Hey aqualung thanks for your post.
A few comments for you...
I dont want to be on mood meds. i think i've had mild ongoing depression since 2005 and i've combated it through exercise, diet, sex, friends, personal help tapes, and sometimes alcohol (altho i stopped alcohol a few years ago because the lows were getting too low)
I never realized i had depression during this time. But now that I look back, i had distinct depressive periods. They usually came out of nowhere and they lasted about 2-3 months. During these 2-3 months I usually felt like I had some sort of illness or sickness and I would goto the doctor a lot and check myself out. For awhile I thought I had an STD or something. Then I thought maybe I had something more serious. I never thought I might have depression.
The tests always came back negative, and I would feel relief, and eventually the depression would lift. Sometimes the negative test
result would provide enough relief that the depression would lift.
Keep in mind, i never realized it was depression back then.
Last year I got my T levels check out and i had low testosterone
. I figured that was the cause of all my issues and i went on treatment. Going on testosterone actually increased my depression because my doctors kept switching me from patch to clomid
to gel to shots. And i fell into a really bad depression. Suicidal depression. Very scary stuff.
Although thoughts of suicide had crossed my mind before, i'd never actually srsly considered it. Last year I was srsly thinking about it! And when I started researching methods online how to do it, I realized I needed help.
I tried a bunch of anti depressants - a tricyclic one, i briefly tried celexa, then wellbutrin.
Wellbutrin was the one I could tolerate the most - and altho it didnt work right away - my mind shut off and the suicidal thoughts went away. After about 6 weeks i started to feel pretty good and normal.
I stayed on this med for about 3-4 months before i added testosterone too. I had no libido
so i figured adding testosterone would bring that back. And it did!!! I had a raging libido on this combo for a while, but then i feel like wellbutrin pooped out on me.
I've tried increasing the dose but the higher dose gives me pretty bad anxiety.
So thats' where i'm at.
I normally wouldn't share so much detail on a public forum but i figure if I want constructive advice, i might as well. Whatever.
The biggest thing i realized is that maybe I do have some sort of chemical imbalance going on. For the past 5 years i have had depressive episodes every single year. Sometimes twice/year.
I dont want to fall back into that cycle of depressive episodes out of the blue. After the deep depression i had last year, since going on wellbutrin, i havent felt THAT depressed for the past 6+ months. I still have an occasional down day but i NEVER think about suicide and i don't dwell on negative thoughts like i sometimes used to.
The medication hasn't been without side effects tho. As I mentioned, it gives me some anxiety, it has killed my creativity (even tho wellbutrin isn't supposed to, it has), and my memory is shot.
It's a trade off i guess.
This life ultimately is about SURVIVAL.
I don't want to die and i want a decent quality of life.
I used to pride myself on my lifestyle - my workouts, the books i read, the women i got with.
But at the end of the day, if i am to be honest with myself, i was depressed as shit a lot of the time.
I had some pretty good times. But my depression caused me to leave jobs and shit. For no reason. It caused me to sometimes avoid social situations too. Or it caused me to self medicate with alcohol - which i did a lot. Until i eventually quit booze.
I know these meds dont come without side effects. But for me, i am okay with that if the benefits > side effects.
I'm on Testim right now and i sometimes feel like i am more depressed ON testosterone than off. Which is wierd too.
Just trying to figure out if I need an SSRi and maybe it will help me.
At the end of the day I just want a good quality of life and i am trying to find ways to achieve it.
Originally Posted by aqualung
I'm going to chime in with my two cents.
Although I never had the displeasure of using psychiatric meds on a long-term or daily basi, I can say that it is highly doubtful that you're going to find any answers there -- and almost certain you'll not find any long-term ones. Drugs really are to be avoided unless necessary, IMO. It was a lesson learned the hard way for me. Something like testosterone to replace a physiological lack -- an OBSERVED physiological problem (not a postulated "chemical imbalance"! -- is one thing. But these SSRI's can be bad news, and really often are.
How does the sensation of lightning striking your brain sound to you as a withdrawal symptom when you decide to come off of them? I mean, seriously, it's like a drug from some evil cartoon character's laboratory!
Far more frequent than the reports of better sex or better libido -- I don't know if the numbness and reduced libido described by the last post here can be considered sexually positive in any way, BTW! -- are the reports of sexual dysfunction. Including dysfunction that persists beyond discontinuation of the drugs. (These drugs are, as you probably know, prescribed to premature ejaculators for the same reason the last poster mentioned as a potential positive... I feel angry at any doc who writes those pills for that reason. "Cum too quick? Feels too good? Well, let's make sure sex feels like thrusting into a void -- now you'll be a great lover and your girlfriend won't complain." If you cum that quick, you've gotta be able to go another round! It's cheaper and healthier and more fun.
I've struggled with depression in my life, in a pretty significant way, but I've never used an antidepressant. Not that it's a point of pride, not at all, as I've made equally bad mistakes with my health, but I'm just saying that there are other ways of combating depression, and like you, my fear of side-effects have kept me from using them. And every time I read about what they can do to someone, I'm glad I didn't. I've read horror stories of ongoing, almost complete sexual dysfunction years after discontinuing the drug just like some finasteride
No one knows their long-term effects (notice how studies always last months or, with less detail, years, not decades? it's at least partially because there is little future in taking drugs in general), and talk therapy is just as effective as drugs, if not more effective, and there is a long-term future in talk therapy, IMO. Unlike drugs which have a funny way of ceasing to work, talk therapy can remain effective for the long haul. There's no pesky receptor downregulation or desensitization or drug tolerance of sexual side-effect you should expect to hamper the long-term viability of a talk therapy. Also, unlike drugs, talk therapy has a greater likelihood of producing changes in you -- organic changes not related to a pharmaceutical insult -- that may leave you with a lasting resistance to depression. Try cognitive behavioral therapy. The book, "A Guide to Rational Living" is a CBT (the author called it REBT, but whatever) self-help book by Albert Ellis which might have actually helped a few people, unlike every other self-help book on this planet!l
That said, horrible clinical depression that keeps you in bed all day or has you seriously preparing for suicide might require drugs, or probably does. Or inpatient help. But such a condition would certainly also require talk therapy. Seeing a shrink before a psychiatrist is probably wise in any case, the shrink will also take the time to get to know you and can help you decide what to do with regard to drugs.
Sorry for Tom Cruising you. If only I had the looks to match the crazy!