Post # 1
My doctor wants to put me on an anti-depressant. I am very much against going on meds for depression, but all of the doctors and counselors that I see think that I should be on some type of anti-depressant for at least 6 months. However I do not want to be on any med that could possibly cause weight gain or loss of sex drive. Pretty much every anti-depressant I read about has those symptoms. One of my counselors recommended wellbutrin and said it shouldn’t have those side affects, but then when I looked it up online I did see loss of interest in sex listed as a side effect. As a newlywed, I don’t want to deal with that. I also want to be able to have a few drinks with friends still, and I know that so many anti-depressants shouldn’t be used if you drink alcohol.
So are any of you on any anti-depressants that don’t have those symptoms? Would you be able to share the name?
Post # 3
From my personal experience (that is, your mileage may vary), I would recommend against them. I was put on one in the past, and physical side effects notwithstanding, it just doesn’t let you feel like yourself. I switched types, and it didn’t help, so I quit them. Sure, the doctors will insist you “need” them, but you don’t. Really. I have lengthy views on mental health in general that I will keep to myself, but for your question, I will just say that I definitely think that if you are worried about the side effects, that should be reason enough not to put more chemicals in your body.
Post # 4
I am on Lexapro, 20 mg. I have been on it since I was 15 or 16 at 10 mg, then upped it to 20 a couple years ago. I don’t have any side effects unless I don’t take it, then I get dizzy and headaches. It says you shouldn’t drink and all that, but I still do, and it hasn’t affected me at all. It also warns of the side effects of decreased sex drive and all that, but the percentage that experiances that is super low. I have been really happy on it. I did switch to another kind (can’t remember the name right now!) and had horrible decreased sex drive, so I went back to lexapro. My mom and sisters have all taken it for years too. I would recommend it 🙂 Good luck!
Post # 5
Lexapro is the favorite to reccomend in the Dr office i work in.
Post # 6
- Wedding: May 2011 - Bartram's Garden
I’ve been on Wellbutrin before and now I’m on Lexapro. I’ve gained some weight, but I don’t think it’s due to the meds – I’ve also been eating horribly and I haven’t exercised in forever.
I didn’t have any sexual side effects with Wellbutrin, but it didn’t help with the depression as much. The Lexapro has helped with the depression but we’ve noticed a definite decrease in my sex drive. But the boy and I both decided that we’d rather have me feeling better and not having sex as much, instead of having more sex with me being miserable and depressed all the time.
I’ve always drank a bit on both of them and it’s been fine. Even my doctor said it was fine, in moderation. They are the two anti-depressants that have the least amount of side effects.
Post # 7
Zoloft is the other one I tried! I hated it 🙂 Also, i was able to continue my Lexapro while I was pregnant, just a lower dose.
Post # 8
I tried Wellbutrin for a week and it was the worst week of my life. When I tried it I was severely depressed and desperate for something to make me feel better. I saw my doctor and she recommended it and I filled the prescription and started taking it the same day. She had said it would take a while for me to feel better and that it would take a while for my body to adjust, but I felt so, so much worse. By the sixth day I couldn’t get off the couch and couldn’t eat anything at all. I was so much more miserable than before I had started taking it. It was the absolute worst I have ever felt in my life. I was weak and sick and even more depressed than ever. I called up my doctor and she told me to stop taking it immediately and that we should try something else. We decided to try some old school style antidepressants and so I went on amitriptylene (elavil). So glad I did! I used it on the lowest dosage possible before bed and it was basically like a sleeping pill. I started feeling better very quickly and I had very little side effects. I was on it for sixth months and just went off last week and I feel great!
As a side note, good for you for doing research before you started any prescription. I would NEVER have tried Wellbutrin if I had read about it beforehand, but like I said above, I was desperate and she had touted it as this great pill, helps people lose weight, etc. without telling me any of the negatives. Later I found out what a crazy ass drug it is. Essentially a lot of people who go on it have to spend a YEAR or more tapering off because it is like a serious withdrawal. I am glad that my body rejected it. I have read that a lot of the newer antidepressants are serious drugs with some messed up long term side effects and I am not sure I would ever take any of them.
Post # 9
One thing you have to remember about anti-depressants is that they affect different people differently. Sometimes, you have to try a few before you find one that works for you and it may not ALWAYS work for you.
I went on Zoloft in 2001 after a rediculously bad break up and was on it for about 18 months. I had no unpleasant side-effects, I lost a lot of weight, and I felt much better, Then I tapered off and was fine.
In 2006, my depression returned in full force, probably (at least part) due to Hurricane Katrina. I went back on Zoloft thinking it would be the same and it wasn’t. I gained 20 pounds, my sex drive was basically non-existant and (even worse) when I did want to have sex, I could not orgasm (yes, that can be a side-effect).
My doc switched me to Wellbutrin and it’s been great. I feel good, it actually increased my sex drive and I’ve lost weight on it, but as you can see above, other people don’t have such good experiences with it. My mom took it for a while and it made her feel “dizzy and crazy.”
