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Diagnosis of depression

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Hi everyone,


Ive been to see a doctor about the way i have been feeling lately. See for what i have been feeling. I am 18 years old.


I went to see a councellor yester day, he introduced himself as a mental health nurse. We talked for a while and i explained what i have been feeling and he agrees that i am depressed and wants me to start taking anti-depressants, a mild course for about 3 months. Specifically he wants me to take Citalopram (Cipramil) or Fluoxetine (Prozac), these are SSRI's. He has also given me a workbook to go through, which is based on cognitive behavioural therapy - it is about changing the way you think.


Ive told my mum and dad about the anti-depressants. I told my mum and she rolled her eyes and said she "doesn't like pills". I think it really bothers her that her son will be on anti-depressants because it is going to make her think that she has raised me incorrectly, or failed as a parent. These worries are natural i know, but i dont know how im going to stop her feeling that way. Im also worried that she is going to somehow try to distance herself from me. She was sat up in bed last night when i walked past her room, she was unable to read her book and just sat with her head in her hands. I feel so sad that i have brought this on her, but i really need some relief from these overwhelming emotions - that is a fact that she is going to struggle to understand and come to terms with because she doesnt have them and doesnt know what it is like.


My dad heard from my mum about the doctors and the anti-depressants they want to prescribe me. He asked if i wanted to talk about it. He told me that when he was my age he went through a similar phase where he had left school and didnt know what he wanted to do with his life. Apparently it lifted after about a year and a half when he found a good job that he liked. I cant cope with this for a year and a half, ive had it for a few months now, and ive had it in previous years for similar lenghts of time, and already it is unbearable.


At first i didnt really go for the whole idea of having anti-depressants to lift my mood and control the emotions, but since i have started to struggle coping with these feelings my mind has changed. I want them because they will hopefully help me. I always used to look at people who said they were on anti-depressants as weak, or being unable to cope. To those people i am really really sorry, i never understood and should never have passed judgement on you. I know what it is like now and i can sympathise with others like me.


The really problem is that i see no future for myself. I have not applied to uni because i dont know what i want to do - i thought my aspiration would become clear with time, but it hasnt. I also feel that when it comes time for everyone to leave for uni and the new school year, im going to be left at home on my own with no friends. Ive begun to isolate myself from them already.


Im scared that when my girlfriend goes off to uni we will have to break up. Right now the only thing i really look forward to is seeing her at the weekends because she is a real pick-me-up, despite her own problems with depression and self-harm. We get along so well together and im ever so scared of losing her. I just feel that when she goes to uni and IF we have to break up....well, i will be left with nothing to look forward to.


I have told her about the pills, she said before i went that she didnt want me on pills. But its not her choice and although she has her own struggles with self-harm and depression, i have not developed those coping strategies and im not as strong as her.


Ill hopefully be able to get an appointment with the doctor on friday, he was not too keen on giving me pills at first and at the time i was inclined to agree with him, but hopefully now that i have seen a councellor about this he will be able to prescribe me with them.


What does everyone else think of depression and anti-depressants? I would particularly like to hear from anyone who has experienced depression and been prescribed a course of anti-depressants, but all views and opinions are welcome. I would also appreciate any comments about my parents and/or girlfriend.


Thanks, abc

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I can say I can seriously relate to you! I've been kind of going through a similar thing these past couple of months. I hate feeling this way its really horrible. Its exactly how you describe. Not feeling like doing anything, its like I've lost all my fervor for life!!!


I've heard that medication can help. I've talked to some people who have been on it a few times. Personally I've never done it. I kind of don't want to do it because I believe I can overcome it. Then again I can't seem to stop feeling so helpless so I've been looking into it to.


It might work, I've heard so many instances where the person becomes an empty shell though. I don't want that to happen but I know what it feels like when you already consider yourself starting to become empty.


I've started counseling as well. I go on and off sometimes I'm having a good day and other times I can't seem to get myself out of this feeling. I have panic attacks too and I find I can't concentrate at school anymore (makes me think to much). I don't know if the meds will help. I've heard wonder stories that they do and some that they don't.


Have you gotten any blood work done or taken any vitamins like B6 and B12 folic acids? I've heard they are supposed to help with depression in the winter.

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Hi the little lady,


I didn't want to take medication at first, but its just really becoming too overwhelming. I am coming up to exams at school soon and i dont know how i will get motivated to study for them if i dont have some kind of help. I dont know if councelling or therapy in the long term would help, i don psychology at school so i would probably find myself second-guessing all of the treatments and thereforeeee getting no real benefit from them.


Ive heard that medication helps in almost all cases, the only problem can be finding a medication that works for the individual. There are lots of medications out there and some of them dont work for some people, so i think its just about finding one that works.


Hopefully i wont become an empty shell, i canstill feel love for my girlfriend, whom ive been with for about 5 months now. That is really helping at the moment and she can sympathise because she has similar feelings to me, she is also very supportive and able to listen.


I also get panic attacks occasionally. They usually come about when i am feeling like i am now (depressed) and i am either in a alien situation, for example a meal with a lot of new people; or if i allow myself to think too much about the future and the worries just kind of "flood in" and become overwhelming (i drown in them basically).


I also dont feel like doing anything, i have zero motivation left in me. The only think i look forward to is seeig my girlfriend. If we were to break up then i would truly become hopeless and a complete nervous wreck. I know that is sad and i hope it doesnt happen, but it is something that i find myself worrying about A LOT.


