Depression, Anxiety and SSRIs

Welcome to UKHIppy2764@2x.png

UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

  • I've been having a tough time lately with anxiety and depression, I'm not suicidal, but I am struggling, and difficulties at home and from the past have been flaring up and making me feel like shit. My G.P has been trying to persuade me to take Fluoxetine, which apparently will help me. I've always been the sort of person who's really against medication unless it's absolutely necessary, but I know it's usually best to take the doctor's advice (isn't it?:S) I just don't know, I'm anxious about the prospect of taking them.


    I've exhausted myself trying out various other therapies. I've had counselling a few years ago, I'm currently having CBT, but it's so slow and frustrating, I think it's helping, but maybe I need meds alongside it? I just feel constantly stressed and overwhelmed and like I want to run away from everything and start again.


    Has anyone else had any experience of being on Fluoxetine, or any other SSRIs? I'm scared of feeling numb and just not caring about anything, but I know I need to sort myself out... :( Any other suggestions from people who have experience of anxiety and depression, would be really welcomed, I'm feeling lost at the moment.

  • Hey there sweetie


    I suffer from bad depression & anxiety. I've been on a few different SSRIs, and I'm the same as you, I didn't want to take meds unless it was absolutely essential. I've been taking Venlafaxine for nearly 10 years now. It's similar to Fluoxetine. I can honestly say that I couldn't have got through the last ten years without it. I have some mild side-effects, but these are nothing compared to the depression/anxiety itself.


    I know lots of friends who have been on meds...some have had them for a while then come off them, some still take them. I know it seems like a big thing to start taking tablets, but it's not as scary as it sounds. Your doctor would start you off on a very low dose, and monitor your progress, and gradually increse it until you feel the effects. Everyone reacts differently to different SSRIs, so it might take a while to find one that suits you, but I promise you it isn't some scary numbing medication. I admit that you do feel a little numb at times, but it's definitely not like you don't care about anything, don't believe the scaremongers who tell you it makes you become a robot.


    It's really good that you're having CBT (this didn't exist when I started on my meds) but it sounds like you might need more help. It's hard to know if meds would help you, because it sounds like your problem is partly caused by circumstances/situation. If your doctor seems to think it would help though, there is honestly no harm in trying. If you start the meds and are unhappy with side-effects, you can stop them.


    Any other questions or anything, I'm happy to help :)

  • :bighug::hug: Hell you can t be depressed not the little elf,


    I know absolutly sod all about this field but i am not a big fan of medication, I have a mate who needs prozak and all sorts of stuf to keep him happy and if he comes off it he goes really low,


    I wish i could find a way of cheering you up you usually seem so chipper,


    i need to reasurect the pma thread i think but i myself am struggling to raise even a little smirk at the mo,


    I think its a good time to be miserable as the weathers crap etc etc, so hang in there i think your a lovely little elf who has helped me a bit when i am down in the dumps.


    No doubt there will be experts on here who give me a slating for not following your doctors orders but i dont know personally i aint that keen on medical fixes.


    I think its natural to be down in the dumps now and again, its a natural thing im sure we cant be happy all the time! the world would be very odd place if we went around grinning like fools all day.



    I wont say cheer up cos thats annoying but hang in there you l soon be all happy in the future iam sure keep looking forward,

  • I'm going to refer back to some posts I made some time ago #here because my opinion is still pretty much the same.



    And this post:



    I'll expand on the above a bit by saying that everything we stick into our bodies, whether food, drink or drug is going to have an effect on our overall physiology ... food and drugs both create chemical reactions in our bodies and brains, and the more "unnatural" something is, the more it'll affect us negatively in the long run.


    I've had some pretty serious periods of depression in my life in the past, some that I never thought I'd ever emerge from ... and even though I'd been advised to medicate, I've point blank refused - and eventually things do improve, crises always passed and I suspect they always will.


    Our bodies can heal themselves, as can our minds ... and by sticking crap into ourselves we hinder the self-healing process. That doesn't mean we need to be perfect, but why add to problems with stuff that potentially comes with a new set of issues?


