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Would An Antidepressant Help Me?

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Old 10-10-2008, 08:29 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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freckles50 HB User
Would An Antidepressant Help Me?

I recently had to move out of state because my husband's job transferred him. I'm so homesick for my family and friends. I cry everyday. I'm really trying hard to find interests here and establish a new life. But, I have this constant sadness inside of me. I don't know what to do. Would it help to be put on an antidepressant or do I just have to live with this feeling...hoping someday it will go away? Thanks.

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Old 10-10-2008, 10:57 PM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2008
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lucylucy HB User
Re: Would An Antidepressant Help Me?

Hello. I feel your pain!

I have good news for you. You probably don't need antidepressants and all the side effects that go along with them. From your description, you have situational depression. Your depression is caused by something specific and logical. It feels just as bad, but it's relatively temporary. Antidepressants are for people who have clinical depression, which is caused by problems with their brain chemistry. They're most appropriate for those who have suffered for months or years for no apparent reason, and haven't responded to other treatments such as therapy.

I went through a similar thing years ago. We were just starting out and I felt completely inadequate. I had to call collect if I wanted to talk to my mother or sister (and I had too much pride to call my friends collect). I spent entirely too much time alone watching TV, and I barely talked to my co-workers because I felt so different from them. I was my own worst enemy. I did eventually adjust, but I took too long to do all the things that really worked.

I'll write some ideas for you soon. But in the meantime, please think about the advice that you'd give someone in your situation, and actually go do ONE of those things.

Old 10-11-2008, 12:20 AM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2008
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lucylucy HB User
Re: Would An Antidepressant Help Me?

Hi, I'm back.

There are two things that I think everyone should do before they go on antidepressants - exercise and cognitive therapy. The studies show they're just as effective as antidepressants, and they won't make you gain weight, lose your ability to reach orgasm, make you fidgety, nauseaus, spacy, lethargic or lose your hair. Antidepressants are not the quick fix we hoped they'd be.

When I think back to the times I felt most happy and enthusiastic about life, they were always times when I was the most active. In my late thirties, I was a student and worked at a college with a terrible parking problem. I cursed it daily as I walked half a mile to my building, but when I look back, I realized those walks gave me a lot of energy. They also had a walking competition that got me walking at home at night too. I got depressed and tired on my next job and I think the lack of activity made it worse.

So, if you don't have a job or other connections in your new place, I strongly recommend that you get involved in some exercise program. If you can find a class, you might meet some nice people, especially if it's the kind of class that has the same people every week.

A related idea... get involved with some physical or social activity with your husband. If his mind is focused on his new job, and your mind is focused on your sadness, you're probably not being as supportive of one another as you could be, and you need to find a new way to reconnect. My husband and I reconnected after a really bad year, by taking walks together at night. It made us feel closer and younger (we started to bump and push each other, and hold hands like we did when we were young). It helped us reconnect sexually too.

You need to get out of your own head for a while. Focusing on the needs of your husband or other people can really help. Maybe it's just me, but I know when I get depressed, I'm so caught up with my feelings, I forget about what other people are going through.

Your attitude can really help you to connect with people. One way is to be a positive upbeat friendly person who is easy to be around. Sometimes this requires you to FAKE IT until you make it. If you ACT happier, smile more, laugh, sit up straighter, walk more upright, speak more enthusiastically, expect the best of people, and move more energetically, you'll actually start to FEEL more energetic and enthusiastic. People will want to be around you more. Of course if you're depressed you can only keep that up so long. LOL.

Other (obvious) things to consider:

Find a therapist or therapy group. Read one of the new books on the science of happiness. Read "Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway."

Take a class or go to lectures on interesting topics. Colleges, community organizations, bookstores, libraries all have free or low cost (non-credit) workshops, lectures, guest speakers, readings, movie series, and performances that anyone can attend, no matter how old you are. You could learn how to meditate, diversify your investment portfolio, decorate, garden, or find your spirit guide.

Go outside while you can, and chat with neighbors. Wave, say hello, get to know someone.

Volunteer for something - charitable, professional, or both.

If you volunteer to help someone else, you might get a whole new perspective on life. A homeless agency, food bank, a home for battered women or children, a hospital - all need help.

If your occupation has professional organizations, join, go to meetings, and definitely volunteer for committees. (Being on committees really SAVED me one year when I lost my job, and it helped me get interviews.) Or volunteer your skills to organizations or people who might need them. The United Way is a great place to start. They're always looking for people to match with specific needs. If you have advanced business skills they might hook you up as a "consultant" with a non-profit that will treat you like an expert. And they might give you consulting training for free.

And really obvious:

Take advantage of communications technology to keep up with your friends and family. With computers and unlimited long distance, you can pretend they're all just down the road as you call and email them. You can even hook up cameras to your computers to see each other.

Gee I hope you haven't already given up on us. I'll feel like an idiot if I wrote all this for nothing.

Last edited by lucylucy; 10-11-2008 at 12:22 AM.

Old 10-11-2008, 10:35 AM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Iowa
Posts: 16
freckles50 HB User
Re: Would An Antidepressant Help Me?

Thanks so much for your reply. I really appreciate it...and it wasn't too long. I might add one more thing....don't drink alcohol! That's what I did last night and it made the depression so much worse!

I'm doing a lot of the things you mentioned. I walk 3 miles everyday...rain or shine. I'm taking a class to learn how to quilt. I'm also doing lots of work in the house we just bought. Keeping my mind and body active help. It seems that night time is the worse for me. I think about my situation so much more and it makes me sad.

I will look for the book you mentioned. I agree that antidepressants probably aren't the answer in my case, because I'm basically a happy and outgoing person. I guess I just have to work through this and rely on time to heal me.

Thanks again for all your help!

Old 10-12-2008, 01:08 PM   #5
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 459
Survivor3 HB User
Re: Would An Antidepressant Help Me?

The decision to take anti depressants should not be taken lightly. Educate yourself first. Read about the mid and long term side effects. Research clinical study efficacy versus placebo. I prefer natural remedies such as CBT and swimming.

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