Best antidepressant for you

Smiling man

Choosing the right antidepressant is tricky. You have many choices and may have heard that they all work the same. After all, the pills are targeting an inadequate amount of a chemical in the brain that transmits signals between neurons. It’s also known as serotonin.

A dozen antidepressants were tested in a new study: Celexa, Cymbalta, Efexor, Ixel, Luvox, Prozac, Seroxat, Remeron, Zyban, Cipralex, Zoloft and Edronax. The winners? Zoloft, developed by Pfizer Inc., and Cipralex, developed by Forest Laboratories in the U.S. and Danish drugmaker H. Lundbeck A/S in Europe, work best.

– By Charles Yoo

Which is your antidepressant? Does it work? How has it changed your life?

91 comments Add your comment

Charlie

February 2nd, 2009
2:56 pm

My wife used Paxil for 10 years and it has destroyed her adrenal gland and is wreaking havoc on her thyroid. She has lost 40 pounds, hair falling out, can’t sleep etc. And this is after being off it for 4 years. Breaking the addiction to this crap is worse than pain killers. To anyone even thinking of using these drugs, DON’T! Depression can be controlled through many natural holistic ways. Accupunture, herbs, tea, vitamins etc. And you don’t get the “side effect” of wanting to kill yourself like these SSR’s do. Go natural!!!!!! The FDA is lying to you. Antidepressents ARE NOT SAFE FOR ANYONE!

Brad

February 2nd, 2009
8:53 pm

Charlie, quit talking out of your rear end. Antidepressants work for millions of people with little to no side effects.

I used Remeron for a few weeks when first diagnosed with major depressive disorder. While it did help me gain back some of the weight I had lost (it does make you voraciously hungry at times), it didn’t do much for my depression. I was then switched to Prozac, and it worked wonders. Plus, Prozac gradually expels itself from your body, so it is easier to quit when therapy is no longer needed.

Rayna

February 2nd, 2009
9:09 pm

I’ve been on Lexapro for 6 months and started the process to wean myself off due to side effects. My doctor started me on it to help me sleep. Instead of helping, I’m actually sleeping less, I’ve gained 20 pounds in 6 months, my hair is falling out, and my mouth is always dry.

Mike D

February 2nd, 2009
9:18 pm

Vodka tonics until I don’t feel anything have always worked for me.

Tom

February 2nd, 2009
9:37 pm

Drugs have helped me in the past, but aerobic exercise, in particular long-distance bicycling, has always been the best way for me to deal with my depression. A 2-hour or longer ride will help me for 2-3 days, during the summer when I ride at least 1 hour a day, I’m doing great. Winter, I tend towards depression and weight gain.

Sally

February 2nd, 2009
9:58 pm

Charlie is right… Paxil is toxic!! I was on it for six months and I was going crazy! I laughed all the time for no reason, I was moody and I started drinking. When I stopped taking the pill the withdrawal was so bad that I have to be under a watchful eye because I wanted to kill myself. My head hurt a lot. It felt like I was going through shock therepy. It took me two months to get back to myself. I will never ever taking another pill for depression again. Now I just excercise,hang out with my friends and family and cry when needed. Pills don’t work for everyone so I won’t tell anyone not take them. I just won’t be taking them again…

CC

February 2nd, 2009
10:26 pm

to be effective you must decide if the drug is worth the side affects.

i believe that there are a lot of people who can benefit from the correct usage of the antidepressants; however, not everyone will respond the same way- so, thank goodness there are more than one option. i do not know what’s worse: knowing there is a drug out there that might help or living in the dark ages and being deprived of hope.

my suggestions… find a good doctor, who listens to you. this might prove to be more difficult than finding a pill but in the long run will serve you better.

best hopes to everyone looking for a solution or just for hope.

Keith

February 2nd, 2009
10:30 pm

No question. Regular sex, preferably with a partner.

Vince

February 2nd, 2009
10:39 pm

Just smoke some pot like Phelps. It’s all natural, and the pharmaceutical companies don’t get any money!

Antonio

February 2nd, 2009
10:41 pm

CC…good points, all drugs react differently to all types of people. not to mention, you’re depressed. addiction is when you start doing something that normally you would never do while not on drugs; if you’re depressed and can handle it, then find safe means to relieve stress and depression ( talking to friends or loved ones, exercise, hobbies,etc)

if you feel that you’re at the end of the road, then medication can be suitable if you know what you’re getting yourself into ( drug addiction, adverse moods and effects, sleeping all the time, etc)

i would change my perception, environment, or lifestyle before i would get involved in the corporate, and government legal drug trade.

Kat

February 3rd, 2009
12:06 am

I get the feeling that a lot of responders to this article have the last name of Cruise.

chief

February 3rd, 2009
12:31 am

Weed is the all-natural painkiller. There are so many reasons why it should be legal.

Karen Lei Provo

February 3rd, 2009
2:21 am

I have been suffering with major depression for 49 years. I have been on and off many of the medications over the years. For me, I have found only a couple of them that really work for me. Well actually three. I have experienced weight gain with the medications however they have helped me very much with my illness. I personally cannot get by without the medications, believe me I have tried. But that is me and I think everyone is different. I think it is hard, at least it was for me to find the right medication to do the trick. I have had a long struggle with the illness. I believe like others have mentioned, it is important to have a positive enviornment, interests, support of friends, good relationships, pets help me and lots of light (sun) helps tremendously I have found. Avoid stress, get plenty of sleep, exercise, eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated. Most of all, stay in close touch with our Higher Power!

Peachy

February 3rd, 2009
5:57 am

Zoloft saved my life and I have no side effects. Sometimes I quit taking it for a couple of months and have no withdrawal symptoms at all. I could not work without my Zoloft.

On the other hand, my daughter took Paxil, slept nearly 24/7, lost the HOPE grant because of it. I was 400 miles away and had no idea this was going on. She is off everything now and doing fine, thank goodness.

Someone mentioned Tom Cruise? What an idiot–genuine, 100% idiot.

Tom

February 3rd, 2009
7:02 am

you didn’t mention Wellbutrin or Zyban (generically known as bupropion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wellbutrin) which are norepinephrine and dopamine agents as opposed to serotonin. they work well for some people (myself among them) and don’t have the sexual side effects that SSRIs do (most of what the detractors above have said about them is BS/clueless idiocy but unfortunately this one is fairly common though not universal either).

