Depression Meds.

Updated on October 08, 2010
M.R. asks from Gilroy, CA
26 answers

I will be seeing my MD to possibly get on depression medication. According to my non-MD therapist, it's mild depression. Does anyone have advice on what meds are out there that have few/no side effects. I have been resistant in taking anything because I don't like to take prescriptions (even OTC stuff is questionable). But I feel like I need to get better - I am resistant in doing 'on-line' research on meds because I know med companies put out a lot of stuff and I want unbiased opinions. Anything that is or has worked for you.

PS - I used to exercise regularly, but I have become so tired, that it's impossible to do anything. I eat well and take a few different vitamins. I already have no libido, don't feel like doing anything, never can say something was fun (even stuff I like to do), nothing sounds appealing (I force myself to do stuff - I do have 2 kids). Even reading is no longer appealing. So, exercise and herbal supplements are not doing it.

PSS - I've had blood work and working on getting thyroid in check (I have the better of the hyperthyroid diseases) but it's more than that (no joy, happiness or fun in ANY activity). I am still active, with work and 2 kids and keeping the house (somewhat) clean (sweeping in mopping is a 15-30 min exercise session every other day).

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.T.

answers from San Francisco on

It sounds like you're looking for an answer other than exercise, which we all know is the best medicine. I experienced mild depression after my 4th miscarriage, walked around crying all the time, and my ob suggested I take zoloft just to "take the edge off". That's all I needed. I'm on the lowest dose, and frankly I don't think I've experienced side effects (I've never had much of a libido even before my kid!). I continue to eat healthy, exercise regularly, and take my zoloft... and I feel great about it because I'm back to being me. (My husband and kid are happy to have me back, as well!) No shame in it. I do plan on weaning myself, but would like to get through this adoption process first! :)

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.R.

answers from San Francisco on

I am on effexor and the only side effect I get is night sweats. Other than that I am loving feeling better and wanting to spend time with my kids.
Good luck

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.A.

answers from San Francisco on

There is a couple of things I do that made a difference in my depression. If you want more info let me know.

N. Marie
[email protected]____.com

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.D.

answers from Modesto on

I felt the same as you except that I also would get frustrated and angry very easily as well as the extreme fatigue and never being happy. I tried Celexa a while ago and hated it. Went off for a couple of years and recently went on Cymbalta and it has been great. After about 5 days of side effects, all of them went away. I feel like I can cope with the world again. I haven't cried over anything since I started on it. I have more patience for my children. I too knew something was wrong and needed some help. Good for you! Keep trying until you get the medication and the dose that works for you. I would suggest having your medication prescribed by a psychiatrist as opposed to primary dr. Primary drs just don't know as much about managing depression. Best of luck to you!!!!!!

2 moms found this helpful

K.I.

answers from Seattle on

I had PPD and was put on Zoloft after my 3rd child...it worked really well and didn't experience any real bad side effects besides lack of libido, but I was not sure if that was the medication or just that I had recently had a baby.

I took it for a year and weaned myself off of it like you are supposed to and have nothing bad to say about it. I have always been pretty anti-drugs (even OTC stuff too) but I needed this and it helped me a TON.

I would like to add, that the first week or two was kind of weird, I felt spacey...it's hard to explain but I had trouble getting the correct words to come out of my mouth, but it eventually faded and I was better.

My mom gave me a good analogy for it...picture your brain like a piece of Swiss cheese, the medicine's job is to fill in all the holes and make your brain whole again, it takes some time but eventually it fills them all in and you are good!

