Quick Poll: Have you ever talked to your doctor about antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication? And did your doctor bring it up?

Dr Gary
By Dr GaryCA Latest Reply 2017-10-17 16:31:22 -0500
Started 2017-10-02 15:50:24 -0500

Many of my clients have been prescribed medication for depression or anxiety by their primary care physicians. Some of them have initiated this discussion physicians after a discussion we have had about going the medication route. Others have had this discussion before they found their way to me, and chose medication.

Clients also tell me that their doctors suggested they consider medication, in many cases after receiving a medical diagnosis and their doctor’s concerns about how the diagnoses will impact them emotionally. I always appreciate when physicians have a concern for the emotional states of their patients.

What I also hear from my clients is that the conversation with their primary care physicians about depression or anxiety medication is not always an easy one. They may not know how to bring it up with their doctor. Or they may have concerns about what they should know before consenting to beginning medication.

I recently posted an article on this topic. Here’s a link:

http://www.diabeticconnect.com/diabetes-infor...

So… what about you? Has your doctor brought up antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications with you? And if so, how did you react? Or have your brought up this topic? Also, what are your feelings about these medications?

Looking forward to hearing what you think!


31 replies

sweetslover
sweetslover 2017-10-17 13:15:59 -0500 Report

My doctor has suggested that I take something for depression, but to this point I have refused. I keep telling myself, “Life is tough but I refuse to let it beat me.” Besides, with all my medical problems, I do not want to add another chemical to my body. Somedays it is rough, but I just pull myself together, have a good cry, and continue on.

madmac
madmac 2017-10-12 10:47:28 -0500 Report

I have been on anti depressents and anti anxiaty medication for 8 years after almost getting to the point of killing my self

MamaDeck
MamaDeck 2017-10-12 01:11:00 -0500 Report

Well before DT2 was a thing in my life, I told my doctor that something was wrong. I cried at everything, I couldn't repeat a news story without becoming emotional, I wasn't sleeping through the night and I had decided I was probably bi-polar. She assured me I was not and told me I had anxiety along with some depression. I take medication for anxiety and a non-habit forming pill to sleep. It was probably for the best that that happened before my recent Type 2 diagnosis because I am sure my reaction would have been 100 times worse.

FurryFriend
FurryFriend 2017-10-09 02:59:16 -0500 Report

There are also herbal teas and capsules (valerian is one) that is non-prescription from a health food provider and it works very well.

cmr55
cmr55 2017-10-08 20:01:04 -0500 Report

I feel some doctors are to quick to prescribe Zoloft etc. Yes I know there are people that need them. I was dealing with losing a grand daughter my brother and sister in law to cancer along with taking care of my elderly mother at the time. Yes I was over whelmed and depressed. I was not going on anti meds. I did what I had to do to work through it. Life is not easy I just do not trust those meds. Plus not all doctors follow up with there patients how the meds effect them. I have seen it first hand with a family member. They were on Zoloft. The person thought they were losing it. The doctor was just clueless. The person slowly cut his dosage to get off of it and returned to his normal self. It was scary for that person. I felt bad for what they were going through.

Gabby
GabbyPA 2017-10-07 13:07:43 -0500 Report

Nope...I would do just about anything before taking any kind of antidepressant medication. I am sure they are needed in some cases, but I think these are some of the most abused drugs out there. Not that the people prescribed are abusing them, but that doctors go there first. A true imbalance is different from someone who just needs a bit of a push to get their acts together. The latter takes work and discipline and falling down and failing and getting back up and working on it again, but I would rather do that than pop a pill in hopes of feeling better.

When the day comes that nature cannot be my calming source and love cannot help me overcome my failings, then perhaps I will have to consider it. But for now, I would not touch it with a 10 foot pole.

robertoj
robertoj 2017-10-06 02:35:13 -0500 Report

Yes and the doctor brought it up. I said no.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2017-10-06 14:34:41 -0500 Report

Hey Roberto, nice to see you. Good to hear you have a doctor who is proactive about mental health. At least he/she is paying attention to how you are doing emotionally and offering to help. Thanks for letting us know.