    I believe there are far more natural ways - experience has taught me that we're more capable than we give ourselves credit for.

  • i suffer from, depression was on citapram they switched me on to arug that sounds like yours, it made zombiefied straight away i was shuffling and walking with head down
    i came of it and took citapram, ,went through CBT some good effects some not so good, nowi have gone cold coldcturkey on the citalapram, , iget good days i get bad weccqnt expectto be happy all time.
    i find excercise getting out in hte fresh air, chopping wood etc all helps

  • I'm going to refer back to some posts I made some time ago #here because my opinion is still pretty much the same.And this post:I'll expand on the above a bit by saying that everything we stick into our bodies, whether food, drink or drug is going to have an effect on our overall physiology ... food and drugs both create chemical reactions in our bodies and brains, and the more "unnatural" something is, the more it'll affect us negatively in the long run.I've had some pretty serious periods of depression in my life in the past, some that I never thought I'd ever emerge from ... and even though I'd been advised to medicate, I've point blank refused - and eventually things do improve, crises always passed and I suspect they always will.Our bodies can heal themselves, as can our minds ... and by sticking crap into ourselves we hinder the self-healing process. That doesn't mean we need to be perfect, but why add to problems with stuff that potentially comes with a new set of issues? I believe there are far more natural ways - experience has taught me that we're more capable than we give ourselves credit for.

    Surely if antidepressants are so terrible so many people would not be taking them?

    * Go tell the sun * Go tell the rain * Something inbetween *
    * Is happening these days *

  • Post by Duckman ().

    The post was deleted, no further information is available.
  • Hi there Elfie, big hugs and love from me.


    Paul puts forward some good points. In my opinion, med's may not necessarily be bad overall, but Paul nailed it on the head by saying the person themself can make the biggest difference, and that difference you can make will be through CBT (& the other tecniques on your course, assuming you have been referred to one by your doctor). How do you feel about the CBT, is it early days? CBT depends on the user themselves wanting to make change and being dedicated to it.


    I have had problems myself which I would go into but it's late & I'm off to bed shortly, but I have found CBT & all that stuff really helps. Much of it is learning to understand the way your mind actually works - starting to recognise certain traits and things you do that aren't good and learning to correct them. I would spend too much time on the computer and hide away from the world rather than facing up to it. You may have things in your lifestyle that need to change, though with a kid & another on the way I would imagine this is pretty stressful alone!


    With dread or anxiety you tend to avoid situations which makes you have a reduced level of activity, and this reduced activity feeds a feeling of low mood and further anxiety. You rob yourself of opportunities where you would feel good. Thinking it would be better to stay in than socialise for example, because you think in your mental state you can't talk to people, whereas if you went out you would actually enjoy yourself and it would be a relief to talk to people. Mr. Zen mentioned how chopping wood helps him, light exercise is really good. Anything heavy can be too much if you are suffering from adrenal fatigue like I do when I get stressed. If you're doing a course you may have heard of the stress response (fight or flight), well I reached a stage where I was stressed so frequently that I ended up depleting my body of adrenaline, so my adrenal glands & thyroid just kind of gave up. This is essentially CFS / ME, or some people consider it a breakdown.


    Diet can make a really big difference. Avoid caffeine, alcohol & sugar. Caffeine makes the body produce adrenaline which is the last thing you want, you want to avoid the stress response & try to keep as relaxed as possible. Sugar will make these organs work hard to break it down, and the sudden up and down levels in energy are a killer. For energy in your diet eat complex carbs such as whole-grain pasta, brown rice, wholemeal break etc. Alcohol contains sugar and.. well it's the worst drug out there anyway. Eat lots of vegetables, this will help sort your organs out, and provide your body with the stuff it needs to produce seratonin.. can make a hella difference without the need for drugs. Avoid processed foods.


