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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Thoughts on meds v non meds debate?


    Would be grateful for any input on this.

    I have suffered depression/anxiety as long as I can remember-I was a long term Prozac user and have tried various ones recently, mainly Mirtazapine which I had to give up due to side effects.

    But I am not coping at the moment without meds which gives me a quandary I am sure we have all faced-do I start taking the bloody pills again.

    For what it's worth these are my thoughts for and against-firstly FOR-

    1/ The pretty obvious one-I am not coping without them!!

    2/ They do seem to take away the extreme negative feelings which perhaps gives a sufficient "lift" to deal with the problem areas in our lives?

    That's pretty much it re FOR as far as I'm concerned-it's the against I am really interested in peoples views on-

    1/ I know too much knowledge is a dangerous thing and the Internet can make us all into pseudo-doctors BUT there is an increasing amount of info out there from medical experts etc... who believe that there is not enough known about the LONG-TERM effects of taking these drugs, particularly whether we should really be messing with the balance of our minds/brains in such a fashion. One interesting article I read today quoted the oft stated "If you are a diabetic you take insulin" argument but went on to make the point that diabetes is fully understood by the medical profession as are the treatments. The point was that even the so called medical experts seem unsure exactly how our brains function and exactly what these meds do? So is long term use potentially dangerous?

    2/ The bloody side effects!

    3/ That they make us "emotionless" and just "mask" our problems.

    Anyway just spoken to my GP and am going to try Cipralex so wish me luck-your thoughts would be appreciated. And I do understand it's hardly a new debate just that I am a naturally cautious individual by nature.

    Thanks for reading


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    , , United Kingdom.

    Re: Thoughts on meds v non meds debate?

    Hi Gordon, I am an advocate of medication. Have suffered from depression and anxiety for ten years. Am now on a cocktail which suits me. that's my view. I know a lot of people on here don't like the thought of drugs but for me they work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Re: Thoughts on meds v non meds debate?

    Thanks Jo

    I guess I am somewhere "in between" on the debate but have to accept that at the moment anyway I am not coping doing it on my own.

    Have just been to doc and been prescribed Cipralex which is a new one to me-going to give it a go and try to "ride out" the side effects as when you are literally crawling up the stairs you know it's time to do something!!

    Thanks again Jo


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    , , USA.

    Re: Thoughts on meds v non meds debate?

    I personally have chosen to deal with my anxiety without medication partly due to the fact that I was so dependent on Xanax and the withdrawal was awful!! Also I was put on a few others that I had horrible side effects from.
    For some, medications work really well and loads of members here swear by them, for me however, the past experiences have totally put me off trying meds again and I muddle thru on my own without them.
    Watch your thoughts; they become words.
    Watch your words; they become actions.
    Watch your actions; they become habits.
    Watch your habits; they become character.
    Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Re: Thoughts on meds v non meds debate?

    Hi Gorden
    Personally i have not had medication (wary of side effects and dependence also withdrawl ) I have dealt with my problems with counselling and joining groups like nmp, But i think it is a personal choice for each person and should meds be suitable for you then thats ok .
    Who knows what the future brings and there may be a day when i need meds , but not now .

    Take Care Maggie hope you feel well soon xx

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Re: Thoughts on meds v non meds debate?

    Hi Gordon, I'm quite pragmatic about ADs, probably because I've benefited a lot from a couple of them, to the point where they have probably (literally) saved my life. Perhaps I am irresponsible in not thinking too much about what they might do to me long-term, but then again that could be a case of worrying about nothing, and anyway I have to think more about how they allow me to cope and get on with life in the short term.

    I've done other things - CBT, self-hypnosis, seen psychiatrists - and they have helped, but never quite enough. Yes the side effects and withdrawal can be a real pain, but I've had worse from two antibotics I've had in the last week or so

    If the ADs mask the freaking out i'd be doing about a couple of things in my life that I have no way of changing - bring em on. Personally I don't find they make me emotionless either - you didn't see me the night my oldest son did his final duty as head boy before leaving school this summer.

    Each to their own and all that but if there is something out there that can change your life so much for the better, I tend to say go for it.

    Apologies for the length of the post about me, me, me but I most certainly wish you the very best of luck with the Cipralex.

    PS I'm off to bed now in the hope I can get up reasonably early and get on with a large amount of housework and decorating my daughter's bedroom on the only day I'm not working this week. Would I have been thinking this way a year ago? Oh no.
    Last edited by JaneC; 24-08-10 at 02:09. Reason: There's more

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Re: Thoughts on meds v non meds debate?

    To all of you who've taken the time to reply thank you. Each one of you has made a valid point on the issue.

    To Jane in particular-I too have done many of the things you mention to try to help myself though haven't yet gone down the psychiatric route. Like you it all helps but fact is I am still depressed and a nervous wreck at the moment.

