Cruisemates, I need your advice about depression medication and/or other alternatives. Have any of you, or your family members had experience with this?
My son is being treated like a guinea pig by his doctor, and the poor kid is suffering the consequences. I want to get him off the meds, but find an alternative to handling his depression and anger. Any suggestions?
I've been on more antidepressants than I care to admit, and have had little success with any of them. Prozac weekly was the closest I had to what I'd call success. So many of those meds either left me wide awake at night or stoned during the day. I've now gone a completely different route with meds. My psychiatrist did say that often md's don't ease patients into anti-depressants slowly enough and they experience unbearable side effects and give up on the medicine. His philosophy on these is start out with even just a quarter of a dose, and move up slowly but surely to the full dose to give your body time to adjust. This might be something worth talking over with your doctor.
I don't know if this is an issue you've struggled with yourself. If not, I urge you to be patient with your son. It is apparently really difficult for the nondepressed around us to understand why we can't just get up off the couch and get rolling. I've struggled to communicate with the people in my life how difficult just getting to work can be in the middle of depression. It's as frustrating for the depressed as the people around them. I was sometimes made to feel as if I was just being lazy, and really I was simply miserable and unmotivated.
Whatever treatment your son pursues, I wish you both blessings for healing. You will be victorious.
I don't know if this will be helpful. I have been hearing an advertisement recently on WLS (an AM talk radio station in Chicago) regarding a new medical study on a noninvasive, treatment protocol which I do not believe uses medication. It deals with some kind of magnetic therapy.
Check this link out and see if it might be something you're interested in:
First off, is he being treated by a Family Practitioner or a Specialist? Many FP are just not qualified to evaluate and treat adolescent depression. Very often depression is the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain, and the appropriate antidepressant can be a miracle. Anti depressants are not necessarily a life long thing. Just as puberty isn't (it justs seems like it!)The best treatment is a combination of counseling and medication. Adolescents in particular often feel alienated and more confused about feelings of depression than do adults. They are raging hormone machines and are coping wih an avalanche of changes, socially,and physically. All this at a time when they are gaining a ton of new responsibilities an expectations. This can be so overwhelming!
Keep in mind that the sedative effect of antidepressants usually lasts only a week or two...this is also about how long it takes the medication to reach a therapeutic level and begin working.
Hang in there! I know it can be very frustrating for both of you.
RD, I don't have any experience with what you are dealing with, but I suggest consulting with a psychologist, because these people cannot prescribe drugs, at least not in the U.S.. Or maybe it's time for your kid to just grow up. Please don't be offended. We all have our problems. Sometimes, it's best to deal with what is the reality and not with what drugs do.
Hi Donna, You sound like you are really frustrated and feeling hopeless regarding your son and his depression and anger problems. I know that you want to get him off the meds but as a psych nurse for 16 yrs I dont know if that is such a good idea either. I know you feel that the Dr. is treating him like a guinea pig with switching meds around but every individual is unique and responds differently to the meds. they just havent found the right combination for him and the right dose amts. It is like the same thing with physical illnesses they have to try different meds to see what works. I work in a Juvenile Detention center and give kids their Psych meds everday so i see first hand the depression and anger problems magnified x 10 At least your son has a loving and caring mom who is there for him. I agree with CruisenRN that it takes a qualified child/ adolescent psychiatrist in combo with counseling to help your son throught this but in the meantime what about getting some counseling and support for yourself so you will be better able to cope. Have you ever heard of NAMI[ National Alliance for the mentally ill] They might be able to offer support or suggestions for your son and your family I dont know if this will help but just knowing that you are not alone in dealing with this by other people going thru same thing can make a big difference
I have no experience with this, all I can do is pray that you find a solution, soon, for you and your son. Depression/Anxiety runs in my husbands family - both of his siblings have children that are being treated with meds, as well as his dad and youngest sister - but I don't know what they are taking. I do know that they were all slowly introduced to the meds, and some adjusting was needed in each case, especially in my niece who is also diabetic.
I agree with Mary Ann's advise too. Also, have you consulted with another professional for a second opinion? I did this for my daughter for a completely different type of disorder as I felt the same way as you did. After a second opinion (and a third) we found that the first dr. was doing everything he could and should do.
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Donna, I also think MaryAnn gave you excellent advise.
I take Prosac, and am not ashamed to admit it. After years of trying to figure out what was causing the depression, and dealing with it, I decided to say ok to the drug therapy. It was the best thing I ever did, and I don't regret it. A chemical imbalance is not going to go away by itself.
I know that different things work for different people. I will pray that the doctors will be able to help you and your son find the right combination for him. I know how difficult and frustrating it must be for both of you. Hang in there.
Donna, I also think Maryann gave you some great advice. There is a physical cause for clinical depression, it's not just laziness or a funk, and "snapping out of it" is not as easy as some people seem to think. A physical illness caused by a chemical imbalance requires medication and counseling. With all the different medications out there, and each one affecting individuals differently, it will take some time to find the right medication at the right dosage.
i also think that MaryAnn gave you some great advise. Your son needs to be under the care of an adolescent psychiatrist if he isn't already. A second opinion never hurts. Just a thought but his latest bought of depression/anger could be grief over losing his grandmother, and medicating him right now might not be the answer, he may need some grief couseling.
