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Is Depression manageable without Medication??

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  • Is Depression manageable without Medication??

    Within a short period of time my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was in a big car accident and was injured pretty bad, I got pregnant (while single, and after being told medically I wouldn't be able to get pregnant) and then miscarried at 3 months. All of this literally one after another.

    I recently sought help, which for me is HUGE, because I am typically a person who always works through my obstacles/issues very well on my own. I am greatly grounded in my spiritual self-awareness and maintain a very positive yet realistic approach to healing. This was just way too much.

    The HMO hoops I had to jump through just to talk to someone was ridiculous. I had to fill out forms, questionnaires, take tests, and sit through an orientation about mental health conditions and medications. After finally getting to talk to someone she stated that I tested as mildly depressed, though shocked it was not severe after hearing what had brought me in. She instantly went to medications.

    I am strongly against medicating, even though I understand it can be a helpful tool. I just feel like it is something I do not want to do. The problem I am having is that i feel like the psychologist does not want to see me until I have taken the medication for 3ish weeks. I was also told to take a group class on managing depression.

    Is this how it is suppose to go? I feel like I have sought help and I am being brushed off, perhaps because I refuse to medicate!? I feel like I have already done my research on how to manage everything which is why I am not in pieces, but I want some personalized care now. Isn't that possible without medication?

  • Your a positive lady who usually can handle anything in life

    But how do you handle (3) things at once?

    It's hard. Yet, this is the umpteenth thread I have read and my own experience personally and with friends, where everything seems to go in threes.

    I am a believer that it has to be Universal, deliberate, so that you can get on with things after, instead of one huge problem, then you get over it, then another huge one then you get over it, etc, that's what in my opinion is not possible.

    Off course, when (3) things happen to this extent all "major" we need help.. Off course.

    We are used to seeing a positive in a negative and that is what makes us cope, but there's not much chance of that with that you went through regardless of how spiritual you are.

    It's fantastic that she has said "mildly" depressed what she is saying is you are very strong.

    But Doctor's are in my opinion, Doctors, they have no heart they go off what they have read, or experienced and diagnose then give a solution then walk away.

    What you probably need is support groups in these fields, where you can read other like minded problems and relate and see how they got over it and realise your not alone.

    What you need is "people" to talk to you and surround you with love and let people be there for you, for a change, I am sure your the one who is there for everyone else mostly in life.

    Try support groups...

    I don't think people need medication unless they have fallen right down to the ground. That's the way I think, when you can't ever see a light at the end of the tunnel, all you really want is love, a cuddle, understanding and people to talk to.

    Is there people around you that you can ask for that cuddle and love?

    Definitely join a support group on Cancer and on, losing a child.

    I am so sorry sweet that yours are major. I know it sounds horrid but to me it's the biggest test in life... and makes you the strongest person.

    Not much consolation but it is the way it is.

    We are here, we can support you, you can just use this thread as a journal... and I encourage you to do that and let us support you along the way as well.



    • Medication for depression should be weighed heavily via benefit vs. risk. Many anti-depressents cause side-effects as menacing as the depression, but depending on the severity of the depression, they can be worth it.

      I think doctors are way too quick these days to turn to the prescription pad when it comes to depression/anxiety. Don't feel pushed into anything and definitely research and play a role in your care.

      Some physical/environmental things that seem to trigger depression like lack of sleep, lack of sunshine, poor nutrition/vitamin deficiancies, lack of exercise, lack of physical contact (hugs, etc), can be addressed without medication.

      Sharing feelings, absolving yourself of feelings of guilt and/or regret, removing controllable outside stressers, learning to find pleasure in the simple things, a good book, tv show, hobbie, a new friendship etc... are also non medicinal ways to pull from dips.

      But when a person can't just can't even find any light at all, medication has worked wonders for many to help them regain quality of life.

      You just have to really be careful and make sure your doctor is treating you as an individual and not just willy nilly passing you a script to hurry you out the door.
      Scars remind us of where we've been...they don't have to dictate where we're going.


      • Meditation is a good way to alleviate depression. But in starting this you need a professional to guide you through the process. It depends on the severity of the situation. Some people really require medication.


        • I'm not a fan of medication. Antidepressants are terribly overprescribed. It makes little sense to take something that may make you suicidal. My ex was on them for pain management and being very analytical, said they made him feel like an observer of his life rather than a participant.

          We need to allow our feelings, embrace them, work through them and let them go. Oddly enough, I think having so much going on can, in a way, help you. You cannot afford to get to involved in any one area and so keep a balance. At least this has been my experience. I've had it happen several times in my life. For example, my mother died of cancer, I quit a career track job due to an unresolvable problem with a new boss, got a divorce, moved, and went back to college - all in one year. Any part of this was stressful but because I had to cope with all of it, it kept me from immersing myself in any one thing. Being busy, being engaged in life, in moving foreward, was very helpful.