Better

February 3rd, 2009
7:07 am

I suffer mild depression. I use St. Johns Wort twice per day. It keeps me off of that slippery slope that would make me crash before.

jm

February 3rd, 2009
7:30 am

I am on Cymbalata. Which has helped me tremendously! I had a major depressive event – also known as a nervous breakdown – about a yr ago. The side effects for me getting on this was nausea and drowsiness. So I take this at night so I can sleep and the nausea went away after a few days. The only thing is that when I haven’t taken it in a few days – I know bad patient – I get this “aura” around me. Kind of like a little dizzy spell. I would love to get off of this stuff but I won’t do it w/out a Dr. I suffer from S.A.D. and am just waiting for Spring to come around so that I can try that and get out in the sun and exercise. I personally think that Tom Cruise is an idiot. But…to each it’s own.

brolaw

February 3rd, 2009
7:36 am

All of these drugs are garbage. Have never taken any of them. Exercise is key, a good hobby helps too, like golf.

Michelle

February 3rd, 2009
7:50 am

All these people saying drugs are garbage have obviously never suffered enough to take medication. I exercise every day and nothing can compare to what medication has done for me. My doctor actually put me on Prozac for major PMS symptoms and it has been a miracle drug for me. I feel fantastic and I am always smiling – something that I have never experienced. It has made the world of difference in not only how I feel inside, but my marriage and my relationship with my children has just gotten better and better every day. I LOVE Prozac. It has literally saved my life!

CM

February 3rd, 2009
8:08 am

Just an FYI for you folks out there who think “exercise” or a good book is the answer to severe depression as a solution have obviously been blessed by NOT experiencing depression. It has been scientifically proven that depression is in fact a chemical imbalance in the brain. Sever depression is a chronic disorder and is no different then diabetes. If you do not take insulin as a diabetic you will get sick and eventually end up in the hospital if you do not take depression medication you end up in the hospital if you are fortunate enough to make it to the hospital. To many people end up dying too young because of have a “label” attached to them and they do not seek help! You would think living in the year 2009 that label would have gone away but due to the ignorance of society it has not. Before you pass judgment on someone who is in fact suffering from depression DO YOUR HOMEWORK you might just save a life instead of pushing that person closer to the edge! AS an FYI I have suffered from depression for many years and there are many safe drugs available. It is in fact trial and error however it does make your quality of life so much better.

Cindy

February 3rd, 2009
8:29 am

A good long walk with the dogs does it for me. Watching those tails wag, and seeing how excited they are just to get outside. Exercise is the best cure for depression.

I don’t buy the depression crap. You choose how you feel each and every day.

I work with people who choose to be depressed. They choose to be nasty and hateful to those around them. I don’t know how anyone can live like that. There is so much to be thankful and grateful for. Just walk outside. Look at what you HAVE, not what you don’t have. Don’t worry about what others have that you don’t, just be thankful you wake up every day and have a chance to start fresh……..

Steve

February 3rd, 2009
8:33 am

I like all the comments from people that don’t have depression and have absolutely no idea what their talking about, but are more than willing to act like Tom Cruise and some wacked out scientologist who declare nobody needs anti-depressants. The great suggestions are to drink yourself to sleep or “just smoke pot”. How pathetic. While exercise helps and a good diet, it’s imperative I take an anti-depressant and it can sometimes take years to find the right “coctail” that works for you and that’s not even getting into the milligram of the particular drug or the frequency. Every body is different and every drug may effect each individual differently. There are horror stories for every drug and wonderful sucess stories for the same drug. Most people want to have this miracle drug that will take away all of their problems. It’s the same as going on a diet. You may need to take a “pill” to help lose the weight but that in and of itself is the not all you will need to do. You’ll need to exercise, sleep right, figure out the frequency of your meals and how much of it depending on your physical condition, etc. Nothing is ever as simple as it may appear to be. If your taking an anti-depressant and you don’t feel it’s working, then tell your doctor. That part of it is not that difficult. I guess I’ll just go down a bottle of Jim Beam and smoke a bunch of weed and I’ll be alright. Stay classy all you drinkers and pot heads.

Mary

February 3rd, 2009
8:46 am

I agree with others about staying away from Paxil – the major problems with it are well-documented. My doctor put me on in back in ‘04 for anxiety and mild depression. While the drug worked ok while I was on it, getting off of it was a NIGHTMARE – constant nausea, head “zings”… I was sick for months. I’m not on anything and would be hesitant to try any anti-depressants after that. Right now yoga helps.

sd

February 3rd, 2009
8:49 am

I know that many people have genuine chemical imbalances in their minds and that drugs do help.

However, I think that many, perhaps even the majority, of people suffering depression are depressed simply because they are trying to fit where they don’t belong. They are trying to live in cubicle farms and little apartments and row houses, spending hours in traffic, worrying over Christmas gifts, popularity, and climbing a corporate ladder. These people were not born to do this. They should be working manual labor, outside. They should not be trying to be something they aren’t. Its a hard pill to swallow when you first realize that your ideas are no more profound than anyone elses. You have been told by your parents and teachers that you were special from an early age, and when you find out that you are just another person trying to find happiness in life, it can be devestating. But eventually you can accept that you are free to do whatever you want for a living, you don’t need the things that you’ve been told you need.

Live simple, be happy.

sd

February 3rd, 2009
9:03 am

Steve,

I don’t understand why taking one drug, A pill, is any better than another drug. I am not saying that pills are bad, but it seems odd to think that if one takes a drug to deal with depression, than he is better than someone else who takes a drug to deal with depression, simply because one is legal and one is not.

hildymac

February 3rd, 2009
9:31 am

To all of you armchair psychiatrists out there… depression is a clinical state. Don’t believe me? Fine. Believe the psychology textbook I teach out of – read the mood disorder section:

http://bcs.worthpublishers.com/myers8e/content/cat_570/PDFs/Chapter%2016.pdf

And yes, while exercise, sunlight, and a positive outlook can snap you out of being down in the dumps, nothing like that can snap you out of being in a major depressive state. That is an issue with the seratonin in your brain being re-uptaken faster than it can be absorbed by it’s receptors, causing depression.

If it weren’t a clinical psychological disorder, it wouldn’t be in the DSM-IV. It’s a shame stupidity isn’t in there too.

inBallGround

February 3rd, 2009
9:32 am

Best anti-depressant ? — prayer and reading scripture.
Doest it work ? yes it does, very well might I add.
Has it changed my life ? — yes and for the better, thanks to the grace of God.

