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

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Soap Offline
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To those who have experience with medication/therapy.. - December 28th 2009, 01:30 AM

I've been thinking about getting help lately. I have had what I believe to be depression for as long as I can remember, I feel completely numb at times to any emotions whatsoever. I have been reading up on some medications, for example Prozac and I've come across some rather disturbing side-effects.

I read about this man who got prescribed anti-depressants at the age of 17 and ended up with such a low sex drive that he couldn't imagine himself ever getting married or having children or anything of the sort. I read stories of people who had been off medications for over ten years and still had these side-effects. Some also claimed that the medications did absolutely nothing for them but make them gain weight.

I'm also not sure what to say if I were to get an appointment anywhere. I suspect that I have ADHD and I have quite a few issues I'd like to discuss but when I have done that in the past with people (including a few whose jobs included caring for the mentally ill), they tend to either ignore me completely before I get a chance to explain myself or, at worst, laugh in my face.

My mother is one of those people who always brushes these things off, so I'd have to book an appointment myself. The thing is, I don't know how I'll be able to afford it, if I'll need to have a credit card, who I'll call exactly or how they'll react to someone who's under the age of 18 calling.

Thank you in advance to anyone who happens to answer.
   
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Re: To those who have experience with medication/therapy.. - December 28th 2009, 04:12 AM

To answer the last part of your question we'll need to know where you live.

As for medication having awful side-effects or not working, everybody is different and is affected by medication differently. I wouldn't worry too much about medication at this point as you haven't gotten through your first appointment yet (you shouldn't be prescribed anything on your first appointment and if you are I'd question it). When it comes to psychiatric medication the first medication you're put on might not help you much or at all, this is actually not all that uncommon. Lots of people need to try several different kinds of medication before they find anything that will help them significantly. I myself happen to be one of those people that doesn't seem to get much help from medication and gets pretty much every side-effect, but even I haven't experienced any severe side-effects after a few months of being off of them. Usually people who still experience effects of medication long after discontinuing it are those who are on larger doses for longer periods of time (years and years).

In terms of what to say at an appointment, try writing everything down so you know what you want to say, or writing a letter and just handing it to the person you have your appointment with. A professional will never ignore you or laugh at your face, if they do then they aren't professionals right?


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Re: To those who have experience with medication/therapy.. - December 29th 2009, 02:05 PM

Hey there.

Firsty i think it is really good you are taking the step and getting help. Thearpy normally comes first before medication, inless they feel you need both to help you more. You can go to your doctor who can prescribe you medication and will be able to refer you to thearapy. You can have private councilling if you prefer too. All types of medications work differently on all different people. So dont let the things you read on the internet etc, make you think no i dont want this if thats what it does. Ive been on prozac three times, and all three times i have had no problems. My sister how ever, suffered really bad stomache pains when she was put on them. Some people will have side affects, others wont, but you will have meetings with the person who put you on the medication to see if its working, wha affects its having, ect, and if they feel its not working for you, or if you have side affects, they will take yoiu of the medication, and they may try another type. They work with you to find the right medication.

I hope everything goes okay
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Re: To those who have experience with medication/therapy.. - December 30th 2009, 12:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soap View Post
I've been thinking about getting help lately. I have had what I believe to be depression for as long as I can remember, I feel completely numb at times to any emotions whatsoever. I have been reading up on some medications, for example Prozac and I've come across some rather disturbing side-effects.

I read about this man who got prescribed anti-depressants at the age of 17 and ended up with such a low sex drive that he couldn't imagine himself ever getting married or having children or anything of the sort. I read stories of people who had been off medications for over ten years and still had these side-effects. Some also claimed that the medications did absolutely nothing for them but make them gain weight.
All medications have side-effects and depending on the medication, the side-effects can be very nasty. For depression, psychotherapy is being considered more and more because people are questioning the effectiveness of the medications. Some studies have shown interpersonal therapy is roughly as effective as medications, although the ideal treatment regime still is a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Do remember though one very, very, very important thing when it comes to reading about side-effects and their probabilities. When a medication, such as an anti-depressant says that 90% of patients or subjects improved, that does NOT mean there's a 90% chance you'll improve. It's always a 50/50 chance for individuals but for groups you can have such probabilities.

For the side-effects though, there's not much more I can tell you unless you wish to delve into the neurochemical, functional neuroanatomical and other biological bases of them. No medication is free of side-effects and the history of medications has progressively improved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soap View Post
I'm also not sure what to say if I were to get an appointment anywhere. I suspect that I have ADHD and I have quite a few issues I'd like to discuss but when I have done that in the past with people (including a few whose jobs included caring for the mentally ill), they tend to either ignore me completely before I get a chance to explain myself or, at worst, laugh in my face.
Mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists tend to be different because they have committed their life to helping people with mental illnesses. I'm sure everyone knows there is an enormous stigma of mental disorders in society although the stigma varies on the characteristics of the person.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soap View Post
My mother is one of those people who always brushes these things off, so I'd have to book an appointment myself. The thing is, I don't know how I'll be able to afford it, if I'll need to have a credit card, who I'll call exactly or how they'll react to someone who's under the age of 18 calling.
Parents tend to do this for various reasons but a common one is the notion that their child is so perfect that they cannot have a mental illness, and the parents tend to have stigma towards mental illnesses also. There are numerous myths about mental illnesses, such as that any mentally ill person is violent or crazy or insane, and if you parents know you're none of these, then you're not mentally ill. There's a well-known double-standard that exists for mental and bodily illnesses, and parents tend to use this just as any layperson does.

I'm not sure how the laws and policies are where you live so I'm not sure how you would need to go about booking an appointment. More often that not, it's best to have a referral and some places may actually require referrals from a general doctor or family doctor. If you call and tell them whatever it is you'll tell them, then understand that you're likely going to deal with a receptionist and he/she likely will tell you to get a referral, go to a hospital, etc... . You can try if you want but keep in mind that if you get told you need a referral, don't be shocked.
   
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