Antidepressants, Depression and Suicide

Antidepressants, Depression and Suicide

There are 162 comments on the Bellaonline.com story from May 5, 2006, titled Antidepressants, Depression and Suicide. In it, Bellaonline.com reports that:

Suicidal thoughts and depression can and have worsen in adults, children and adolescent while taking antidepressants.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Bellaonline.com.

Louise Toomer

Stourbridge, UK

#64 Dec 24, 2006
I have made various suicide attempts but been unsuccessful. I have lost my family, my home, my job, the support of my family and great friends due to poor decision making resulting from a personality disorder. I cannot get my family back and am currently in danger of being homeless. I am so angry that euthanasea is not an option and scour the internet frequently for suicide options. I am not brave enough to slash my wrists or jump off a cliff and I may be unsuccesful. I have had teh maximum input from the mental health team and have already cost the state and my relatives a lot of money. Every second of every day is excrutiating and I hate the person that i have become. If anyone has any thoughts/advice I would be so grateful. I guess I am just so angry that I have to keep on living. I used to be a happy, loving person with a wonderful life.
New Mother

Saskatoon, Canada

#65 Dec 29, 2006
I have heard horror stories about Paxil too. 5 years ago, I was put on Paxil and it saved my life! I am still on it to this day. I think a big problem is the doctors who prescribe the drugs. 2 years ago, my husband had a panic attack, and the psychiatrist put him on Paxil, Xanax, Resperidol, Clonazapam, Serequel, and Divalproax. Yes, all of that for 1 panic attack! My husband then had a seizure and almost died in our home....he tried to go for a lawsuit against the doctor, but it was taking years and years. Needless to say, the doctor was an illegal immigrant in Canada and got shipped back! That's Canada's medical system for you. Yes, health care is free, but you never know what or whom you're getting! I wish you all the best of luck! What works for me the best is, walking, breathing tips, and peppermint tea!

“Effexor suxorz.”

Since: Jan 07

Sherwood Park, AB

#66 Jan 8, 2007
A few years ago, my friend killed himself in his room while his parents were at work and his friends at school.
I'm not sure why - there was no note, and he wasn't on any type of drugs that any of us know of.
I've thought about it numerous times. I just haven't been able to get up the guts to do it. Especially after going through losing a friend to suicide. I'm angry, I'm hurt, I'm confused.
I'm still struggling to come to terms with everything three years later.
Guys, I know it hurts so badly, but you can't give up hope. There is always someone there who will listen when you need them most.
gcg747

United States

#67 Jan 14, 2007
I am slowly going off Lexapro. Reason is, last summer, I got so depressed I thought if I went on like that much longer, I would do away with myself. I figure, if I'm on that drug and it makes me more depressed, I'm going to stop using it. I used to use Zoloft for many years and had no problems with it. I am interested in the posts about Cymbalta. Anyone been on it for a long time? I also take Klonopin, which depresses a person, but gets rid of anxiety and panic. It also is addictive. I have tried Ativan, but its effectiveness does not last as long as Klonopin. On withdrawing from Lexapro, I've had those electric zings to my head, and as long as you understand it's part of the drug withdrawal, it's not so hard to deal with. But makes you wonder what kind of pea soup I've been in with the SSRIs. I do know those who have severe depression do very well with Paxil and Prozac. But I won't take those, as I am not that lost. My problem is anxiety. I am 55. When I was in my 20s, my problem was depression, and they didn't have SSRIs. So I took tricyclics. They got me out of the depression and I went off the meds as soon as I came out. They say depression comes from anger turned inward, so I have dealt with anger issues all my life in more moderate ways, like exercise. I don't know why I have anxiety. It got so bad I began having panic attacks, which is why I went on Klonopin in 1998. The drug becomes addictive, which is why I ended up taking too much and had a nervous breakdown and Zoloft was added. I did just fine on those two meds. Eventually I wanted to stop Zoloft, but like many here, my doc said I should stay on the SSRIs forever, so I switched to Lexapro. I have had nothing but problems since then. I am tinkering with the idea of going back on Zoloft, if I get real depressed again. I'm afraid I'm stuck with the Klonopin. It is the only thing that keeps the anxiety under control, but the trade-off is a depressed state and addiction. So, I would like to hear more about Cymbalta. Does it do something for anxiety? Or perhaps if I was only on Zoloft again, my anxiety would be controlled? I would like comments about panic and anxiety and the drugs people are using with success for that? Oh, and for those who drink, please stop. It is hard to stop, but I have been sober more than 20 years and I can tell you that alcohol is more damaging than any of these drugs.
Holden

