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Old 04-09-2018, 04:09 PM #1
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Default How much good can an antidepressant really do?

I've been on a bunch of antidepressants, and they don't seem to work for long. Or maybe I get my hopes up at first and think it's working when long-term, it doesn't.

How much good can an antidepressant really do? It is possible to find one that works?

Do the things you learn in therapy actually help more than medicine? I know the combination of meds and therapy are more successful for many people.
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Old 04-09-2018, 04:25 PM #2
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Default Re: How much good can an antidepressant really do?

The only AD that’s ever worked for me long term is an MAOI called emsam. The combination of emsam and invega kept me stable for nearly two years. Unfortunately I could not continue the invega due to physical side effects. I’ve yet to find a med combo that has worked as well.

As for therapy, my therapist tells me she has seen me work very hard to get out of episodes when they occur and that she believes I have prevented an episode from getting worse using the skills I learned. I am not sure this is true but I do trust her judgment better than my own, especially now that I am in a depressed state.
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Old 04-09-2018, 04:31 PM #3
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Default Re: How much good can an antidepressant really do?

Last week when I saw my pdoc she said, "Antidepressants can't really do that much, anyway..." She was not referring to me, she was referring to AD's in general.

I was, to say the least, shocked.
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Old 04-09-2018, 04:43 PM #4
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Default Re: How much good can an antidepressant really do?

For a lot of people with BP, taking AD's in the long-term can cause mania. My pdoc has put me on them short term if I'm very depressed (namely Effexor or Wellbutrin), but she points out if I'm on them longer than 3 or 4 months, I usually turn manic. So it really depends on the person. Anti-depressants can help some people with bipolar; for others, it is a flip of the switch and brings on mania.
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Old 04-09-2018, 04:45 PM #5
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Default Re: How much good can an antidepressant really do?

Zoloft is amazing for me. Pulled me out of a deep depression. I also take lithium to prevent the mania Zoloft causes. Those drugs got me emotionally better and therapy is helping me even more. Therapy is helping me work on the way my brain thinks. It's pretty cool.
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Old 04-09-2018, 05:10 PM #6
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Default Re: How much good can an antidepressant really do?

I think it really varies by person. For some people with bipolar (like me), antidepressants very often lead to mania and it gets bad. Sometimes they lead to rapid cycling and/or mixed episodes. And this also ON a moodstabilizer and/or antipsychotic. Other people do just swimmingly on an antidepressant along with a moodstabilizer and/or antipsychotic. I guess it can vary according to the antidepressant.

Since I can't take antidepressants with any good result, I have to depend on moodstabilizers and antipsychotics. There are some that work on getting rid of and helping to prevent depression. In my case my Seroquel XR is the major winner in that respect. I also take a small dose of Lamictal at 100 mg. Seroquel XR is also good for me (along with Tegretol XR) at curbing mania. In my mix, it is always my Seroquel XR that my psychiatrist manipulates.

I've heard of and tried other moodstabilizers that are helpful for depression (i.e. Lithium). I know other antipsychotics are helpful, too.
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Old 04-09-2018, 05:26 PM #7
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Default Re: How much good can an antidepressant really do?

I don’t really know what your definition of a “bunch” is. But sometimes it takes a lot of trial and error to find one that works. It could be that they don’t work for you. Others have had succes with old school Meds like lithium. Bipolar depression is a different animal than clinical depression. It are you on any other Meds for bipolar? Wellbutrin is another option for people who don’t respond well to SSRIs.
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Old 04-09-2018, 06:09 PM #8
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Default Re: How much good can an antidepressant really do?

I also have found success with Emsam. I was on so many ADs before it and they didn't work or they destabilized me. Emsam, as an MAOI, works differently and after just a few weeks on it I started having fewer deep depressions. In combination with the right AP (clozapine) my mood is much more manageable.
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Old 04-09-2018, 07:57 PM #9
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Default Re: How much good can an antidepressant really do?

Wellbutrin has been really good for me. It has helped greatly with my depression plus I quit smoking as a side effect.
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Old 04-09-2018, 08:28 PM #10
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Default Re: How much good can an antidepressant really do?

Pre bipolar a long time ago I suffered from severe post natal depression. I was put on Zoloft and attended fortnightly therapy. I think it was the combo of meds and therapy that helped me overcome the depression.

My son started suffering from ‘low moods’ at 18yrs of age. I was told with children and teens that exercise etc was equally as effective as meds. My son started exercising outdoors an hour a day, taking Vit D and meeting with his youth pastor weekly.
I would say he’s doing pretty well now.
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