Angelica, that depends on how you define "dealing with"!
I am living with (sometimes severe) depression and am currently not taking AD meds. I have taken them in the past. Prozac for 2 years about 20 years ago, Effexor for about 6 months in the past year. They both helped - A LOT. And I opted to go off of them. For some reason I get to a point where I don't want them any more.
But here's the deal (this is important): If you know you are depressed and it is impacting your (or loved ones') quality of life you should consider discussing it with a healthcare professional (that you trust). Understand, there is NO guarantee that you will get a diagnosis of "depression". Your doctor may recommend meds, but you ARE NOT obligated to take them.
I know there are a gazillion reasons why someone wouldn't want to have even the suggestion of "depression" noted in their medical records. But consider the potential consequences of leaving it unmentioned. Perhaps you already have considered that.
Consider using words like "down", "blue", "in a funk" to sort of feel out your doctor.
This is my $.02 worth. I've fought this my entire life. Meds or not, I've found comfort and insight in a few of my doctors.
I've suffered from depression since my early teens, possibly before that, over the course of years I'd take myself off of meds time and again, I didn't want to be on medication. Nor did I want to accept the fact that I had depression. For over a year I went without meds instead sticking to a very strict diet, vitamins, daily exercise, scheduled sleep of 8 hours. What happened was that at one point my depression worsened, I took meds again, stopped again, and eventually was hospitalized (my worst fear!). It turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me b/c I got the help I needed and I am no longer in denial. I have depression and now it is being treated with meds & therapy, also made attempts to become more knowledgeable. While this is my experience the only advice I'd like to give is that if you become suicidal do go to the nearest emergency room. Good luck.
Last edited by positivity17; 08-19-2007 at 01:02 AM.
.. a very strict diet, vitamins, daily exercise, scheduled sleep of 8 hours. ...
I think those words are a very good starting point for treating depression.
Exercise has definitely been shown to help depression. Irregular sleep habits worsen depression. Naturally, you want to eat a well-rounded diet limiting the junk food, preservatives, etc. Remember that alcohol is a depressant. A multi-vitamin is a good idea and you might add a B-complex vitamin to it (B6 in particular has been shown to help depressed women). Recent studies on the Omega 3's (as found in fish or flaxseed oil) have been promising. If you aren't on antidepressants, St John's Wort is worth looking into.
First and foremost though, I think you should talk to a good therapist. Good luck!
in dealing with my depression, i've managed to put on a happy face around other people. sometimes though, even around others, i am in a "funk." at the end of the day, in my room, with my pillow, in my bed, I can let go and cry when needed. given the opportunity, i would stay in bed all day and sleep. i haven't established a trusting relationship with my doc yet. i was always in decent health, but due to issues, i have seen her quite a bit these last few months. still, she has not noticed my weight loss, mainly because i didn't see her often enough for her to notice the drop. i also feel like just a number to her, the next patient in line. anyhow, i do not want "depression" to be a part of my medical files. i also worry about the many side effects of meds. i've read on here for some people, it causes more anxiety, sleepless nights (or too much sleep), weight gain, etc.... i already have enough issues. to subject myself to more is not something i want.
Well, you need to be totally open with your doc, otherwise, she cant help you. I know it's damn hard, I have to be honest, I always sounds better than I am when I see her, but thanks god she is such s caring doc, so I have learnt to be honest with her, but not yet with my care worker at the mental health place. It takes time, but it will come in the end. And yes, you are right, you are just one of her patients to her, but so what? It's her job to take care of you, and although being doctors make quite decent momey, but I bet a lot of the doctors wanted to become docs, because they care about others. It's not easy to become a doc. So dont have that thought in ur mind or you would never be able to be totally honest with her, and this is what both of yourself and ur doc need.
It might be different from country to country, but I am pretty sure if you dont wants words like "depression" or "psycho" or "Anxiety" in your med notes, just ask your doc use some other words instead, they should respect and understand the reason being. Anyway, depression is so common nowaday, so why should that be an issue to have such words in your doc note, beside, it's not an open doc, so no one can see it but your docs. I never asked, but I think my doc uses "low mood" instead of "depressed", does it sound better? Perhaps...
If you dont want the meds, then dont take them, no one will ever force you to take them, but it might help in some cases. I think you should stop thinking about the possible side effects you might if you would go on meds, coz it's another big unnecessary worry, isn't it? Yes, the side effects can be very unpleasent, but I think it's better than feeling depressed and wanting to cry all day long, and also if you even experience any real bad side effects, it most likely mean the meds isn't right for you, then change it, you dont have to stick with the same meds from the beginning till the end.
Sorry if I sound a bit too harsh, but you sound like how I was a few months ago, I have made my steps towards recovery. The first few steps are the hardest, and the road is long, but you have to face it, believe me, once you have made your first step, the next steps will get easier and easier...