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Advice on anti-depressants?

lovemimoonlovemimoon 🦋Posts: 2,031 Boards Champion
I had a psych assessment and the psychologist has put me on anti-depressants as a trial run. I'm really nervous to go on it so, what's your insight?


  • independent_independent_ Resident Coffee Addict ScotlandPosts: 7,275 Master Poster
    Hey @lovemimoon, (apologies for the early post, I can’t sleep lol)

    I take an antidepressant called mirtazapine, ironically considering the time of this post it’s supposed to help me sleep lol. It’s the second one I tried, I tried one called sertraline last year but I had some pretty bad side effects with it so I came off it in the end.

    Everyone is really different when it comes to side effects though, some people get none, some people get really minor ones and others react better to some antidepressants than others. I didn’t have many side effects at all with mirtazapine other than tiredness, which is expected with it being a sedative one.

    It’s by no means a miracle cure but it’s something, I still struggle but I don’t find I get quite as low as I did before I was on them, and I have more energy for the basic things in life than I did.

    I hope the one you’re taking helps you, but don’t be disheartened if you have to try a few before you find one that helps <3
    “Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.”
  • lovemimoonlovemimoon 🦋 Posts: 2,031 Boards Champion

    Hey! I can't sleep either but thank you so much!
    That was really helpful!

    I have another question: how has anti-depressants impacted your daily life, personally? That's if you want to answer.
  • independent_independent_ Resident Coffee Addict ScotlandPosts: 7,275 Master Poster
    @lovemimoon no worries at all! Always happy to help <3

    I think they’ve made functioning day to day easier, things like having the energy to get out of bed at a reasonable time, I think I get along with others a bit better too and things that used to really get to me don’t quite as much, and I’m a hell of a lot less anxious (but I’ve had counselling for that too). It’s not perfect, some days are still really hard, but it’s progress from where I was a few months ago when I was basically doing nothing and hiding all the time.
    “Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.”
  • lovemimoonlovemimoon 🦋 Posts: 2,031 Boards Champion
    @independent_ Thank you! <3
  • LaineLaine Fruit loop Gone for gooPosts: 2,767 Account Deactivated
    edited May 11
    Hey love mimoon!

    I've been put on fluoxetine it's been 6 days and I'll be honest at the moment it's rough,
    I will be honest with you they can make you tired, nauseous, unmotivated it can make you a bit worse for upto 2 weeks I think.

    The people I know on them are doing great once they got past that time frame, you have to be willing to see it through, and do seek support in those around you while you are on them. :)

    If one doesn't work there are others so don't be discouraged ❤️

    🌈Positive thoughts🌈

    "This is my family. I found it, all on my own.
    It's little, and Broken, but still good. Yeah. Still good." ~ Stitch

    "Lately, I've been struggling with all the simple things in my life" ~ Cian Ducrot

    "I don't know if it's because my heart hurts or I'm insecure" ~ Juice Wrld
  • lovemimoonlovemimoon 🦋 Posts: 2,031 Boards Champion
    edited May 11
    Hi @Laine

    Thank you for sharing!
    I hope things get better for you soon. <3

    I'm seeing a lot of different types of antidepressants being mentioned here. Do they have different functions or...?
  • LaineLaine Fruit loop Gone for gooPosts: 2,767 Account Deactivated
    The most common type are SSRIs
    These typically have less side effects than other forms.

    Fluoxetine is common to be prescribed if you're first starting out but there are many others such as citalopram, sertraline, paroxetine etc. Mirtazapine is an atypical one.

    You will almost always start on an SSRI and gauge it from there :)

    🌈Positive thoughts🌈

    "This is my family. I found it, all on my own.
    It's little, and Broken, but still good. Yeah. Still good." ~ Stitch

    "Lately, I've been struggling with all the simple things in my life" ~ Cian Ducrot

    "I don't know if it's because my heart hurts or I'm insecure" ~ Juice Wrld
  • lovemimoonlovemimoon 🦋 Posts: 2,031 Boards Champion
    Thank you @Laine! <3
  • Salix_alba_2019Salix_alba_2019 Posts: 1,339 Wise Owl
    Hey Heyyy, I'm hoping that you have a smooth journey and that you start to feel better soon! Medication is great for helping people to stay afloat and if you can I deffo recommend therapy in conjunction to get the best out of your treatment.

