Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Debate: Antidepressants

Posted by Mandy at 5:58 AM
I haven't had a debate in a while, but I heard a startling stat on the news this morning that gave me the perfect idea for one.

According to the Today Show, 1 out of every 10 Americans is on antidepressants. The number is steadily RISING.

Now, I am certainly not a "Tom Cruise." I definitely personally know good friends of mine that truly suffer from REAL depression and they have had their entire lives changed by the benefits of the right medication. I also know a woman that was handed antidepressants one week after birthing her first baby because she was crying randomly throughout the day. "Umm.. it's called Baby Blues Doc... most women get that and it's NORMAL!"

This makes me wonder: "Should antidepressants be allowed to be prescribed without the patient also seeing a psychologist/psychiatrist?" Should any old family doctor be able to just write out an rx for any antidepressant he or she sees fit.. with no psych eval? Is our country combating it's crazy way of living by drugging itself? What say you?


Cindy on Tuesday, 04 August, 2009 said...

IMO people who are depressed should see a psychologist/psychiatrist before being medicated. Just any antidepressant doesn't always work on just any person. Sometimes after evaluating the patient a month or so later the psych doctor may find still depressed, or even worse than he/she was. One scenario I know of is a case where the doctor prescribed WellButrin (sic)as an antidepressant and 3 or 4 weeks later the patient attempteds suicide. There needs to be follow-ups and with psych doctors, not just MDs. I personally take antidepressents and see a therapist every week, then see my psychiatrist once a month. The psychiatrist prescribes my psych meds, and I am montiored carefully. This is the ideal way to be treated for depression. CL

Stacie on Tuesday, 04 August, 2009 said...

My Dad would probably be the first to say NO! They shouldn't be able to. He, as someone that has never suffered from depression, doesn't understand it at all. I have used them in the past when needed and can honestly say it changed my life. James will tell you that without me taking them at times (especially after KL was born) that we would not have made it to our 10 year anniversary and counting.

I suffered from more than "baby blues" after KL was born. I didn't know what was going on with me. I thought it was normal to cry every day for the first 9 months because of "baby blues". I thought it was normal to feel that my child was in danger in a normal situation. Example - I didn't allow my father-in-law to hold her often because I was afraid he would drop her and she would land in the fireplace. It was a picture that ran through my head anytime he held her. I didn't allow him to hold her in the room with the fireplace at all.

I was on the verge of one of those "crazy" mothers except instead of thinking I needed to harm my child, I felt this overwhelming need to protect her from everyone. The only people I felt safe holding/caring for her was me, my mom, and my dad. Yes, if you paid attention I left my husband out of that sentence also.

I called James on a daily basis at work and cried to him. I blamed him for "making" me go back to work and leaving KL with a sitter. I told him he didn't love her as much as I did or there was no possible way he would make me leave her with someone that may harm her (by the way - his mother was our sitter and no way would she have harmed her). I even went as far as telling him that he wasn't a good father and didn't care what happened to his child. When he would hang up on my, I would call my mother and just cry until she all but hung up on me. When KL reached 9 months, James finally called my mom and said something has to change because I can't take this anymore. They sent me to the doctor who immediatly put me on an antidepressant. Things at home immediately changed for the better too!

I took the meds for about a year then felt I could handle things normally. For the first 6 years of KL's life, at times I had to start them again for a month or so. Just long enough to get through the rough spots. Anytime work or something at home was too stressful, I couldn't handle it alone. My Dad didn't like any of this at all and said as a child of God I shouldn't have to take them. I should be able to handle anything just by giving everything to God. I admitted to him that at times I do have a hard time handing things over to God, but that isn't the only reason I had to take them. I would always visit my local dr to get the Rx and, honestly, at times I would have just had to go crazy because I couldn't have afforded to see a psychitrist/psychologist. Because of all this, I think that family doctors should be able to prescribe them when needed. I will say that I do think they are over prescribed at times tho.

Luckily, I have no problems since AC was born. This was a major concern of ours and the reason that KL was an only child for 8 years :)

David on Tuesday, 04 August, 2009 said...

Antidepressants are powerful drugs, and we don't know three critical things about them.

1) How they work
2) How safe they are
3) If they work

It's mind-boggling, really. I wrote an expose on it recently: here

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