Pamela

February 3rd, 2009
9:33 am

Government legal drug trade…..NO THANKS!!!!….My body, my decision….LOVE MY DEALER!!!!!….Side effects-NONE!!!!!..

Reg

February 3rd, 2009
9:34 am

Prayer and exercise. I tell Jesus my problems and get moving. It has worked for almost 50 years.

sharon

February 3rd, 2009
9:38 am

Cindy an sd, one does not choose to be depressed. It’s not all in the mind. It does not occur because “you’re hateful and mean” or “trying to live in cubicle farms”. I do not suffer from depression but I know of people who do. Trust me, there is no reaching these people when they feel dispair. It is a very real illness. No one wakes up in the morning and say “I’m going to be sad today”. There are chemical imbalances going on. When a person loses their job and decides to kill the whole family nine times out of ten it is linked to some MAJOR FORM OF DEPRESSION. Please do some research and until then please have some compassion and thank God that you are mentally fit.

Kristy

February 3rd, 2009
9:49 am

***CINDY*** You sound like a major b*^%h. Have you not ever heard of Bipolar II Disorder? Believe it or not it is a legitimate disorder that contains long bouts of severe depression. You should not make fun of other peoples illness’. I work in the psychology field and your nasty comments say LOADS about you. I would love to clue you in them but you probably could not afford my hourly rate..

Cindy

February 3rd, 2009
9:49 am

I’m sorry, I have NO compassion for someone who “chooses” to be depressed. I work with such a person and he just can’t find happiness at all, because he CHOOSES to wallow in self pity. I don’t buy that mental illness crap at all.

You decide each and every morning if its going to be a good day or a bad day. Power of positive thinking.

Rhonda

February 3rd, 2009
9:52 am

I use Wellbutrin and it works pretty well. There are side effects such as dry mouth and weight gain. I attempted to come off of it and each time I gained about 6 lbs; normally lose about 3 lbs once I get back on the drug. This drug has helped me tremendously with my mood swings and paranoid behavior. It helps me to calm down and put things in perspective. The only thing I do not like about the drug is trying to gaining the weight. I exercise everyday; normally running for a total of 5 miles per day and I go to the gym for weight training. The exercise does not alleviate the anxiety, but Wellbutrin helps a lot. For those who criticize others about depression, you are totally clueless. Try being a female, and working in a man’s world. I have friends that take some type of drug and they need the help as well. I have other friends that do not take any type of antidepressant because they are just too good for them or they have tried the wrong type and the side effects are bad for them. These friends are throwing objects, distrusting everyone, and talking about how they are not loved. They definitely need to visit a doctor soon. Life for them could be so much better.

hildymac

February 3rd, 2009
9:55 am

Cindy, I guess you didn’t bother to read the post where I cited professional studies that state that depression is a clinical psychological disorder. The power of positive thought can’t control neurotransmitters. Go read Lewinsohn’s studies on depression and go look at PET scans of people with depression and then tell me it’s all about the power of positive thought. Yes, the Social‐Cognitive Perspective impacts depression, but depression is caused by NEUROTRANSMITTERS.

shaggy

February 3rd, 2009
10:12 am

Cindy,

You hit the nail squarely on the head. To you depressed, heavily addicted/medicated individuals: Quit whining and look around you. If you can’t find any beauty in life, maybe you should check out. Life is not pretty all of the time, and those times take a little courage and toughness. Exercise just for the sake of moving something is not the answer. Challenging your mind and body together will set you free, make you feel truly alive. Go and do something. Get off of the couch, out of the house, and stop feeling sorry for yourself.
No, I am not a scientologist and think them to be weak minded as well. Anyone that believes in Zenu, like they do, are just idiots, who might as well believe Lord of the Rings is true.

Wanda

February 3rd, 2009
10:15 am

I was diagnosed with cancer in 1999 and again in 2007. I have been on antidepressant since 2000. I do exercise and I also have a strong faith in God. Until you walk in my shoes or someone else that has a chemical inbalance you don’t even need to be commenting.

G Natural

February 3rd, 2009
10:17 am

Cannibis + music = instant “state” change! Natural, and one of the oldest known anti-depressants!

cyoo

February 3rd, 2009
10:18 am

Folks, I know this is an open forum, and we’re discussing an interesting topic here. But, please be mindful and a bit courteous. Comments like “Maybe you should check out” is not helping. Thanks.

Denise

February 3rd, 2009
10:20 am

Some of these responses really make me angry. The reason is that some folks assume that people who are depressed choose it (why would anyone choose depression?) and that positive thoughts, exercise, and diet can cure it all. Sure, maybe some people will be “healed” with these 3 and other suggestions, but a lot of us won’t. I am currently taking Wellbutrin and Lamictal (mood stabilizer – I have bipolar disorder) and I have a very, very good, successful and full life. I probably wouldn’t if I had refused medication. Regardless of how you personally feel about depression, be careful of giving the “get over it” kind of advice to people who want nothing more than an excuse not to get treatment. Also, ask yourself: would I tell a diabetic not to take insulin but just exercise? Would I tell a cancer patient not to take chemo because all he/she needs to do is exercise? If you wouldn’t say that to folks with physical illnesses, then don’t say that to people who have mental illnesses.

Lynnette

February 3rd, 2009
10:28 am

I was always a happy, positive person…still am, for the most part. However, after a major life storm (divorce after 30+ years of marriage, loss of friends, and upheaval from life as I knew it), I was an emotional, crying, sad wreck and couldn’t find my way back to the person I was before. I tried Cymbalta for a while but it wasn’t for me, and coming off of it was a nightmare. My head felt as if fireworks were going off all the time. At the urging of concerned friends and family, I finally tried a low dose of Zoloft and it has helped me feel more positive about my life. I don’t plan to be on it forever. For those of you who have the attitude that “anyone who needs a pill to be happy is a weak person”, I just hope that if are faced with a life-altering tragedy that you just can’t get past, that there is someone willing to help you, even with a little pill for a little while.

KB

February 3rd, 2009
10:28 am

Cindy that was a horrible remark to make to someone who is suffering from depression, and there is a difference between self pity and depression. Shame on you. You have the compassion of an ant.