    I'm on citalopram and I've been on it for almost 3 years. I honestly didn't feel any side effects apart from a decreased appetite and trouble settling into sleep. Overall my body tolerated it quite well and it was the first antidepressants that did obliterate my sex drive LOL ( if you know you know🤣)

  • lovemimoonlovemimoon 🦋 Posts: 2,031 Boards Champion
    @Salix_alba_2019 Thank you for the recommendation. I'm currently attending group therapy but I'll let my therapist know!

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    RIP your sex drive, man :joy::joy:
  • AislingDMAislingDM Posts: 343 Moderator
    Thanks so much for starting this discussion @lovemimoon because truly the only way we can know how meds will work/not for us is to hear from others' first-person experiences. I feel I am learning a lot here and am really grateful to everyone for being so open. I've gotten the impression that meds really do impact a lot of people in diff ways and it just shows how talking more helps us to better understand and make more informed choices :)

    How are you feeling about the anti-depressants atm?
  • lovemimoonlovemimoon 🦋 Posts: 2,031 Boards Champion
    Hi @AislingDM

    I'm glad you're finding this discussion thread educational! <3

    Seeing people's experience with anti-depressants eases my worries and I don't feel as nervous.

    Thank you!
  • AislingDMAislingDM Posts: 343 Moderator
    Defo defo !! And yeah that is simply wonderful to hear, you're so right like even hearing a few people share their experiences can provide a sense of calm =) one thing that I've heard some find useful, is writing brief daily journal entries when they start meds, just to keep track about how their body and mind is doing, because, as is clear, some meds work for some and don't for others. Which is more than fine, but it's great to try to keep aware of how your body responds to them <3
  • lovemimoonlovemimoon 🦋 Posts: 2,031 Boards Champion
    @AislingDM That's a really good idea! I'll get a couple of journals tomorrow! Thank you for the suggestion! :3<3
  • AislingDMAislingDM Posts: 343 Moderator
    Absolutely love to hear that @lovemimoon !! (also if daily doesn't work for you like it's too much to remember, even weekly self-updates can be useful to see patterns <3)
  • Erulasse13Erulasse13 Posts: 8 Confirmed not a robot
    Hey! I've got a lot of experience with anti-depressants.
    My doctor put me on Fluoxetine when i was 16, i've since learned this is one of the most common "starter" anti-depressants. It worked for about a year for me, i kept increasing my doses under doctor supervision until i eventually reached the max and it was beginning to not work.
    I was moved onto Venlafaxine, which made me very tired but it did the job for me for a while again. Again, increased doses until maxed out and got switched.
    Then i was put on Duloxetine - its been the best for me and i'm on the max dose but i've been fine on it for over 3 years now. A year or two after getting to the max on duloxetine i was also put on Quietiapine which is an anti-psychotic.

    Meds can be a pain in the sense that because there's so many out there, it can take a period of trial and error to find what helps you best. Just remember that it takes 14 days average for any medication to be integrated into your system and work properly - be aware of common side effects but don't go googling the extreme ones if you're prone to anxiety. Let your doctor know any side effects you experience, or any feelings you get within the first month.
    Keep in mind that although meds can be great - I honestly wouldnt be alive without them - they aren't the ONLY way to treat depression. Its been proven by many professionals that the most effective treatment is a combination of meds and therapy.
  • lovemimoonlovemimoon 🦋 Posts: 2,031 Boards Champion
    Thank you @Erulasse13 for your comment!

    It's really good to see the progression! I'm glad things are working out for you! <3

    I haven't started taking fluoxetine yet cos it clashes with another med I'm on. Taking them together will cause a side effect I'd rather not experience at all.
  • zaynab_5zaynab_5 Everyone's fave midget :) LondonPosts: 1,537 Extreme Poster
    Hi there!

    I am currently on fluoxetine and I'm not going to lie at first it did make me more depressed as it was one of the side effects. My psychiatrist increased my dosage and after that there was significant improvement in my mood and I wasn't catatonic anymore. I felt amazing and I was sleeping better. My suicidal thoughts gone and I started doing things that I used to love doing again. I became more talkative and I started to get my normal self back. I only cried because of tears of joy nothing else because of how alive I finally felt again.

