4 thoughts on “How long is too long for antidepressants?

  • April 24, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Well put, Kaitlen

  • April 24, 2014 at 10:15 am

    I think that the most important thing that anyone taking any form of anti depressant meds should be aware that they have the choice. Just because a medical professional or manufacturers guidelines suggest that it be taken for a certain amount of time does not mean that this will work for you. Doctors in particular ought to advise and empower individuals to make their own choices with drug use, whether it be prescription or a street drug. Taking the choice out of people’s hands in itself could also add to the depression symptoms, with the patient being under the impression that things I will not improve until the course is complete. My own personal experience is that this every individual is affected completely different to the next. First of all I think it a good idea that anyone taking any form of medication but in particular psychotropics write a diary. Okay you don’t want to take your pills today that’s fine, the choice is yours. Make a note of the fact that you did/didn’t take them daily and note any feelings or differences you noticed that day. Could be as simple as good day/bad day, it doesn’t need to be war and peace. This way you can be sure that your recollection of your brain and physical function is correct and not just some made up misconception that you are broken in some way and are in need of the prescription. I would think at minimum we should see anyone on anti depressant medication monthly, but obviously more often up front to confirm the suitability of the prescription for the patient. Taking your diary along to these appointments can be a very supportive tool when discussing the subject with your doctor, giving you some objective evidence to work with and present to the doctor to argue for or against continuing with medication whatever your choice may be. I’m not a doctor or any kind of health care professional but have worked in the AOD sector and can state categorically that empowering people to make their own choices and encouraging of self efficacy can be one of the most effective tools in individual recovery. Whether it be a case of dependence, misuse or dual diagnosis we must never take away the power of an individual to make the choice to change and any subsequent reward for the change should be attributed to the individual not the meds. Sure they may have helped you along the way, at times maybe even been your best friend or your worst enemy. But ultimately the change will come from within. Some people may indeed require extensive longer term use or even dependency in order to better function in their daily lives, but I would say the same goes for any long term user of substances. People will go to any lengths to convince themselves or others that they need it for whatever reason. Long term use of any substances should be monitored regularly and your experiences shared with others. It’s too easy for doctors to keep dishing out the prescriptions and I don’t see the drug companies putting up too much resistance to long term use of their profitable product. Don’t feel afraid to challenge medical advice it’s your right to do so.

    • April 24, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      Richard, it sounds like you have a very measured approach to this topic. Very refreshing amongst a lot of heavy-handed rhetoric on this issue!

  • June 12, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    I understand the concern of people, especially children, being on antidepressants for too long. On the other hand, I do agree that it is that person’s (and their family’s, if necessary) decision about the medications they take. This was an interesting and informative read. Thanks for sharing!


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