Help? :/


I am 20 years old.

I have been diagnosed with depression for the past 3 months, I have been put on antidepressants and they seem to have worked. I have now decided to wean my self of them as I dont want the possibility of relying on them and using them as a temporarily fix. I know that its not going to get to the route of my problem.

Truth is, Im slowly going back downhill. I have told my 2 best friends about my depression and they are so supportive which is great. I havent been able to talk to my parent about it as I dont want to worry them.

My issue is I just dont know what to do with my life any more, let me be clear, Im not suicidal or had those thoughts yet.

But a few years ago I was like, this is my career path, this is my route in life. Which I was happy with and seemed to go well.

However now, I just feel like im 'floating' and not in a good way, feel like I no longer want this route, nor do anything. I just feel lost.

I dont know if its my age, or depression. But I need help!

Im not good at explaining my feelings to people.

13 Replies

  • Hello there,

    It sounds like you are still depressed. I do not know if you are still taking antidepressants but three months is not long enough to really be well again. Most doctors advise at least 6 months. A lot of people think it is a weakness to be on medication, but it is not. Sometimes we can think in terms of "I should be able to deal with this." Believe me, depression is not something we can always deal with on our own or immediately make ourselves feel better. It takes a lot of courage to deal each day with an illness that people cannot see. Please don't judge yourself as not good enough. This is just a time in your life where you need to be kind to yourself. Give yourself a chance to really feel better and you will be clearer in your mind about the future.

  • Hi I think 3 months is far too short a time to think about coming off your ad's. You need to be well for at least 6 months before weaning yourself off them.

    Ad's are generally given not for reliance on them but to help relieve the symptoms of depression so you are better able to tackle the root causes of it. Are you having any counselling? Are you making any headway towards tackling your issues? If not then coming off them at this stage will just mean your depression will probably return.

    There is no reason to believe you will need to rely on them for the long term, just for the time being as long as they are helping you. After all if you had a condition whereby you were in physical pain would you come off your painkillers so you can suffer more? Depression is exactly the same and there is no shame in taking ad's for a period of time until you can access other help. x

  • Hi there, I'm 20 years old and I was basically yourself last year. My mind took over my life and suicidal thoughts took over. I was struggling and had to leave my job for 8 months. I wouldn't come off anti depressants because they take longer than three months to help you. I have been on them a year and they have only just started working the past few months. I have had episodes of psychosis and other things but the past few months I'm doing very well. Please don't come off the anti depressants. I also had counselling therapy to help me along the way. My life felt like it was going no where but after a while I they started to disappear. I told my friends first then it took me a while to tell my parents but That was the best thing I ever did. Trust me your life is not at a halt or over it will come to you sooner or later.

  • Hello

    Because of the problem you explained in your thread I would recommend that you keep taking the medication for a longer period of time. Your condition seems to still exist, give yourself time to sort your situation out

    I do not know if you have had CBT at this time, I would advise that you discuss all with your GP who will refer you.

    When I was in my late teens I felt I was taking the wrong pathway, I did not act upon that sad to say and I now feel that I should have done something then.

    I do not know what your situation is, although I feel you may benefit to talk your situation out as you may need to make changes, that will most probably help you on the pathway of life. When I was at College I was having second thoughts, my family had their ideas and said in no uncertain terms I hade made my bed and that was it, hence talking to someone who will not judge you and any decisions you may need to change.

    You are still very young, you have a long life still to live, if you are unhappy now what will you feel like in thirty years time.

    We are always around if you need that chat, I also wish you luck with any decisions my may take


  • Hey Bridgetlouise,

    I was the same age as you when I was diagnosed with depression. Now, I have a rather different view of this to the other comments here, which only goes to show that there's no exact right answer, everyone's different. They initially put me on antidepressants as a quick fix, but this doesn't really help the root of the problem, they made me very sick, and a number of friends who had also had them doled out by the doctors said that they ironed out both the extreme lows and the highs as well, leaving them in a permanent state of numb hopelessness - certainly not what I needed at the time! I was halfway through my degree course, I'd lost confidence in my abilities and lost direction, like you, which is a very frightening experience, rather like standing on a crumbling cliff-edge over a dark drop. The good news is, it doesn't last, even though at the time it appears to stretch on indefinitely. I'm really glad to hear you've taken the initiative to get off the drugs, that's a great first step.

    For me, depression is just something I've learned to live with, it crops up from time to time, but I find it helps a lot to recognise it for what it is - a common illness which leads to patterns of irrational negative thinking. Rather than seeing it as some nebulous all-encompassing dread, try to look at your thoughts as though you were a detached observer, and think 'ahh, I see what's causing all those fears of failure etc'. Force your thoughts out of those spirals, find distractions doing constructive things if you can. Myself, I went (very reluctantly, since I just felt like hiding!) to a group course on depression and anxiety, and it actually turned out to be a huge help - that was about 8 years ago now, and I still refer back to things I learned there.

    As for your worries over your career path, you may not feel like it but you are very young. The education system likes putting people in tidy boxes, they make it sound as though you need to have it all planned out, specialise from the word go, and stick to some kind of straight concrete path to success. In fact, there are so many people out there who have had complete career changes, and sometimes, if things don't work out as you originally planned, it's for a very good reason! You never know, you may find that these are just passing doubts, or else they could be a way for your subconscious to let you know that you wouldn't have been happy in your chosen field. You never know what may be around the next corner.

    To pick three examples off the top of my head, my neighbour trained as a nurse, found she was unhappy in her first job, and is now a National Trust ranger and loving every minute of it, and yesterday I met a carpenter who got a back injury and was forced to give up his beloved career, but is now very happy as an engraver.