MrsCDogg
MrsCDogg 2017-10-04 21:16:52 -0500 Report

I see a kidney doctor regularly because I am in stage 4 kidney disease. During one visit the doctor asked me if when I woke in the morning did I jump out of the bed ready to take on the day? I told him no, it usually took me a little bit to get going. He said…you are depressed. I said no I'm not depressed, I have suffered from depression before I am not depressed. So he told me I needed this supplement Sam-e, which he sells. So I bought it and took it for a couple weeks. Still didn't feel like jumping out of the bed and taking on the day. I don't know what else I expected. He spends most of my visit with him talking into his little mic that goes into the computer so he doesn't have to type any notes.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2017-10-05 18:13:00 -0500 Report

Hey MrsCDogg, That was a good question your doctor asked you, a good way to opening the door to a discussion about depression. I haven't heard of that supplement. Some patients benefit from supplements, others don't. Sounds like you know your own mental health and whether you are depressed or not. But if you do experience depression symptoms again, I hope you will get in touch with a mental health professional. Always nice to see you!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2017-10-04 17:39:46 -0500 Report

Hi Dr. Gary,

My doctor recommended Zoloft for me after my surgery last year. I was having a hard time adjusting to not having a Gall Bladder and changing my diet to accommodate the change my body was going through. It was driving me crazy.

Thankfully, I still had it when I had my heart issues and only the doctor who discovered it believed me. That also was making me crazy. Knowing you have a medical problem and no one was listening is insanity on the highest level.

I no longer need it now and weened myself off of it.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2017-10-05 18:10:21 -0500 Report

Hey Joyce! Thanks for the update. Sounds like your doctor was being proactive about your mental health. I wish more doctors considered the emotional side of their patients. Adjusting after surgery can sure take an emotional toll. And I agree, there are few things worse than not being listened to. Glad you are doing well without it. I always remind clients that medication can help you get through a rough time. When you don't need it, you and your doctor can taper you off it. Thanks for sharing this.

Jibber Jabber
Jibber Jabber 2017-10-04 15:53:24 -0500 Report

I dont go to the doctor much anymore..once a year…but if a doctor ever recommended any medication I would just ask him why he was recommending it…then ask him if he knew anything about what caused the condition the meds were prescribed for…then when he finished stuttering…I would just opt out…I find the more I ignore my doctors the healthier I am…

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2017-10-04 17:56:50 -0500 Report

HI Jibber Jabber, very interesting. I sure agree that you would want to have a good discussion with your doctor before you decided to take a medication. Always important to get this on the table first. Information is power.

wolf65
wolf65 2017-10-04 11:46:06 -0500 Report

YES DR. GARY I ASKED MY DOCTOR FOR SOMETHING. IT HELP A LOT.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2017-10-04 17:55:18 -0500 Report

HI Wolf! That's fantastic. One of the bravest things you can do is ask for help. Glad to hear you raised your hand and received the help you needed. :))

haoleboy
haoleboy 2017-10-03 12:44:42 -0500 Report

I take 1600 mg of gabapentin daily. it was prescribed for my neuropathy. one of the "off-label uses" for gabapentin is treating anxiety. not something I ever discussed with my doctor. I view it as a benefit. I have a bit of agoraphobia and find it helps with the anxiety I have over leaving my house
win-win as far as I'm concerned
-
namaste
☮ Steve

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2017-10-04 17:54:36 -0500 Report

Hi Steve, very interesting how these medications can have side benefits that lead to off-label use. That sounds like a positive side effect for you. Glad to hear you are noticing that it's helping. A win-win for sure. Thanks for checking in.

msann
msann 2017-10-03 12:09:23 -0500 Report

no i dont need them yet thank goodness i try to excercise 6 days a week to keep stress down and i am diabetic but they ask every time i have appointment

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2017-10-04 17:53:02 -0500 Report

msann, interesting that medications are brought up in your appointment. Sounds like your doctor is trying to monitor your mental health, and intervene if needed. That's a good thing. And glad to hear you are doing things to help your mood. Exercise can help a lot.

BB42
BB42 2017-10-03 06:18:31 -0500 Report

I am very fortunate to have aPCP who is very open and easy to talk with. I brought umps desire for anti-anexity education and we talked about this in some depth before and during my use of the medication he prescribed

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2017-10-04 17:51:25 -0500 Report

Hey BB42, sounds like your PCP is a physician who is comfortable discussing mental health issues and willing to take the time to try and help. You are fortunate to have him/her. So many doctors avoid mental health issues, out of their own lack of comfort level, and out of wanting to avoid taking the additional time. Thanks for sharing this.

