This reader’s story about her experience with medication seems especially timely, given the recent analysis of studies analyzing suicidal ideation and antidepressants. She says she experienced such suicidal thoughts in the initial weeks of treatment, but that the thoughts passed.
For patients, especially young people, who do experience this kind of suicidal ideation after beginning an antidepressant, it is usually early in the course of treatment. The reader, who didn’t want to use her name, doesn’t elaborate on her response to this suicidal ideation, or whether a doctor told her to expect it.
However, if she’d be willing to take questions in the comments section, I, for one, would be very curious to hear more about how she interpreted these thoughts, whether they scared her, whether she was able to brush them off because she knew they were “drug-induced,” etc.
I’d also like to hear why she was so resistant to taking meds in the first place and whether there was going on in her life that was particularly stressful and that she thinks helped set off her depression at that particular time.
Her initial resistance is interesting to me, because it seemed to surface again during the time she she either forgot to take her medications or decided to go off it and concluded that she “deserved” her misery. From interviews I’ve conducted and research I’ve done, that seems a very common attitude in others, especially in depressives. I don’t think it’s necessarily unique to being young, but I would be curious to hear readers’ thoughts about why this mindset is so persistent.
Incidentally, on the topic of suicidal ideation, I’d like to point readers to a very thoughtful critique of the Archives of General Psychiatry study by Dr. David Healy, a psychopharmacologist and one of the most prominent and earliest crusaders seeking to draw attention to the link between antidepressants and suicidal behaviors and thoughts. I’m not sure I understand everything he says in the column, but it’s an interesting read, nonetheless.
And now, the reader’s account of her experience with meds, in her own words. I invite further personal stories about medication, in any format you like and on any aspect of your experience – don’t feel bound by the prompts I gave. Email me at kaitlin.b.barnett [at] gmail.com. Try to include your diagnoses and what medications you took.