    This antidepressant literally saved my life and I highly recommend this as it does have positive effects. I hope it goes well for you!
  • lovemimoonlovemimoon 🦋 Posts: 2,031 Boards Champion

    Thank you so much for sharing!
    And thank you in general! :joy:
  • rainskyerainskye Leeds, UK Posts: 130 The Mix Convert
    Hi! It's been interesting to read some of the experiences people have had with antidepressants. I first started on 20mg of sertraline and this really did not help me, however, I did have the mindset that "it's not going to work for me" so this negative thinking could have impacted it too. I decided to go against advice and come off of sertraline and antidepressants altogether up until around March of this year. I began on 20mg of fluoxetine and my dose has been increasing each month. Honestly, I haven't fully settled on the medication yet, and my body is definitely still getting used to it. It's made me feel very lethargic so I'm not able to carry out my usual daily activities, I have around 3-4 vivid dreams a night which can be quite distressing when I wake up, I'm often confused and my head is foggy. But I'm still giving them a go as I know it takes time to find the right dose, and for it to adjust! My mood has gotten better, but this isn't just from the medication, it's from accessing support as well which is so important! As @Erulasse13 mentioned above, "the most effective treatment is a combination of meds and therapy.". <3
  • lovemimoonlovemimoon 🦋 Posts: 2,031 Boards Champion
    Thank you, @rainskye for sharing! <3

    I hope you get used to the medication. <3
  • cescarosacescarosa Posts: 1 Literally just got here
    Hi @lovemimoon,

    The thought of taking medication can be really scary, but it really can help! I started taking citalopram at sixteen which worked for around six months and then wasn't as effective and then started taking sertraline, which has been working for me for over three years! Honestly, side effects can be an issue for the first couple of months - I had a lot of nausea, vivid dreaming and teeth grinding, but these were similar to the symptoms of anxiety I was already having so it really didn't make much of an impact on my life.
    They usually take around six to eight weeks to start working so it can feel like they're not doing anything, but after a while you'll likely start to feel a little more stable and calm. Most people I know who've been on different types (SSRI's like sertraline and fluoxetine and other types like MAOI's and tricyclic which are less common) would say that emotions can feel muted, which is a really helpful thing when your mental health isn't the best. Even though they're not a cure, they're an amazing tool and so, so worth taking - it might take some chopping and changing but they'll help you to feel better, it's what they're designed for :)
  • lovemimoonlovemimoon 🦋 Posts: 2,031 Boards Champion
    Hi @cescarosa

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience! <3

    Reading the side effects that you and other people have experienced eased my worries a bit because I'm experiencing something similar. Thought that I may the wrong decision at some point. :joy:
  • lovemimoonlovemimoon 🦋 Posts: 2,031 Boards Champion

    Since this post, it wasn't until a little later that I started taking fluoxetine - 2nd June.

    It's been a month and 6 days.
    I'm happy to report that the side effects are (still are, by the way) one hell of a bitch to get through. Some side effects aren't as strong as it used to be but I have had certain impulses and thoughts resurfaced. It's been difficult trying to maintain that.

    Thank you everyone for your insights and for sharing your experiences! <3
    Please feel free to share your insight!

    I have a follow-up question: what side effects have you experienced or currently experiencing and how do you cope with it?
  • independent_independent_ Resident Coffee Addict ScotlandPosts: 7,275 Master Poster
    edited July 8
    The only side effect I experienced at the start with mirtazapine was tiredness. Like I was zombie like for a few days on starting them, but compared to the first one I tried that was nothing. Just had to try to get as much sleep as I could really.

    Tbh I’’m about 5 or 6 months in and mine don’t really work as well anymore, but that doesn’t happen to most people.

    If you want to share, what side effects are you still struggling with? Things like changes in sleep, weight gain etc can unfortunately be long term side effects of many antidepressants.

