Depression - pills or counseling? Watch

Gjaykay
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Going to the doc's in a few days, but I was recently signed up to a sort of counseling service, which'll start in the next couple of days.

I'm just wondering, what would be the best way to tackle depression? Get some antidepressants from my GP or go to counseling or a bit of both?

I'm starting to think having counseling would be redundant if I'm on happy pills, but at the same time it's obviously a benefit to talk and share and such. Although at the same time I think in the run up to Christmas it'd be better if I was just out of it on antidepressants to the point of being numb,

Can anyone give me any advice at all? Thanks
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Idle
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A few things that you don't seem to be aware of... Anti-depressants do not make you miraculously happy, they can maybe take the edge off but they do not work over night (most usually take around 6 weeks to kick in fully) and often people have to try multiple different ones to find one that works effectively for them.

Depending on your circumstances and the severity of your depression your GP will suggest what they feel is most appropriate for you, generally they will try to steer you away from medication where practical.

Best of luck, it takes a lot of courage to go
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pierreboobvier
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I know situations differ from person to person, but I suffered from severe depression and anxiety about a year ago.

I found that with pills, you find yourself very dependent on them, and struggle a lot in the aftermath. Counselling not only gives you the immediate gratification, but they also provide you with coping solutions and relaxing techniques you can use when you're not with them. So, I definitely recommend it.

Hope I helped a bit, feel happy.
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xoxAngel_Kxox
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Personally I'd do anything rather than take medication that might not be necessary.. but then again I think possibly if I had true clinical depression I wouldn't care, and I'd do anything to lift it.

A mix of both would most likely work best. ADs will mask (some of) the symptoms, but it's vital that while those symptoms are masked you learn about your feelings and try to learn some tactics to tackle symptoms yourself for when you come off them in the future. ADs should help to clear the "fog" that depression can often leave you with, giving you a clearer head to tackle the root of the problem, if a root is known. And if not then as I said you can learn new ways to deal with it.

I'd be wary of having it in your head that you'll be feeling better for Christmas, though, because some medication really doesn't work like that. With some, you'll feel worse before you start to feel better, and because it's only a few weeks until Christmas you might find that it's too late to get through that stage before Christmas.

But don't let that put you off - because it's important that if you end up on pills you take them ASAP so that they start working. Don't think in such short terms as Christmas, think for NEXT Christmas you want to be depression free, and that gives you enough time to take your meds, have counselling, and take control of your life again .
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cheshiremum
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Take advice from your GP and counsellor. I tend to think that you should think of ADs as helping to lift you enough to make the most of talking therapy. GP will probably give you SSRIs, in which case do be aware of the side effects; most wear off after a week or two. As the poster above says, don't pin your hopes on feeling well by Christmas, as most ADs will take a few weeks to build up in effect. Be kind to yourself - it probably took time to get depressed, so take your time to feel better and remember that you can take a break from education if you need one - schools and unis will still be there in a few months time.

For some people, talking therapy really is the answer, either to help understand the roots of your depression or to help with strategies to cope. CBT seems to be good for anxiety, and mindfulness techniques can be useful for depression. You have taken a very useful step forward in seeking help, well done, and I wish you all the best.
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Gjaykay
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(Original post by Idle)
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(Original post by xoxAngel_Kxox)
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(Original post by cheshiremum)
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(Original post by pierreboobvier)
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Thanks for the replies guys Heh, I guess I was naive about what Antidepressants could do - I thought they kinda numbed you or it gave you a kinda space from your thoughts =/
I didn't mean I wanted to be better for Christmas, I meant that I wanted them to numb or space me out in the run up and probably Christmas as well, Holidays aren't really the best when you're on your own, but eh, i'll just find something to space me out for a few days whilst I take the pills
Would anyone say Psychiatry may be perhaps better than counseling, or would it just be pretty much the same?
I'm actually getting a little bit worried about the addictive side of pills though, I have a textbook addictive personality, and I'm not sure adding another addictive thing to my life would be all that helpful in the scheme of things ><
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Jay84
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There isn't an easy answer.

Both approaches work for some and don't work for others. If you have the opportunity for counselling and feel you have something to talk about or want to give it a go then just go and give it a try but also go to the doctor and let him/her know you are doing that.