Hamilton, Canada

#68 Jan 14, 2007
Celexa has helped contol anxiety and depression. This drug has also helped me manage anger and deal with social anxiety. I have only been on it for about three months. I saw results almost immediately with my anger. Depression was still an issue, so the doc. incresed my dose. I am noticing less thoughts of suicide but of course they are still present. I hate the fact that i need drugs to contol my emotions but at the same time i could not go anymore without some form of intervention. I find it very difficult to cry, i think i have only cried twice since i have been on celexa. I used to cry ten times a day. Everything seemed to trigger the tears. I feel much better on celexa, not my ideal self but better. I have long way to go. Hopefully, all thoughts of suicide will be eliminated. Is that possible with drugs alone?
gcg747 wrote:
I am slowly going off Lexapro. Reason is, last summer, I got so depressed I thought if I went on like that much longer, I would do away with myself. I figure, if I'm on that drug and it makes me more depressed, I'm going to stop using it. I used to use Zoloft for many years and had no problems with it. I am interested in the posts about Cymbalta. Anyone been on it for a long time? I also take Klonopin, which depresses a person, but gets rid of anxiety and panic. It also is addictive. I have tried Ativan, but its effectiveness does not last as long as Klonopin. On withdrawing from Lexapro, I've had those electric zings to my head, and as long as you understand it's part of the drug withdrawal, it's not so hard to deal with. But makes you wonder what kind of pea soup I've been in with the SSRIs. I do know those who have severe depression do very well with Paxil and Prozac. But I won't take those, as I am not that lost. My problem is anxiety. I am 55. When I was in my 20s, my problem was depression, and they didn't have SSRIs. So I took tricyclics. They got me out of the depression and I went off the meds as soon as I came out. They say depression comes from anger turned inward, so I have dealt with anger issues all my life in more moderate ways, like exercise. I don't know why I have anxiety. It got so bad I began having panic attacks, which is why I went on Klonopin in 1998. The drug becomes addictive, which is why I ended up taking too much and had a nervous breakdown and Zoloft was added. I did just fine on those two meds. Eventually I wanted to stop Zoloft, but like many here, my doc said I should stay on the SSRIs forever, so I switched to Lexapro. I have had nothing but problems since then. I am tinkering with the idea of going back on Zoloft, if I get real depressed again. I'm afraid I'm stuck with the Klonopin. It is the only thing that keeps the anxiety under control, but the trade-off is a depressed state and addiction. So, I would like to hear more about Cymbalta. Does it do something for anxiety? Or perhaps if I was only on Zoloft again, my anxiety would be controlled? I would like comments about panic and anxiety and the drugs people are using with success for that? Oh, and for those who drink, please stop. It is hard to stop, but I have been sober more than 20 years and I can tell you that alcohol is more damaging than any of these drugs.
Lisa

Schaumburg, IL

#69 Jan 14, 2007
KC CASEY wrote:
<quoted text>You think people didn't try to commit suicide before they had antidepresssants? This is a disservice. Antidepressants help people. I took Prozac and it was a lifesaver the whole time everybody was saying how horrible it was and made people violent. PEOPLE COMMITTED SUICIDE BEFORE ANTIDEPRESSANTS. LET IT SINK IN.
I dont believe Effexor is an anti-depressant. I was told it was an "generalized anti-anxiety" drug, and I can assure you, Effexor is EXTREMELY dangerous and should be taken off of the market immediately for further study. This drug is not even in the same class as other anti-anxiety drugs or anti-depressants. After what I went through with this drug - it was the most horrifying experience I've ever had - I'm about ready to sue. I'm still having side effects after being off of it for 8 months.

