Anti-depressant enquiry

Hi, from reading through blogs, questions, and replies, I can see that a lot of us are (understandably!) on various anti-depressant treatments. I have been on anti-depressants for just over two years, tried more types than i can remember the name of, and been up and down the dosage scales so much it often feels like a rollercoaster ride, and thats without all the "well meaning" doctors suggesting that "maybe its time to come off the medication" was just wondering what others experiences were and what tablets/dosages people have been through and what the "best" treatment seems to be. I'm currently on a daily dose of 200mg of sertraline which is the best tried so far but still not enough.

11 Replies

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  • Doing a course of 'Mindfullness' can be as good as being on antidepressants, according to research. or try a tape/book to learn the techniques.

    Good luck!

  • Jude What is this mindfulness,its the 1st i have heard of it and would like to give it a try

  • Mindfulness is a way of being that is based on paying attention to

    the present moment in a non-judgmental way. It's a way of increasing our awareness of our thoughts and emotions. I find it

    very calming.

    A commonly used way to get into a mindful state is to simply sit on

    a chair, close your eyes, and begin to focus on your breath. As you sit still - relaxed but alert- you direct your attention to the sensation of each in and out breath. Whilst doing this, thoughts will enter your mind but you don't respond to them in a judgmental way but rather just be aware of them and any emotion you feel and then let them pass out of your mind. You just then focus on your breathing again.

    One of the things that I feel most useful, personally, is the idea that you just focus on the present and let go of all thoughts about the past or worries about the future. This is taken from Buddhist teachings which also stress the need to be compassionate to every living thing, including yourself.

  • Hi, I have been on and off antidepressants for over fifteen years. Currently, I am 'on' them and have no intention of coming 'off' as the climb towards normality is just too much. I am currently on Fluoxetine which has been increased to 40mg per day and Amiltriptyline 10mg which controls my pain and fibromyalgia. Antidepressants have become a part of my life and I have decided to stop fighting against them as I want to lead as 'normal' a life as possible and if taking them helps me to do that I shall continue. Other antidepressants I have taken in the past have had side effects like dry mouth, weight gain and slowing down the thought process, but I am not having any side effects that I am aware of with these. Of course, side effects are also dependent on the other medication that you are on. Hope that helps.

  • This is a tough and personal question.

    Older type anti-depressives work quite differently from modern SSRI's and so have different side effects and are better suited to different conditions. ~ not all of which are depression related.

    The real question is why do you feel you need anti-depressives? and could this need be addressed by any other means.

    Hydroxycholorquine is the standard medication for lupus and its related conditions, it has a mild amphetamine effect which is handy. Moreover removing a lot of the discomfort of lupus has a huge effect on my emotional wellbeing.

    Sorry if this answer is not very clear of complete.

    Regards Martin

  • Mindfulness is also good for pain and other symptoms it certainly helps me. I was put on the old type antidepressant to help with leg pain I felt rubbish and it did nothing. So I find things like visualization and mindfulness helps both mood and symptoms

  • Hi,

    I find mindfulness and meditation very helpful. There is a great book that you might find useful called "The Mindful Way Through Depression" by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Mark Williams & John Teasdale.

    Other things that help me are keeping a journal - and especially keeping a gratitude journal where I write down things I am grateful for each day, like a warm bed and hot running water, a sunrise or a walk....it helps to keep my mind on the positive things in my life.

    Then I also know that nutrition can be a major help with depression (I am a registered nutritionist BSc, MSc). Lupus is an inflammatory condition. Depression is also linked to inflammation in the body. There are many nutritional agents that act as anti-inflammatories in the body. A professor that I have heard speak a number of times, Basant.K.Puri has written a good book called "The natural way to beat depression - the groundbreaking discovery of EPA to change your life" It is all about the importance of the long chain omega 3 fatty acid EPA and how it can help with depression. Omega 3 fats are highly anti-inflammatory and concentrated in the brain but in the UK we generally don't get enough in the diet (you would need to be eating at least 2-3 portions of oily fish every week, consistently). I personally take omega 3 supplements in high doses (as well as a number of other very useful supplements) but you must check with a medical doctor first before taking any supplements - they can interact with medication and they do change bosy chemistry so monitoring is needed.

    Anyway, I wish you well on your lupus journey

    Ani x

  • Ani, what dose of omega 3 supplements do you take and is this based on any research finding/evidence?

  • Hi Jude,

    Firstly, all my writing and work is evidence based - I think that is very important. I use medical databases daily to search for recent studies that have been done in terms of nutrition and health.

    In terms of omega 3 for depression - there is more evidence for the use of omega 3 than there is for antidepressants. For some of my previous articles which contain references you can have a look here:

    vitalitywithin.com/category...

    and also on an old blog that I used to write here:

    blog.bodykind.com/?s=%22Ani...

    One paper said the following about nutrition and depression:

    “ Nutritional therapies have now become a long-forgotten method of treatment, because they were of no interest to pharmaceutical companies that could not patent or own them. Instead, the companies that funded most clinical research spent their dollars investigating synthetic drugs they could patent and sell; these drugs however usually caused adverse side effects. There is tremendous resistance to using supplements as treatments from clinicians, mostly due to their lack of knowledge on the subject. Others rather use prescription drugs that the drug companies and the FDA researches, monitors and recalls if necessary. However, for some patients, prescription drugs do not have the efficacy of nutritional supplements and they sometimes have far more dangerous side effects. So for clinicians to avoid these supplement therapies because of a lack of knowledge and unwillingness to use treatments not backed by drug companies and the FDA, they are compromising their patients’ recovery due to their own laziness or selfishness”. (Lakhan & Vieira 2008)

    “Psychiatrists treating patients with mental disorders should be aware of available nutritional therapies, appropriate doses, and possible side effects in order to provide alternative and complementary treatments for their patients. This may reduce the number of noncompliant patients suffering from mental disorders that choose not to take their prescribed medications. As with any form of treatment, nutritional therapy should be supervised and doses should be adjusted as necessary to achieve optimal results.” (Lakhan & Vieira 2008)

    With specific regard to lupus - there is evidence for omega 3 fats being of use although there has not been as much research as there could be due to funding. If you want to see some research for omega 3 and lupus then please feel free to email me privately through this site or vitalitywithin@gmail.com and I can send more information.

    As for dose. I take 1500-2000mg of a combination of EPA and DHA a day. It helps me a great deal. This is the dose that many studies suggest are needed in depression - but as I said before please do check with your doctor before taking supplements......although many will say don't take them because they don't know what they do, which is very, very sad.

    I do hope that this helps Jude?

    With my kindest regards

    Ani x

  • Your answer will be invaluable for depression, thank you for posting all that good information. I do not have a problem with depression but take omega 3, 1 gram per day for my physical health. I will have a look at your research for omega 3 and lupus. I too always search for scientific papers on the web but have not been able to come up with much evidence on the benefits for lupus.

    Thank you, Ani.

    Keep well!

    Jude

    x

  • I am meant to take 4 grams of Omacor concentrated Omega 3 per day (2 & 2g) to be honest i often forget to take one lot. If for any reason i come off the stuff completely the cramps set in quickly and the tendons get tight and sore. Certainly helps with my general feeling of wellbeing.

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