I will tell you that most people I know who are “happy” with their anti-depressants are on either Wellbutrin or Lexapro (though I know people who are happy on others). I will also encourage caution with Celexa and Effexor as they have extremely bad side-effects and very short half-lives. My mom was on Effexor for a while and if she didn’t take it, she was in withdrawls within 12 hours, seriously ill.
Post # 10
I work in the medical field and every doctor I talk to emphasizes that sometimes medication is necessary. You use inhalers to treat asthma and insulin to treat diabetes. You can’t expect these things to get better on their own. The same goes with depression. It might take a little bit of trial and error to find the prescription and dosage that is right for you, but you shouldn’t be ashamed to take anti-depressants. I agree with phedre though, I’ve never heard good things about Celexa. And Wellbutrin is often used for smoking cessation and sometimes used as a weight loss tool as well because it cuts down on cravings, so I wouldn’t worry about gaining weight with that one.
Post # 11
I should probably note, I’m not a doctor, nurse or any other sort of medical professional. I just work in a field where I interact with doctors routinely.
Post # 12
As someone who is a Psychology major and studies Abnormal Psych in depth, I agree with @Twista. If you have poor eyesight, you don’t just hope it gets better. There are alternatives to anti-depressants, and not every anti-depressant will work for every person. But depression has to do with your brain chemistry, and that’s not as simple as most people like to believe. It might make you feel better to do some in-depth research on depression and why anti-depressants were developed.
The thing is, there is a lot of research about what causes depression, how to help people with depression, etc. We’re figuring more out all the time, and one thing that we do know is that your brain doesn’t produce enough of the “happy” chemicals (serotonin and dopamine) or their are too many receptors for the amount of serotonin being produced, or it’s being stopped from making it to the receptors.
Anti-depressants are not something to be ashamed of, and just because they didn’t work satisfactorily for one person does not mean that they wouldn’t help you immensely. Psychology is not something that is all about talking – psychotherapy is a part of psychology, yes, but so is neuroscience, and they are both equally important.
Post # 13
I used to be, and tried many before I found Welbutrin, which I loved. It made me more energized, and I didn’t gain weight or have any effect on my sex drive. Paxil, Celexa, Prozac all made me lethargic and more depressed. I’ve read that Welbutrin is part of a different family of drugs and that’s why many people respond without these side effects.
Does anyone in your immediate family have any history with anti-depressents? My sister, Dad, and I have all found we have similar reactions to meds, so when my dad took anti-depressents, he immediately went for Welbutrin because of my positive experience with it.
Post # 14
I was on a low dosage combination of wellbutrin and zoloft for on and off (sometimes a year break inbetween) from ages 17-23. I didn’t always feel depressed– it was more of an anxiety type deal. However, I think it’s more of a causation vs. correlation regarding one’s sex drive while on antidepressants. I know when I was feeling really low…I certainly didn’t want to be having sex. Is that because I was depressed or because I was on medication? Looking back, I’m guessing it would be the former.
Anyway, don’t feel like you are being handed out a life sentence when your doc recommends medication…they really can be used for short-term issues in a lot of people. I’ve been medication free for two years now and being doing well. Being on medication during times when I was really struggling with mood helped me a lot and I have since learned coping strategies that do not require antidepressants!
Post # 15
Sometimes you just need something to keep you functioning… I was on prozac for around 9 months when stress and anxiety got to me. See I hadn’t slept well for around 3 months and when it got to the point that anxiety attacks were making me unable to function and I lost 30lbs from not eating, I went to see my mom’s shrink. He put he on xanax for the anxiety and celexa for the depression. The celexa was aweful. It made me physically nauseous and the depression worse. So I stopped taking that and started prozac. The doc also started me out on a low dose (I was taking the baby aka liquid prozac for a couple months until I was at a therapeutic dose for the pills). You end up going to the doctor every other week or so until the dose is stable. They will check to make sure you aren’t having any bad side effects (digestive issues, weight gain, etc) and if you are feeling lethargic and stop caring about things all together, they will step you down a bit. If you are on the right meds and the right dose, you should feel normal until whatever is causing your depression goes away. I stopped taking the meds because I was beginning to be antsy on them. And I was fine without prozac after that. I’m still on the xanax now but I started that up again around christmas time due to all this wedding related planning stress.
If you are feeling depressed and you think it’s getting worse, then you may want to try the meds. But if you aren’t depressed then don’t start something you don’t need. And don’t feel bad about having to turn to them or others for help. Sometimes you can’t pull yourself out of the blues and you need help. I gave in and wished I had sooner as those 3 months were utter hell!
Post # 16
I used to be so set against taking meds, thinking that i could just snap out of my funk by myself. But i couldn’t. I used Lexapro and loved it. I have been able to get off of it but i know that if i need to then i could go back to it. I had tried other meds but this was the best one i have ever been on…. oh and i also like my counselor to talk to about things!!!