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anti depressants don't work

nickh

nickh

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I find this a dangerously stupid article. It actually says that there is proof the drugs DO work for some 'seriously' depressed patients. It is precisely those patients who might be most seriously, indeed (not an exaggeration) fatally, harmed by withdrawing from medication. An article which - on surface reading - suggests this is, in my view, dangerously stupid.

I hate the description of Prozac etc. as happy pills. I don't take medication to make me 'happy', I take it because I hope that it will reduce the incidence and severity of serious depression. Now I admit I have little real idea of whether it does do this ; I don't know how much the general alleviation of my condition owes to medication, to therapy, to having over many years evolved coping strategies - but I am not going to risk anything by messing around with my medication. It is not some silly question about 'happiness' which is at stake for serious depressives - it is much, much more than that.

Shame on The Independent :mad:

Nick.
 
D

Dollit

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I do some research for a GP and one of the things I do is gather reports of this type from lots of newspapers (international as well as national) and compare the reports in each with the original study. You would be amazed at what that reveals. We have had reports of cancer treatments publicized and it has turned out that the science is so cutting edge that it hasn't got to mainstream medicine! A lot of journalism executed in newspapers on medical and scientific matters is written by people who have no science training and have no idea of how the specialist language words work. (The Selfish Gene) this one such example. I'll be looking at this later and will feed back to you on this. Perhaps one thought to keep in mind is that as many as 20% of people in any given population will be resistant to treatment by antidepressants anyway (I'm one of them) so, unless that has been factored in to the study it will be a pointless result.
 
sandybob

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I find this a dangerously stupid article. It actually says that there is proof the drugs DO work for some 'seriously' depressed patients. It is precisely those patients who might be most seriously, indeed (not an exaggeration) fatally, harmed by withdrawing from medication. An article which - on surface reading - suggests this is, in my view, dangerously stupid.

I hate the description of Prozac etc. as happy pills. I don't take medication to make me 'happy', I take it because I hope that it will reduce the incidence and severity of serious depression. Now I admit I have little real idea of whether it does do this ; I don't know how much the general alleviation of my condition owes to medication, to therapy, to having over many years evolved coping strategies - but I am not going to risk anything by messing around with my medication. It is not some silly question about 'happiness' which is at stake for serious depressives - it is much, much more than that.

Shame on The Independent :mad:Nick.


its not just the independent ... several papers have carried the story ..

was discussed on radio this morning ... (they did advise not to stop medication without medical advice )

but it also does say that meds should not be the first treatment offered .

I have mentiioned to doctors on several occasions that i wasnt sure the meds are working for me ...

they have just said "don't stop them til you feel a bit better ":eek::confused::unsure:
 
daffy

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Whereas i do agree that ADs arent the answer to everything. I think that GPs do need more training. THe reason so many are on meds is that GPS cant be bothered to spend time with the patient to see if an alternative therapy could work. I dont think it takes a science degree to realise that exercise and talking does help. If more money was invested in the early care of depression im sure it would save the NHS a fortune.
 
D

Dollit

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Daffy - often there isn't the funding for other methods of treating depression. I know of a practice in Bristol that doesn't get a great deal of funding and just ticks over yet the community couldn't get by without the practice. Not all GPs are on massive salaries and a lot of them do care about their patients, they just don't have the resources to offer them what could be the best for them at times.
 
mischief

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Attached to this post is the article which is being widely reported in the media today.

Makes interesting reading!
 

Attachments

Aahbut

Aahbut

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Two years on ADs getting side effects but no benefit. Being swapped from Prozac to citalapram to Effexor, each dose becoming higher. Now with Lithium added on to to help shift the depression. And I wake up this morning and hear that on the news. I wonder if I had taken nothing if I would have felt better a long time ago. Yesterday my psychiatrist mentioned changing the Effexor later, I'm now in the mood to ask to come off everything.
 
dunglen

dunglen

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just read these posts and unsure what to do.

i take prozac should i continue or stop?

not feeling very well and this is not helping:confused:
 
daffy

daffy

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just read these posts and unsure what to do.

i take prozac should i continue or stop?

not feeling very well and this is not helping:confused:

You must keep taking your medication dunglen until you see your gp. I do think its very irresponsible for them to give this out like they have.

I have talked on several occasions with my psych about coming off my meds without much luck but am sure that so many people cant be taking them when they have no effect
 
D

Dollit

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I have been looking at this throughout the day as I routinely look at newspaper reports for a friend who I do a little work with. He is a GP and he has founded an educational project which is currently very successful, he also talks to medical students about holistic medicine and I spend a lot of time talking to medical students (this is just to set the stage that we know what we are talking about). We have talked of this story today. Like a lot of studies it has it's drawbacks. It is not an exhaustive study of all information that could be made available so it's conclusions are based on less than full information. This does not mean that the study is wrong.

What Irving Kirsch, the lead of the study, has stated is that anti-depressants are more use to those who are severely depressed than those who aren't. If you are classed as severely depressed then the common sense advice is don't stop taking your anti-depressants.

There are some newspapers, both home and abroad, who have drawn attention to the seeming correlation between use of anti-depressants and heightened suicide risk. Again, do not stop taking anti-depressants just on the strength of these reports. There are many factors to suicidal feelings and acting on them and medication of any sort is just one, if indeed it is one.