Ken

February 3rd, 2009
10:29 am

The ignorance expressed here is amazing. People still confuse depression with being in a bad mood. This is why thousands of Americans commit suicide each year and and others suffer and never seek help.

A little exercise, playing with the dogs, taking up a hobby and “talking to Jesus about it” are all great ideas. These things are not cures for depression.

sonny

February 3rd, 2009
10:30 am

Shaggy and Cindy almost make me laugh with their ignorant comments, until I realize how sad it is that they really have no clue what they’re talking about. Good luck practicing medicine without a license.

dkjones3

February 3rd, 2009
10:40 am

Shaggy, If you suffer from depression getting out of bed each morning is a task. Excerise is not possible. As for you comment about killing yourself, you must have not had a family member that has killed his self. The ones that actuall do it without any warning are the ones that are depressed and you do not know about it.

I take Wellbutrin use to take Lexapro but the side effects were bad. With Wellbutrin I dont have as many side effects. Also, I can excerise now and enjoy life.
My husband did not know I was taking any thing until I had been on it for over a year. When he did find out if I said anything to him about something he did not like it was “Have you taken you med. today”.
Being a mother of four and caring for a parent, plus having a full time job is hard.
My husband thinks I have been off my meds for six months now. What he does not know wont hurt him.

cyoo

February 3rd, 2009
10:46 am

Shaggy, thank you for your response. I’d like to clarify that this is our forum, everyone’s, actually. All I’m hoping is that we share our opinions with passion, but also with a bit of respect. Yes, Kristy’s name-calling is not considered an ideal example, to say the least. Thanks, everyone.

Lynn

February 3rd, 2009
10:58 am

Enter your comments here
Cindy and Shaggy – it is obvious you have no idea what you are talking about. in fact, Cindy, your co-worker is probably further depressed just having to work with you. Depression is a chemical imbalance that can be further affected by issues of spousal addiction, issues with elderly parents, issues raising teenage grandchildren, and issues from your past that add to all of the above – all coming at you all at once when your neurotransmitters are already out of sync. You are not feeling sorry for yourself! Trust me, you are just trying to deal with your everyday circumstances and not take that first drink after 17 years! I have been on depression medication for many years and have tried many of them – most without any success. I currently take 80mg of prozac and 300mg of welbutrin a day and lately that hasn’t been doing enough. There are side effects but so far they’ve outweighed suicide or homocide.
So, Cindy and Shaggy and all you other non-believers, until you’ve walked in depressed shoes, you don’t have a CLUE. Consider yourselves damn lucky.

sd

February 3rd, 2009
11:21 am

You can call me names if you’d like, but I do believe that SOME people choose to be depressed. Obviously, some people are actually mentally ill, but others choose it. Not on a conscious level like, “Ok, I am really going to be sad now”, but rather in their lifestyle choices.

Maybe someone is generally depressed because they have chosen to live a lifestyle that is not conducive to the actual person they are.

I know a guy who chose to be depressed and one day chose not to be. He had gone to an Ivy League School, and got a big time job on Wall Street. He was making millions of dollars within a few years in his career. Up late all the time working. The depression got so bad that he decided to take a month off of work for his health. He went to Montana and he never came back. He now takes tourists fly fishing and he makes a fraction of what he once made. But he is happy. Truly happy.

Thats not for everyone, and some people are truly unbalanced chemically. But many of you just need to quit your job, sell your house and car, move out of the city, and live a minimalist life away from all of this race.

I’ve been to tiny villages in Kenya where people struggle to get enough to eat and drink, but the people are happy. No one is depressed.

CM

February 3rd, 2009
11:38 am

Yes some people do choose the “WOO IS ME SYNDROME” However before you judge someone PLEASE remember there are three others judging you!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you never have to deal with depression OR ever have to deal with a loved one with depression!

rl

February 3rd, 2009
12:16 pm

I think we’ve all gotten a little off track, here. Isn’t this forum about which drugs work best for you, not is depression real? So, let’s assume depression is real and start discussing the drugs used to treat it. For those of you who don’t believe depression is real, start your own blog somewhere else.

shaggy

February 3rd, 2009
12:56 pm

sd,

Kudos to you. I am glad some people actually get it.

Life is tough, with no guarantees, Life is also short, too short to wander around in a paxil, prozac, etc… daze, a daze that addicts your mind just the same or more than heroin.
I can’t imagine an existence where I can’t feel, because a drug won’t let me. If I had to live like that, I would rather not exist.
I just pulled out my summer climbing pictures and kissed them, thanking my parents for giving me this life and the ability to experience beauty practically everywhere. I believe most everyone else can do the same if they will just open their eyes.

Cindy

February 3rd, 2009
3:38 pm

Well, I won’t buy it. I have been through a horrible divorce, raised a kid by myself, the loss of more than one job, and the death of a parent. I’m still here, and I’m not depressed. Don’t need medication to make me “right”. I make myself right.

I have been through just about everything posted on this blog, and I’m not depressed.

IT’S A CHOICE!!! And some of you chose to cry “Oh poor me”.

I don’t buy it!

cyoo

February 3rd, 2009
3:57 pm

Hi, Cindy. Thanks for your responses. I’m trying to better understand your point here. Are you saying that we tend to over-medicate ourselves? Or that depression is not actually a medical condition? What about people whom doctors say are clinically depressed? Should they not be treated with anti-depressants? I’m trying to further our debate. Thanks, everyone.

shaggy

February 3rd, 2009
4:08 pm

Cyoo – Not Cindy, but one more from shaggy.
I think clinical depression exists is a very small percentage of people, not the millions that drink the cool aid, while needlessly medicating themselves and their children. The doctors and pharm companies set the stage and the media that forces this down the public’s throat are the profiteers in this game. Like my previous post said. It’s the same with ADD ADHD.
Where were all of these millions of “patients” 50 years ago? Why did they mysteriously appear everywhere once a drug(s) was advertised and the BIG story plastered on the news?