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.F.

answers from Phoenix on

Talk to your doctor about SSRI drugs, like Paxil, Zoloft, etc. There are 3 major classes of depression medications and SSRI's are most commonly prescribed because they have the mildest side effects. All depression medication will have side effects, but they get better after a few weeks of taking the medication regularly. Unfortunately, the side-effects kick in right away, but the benefits usually don't start to appear for 2-4 weeks of regular use. Discuss all of this and your symptoms with your doctor and he/she will help you find the medication that works best for you. You might need to try a few different medications before you find one that works, but give each one at least 4 weeks before suggesting a switch to your doctor, as your body might just need to adjust and get past that initial side-effect period before you start seeing/feeling benefits. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.B.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi-- I was on Zoloft for a few weeks for post partum, and couldn't handle how drowsy I got.... esp with a newborn keeping me up all the time. My Dr put me on Lexapro, and it was wonderful. No side effects, although my insurance charged me $35/mo for it b/c there is no generic. My Dr did check my thyroid as well, and it was fine. Now, I have been off the meds for a couple months (trying for another baby) and even though I have been exercising a lot I have become much more irritable and just anxiety-prone. Not depressed, but the anxiety is high. I just know that once I am done with the next pregnancy, I will most likely go back on it or something to carry me through the post partum time. Good luck and hope you feel better soon!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.H.

answers from Sacramento on

I am totally in the same boat as you are. I was on one med for years but it stopped working and I went off of it without going to the dr. BIG MISTAKE!!! I am currently on Welbutrin however meds are only part of the solution. You need to do the whole package (meds, therapy, support groups, etc) to beat it. I won't blow sunshine up your skirt, it is really hard work and it takes a while but you can do it. I will be starting my therapy on Oct 18 and am really looking forward to it. I also started walking every morning after my daughter gets on the bus. I know you don't feel like it but it really helps even if you just go around the block. Above all else, remember YOU ARE NOT ALONE :)

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.M.

answers from San Francisco on

I'm sorry you are having a hard time.... I have dealt with depression for a long, long time, and it's no joke. The thing about antidepressants is that the side effects tend to be different for each person. What one person experiences, another might not. When I took Prozac I experienced one of the extremely rare side effects associated with that drug. My psychiatrist was kind of baffled. Go figure. So my best advice is that whatever you decide to try, watch for side effects, tell your doctor about them, and if it's not working, try something else. That said, it took me several tries to find the right one for me. Right now I take Celexa, and it has a reputation for having few or mild side effects. I have not personally had any on this drug; it's been working very well for me. Good luck and take care of yourself.

1 mom found this helpful

S.M.

answers from Columbus on

I recently started taking Zoloft for anxiety, and it's worked well for me, but it has it's share of side effects. A good site I've found for honest info about these kind of meds is http://depression.emedtv.com/

I put off taking anything until it got so bad I didn't have anything left to try. There are plenty of options you can try before you try meds. Changes in your daily habits can make a difference, just focus on the little things that help. Getting outside more, eating healthier, sleeping better, finding more time for yourself. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.R.

answers from Chicago on

I think you're on the right track with pursuing a medical option such as SSRIs to assist with the chemical imbalance you're experiencing. All the exercise, eating right, sunshine, and vitamins/supplements in the world won't work if you are truly having a chemical issue in your brain.

I applaud you for knowing and admitting that you "feel like you need to get better". Not everyone in your shoes can do that, so your courage is amazing.

Understand that many SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) come in a wide variety of dosages, so you may only need a little bit of the drug to make a major difference. Sometimes it might take a little bit to figure out which one works best for you and what dosage. Many people take SSRIs with little to no side effects - well, other than feeling a ton better about life!

Don't let the stigma of mental health issues and depression keep you from seeking treatment and medical management. If you broke your arm you wouldn't try to reset it at home and then splint it yourself with boards and ties - you'd go see a professional. The same thing applies for depression.

Also understand that you may need to be on an SSRI for at least 6 months. The relapse rate for discontinuing the drug before 6 months is 47%; after 6 months it drops to less than 15%. Finally, realize that it may take up to six weeks before any positive effects are felt - the drugs in small amounts take time to work on the chemicals in the brain and get the right amounts going and get them going to the right spots.

