Long term use of antidepressants

This article about new concerns about long term use of antidepressants got me so excited!

New Concerns – article on WSJ 8/29/2019

I was going to go talk to my psychiatrist and lobby to get off my antidepressants since I’ve been doing so well, functional and all.  But then I read the following paragraph…

“The big danger of going off antidepressants is the risk of relapse. People who have had one episode of depression have a 50% chance of having a second. Those who have had two episodes have an 80% chance of having another. Staying on antidepressant medication can cut the risk of relapse in half, according to a review of 15 clinical trials published in 2014 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.”

So chance of relapse for me is not worth Dr. taking me off medicine.  So for me it’s not likely to happen.  But for those that statistics stand on your side, see these guidelines, also in the article:

Managing Long-Term SSRI Use

Beth Salcedo, a psychiatrist and the president of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, has these tips for patients:

*Check in with your doctor regularly—at least twice a year—to assess whether the drug is still needed or working, or if the dose needs adjusting.

*If you decide to stop the medication, do it under a doctor’s guidance and taper it very slowly—over a few months or longer—to minimize withdrawal symptoms and make it easier to reverse course if anxiety or depression surges.

*Do a course of cognitive behavioral therapy before or while going off medication. This can give you skills to manage anxiety and depression and can help prevent a relapse.

*Identify early warning signs that a relapse may be on the horizon, like difficulty sleeping or avoiding social engagements, so you can quickly adjust or restart treatment.

 

Peace!

You are my God

“You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God, I will extol you” (Psalm 118:28)

Dear God, you are my God.  You have created me, you have sustained me, you have brought me out of darkness, you gave me life that I could live, testifying to your goodness.  You have healed me, God, from an unrelenting depression.  I am now working as a chaplain helping others who need to be comforted.

In a thousand years, I did not imagine I would ever recover.  I thought every moment being crushed in pain was the life I would know until my death.  You are my God and I give thanks to you.  You have shown me mercy I did not deserve but desperately needed.  God, help me to remain helpful, not to lose heart at the first sign of difficult or discouraging emotions.  Let my life be an encouragement to others who need you.

God, you know my thoughts and my desires even before I can clearly articulate them myself.  God help me to be a faithful servant, good steward of the resources you have given me.  Thank you, God.  I praise you, for you are my God.

PTL for getting through another year

Birthdays no longer feel as special as they used to feel.  Nonetheless, having a day to remember that I have made it through another year is a true blessing.  In the past year, I started my first job as a chaplain, took two courses at a local seminary, stayed healthy and stable.  What more could I have done?  I don’t know, I feel like the past year was pretty full and fulfilling.  Thank you, God!  Thank you, Jesus!  I’m a happy and lucky camper.  Also, I’m thankful to my boyfriend.  We’re a good match even if we don’t know how the future will turn out.  Thanks everyone for the support!

a year already?

wow, i moved to nyc about a year ago. it’s shocking what i was like when i came to ny last year and how much i have changed. happy to report that change has been for the better! who knew leaving boston and moving to ny would be one of he best decisions i ever made in my life??? i recovered from depression more than i had ever before. i am working and pursuing goals i want to pursue!!!

time limit

i was feeling depressed all day yesterday and this morning. my thoughts were too dark to utter out loud to anyone except maybe to a therapist. since i don’t have a therapist right now, well, i didn’t really get to say what was on my mind. i tried to contain the thoughts and feelings inside me and prevent it from leading to self destructive acts. i haven’t felt this bad in a long long time. both the duration and intensity of how i was feeling was way more than i had experienced in about 6 months to a year. mostly because my mom is visiting me, there really was nothing i could do. so after being held to my bed as prisoner all day and all night and all morning, i came to the conclusion that enough is enough. time limit is up. no can do on feeling depressed any more for this week. i have a sermon to write, studying to do and preparations for new job coming up in few weeks. so for today at least i’m done being depressed. i don’t know how long my will power can keep dark thoughts from returning. i guess i’ll find out soon enough whether i’m successful or not.