    If you think to yourself "I need to try and be happy" while you feel crap, you will focus on trying to change that crap feeling and it won't work. You'll just realise how crap you feel! The happiest state of mind humans get, is when they are in a state of flow, or as sports people would describe it - when they're in the zone. It's where you are not so busy that you're stressed, but where you are engaged and challenged. For me, I have found spending more time cooking and doing simple jobs works well for me. The cooking doubles up with a healthy diet. I tidy up more which has several benefits, I am more organised & don't lose things so much, not so much clutter in both my house & mind. We certainly do not achieve happiness through material goods & posessions. Try to set asides time specifically to relax - light some candles & insence half and hour to an hour before bed, take a radox in the bath, play nature sounds or soothing music etc.


    Writing things down tends to help me, keeping a bit of a log of my state, what I'm eating, my thoughts & concerns, my plans. I did have some other points and this is all a bit of a jumble, but I'm tired & off to bed. Sorry for the mess, but I hope some of this stuff helps you & I'm more than happy to share with you whatever else comes to mind. All the best x

  • Surely if antidepressants are so terrible so many people would not be taking them?

    You could say the same about anything from alcohol and smoking right through to the way people consume heart-attack inducing foods. Most people don't stop to think about (let alone research fully) what's going into their bodies, but instead prefer a short term fix that doesn't involve considering the costs to both immediate health and eventual longevity.


    The fact that we're poorly educated about our health really doesn't help the issue ... it's long been the approach of western medicine to treat the symptoms of illness rather than research the causes. I don't think there's another species on the planet that gets as sick as we do!

  • You could say the same about anything from alcohol and smoking right through to the way people consume heart-attack inducing foods. Most people don't stop to think about (let alone research fully) what's going into their bodies, but instead prefer a short term fix that doesn't involve considering the costs to both immediate health and eventual longevity.The fact that we're poorly educated about our health really doesn't help the issue ... it's long been the approach of western medicine to treat the symptoms of illness rather than research the causes. I don't think there's another species on the planet that gets as sick as we do!

    I know from my experience that I was not in a position to 'stop and think' about the consequences of me taking anti-depressants, and if my family had spent any length of time thoroughly researching all the pros and cons of taking them then i probably wouldn't be here today. Simple as. In my case I had been depressed for quite a long time before it got bad enough for me to be put on the pills and I had gone through a lot of CBt, councelling etc. But inspite of this I don't think it caused me any harm, as when I was strong enough I managed to come off the pills. I do not feel they have caused me any harm in the long run. Everyone is different, what works for one person may not work for another.

    * Go tell the sun * Go tell the rain * Something inbetween *
    * Is happening these days *

  • Well I've never met anyone using antidepressants who is happy, content, passionate, ambitious, stable, with a sense of belonging and fulfilment and also full of energy!


    So, until I see someone using them who can report all that (the benefits of a hollistic and natural approach to health) I shall remain sceptical.


    But if it works for you then who am I to argue?

  • Well I've never met anyone using antidepressants who is happy, content, passionate, ambitious, stable, with a sense of belonging and fulfilment and also full of energy!

    My stepmum has been on them for over 30 years & she is all of the above :)

    * Go tell the sun * Go tell the rain * Something inbetween *
    * Is happening these days *

  • Following this on phone so can't write long reply but cfs/me is still an unknown quantity and is not as simplistic as above. There is even doubt as to if they ae the same thing. Most people develop ME from a viral illness or similar which is the tipping block. ME is a neurological condition and as of yet people do not know why what when or how because the research in this country is crap

  • My stepmum has been on them for over 30 years & she is all of the above :)

    I find it hard to believe that anyone with a pharmaceutical ball and chain really enjoys being in that position.


    People enjoy eating good food, they feel great if they exercise and hydrate properly. People never feel trapped by the need to meditate or do any of the other healthy practices that promote mental wellbeing. People who do that stuff don't feel a sense of panic because they know the good stuff is everywhere on the planet. You really can't say the same for anyone who has to take regular medication.


    Before I eliminated my asthma I was dependant on my Ventolin and Becotide inhalers along with Prednisone for major attacks - I accepted medication because it freed up my airways and I got on with life - but I knew no better and if I didn't have them I got into a panic. They worked for me for a long time, but only because I hadn't experienced (or been willing to explore) any alternative.


    Was I happy? Relatively speaking yes ... but only because I didn't have the power of hindsight to realise that there was more to be had from life.