Best wishes and know that it is possible to get through this, even on meds. You may surprise yourself by how well the right medicine works for you :)

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.P.

answers from Boise on

I am on Zoloft. There are always side effects for these things, but this I can take while breastfeeding. The main side effect is lack of libido, and they always watch for suicidal thoughts with ANY depression medication. I would talk to your doctor and see what it is. For PPD (post partum), I was told that it is normally chemical, so they like to give the meds to balance you out. I was on them 2 months, and am now weaning myself off of them. I don't like the thought of the medications either, but I wanted to get over it as fast as possible to make me a better mom.

1 mom found this helpful

S.L.

answers from New York on

My doctor told me there are many different people in the world and nearly as many different medications out there so keep trying different things until you find the right one for you. if the first four make you feel worse try a 5th, or 6th! and don't let people make you feel bad, since you've already been going to a therapist I imagine you've worked on the problem without using drugs and now it's time to try meds. good luck

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.V.

answers from Chicago on

Exercising for 20 minutes 3x a week is AS EFFECTIVE as meds. Scientific evidence shows this. You know what the scientific evidence also shows? Placebos are as effective as most anti-depressants!

So, if you want GOOD side effects, skip the medicine and start walking 5 times a week. It will be much more effective. You will sleep better, have more energy, etc.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.O.

answers from Harrisburg on

Can you try other methods to get out of your depression if it is mild. I have seen where depression meds mess up your brain and way of dealing with stuff. Then you become addicted to them. Try getting away from the routine rut you find yourself in and see life from a different view (vacation, walk on the beach, church, being around people, etc). Try changing your environment and see if that helps. We all go thru depression at some point in our lives, but not every case requires meds. Research some more because you seem hesitant.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.H.

answers from St. Louis on

before you try meds, please begin a walking regimen! You will be amazed at how much this helps!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Hello JRSQT,
All medication is going to have possible side effects and being informed by the internet is not a bad thing . When a person is depressed they can become intesnly more parinoid to many simple things. It is better for you to be mentally healthy for yourself and our children so that you can all have the best family life possible. I know people that have tried it on their own,with herbal meds, and yoga and have not been sucessful and in fact became worse I have also known people that have had to make adjustments to medications seeral times to find the right one and have itwork. There is no shame in needing help or having to accept it thu a doctors percription. The key factor for you is that YOU USE TO-- but DON"T DO NOW the things you enjoyed . I am sure that you want to feel the joy of your children and the things of thier world so please do what ever it takes to make it happen. I hope you have help with the chidlren from friends or family so they also do not become depressed or sad becasueof the enviroment. I wish oy great luck and hope you will keep us informed on your health.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.E.

answers from San Francisco on

My husband was on the anti-depressant Lexapro and had a heck of a time getting off of the drug. Later I heard that others also had a very hard time. I'd be cautious of that medication.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.P.

answers from Sacramento on

I know you said that exercise is not doing it, but you also say that you used to exercise regularly and don't any more. So I'd suggest making a commitment to exercise daily for a month and see where that takes you.

I injured my knee several years ago and was unable to exercise for about a month. At the end of that month I definitely noticed that I was in a slump and just not feeling as good about myself and life in general. Since then I've made exercise a regular part of my life and haven't had problems since.

It's easy for me to say, but I cannot recommend enough forcing yourself to get some kind of physical exercise at least once per day, even if it's just for 15 minutes. Set a timer and get active! It can be something as simple as getting up off of the couch while watching TV and marching in place. Obviously if you can get outside then that helps, because you're adding in the positive effects of the sun and nature, but just moving more inside can really help.

