Has your doctor recommended antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication?

Dr Gary
By Dr GaryCA Latest Reply 2015-04-10 00:09:02 -0500
Started 2015-03-26 11:54:55 -0500

Many of my clients are currently being treated with psychiatric medications.

I have had clients tell me that their physician recommended a medication for anxiety or depression at the same time they were given the news that they were being diagnosed with a chronic condition like diabetes. Their physician was concerned about their emotional reaction and wanted to give them a medication to help them cope.

Others reached out to a physician and reported how they were feeling and were prescribed a medication. The stress of events in their lives, or the stress of living with a chronic condition, may have left them feeling like their emotional resources were drained.

And of course, I often have conversations with clients who are considering medication and want help in making the decision. Often, they have mixed feelings about the value of these medications and are unsure of whether they want to take that step.

I will be honest with you. I see both sides to the psychiatric medication question, based on my experiences with my clients.

I recently posted an article on making the medication decision. Here’s a link:


I am really interested in knowing if your doctor has recommended antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication. If so, what was your reaction?

Or have you talked about your emotions with your doctor and decided that medication was the way to go?

Any experiences to share?

60 replies

valentine lady
valentine lady 2015-04-04 02:45:28 -0500 Report

Hi Dr.Gary,
I have clinical depression, PTSD, high anxiety and a sleep disorder. I take Lexapro, abilify and something for anxiety that I have no idea how to spell. Oh yes and a mild sleeping pill.
Without these medications I would live in a deep, dark hole without no signs of daylight. I'm grateful for these medications. It means I can live a normal life. Well as normal as one can get when you have PTSD. Thank you for posting..

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-04-04 22:30:59 -0500 Report

Hi valentine lady, thanks a lot for checking in. Your post is a great example of how helpful these medications can be. They can enable people to have much great quality of life. Really glad to hear this!

g90217 2015-04-01 21:15:57 -0500 Report

I was 10 when I was diagnosed and I was obviously full of anxiety back then. As I grew older it got worse and it wasn't until I was 15 they put me on medication. It was clear very early before that that I needed help however as everytime I went to a clinic I would have a breakdown. I don't think my doctors did enough to help

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-04-03 20:29:25 -0500 Report

HI, nice to see you. Sounds like you have had a long history with anxiety. Sorry to hear you didn't get the treatment you needed. It is always sad to hear these stories. I hope you are doing better and getting the help you need. Stay in touch with us!

Lakeland 2015-03-30 14:16:06 -0500 Report

I hate anti-depressants, I was prescribed them because of chronic pain, not the diabetes, but they put me in such a fog, I was in loopy land, I couldn't focus. the MD wanted to change dosages. Sure, putting someone in a fog will stop them from worrying and noticing pain but it also stopped me from any kind of alertness or ability to concentrate, however I have a friend on them for years and she said she wasn't affected by them the way I was. so maybe everyone's body reacts differently, but I'll never allow them in my body (gabapentin and pamalor was the drugs

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-04-03 20:26:22 -0500 Report

Lakeland, I am sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with the medications you took. If you are still experiencing symptoms of depression, or anxiety, then you might want to have this discussion again with your doctor. Let him/her know about the reaction you had previously and see if your doctor is aware of other options. Something to think about. You might also consider talking with a psychiatrist as well. Take care of yourself!

Lakeland 2015-04-06 20:28:38 -0500 Report

I was never on them for depression, although I should have been depressed, the chronic pelvic pain I had, I was told it was a female issue so I had a hysterectomy & then went back & had an ovary out, only to find out, it was a labral tear in my hip. I didn't need any of those surgeries & I didn't have children yet. they also put me on Lupron, & I blame the Lupron for my diabetes, some studies show it's a side effect, because of those surgeries I had blood work done & my sugars were normal but after Lupron they shot up over 500. Now I'm just on vicodin, for as needed pain which I use mostly at night, but I had to sign papers to allow drug testing & pill counts to make sure I'm not abusing the drug, so I'm fine. Thanks

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-04-09 20:58:34 -0500 Report

Hey Lakeland, thanks for getting back to me. And I really appreciate that you took the time to tell me what happened to you. So sorry about all those surgeries and the side effects. You have certainly been through a lot. I hope you are able to manage your pain well, that you aren't suffering. Always nice to be in touch with you, my friend.