Denise

February 3rd, 2009
5:37 pm

I can answer the “where were all these millions of patients 50 years ago” question. They were somewhere not getting treatment and causing hell in their homes. My grandmother suffered from anxiety disorder – undiagnosed and untreated – and she was so jittery that she would actually sweat all day just from the anxiety of something happening. She snapped all the time. She was always looking out the window to see if anything was going on. She was depressed a lot. She was mean as a snake sometimes. “Should” she have had any issues with depression or anxiety? Nope…not based on what some of you say. She didn’t work outside the home, unless you count helping my granddaddy clean offices. She didn’t have to go to the grocery store, pump her own gas, take the car for an oil change. She lived farrrrrr from the ‘rat race’ that is supposedly causing people depression. She kept the house, which of course is not easy, but she was her own boss (and my granddaddy’s) and did as she pleased. But still had issues that could have at least been mitigated, in my opinion, with medication and/or talk therapy. I use both and, as I said before, my life is d@mn good because I am stable.

shaggy

February 3rd, 2009
7:56 pm

Denise,

I’ll bet if you asked your grandmother if she wanted to feel numb instead of truly feeling emotion, she would have bit you like the snake you describe. That generation delt with their lives differently, with courage and respect. That is something I rarely see today.
Something tells me that you would have forcebly medicated grandma, for her own good, so she would smile and be easier to mansge. What did YOU do to make grandma happy? Did you spend time doing what she wanted to do, or did you remain consumed in your own unhappiness, watching her and giving up hope for your own happiness because of her? It’s just a cop out to blame unhappiness on others, even direct family. Your life starts and ends with you.

LC

February 3rd, 2009
8:01 pm

Shaggy and Cindy, if you don’t believe depression exists, why are you getting involved in a forum about treatments for it? I don’t see what purpose it serves to try to antagonize people who are at the very least acknowledging that they are struggling.

shaggy

February 3rd, 2009
8:19 pm

LC,

Learn to read posts. It is healthy to understand a point before you attempt to make your own. Why do you think it is antagonization to disagree?
Let me break it down for you:
Too much heavy, addictive, personality altering drugs prescribed by an industry that makes a lot of money on these drugs that suddenly appeared for a much ballyhooed condition shoved down the public’s gullible throat by a profiteering, advertising media.
Signed, “those of us that find beauty everywhere and nowhere at the same time.”

LC

February 3rd, 2009
10:32 pm

Minimizing someone else’s illness by calling them a “whiner” and suggesting they kill themselves is antagonizing. And not very constructive behavior for someone who claims to see beauty everywhere.

shaggy

February 4th, 2009
7:07 am

LC,

Sorry for the check out thing. However, I firmly believe that unless someone or something has control over your life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, you are in control of your happiness. Living addicted to dubiously approved, costly, and personality changing drugs does not, in my opinion, equate happiness, and yes, I would rather not exist than live like that.

I once loved a woman, a very beautiful, energetic, engaging woman, who went through some life challenges. She thought she needed to see a doctor, because her peers convinced her that she needed help.(not me. I thought she was fine, just going through some tough times) The doctor promptly put her on prozac, one visit, here’s your script. The change in her otherwise vibrant personality was profound and chilling. She was a different person, one who smiled on the outside and was numb on the inside. It was like a high spirited horse that had suddenly been beaten into submission. Yes you could ride it, but it really was only a shadow of its former self. Thankfully, she allowed me to persuade her to see a different doctor (mine), with me there. (it will help this story for you to know that she is my wife) This is an older doctor, who can tell you stories of delivering babies in peoples homes. Old School. Once he found out the whole story, including the hurry up prozac prescription, he first recommended she wean herself off of it. During that time period, his recommendation was to identify things SHE really wanted to do in her life and make achievable plans to do them. It took 9 months for her to get off of that crap, however she ended up clean and is today, doing the things that make HER happy. That energetic, beautiful, intelligent woman was returned to me by her own hand.
So, please excuse my opinionated writing. I have seen this and yes, I was forced to further research it and take action, because I wanted my wife back, not the medicated woman that woke up beside me.

Cindy

February 4th, 2009
7:35 am

Shaggy very well written. And congrats!!!

sue

February 4th, 2009
11:07 am

Why are people on this blog. that don’t have depression or believe in taking medicine for mental illness.. yet spewing judgment and negative energy about those that seek treatment. Are you lonely, full of pent up rage, and tired of not being heard? Perhaps, you have a mental illness but are too ignorant to get help for it.

shaggy

February 4th, 2009
12:58 pm

sue,

How can you type when your hands are shaking uncontrollably and spittle is getting on the keyboard from gritting your teeth while hissing?

married to it

February 4th, 2009
1:21 pm

Yes, there are some people on anti-depressants who don’t really need it just like any other medication. But this should not minimize the people who truly have a chemical imbalance and do require meds to give them a better life. My husband recently went back on meds after being on and off for the last 10 years or so. He did not want to go back on them but got to the point where everyday he would try to convince himself to be happy, focusing on his family, his job, how fortunate he was in every way, but still the depression sank in. He exercises every day, is fit, has a hobby that he finds great emotional release in yet, nothing helped like the meds. He did have issues with a doctor prescribing a dosage that was too high, causing that numb feeling, and was lucky enough to find another doctor who cut the dose in half. He still feels sadness and anger, but these no longer dominate his each and every day.

married to it

February 4th, 2009
1:29 pm

oh, and he hated paxil. zoloft has worked much better with minimal side effects.

Rick

February 4th, 2009
1:41 pm

The key thing is regular sex and not just because of the chemicals that’re produced.No one seems to have brought that subject up. It’s right after Air, water, food and shelter. Back down that Maslow ladder until you’re skipping something. 9 times out of 10 there’s no sex in your life. If I don’t get it I’m depressed as all get out–with it I can tackle anything.

Asha Mulchan

February 4th, 2009
8:46 pm

I do a daily program of breathing techniques which I learnt in the Art of Living stress management/health promotion program almost 11 years ago – it is my daily medicine, it has no unwanted side-effects, but many fringe benefits. I have very low stress levels, an improved immune system, peace of mind and a general positive and uplifting attitude. My children and I (yes, they do the breathing, too!) very seldom get sick. Research of the program has shown reduced levels of stress; improved immune system; reduced cholesterol; decreased anxiety and depression (mild, moderate and severe); increase in anti-oxidant protection; increase in natural killer cells, and enhanced well-being and peace of mind. I’ve gone through many traumatic events (e.g., a horrible divorce, a difficult move back to the US from Europe, the murder of my daughter’s fiancé and her intense suffering, losing two jobs due to budget cuts and downsizing). I moved through all of these without therapy and without meds and that is a real miracle to me.