You aren't going to be out of it on antidepressants to the point of being numb in any case. I am on high dose antidepressants, anti-psychotics and tranquillizers yet I am not drugged up to the point of being numb or anything.

When you are put on those types of drugs they are generally titrated upwards so even if it were going to be the case, you may not be on the effective dose for a month or more.
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Anonymous #1
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Just my experience, but I don't trust antidepressants as far as I can throw them (and since they're generally small little pills, that's quite far).

I actually needed counselling because of antidepressants (Cipralex, to be exact) because they had severe side effects that turned me from being generally depressed and reluctant to engage in life into being almost bipolar.

I would see a counsellor, and also look into NLP and life coaching.
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Jay84
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(Original post by Gjaykay)
Holidays aren't really the best when you're on your own, but eh, i'll just find something to space me out for a few days whilst I take the pills
Mate, mixing pills with booze and drugs and poor mental health can be a very, very bad idea. Stay safe and maybe try to find somewhere you can go and be around people over the holiday season.

Would anyone say Psychiatry may be perhaps better than counseling, or would it just be pretty much the same?
They are different things. Basically a psychiatrist is a doctor specialising in mental health. A counsellor is some trained in some form or forms of talking therapy.

A psychiatrist could prescribe medication and refer you to talking therapies whereas a counsellor can just give you a specific type of talking therapy.


I'm actually getting a little bit worried about the addictive side of pills though, I have a textbook addictive personality, and I'm not sure adding another addictive thing to my life would be all that helpful in the scheme of things ><
Just mention that to your doctor so they can bear it in mind when prescribing anything.
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Riku
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Antidepressants work as a pick-me-up but they're useless without some form of counselling to address the trauma/warped view of life/poor self-esteem/bad lifestyle choices that contributed to the depression in the first place

Spoiler:
Show

(just a warning: initiial side effects may include nausea, loss of appetite, erectile dysfunction, sub-psychotic experiences, delusions and suicidal thoughts. If any of these occur particularly the last 3 report them to your GP immediately.)
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Gjaykay
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(Original post by Jay84)
Mate, mixing pills with booze and drugs and poor mental health can be a very, very bad idea. Stay safe and maybe try to find somewhere you can go and be around people over the holiday season
I don't do anything extreme, just an extra little pick me up over the holidays, a little weed, a little whiskey, and then asleep by 9pm.

(Original post by Anonymous)
x
That isn't excellent, I'm sorry that happened to you =/ if you don't mind me asking, was counseling effective for you?

(Original post by Riku)
Spoiler:
Show

(just a warning: initiial side effects may include nausea, loss of appetite, erectile dysfunction, sub-psychotic experiences, delusions and suicidal thoughts. If any of these occur particularly the last 3 report them to your GP immediately.)
Sub-psychotic experiences, now that is curious. You hear all the time people being cured of a variety of mental conditions including depression through hallucinogenic drugs, which (depending on the drug, dose and person) allows people to experience their psychological state of mind and heal it from within. I gather it wouldn't be all that similar, but hell, I was recently cured of PTSD by smoking Herbal Incense which allowed me to relive the experience without attaching emotion.

Delusions and suicidal thoughts, pfft nothing new, child's play. But wouldn't a GP be hesitant to try a different drug if say a patient did experience all of those side effects?
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Anonymous #2
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IMO and this is just a personal opinion, but it depends what you're depressed about. Do you think talking about things will help you?

I've had quite a few periods of depression. I'd be totally down in the dumps and just feel empty and bleak like there was just no enjoyment in anything. Luckily (sort-of) for me it turned out to be a hormonal thing and I just started taking the pill (I'm female, so this was notttt a problem) and now I feel fantastic, I always feel like myself instead of spending about a week each month feeling like death. But the thing about how I felt was that there was no reason. I had plenty of people to talk to, but all I achieved by talking was diving further down into how I felt and ending up crying, which isn't really me at all. I couldn't explain to anybody why I felt so awful except that I just did, and it was actually partly awful because there was no reason for it and it was humiliating and crap.

That's just my personal experience, but I could tell you even then that what was going on for me was not related to anything I could talk about. There's nothing wrong with my life. It was like some other thing that was nothing to do with me was controlling my moods. Fortunately for me I figured out what it was (for other reasons) and literally got fixed overnight by a tablet.