Gavia 2015-03-30 20:31:52 -0500 Report

Gabapentin is not an antidepressant and neither is pamalor. It sounds like you didn't stay on either med long enough for the MD to get the dosages calibrated to meet your needs. Were you on any other meds (including over the counter stuff) say for allergies that the MD didn't remember or know about? Just saying, maybe you should give them another chance if the MD thinks they might help your chronic pain.

jayabee52 2015-04-10 00:09:02 -0500 Report

Howdy Gavia
from what I understand Gabantin is considered an anti Spasm medication see ~ http://www.emedexpert.com/facts/gabapentin-fa...

I had been on Gabapentin/Neurontin to try to treat my burning neuropathy. It didn't work for me. A friend I lived with for a while took it for another purpose and I don't remember what is was now, but she would have problems with headaches and light sensitivity if she ran out of it.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-04-03 20:23:00 -0500 Report

Gavia, pamelor is actually described as a treatment for depression on WebMD. I do understand what you are saying about exploring other options. Getting to the right medication and dosage can be a process.

Gavia 2015-03-28 16:39:22 -0500 Report

When I was first diagnosed, my PCP put me on antidepressant, probably because I burst into tears when she told me. LOL. Looking back, I'm glad she did. The diagnosis really knocked me for a loop and being on a low dose anti-depressant helped keep me on an even keel while I was learning and adjusting to life as PWD. After a year, when I had a better handle on my action plan thanks to a great diabetic educator and a terrific supportive husband, she stopped the antidepressant. I'd a big supporter of building a working relationship with your healthcare team - and know that commitment to that relationship includes my compliance with her treatment plans and telling her when something doesn't work.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-03-28 23:13:14 -0500 Report

HI Gavia, nice to meet you! Thanks for sharing this. An antidepressant can be helpful in getting through those first few months, that's for sure. It can take the edge of some of those feelings that come up after being diagnosed. And as you said, when you are feeling ready, you can taper down with your doctor's help. Really glad you are working so well with your team and that you have a supportive husband. Excellent!

nzingha 2015-03-28 05:05:39 -0500 Report

I have mood swings which I think are related to my cushings syndrome or stress related recurring cushings..it flares up when i am stressed out and my financial situation brings it on… but I have no intention of taking any more medication unless it's all natural stuff. Some years ago I was given Xanaz ..thats even before I had diabetes. I was so hooked on the damn thing..no way I am going back down those roads to be taking any anti-depressant drugs…

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-03-28 23:09:14 -0500 Report

Hi nzingha, you certainly identified a potential problem with some psychiatric medications, including Xanax, and that's addiction. Xanax is one drug that needs to be used very cautiously. I hope you are using some stress reduction techniques and getting lots of support.

Stuart1966 2015-03-27 16:44:19 -0500 Report

Whatever the free sample(s), the medications the drug reps provide on that day… we will get offered. Habitually.

They are summarily disinterested in the mental pieces. Emotional issues not a "part" they will touch.

Jan8 2015-03-27 10:26:48 -0500 Report

I have been taking Psych meds for years .Antianxiety and anti depressants Are my lifeline and keep me balanced emotionally

Type1Lou 2015-03-27 10:16:07 -0500 Report

Back in late 2011, several months after I'd begun using an insulin pump, I was diagnosed with chronic depression. ( I'd been coping with my diabetes since 1976). The psychiatrist I saw did prescribe a low dose of antidepressant and also discovered that my vitamin B12 levels were very low and had me get B12 shots (monthly) and take a sublingual B12 vitamin daily. I took the antidepressant (although I wondered whether I REALLY needed to) for about 5 months but I really think the B12 supplements were what brought me out of the depression. I was discharged from psychiatric care after 6 months and continue to take the sublingual B12 but stopped the B12 shots since my blood levels of B12 became high after being on them for 1 year.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-03-28 23:06:09 -0500 Report

HI Lou, wow, this is really interesting. It does sound like the B12 made a big difference. Glad to hear your doctor discovered the deficiency. It seems so often that these vitamin deficiencies go undiscovered. Seems like this is another concern that patients may need to stay on top of as well. Thanks!

SweetCameleon 2015-03-27 09:13:37 -0500 Report

I asked the Dr. first. The depression was difficult at best. The anxiety not much better, however, after using Paxil for 7 years I do feel the symptoms are controlled. In fact, I can't imagine how I lived without it. I guess they were right when they instructed patients to continue taking and I guess from the outside looking in, I'm hooked.