JO LEWIS

February 8th, 2009
4:12 pm

I KNOW THAT THE TOPIC IS DEPRESSION, LIKE ME SOME PEOPLE HAVE DEPRESSION AND PANIC DISORDER, I WAS HAVING PANIC ATTACKS DAILY. I FEEL THAT I HAVE DIED A THOUSAND TIMES, THATS WHAT A PANIC ATTACK FEELS LIKE…I WAS DIAGNOSED IN 1989 BUT REFUSED TO BELIEVE THAT IT WAS IN MY “MIND”…IT FELT SO PHYSICAL…I AM CURRENTLY ON KLONIPIN 3 MG A DAY AND ZOLOFT 200 MG A DAY…I THINK THESE ARE DAILY MAX DOSAGES
FOR THE COMBINATION OF DEPRESSION AND PANIC DISORDER WHICH I AM DOING WELL ON AT THE TIME BUT THAT COULD CHANGE. THEN BACK TO THE PSYCH HOSPITAL FOR MED EVALUATION AND POSSIBLE CHANGE IN MEDS AGAIN. I HAVE BEEN ON SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY SINCE 2000 FOR THE DEBILITATING PANIC ATTACKS. THEY JUST HAPPEN, NO RHYME OR REASON EXCEPT FOR THE CHEMICAL INBALANCE THAT I WAS TOLD CAUSES THEM, OHYEAH, THERE IS ALSO NO CURE. WHO WOULD “CHOOSE” TO LIVE WITH THIS?

JO LEWIS

February 8th, 2009
4:16 pm

PLEASE GIVE ME SOME FEED BACK. NOTHING UGLY, HURTFUL OR NASTY PLEASE???

joey

February 8th, 2009
8:09 pm

Jo,

I don’t want to upset you or scare you into a panic, but step away from the caps lock key on your computer. After you stop cyber yelling, you might get some feedback.

Why do people do this anyway? When any post is in caps lock, I usually read about one line and give it up.

Isabelle

February 18th, 2009
6:21 am

I can completely understand why Cindy & Shaggy are expressing their concerns w.r.t. using medication to treat depression in this forum, as I was once felling exactly the same way they do…that was until I was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder – commonly treated with the same anti depressant medications to control neurotransmitter chemicals in the brain…

All I can say is… No, one cannot “think” youselve out of depression or anxiety. Attitude is important, but only if one acts responsibly and use these medications in cases where “mind over matter” won’t “fix things”…

I’ve been on Cipralex for almost 5 months now, and for the first time feel “normal” – the way I used to before my chemicals have gone “haywire”…

Too all those using these medications, well done & good luck with finding the right one.

People always look for “miracles” that would instantly cure their conditions, but never stop to think that these medications are our modern “miracle”, inspired by the knowledge that God has instilled in each and every one of us. Why not use what HE’s been giving us and stop seeing it as the DEVIL…

Only my humble opinion, but I thank GOD everyday for the lessons I’ve learned through this experience. Not judging people who are suffering with depression and/or anxiety. Unless you are in their shoes, do not give advise…

Cindy

March 3rd, 2009
9:13 pm

As someone who has tried ALL the natural remedies from exercise to positive thinking to fish oil to St. John’s Wort, to meditation, I can tell you that nothing has pulled me out of major depression like Paxil. I took it for 20 months with few side affects. Went off because of weight gain and despite my best efforts fell into another major depression. Paxil didn’t work the second time and now I am in process of finding something else.
I was devastated when I realized that my strong spiritual life and healthy living wouldn’t cure my depression. Then I realized that that is as silly as expecting prayer and exercise to “cure” my husband’s Type I diabetes. Prayer and exercise are extremely important in helping him stay healthy, but they are no substitute for his insulin. Major depression isn’t “feeling sorry for yourself” or being a little blue. It is a very real, very physical illness. Be grateful every day if you have never experienced it.

Cindy

March 3rd, 2009
9:21 pm

Oh, let me add, obviously I’m a different Cindy from the one who doesn’t believe in depression as an illness. Just because you go through terrible things in life and don’t get depressed doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist for others. Some people smoke all their long lives and don’t get lung cancer. Does that mean smoking doesn’t cause cancer? Some people are blessed with more serotonin than others. If you are be grateful.

Brandy

March 17th, 2009
2:57 pm

Shaggy and cindy are morons….don’t know how they wandered to this page, and wonder why they don’t have anything better to do than talk smack to depressed people….i have been on paxil for 5 years, excercise every day, and take time to breath…works for me

Jacqui

March 20th, 2009
2:29 pm

Anyone on here who denies the existence of depression, has obviously NOT suffered from it. I have been on anti-depressants since the end of 1999, because these things happened to me: I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and underwent emergency surgery during which I nearly died. I was in hospital for 8 weeks. The following year I had further surgery. I have an ileostomy bag for the rest of my life (I’m now 36). I’ve had endless financial problems, my mother died in 2002 and now I’m a full-time carer for my father who has vascular dementia. Depression is an ILLNESS which is caused by problems with neurotransmitters in the brain. Research has shown that people who inherit a certain version of the serotonin transporter gene are susceptible to depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and autism spectrum disorders. Serotinin, dopamine, noradrenaline etc are chemicals in the brain and the body, just as insulin is a chemical.Some of the posters on here really need to think about the rubbish they are coming out with, or they need to experience the same feelings that I’ve experienced: feeling suicidal, not being able to think, not being able to concentrate, feeling overwhelmed with fear which you think you’ll never get over…..paradoxically, a feeling that you really are about to die yet you don’t want to, or that you are falling further and further down a dark pit which you can’t get out of. To anyone who stills refuses to believe in depression: try living my life and THEN see how you feel.

D

June 16th, 2009
8:41 am

All of you offering platitudes and criticism of those who have suffered from something about which you know nothing need to get on your knees now and pray you never suffer from major depression.

ozziethedawg

July 11th, 2009
11:06 pm

having issues right now, have a family history of depression, many drugs have not worked for me, i took paxil for about six years, it helped tremendously, but i didnt like the effects i would have if i missed a dose (dizziness, lightheadedness) plus it was horrible to get off of. havent taken anything in two years but having the same issues again, dr, just put me on celexa. is celexa the same as lexapro? because my dad has been taking lexapro and it hasnt worked for him. i felt almost immediate relief from the paxil, i started taking the celexa a few days ago and am feeling very lightheaded and miserable.