    So I think I have to take the plunge. I too have kids one of whom has just started High School and like any parent I am proud of both of them-I am divorced so don't see them as often as I would like but they mean the world to me. I do not want to be left "emotionless" as I believe that happiness but also sadness are a necessary part of our lives on occasion. But being constantly tearful and upset isn't a good thing either!!

    I simply want to be able to function in both my personal life (such as it is!!) and working life-if I don't do something there is a very real danger of me losing my job with all that entails for me and my kids.

    So am trying to pluck up the courage to take my first 5mg Cipralex-it's not as if I haven't done meds before-just that for better or worse we know so much more about them and there is so much adverse publicity out there. Also stubborn git that I am I can't help feeling I SHOULD be able to do this myself.

    But I agree with you Jane we have to live in the here and now-worrying about the future is something we all do too much of when depressed/anxious anyway.

    But your post has offered me encouragement and I am grateful for that.

    Good luck and I hope your good progress continues Jane.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Re: Thoughts on meds v non meds debate?

    Hi Gordon,

    Sorry your in a quandry about this. I have taken meds and have had good results but I also have gone may years without them. One thing I would say though is this:

    THE most single important factor in this Meds debate is - what is your image of a "Man-who-takes-antidepressants"

    I have found that the biggest cause of side-effects etc in Meds is the IMAGE we have of what we are doing.
    There really isn't much to be gained from likening it to taking insulin for diabetes or anti-inflammatories for backache simply becaue diabetes and backache are not considered (in OUR minds or society's) as proof of "failuer" like depression and anxiety are.
    Noone is ever told to "pull themselves together" for diabetes.
    Sadly stigma still exists in "mental health" matters and NOT just in other people's eyes Gordon but in our OWN eyes mate!!!

    So in my humble opinion look at YOUR image of what you taking Anti-ds MEANS to you. I would hazard a guess that it is giving a "stamp of approval" on the fact that you are a "failure" in some way. This was true for me ages ago. Until I realised all of the above and then said "well, if I am gonna be THIS hard on myself then it's hardly surprising I've got anxiety and depression!"

    It is also proven that people who look upon meds as a positive route to getting better ( a crutch for a broken leg til u can walk again) have few to no side-effects. Those who take them while believeing that they are failures for doing so have loads more side effects.

    Gordon the mind got us here and it can take us away from here but sometimes it needs a leg-up. This is NOT failure. This is perfectly acceptable.

    Well that's me done.

    PS. this may sound silly to you but my closest friend (a Psychiatrist) had me stroking the Cit box for 2 days before taking them. Just the act of stroking made an impression on my brain that this was a good thing.

    Suz xxx

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Re: Thoughts on meds v non meds debate?

    hi gordon
    I had the same problem as you and really was in a state over whether to try meds again or stick with therapy alone, in the end decided to go with the meds mainly for the sake of my family. I think if it's just yourself you have to deal with then you could prob cope but when you have family esp teenagers relying on you for direction and strength, then it is no shame to take meds.
    Also the first time i went on Lexapro (think it is the same med different name) I remember 2 weeks into it I just felt suddenly better, it was such a lovely feeling and I stayed on them for the 6 months and was able then to come off.
    (Ok so I have had a relapse but that was due to son's serious problems (he's ADHD,Asperger's.oppositional defiant) and things got on top of me big time. This time lexapro didn't work so now have just been prescribed cymbalta - here's hoping.)
    So you are not alone in your feelings and this site has been good support as it has real experiences often just like yours.
    all the best

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    , , USA.

    Re: Thoughts on meds v non meds debate?

    Personally, I have been wary of meds, but I am not against them for others.

    I have read a lot about ADs and there seems to be a large contingent of medical professionals who do not believe in them for the majority of the population. I liken this debate to the use of meds for ADD and ADHD. Let me explain my thinking: depression is a lot like ADHD - something isn't quite right and you can function, but you can't function at a high level. They are both misunderstood disorders and many are misdiagnosed and given meds to help with the symptoms. Also, many of those who are given meds are not followed up with therapy to help deal with the disorder. There has been a backlash against the use of meds for these disorders because of the fact that so many doctors are quick to diagnose and medicate patients.

    There are a handful of people who suffer severe complications due to these disorders and they are often lumped in with those who really don't "need" meds to cope.

    My son cannot function in school without his ADHD meds. There are still some who believe that ADHD is a made-up disorder, as there are those who believe that depression is just "the blues" (which it is for many, but not for all). If you have severe depression that intereferes with your life to a point that you are spiraling downward, then meds should be at least considered.

    It is my belief that some people need the help of meds in order to even get to the point of wanting to explore other treatment options.

    There is nothing to be ashamed of if you are one of those people who needs the meds in order to help you function.

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