Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Comments by JS

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  • I also went through a long withdrawal from an antidepressant. I did it through the help of that great site you mentioned called survivingantidepressants.org. But, what I discovered was that the reason it was taking me so long to be able to get off of it was because I actually had undiagnosed autoimmune thyroid disease. My thyroid levels were always within normal limits and so it was not diagnosed until by accident on an MRI. Even though the thyroid levels were within the normal limits, my thyroid was not functioning well at all and the levels were not where they should have been within the normal range. I was on the antidepressant for 16 years and slowly became less and less capable of functioning. What was actually happening was that the antidepressant was causing an autoimmune attack. One of the possible side effects of many antidepressants is that it causes low thyroid levels as well. I realized my decline started after I started the medication and I began tapering off. As I was tapering off, I started to improve but still felt horrible. I thought I was just having a really hard time with withdrawal symptoms. That was not the case. I encourage you, if you are having such fatigue, to get checked as that is one of the major symptoms of thyroid issues. It took me 4 years to get off the antidepressant because I thought I was having withdrawal symptoms when they were actually thyroid symptoms.

    I have been in the medical field for 32 years and I can tell you that they are prescribing these meds for just about everything in both adults and kids. I went to a clinic for what was supposed to be a dementia screening and since my doctor said it was for depression and anxiety on the referral form, they refused to even let me see the provider I was supposed to see if I wasn’t willing to go on antidepressants. I was told all that particular provider did was prescribe antidepressants. They tried to convince me that my depression was not caused by the thyroid issues (which it is) and I needed the medication. I could not believe that I was being pressured to agree to medication when I had clearly told them what I was there for and that I would not take any medication again after what it did to me. They tried to convince me that they could find the right one for me because they can now do testing to find the one that will work best for your brain. I refused and, as stated, was told there was no reason for me to see the provider and that I should get a new referral from my doctor to come back for the screening. I never went back. In the early 2000s pain pill clinics were the rage. Now it is antidepressants. People are afraid to feel and deal with their issues. I have struggled with depression almost my entire life. In my case, it was caused by an undiagnosed illness. There is a place for antidepressants, but they are by far over prescribed and often, as in my case, do more damage than they help. I will never go back on one. You have no idea what it did to me. I would rather deal with the depression. I wish you the best, James. You aren’t alone. There are many of us who stand with you who have been damaged by these drugs.