Jack

July 14th, 2009
1:04 pm

Cindy and Shaggy are just uneducated about the issue just like Scientologist Tom Cruise who believes aliens populate earth. Chemical imbalances exist and are real regardless of what ignorant people believe. Luckily I’ve had the ability to recognize this and have sought help as a result. I’ve had a chemical imbalance since I was a teenager and have had depression / anger episodes which resulted in the hospitalization of other people that I beat to a pulp because I have neglected to take medication. Back then I didn’t care because I was chemically imbalanced. Nowadays, I would much rather be even-keeled than run the risk of hurting someone. Furthermore, I’m doing things that make me happy, counterpoint to these people who think doing things that make you happy are the cure-all, they’re not. Moreover, I credit my position in life as an executive in a fortune 500 company to taking this medication. Some people need help and to back up the other Cindy’s point, be glad you are blessed with healthy seratonin levels and leave the people that are in true need to find the answers they seek.

Negation

July 22nd, 2009
9:38 am

Sorry to say this, Pot is not the answer, but it is alot of fun. it has a lot of negitive affects to the human body as well. My depression is often amplified while smoking pot which throws my body into a lifeless state now i have just taken the first half of cipralex no more the 22 min ago so i will come back here in a mnth and give you guys the real answer on that medication.

Suzanne

July 22nd, 2009
2:18 pm

Hi there – would just like to add my little bit …

ok, so for about 3 years had been on cipralex for a combination of post-natal depression and the fact that I found out that my husband was having an affair. The drug itself was amazing and the only side-effect that I had was about 28lbs of weight gain which is a bit of a bummer for someone that has always been able to eat whatever she wants……anyway, I read about Wellbutrin on the internet (marketed as Zyban in the UK) and read that it caused weight loss, was an ani-depressant and also stopped you from smoking. Perfect.

I went to my doctor who prescribed me Zyban (to do all 3 things in one!!) and we also talked about weaning me off cipralex in the process. I had been keeping a diary and had no problms at all until around day 30 when I had not taken cipralex for around 7 days. Previous to that I had been taking 150mg Zyban every day and 5mg of cipralex every 3 days. Now I have had around 9 days with no cipralex at all and i feel awful. I am snappy, I have a strange buzzing feeling in my ears and brain and I can’t stop crying. I am also blushing when talking to people and I just don’t feel like “me”. The problem is that I don’t know if it’s the side effects of not having cipralex for so long or the side effects of having zyban.

I have just taken 5mg of cipralex and am going to see how I feel tomorrow. THis is so horrible at the moment though. Ifeel as though I am in a cloud and am very detached. Would love to hear if anyone else has ever felt like this X

jd

August 8th, 2009
10:09 pm

Hey.
I have been on cipralex for about 3 months now. I noticed within the first couple of days I felt different and the drug has worked wonders for me and has made me more positive and stress free.
I have never been on anti-depressants before and never believed in them until I felt I was just fed up with the struggle.
I have managed to lose 10 llbs or more give or take because my hunger has decreased but other than that I havent experienced much side affecrs but am starting to become concerned.
I recently was in a crowd of ppl waiting in a line and experience dizziness, blindness and almost a panic atttack. Ive never had one so Im not sure. It was almost as if my blood sugar was really low or something and I could of fainted. I got my bf to take me outta there and felt better but is this because of the meds?
I also smoke a lot of pot and always have. Im wondering if Im doing more damage, and it’s obvious that pot isn’t the best thing for u but I love smoking it. Is it time to quit or is it that I need to eventually get off the cipralex? I don’t want to be dependant on this forever but i was always really sad or depressed before.

Linda

August 14th, 2009
6:00 pm

Hi!

Depression runs in my family. I have a strong mental stand & believe in mind over matter. Will power is everything.. unless you have true deep depression. Let me say a few things before getting my final point across.

Everyone deals w/ feelings/emotions/thoughts & physical reactions differently. I’ve had extreme anxiety since I was a kid. It manifested into different things as I was growing up. Finally, ending in panic attacks. I then learned to “control it” mentally. I feel relieved that I understand more about the disease as well as myself. However there is another “friend” I have to live with: Depression. I’ve tried to make it “go away”. All kinds of excersize, getting enough sun, being around positive people, experiencing a new awaking to my Lord & Savior Christ Jesus. Yes, so much I have done to manage it “Naturally”. But guess what?! All you who don’t have depression just do not have room to judge, or give advice. It’s something you are born with & I believe certain situations/circumstances trigger it* It varies in degress of how bad or how managable it can be. However, I believe once you have it you can’t get rid of it. Maybe for a few days, months or years. But overall, it comes back. That is when you have to accept it, learn from it & grow stronger & wiser to your own body, mind, soul & hopefully spirit. Realize you can’t grow alone.

Get help if you need it.

That’s what I finally have done. To sum it all up I am ‘dreadfully’ looking forward to trying a mood inhancer/antidepressant for the first time* wish me good decision making & I will keep you updated. Research has left me more confused than ever & Blogs aren’t much help. -mine probably wasn’t either* But for this moment I feel just that much better.

Thanks*

jon

September 1st, 2009
12:16 pm

Paxil (paroxetine) has had a very bad press over the years but can be highly effective for certain individuals. I’ve witnessed patients’ lives literally being turned around in a matter of weeks. Is it the panacea to all their ills? No of course not. But it’s a start in the right direction and can enable very ill people to gradually get their life back. I’m not specifically promoting Paxil as there are numerous antidepressants available and it’s not possible to determine in advance how a particular drug will affect a particular individual.

