Depression and Antidepressants

Depression is an intense feeling of sadness, often accompanied by lack of motivation, tears and irritability. A large percentage of us will go through some form of depression at one point or another. There are different levels of depression and different levels of treatment for depression.

The most common form of treatment is by prescription drugs called antidepressants. Antidepressants work by suppressing the hormones that make us feel depressed and sad.

Different dosages, different brands, all work differently on different people. On a high enough dosage, a person could be pretty knocked out but most prescribed dosages are a fine balance between dealing with the depression and not blocking other emotions. Often, the issues blocking other emotions are not caused by the antidepressants themselves, but a lack of motivation / disability to deal with the problem actually causing the depression.

If you are on antidepressants and feel knocked out, speak to your doctor, who will perhaps change your brand or give you a lower dosage.

Any effects by the antidepressants do wear off once use of the tablets is stopped, despite the fact that antidepressants can be seen as being addictive. This is because by being on them you can avoid dealing with your actual issues causing the depression, as well as the fact that when you come off them, the reality is still harsh and life on them is a little more simplified as your hormones are “quieter”.

There are other ways to help elevate mild depression without use of drugs and believe it or not these include behaviour therapy, dealing with the source of your depression, a little exercise (where your blood really starts pumping) and a little sunshine.

Ideally one uses more than one method to treat depression. And remember antidepressants should be prescribed by a medical practitioner (GP or Psychiatrist).

One thought on “Depression and Antidepressants

  1. HelloPrincess

    Hey.I’m a 100% non synthetically-medicated psoyicthc kid. Diagnosed schizophrenic and have very serious positive symptoms and equally horrible negative symptoms. Here is what I do to keep on top of the depression that is one of my negative symptoms.

    1) Omega 3 Fish Oil. You may have to buy a brand manufactured for kids because adult brands don’t tend to be filtered for mercury and you DEFINITELY want a mercury-free product.

    2) Multi-vitamins. Take something with a very high iron, vitamin D and magnesium.

    3) Exercise. If you’re overweight, a healthier bodyweight will help you out. If you’re not, exercise will still release endorphins. Personally when I’m at my worst I do yoga from flashcards, (this is when I cannot leave the house) boxing, and jumping jacks while a music channel (usually rock but I figure anything with a good beat that you like listening to when you’re happy will work) is on. I also go running, when I’m not as bad, usually in a forest on warm days or at a beach on cold days, somewhere where I’ll be alone with nature and my ipod.

    4) Music. I mentioned the music channel & ipod above, but I also blare Queen, Bowling for Soup, Blink-182 and the All-American Rejects (aka nobody who sings about death, depression, suicide, sadness, or has a downbeat – less than 4/4 – track) and I HATE IT. It makes me MAD and MAD is better than depressed. It is more productive. ;]

    5) I force myself to do things I enjoy when I’m happy. I take a shower with the nice smelling soap and warm my towels on the radiator, I watch the funny episodes of Firefly and my favourite films and read magazines and This Book Will Save Your Life (A.M Homes – it’s my favourite book). And if that sucks, I do the laundry and hoover. For me what works is just keeping moving. Then even if my whole day sucks and I can’t bear it, the next day I can wake up to something good I’ve done and maybe feel better for it – or I have fond memories of my favourite movie etc.

    6) My favourite one – I read a book I’ve written. It’s a big old book that I bought ages ago and when I’m happy, I write things I like in the book. Stupid stuff like, Xander from Buffy, and the sound from line arrays, and Diamond 4’s, and sherbert lemons, and Harry Potter 1, and Gandhi quotes, things that have no consequence. If I’m only mildly down, it can get me back up.

    7) Meditation. Just sit quietly and concentrate on not concentrating on anything. If that makes sense. Don’t allow yourself to have thoughts. Let your only thought be the thought that stops you thinking about anything. It sounds complex but you probably get my meaning. I like to meditate either in the dark in my room but the sunlight is good for depression so I force myself to sit in the middle of the living room with all the shades open in the sunlight.

    8). Therapy. Not from a councillor – from a psychologist, in particular a psychologist who is a qualified Cognitive Behavioural Therapist – these people are like GOLDDUST. They will teach you how to get through your worst moments and help you tailor your recovery techniques to your own personality. Plus, they’re also usually really cool not-up-themselves people. Interview a few different psych’s if you can, and if they’re in an office and wearing a suit, don’t bother. Find someone who wears jeans and listens to the music you like and likes the TV shows you like, so you geniunely like their company and that way, you’ll get a lot more out of your time with them – it’ll be more friendly and less clinical. And that in itself will lift your mood.

    Please bear in mind that the most important thing to have to get over depression without meds is psychological resilience. You need to be the type of depressed person who says, this sucks, but I WILL GET THROUGH THIS. I WILL NOT GIVE UP.. I WILL FORCE MYSELF THROUGH THIS. If you’re prone to giving up (I am not saying this is something to be ashamed of, it’s just something to be honest about – I understand fully that being a can’t-be-f*cking-bothered/don’t-want-to-can’t-make-me depressive is horrific and not something the depressive can help) you may have to come to terms with the fact that you may need a low dosage of meds (Citalopram is good in low doses) to get you through, and you may have to rely more heavily on therapy. Either way, get a CBT and remember you are not alone, and you should never give up on yourself.’When all you’ve got to keep is strong, move along. And even when your hope is gone, move along.’Good luck.

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