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Antidepressants

BetrayedGamer posted 4/6/2021 01:24 AM

I have a degree in psychology, which makes things kinda weird because I tend to self-diagnose a lot. I know that feeling sad going through a divorce with a betrayal is normal, even healthy. I welcome the pain sometimes like a masochist. I know healing will start when she's gone and I don't have the same wounds ripped open daily.

What I worry about is longer term depression. I used to think depression was sort of a myth, that "it's just being really sad." That was until about a year before I met the STBXWW. I lost both parents in the span of 4 years, and my mom (the 2nd one) to a particularly unpleasant death a month after a serious relationship breakup. Then I learned what depression was really like.

Went through the double-grieving process like what I thought was normal, then something unexpected happened. I would have days or hours of untriggered euphoria, then I'd have the same with intense sadness...again with no triggers. It got maddening because I never knew when one feeling or the other would happen, and it would screw up a lot of plans I'd made. Caused a lot of spontaneous sick days. At the time I did nothing about it, figuring time would make it go away. Meeting the STBXWW seemed to help, with the whirlwind romance that blossomed quickly.

I know it's going to come back. As a veteran I can go to the VA and get treatment/antidepressants for it. I know it's going to be bad and I'm in for a rough ride. I also don't necessarily want to get hooked on a "crutch" the rest of my life. I'm not anti-medicine, but I don't ever want to be on any sort of pill (outside of supplements) that I HAVE to take long term. Looking for opinions/advice from people that have done antidepressants. Do they work? Are they something that a person can "kick" down the road? Thoughts?

[This message edited by BetrayedGamer at 1:27 AM, April 6th (Tuesday)]

OwningItNow posted 4/6/2021 02:13 AM

Are you in IC? Antidepressants saved my life while going through those very dark days, but I was also confronting all of my thinking, feelings, and behaviors directly in IC. That allowed me to adopt better, healthier thinking, feelings, and behaviors instead, and in time I ditched the antidepressants. I haven't been on them in a decade and have felt good. Medication doesn't have to be a crutch, but it can be if healing does not happen on its own. You need to confront the thoughts that bring you down and learn to reframe them and see things differently. Just my opinion.

Justsomeguy posted 4/6/2021 08:55 AM

Antidepressants and a diet (oops anti anxiety )meds saved my life as well. When I was in the worst of it, I tried to describe my darkness, or sadness as I called it. It was a thing that was physical. It had weight and substance, as if i could reach out and touch it. It was all around me, suffocating. When I got on the meds, I slowly emerged from this darkness. Now I am on the lowest dose for the next few years, and it helps even me out. Once I am done with the major life changes, I intend to wean myself off of them. Good luck with your choice.

[This message edited by Justsomeguy at 12:08 PM, April 6th (Tuesday)]

skeetermooch posted 4/6/2021 10:08 AM

I've run through the gamut of antidepressants. In my experience they give just enough improvement to get out of the hole. For me there wasn't any issue "kicking" them. The improvement you get enables you to get back into living and feeling more normally. And, with their tendency to lose effectiveness, it's never been any dramatic thing to not take them anymore. I was very hesitant to try them but was glad I did.

My current anti-depressant is more experimental (ketamine) and gives a more dramatic improvement but it's been easy to take less because I feel so much better and don't need it. You might look at it this way: the medicine gets your brain working again - it doesn't manufacture happiness for you. So, you don't need it after a time typically.

BetrayedGamer posted 4/6/2021 10:22 AM

I assume the VA will provide IC as well. I'm unsure what IC will do for me, I feel like I know what they are going to say: "love yourself, work on yourself, exercise, live healthy...blah blah" F u I'm smoking a pack of cigs, drinking half a bottle of scotch, binge watching lame Netflix sci fi, and feeling better in the morning!

Seriously though I've had IC one time, it was after my first divorce when I was 24. Got it through Kaiser, probably got some dude fresh out of Grad School. The whole time I knew what he was going to say, I was in my 4th year of college (Psychology) and he seemed like he was reading out of one of my textbooks. One of the most wasted 1 hours of my life.

I don't need someone to talk at me, I need someone to talk with me. Unfortunately unless I'm willing to pay $500/hr for the top of the line stuff I'm going to get textbook readers.

zebra25 posted 4/6/2021 10:41 AM

Antidepressants aren't a crutch that you get hooked on. They are medications to treat a diagnosed medical illness. One stops taking them when they are no longer needed.

Alcohol is a depressant that you can get hooked on. I'm sure you know nicotine is addictive and causes all kinds of health issues.

Why are you okay using alcohol and cigarettes but worry about antidepressants?

I am not meaning to be judgmental. We all do what we need to when life throws us a load of crap. I just want you to consider antidepressants as something that may help you.

As far as therapy, I agree it is hit or miss.

barcher144 posted 4/6/2021 11:08 AM

I would recommend that you see a psychiatrist... which will likely require a referral from a primary care physician.

Your comment about untriggered euphoria suggests something like bipolar is a possibility. You need to have someone who really knows what they're doing to prescribe the correct medications for that.

The good news about antidepressants is that they often work and they are not habit-forming. The bad news is that they are all subtly different and they affect everyone differently. So, each time someone starts taking them... it's a mini science experiment, only YOU are the experiment.

The other thing about antidepressants (and psychiatric drugs, in general) is that they work at glacial speeds. It's typical to get benefits 4-6 weeks after starting taking them. Getting off of them is slow also... my psychiatrist weaned me off of them over a 16-month period. It's not that they are addictive, but you can start having new side effects as your body gets used to life without them.

As far as therapy, I have been to a lot of it... and it's critically important to get the right therapist for you. If you do, then it's enormously helpful. I haven't had any serious depression symptoms for almost three years (I had some minor depression symptoms last fall around my divorce trial) and I still see my therapist once per month. I am still working on a few things and I am still getting better.

My theory on mental health is that almost all of it is caused by bad habits and/or by trauma. I *think* that you were joking about the cigs and the scotch... but "welcoming the pain like a masochist" is definitely a bad habit. You have definitely experienced plenty of trauma too.

BetrayedGamer posted 4/6/2021 12:55 PM

No the alcohol and cigs are real, the pain is fresh enough I need that crutch once in a while (once or twice a week). I'm not worried about those, I can manage their use (I know, everyone says that).

I just wanted to get opinions on if antidepressants work, what are there side effects, and is it easy to get off them. Seen too many horror movies and shows where people "get off their meds" and turn into mass murderers...becoming a mass murderer isn't in my healing plans.

I'll probably give myself a month after she leaves (the month of May) to see where I'm at. I can only go by the depression I had in the past...what I'm going through now is beyond that...fresh pain everyday as I have her and the AP connecting everyday (fortunately just online and phone calls...I warned her not to have him visit while she's here).

I don't know if I can get anyone good through the VA, counselling wise. Won't hurt to try. I don't respond well to "you need to do this" instructions, I'm better when I can vent and be guided through my feelings.

AnnieOakley posted 4/6/2021 13:14 PM

BG,

Iíve never been on meds so grain of salt here, but Iíve been here a long time. Your IHS sounds like hell and unless she has dialed back her A antics, it is clearly emotionally abusive.

My thoughts are why wait (when you are seemingly in the throes of hell) to get on ADs? Iím guessing you are thinking that once she is gone you are going to feel better? Which of course is possible, but the opposite is also possible too.

As people mention it can take weeks for things to level out and to find the right dosage, med, etc. for you. If it is something that you are seriously considering, I would probably make that decision sooner vs. later.

You deserve better. ☮️

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