Sunday, April 11, 2021

Comments by Kevin B

Showing 5 of 5 comments.

  • Antidepressants always made me feel wired. I thought antidepressants would un-depress you and create relaxation, but they are hard to be on. It looks like I never needed more serotonin and certainly not the extra cortisol that antidepressants release. Antidepressants are stimulating and uncomfortable to be on. They affect sleep, yet I would have thought that good sleep would be vital for overcoming depression.

  • When I first got depressed at 17 years old my GP tried me on antidepressants which did not do much so he sent me to see a psychiatrist who also prescribed antidepressant drugs. In those days it was tricyclic’s and they didn’t do much. I bought a book on depression which stressed genes as being the main vulnerability to depression and this terrified me. I felt stuck with genes that were no good and it made me feel inadequate, not as good as other people.

    Some people like it when their doctor says they have a physical illness in the brain because they now feel that they have a genuine illness and it is not a failure on their part. But I got the opposite feeling, that there was truly something wrong with me and that it was very hard to fix. I was scared.

    I didn’t respond to treatment and so my p.doc put me on lithium saying I was a manic depressive who stayed in the depressed half all the time. I had to have regular blood tests to make sure it wasn’t damaging my liver. What I really had was GAD and I was petrified. A new psychiatrist took me off lithium immediately, but I was eventually put on Mianserin which soon turned me hypomanic. Fortunately I figured it out in a few days that I was high as a kite and I calmed myself down. I did not tell any psychiatrist for fear of being put on lithium again and being labelled bipolar which my book said was a serious psychotic illness. I kept getting mild manias for years but when I came off the antidepressant it all went away. I was relieved that I was not bipolar after all.

    I found books by Dorothy Rowe and ones on Bioenergetics by Alexander Lowen, and both these people said that manic depression wasn’t genetic, nor was depression. I ended up spending a fortune on some poorly trained quack therapist who did psychodrama and Bioenergetics and it went on for a year and it was hell.

    I ended up collecting more and more books where the authors said that they doubted that genes played any role in depression. It reassured me, but geneticists said that they kept finding genes for depression, like the short serotonin gene, and it was always in the newspapers freaking me out.

    When I went to my psychiatrist I was expecting to get therapy but after 45 minutes of listening to me he lent across his table to get his prescription pad and wrote me a prescription for an antidepressant and then he told me to come back after a month. I walked down the road in utter despair. I wanted to talk to someone, I felt alone and scared. My World was going upside down.

    Psychiatry really messed me up with its genetics theories and lack of psychotherapy. I never responded to any of their drugs and then one day a psychiatrist said I would never get better. He said I was just a very unfortunate young man who was born with a low stress threshold and that I would never be able to cope with life and that no one could help me. I walked down the road with the word INADEQUATE going through my mind over and over again with the part ‘QUATE’ chopping through my brain splattering blood everywhere, which was the tears pouring out of my eyes. I cried all the way home on the bus and didn’t care who saw me. I wanted to die.

    I never went back to psychiatry after that and I took myself off mianserin. But the starvation mode the drug had put me into did not go away and I remained like that for years afterwards until it eventually subsided.

    Years later I was still struggling with GAD and shyness but not depression. I felt stuck so my GP suggested a SSRI. I had heard so much good stuff about it and I thought it would relax me and that I would then I be able to do mindfulness, and that it might also help me to get out and meet people. It didn’t relax me at all but I did get out and meet new people and within a few months I got a nice girlfriend but I couldn’t have sex, so I came off the antidepressant but my sex drive never came back, so she left me. Years later I found out I had Post SSRI Sexual Dysfunction and I became more lonely than ever. I would go out dancing but was I really dead scared if I nice girl took an interest in me because relationships never lasted long. I was sexless and numb.

    Psychiatry: I hate you

  • Hi Terry Lynch,

    Your books offer hope. This is what depressed people need, and psychiatry doesn’t offer hope, because it says your are physically flawed instead, and so can never get truly well, that is, not without their medications. But the medications don’t work for long, and neuroplasticity means they could make the situation worse.

    I went out with my girlfriend’s Depressive Alliance, Friends in Need, group the other day and they were all on lots of medication. I felt sorry for them because no doubt dosages needed to be increased, and new medicines tried. How can doctors be happy with this? And what happens when all medicines stop working. One woman was too depressed to come out, despite all the medication.

    Philip Hickey’s article offers hope. There is nothing wrong with the brains of people like me, it’s just a neuroplasticity problem, and the functioning of the brain can change for the better. I can learn new ways of being, over time.

    Hope is what depressives need. The science is so good now; years ago I would have thought this was how I was born (shy – nervous), but now I know it was my upbringing (in poverty – in relation to others- causing low self esteem). And so now I have hope. Hope I can change how my brain works through neuroplasticity and epigenetics. I’m not fixed, or stuck, for life. So I work hard at my CBT, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. It might take a long time, but I’m working for change. I will eventually get into Buddhism and mindfulness.

    Thank you Phil Hickey for your excellent article and Terry Lynch for giving hope.

  • I admire your bravery, courage, and strength: you never give up hope. That reminds me of me. I always in the end find some hope to keep me going. I go through dark periods then I reorient myself for hope again. You inspire me. I shall write my story one day soon. I could write it here, or write it and send it to MIA.

    This ebook inspired me recently. Beat Depression and Anxiety by Changing Your Brain, by Debbie Hampton. She took an overdose of pills because of chronic depression and ended up with severe brain damage. She could hardly walk or talk but she learnt about neuroplasticity and epigenetics and how the brain can repair itself. So she got into exercise as best she could, and mindfulness meditation. She got interests and hobbies going and over the next two years she made a full recovery. She worked for it, and we can do the same.

    All the best, and thank you you your inspiring article. It really moved me.