May I also add that just because a study is published it does not make it good science it just means that it is science. Talk to your GP or psych if you have any worries but please keep them in proportion!
 
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Michael

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Prozac

I have been on various amount of fluoextine (Prozac) now for in excess of 14 years, I now take 40mg per day, I honestly don't feel any different but my wife and GP both claim it does. She says she will probably divorce me if I come off!
Another little snippet is that I have seen the other doctors in the practice and after they read my notes and see how fast I go down when I have tried to come off (3 times now) that they admit they do not want to be the one to try it again.
Something in it must work for me, as they can't test for that something then I daresay I will be on it for life!
I find it hard to trust and believe people, so I do not question doctors about myself (I do when it is my wife or kids just not me) Newspapers I will never trust - I will not allow people to tell me what I must think, that is my perogative not theirs!

Rant over
Michael
 
sandybob

sandybob

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just read these posts and unsure what to do.

i take prozac should i continue or stop?

not feeling very well and this is not helping:confused:
don't stop taking the meds anne ..


you need to give them a chance .. they could very well work great for you :hug:
 
dunglen

dunglen

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thanks for taking time to reply.

i will take meds and phone GP tomorrow for advice:)
 
Munchkin

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Hello all, I'm new to this forum - about 5 secs ago!! - this is a long one, so go make a cuppa......... !!! :tea:

I've just been on the BBC website and read, well skimmed, the article about AD's. I am not an expert in the field of medicine nor am I an expert in the field of mental illness as a whole, but I AM an expert when it comes to MY clinical depression. I have been VERY fortunate to have received therapy at a well known independent psychiatric hospital (through work private medical insurance, not cos I'm rich!!) and really feel the blow when I read articles such as the ones in the papers and on websites today.

I have been on AD's for 8 years, and there's no way I'm coming off them if I have to go through such agonising mental torture again. I do agree with some of the things written in the article, in that medication alone may not be enough to treat the illness itself, and that other therapies (which weren't specifically stated - such as CBT, Anger Management, Building Self Esteem, Learning about Self Awareness), are also vital to the process of lifting one out of depression.

I've been off work since November 07, having only joined my company in May 07, so I am very lucky that my company are being supportive, but what will my boss and colleagues think when they've read the article? Is she pulling a farce one? Is she really depressed? I do realise that there are a lot of people out there who take the papers as just tittle tattle, but there are also many people out there who STILL don't understand mental illness (of any kind), and will read such things and start questioning those that are REALLY suffering. Does that make sense?!! I'm still undergoing treatment at the moment, so anything I do say I tend to require confirmation that I'm being understood!!! (...you know what I mean!).

Anyway, as an ice-breaker, I thought I'd bung in my opinion. Not only that, I'm trying my hardest to get a local support group off the ground in my town, that's not supported privately or by the nhs but by local council funding, if I can get any, in order that I can share with other sufferers the care and experience I've received and value so very much.

I will leave you with a piece of information taken from a very good book, written by a Consultant Psychiatrist, I recently purchased......you do realise I'm not "teaching anyone to suck eggs" here!! As I said above, I've had the illness for 8 years and it's only now, having read the book which appears to have been written as plainly as possible, that my MUM and Family have only just begun to acknowledge MY depressive illness.

"A depressive illness happens when one part of the brain, called the limbic system, malfunctions. The limbic systems is a set of nerve fibres arranged in a circuit. Essentially this circuit acts like a complex thermostat which controls a number of systems and functions in the body. Probably the most important of these is the control of mood. It usually works well with mood returning to normal reasonably quickly after most of the day to day ups and downs of life. But like any other physical system, the limbic system has a limit and if it is stressed beyond this point it will break. When this happens, the part of the system that fails is the transmitter chemicals, serotonin and noradrenalin. These are the chemicals which allow the electrical impulse to pass from the end of one nerve fibre to the beginning of the next. In depressive illness their levels fall rapidly, resulting in the circuit coming to a grinding halt.

Antidepressants are not addictive, though if you come off them too quickly you can get withdrawal symptoms; withdraw them slowly by tapering the dose over several weeks at the appropriate time. They don’t work straight away, usually taking a few weeks to kick in properly. They don’t' give you a false high, or make you a better, more creative person, or turn you into a murdering psychopath. Prozac is a good antidepressant but doesn't deserve either the cult following or the condemnation it has attracted. Above all, of an antidepressant helps you get better, don't stop it as soon as you get well. It takes the limbic system several months to heal properly, even though the symptoms of clinical depression have gone. If you do keep the drug going for long enough, you are unlikely to relapse when you come off it, in the same way that, when a plaster cast is taken off a broken leg which has healed, you can walk without the return of pain.

12 essential facts about depressive illness

* It is a physical, not a mental illness
* It happens to strong, not weak people
* It is not the same as "feeling depressed"
* You don't know how a person suffering from it feels unless you have had it yourself
* You cannot pull yourself out of it
* It gets better eventually, sooner or later
* It gets better quickest if you rest
* Anti-depressants are not addictive
* Anti-depressants usually take a few weeks to work
* Don’t stop your anti-depressants as soon as you feel better
* When recovering, increase your activity slowly, as your body dictates
* In order to stay well following recovery, you will need to make changes to the way you operate, and possibly the way you think

Night :sleep:
 
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