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Mental Health Use this forum to share your mental health concerns and to seek advice.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
RadioSerenade Offline
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Medications. - September 9th 2014, 08:03 AM

A very good evening, my name is Hamed Khatiz and I am a nineteen year old student from the University of Western Sydney. Now. I have been facing issues with my self confidence for a long time and behaviourally, thought wise, some of my thoughts and basic attitudes to problems which I have and my current life might reflect someone with Situational Depression. I mean I have never been officially diagnosed, but it is one of those things, you don't need to be.

I have also had issues with my memory and concentration, but over the past couple of weeks I have been thinking about my current mental health problems and the treatments a lot of doctors tend to offer in these cases. I was talking about the same thing with my friend and my basic point was, if I am having depressive characteristics in my every day life and I go to a councillor, they recommend me to a doctor and I get given medication to help my cause, anti-depressants, or Ritalin in the case of some concentration problems.

I would have a lot of trouble convincing myself, if I show improvements over the next couple of weeks afterwards, that it will be on my own merits. Someone told me the story of their relative who had major issues with depression and they used the term "with these medications, she can live a normal life, without them, she can't function."

If I do show improvements with treatments, I would surely be stoked that I am getting some results but somewhere in the back of my mind, I would have a lot of trouble with the concept of "this improvement is only because of this medicine". I would love to see a life I am grateful for begin to happen, I would love to be able to apply myself to my studies and make sure I am waking up every morning with a reason to wake up in the morning but it would be so flat if I had to remind myself, this is happening only because of your medications.

I want to have a sense of purpose that doesn't rely on Serotonin–norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.

So I just wanted to get your thoughts on that whole dynamic. What did you feel when you first got put onto medications, was it hard to believe that any improvement was done on your own merits, I mean I am a sentimental person LOL, I hate thinking about mental health or mental illness as a physical thing or a scientific thing. Some disagree but don't medications make the recovery process and improvements seem manufactured to you?
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Re: Medications. - September 9th 2014, 03:16 PM

Hi There,
I have never really thought about this honestly.
I am not and have never been on medication for any issues I have experienced so I may not be able to give you a complete answer but I will od my best.
I definitely think that this is very about people's view in terms of their own experiences with receiving medication.
I can see why you would not want to depend on a medication to improve your behavior and mood.
Could you try certain therapies such as CBT (cognetive Behavioral Therapy), DBT (dialectical Behavior therapy) and other therapies that can complement regular therapy. Therapies such as CBT and DBT help with changing throught-processes and making better life choices.
I hope this helps some. Like I said, I can not completely answer your question because I do not have enough experience with this.
Take care and I hope whatever you decide for treatment is helpful to you.

"i don't care your intentions. I just want you to know my self-hatred never took me where I wanted to go. At the end of the day...I can pick at the pain but I can't cut it away."
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Re: Medications. - September 9th 2014, 04:40 PM

I have never been on medication either, but here's what I know about it. It would take 2-4 weeks to start working and it was never meant to be used alone, but in combination with some form of therapy. It's supposed to make it possible for you to participate in therapy to get the full benefits. Some people need it, others don't and some choose not to take it for a variety of reasons. If it is the result of a physical problem in the brain, or if symptoms are interfering with someone's ability to participate in treatment, therapy can only do so much. Everyone's depression is different and use of medication or not is a personal choice unless there's evidence that the illness needs medication, and even then, people choose whether to take it or not.

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Re: Medications. - September 10th 2014, 08:08 AM

This was one of the reasons I resisted going on medication for so long. I wanted to recover on my own power and not because of medication, but I just kept getting worse and I finally went on meds. I am so glad I did. They got me to a place where I could help myself. And that's how I view meds: as a useful tool, not something that "fixes" you. Going on medication will not make you 100% better, it will give you the boost you need to get yourself better. It's not a solution, but rather a valuable resource that I would encourage you to try.

I know exactly where you're coming from, because that was my view on meds 1 1/2 years ago. I'm not going to lie, even when I started medication, I didn't always like the idea, and it took some getting used to. Sometimes I just hated the fact that I needed medication to function properly, but I am so so grateful for how much it has helped me. That's all it did: it helped, but I did almost all the work on my own. I now see my meds not as a crutch or a necessary evil, but as something that gave me the boost I needed so I could be a badass recovery warrior and help myself. Medication has helped me, but I give myself full credit for my recovery. The recovery process has been every bit as real as it was the time I recovered without meds. (I've kinda had two different recoveries, one with and one without outside help. Long story.) It's helpful to remember that meds are not magic. There isn't a pill that will make your problems vanish, and you will have to work at recovery. I mean, if there was a pill I could take to make my depression disappear completely, that would be weird and scary and negate my own efforts. But my experience with medication has not been like that at all.

Sometimes you need a little outside help, and meds can do that.

(I just want to give a little disclaimer here, because my whole post was about the virtues of medication. I do NOT think that every problem can be solved by prescribing something, and I hate the culture of overmedication. But that doesn't mean medication itself is bad. It can be helpful if used properly.)
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Re: Medications. - September 11th 2014, 08:05 AM

hi there,

I understand what you're saying here, as I was in this same dilemma when I first got encouraged to take antidepressants about 4 years ago. I didn't want to take "medication to make me happy" ie the terms happy pills. But in time I came to realise that depression is an illness. its not a figment of someones imagination, its not having a down day, its a psychological disease which affects every part of your life, it eats you up and you have nothing left as it consumes you, no self-esteem, no confidence, changes in appetite, changes in sleep, as im sure you are aware there is many more symptoms. A psychological disease it is however it is caused by changing biological mechanisms. A significant drop in serotonin = depressive symptoms. Now if there is something physically wrong with you, you would go to a doctor and get some treatment right?

Example: Iron deficiency:
You feel lethargic, dizzy, tired, headaches etc, you go to a doctor have a blood test, and blood tests results you are anaemic, you don't have enough iron in your blood. Doctor would prescribe you a course of iron tablets which would bring your iron levels back up and get your feeling better right? But you would also be advised of dietary changes to support the medication and increase your iron. (Medication + will power/self-reliance)
Same applies to depression.

IF you take the flip side and think of an illness which is even more physical, and quite intense what would the solution be? i.e. cancer. Your body needs treatment to strengthen your immune system, and fight the cancer. It's an illness based entirely upon the treatments of it, you wouldn't say that you don't want chemo, and would want to fight the cancer with sheer willpower right? Same goes for depression.. a lot of people don't understand how intense this illness is, and they forget that it does require intervention. sheer will power is excellent im not saying don't use it, but taking serotonin reuptake inhibitors will challenge the physicality's of depression and hence help to alleviate your mood a little.. They really aren't a happy pill, you know, you don't wake up feeling ecstatic, they don't make your problems go away. All they do is tackle the physiology of it. I say 'all' but that in itself is your first step to getting better. This is where the will power comes in, the tablets alleviate your mood a little which will increase your concentration and motivation. once you start getting an increase in concentration and motivation (because your chemical functions are returning back to normal) you can begin to make changes in your life which will cause you to feel happier, better in yourself and you will see the changes too (again medication + will power/self-reliance)

Personally I used to hate thinking I wouldn't be able to function without medication but that's the way my body is. I cant function without antidepressants, nor can I function without iron tablets every few months haha, physiology is complex but amazing..

I hope this helps you in some way, Take care

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There may not always be a direct answer to a problem, but there is always a way to get through it.
Strength is the best quality of the human mind and body, and I believe everyone has it; whether they believe it or not. Look for that tiny glimmer of hope deep inside yourself and once you've found it let it blossom, glow and illuminate your life.

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