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Forums / Treatments, health professionals and therapies / Need advice for treatment - depression and anxiety

Topic: Need advice for treatment - depression and anxiety

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. Sam05
    Sam05 avatar
    2 posts
    16 August 2018

    Hi everyone,

    This past 10 months I have been battling with depression.

    My symptoms include suicidal thoughts (occasionally), feeling tired and lethargic, social awkwardness/anxiety, inability to have or express any of my own opinions, no motivation, loss of interest in things that I really wish I had the passion for, shutting off from friends and family and a general lowered mood.

    Despite listing all these symptoms, I do have my days where I thrive and feel as though I handle myself very well in any given situation. One day I'll be laughing and joking around at work, getting on the frontfoot to make plans with my friends and overall having a lot more confidence in myself; the next I won't talk to anyone at work for an entire shift and have to cancel attending the plans that I previously just made with my friends as my mood and confidence just takes a massive hit out of nowhere.

    There doesn't appear to be any trigger that causes this and I just want to know what kind of treatment options are recommended for my condition.

    I was previously on an antidepressant for 6-7 months, which caused my low mood phases to be exacerbated, with my symptoms being much more excruciating (feeling suicidal for a full week). Whilst on this antidepressant  I was suicidal for a week, and the next week my mood was greatly elevated; with this cycle repeating for the 6-7 months I was on it. Since coming off of this medication my symptoms are still enough to interfere with my everyday life but they aren't as terrible, but I am in a low mood around 80% of the time.

    I also tried speaking to a psychologist but that was unhelpful as when I was in a low phase, I would have nothing to talk about as I really struggled with interacting, meaning nothing substantial ever came away from it, and the psych concluded it was due to a chemical imbalance.

    Currently I am on a naturopathic approach, taking magnesium, SAMe, B vitamins etc. But I am doubtful this has done much to help me.

    Any responses as to what treatment options I should consider would be extremely helpful and appreciated as my only priority is to live a happy and fulfilling life!

    Thank you

  2. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2830 posts
    17 August 2018 in reply to Sam05

    Hi Sam05,

    Welcome to the forums and thanks for joining us. Sounds like you've been battling depression for a little while and even though you've tried a few different things you're looking for something that's a bit more effective!

    The biggest two things that come to mind when managing depression are therapy and medication.

    Of course, as you know they aren't the only things. Naturopathic remedies can be helpful. While I've read about SAMe, B Vitamins and Magnesium, the strongest link that I've seen for major depression is St. Johns Wort which has been compared in clinicial studies next to antidepressants.

    Medication wise, I know that you have tried one - have you considered trying any others? Sometimes it can take a little trial and error but finding the right medication can help.

    I'm sorry that you didn't have any luck speaking with a psychologist, and personally I'm a little frustrated she shooed depression away as a chemical imbalance. While it's true that depression is a chemical imbalance, we still have so much we can work on - anything from thoughts, mood, behaviours, exercising, eating, sleeping... Personally - I would suggest that you try again, but find a different one. It is so so common for people to not know what to say or to have troubles communicating, but that doesn't have to be a barrier to getting help. A big part of seeing a psychologist is developing that rapport and relationship so that you can feel like you can open up a little. It may just start with facts (i.e. where you work/study, living situation) but as you start to trust them it can get easier to build that 'emotional language'. That's up to the psych to teach you that, not for you to already know it!

    and finally - there is a booklet from BeyondBlue that I'll link to here. It goes into some of the different (and not commonly talked about) treatments for depression -

    http://resources.beyondblue.org.au/prism/file?token=BL/0556

    Hope this helps!

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Sam05
    Sam05 avatar
    2 posts
    17 August 2018 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Thank you for putting so much effort into your response I really appreciate it.

    I’ve heard about the St. john’s wort and it sounded quite interesting. The thing that stopped me from trying it is that I’ve heard it can have some side effects; but ultimately I’m looking for effectiveness so it may need to be something I consider.

    In terms of medication, I was honestly a bit scared to try another antidepressant after the effects I experienced on the first one, but it’s been 3 months since I came off that one and trying a different one is starting to cross my mind.

    To be fair to the psychologist, he did give it a fair go during the therapy. I had about 5 sessions and we actually talked about some important things. The main difficulty was how I simply just could not communicate during 1-2 of the sessions because I had the intense brain fog and general confusion that comes whenever I’m a low state; and as I could not figure out what this was due to I was supporting the conclusions that it was a chemical imbalance related issue, so I left having no hard feelings with my psychologist. Having said that I wasn’t given any strategies on how to deal with these phases so that could have helped in hindsight.

    Thank you for the booklet link, I’ll get to looking at that!

    In your view or anyone else who may be reading this, would you advise to continue or cease with the naturopathic approach? I’ve committed to a 2 month plan but I don’t want to feel like I’m wasting another 2 months away and am really just keen for some results.

    On a side note I’ve also purchased a bottle of RediCalm which is a natural anti-anxiety supplement. I’ve read amazing reviews of this product and it targets the production of GABA and serotonin. I’m hoping this will help with my anxiety and hopefully aid with depression also. Has anyone had any experience with this product?

    Thank you immensely for your help!

  4. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2830 posts
    21 August 2018 in reply to Sam05

    Hi Sam05,

    Thanks for your post! It’s great to hear back from you.

    I totally hear you about the side effects. They can be incredibly intimidating sometimes, whether it’s with naturopathic remedies or prescriptions. But it’s probably important to know that just because it’s listed doesn’t mean that it’s common. I think with any new medication/supplement you have to try and weigh up whether the benefit of taking it outweighs the possible side effects. Sometimes that can be hard to know if you’re not sure what you’re going to experience.

    You mentioned being in a pretty low state when you saw your psychologist; how do you feel now compared to then? I’m curious whether you think you’d still experience that brain-fog and confusion or if maybe you might be in a better place to have those conversations?

    To answer your question about continue vs ceasing, I don’t know (sorry!). I think it would depend on how much you are taking and how long you’ve been taking it for. A couple of articles I searched said to either increase your dose or stop it after 2 weeks if you’ve had no effect, but I don’t think those articles are credible and I wouldn’t want to be telling you what to do! The one thing I would suggest though is that if you are going to stop it, it might help to stop it gradually or to halve the tablets first. It might even be helpful to talk to a naturopath who is experienced or interested in mental health if that’s something you’re interested in.

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