Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: Anyone not taking choice?

Posted by Adam on October 21, 1999, at 17:59:07

In reply to Anyone not taking choice?, posted by Tom on October 20, 1999, at 22:58:14

I did that for a while. I would like to think there is hope that depression can be cured without
medications, and believe quite strongly that for some a therapy-only approach is quite efficatious.
Therapy alone has helped me when it was the right kind (for me, CBT), but I have experienced, for
the first time recently, more rapid and profound change in mood in a shorter period of time on
medication than I even hoped for, and this has, to an extent, changed my views on meds.

I still do therapy because I still think I picked up a lot of bad behaviours and beliefs in child-
hood that I don't want to be merely more content to live with. But the drug has been, really, a
big accelerator of the process. And, deep down, I'm just plain happier.

Since depression probably has multiple origins and is not itself a disease but a rather untidy
blanket term for a wide spectrum of disorders, it is clear some modalities of treatment will work
better for some than others. I think, unfortunately, that, given what is available for treatment
presently, for some to eschew meds., even where there are serious adverse side-effects, would be
imprudent, and perhaps deadly. For those with different disorders, drugs may be ancillary, or even

The decision should not be made by personal preference, perhaps. I make this controversial
statement because I think one's perception of drugs and their potential for benefit can be quite
different before and after they take effect, if they do. I guess unless the side effects are truly
unbearable, I would advise anyone to a) find a good doctor (not easy), and b) do what he/she tells
you to do. I consider myself to be better informed about ADs than the average person. When I
was hospitalized earlier this year, it was suggested to me that I try Parnate (first time, unfor-
tunately) and I resisted. Being very unhappy, the potential adversity of MAOIs and, frankly, the
unwillingness to sacrifice the freedom to eat and drink as I choose, led me down another path,
one that ultimately got me nowhere. I tried a compromise solution when I found out it was avail-
able, transdermal selegiline, and have had the benefit of a near-painless experience with an MAOI.
But this will be temporary; in a few months I will be taking selegiline or Parnate orally, and
will have to deal with certain restrictions as a result. I am happy to do this because I am a
happier person. It's worth it. I didn't believe it was before, and suffered for a few extra months
(more than I realized) as a result.

My greatest hope is that, as drug treatments become more refined and efficatious (perhaps somebody
will spend the money to develop less noxious MAOIs in the future if transdermal delivery is an option),
the diagnostic process will become more sophisticated. Right now we have the rather backwards logic
of modern psychiatric nosology, where the most sound diagnosis is based on what worked best to treat
the illness. Hardly optimal, the implication being that psychopharmacology is at best still an artform.
Hopefully someday we will have robust tests, based on genomic, biochemical, and physiological principles
that will take the guesswork out of deciding whether or not a medication is indicated.

> I'm curious about one thing. I've been visiting this site for more than a year, writing from time to time, and haven't encountered anyone who is suffering from depression, not taking meds, and has no intention of taking any. The reason I ask is that I'm one of those people. Don't get me wrong. I've taken alot of medication. All with no success. I've also had alot of adverse reactions which have left me completely gun shy about medicine. So I'm moving forward with everlasting, unmedicated hope. I go to psychotherapy (delayed grief reaction-left me seriously depressed for last 2 1/2 years) with the hopes that my depressive grief will lift on its own one day. If I had to choose the chicken vs. egg theory about depression (i.e. biological vs. pure psychological) I would have to "choose" psychological. I know what caused my depression. It didn't pop up out of the blue. An adverse life event caused my depression. And medicine hasn't helped at all. I know people preach about keeping the faith, you'll find something
> that works, but I sincerely don't believe this. I hope to heal through the course of time. I will never use the word "cure" for my condition...nor am I ready to use it in other people's cases.
> I do take SAMe, the only thing that I can tolerate. It helps with my symptoms. But I have hope for a more holistic intervention (finding myself again and holding on to that "self" forever).
> I alone in my views? Can anyone see empathy in this situation? Or am I just being terribly naive?




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