Antidepressant Drugs and Medication for Anxiety and Depression
My experience with antidepressant drugs and medication for anxiety
In some cases they may become a dependency like alcoholism. In my own family the main problem was that my Father was addicted to a Benzodiazepine called Lorazepam (Ativan). This is like a short term narcotic used to treat anxiety. Lorazepam (Ativan) is meant to be used for short periods of time, such as when patients are in hospital.
At the time he had been on this drug for around 25 years- well before I was born. This meant he was never fully present in life. He was always tired, spending most of his day sleeping, withdrawn, depressed, irritable, abusive, critical, argumentative, ill tempered and in some kind of weird altered anxiety state- making it a negative and weird environment to live in. My Mother ignored and denied that any problem existed.
This was the family secret. I only found out when I was 17 years old. I also tried Sertraline (Zoloft) for depression and anxiety, and also was Paraoxietine (Paxil) on one occasion. These drugs did not help me at all and caused a lot of negative side effects such as further depression and nausea. To Sertraline my body reacted by coming out in a huge rash- especially on my hands. It was a bad experience and I can not say it helped me at all.
Looking up Lorazepam (Ativan) on the Internet showed me that my Dad should not be taking this medication. After 25 years of taking this, it could cause some level of brain damage. When he was younger he also had electroshock therapy. I was deeply disturbed by all of this. I told him he should come off these tablets. He said it was difficult because he had been depending on them for over 25 years. I could not believe that the doctor was allowing him to repeat his prescription for that long. When I spoke to my Mother she told me not to mention anything to him. She said that he will never be able to come off these tablets, because it would be like coming off Heroine. After a few years my Dad had another doctor who insisted that he come off the drug, and now I can relate to him as a normal fully functional person.
Taking antidepressant drugs and medication for anxiety made me even more depressed, by the fact that I was taking these drugs. It made me feel like there was something wrong with me. I eventually stopped taking any medication. I did not feel that sedating or suppressing the symptoms of anxiety and depression is going to address any REAL problems or causes. The problem is the causes- NOT the symptoms.
I would say that a biggest problem was due to reliance and dependency on prescribed drugs. If I had carried on depending on doctors without taking responsibility for my own life and making necessary holistic changes then there would be no healing. After taking up meditation and yoga I managed to experience a lot of healing in my life.
Is anxiety and depression a medical condition requiring medication, doctors and drugs?
I do not believe depression is completely a medical condition. I believe healthy brain chemistry is the result of many factors... such as love; a healthy diet, lifestyle, work or exercise regime, and loving supportive relationships. Love and support may help produce serotonin (brain chemical of satisfaction, comfort and relaxation). Exercise also helps balance brain chemistry through the production of endorphins, and together with correct diet the production of dopamine (brain chemical of clarity, attention, interest and motivation).
Doctors are right that depression is an imbalance of brain chemistry, but the causes of this are often variable and changeable environmental variables, which can often overlooked by doctors and patients. So treating someone with antidepressant medication without exploring other options may be ignoring the real issues.
Do antidepressant medications really work, such as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI's) like Paroxetine (Paxil), Sertraline (Zoloft) and Fluoxetine (Prozac)? Some research suggests these types of antidepressants work little better than placebos. I can not comment on that. But what I can say is that they never had any positive benefits for me at all.
Antidepressants may possibly work for some. But from my experience with my father, antidepressants can be an unhealthy dependency. A lot of people remain in darkness about how to feel better whilst trying to rely on medications and doctors to heal all of their problems without taking any responsibility for their lives.
How many doctors first ask about diet, exercise, relationships, sex life, lifestyle, self help books, or spiritual issues before administrating a drug? I was never asked about any of these things and never knew how to address the real problems in life.
But who is the blame, the doctors or the patients? From the experience of my father situation and speaking to doctor friends... often when doctors make recommendations of a healthy life style change, patients may also reject this helpful advice and insist on getting tablets to rely on, without having to take any responsibility for their own lives. Patients can also make it difficult for the doctors to help them. I believe it is the patients own responsibility at the end of the day for their own situation in life and for their own healing.
From my experience, I feel there is a need to help people be responsible for their own health and well being, and a need for each person to be responsible for his/her own health. There are many holistic ways to be healthy like love, yoga and healthy living.