          That said, you do need a support network, some one or several someones to talk with and some down time. You need to allow your feelings, take time to cry to laugh to be angry -whatever it is you need. You just can't get lost or stuck there. Can be really helpful to create ceremonies; one for your baby to send love and care and let go of your loss. That little spirit does not cease to exist and will be fine. If your mother is still living, find ways to share with her and love her. People often say they would die for someone - that isn't helpful, better to live for them, loving them while they are here. None of knows what time we have.

          Try to see a psycologist, they can't prescribe drugs and so are more inclined to help you develop coping skills. There are a number of wonderful books available, one I recommend is Viktor Frankel's, Man's Search For Meaning. You can get through this and be a stronger woman for it. I know you will find many people here willing to talk and share with you.


          • Depression can be a very good thing. We all have our ups and down, and it is the downs that allow us to realize that something is not right or "out of sync". So we take it upon ourselves to find what is wrong and fix it, when we get out of those ruts we end up thinking "hey that must have been it! I feel so much better". We could also completely go into remission for no apparent reason, which I mean is great but does not explain why the depression occurred in the first place. If we cannot get out of that depressed feeling, or other stressors get added to the mix, then we can have diagnosable forms of depression.

            Sorry to sound harsh and rude but when the therapist says "mild depression" they are not saying it entirely out of compassion (okay maybe a little but then again who are they to determine what life events are 'mild' to an individual person?-someone's mild is another person's nightmare) anyway...they are not saying it entirely out of compassion, but more-so from a purely diagnostic educational professional standpoint. Basically they are saying yes you are depressed but you do not fit the diagnostic criteria for the more severe forms of depression. That is a good thing though. If there is not a diagnosable form there is greater chance of getting better, and typically quicker as well.

            When it comes to treatment, well good luck. Every patient experiencing depression is different and responds differently to therapeutic methods. The problem with depression is that A) it is one of the most common psychological illnesses that pops up in a clinical setting and B) it has an immense relapse rate relative to other psychological illnesses. I have taken many courses in psychology and having depression (have had it for about 10 years now) while learning about this stuff really hurts. I have not gone to see a psychologist, nor will I. I am a person who will not respond to traditional talk therapies, it just is not my thing. However when it comes to medications, I know that they are not a quick fix and can have plenty of side effects but that would be my personal choice. Physicians will do outpatient therapy like there is no tomorrow...why? because it is fast. They do not have the time to make individualized treatment programs for every patient that comes in and says "I am really not doing well doc, everything is just dull boring and depressing". They will grab their pad and scribble the Prozac, Wellbutrin, Paxil, Zoloft, or Elavil or whatever SSRI or TCA can fit the symptoms the most. Unfortunate but true. Referrals to specialized persons like psychologists can be made though.

            You will need to visit with a psychologist, not a physician or a psychiatrist. The psychologist will be the one you need if you want talk therapy, and yes support groups including at home support is key. From what I remember, the drug therapy does work well for countless patients (or obviously it would not be an option) but talk therapy has a huge success rate as well. There are many forms of therapy and it will be up to you talking to your therapist about what would work best for you. If you do not want medications then say that right off the bat, real professional therapists will exhaust all other possibilities before putting you on a prescription if you really do not wish to.
            There are those who believe that dictionaries should not merely reflect the times but also protect English from the mindless assaults of the trendy.


            • The simple fact is that life can hand us some difficult stuff and it can get us down. We wouldn't be human if it didn't to some degree. To sell their product the drug companies have sold the idea that our emotions are some sort of illness or problem.

              Death or illness in the family? Feeling sad? Take some pills! It's a normal emotion and needs to be experienced! Part of out problem has been the effort to sanitise everything, we are disasociated from illness, death and other life events by professionals. For example, studies have found that when a family cares for a loved one's body after death, washing it and preparing for burial, they have a much easier time of it accepting and dealing with the loss.

              Being connected to each other and to what is happening is much healthier.


              • But each individual is different, some may not want to go through therapy and would sooner opt for drugs.
                There are those who believe that dictionaries should not merely reflect the times but also protect English from the mindless assaults of the trendy.


                • In most cases of so called depression, drugs deal with "symptoms" not reasons, responses or the real causes. They may just add another layer to what it takes to really deal with it. Sometimes a good primal scream will work wonders, why not?