    Third example is my own dad - he wanted to be a meteorologist, but his dreams were effectively blighted when he left school with one O-level (grade E, dyslexia not being understood in those days). Shortly afterwards he built a small pond for a friend. It wasn't great, but one pond led to another, he found that he had a real gift for it, and he's now an internationally known garden designer with his own TV show on the Discovery Channel.

    Of course, that doesn't happen for everyone, I'm 36 and still plugging away at my own career, because it's what I love and I live in hope that one day it will start paying better! I'm content with my choice though, I'd rather live on the breadline and follow my heart, and over the last three years things have started to look much more promising.

    I hope this helps - for me, and many people I know, the coming year is shaping up to be a time of growth and change, severing old ties and moving onwards and upwards. I do hope it will be the same for you, it sounds like you have the strength in you to make it so, you just need to learn to trust yourself and be ready to grasp new opportunities with both hands. Best of luck!

    :-) xx

  • As the others have said you need to keep taking the medication. If you can't talk about it to your GP write a letter and be really honest about how you are feeling. Best wishes. Lorna

  • Dear Bridget

    I've been on antidepressants (fluxotine) for years now and like you I have moments where I feel I can come off them but recently I tried to wean myself off them again and ended up suffering another nervous breakdown. I am lucky that my tablets do not cause any side effects and I should stay on them because they help me a lot to be able to think clearly and logically. It is so easy to take them for granted and to feel you can cope without them. Depression is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain and although we like to think we can control the way we think, CBT, mindfulness, hypnosis etc these things are just temporary. There is a lot we do not understand about the human brain and what I don't understand is that we still treat depression like it is something we can control. If you were diagnosed with cancer you would not be expected to cure yourself of it so why do we seem to think that we can cure ourselves from depression. Please continue to take your antidepressants and talk to your doctor before you try to wean yourself off they need to monitor how you are coping and if you have other alternative strategies in place to cope in place of the medication.

    Good luck and hope you hear from you soon xxxx

  • Hi

    I am so sorry to hear that you are feeling lost. I understand your reluctance to take medication but sometimes it is the thing you need to get you to the mental state where you can start looking at what is really going on. Not all antidepressants work well for an individual so it might be worth giving another a try. I do respect your choice not to though, it is a very individual thing.

    I wonder about coaching or CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and if this would help to sort out what is going on for you. My experience of depression is keeping going despite lacking motivation and for me that was about providing for my family. I only ever experienced mild to moderate depression so I do understand that sometimes that is just not possible in server depression. I guess that is when you really need medication.

    Eating well, getting enough rest, exercising and sometime meditation can help. It is really about finding out what works for you.

    I really wish you well, it what sounds like a difficult time of change.


  • I'm afraid I can't offer a huge amount of advice to you as I am still in this "floating" period myself. Antidepressants seem to do different things to different people: for some they give a much-needed boost to keep things moving forward, so to speak. Others like myself seem to get very little effect, even after trying several different types (think I've tried four over the last three years).

    If you feel they are helping you, as others have said three months is probably a little too soon to be weaning yourself off them. I totally get the reluctance to feel dependant on them, but if your mental state is still at that stage of vulnerability, coming off the ADs could set you back again.

    I guess all I can conclude with is, you don't need to feel alone. It's not a sign of weakness to feel this way. Everybody is built differently, with different strengths and weaknesses. It's great that you have a good circle of friends that support you - people make all the difference.

  • Thank you all for your advice, It has really helped!

    I guess my issue is I over analyse every detail in my life so I see AD's as a weakness.

    I shall be contacting my GP and see if they can prescribe me more Sertraline for this condition.

    Thanks so much for all your support and advice! :) x

  • It takes around 6 weeks for most antidepressants to start working properly .....its not advisable to stop them without chatting to your GP fist .

    Your 20 you have plenty of time to decide what you want to do with your life so take the pressure off and take a year out..go traveling do some charity work ...see some of the world before your bogged down with a house to run and a family to provide for....the world is huge there are so many opportunities

    Go get them x

  • Over 8 years ago, I was diagnosed with depressive illness, but I refused treatment until I got so ill, I was having panic attack and life became so unbearable. Five years ago, for the sake of my kids, I gave in and accepted my GP's advice to take Sertraline.

    Like you, I don't want to be on it for a long time. I kept coming off it, and having recurrence. It was not until a friend that if I have diabetes I would not stop taking insulin. Mental illness is just like other illnesses. It's not something we can mentally control.

    My GP explained that my brain absorbs my serotonin very quickly, causing the depression and obsessive thoughts. Sertraline slows down the process.

    I have now been taking Sertraline for five years. So far, so good. I haven't experienced side effects. I've had full health checks since I've been on it, and always come out healthy. Of course you may respond differently and other medication may suit you better. You just need to speak to your GP regularly. At first, my GP checked me every 6 weeks, then every 3 months. Now, he reviews me yearly.

    I hope this helps.

  • I have also taken sertraline 150mg for 8 months now and find it a bit helpful. Been doing cbt for a month as written off work. However i am still anxious and shaky all the time. I am terrified about court, losing my children and my house to my ex husband now who is a high earner and can provide for them better than I can. I dont even know how this all came about, it just happened. My gp has been really supportive. Not sure about cbt as sometimes have too many worries to talk about which makes me feel really awkward as he doesnt know me. My anxieties exist for me but not to people who think they can help. Not sure this has helped but if you have anxieties ... i am with you.

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