Gavia 2015-03-28 17:37:09 -0500 Report

Saying you're hooked has such a negative tone. Why not look at it as having another tool in your bag to keep you on track with diabetes? Not having active symptoms means you are more likely to stay within your meal plan and not binge eat or drink. It means you have the energy to get up and move - take a walk on a beautiful spring day (coming soon LOL). Not being actively depressed means you get the right amount of sleep instead of sleeping too much/too little. It means being involved in life. And that's a good thing.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-03-27 23:03:13 -0500 Report

Hi Sweet Cameleon, nice to meet you. It is good to hear you got help, and that you are staying with your treatment. That's great. The medications can help a lot.

Anonymous 2015-03-27 00:19:58 -0500 Report

I was put on them long before I found out that I was a diabetic.
I have a new doctor now and I'm not sure she's the right Doctor for me. She has said things to me that leads me to believe that I take too many medications. I have a lot of health problems plus the diabetes. However the doctor I had back home always gave me samples of insulin and I finally ran out. I checked my BG level an hour ago. It was 545. I re-checked it a few minutes ago, and all it said was "Hi." I checked it again and it said the same thing. I guess it's so high it won't register. I have no idea what to do.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-03-27 23:01:01 -0500 Report

Hi Anoynmous, I am concerned about you. I hope you will reach out for help. Take good care of yourself.

Anonymous 2015-03-28 21:50:25 -0500 Report

Thank you Dr. Gary. I only came on here because I got an email saying that you replied to my comment. After the comments I read from James/ Jayabee52 I've decided that I don't need help from this place. It only takes one bad apple to run me off. Thank you and God Bless You. Don't worry about me, I'm fine now.

Stuart1966 2015-03-27 16:59:27 -0500 Report

Get you primary doctor on the phone, Assuming your numbers are correct you need insulin, immediately.

If you get their answering service, tell them you have a diabetic emergency, your blood sugar is HIGH and in excess of 600 point. Have the doctor on duty call you.

Unless they have friday night hours at their office, they will send you to the ER to get insulin and likely a saline IV. Your body is almost certainly dehydrated.

Numbers that high, ACT, you must have medical assistance.

jayabee52 2015-03-27 11:41:12 -0500 Report

Anon, You had been told in your other discussion to GO TO THE ER to get your BG levels down! since you won't after repeated attempts to urge you to go by most everyone who replied all I can think is that you're just jerking our chain. Either "do your business' or get off the toilet!

Anonymous 2015-03-27 17:40:30 -0500 Report

How dare you speak to me that way!! I'm not jerking your chain or anyone else's! You know nothing about me or what I'm going through! Don't ever speak to me like this again!

Anonymous 2015-03-27 17:38:58 -0500 Report

How dare you speak to me that way!! I'm not jerking your chain or anyone else's! You know nothing about me or what I'm going through!

jayabee52 2015-03-27 00:06:23 -0500 Report

Howdy Dr Gary
I had a work situation where I would get depressed when things would go badly. Fortunately I had some therapists available which helped me through some mighty tough situations. I may have been one who had an imbalance of brain chemicals since I had problems with life ever since sometime in my early teen years. I had suicide ideation and everything. My life did improve once I met and wooed my wife, the mother of my sons. Things seemed to work well in my life during that period of time, but the depression and suicide ideation were lurking in the background, just waiting for an event to trigger it. Then the depression was right there, front and center. Prozac didn't affect it. Neither did zoloft.

I had that problem until one day after I spent several days semi comatose on my bedroom floor due to a kidney infection for which I needed dialysis. I had no insurance and no income as I was disabled and thought that I should end my life by not returning to dialysis treatments. I had recently lost my wife to divorce, it seemed like my family was scattering to the winds and my prospects of finding new a lover was not paying off.
I talked it over with the social worker at the dialysis clinic and told her my thoughts. She said no one would blame me for doing that. However as I thought further about it I decided that i would be setting a bad example to my sons when life was tough for them. So I returned to dialysis treatments and things started getting better. I got on SS disability, and with that medicare health insurance. I was contacted by a lady on one of the dating websites I on which had a profile, and a romance blossomed and I married her.

One thing I found curious about that decision to continue treatment, is that I have not had a problem with depression and suicide ideation since then. Not even with the death of my 2nd wife, whom I loved a great deal.

