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When it Comes to Antidepressants, Who are You Going to Trust with Your Brain?

My meds FINALLY came in the mail. Amen. I take three meds, but I ran out of one before the refills came in the mail. Three days without one of the meds. Three days. My brain was starting to feel squishy. I had a horrible nightmare and I could feel a tsunami size headache building behind my eyes. Just a day after resuming the med I felt like my delightful self again.

Am I an idiot or what? I went to my nurse practitioner today and told her about my little refill snafu. She writes me scripts for three months worth of each of my meds. I send them to my insurance company’s pharmacy  and, voila, three months worth of meds arrive in the mail. She explained that I don’t have to wait until I am almost out of my meds to send in the refill prescriptions. I told her I knew that. She shook her head. I know. There is no excuse.

I like Pat, my nurse practitioner. I see her every three months and have been doing that for about five years, unless she changes the dosage.  Then I have to call her and visit her every week for awhile. Kind of a pain in the butt but I trust Pat with my life. She saved me, along with my therapist. You gotta trust the person writing your scripts. This is very, very important. It’s not like the kind of trust you put in the doctor who writes you a script for a Z-Pak and a couple days later that infection is gone.

I am talking about the kind of trust you put in someone to whom you have given your brain. Literally. You have to really, really trust this person because you have only one brain. We’re not talking about kidneys or eyes and ears. You lose one of those and you can still live. But you have one brain. That’s it.

No one really knows how antidepressants work, how long they will work or whether you need an  monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), tetracyclic antidepressants (TeCAs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. So, you have to trust that the psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner writing your prescription knows what she is doing.

In my humble opinion – and this is only my opinion – you should only take antidepressants from a doctor or nurse who has some kind of specialized training in prescribing these drugs. Would you allow your family doctor to write you a prescription for an Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s medication? No. You would go to a specialist. So, why would you allow a doctor who has little or no training in treating illnesses of the brain write you a prescription for a medication that no one understands how or why it works?

I trust Pat. She knows her stuff. She’s not just a nurse. She is psychiatric nurse practitioner, which means she is all about treating mental illness all the time. She doesn’t treat people for ear infections, broken bones or yeast infections. For Pat, it’s depression, bipolar, OCD, ADHD and anxiety. She is good at it. I trust her with my brain and that’s saying something.

When it Comes to Antidepressants, Who are You Going to Trust with Your Brain?

Christine Stapleton

Christine Stapleton has been a journalist for 35 years. She is now an investigative reporter for The Palm Beach Post. In 2006, began writing a blog for PsychCentral called Depression on My Mind. Her latest blog, Addiction Matters, draws on her 19 years of sobriety and her coverage of the drug treatment industry in South Florida.

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APA Reference
Stapleton, C. (2012). When it Comes to Antidepressants, Who are You Going to Trust with Your Brain?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 25, 2020, from


Last updated: 10 Jan 2012
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