I havent had any blood tests, the doctor hasnt reccommended it. I dont really like needles anyway so i think it would probably stress me out a lot and could make me feel worse in the short term. I havent taken any vitamins either, i dont really understand what i would take - i guess i would have to have blood tests done to find out if i have any vitamin deficiencies.

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Firstly, let me say well done to you for facing up to your current difficulties, and taking action to find a way through them. It says a lot of good things about your character.


I've seen meds from both sides, because I've experienced clinical depression myself and taken medication for it (including citalopram and fluoxetine amongst others), and as it happens I'm also a neuroscientist (brain specialist).


I can say without a hint of doubt that you are right to stick to your guns and take the medication. A structural problem with the number of serotonin pumps and receptors in some areas of the brain, which is the most likely cause of clinical depression in many individuals, is not something that you can wish away, or something that results from a bad upbringing.


The challenge is in successfully diagnosing clinical depression, to distinguish it from other possible (psychological) causes of the same symptoms, and in truth the two are to some extent intertwined. Nevertheless, there are two pertinent facts from the clinical evidence: (1) if you don't have clinical depression, SSRIs will not help, but will not harm either, and (2) a combination of counselling and medication is consistently found to be the most effective remedy, and significantly more effective for many people than either counselling or medication on their own.


These two facts tell you a couple of important things. Firstly, ADs don't control your mood or emotions in any meaningful sense. They fix your body's ability to express them at appropriate levels. For example, if your girlfriend died tomorrow (and I hope she won't!), no number of ADs would change your grief and make you artificially happy. I'm sure you don't believe that anyway, but it's worth pointing that out to those around you who may think that way, and not want you to be "controlled" by drugs or some such thing.


The second thing those facts tell you is that it really is worth having a go with counselling at the same time as taking the meds. I know it's not an attractive option for you, and to be honest I share your reservations (before becoming a neuroscientist, I was a psychologist for a while so I'm qualified in that as well, and I fully appreciate what you say about knowing the tricks, and not being fooled, and there is some truth in that). I'm not sure that counselling has ever benefitted me, but the clinical evidence is so strong that I've still tried counselling each time I've been on medication, so even if you're not entirely convinced to start with, give it a go anyway.


The time medication takes to work varies enormously between individuals, depending on the actual cause of the depression, but can be from the first 24hrs, up to two months or more, so give it some time before switching to other meds, and make sure your doctor knows what he/she is doing in regard to timing, dosage etc. (I'm sorry to say that not all do).


Final note about blood tests: there is, as you may know, no recognised blood test for clinical depression. However, the point about vitamin deficiencies (and also deficiencies in some minerals, including iron, sodium, potassium and calcium) is a valid one, and can have an impact on your mood, so it's worth ensuring that you get the daily recommended amount of these as far as possible.


And good luck! It's the beginning of a better time for you.

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I'm so sorry about your diagnosis!

I used to take Citalopram!!!


My mom hates medicine as well. She hated me on it too, she said I was like a vampire from hell, LOL!!!!!!


I'm off of medicine now (I took myself off of it), but I'm not at all against anti-depressants. I mean in the beginning they realllly helped me.

I was in this horrible, unshakable state of shock. It was like I was living in a vaccumm. I would stare into space forever, I had a non-stop flooding of thoughts, I was exhausted, lost my short-term memory, I couldn't tell one day from the next they all ran together, it was awful!

I was like a vegetable to a certain extent, no showers, no getting dressed, no sleep, just a weird crazy horrible world.

But anti-depressants pulled me back into reality. I really needed that.


Don't get me wrong though, the meds were no picnic. At first I felt the meds were driving me insane, it was soooooo crazy!!! It's like you're hyper-sensitive to everything. You're seeing things you wouldn't normally see, everything scares the hell out of you, your body is doing its own thing. For the first week it was a complete and utter nightmare actually, but after that things were much better.


If you're not in touch with reality I'd say the meds are the first step. After taking them for a few months and going to counseling (on a regular basis), then you might be able to come off of them and still function decently, although it's tough at first.

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hi abc... I'm glad you're taking steps to get your life back. great for that!!


i would just like to say that all meds don't act the same in all people, so don't go into it being alarmed by stories. I just started Lexapro a month ago, and barely had any side effects at all. my anxiety went away in about 2-3 weeks, and now after 4 weeks, I can feel my depression lifting slowly.


I'm much older than you, so I think it's great that you recognize that you can be better, and want to go for it! Good luck, and although I'm not pushing one drug over another, Lexapro is an SSRI that is used to treat generalized anxiety disorder and depression. Just my two cents on the matter... good luck to you going forward.


Oh, and don't worry about your mom. She will be ok and so will you!

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Depression is a very personal condition, and even health care pros can only make educated assumptions about what might work for you. Your friends and family will have opinions, much as forum members do, but after you gather all this info, it comes down to what works for your own situation.


Meds affect different people in various ways, but overall they hold great promise for people who don't respond to cognitive therapy. Folks with bad reactions are quick to warn of similar results, but they aren't you. If a medication has bad side-effects, you can always stop taking it.


I've struggled with the black cloud for decades and have settled on what works for me. I'd never suggest my methods are a panacea.


I hope you find a solution.

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