Alternatives to SSRIs?: Hi all, This is... - Mental Health Sup...

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Alternatives to SSRIs?

Funnyrunner profile image

Hi all,

This is my first post so I hope it's OK!

For years, I have taken SSRIs to try to help with anxiety and depression. I've done CBT, and I know all the usual stuff to try to deal with depression but my GP says that it's a chemical problem with me so I probably will be on anti-depressants my entire life. I accept that, and it's not a problem.

However, I am finding that the SSRIs I've been treated with do not really help much and lately I have been getting more extreme emotions. I've tried all sorts of different ones: Seroxat (Paroxetine - probably the best one for me but causes sun allergy and other side effects), Sertraline, Prozac (nightmare), Citalopram and, currently, Escitalopram (10mg). I also tried an SNRI but had a horrendous experience on that (Venlafaxine).

I wondered if anyone has tried other types of antidepressants that have worked better for them? I occasionally take a tiny dose of amitriptyline for migraine and nerve pain and wondered if that could be helpful? I was given it once years ago but it made me so exhausted I couldn't move. But perhaps I didn't give it long enough to get used to?

I've sent an econsult in to my practice. My usual GP has left and I don't know now who to talk to about this. I have been worried that perhaps this is bipolar because what I have noticed lately is that I have a general undercurrent of dread bubbling along (I can't face getting up in the morning - I really feel like I can't face the day) but am better when I do. But it's horrible to feel like that. But recently when I have been dealing with very upsetting things I get so overwhelmed that I feel I don't want to go on with life, that it keeps getting worse, and that I wish I could just sleep and not wake up. The next day I usually feel less grim but then I panic at how low my moods drop.

I am under pressure but I should be able to cope on meds so I don't know what is going on.

Anyway I would be very grateful to hear if anyone has found any other antidepressants effective!

Thank you

10 Replies

Generally speaking we are not supposed to discuss variations and side effects in medications. Most of these drugs do virtually the same thing although what suits one will not be a positive experience for someone else. I have been on Citalopram now for thirty years or so, they work for me and because of my age I take a minimalist dose now. That works for me.

What I would suggest in your case, if possible if it is not broke do not fix it, keep on the drug that has served you in all intents and purposes, well.

Like you My moods were very much the same, eventually it does seem to get better, it was bad in a way because I could not discuss contraversal problems or argue, I would suffer the same problems you describe. However now life is that much easier and now I am very quiet and generally at peace. You should find this may be similar in your case given time.

When you talked to a Therapist, did they suggest Mindfulness Relaxation Technique, Breathing exercises and diversions of mind and Hobbies you enjoy ? That has helped me over the years and give me the strength the deal with my Medical Health Problems.

We all are generally in many ways the same and with the support and understanding of others life can be that much easier.

Consider your needs by taking each problem and splitting each concern into small bites, you then take these small bites and deal with the larger problem until each small bite is sorted, you then take another concern in small bites and do the same until you get more used and sort out each problem, This attitude does seem to work for many. Remember if you get stuck on one bite go back to another problem.

We need to be proactive with our own problems and everyone does suffer when something is hard to address. You are not alone and we are always here to help

BOB

Thank you Bob for your thoughts. I fully appreciate that some drugs that work for some don't for others - we all react differently. I am so glad you have found peace now - I am sure a lot of what causes my depression is situational. I think it's just the intensity that scares me sometimes - I feel like I literally cannot carry on. Yes, I have practised mindfulness and I do various things that distract me - art, reading, word games. It's just sometimes the way I react is so severe that it frightens me, which is why I am contacting the GP. Thank you.

I know just how your feeling it’s so hard at times.Some medicines work for some people not for others.Each day is a struggle and it’s difficult for friends and family to understand.Like you I’ve tried the CBT but did not find it very helpful It seems like you have tried a lot of different medicines and not found the one.dont know the answers but I’m here to chat with if that might help.Take care

Funnyrunner profile image
Funnyrunner in reply to ford08

Thank you for your reply - I am sorry you too are struggling. I hope you find some relief too!

Hi Funnyrunner,

I know exactly how you feel, I’m exactly the same in the mornings as if you’ve got nothing to get up for because you can’t fill your day so the thought of that sets of anxiety and dread that you don’t want to get out of bed. I’ve been on a few antidepressants and like you it’s a chemical imbalancement within the brain, people with fibromyalgia etc can’t produce dopamine or serotonin so their mood is always low, I was on venaflaxin supposedly just for a while until my psychiatrist found something else but she kept upping it until I was on 300mg but I have AF and was in hospital 3 times with my heart is my heart rate was 120-144 normal, so she took me down from 300mg to 225mg for a fortnight then from 225mg to nothing in a month 😳 yes you heard right then I had a neurological overload which affected my left side and was more like a stroke and I couldn’t get my words out so was I hospital t8 days then re-enablement for 6 weeks, still not right now, I’m in amitriptyline and have been in it for years for shin splints and restless legs, they do help very much, but it’s best to take the tablet at 7pm instead of when you want to go to bed as you have to give it time to kick it, it will also make you sleepy enough to go to bed, dealing with things as they come up is easier than dwelling on them as it makes them worse and anxiety crops up when we have to deal with things we don’t want to, I’m finding that I cry if I see someone else crying or animals I ball my eyes out but there has been a shift in the universe because of all the climate change which we are all feeling right now, when you start panicking breath in 4 and out 7, count your breathing as by doing so your mind slows your panic attacks, there is a calm app on the App Store on your phone which is good, meditations are good, can you join an online mindfulness group or one near home, find a lady doctor at your practice if you have in they are more understanding than men ones, no offensive just passed history and journaling, if you can do this and write down all your thoughts that are troubling you then get out of bed and have a hot bath things may seem different, but I get you and I’m always here if you want to chat hun, you’ve got this and you can get through this, we don’t ever get given more than we can handle 😉🥰x

Thank you so much for replying. Wow, what an awful time you have had on the venlafaxine, etc. Horrible - poor you. Thank you for sharing the amitriptyline experience with me. I will see what the GP suggests when I talk to them. It sounds like it might be worth trying. And thanks for the app recommendation too - I will look into it! Take care.

Hi funnyrunner,

Your welcome, yes I’m still not right, it will be a year in May that the neurological overload happened but I’m still here and that’s the main thing. Definitely talk to your doctor about amitriptyline and hope you get sorted hun x

Hi Funnyrunner,

I wanted to let you know that you are not alone with your feelings. Each person is different and has different cycles of moods and modes. I want to encourage you so that you don't feel alone.

With many years of struggling with depression and anxiety, this year I have a new psychiatrist (my old one retired) that put me on lamictal as she was discovering that I have traits of bipolar. The medication seems to be working for me and my struggle is not as deeply bad as it was.

I hope that you find what balances you out or helps you to cope with your depression and anxiety. I hope that you find ways to distract yourself or hobbies. I like to play online games on my phone, knit at times, watch documentaries or things on YouTube. I hope that you have a good day.

Thank you so much for your reply and for sharing what meds are currently helping you. Do you mind if I ask what type of BP you are being treated for - eg the more depressive type? Thank you also for the tips - like you, I play games on my phone etc (crosswords!) to distract me and it does help. Thank you.

You're welcome. In regards to the BP, mine is on the depressive side. Take care.

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