Anyway, I thought I'd tell that story to give some context to the fact that I don't think talking is for everyone. On the other hand, it's a very effective intervention to have a conversation with somebody who will listen, put things in perspective and help you out, if that's what you need.
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Yorpul
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A mix of both counceling and anti-depressants worked for me.

I'm still on Prozac now, and I feel much better.

All the best, and hope you are able to overcome the depression.
I know how hard it can be.
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Tomsta
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(Original post by Gjaykay)
Going to the doc's in a few days, but I was recently signed up to a sort of counseling service, which'll start in the next couple of days.

I'm just wondering, what would be the best way to tackle depression? Get some antidepressants from my GP or go to counseling or a bit of both?

I'm starting to think having counseling would be redundant if I'm on happy pills, but at the same time it's obviously a benefit to talk and share and such. Although at the same time I think in the run up to Christmas it'd be better if I was just out of it on antidepressants to the point of being numb,

Can anyone give me any advice at all? Thanks
The method is down to your GP if he/she thinks meds will be a good idea then they will say, otherwise there are methods you can utalise, counseling for one.

I know, i have a case of mild depression
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tooosh
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IMO (I do have quite a strong opinion on this tbh) happy pills are completely inappropriate for those who aren't severely depressed or have some kind of genetic predisposition where their life situation is absolutely fine but they still find themselves down.

The pills won't actually solve anything. Counselling and life changes will.
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Nathanielle
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Unless your depression is caused purely by e.g. hormones, thyroids you won't be able to tackle it without trying counselling/therapy at all, because anti-depressants are mainly there to stabilize and while some people have to take them all their live, the average indication for severe cases is two years and then you should be able to deal without them. A common use for anti-depressants is to take you in a mood, where therapy is effective and thus depending on the severity, you won't be subscribed, because therapy is then sufficient.

Anti-depressants make not dependant per se, they just stop to be effective as soon as you stop taking them and this short time can be tough, but this effect is different to e.g. opium.

A psychatrist might be better trained for some cases and can do both, treat you and medicate you, but that does not mean, he is better than a counsellor. Psychatrist have just the medical training to asses, how the medication affects you and how it counteracts.
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Jay84
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(Original post by Riku)
Antidepressants work as a pick-me-up but they're useless without some form of counselling to address the trauma/warped view of life/poor self-esteem/bad lifestyle choices that contributed to the depression in the first place
This simply isn't true.

There are different types of depression and they are often comorbid with other psychiatric or psychological disorders.

What is effective will vary a lot from person to person and will depend on the individual case.

What a lot of people don't realise (myself included until I was ready to accept what the doctors were saying) is that people can be depressed and or mentally imbalanced for no identifiable reason.

When I am well, I am a fairly smily and sociable person and have held down good jobs and relationships and have dealt with standard problems in life eg. injuries, bereavements as well as the next person. Most of the problems in my life have arisen through being mentally unwell and being too ignorant and stubborn to accept help rather than the problems causing depression.

I have certainly heard of people wjo have got well through either pills or talking therapy alone and of people who needed both.
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mxcs
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I highly recommend counselling first, they'll be there to listen to everything you have to say which helps in itself, as well as teaching you coping techniques and how to deal with those feelings. Usually you can request to change counsellors if you don't feel like they're helping.

Medication is a fairly big decision since there are so many side effects and you never know exactly how it's going to make you feel or how it'll affect you. This is why I chose counselling for my anxiety problem first, before choosing to take medication if it still persists.

Good luck, I really hope counselling helps you.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Gjaykay)
That isn't excellent, I'm sorry that happened to you =/ if you don't mind me asking, was counseling effective for you?
It was six months of counselling, and it took an additional year for the hallucinations and mood swings to fade away.
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llessur123
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Why all the hate on ADs? Personally I found counselling to be worthless, every time. Without Prozac I'm pretty sure I'd be dead. Unless you've taken them you can't possibly understand. I'd rather take Prozac and allow it to change my personality or whatever than feel the way I felt before.

OP, if your depression is severe enough then I would recommend anti depressants. Also, don't expect counselling to solve everything(or anything).
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