I believe that my God has helped me through the difficulties lately. Since He is the creator of my physical and spiritual self, He knows what and how to keep me on an even keel, even when things around me go blooey.

He has provided me with a way to cope with day to day issues


Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-03-27 22:55:49 -0500 Report

HI James!

I thought I might hear from you on this post. I remembered that you have suffered from depression in the past and have had to make decisions about treatment.

I really appreciate your honesty here. I didn't realize things had become so difficult for you, that you were in such a desperate situation. It sounds like your inner resilience kicked in, and you reached out for help at the dialysis clinic. So glad to hear you did that. And as you said, you had two sons that you wanted to set an example for.

Having a spiritual connection can be such an incredible help when you are faced with the challenges that life can bring.

We all benefit from your presence among us. Thanks as always for sharing your wisdom, your experiences, and your encouragement.


robertoj 2015-03-26 23:07:33 -0500 Report

Yes but I refused them. It was in case of reaction from a treatment. I didn't need them but it was a real risk. I felt it was worth it. I had a backup plan and a strong support system.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-03-27 22:45:25 -0500 Report

Hey Roberto! Nice to see you again. Sounds like you thought this decision through carefully and, as you said, had a Plan B in mind. Support is so important when you suffer from depression.

RebDee 2015-03-26 18:02:43 -0500 Report

I was never prescribed an antidepressant even when I was told I had Type 2 Diabetes or when told I was morbidly obese. I'm too cheerful for that. OK, sometimes I am sad when the occasion arises, but mostly, I am cheerful and plan to stay that way.

Grandmama16 2015-03-26 15:33:55 -0500 Report

I've been on anti depressants for about 25 yrs and have had xanax available for a few years but don't take them regularly. I alternate sometimes between that in the eve or Ambien at night. I've just noticed on the Ambien handout that it's supposed to be taken on an empty stomach and since I'm only allowed 1/2 a 10 mg I try to eat my popcorn in the eve, not at night while I read. Anyway, I'm careful of Xanax and am used to my anti depressant which is Cymbalta now, 90 mgs. Which is also for my Fibromyalgia of 20 yrs. Started with Prozac and have felt guilty for taking any kind. It shows weakness to some people. I tried Celexa for awhile but felt like I didn't have any emotions, especially when my mom died in '99. I'm on various other meds including Norco for pain, Dexilant for Gerd, BP meds, Nuerontine for tingling and numbness in hands and arms, plus itching on feet and ankles but no rash. I take 2000 mgs of Metformin too. I try to hold to a low carb diet and don't eat a lot anyway. I went to give blood and my iron was too low. It never has been before. Could it be from not eating much? I can't eat a lot of veggies or it affects my intestines but have been trying to concentrate on spinach and other greens. Maybe I'll try the green kale sludge my husband drinks which was recommended for Parkinson's. The vinegar in it bothers my Gerd tho. Gosh, it's one thing after another. I have fatigue which could be from the FM or Diabetes…my numbers are between 130 to 260. I think I'm still in denial. I actually had a thin meat ham and swiss sandwich today which is unusual for me but I've been shaky. So, that's my anti depressant/anxiety med story. M.A.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-03-27 16:01:53 -0500 Report

Hi Grandmama, thanks so much for checking in and telling your story. Your post is certainly a good example of how each person has to get to a dosage that works for them. Some work better than others, there are so many factors to consider. I do hope you are watching your diet, including making sure you are eating enough. You body needs nourishment! If you are having trouble eating, I hope you will talk to your doctor about this. Yes, it does sound like one thing after another. I am sorry to hear that. I hope you are taking good care of yourself. And stay in touch with us!

camerashy 2015-03-26 15:14:55 -0500 Report

I was on meds for depression and panic attacks long before my diabetes went downhill enough for me to go on insulin. That info had me upset enough that even medicated I cried for a week. I'm a roll-with-the-punches type of gal, so I got over it, and got used to it. But yeah - I can't deal without my meds. I tried getting off of them, and it was a disaster!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-03-27 15:41:51 -0500 Report

Hey camerashy, thanks for sharing this. Depression and anxiety can be biochemical in nature and, if so, they need to be treated with medication, like any other chronic condition. Glad to hear you are taking care of yourself!

denipink57 2015-03-26 13:54:28 -0500 Report

i have bipolar disorder and i am prescribed both meds for anxiety and depression. i would not be without them. they have allowed me to live a better quality of life.

having diabetes and taking these meds helps me to cope better with stress in particular. there are so many stressors in every day living so having that kind of help enables me to stay calm and interested in my little corner on this earth.

anxiety and depression left unchecked can lead to all kinds of nasty unwelcomed symptoms so i am grateful for every little bit of help that i can get.


Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-03-27 15:33:22 -0500 Report

Hey Denise, thanks so much for sharing here! A great testimonial to the potential value of these medications. Certainly important for someone who is living mental illness. That's great! For diagnoses like bipolar disorder, the medications have made an incredible difference in quality of life. And I agree,, if untreated, anxiety and depression can affect your life in so many ways. Thanks for sharing this with us!

ladybugsluck9 2015-03-26 13:11:07 -0500 Report

DR Gary, My Dr. actually asked me if I felt like I was depressed. I guess because I was dealing with 2 cancers & now diabetes. I told him I didn't feel like I was but I just would like something to help me sleep better at night. He prescribed Xanax & it really helps me get a good nights sleep. If that means I'm depressed,(which I don't think so) I went through depression after I was diagnosed with brain cancer 22 years ago. So I do know the symptoms. I think I have a right to be if I was! LOL

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-03-27 15:30:37 -0500 Report

Hey ladybug, nice to see you! I am glad to hear your doctor offered you medication because it shows he was tuned into your emotional reactions and wanted to offer you help if you needed it. (Of course, I wish doctors would also offer a referral to a therapist.) So many doctors just don't pay any attention to emotions, so it's always good to hear about doctors who consider their patients' emotional states. Yes, you certainly had a reason to be having an emotional reaction. Glad you are sleeping well!

MrsCDogg 2015-03-26 12:57:30 -0500 Report

I took Celexa for a period of 7 months. I was dealing with the end of a relationship and could feel myself slipping into a dark place in my mind. When I felt like it was time I started to wean myself off of it. I haven't needed anything like that since. I don't feel badly toward anyone who needs this type of medication.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-03-27 15:27:00 -0500 Report

Hi Mrs! A medication can be a big help during an especially rough time. I hope it was helpful for you during those 7 months. And as you said so well, this can be a temporary situation, and discontinued when you are ready.

Pegsy 2015-03-26 12:48:50 -0500 Report

My doctor did not recommend antidepressants but the dietitian that I met with in the beginning really pushed them. I did not take them. My doctor did prescribe sleeping pills which I took for about a week and stopped them. I did not want to become dependent on any drugs. I feel doctors are too free with prescription medications. Before her death my mother was on 13 different drugs. Many of them to combat the side effects of other drugs she was taking. I did not want to go there.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-03-27 15:25:27 -0500 Report

HI Pegsy, thanks for sharing your experience here. Very interesting to hear that your dietician encouraged medication. You hear so many different perspectives on this issue. I think sometimes health professionals get alarmed about what are normal human emotions, which are certainly all over the place for someone who is newly diagnosed. Given your mom's situation, I can understand your concerns, that's for sure!

fatso200 2015-03-26 12:41:23 -0500 Report

I've been on ssnri meds for years for a number reasons. It was when I increased and then redecreased the dose I ran into trouble

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-03-27 15:19:05 -0500 Report

HI! Yes, I hear that making changes in dosage can at least temporarily bring up issues. Another reason why it's important to work closely with a doctor. Thanks for replying.

debcox 2015-03-26 12:30:34 -0500 Report

While I have taken antidepressants in the past (15+ years ago), I am not having any issues that are making me currently anxious. I was mad when I first go diagnosed with diabetes but more at myself than anything. Then, I decided I can't do anything about the past so I needed to make a plan and stick with it. I have followed my plan and I'm doing great so no need for psych meds.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-03-27 15:16:56 -0500 Report

Hey debcox, that is great news. Glad to hear your not criticizing yourself and am putting that energy into taking good care of yourself. That is a very good thing. Nice to see you again.

glennb61 2015-03-26 12:06:43 -0500 Report

Honestly I am kind of scared to take anit-depressant medicines as with everything I see on them it seems to cause more problems. I just cant see fixing one issue with potentially adding several new ones through side affects.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-03-27 15:15:38 -0500 Report

I can understand your concern. They can really help a lot if you need them but yes, it's a medication, and that can mean interactions and side effects. A big decision. Thanks for checking in glenn