(Closed) SSRI (antidepressent) drugs, what has been your experience with them?

posted 4 years ago in Wellness
Post # 2
Member
429 posts
Helper bee

I was on seroquel from age 14 – 20. I was on it for mood stabilisation though, not depression. It worked well for balancing my moods in the beginning. It did however make me super tired and I suffered constipation from it. However, after years on it it seemed like my body just grew tolerant of it and it did nothing to help with my moods? I went off it 6 months ago and honestly I feel no different than how I felt when I was on it at the end. Still moody, still depressed. Just not on the seroquel anymore. However, my health care professionals were atrocious and let me on it for years without regular reviews from a psychiatrist. I was literally on it for 5 years without seeing a psychiatrist to monitor seroquel and its effect on me. I ended up having to go off it without medical supervision as no-one wanted me off it but at the same time no-one was willing to have regular appointments with me to monitor my condition. I figured I was better off taking no drugs than drugs without medical monitoring. 

Post # 4
Member
429 posts
Helper bee

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pw067 :  seroquel is part of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor medication range (SSRI). It can be used for depression however in my case it was used for treating bipolar. 

What is your doctor thinking about putting you on and for what reason if you don’t mind me asking? 

I think you have to be careful with what type of mediation you are on as seroquel is also an antipsychotic and a medication for epilepsy and since being on it and going off it I have suddenly and ‘mysteriously’ developed both epilepsy and psychosis even though I never had any episodes of either before. And neither psychosis or epilepsy is in my family history. 

ETA: feel free to direct message me if you don’t feel comfortable replying back publicly. I understand sometimes it can be uncomfortable disclosing certain information to all of WeddingBee

Post # 5
Member
467 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

I tried them and it’s the best thing I ever did, i just wish i hadve tried it sooner. I thought only people a lot worse than me use them but that’s not true, many people use them. I think they allowed me to reach my full potential by reducing the amount of low moods I was experiencing – allowing me to be better at my job and a better family member and friend. 

 

Post # 6
Member
238 posts
Helper bee

I’ve recently come off Sertraline, because of weight gain. I was on it for just under a year because of depression.. it definitely helped with my mood and anxiety, after tapering off I wound up starting something different (Valdoxan, which influences melatonin levels instead) with moderate effect. 

Overall, the side effects from Sertraline outweighed the benefit in the end.. but only just, and so many people tolerate them very well. 

Post # 9
Member
429 posts
Helper bee

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pw067 :  yeah I’m doing better now. I’m on clonazepam for the epilepsy now and in therapy for the other stuff.

Post # 10
Member
651 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

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pw067 :  I was on Prozac for about 3 years for severe depression and anxiety. Taking antidepressants didn’t make everything all fine and dandy. It definietly isn’t a “happy pill”. It’s hard for me to describe how I felt while taking them, but it felt a lot like having a mask on where all of my emotions were supressed and a lot less intense (happiness, saddness, etc.). 

I do think you have to be very careful with any antidepressant medication. I tried therapy before jumping onto antidepressants and when my depression worsened, I began taking antidepressants in combination with therapy. My end goal was always to eventually come off the antidepressants and use them temporarily while I learned to better cope with my emotions through therapy. I eventually got to a place where I felt I didn’t need the therapy anymore and once I was ok without my therapist, I weaned off of the Prozac. And I’m so happy I did because once I was off, I felt like I was truely able to feel every emotion and cope on my own. I really believe the key is using them in combination with therapy, otherwise they just mask your symptoms.

The only side effect I had was very vivid dreams. I know everyone’s experience is different and this is just that, my experience. 🙂

Post # 11
Member
742 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Gave me an incurable digestive disorder that can be fatal. It’s extremely painful, I almost always look pregnant, I have a ridiculously restrictive diet because of it (gluten, soy, dairy, egg free on top of green veggies, and most fruits.) I’ve had it for more than 15 years, I’d rather deal with everything else and have a normal digestive track again. Literally couldn’t pay me to take any antidepressants ever again.

Post # 12
Member
45 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: February 2018

I’ve been on a variety of SSRIs and SNRIs for clinical depression/major depression disorder (MDD) and generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), the latter to also help with mild adult ADHD.
The last one I took, cymbalta, I quit cold turkey. It was absolutely horrific, like a fortnight-long hangover. I know tapering is an option but from what my psych said, it only lessens the effects of withdrawal slightly. I just wanted it over quickly.

