on a/d s for years. When she tries to wean herself off them she goes down really quickly and has to take them again, and every time she has to go through the "spaced out " period, when she wont drive and just wants to sleep all the time, a couple of weeks though and shes back ok. she says it feels like youre disorientated and not quite there. but try and get through the first weeks and if it doesnt change, ask the dr to change your prescription. x

i have been taking the horrible things since the age of 20 o just over 19 years and believe me it is about finding the RIGHT ONE FOR YOU as with all anti depressents though they do take a couple of weeks to settle in your system.BUT be careful to fall in the trap of being on them for years as i do think it has had an adverse effect on myself rather than dealing with the core issue of why you are getting depressed ask your doctor if he can refer you for counselling if you feel up to talking to a stranger about your problems (which i personally find easier) as you can express yourself fully i am 6 foot 2 and not the smallest of built people and trying to explain to friends and family i find really hard as they take one look at me and say look at the size of you what have you got to be depressed about? also be carefull when mixing anti depressants with certain medications as your doctor probably might have not had the time to explain the ins and outs of the drug he has pescribed you!

".BUT be careful to fall in the trap of being on them for years"

There is no such thing as being "trapped" on antidepressants. They are not addictive. Then are not "happy pills" either. They readjust the brain's chemistry so it gets back to a normal balance. If you need them for the long term, so what? If some otherwise fit person developed high blood pressure would anyone say they were trapped on tablets to bring their pressure down to normal? Of course not. Antidepressants help you cope, but as you say they can't fix an underlying problem that might be causing depression. That said, sometimes the brain's chemistry is haywire and there isn't a nonphysical underlying problem (like a chronic illness).

I wish people would stop feeling guilty about being on antidepressants. I've used them twice in my life when I was going through major upheavals. My husband has been on citalopram for the past four years to help him cope with very severe COPD.

Sad too that some people do not understand depression. Lucky for them that they've never experienced it.

Well explained Abby. I've had ADs a few times over my lifetime, and am on them now and have been for the past few years. They keep me on an even keel. I'm much more rational and far less emotional, and silly though it may sound, they make me feel more like the 'real me'.

I think living with a chronic lung condition, with breathing problems and acute flare-ups, would depress anyone, we don't need any other cause!

My depression got worse a few yrs ago when my husband had a complete mental breakdown caused by tinnitus & every day was begging me to help him commit suicide. My gp upped the citalopram to 40mg, gave me some valium & sleeping pills to help temporarily, and arranged counselling. I'll always remember him saying "don't hesitate to come & see me whenever you need me, I will always help you". Just him saying that, and knowing he meant it, was fantastic and helped me get through a very desperate time, & I was soon off the valium etc. With his care my husband has made great progress & I've been able to stay calm and stable enough to support him. So, bring on the drugs I say, I think they're fantastic and don't have the slightest qualms in taking them.

ff x

i was going to tell you to try citalopram i have been on them for years. some are better than others so try something else. good luck x

we all have to walk in anothers moccasons before we dare to condem anyone else for anything, I have taken vallium for yrs , ok I know addictive, but ....coming out here....[ no not gay lol] but brutal childhood, early death of 1st beloved spouse , daughter went on drugs , remarried hubby with personality probs, [aspergers] so think, ???? I walked my road and accepted help from vallium , now copd , is it ok to have support ????? yes it is , walk anothers road if in doubt , love jude

I take eflexor 75mg they gave me back my life I will never come off them and please don't anyone judge me. I never want to experience the awful anxiety I felf before I started taking them. With in one month of starting them I was feeling better within two mths I was almost back to my old self . Been on them now for the past 5 years during that time I've been diagnosed with copd and two other chronic illnesses. I cope ok sometimes up sometimes down but I can cope and function and thats what's important.

sorry but excuse me i have been on anti depressants for 19 years in between finding the right one for me and lately my doctor has upped my dose of dusolepin frm 75mg to 150 mg i was trying to explain the long term adverse affects offf being on anti deepressants for a long time and advising to ask his doctor about counselling insstead of taking anti depressants theseee two things are totally different from each other medically i take 4 inhalers a day thank god i am not on oxygene yet i was trying to give sound advice on treating depression not copd how dare you slag of my advice if you cant understand it for what it is i suggest you read all my feedback correctly abbyrudi there is such a thing as being trapped on anti depressents believe me like i said counselling is the best route how RUDE

Hi Terence, are you unable to take any of the newer SSRIs? Just asking cos as you probably know, dosulepin is one of the old tricyclics, though still effective. My husband takes it, he can't take SSRIs as they make him feel worse. I understand why you feel trapped, as dosulepin has more side effects than the newer ones. 150mg is the same dose my husband is on, take care not to take more as that's the max - husband took the dose twice one evening (accidentally) and had to go to A&E for heart monitoring. He was fine though. ff x

sorry but what give's anybody the right to take someones advice on this site and use it as there headline i am not a well person and was trying to give advise from my own personnaal medication and illness which you have no right to condem if you get stuck on anti depressants forrr morethan 10 years it is likely you will be on them for most of your life to keep your serotonim levels at an ideal level for you to cope with day 2 day liife

so sorry abbyruddi! thatt is a side affect comeing out right there my partner and my carer has just pointed out to me that you was not taking what i said earlieer out of context at all plz dont ttake offfence like i said i have been in the trap off taking them for years on and copeing with what life throughs at you like i spotted someone else mention earlier and to the other person who mentioned srri's not quite sure what they are either just know mine seem to work at the moment but the memory is getting worse so many tablets and inhaler's at the moment don't know whether i'm comeing or gong at the best of times and they are few and far between nowadays

my breakfast is a cup of tea 6-7 tablets and 3 inhalers and maybe a slice of toast or2 if i can manage it on my bad day's lol look at me going on noww!

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has some very helpful leaflets you can download, including several about depression (including one specifically called Men & Depression) and also about the various anti-depressants and other treatments. Here's a link

MIND and SANE have very good websites too, and helplines and

Terence - short-term memory problems is one of the side effects my husband has had from dosulepin too. Hence the accidental overdose!

love, fairyfootsteps x

Oh dear, what a lot of tales of woe. I've been on ADs several times in my life and can confirm that there is nothing worse than depression and anxiety! I am just coming off a year of Fluotetine (prozac by any other name would smell as sweet!!!!) and I love the stuff. ADs have helped me through the bad times, maybe I've been lucky, but have never felt any side effects - they have just made me feel 'normal'. I am fortunate enough not to need them all the time and know when I'm ready to face life without the crutch, had citalopram last time (5 years ago after the cot-death of a baby grandson) but prozac this time, either suits me. My daughter has a chemical imbalance and is on seroxat permanently, just a low dose, but if she doesn't take it the black dog is back on her shoulder. Upset me at first that she has to have it, but a friend pointed out that I take various drugs for COPD (asthma at the time) and don't feel upset about that - depression is just another disease which can be treated effecively with drugs. Keep On Takin' the Pill, folk"

I know how you feel as i was very active all my live even when had to us a wheelchair as i suffer with a musel disorder and Copd. As i have just lost my to oldest sister. With it and

when the doc told me i had it as well then i did not know what to say or do . But then again live still go,s on it do,s not stop for a anything plus it is to sort to worry about anything .

The acronym SSRI stands for Selective Seratonin Re-uptake Inhibitor , though that is probably not particularly helpful, just something I learnt in a quiz.

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