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  • SSRIs (antidepressants)

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    Old 03-05-2008, 10:41 PM   #1
    sephiroth_m75
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    SSRIs (antidepressants)

    Hello.

    I'm a 19 year old male university student who (almost certainly) is depressed, and am going to speak with my doctor about my problems this coming Tuesday. I'm quite confident I'll be diagnosed with depression; I've read those criteria lists and I meet every single criterion.

    And based on this, I think I might be a candidate for SSRIs (prozac, paxil, celexa, etc). I'm not really sure what to think about these drugs, since I've heard good and bad stories about them. I know people who swear by them, and others who swear AT them. My mother (who's on celexa) says it works wonders for her. My brother (who was on paxil) said the drug had absolutely no effect on him. My friend (who was on paxil) said the drug turned him into a zombie, ruined his sex life, and made him gain 50 pounds.

    All in all, a pretty mixed bag of stories.

    So, I'm wondering if anyone here has a general description of how SSRIs affect the AVERAGE person. What I'm most interested in knowing is:

    1. How do these drugs affect one's mood?

    2. What are the "sexual side effects"?

    3. Does everyone experience weight gain?

    4. Do they really turn you into a zombie?

    5. How long before I know whether they're working or not?

     
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    Old 03-06-2008, 07:40 PM   #2
    sephiroth_m75
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    Re: SSRIs (antidepressants)

    Some please respond, I don't have much experience with this stuff.

     
    Old 03-06-2008, 08:50 PM   #3
    SOE
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    Re: SSRIs (antidepressants)

    ADs work (or don't work) differently on everyone. You would be better off to do some research on your own on the internet (run searches on the various ADs)... and read the threads on this depression board to give you an idea of what people experience.

    SOE

     
    Old 03-07-2008, 12:15 AM   #4
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    Re: SSRIs (antidepressants)

    If Celexa helps your mom but Paxil does nothing for your brother, Celexa may be a good place to start, or so "they" say.

    1. How do these drugs affect one's mood?
    It depends. There can be initial side effects that are uncomfortable, like upset stomach/intestines, insomnia, increased anxiety--these usually pass within a week, and they can be managed with a short-term antianxiety med.

    2. What are the "sexual side effects"?
    Slow response, which, at 19 isn't necessarily a bad thing unless slow means NO. The build up may be there, but no ignition.

    3. Does everyone experience weight gain?
    Everyone's side effects are different, and different for the different meds.

    4. Do they really turn you into a zombie?
    No. Does your mom seem like a zombie? Again, side effects impact individuals...individually.

    5. How long before I know whether they're working or not?
    You could notice a difference (positive type) within a few days to a week, but not the full effects that soon. A positive change is a good sign for the med being a reasonable choice for you.

    Since you're still quite young, specifically ask your doctor about how "teens" are impacted differently than other, older adults.

    good luck with your appointment--let us know how it goes.

     
    Old 03-07-2008, 08:01 AM   #5
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    Re: SSRIs (antidepressants)

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lv2srf View Post
    4. Do they really turn you into a zombie?
    No. Does your mom seem like a zombie? Again, side effects impact individuals...individually.
    I really have to disagree with this answer. ADs make many people feel like a "zombie". For many people, the ADs wipe out all the lows AND the highs -- hence the zombie feeling.


    SOE

     
    Old 03-08-2008, 04:31 AM   #6
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    Cool Re: SSRIs (antidepressants)

    Hi! I am presently on Wellbutrin XL, because I got off of Leaxapro (an SSRI) after I gained 25 pounds in 5 months. Weight gain on SSRIs is quite common. No it did no turn me into a zombie. They take about 4-6 weeks for full effect to take place, usually.
    Greg



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sephiroth_m75 View Post
    Hello.




    1. How do these drugs affect one's mood?

    2. What are the "sexual side effects"?

    3. Does everyone experience weight gain?

    4. Do they really turn you into a zombie?

    5. How long before I know whether they're working or not?

     
    Old 03-08-2008, 04:49 PM   #7
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    Re: SSRIs (antidepressants)

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SOE View Post
    I really have to disagree with this answer. ADs make many people feel like a "zombie". For many people, the ADs wipe out all the lows AND the highs -- hence the zombie feeling.

    SOE
    if you feel like a zombie on the meds, then you are on the wrong meds. I don't know of anyone that had highs and low totally wiped out from taking medication. Maybe they didn't follow thru with talk therapy and deal with the depression. taking meds is only half of it.

     
    Old 03-08-2008, 06:55 PM   #8
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    Re: SSRIs (antidepressants)

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kiasmama View Post
    if you feel like a zombie on the meds, then you are on the wrong meds. I don't know of anyone that had highs and low totally wiped out from taking medication. Maybe they didn't follow thru with talk therapy and deal with the depression. taking meds is only half of it.
    I was answering a question about side effects.

    I try to not put things in absolutes. ADs affect everyone differently. Many people often experience the same or similar side effects -- all to varying degrees. Notice I said in my previous post that MANY (not all) people share the zombie side effect.

    Having said that, I do know of many, many people who have had that experience. The fact that you don't personally know anyone that has experienced it, or have not experienced it yourself, does not make it untrue. It's a side effect of a medication. Therapy is a another topic.

    Last edited by SOE; 03-09-2008 at 12:12 AM.

     
    Old 03-08-2008, 07:28 PM   #9
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    Re: SSRIs (antidepressants)

    First off, I do agree that meds are only half of the equation. You also need to work through the reasons that you're depressed in the first place, with a trained therapist. I was in therapy for 10+ years (for various issues from my childhood) and have made a lot of progress, too. However, when I was on Prozac, I found that I just didn't care about anything. I couldn't even cry at a dear friend's funeral last year, no matter how hard I tried. If you look at the list of side effects for many of these meds, 'apathy' is listed for a lot of them. I now take 5-htp for my depression and it's wonderful to be able to feel again.

    Last edited by kittywitty; 03-08-2008 at 07:46 PM.

     
    Old 03-09-2008, 12:44 AM   #10
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    Re: SSRIs (antidepressants)

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SOE View Post
    I really have to disagree with this answer. ADs make many people feel like a "zombie". For many people, the ADs wipe out all the lows AND the highs -- hence the zombie feeling.


    SOE
    I think we both looked at the word "zombie" and thought of it to different degrees than one another. I agree a/ds can flatten moods, for some, many, some number of people. Wipe out? I guess it's all a matter of perception and degree. And in all honesty, when I needed meds the absolute most, my moods were all over the place, so a little flatness wasn't all bad.

    For the OP, if you were to find a med did give you a flat/zombie-like feeling you would talk with your prescribing doctor and adjust or switch meds. There is the option of trying them. You're not married to them if you start them (well, maybe Effexor to some degree), but I'd give a med a month anyway to give it a reasonable "whirl", as long as your doc met with you at least after 2 weeks.

     
    Old 03-19-2008, 07:08 PM   #11
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    Re: SSRIs (antidepressants)

    Generally ad's give me an I do not care feeling.....Sexual side effects may include diminished interest, delayed or absent orgasm.... Not everyone gains weight but this is a common side effect.

     
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