    Now I accept I'm responsible for my own wellbeing and that my return to health was in my own hands - it would be a major step backwards to return to medication.


    So of course, if something serves you then carry on; for many people it is the most accessible path for many reasons. But I'll continue to believe that long term medication blocks people off from fulfilling their true potential.

  • So of course, if something serves you then carry on; for many people it is the most accessible path for many reasons. But I'll continue to believe that long term medication blocks people off from fulfilling their true potential.

    I think it's important to draw a distinction between long term and interventionist medication. I'm certainly not a fan of the long term use of anti-depressants, and I've never seen anyone on them who I didn't think would be better without them. However, given that we don't live in an ideal world, anti-depressants may, for some, be the only viable option in the short term - if used to leverage a better headspace from which to explore other alternatives.

  • I think it's important to draw a distinction between long term and interventionist medication. I'm certainly not a fan of the long term use of anti-depressants, and I've never seen anyone on them who I didn't think would be better without them. However, given that we don't live in an ideal world, anti-depressants may, for some, be the only viable option in the short term - if used to leverage a better headspace from which to explore other alternatives.

    I don't disagree with any of that - I was mostly referring to long term medication in my original posts anyway (hence "medicate their way through life").


    I believe that we often become miserable by the things we give our attention to (which is why I'm also sceptical about some types of counselling). So providing a short-term relief may well be the distraction that enables us to seek more beneficial solutions. If it stops us digging around in a problem and gets us more solution focused then fine (not ideal, but still effective) ... but using it as a way to get through life, then that really doesn't add up to a happy existence.


    I'd happily take a paracetamol for a headache, but if I was taking them every day I'd certainly want to investigate the reasons.

  • Following this on phone so can't write long reply but cfs/me is still an unknown quantity and is not as simplistic as above. There is even doubt as to if they ae the same thing. Most people develop ME from a viral illness or similar which is the tipping block. ME is a neurological condition and as of yet people do not know why what when or how because the research in this country is crap


    I do appreciate this - post viral fatigue syndrome. My ex was crippled with something when she was little and her symptoms started from that. At the same time, she is Bi-polar and a massive, massive stress head. She would work harder to battle through her ME / CFS which would only exasperate the problem and has to keep busy as it's "her way of dealing with things". I believe keeping busy serves as a distraction to avoid the anxiety and other mental issues she has. I know another person over the Internet who's husband has ME / CFS & the same character traits and everything mirrors. I believe in my ex's case and many people, their physical symptoms result from their mental state, or at least this contributes to worsen their existing problems. Your body and mind can only spend so long being stressed out before they start to shut down, they end up burning out. While I was with my girl, I ended up getting stressed out by trying to deal with her stress. It ruined me and I ended up getting adrenal fatigue myself. The same thing happened to this woman I know and she ended up on SSRI's. They say people who deal with those with problems usually end up having problems themselves and I believe it!

  • I think paul is right. I defo think if possible it must be better to get over depression naturally surely your brain learns to cope with the low periods my naturally doing something, wheres when you whack chemicals into the equation its a bit like a quick fix will the brain become more depandant on the chemical when the next low hits again,


    Its probably harder and tougher to get over shit the slow and painful way but surely taking a load of pills, must numb the senses

  • Quote

    Well I've never met anyone using antidepressants who is happy, content, passionate, ambitious, stable, with a sense of belonging and fulfilment and also full of energy!


    Have you met any people that suffer from depression that are? Surely the very nature of depression often eliminates that.