Jonathan Roche is a personal trainer who helps encourage people to get active on a daily basis, even if it's only for five minutes. Here's a link to his website: http://www.noexcusesworkouts.com/

I hope you can find a solution that works for you!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.T.

answers from Sacramento on

After my divorce I had similar symptoms and feelings. It did not go away by itself even with exercise, counseling and trying very hard. My Dr. put me on a very low dose (I think it was 10 mg) of Celexa. After a few weeks I really started becoming my normal self again. My Dr. wanted me to stay on it for a year, which I did, and had no side effects at all and would wholeheartedly recommend this med and course of treatment. It was no problem going off either. Good luck and take good care of yourself.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.M.

answers from Sacramento on

Sorry you are going through this rough time. I've been through something similar and found that I had intolerances to many foods including gluten and dairy. I was so tired. (You can read about it...Just search "gluten intolerance symptoms depression fatigue" and you will find plenty!) I had an undignosed autoimmune thyroid condition and was able to correct it by going off gluten, dairy and some other foods. My symptoms improved and I felt so much better.

I understand about not liking to take pills but IF YOU START FEELING WORSE (MORE DEPRESSED), SEE YOUR DOCTOR RIGHT AWAY! MEDS MAY BE NECESSARY FOR YOU! :) TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!

Since you said you think you have MILD depression and don't really like taking meds, you may want to ask your doctor to run COMPLETE bloodwork (CBC and Chem Panel) on you including:
-Thyroid (not just TSH-- test the Free T3 and Free T4 also),
-Complete thyroid antibody panel
-All hormones (estrogen may be dropping)
-Iron AND ferretin levels (anemia can cause fatigue)
-B12 (the "acceptable" range is ###-###-#### but most sources will tell you it really should be closer to 600 for optimum health)
It is possible that you are not absorbing all your nutrients due to food allergies or intolerances. It would be great if the doc would run tests on ALL your vitamin levels (B vitamins, Vit D, etc.) but they are usually hesitant to do that because insurance doesn't like to pay for it. (But they are happy to pay for our pills that only treat the symptoms! That's another conversation!)
If any tests are abnormal, you might be able to feel better by correcting the problems (B12 shots, thyroid meds, etc.) before you start an antidepressant. You might want to consult with a functional nutritionist to work along with your doctor. They are really helpful and focus on things that doctors aren't really trained in. Doctors know tons but will tell you that there isn't much nutrition taught in med school at all.

Keep pushing for answers!Hang in there.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.H.

answers from San Francisco on

If you already have no libido, the only antidepressant without libido lowering side effects is Wellbutrin. The XL form is best because it is only once a day. Generic is okay. ( I'm a psychiatrist.)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.R.

answers from San Francisco on

I had some of your symtoms and it turned out that I had Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - low thyroid. I've been on levothyroxine (generic thyroid meds-only cost me $4.00 a month on Walgreens perscription plan) for almost two years now and it made all the difference in the world. The point is to get a full medical work-up in case you problem is symptomatic of a medical problem. Otherwise, if you have mild depression (which is also a medical condition) , different medications work for different people-and that includes side effects. Keep trying until you find what works for you.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.K.

answers from Sacramento on

I've never taken anti-depressents, but I was thinking you might want to have your thyroid checked before you start taking them. All those symptoms can also be accounted for by hypotyroidism.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.T.

answers from San Francisco on

I know what you're going through...I have done Paxil 10 years ago, it was great - I immediately was happy and excited like I used to be. Couple years later went on Lexapro and it made me sweat profusely (but other girlfriends love it with no side effects). Then did effexor and did really well. Then did zoloft since I was breastfeeding, needed something more 2 years later so I am trying Wellbutrin now. Everyone will have different side effects, you just kind of try one and see (under doctors care of course). All antidepressants I know of you do have to taper off slowly once you want to stop them - so don't let that deter you in the beginning, it's do-able. EXCEPT wellbutrin - which is a whole different kind of anti depressent. Most doctors will start you on everything but wellbutrin to see how you react and if nothing works, then try the wellbutrin. Anyway, really talk to your doctor about whatever one you want to try and get the scoop on propper time of day to take it (Zoloft works best when taken first thing in the morning to get fewer side effects) and all that. Plus, if you can stand taking some vitamins with it - B complex and fish oil will help your depression immensely with your meds.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions