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Old 01-04-2013, 09:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Your opinion on depression

I know nobody can give medical advice but I know I am suffering depression and anxiety and have thought about going to the doctors for meds but fear the side effects and maybe never coming off them.

Now I'm trying to quit alcohol I'm seem to be even more depressed so my question is do you think I should hold off a few more weeks and see if my mood improves without alcohol or maybe I should see the doctor for some medication.

I am seeing a councillor once every two weeks and when the children return to school next week I was going to try some yoga classes.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you tried anything like taking a b-complex supplement, exercising more (yoga is a good idea), finding a new hobby to focus on, etc..?
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I was on anti-depressants for years, and weaned off them under medical supervision a couple of months ago. They were entirely non-addictive, and believe me I could get addicted to anything!
If you are honest and up-front with your doc, he/she will be able to help.
Don't be put off from going.
They really helped me x
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Alchohol is a depressent so most people that are alcoholic are depressed. It is like a car with bad gas. Until the bad gas is out of the engine it is pretty tough to diagnose what is wrong with the car.

I can only speak for myself but it took a while, months before I could tell what normal was. I can say that the longer I was sober the less depression and anxiety were issues
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I went through horrible lows for about 6 weeks after quitting. I waited until I had 30 days sober before I went to my DR. I didn't want to seek medical help for anxiety from detoxing. I knew much of what I call the crazies would subside. If I felt that my symptons were life threatening I would have sought help immmediately. This is my third time quitting in 30 years. I had gone through it before. She did prescribe me a anxiety med. I took them for about 5 weeks. Now I am just on coffee and nicotine. I need to cut the smokes.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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This is tricky stuff to talk about because everyone is different, and what works for one doesn't work for another. I also have some very strong convictions regarding this, so it is important for anyone reading that they know before every word I'm about to write is implied, "for me!", or IMO, or IME.

When I got sober there weren't all that many medications available for anxiety and depression. I therefore wasn't offered any, and was given no choice but to find holistic means of overcoming my fear, panic, depression, and alcoholism. It took a while. Over a year before I felt I was really free, and although my progress was slow, it was steady. Had I been medicated I'm not sure I'd have ever gotten over what I did, and if I did, I'm certain it would have taken a lot longer. If medicine fixed me I wouldn't have searched out all the other things that I feel really benefitted my existence. I would have been more lax about AA, and doing anything AA suggested. Might not have even gone. I might not have gotten involved in other groups, because without medication, I really needed to. I probably would have never started exercising, looking into how food effects me, read books on positive thinking, learned breathing and meditation exercises... and the list goes on and on and on. I have some friends who had similar stories to mine, and they went the medication route. Some of them never got over the anxiety, others did but it took a long while and not much else changed in their lives, and I do have one friend who IMO benefitted greatly from being on medication. So much so that at a few times in my sobriety, despite my convictions, I gave medication a go. I decided after several whole hearted attempts at it that it isn't the way I want to go. I still have bouts with depression from time to time, but it's manageable because of the tools I've collected over the years. I enjoy my life with all it's ups and downs, and not being medicated in early sobriety I feel contributed a lot to my ability to lead a very full and adventurous life.

Only you know what's right for you. You'll get a lot of different experiences and opinions here. All equally valid. For me I considered it an absolute last resort.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm wondering the same thing, Dorris. I'm coming off opiates and have a life history of depression. I'm trying to sort out which is which, will the depression lift after my body adjusts, etc. I am currently on an anti-depressant which is obviously not working too well.

It would probably be a good idea to see a doctor now. You can assess where you are now, get some information and with your doc decide if meds are appropriate now, later or ever.

Take care.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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For me, a few months of good eating, vitamins, sunshine, and walks really helped me get back to some sort of ability to decide whether I needed to see someone about getting medication. In my case, I wasn't as depressed as I initially thought. I was just coming off chemicals and my brain needed time to adjust.

In the meantime along with the activities above, I went to lots of AA meetings and that helped me immensely....most alkies/druggies struggle with depression, anxiety, bipolar, etc and it was nice to not be isolated in my head. Bad place to be without adult supervision.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I am currently taking Lexapro. I was pretty much clinically depressed after a heart bypass operation. Turns out that's fairly common for the bypass people.
I had no side effects to the Lexapro and it helped to bring me back to where I used to be emotionally.
Unfortunately that person I was before the bypass was an alcoholic. So now I'm working on that. After the operation I stopped drinking completely.
I'm very grateful to my doctor for the Lexapro. It helped to bring me out of the dark, black hole that depression is. That was a very horrible place to be. Crying all the time. Staring at my computer monitor at work for hours just praying nobody would talk to me. Sleeping 18 hours a day. No joy. Constantly fatigued because being relentlessly drains you. Things that gave me pleasure before meant nothing to me. That's depression.
My suggestion is to talk to your doctor and see what he/she has to say.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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A couple of months without alcohol might cure your depression.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:24 AM   #11 (permalink)
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this is best left for you to discuss with your doctor..there are different TYPES of depression...(reactive, major)...no one can guess what treatment would work.

Getting the booze out of your system will help whatever meds you might be prescribed work better. exercise and meditation are natural forms of relaxation that can't hurt you. Considering all the trauma and upheaval in your life, talking to your doctor and getting counciling along with quitting alcohol are the best things you can do for yourself.

If you are prescribed meds by your doctor, be sure they do not have contraindications with any supplements you are taking, tell the doctor what you take vitamins and all. try not to worry, the doctor will monitor your dosage and if it doesn't work well with your body, they can try a different one. (this is common too).

I know you might feel so stressed and anxious this week, but try not to worry too much. take care.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:27 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm been depressed and anxious for years.I'm on 28 days and started at the gym last week and cut out sugar. I feel a thousand times better than I have in years. For me,a month sober and just a week of exercise and healthy eating is almost a miracle cure
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:28 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClearLight View Post
I am currently taking Lexapro. I was pretty much clinically depressed after a heart bypass operation. Turns out that's fairly common for the bypass people.
That caught my eye, I didn't know that depression was common after heart bypass. It's interesting to me because I have repeatedly read that having a history of depression increases the risk of heart disease. I take that seriously because I have a lifetime history of depression.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Word of caution. IME a psychiatrist WILL prescribe medications. And often, more than than. While I understand people recommending that you check with your doctor, if that MD. is a psychiatrist, that's pretty much what you're going to get. An alcoholism counselor, social worker, or other mental health professional may be a bit more open minded towards options. Regarding depression, IMO again, nobody should have more of a say than myself regarding how I want to treat it. As long as I can still function, I'm not going to hurt myself, and I'm not going to hurt anyone else... then I'm not going to take any. If I were sleeping 18 hours a day and couln't set foot outside the door, medication would definitely be an option. Be careful with doctors. They don't always know, nor do what's best for us.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:33 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Tough call. So many types of depression out there. I am on anti-depressants and believe me, they will take them from my cold dead hands before I give them up.
But, that is MY situation. Not yours. Talk to your doctor, be up front and totally honest.
I have an addiction to coffee. When I had my knee replacement surgery, my doctor came to my room afterwards and said I will be remembered forever in surgical recovery. My very first words were not mumbles. It came out loud and clear "Coffee, happy pills. NOW!" Yes, I got my coffee (I would have taken it as an IV or enema by that time) and my anti-depressants.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:47 AM   #16 (permalink)
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If you feel as though you need more support Dorris see your GP asap. You can discuss the best way forward for you.

I know it is hard to know how bad is bad, or if we really need more help...I had to reach rock bottom, I mean, really really helpless before I realised that I needed help and now many years later I have a sort of sliding scale from 1-10 that I can measure myself on.

Try not to think too much about things that stress you, do little things that you like, candlelit baths when the kids are in bed, walks etc and remember that you w i l l get better. Keep telling yourself that.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:51 AM   #17 (permalink)
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a qualified physician will work with your addiction couselor (that is how it works in my state). If your couselor feels that you need medication, they work as a team. NO ONE just gets meds prescribed and there is no follow up with ftf counseling.

Please don't let one person's opinion deter you from seeking the help of a physician who is trained to treat you, help you both mentally and physically. it is quite the contrary, psychiatrists do not just automatically write for meds, this is untrue from my experiences.
(I've worked in medicine for 26 years).
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:42 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorris View Post
I know nobody can give medical advice but I know I am suffering depression and anxiety and have thought about going to the doctors for meds but fear the side effects and maybe never coming off them.

Now I'm trying to quit alcohol I'm seem to be even more depressed so my question is do you think I should hold off a few more weeks and see if my mood improves without alcohol or maybe I should see the doctor for some medication.

I am seeing a councillor once every two weeks and when the children return to school next week I was going to try some yoga classes.
Hi Dorris,

You sound as if you have a pretty good handle on your plan for recovery, especially since it includes seeing a counciler once every 2 weeks.

That is exactly how I started and it was the best thing for me in the beginning, not AA.

I am on antidepressants and will be until the day I die. I detoxed without them though, because in 1985 when I got sober the "self-medicating" affect of Alcohol and its connection to mental disorders was just beginning to come into play. Although I did not have the DT's I will say that I lost some 20 lbs--I looked like a skeleton, and I did have thoughts of hoplessness and actually suicide.

My councelor suggested depression might have been the underlying cause for my self-medicating with alcohol and getting addicted. Long story short stopped drinking for a month before getting medication. It was the best thing I ever did. If you have a councelor they will work with your GP in finding what meds might work for you. Don't be surprised if you need to try a few. Everyone has their own specific med needs. I have been sober for 25 years and on antidepressants the whole time, and have NEVER been happier.

I truly believe Alcoholics have underlying issues that if addressed initially might save them from years of using alcohol to medicate themselves.
For me that was certainly true. I have a chemical imbalance in my neurotransmitters of the brain, and if I go off my meds the anxiety is cripeling.

Your councilor will be your guide as to weather to take them while you detox or after. You are in good hands.

Good luck in pursuit of a balanced life .
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:13 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorris View Post
I know nobody can give medical advice but I know I am suffering depression and anxiety and have thought about going to the doctors for meds but fear the side effects and maybe never coming off them.

Now I'm trying to quit alcohol I'm seem to be even more depressed so my question is do you think I should hold off a few more weeks and see if my mood improves without alcohol or maybe I should see the doctor for some medication.

I am seeing a councillor once every two weeks and when the children return to school next week I was going to try some yoga classes.
Best bet is to find and stick with an experienced addiction therapist, who can help you try to tease out what is going on. Opinions tend to vary on questions like this, however. In my opinion, you cannot go wrong by staying sober one day at a time, regardless of whatever else you may do or not do. Lots of information about dual diagnosis in addiction. Google for details if interested - but every individual situation is unique.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:37 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
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a qualified physician will work with your addiction couselor (that is how it works in my state). If your couselor feels that you need medication, they work as a team. NO ONE just gets meds prescribed and there is no follow up with ftf counseling.

Please don't let one person's opinion deter you from seeking the help of a physician who is trained to treat you, help you both mentally and physically. it is quite the contrary, psychiatrists do not just automatically write for meds, this is untrue from my experiences.
(I've worked in medicine for 26 years).
It is very different in the UK. In the UK many GPs do hand out antidepressants very quickly and easily without any referral for therapy. Even if you get a referral an appointment could be months away

I'm not suggesting the OP doesn't see her doc btw-I agree it is the best option
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