  • i'd've thought being on antidepressants while working through cbt would be counterproductive? i don't know cbt, i had cat, but my therapist was anti meds whilst i was doing it (she went away for a few weeks early on,and said she was happy for me to use them then if i felt i needed to but not during it) because you need to be clear headed and working thru ur problems, whereas antidepressants numb the feelings. if that makes any sense. it wil take a while but it's the best way, well it was for me. i had it for 2 years. i was a posterchild of its success. i was very lucky. especially when so young. much harder if you're older.
    good luck.. maybe spk to ur therapist before making a decision.

    we reenact Noah's ancient drama, but in reverse, like a film running backwards, the animals exiting

  • My mum had post natal depression after having my sister
    It was the pills that saved her
    If you could of seen her
    She was walking the streets in her dressing gown in feb earlyhours of the morning
    Was really low and close to suicide


    My son has psychosis
    And suffers bouts of depression if it wasn't for the tablets he would be dead now
    He's been half way up the side of the ice skating building twice out of sheer despair


    Pills aren't always the answer but sometimes you have no choice it's easy to say oh your just masking it try alternative therapies etc but when your in the depth of a deep depression it's just not that simple

  • I'd say that her choice to take the pills saved her because it was her path of least resistance ... something to pin some faith onto so she could focus on getting better. Most people don't do alternatives because they don't know know how or they're simply not encouraged to do so.


    Psychosis is a different issue, it's not depression. However, I'm still certain that it could be improved by diet/exercise etc. I'd put money on it ... but that doesn't mean come off the meds and start munching carrots, I'm not stupid enough to think it's a matter of making on overnight switch from one to the other.


    Through life most of us are looking for an easier path - we want to be able to go through a crisis with as little resistance as possible ... and in some cases that easiest path is medication. The reason we get into that state in the first place is 'cos the vast majority of us are poorly educated about what we're putting into our bodies and how to avoid stress triggers.


    The pharmaceutical industry markets chemicals to doctors with offers of holidays and golf clubs for prescribing them ... seriously, it's a rarity to find a doctor who's properly clued up to health


    Yes there are often circumstances that feel overwhelming, but nobody needs to be a victim to those circumstances ... every one of us has the ability to grab back some power and take control of our wellbeing.


    If you look after your body your mind will improve because it cleans up the chemical reactions that send us into turmoil in the first place. Taking baby steps to cut the crap from your life - tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, processed wheat, gluten, saturated fats, sweeteners etc. and your mind will start to get better - you will think more clearly and feel more centred. It's very simple really and fuck all to do with hugging crystals or waving your hands over someone - yes there's a place for all that for some people but it really doesn't need to be all woo woo and fluffy.

  • paul...believe me my mum did know about alternatives she was very much into alternative therapies but i do think that sometimes you are so deep into the depression that you arent actually thinking about things rationally and couldnt really be sat there thinking now will this work or that work you just need something to work
    a short course of antid"s followed by diet excercise when your in a good enough place to appreciate its benefits


    psychosis is a diff ball game your right but once stable lee has suffered severe bouts of depression brought on by feelings of hopelessness like his life is stuck
    he eats well and is encouraged to take excercise he has a great team behind him but with out the antid"s he would not be here of that i am sure


    i think that one persons cure or crutch is diff than anothers and while antid"s will work for one they may not be right for another and it also depends on the severity of the illness

  • Paul, any chance of some links so I can read up a bit on what you are saying? :)

    Most of my knowledge comes an accumulation of learning from a variety of sources (mostly books) and many years of self-experimentation.


    I've also got a sport science qualification from the 1990s, which although out of date, gave me a fairly decent knowledge of nutrition. My diet nowadays consists mostly of "paleo" principles with a few personal tweaks making it more veggie friendly.


    I'll have a dig around and see if I can find some useful stuff online :)

  • he eats well

    I've met so many people who "eat well", but when you get down to the nitty gritty of their diet you find there are still plenty of foods that are thought to be healthy, but totally unsuitable for anyone wanting to dramatically improve their health. That includes potatoes, wheat, rice, dairy, excessive fruit and anything labelled as "low fat".


    If someone has eliminated all of that and 70-80% of their diet is vegetables then I'd accept their claims of eating well.

  • Most of my knowledge comes an accumulation of learning from a variety of sources (mostly books) and many years of self-experimentation.


    I've also got a sport science qualification from the 1990s, which although out of date, gave me a fairly decent knowledge of nutrition. My diet nowadays consists mostly of "paleo" principles with a few personal tweaks making it more veggie friendly.


    I'll have a dig around and see if I can find some useful stuff online :)


    Or point me in the direction of some books........I prefer books anyway :)