As for those who talk about exercise, the power of prayer etc. please go and educate yourselves. Try reading the relevant sections of DSM-IV or ICD10 and then maybe you might have something worthwhile to contribute…

jolene

September 17th, 2009
2:10 pm

i have extreme anxiety and Depression runs in my family and there has been a lot of things that have made me what iam today i can not eat solid food most of the time my chest becomes tight and i start to think am going to choke if i eat this i have to push myslfe day after day just to eat and not give up because i dont want to give in to the everyday pain that anxiety and depression give you i tryed so hard to go on without the drugs iam only 21 years old but it got to the point where it was just to much to deal with i would cry everday to the point where my body was tired from crying i could not work at a job i once loved any more life use to not be so bad people that live a every day happy life and not to have the feelings of what people with anxiety and depression have then just be thankful of your everday joy and do not put down people like us with it it hurts i just want my life back i want it more then anything not to be able to love food like i use to sucks so every time you pick up something you just love to eat like pizza just love every bit of it and just be lucky you dont have what i have i would love to eat pizza i try hard to eat it but the fear comes over me and it hurts a lot that i cant do it like everyone els all i can say i hope to hell cipralex works for me and good luck to all to a happy life

jaclyn

September 29th, 2009
7:49 pm

for all the people saying depression is somebody’s fault and something that can be treated with vitamins/exercise etc- i would dare you to say that to a rape survivor such as myself. at 21 years of age i am the editor in chief of a magazine, 3.6 gpa, published journalist and i have been through many episodes previously in my life such as the divorce of my parents and deaths of friends and family which i was able to cope with and deal with. sometimes it is NOT a matter of exercising and rewiring your thinking. in my situation i was TOLD by a therapist that i was suffering from depression- i didn’t even realize how much my life was affected my sexual assault. so before you start spouting off about how people on antidepressants just need to learn to cope, i suggest you put yourself in my shoes and the 1/4 of women who are raped and ask them to get over their depression alone or just ‘deal’ with it.

Lauren

October 1st, 2009
8:59 am

I’m reading some of these posts, and you can CLEARLY tell the ones who are on here bashing anti-depressants, haven’t the slightest clue what they are talking about. You people have no business talking about something you know nothing about. I have a wonderful life, I am a youth leader at my church, have the best family in the world, a good job, nothing to be “depressed” about. But I was DIAGNOSED with manic depression at a very young age, and will always have to take them. They are not addictive, and when I stop taking them, everyone can tell a HUGE difference….myseld included. No one “chooses” depression….it is a serious medical condition. So yes, pray, exercise, whatever helps….but without anti-depressants NOTHING will help when you are depressed. I take Pristiq now and it is by far the best one i’ve taken, and i’ve taken them all. No side effects…just simply the best anti-depressant i’ve ever taken and I highly recommend it to anyone suffering from mild to manic depression.

J'Man

December 27th, 2009
2:14 am

I’ve been off and on using Cipralex for the last three years. Anxiety, with the odd panic tack and then a long lasting depression were my symptoms – I suppose like many of you. During the summer I found that 10mg seemed to be sufficient to maintain a balance that would allow me to maintain some sense of normality – In the winter months and increase to 20mg was necessary as I wasn’t out exercising as much (which is absolutely key for the depression). The toughest side effect seems to be drowsiness and feeling out of energy at points during the day. Again, any cardio-exercise that can be done inside or out has had a tremendous impact on my energy levels. Libido, does get effected, but fortunately I can still get to where I need to with a little patience. Other, than that, I haven’t had to contend with any other serious issues – My family is at ease and I can actually look forward to each day, rather than dreading every waking moment. I highly recommend Cipralex for anyone suffering similar difficulties who may go through serious complications with other medications. Patience is key as it actually takes about 3 weeks to a month before the positive effect start to kick in. For me it’s been a life saver…

Louise Towers

February 1st, 2010
7:19 pm

First of all, Cindy, What part of Chemical Imbalance do you not get? Yes, exercise outside is great if you can do it. Fresh air is wonderful and does help you feel better if you have the blues..NOT Clinical Depression. For those of you who know what Clinical Depression is, I have a question.

Recently I tried Cipralex. Almost immediately I could feel the weight of the world rising. I couldn’t cry any more (an ok thing as I was waking up crying) but I viewed the world entirely differently and was happy. I got… not a normal symptom…but a very rare one…. muscle rigidity. My shoulders would suddenly be up around my ears..so I would try to relax then, then find that my head was being held an inch or so up from the pillow, or my feet were turned up ot my leg pulled up into my hip socket. NOT a muscle spasm but a constant tenseness which is exhausting. I told the doctor and she had me drop my dosage for a week and then last week she switched me over to Zoloft which does not make me as happy, but unfortunately there has been no change in the rigidity. I am seeing my Dr on Thursday and am afraid she will probably wean me off the Zoloft and see if I still have the problem.

Have any of you ever had this muscle tenseness? I am achy and so tired from holding my muscles like that all the time.

I know that Cipralex and Zoloft are from the same family of SSRI’s and that there are many other types of antidepressants to try. most of them are not covered by my medical plan.

Nancy

April 19th, 2010
3:23 am

why is all this from feb 09 it is april 2010. wondering if anyone out there uses effexor and cipralex or some other combo that works, i used prozac and it worked well but i stopped it due to side affects and now effexor takes the edge off but i need something else, i hike swim walk work listen to music socialize but still need something else what???

on things itself

May 17th, 2010
5:59 am

Only fools and horses work, the writing style is creative.

michele

July 2nd, 2010
12:37 pm

I just want everyone to be very careful when taking cipralex, with other medication.
I was given cipralex for anxiety and torodol for pain after a car accident.
I suffered from extreme mucles shaking and twitching, convulsions,and sezures.
I became incoherant, and hallucinated.
I sought help from my doctor, two trips to the Emerg, and a neurologist.
No one could figure out what was wrong with me.
I knew in my gut that something was terribly wrong, and I was losing total control over my body and mind.
Once they ruled out all the big stuff, they thought well it’s got to be in her head.
I knew I couldn’t possibly be doing this to myself, and a shrink agreed!
Then when I was close to giving up hope my doctor said when don’t you try going off the medication, we’ve tried everything else.
Wow 12 months of hell, and no one thought,”hey it could be her medication”.
With in a few days I noticed a huge difference.
Within a month I felt fantastic.
So I lost a year of my life, but I learned a very big lesson.
Only you know your body best.
Listen to your gut, and keep hounding the doctor’s until you are better.
If this can help just one person, it will justify what I had to go through.

Christina

July 30th, 2010
8:09 pm

I have used Zoloft on and off since 1995 and I have been very pleased with the results. I really didn’t experience a significant weight gain until I took 100 mg. Then it was only about a 15 pd increase in body weight. It is worth mentioning that I have taken this medicine consistenly for over 5 years. My maintance dose seems to be aprox. 50 mg. This medicine has helped me overcome an eating disorder, social anxieties, and depression. I considered changing medicines just to see what else is out there and based on the research I found, zoloft is one of the best anti-depres. on the market. I did read that Lexapro is an excellent choice as well. Good luck to anyone considering a medication- I hope my review helps.