                  • Certainly antidepressants do not find the cause(s) for the depression, which of course is the key to prevention, but sometimes when people are experiencing the depression they are not interested nor willing to talk about things when all they want is for those feelings to go away. In those cases, the pharmacological mechanisms of the drugs can provide that alleviation of symptoms. And in many cases the patient still goes to therapy while on prescriptions to still talk through their problems.

                    Traditional one on one therapy has impressive results if the patient is willing to commit to however long the treatment is needed for. At home depressed feelings that everyone experiences are not necessarily just cause for an appointment with the psychologist and in those cases if you want to scream away the problems then go for it cause it can absolutely help. When it comes to mild, severe or any form of actual diagnosable depression then a simple scream or cup of tea in front of the fire may not help. In those cases actual therapy, drug or not, can be explored.
                    There are those who believe that dictionaries should not merely reflect the times but also protect English from the mindless assaults of the trendy.


                    • Thank you everyone for your opinions and feedback. I do appreciate it all.

                      It has been several weeks and I still do not feel myself. I stare at the bottle of Celexa that was prescribed to me almost every day just wondering if I should just suck it up and take the pills, but I just feel in my heart that I know that I do not. I just know that this has been way too much, for way too long, and I am exhausted. Though, I still don't feel right self-medicating.

                      It takes every ounce of energy in me just to get to work everyday and to fake a smile. I work with children so at least they are easy for me to "fake it" with. They don't ask questions and they are so easy find joy with. It's more exhausting now that the people around me have noticed a change in my energy. Everyone is asking "are you ok?" and I lie and say with a smile "Oh yeah, I'm fine! I think I'm just fighting off a cold or something. I'm just a little off." But I've been using that excuse for a while now and they seem to recognize that.

                      After jumping through all those hoops I mentioned in my first posting, I was able to meet with the Psychologist. Instead of medication I assumed that one-on-one talk therapy would be helpful. To have someone help me look at my specific habits or situations and point out what I am missing! Usually I can fix things myself, but for some reason I can't this time, and I just wanted some individualized assistance. I don't want GROUP therapy, I don't want to attend a class about how sunshine, oxygen, and talking to friends (etc) helps! I already know this stuff and I have been USING all of these tactics already!

                      It is difficult for me because there really is only one person I have to talk to about everything and I have genuinely had her support. The problem seems to be that everything I have tried is not enough. None of it has made me feel any better.

                      I am constantly exhausted. I cry over every little thing. I genuinely don't care about pretty much ANYTHING anymore, nothing phases me. I just get up every morning and roll through the routine and if things go smoothe, then great!, and if not... owell. I don't care. It's bizarre to recognize such a lack of motivation in myself, but apparently not enough to snap back into place.

                      Should I just do the pills? The therapist keeps bumping her availability so she basically prescribed them and has not made herself available to meet/talk since I have not taken the meds. Should I just find another Therapist if possible? I'm assuming they will react the same way.


                      • First thing I "felt" was depressed.

                        I don't understand, the
                        " The therapist keeps bumping her availibility so she basically prescribed them"
                        But, if she won't meet with you? Because you won't take the meds? You don't say how long you've been seeing her?

                        So I think that ways alot on anyone's answer as to her "action" or "course" she's chosen..

                        Perhaps you can just tell us that bit before an honest "opinion" can be provided, because there are to scenarios, based on a couple of times, verses quite a few times.

                        PUT A LITTLE 'LIKE' IN MY SOUL!


                        • Get a good quality B complex and some vitamin D3 and see what a week on those does? All these emotional hits have depleted you in many ways; physically and emotionally. Stress depresses your immune system and lowers your energy levels. If you are in winter now, as I am, the shortened daylight can hit you particularly hard when you are already down. The D3 will help with that- plain old D isn't really absorbed by your body and the B complex will help too. Vitamin E would be a good idea too. Oh and some Omega 3s, I like flax but you can take a fish oil too if you can find one that is "clean".

                          Sometimes just knowing you are taking steps can help. Buy yourself flowers, some dark chocolate (Dove Promises are nice) a good quality tea or coffee. Stretch, exersize, move - daily. Indulge a bit, make yourself special to yourself. If you keep a diary, great. If not, start and not just some tatty notebook, get a really lovely journal to write in and a special pen. Send little cards or notes to family and freinds - for no reason, just to brighten their day. Keep some cup of soups or something in your car and give them to beggers on the street corners ( I won't give money but will give food). Things like that can boost you up and others. Contributing to the general feeling of goodness in the world really helps. You can't change many big things but you can start a pattern of creating good little things and those can add up fast.

                          Go with your gut. It's telling you that the meds aren't right for you.


                          • I personally would not take medication for emotional problems if my life depended on it. With that said I think some mild depression is manageable without medication. Intense psychotherapy would be necessary I would think.


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