Have you thought about family and grief counseling for you and your family to help cope, you all have been under so much stress lately that you could be headed for a "meltdown"
thanks for sharing with the board, that shows alot of trust on your part....exercise seems to help with the chemical inbalance, but that's probably the last thing your son wants to do...if you have faith in your doctor and strength in your faith, and alot of patience, hopefully you will find a path for your son to follow..lots of jugs help also..good luck
You have gotten wonderful advise; but I will add to this advise. First you have to find the right psychiatrist and the right counselor (social worker, psychologist etc.) One that he likes and can develop trust in. He has to be free to discuss his "secrets" with him/her.
I have been dealing with this with my daughter for 8 years now. She has made "baby steps" but is really doing well. She is 24 now. We were with the same psychiatrist during this time and she explained the psych meds are like allergy meds or any other meds you have to find the right combination that works for each patient. Then when you do that is great, but if they are on them for a while they may stop working and you have to start with another and another etc. It is a long process. However, if his depression and anger are due to a "death" or something like that, he may can work through it with therapy and not need meds long. We found a psychiatrist who is a specialist in pharmacologic medications for this and so far 6 months now, my daughter has been the best she has ever been and we are delighted.
All of this cost bucks.... you can't depend on the doctors your insurance covers. If you are lucky ya'll will like them if not you will have to pay out of pocket and that can add up. It is well worth the money though. Just remember it is baby steps for improvement and it will take a while for therapy to work with the meds.
I will pray for ya'll and a support group might not be a bad thing for you and your husband to try to understand this, however, I have never found one in our area. The only ones I found were if the patient was in a hospital then they have family programs then but outpatient nothing... Good luck and hang in there.
Donna..I think that Maryann has the right approach to this terrible Disease..and it IS a Disease and not a condition. The only hope I can give you is this. My best friend and co-worker became depressed such as Tyler. He hit the walls and lost his temper and the such. I thought he was going to loose is job over this. It took over 8-10 months of trying different meds and combos of meds before the Doctor hit the right combo. He became a totally different guy. He was so pleasant to be around and it was like he was transformed. After 2-3 months he slipped back into the old way again. The Dr adjusted his meds and tried something different and, again, he became a pleasant a wonderful co-worker, father, and husband again. So, with all that said, just try to hang on a little longer. Tie a knot in the end of your rope and just HANG ON..<G>...I thought this Dr was crazy but in the end, She WAS a genious..I hope this gives you just a little bit of hope. I am sure they will hit on the right combo and I think it will be soon. Good Luck to you and Tyler and I will remember you in my prayers.
One of my best friends has gone thru severe bouts of depression and getting the meds "right" is often difficult. Don't give up, they'll find the right dosage, etc.
We're thinking about you, RD....
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I have gone through this myself. It takes about 3 weeks for the medicine to work.
I went through 8 different meds before they found the right one for me. It was the
lowest of the lowest, but anything else I was like a zombie one minute and so hyped up the next. No one can relate to this unless they have been there. It is awful and you
feel so alone even though I had wonderful support. Hang in there and have patience with him. Excercise also helps. Good Luck
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Dear Donna, I am off from work today and although i dont know how you feel about my advice i have been thinking about you and your son and what else i could do to help, typical nurse response lol! Anyway i was researching on the computer, and again i dont know how you feel about getting some support for yourself but thought i would offer what i could. Sometimes when things get so overwhelming, it would be nice to have another avenue to explore so you dont feel like you are all alone in what you are experiencing, as well as it can relieve the stress of the situation . Anyway, here goes. I found a few sites you might like to look up if so inclined ; http://www.focusas.com they have things available in Canada. I'm not sure where you are located, did i see Toronto on your postings?Also www.Parents for Childrens Mental Health.org and linkup-parents.com/supportgrps.htm and Because I Love You.com and Tough Love.com I wish you and your family peace and happines and know that you will get through this time. Take care
Wow! What an overwhelming response, thank you one and all. Everyone seems to have some experience with this, and I realize patience is a virtue, but it's tough watching your child suffer and being used as a guinea pig, until they find the right combination. I have also suggested to him that diet (not dieting) but eating healthy, and some exercise and fresh air would do him a world of good, but right now, he can barely cope with life, much less do any exercise. I will not give up.
Today we met with his Dr. who is an adolescent psychiatrist, specializing in medications, as well as with his psychological therapist. The plan is continued therapy, more frequent phone check ups, and once again, a new medication. Instead of an anti-depressant, he is trying a mood-stabilizer. I hope he knows what he is doing, because the next step is I will insist my son be hospitalized until he is stable. This situation is putting way too much stress on both of us, and I want him stable enough to be able to enjoy his vacation cruise at the end of April.
Thanks for all your advice, suggestions, experience and prayers. You have all helped, especially for me, knowing I am not alone.