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Advice re medication - should I seek a second opinion?

SnowFairy00

SnowFairy00

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Hi everyone. I've always struggled with my mental health and my teenage years and early 20's were hell until I worked up the courage to go to my doctor and seek help. I was put on 20mg Citalopram when I was 23 and have been on it ever since (I'm now 40). It has been a lifesaver for me. I've never had any side effects and it basically keeps my mood stable and lets me function like a normal human being. A couple of times over the years I've wondered if I still need to be on it and have tried to wean myself off it but I've had to go back on it after my mental health seriously declined to the point I was suicidal. Since the last attempt at coming off it my doctor was of the opinion that I would have to stay on it long term to keep my mood stable and my depressive symptoms at bay. I was fine with this and my mental health has been stable for the past 10 years.

Almost 2 years ago I moved to a new town with my husband and had to register with a new surgery. Within weeks of registering I was contacted and told I needed to go for a medication review. I was told at the appointment that I had been on antidepressants for too long and I needed to wean myself off them. I was told to reduce my dose from 20mg to 10mg and then after 6 months stop completely. Within a couple of months of reducing the dose by half all my symptoms returned and I felt awful. I went back to the doctor and my dose was increased back up to 20mg and I started feeling like myself again. Fast forward 6 months and I was again contacted by the surgery and told I needed to have a medication review. Again at the review I was told I needed to try and come off my medication so again my dose was halved and again within a few months all my symptoms had returned but worse than the last time - I felt suicidal which scared me. So off I go again back to the doctor, again my dose has been increased back up to 20mg and again I've been told it will be reviewed in 6 months. I asked the doctor at my last appointment if I'm going to have to keep going through this with my dose going up and down and she basically said they don't like people being on antidepressants long term so they always try to get people off them. I don't understand why when they work so well for me they want me to come off them. If I had a physical condition that was successfully treated with medication would they tell me I needed to stop taking the medication which was helping me? I don't think they would. I can't face the thought of basically living like this - having my dose increased and decreased every 6 months, it's really not good for my mental health, the past 2 years have been horrible. What makes it worse is that's it's all so unnecessary - my mental health was fine before they started messing with my medication.

What can I do? Can I make a complaint? Should I move to a different surgery?
 
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bpd2020

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To me it sounds like that GP does not understand mental health. I would go to another surgery or ask to see a different doctor at the practice.
 
SnowFairy00

SnowFairy00

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To me it sounds like that GP does not understand mental health. I would go to another surgery or ask to see a different doctor at the practice.
That's the thing, I've never seen the same GP - each time it's been someone different but they all seem to be of the same opinion.
 
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bpd2020

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That sounds strange to me because I have always been on an antidepressant and I will have to take it forever.
 
SnowFairy00

SnowFairy00

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That's what I was told by my last GP. I think I'm going to register with a different surgery and hopefully they will be more understanding of mental health issues
 
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bpd2020

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I think it is terrible you have to go through this. At each review you say you are stable then they want you to come off the very thing that is making you stable. I really hope you can find a practice with a GP who has more understanding of mental health.
 
SnowFairy00

SnowFairy00

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I think it is terrible you have to go through this. At each review you say you are stable then they want you to come off the very thing that is making you stable. I really hope you can find a practice with a GP who has more understanding of mental health.
Me too 🤞
 
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Tam

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This is awful for you, I to know I will be on antidepressants for life, is it possible for your old surgery to get involved and help you with this unsettling situation, I'm in an opposite situation in that its being about 3 years since I last had a meds check, that's fine! if it ain't broke leave it to hell alone! I know where my doctors are if I need them!
 
SnowFairy00

SnowFairy00

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Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
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Location
England
This is awful for you, I to know I will be on antidepressants for life, is it possible for your old surgery to get involved and help you with this unsettling situation, I'm in an opposite situation in that its being about 3 years since I last had a meds check, that's fine! if it ain't broke leave it to hell alone! I know where my doctors are if I need them!
At my previous surgery I hadn't had a medication review for years, probably because I've been on it so long and had no issues.
 
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