Pegsy
Pegsy 2017-10-02 20:42:05 -0300 Report

I have learned, from watching others in my life, that antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs are addictive and/or have some serious side effects. I've never wanted to go there. However I have sought help with sleeping pills a couple of times. I don't want to do that again either, if i can help it. I just don't care to take any medications if I don't have to because all have some kind of negative side effect.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2017-10-04 18:22:30 -0300 Report

Hey Pegsy, I appreciate that you shared your thoughts. These medications may have some side effects though, depending on the medication, the dosage, and your own personal chemistry, the side effects can be minor if noticeable at all. But on the other hand, depending on these same factors, other people may have more side effects. That's why it is so important to work closely with a doctor to get to the optimal regimen. It can be a process. But for someone who needs them, it is worth the work. I think of medication not necessarily as the first line treatment, but one that for some individuals may be necessary to correct their own faulty chemistry.

NewSong53
NewSong53 2017-10-03 07:10:36 -0500 Report

What sort of side effects and what were the antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs are you talking about? I do know that people with Bi-Polar disorder and clinical depression need their medications to function. And sometimes we just need help to get us through when we're too overwhelmed or coping with great loss.

I am truly curious — I sometimes have to take them but have also had the experience while taking lexipro and had a great fear of running out of them when my insurance ran out — and then discovered I felt better without them which makes me hesitant to take them now. I have one family member who mixes them with alcohol and goes to doctors trying to find something stronger. And another sister who considers it a sin. So I've researched a lot of message boards because I was conflicted about trying them again. I learned that there are many out there who have families going into debe without insurance, trying to find someone who will discover the magic elixir for their loved one's mental problems, only to discover later that they were mixing them with alcohol and that they were enabling someone in their drug abuse. It's something that each person must decide from him/herself.

I was off of them for many years after my insurance ran out. For me, being outdoors or getting out and being around others helped — I have to fight the urge to isolate. I now receive medical care at a clinic for low-income people without insurance. I made a very small co-pay for doctor visits and $4 prescriptions. I even receive free insulin and counseling. My new doctor is the one who brought up antidepressant/anxiety medication because I was too fatigued to do much and spent most of the day in my recliner. I thought it was my type 2 diabetes and she suggested medication. I didn't expect it to help and, in fact, for 3 months was on the lowest dosage but she increased it when it wasn't working. I agreed to give it a try (I had stopped a week or so before our visit). I was amazed when, about 24 hours later I had tons of energy my appetite was finally normal again. Within another week or so I was laughing again and it dawned on me that I hadn't laughed in a very long time. I do babble a bit, though, and have lately grown concerned that it might be "too much". Because of your post, I plan to wean myself back off but using the lower dosage that I have left over. If things stay pretty much the same (with a little less zippiness), I will eventually stop taking them. I might be over the hump. For my health's sake, I can't go back to being a chair flower and binging on carbs. That would be a negative health effect of refusing to use them. I absolutely want to stop taking them but feel it will be better when I get my weight down to a reasonable level.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2017-10-04 16:36:30 -0500 Report

HI NewSong, I really appreciate that you took the time to tell us your story. It sounds like you have benefitted greatly from being on antidepressants. That is nice to hear. And you provided a good example of how someone who needs antidepressants can benefit from them. You mentioned that you felt you were "babbling." What I would encourage you to do, if you haven't already, is to set up a time to talk with your doctor about this. It's really important that your doctor be aware of how you are doing on the medication. Also -- and I am not trying to lecture you -- it is really important that any changes you make to your regimen be under the direction of your doctor. I wasn't sure from your post if your doctor was involved or not. Your doctor will talk to you about your dosage and how you are feeling and, if the two of you decide to reduce your dosage, he/she would create a plan for you. Again, not meaning to lecture you. Just want to make sure you take good care of yourself.

NewSong53
NewSong53 2017-10-04 20:11:43 -0500 Report

Actually, it's more like loquacious rather than babble. I have an appointment with her next week, so I'll weigh in with her. I did the 10mg (rather than 20mg) prescribed today and feel a lot calmer. My main concern is that my short term memory has gotten worse since I went to the higher dosage. Everything else is great. I just grow weary of medical professionals saying short term memory loss is "normal" at my age (only 64). I'm sure they would feel different about it if it happened to them. They are too cavalier with our mental health for my comfort.

suecsdy
suecsdy 2017-10-02 18:27:11 -0500 Report

Earlier this year, I was having a hard time with life. I finally went to my Dr. and asked for help. Now I take bupropion and it does help me handle things better. Now I'm having another rough time and I'm glad to still have it

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2017-10-04 16:19:03 -0500 Report

Hey suecsdy! Really glad to hear you raised your hand and got some help. That was a brave step. Great to know it is helping you. Medication can take the edge off your depression so you can focus on coping. Thanks for letting us know.