As you probably know if you skim this blog occasionally, I have been fighting with bouts of severe depression. Although I arguably have a very high-stress job, it feels as though it’s not related to that. It feels biological, if that makes any sense, rather than an emotional issue. I can feel fine, and then all of a sudden I get dumped into a trough of black depression and exhaustion, where there is no hope and barely a reason to find the strength to get out of bed.
Does anyone have an opinion on anti-depressants? I hesitate to talk to a doctor about this because they prescribe these things like candy, with disastrous results. I don’t believe in faddish treatment and unneeded drugs, don’t want to talk to some therapist who is trying to find a reason for my depression (had a normal childhood, thank you, with a very supportive and loving family), but on the other hand it’s getting increasingly difficult to get on with life and what I have to do everyday. I’m just so tired, and it all seems so pointless.
Any thoughts? Experiences? Advice?
13 thoughts on “Question About Depression”
Hayley has a condition which sounds comparable to what you seem to experience. Her problem isn’t a mental problem as such, she has a physical problem with her brain being unable to secrete the right hormones at the right times at the right amounts. She’s been prescribed a very light anti-depressant to control it and she’ll probably be using them long term (possibly for life). From what I know, she experiences it in the same way that you do in that don’t really feel that there’s anything wrong with your life, yet you still feel that black cloud.
I’ll ask her later what the condition is called and let you know.
I’m not a lover of any sorts of pills or potions as I’ve always had the belief that the body will sort itself out eventually. When my dep/cycling got so bad though that even my mother was noticing it then I eventually recognised that taking some sort of medication was the right thing to try. I’ve been on Citalopram for a few months now and, whilst I still get bouts of unexpected/unexplained depression it has helped as a “raise the average mental state a bit”. I don’t know how much of it is actual chemical reaction and how much might be a placebo effect, but other people I know who’ve taken the same stuff have also reported it has helped them too.
Oh, and I agree with your experience that it seems sometimes dep doesn’t have a specific cause, it just happens (apparently, anyway)
I would appreciate that, thank you. It does feel very much like a physical problem, and I’m assuming that there is an imbalance that can be corrected – if it can be done without zonking me out all the time or getting me addicted or giving me something that has weird side effects (like that anti-depressant that was making kids suicidal).
I’ve always felt that, I entirely agree – if you just get on with things as best you can, the body usually does sort most things out. That’s why I don’t want to go to a doctor that will prescribe heavy-duty antidepressants when I don’t need them. But it’s getting to the point where I think I need to do something…when I say black depression, it’s not an exaggeration. Yes, it comes and goes unexpectedly, but when it comes on it’s quite bad.
Have you thought of trying some of the mood lifters you can get from health food shops, like St. John’s Wort or 5-HTP?
I have friends who don’t want to get prescribed anti-depressants but who know they need some help, and they’ve found that one of the two above can sometimes help.
5-HTP helps your body make seretonin. St. John’s Wort is a herbal anti-depressant. And, just in case it needs to be said, I am neither a doctor nor a psychologist.
That’s a good idea, thanks – normally I treat most things with homeopathic remedies or herbal remedies. I’ve tried St. John’s Wort in the past, but I’ve never tried 5-HTP, never heard of it. I’ll try it.
I absolutely loathe taking pills and will avoid them if I have any other reasonable options. I think psych meds are often over-prescribed, particularly to people who could benefit just as much or more from talk therapy or other treatment. That being said, I took prescribed anti-depressant drugs for about a 10 month period over a decade ago and I’m glad that I did. What went wrong with my neuro-wiring then I may never know but as low as I’ve ever been since that time I’ve never again fallen back into the depths that required pharmaceutical help to crawl out from. Some people need anti-depressants as an ongoing treatment, some people choose to rely on them as a crutch, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck taking them forever if you go that route. It might happen that chemical treatment might work for you the way it worked for me, as a bandage that kept my wound from getting infected while my body healed itself.
Talk therapy has a bad rap. It doesn’t have to be all about your having had a terrible childhood. A competent therapist can help you develop coping strategies to deal with your problems that don’t require anything resembling Freudian style psychoanalysis.
Have you seen a physician for a physical check up? Quite often there’s some sort of physical cause for depression and once that’s treated the problem resolves more or less on its own.
I spent a year on Celexa for anxiety — but it is also an anti-depressant, so I had that side benefit too.
I DESPISE the notion of walking around drugged all the time. However, I was pretty damned surprised. Celexa at least (or the generic version I used) just kept the ‘depths’ off limits. The extreme anxiety wasn’t there either and eventually the nightmares stopped too. But I know through the time I was on it, I didn’t get any REALLY bad days depression wise either.
I’ve heard from a lot of other folks who did well with this drug. And lots of horror stories with other drugs out there. I’d start with it if you can, if available in the UK. the bad stories from other drugs scare me :P
Personally, I’d leave taking the pills unless I was desperate. I’m pretty up and down myself, I put a lot of it down to the weather and my isolation.
Have you been able to ride recently? I always have said that when I climbed on a horses back I feel instantly at peace.
It might be worth getting a check up, all sorts of things can make us feel depressed.
Yes, that was the first thing I tried – they did tests for diabetes and thyroid imbalance and all sorts of things. Not sure what else I could try, but I would assume that, I don’t know, cancer or whatever would make me feel physically ill or in pain – there would be completely physical signs.
As far as talking with someone…mmmnnn, not sure. It may be different than I imagine, but I have the feeling that it might be condescending (sp) and really get my back up. I could be wrong.
I’m trying herbal remedies right now, but if those don’t work, it’s worth trying, thanks. Yes, I would hate to feel all muffled and drugged – that wouldn’t be worth it.
I’ve always been up and down, too, but this is something entirely different, which is why I’m really worried about it. I do need to ride Lizzie more. Between the crappy weather and feeling exhausted, I don’t ride very much. A huge waste of £450-500 a month!
Hayley tells me it’s known as “organic depression”.