    I hope you start feeling fbetter soon <3
    “Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.”
  • zaynab_5zaynab_5 Everyone's fave midget :) LondonPosts: 1,537 Extreme Poster
    I've been on fluoxetine for ten months now
    In the psychiatric unit that I stayed at, after my isolation period, my consultant put me on 20mg of fluoxetine to start with. A week have gone by and everyone noticed that it turned out ineffective, so she increased my dosage to 40mg.
    I've had massive side effects, they were fucking hell :s but I somehow managed to get through them. I've felt more depressed, couldn't sleep well, often had tremors, felt more nervous, felt so drowsy, had a dry mouth and had a loss of appetite.
    I've told my doctor about the side effects and she said that there are strategies to cope with it for example taking a nap in the day, do physical activity (I went out for walks with my key worker) and not drink caffeine late in the day. I've handled the side effects well.
    Three months later, I've had increased panic attacks and I've had aggressive behaviour, so my consultant increased my dosage to 60mg. I've had a lot of weight gain and gained 10kg which is a lot and from then I felt insecure about my weight and wished to have my old body back. Ugh side effects can be a bitch these days :joy:
    I was also having a benzodiazepine with it called lorazepam. It really helped with my sleep, but made me get more drowsier sigh.
    Two weeks after that, I felt more suicidal and I SHed a lot, so my dosage was increased to 80mg, I had 20mg in the morning and 60mg in the evening. I've stopped having lorazepam. I've felt really weak and had blurred vision. I told my doctor a month later that I wanted my medication to be decreased to 60mg because I didn't feel suicidal anymore, and she listened and decreased it.
    A week after that, my dosage was decreased to 40mg as my behaviour was normal and my symptoms significantly decreased, I was really happy.
    After I've got discharged a few weeks later, CAMHS took over with my medication. I was on 40mg for another four months. My psychiatrist didn't want to risk reducing my medication early because of settling in back to college, didn't want my social anxiety to get worse and especially because he didn't want me to relapse. The only side effects I was having was muscle stiffness and trouble sleeping.
    Last month, my dosage was decreased to 20mg. My sleep got better, I've had no side effects except where sometimes I wake up and half dream, but then half awake (if you get what I'm tryna say here :joy: ) But I've been great on this dosage! I'm not gaining more weight and I'm not having major side effects anymore! My psychiatrist won't let me completely get off of it yet because I sometimes SH (not as bad as how I used to) and I get minor depressive phases, but he said once I'm feeling completely better, and normal like how I was before I went hospital, he would stop the medication!
  • lovemimoonlovemimoon 🦋 Posts: 2,031 Boards Champion
    Hey guys!

    @independent_ - Thank you so much for sharing! Fatigue is something I'm struggling to cope with. I've already had an erratic sleeping schedule post-fluoxetine so the fatigue doesn't really help. :joy: How do you manage to cope with it? How do you know if the medication stops working?

    @zaynab_5 - Damn, this journey threw you in a loop, huh? :joy: Despite the difficulties, I'm so glad you're in a better place now! I completely understand what you're saying! Though your medication have changed a few times, I can see similar side effects to the ones I have now! I'm glad to see that you're coping well with the new dosage! I will definitely try the coping techniques!

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences! Man, you guys are veterans at this point. :joy: Seeing how long you guys were on it, maybe I should wait until the side effects settles as well? It's only been a month so there's still room for adjustments. :3

    The side effects I'm currently experiencing:
    Trigger warning: mentions of self-harm
    • Weight gain
    • Discomfort - crawling sensations, tension
    • Dry mouth & dehydration
    • Sleeping problems - fatigue, unusual dreams, drowsiness,
    • Cold-like symptoms (occasionally)
    • Agitation - aggressive thoughts & impulses, restlessness
    • Poor concentration
    • Headaches
    • Anxiety - paranoid thoughts which occasionally triggers hallucinations, anxiety attacks
    • Memory problems - confusion, forgetfulness
    • Dizziness
    • Thoughts of self-harm & harming others
    • Sexual problems - decreased sex drive, discomfort, difficulty reaching orgasm
    • Feeling hot
    • Frequent urination
    • Sensitivity to sunlight

    I have a feeling I may be missing something but yeah. :3
  • ellie2000ellie2000 Posts: 1,633 Extreme Poster
    they put u on a low dose to start with like 50mg and the if/wen it ware off after acouple of weeks they'll up it little by little, depending on wat they put u on :) some antideps mite hav sideaffects, if 1 doesnt work, theyll try another
  • ellie2000ellie2000 Posts: 1,633 Extreme Poster
    like 'sertraline is what's known as an SSRI -- which is mainly for anxiety and depression' quoting someone else on here :):)<3
  • cinderelle98cinderelle98 Posts: 2 Newbie
    Hi little goose! I’m new here hope you don’t mind me chiming in? I first was put on an antidepressant called Sertraline when I was 20, it was increased from like 50mg to 150mg but it still didn’t seem to do much for me. So then they changed me to Fluoxotine, starting at 20 then increasing to 40. I remember feeling more positive on this one and having a spring back in my step.
    After a trip to a mental hospital (DON’T GO, it was awful in my experience) I was put onto Trazedone which is an antidepressant that also makes me sleep. That went from like 100 to 200mg real quick. It doesn’t really help apart from sleep so I’ve been prescribed to take Sertraline alongside it.

    Sometimes they can mix and match them, they change what they give each person based on side effects etc. It will be trial and error at first but you’ll find one that you feel good or normal on! I used to be worried about changing meds all the time, but life is short, if we need them to make the most out of it then I’ll deffo be doing that for as long as I need to. Hope you’re well :-)
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