While I was taking them, I would have said antidepressants were a godsend, and I would have recommended them to anyone.

Now I’m off them, I realise just how much I was missing out on – its been a big blow to me that I can barely remember the past four years of my life since I started taking them. I feel like I wasn’t really informed on the pros and cons when I started taking them in my last year of high school, now I regret it because I realise I took them mainly to avoid having to go to therapy. Sure the pills diminish the low moods, but I felt like it softened the good moods too – it was like constantly being in a fog. And in the end, I was still depresesd with or without the pills, and I don’t think they ever made that much of a difference. I didn’t experience weight gain because I always track my food – I definitely felt more sugar cravings while I was on the pills though.

The biggest downside for me in taking them was that it completely killed my sex drive. It wasn’t an easy time for me and my Fiance to navigate and did put strain on us as a couple. The severe constipation was a strain in a different sense.

All I can say is that it’s vital to really do your research. It seems just about everyone has a different experience with antidepressants so I guess you can’t really predict how you’re going to be on them until you try it yourself. You might find it really works for you and if you get side effects, that the benefits outweigh them.
Just try to be as informed as you can going into it – ask your doctor about all the side effects of your chosen antidepressant, what medications won’t work/will be less effective/should not be taken alongside your antidepressant, what the withdrawal would be like if you wanted to go off this antidepressant, etc.

Post # 13
Member
755 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

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pw067 :  I look several types of antidepressants over the years. One advice, always try extensive therapy, use drugs as last resort, and always in combination with therapy. First time I took them for 6months and with therapy it really helped me. Second time I was taking them for 6m as well (tried 2 types) and it wasn’t working. I had a very severe depression (with suicidal behaviour) but nothing seems to work. It didn’t work in the end despite also being in therapy. 

Post # 14
Member
1586 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

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pw067 :  I’ve been on Lexapro since I was 21 for OCD, general anxiety disorder and depression. Prior to that I was on Prozac from 17-20 and Zoloft with Epilim for a year (I was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder). I stopped both Prozac and Zoloft under a psychiatrist’s advice because the side effects were bad and my condition wasn’t improving.

The Lexapro has worked in that I’m able to work and only have a panic attack once every couple of months. The OCD and anxiety are still dominant in my life, but don’t affect my ability to work or socialise (at my worst, my routines were causing physical injury because I’d scrub so hard to get clean, and I’d have to get off public transport or not get out because I was anxious). It still has side effects – I have a dry mouth all the time, get very tired easily, have vivid nightmares and night sweats. But for me, the side effects aren’t as bad as untreated OCD.

I don’t ever think I’ll taper off them. OCD isn’t a sometimes condition, and although I believe you could probably treat it effectively with therapy, intensive weekly therapy is prohibitively expensive. I will most likely have to stop taking them when I get pregnant but plan on going back on them ASAP, due to my risk of postnatal depression and the fact that OCD can worsen during pregnancy. I think there is a real stigma around mental health medication that you have to eventually “get yourself off them”. Diabetics don’t have an end game of weaning themselves off insulin, it’s just part of their lives, and for some people with mental illness that’s their reality too.

 

Post # 15
Member
5081 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2014

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pw067 :  I tried two SSRIs, Paxil and Lexapro, but gave up after that because of the side effects. I was on Paxil for a while, but I had frequent night sweats, vertigo, I completely lost the ability to have an orgasm (sorry if tmi, but it’s common with ssri drugs). Probably the biggest issue was that my hands shook all the time. My job requires fine motor skills and I was seriously struggling with the trembling hands. I weaned myself off of Paxil (though you should always do this with a physician). I had withdrawal symptoms, vertigo and brain zaps (common symptom, feels like electric shock to your brain, hard to explain). No long lasting effects though. Later I tried Lexapro and it was horrible, my whole body shook, it make me extremely anxious and tired, but I didn’t sleep for two days. I only took that for a couple days and then stopped. I originally was trying to treat deperession and anxiety. I also did therapy. I still have xanax which works pretty well for the anxiety part.

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