Sunday, August 9, 2009

Anxiety and Depression Medication: My Own View

In my August 7, 2009 post, entitled Anxiety and Depression Medication: The Antidepressant Debate, I promised I would follow up with my own personal view--take a side if you will. So here goes, I'll be interested in your comments.

I realize the tone in some of my posts may suggest that I am anti-antidepressants, but that's not entirely true. In fact, that assumption would be entirely false.

Antidepressants help to combat the chemical portion of this illness and their effectiveness is well documented. Millions of sufferers, myself included, have benefited from these prescriptions, and I am optimistic both about the advancement of mental health research and the improvement of these medications. That being said, I do not believe that antidepressants work independently from other techniques and treatments. After prolonged personal experience, I have completely abandoned the miracle cure theory that many hold dear.

Antidepressants are prescribed too much, that is my opinion. Too many doctors opt to begin medication treatment before other options have been considered, exposing patients to potentially harmful side effects and dependency. The people they are treating, people who are tired of the suffering, usually jump at the opportunity to quell these symptoms with a pill. It just doesn't work that way, and doctors that choose this option as the sole method of treatment are, in my opinion, doing their patients a great disservice.

For years I tried combination after combination, desperate for relief. Finally after five years and many periods of trial and error, I finally began taking Effexor and it has helped significantly, when used in combination with other treatments I have mentioned in this blog. Five years of waiting and hoping to be magically cured. That is simply too long, and completely unnecessary. The plain truth was that I had to become an ACTIVE participant in my recovery before I noticed any measurable improvement.


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