Much more research needs to be done on these drugs that affect brain chemistry, and yes I agree that trying different drugs may work better for some people than others, but I find your post offensive.
Holden

Hamilton, Canada

#70 Jan 14, 2007
what about the post do you find offensive?
Lisa wrote:
<quoted text>
I dont believe Effexor is an anti-depressant. I was told it was an "generalized anti-anxiety" drug, and I can assure you, Effexor is EXTREMELY dangerous and should be taken off of the market immediately for further study. This drug is not even in the same class as other anti-anxiety drugs or anti-depressants. After what I went through with this drug - it was the most horrifying experience I've ever had - I'm about ready to sue. I'm still having side effects after being off of it for 8 months.
Much more research needs to be done on these drugs that affect brain chemistry, and yes I agree that trying different drugs may work better for some people than others, but I find your post offensive.
gcg747

United States

#71 Jan 17, 2007
Dear Holden and others,
Concerning your question about whether suicidal thoughts can go away with medicine, my personal answer is yes, from myself being in those depressed states. A person who is being treated with meds and counseling will routinely get better and thus those thoughts go away.

Younger people are taking their lives because they do not have the life experience of "seeing around corners," as Dr. Phil would say. They do not have the self-confidence or independence to seek help, and they also do not realize if they reach out, attack the problem head-on, seek treatment and then be patient, the depression will indeed be lifted, just like other obstacles in life. Treatment for varying periods of time will almost always pull a person out of their cave, life gets easier, and thus suicide is no longer perceived as an option. Reach out, call a crisis center, go to a free clinic, talk to the school counselor, or share with a friend.

The situation with some of the newer SSRIs is that some lose effectiveness over a period of time or the side effects are as bad as the depression. If this is the case, then the patient should report this to the doctor, and for gosh sakes get on a whole different medical protocol. Some people stay on their meds constantly; others just need six months or a couple years of treatment. And some medicines work for some people and not for others. In any case, counseling should accompany meds. The meds should give enough relief to allow a person to trust someone and talk through what is eating at them.

I want to make a comment here about some of the dosages I have read in these posts. When I was on Zoloft, 50 mg was all I could handle. Any more, and I got more of the side effects. Well, when I switched to Lexapro, which is one of the drugs discussed in this forum, 10 mg of Lexapro is equal to 100 mg of Zoloft. So, when I read some of the higher doses that folks are taking of some drugs, I just know that they're taking too much. If you find you are having problems with your medicine, discuss it with your doctor. If you don't like what they say, go to a different one and get another opinion.

Also, I want to include a website that explains what medicines are used for what disorders, and it might help educate some of the readers here: www.anxieties.com/med-intro.php

We live in a very complex world. I think we are overpopulated, our unchecked technologies have made for a lopsided world, both the natural world and the political world, and I don't care what anyone says, it's unnatural to ride on a highway at 60 mph and go over a bridge a half-mile high. But I remind myself of people like Bono who goes to Africa and tries to re-balance our third world, Al Gore who tries to show us what is out-of-kilter with our natural world, and plain folk who prefer living in the country and riding horses. Future analysts will look back on our way of life and say, "What were they thinking?" We weren't!

So, it's no wonder we're all freaking out and giving up. The common man can't get past all this in-your-face stuff. A kindly person ends up thinking they gotta be tough. Fear keeps us from even giving a hug to a friend. Anxiety won't let the self-confident creative person come outside to play. As many spiritual people will say, when you find yourself in a lot of trouble, your body is telling you it detects a problem and you need to get past it. If you'll just open the door and walk through, all the trouble will fall away.
Earl

Cary, IL

#72 Jan 17, 2007
If you want some good information on antidepressants and their side effects, check out www.breggin.com
john b

Asheville, NC

#73 Jan 27, 2007
i am now going through my fifth day without my elavil. i have been thinking killing myself every minute. is this common ? i'm thinking about february 19 as the day to do it as my father was killed on that day in 1954. people say that you are probably insane if you kill yourself but i do not think that is true.i have been alone now for about 20 years and i am simply tired of tying to put on a happy face each day when inside i am so down.i do not have anything else to say.
Cajones

United States

#74 Jan 27, 2007
Treatment with medication (antidepressants specifically) is only about half the needed treatment for a mental illness like depression. Psychotherapy ("talk" therapy) is the other, more meaningful part of treatment and is likely more important than meds in the longrun. Please never give up on yourself! There is hope for you but you have to step forward. Make a call to your PCP, therapist, mother, employer, even 911!!! The National Suicide Hotline number is 1-800-SUICIDE, please call them before going forward with any suicide plans. Lots of people have mentioned antidepressants not helping and may have mentioned ECT (I might have missed it) but I want to share my experiences with ECT. Electro-culvulsive therapy (ECT),AKA "shock treatments", has been used for quite some time and fell out of favor some time ago with the public but ECT has helped many people climb out of depression that lacked any hope just a few days before. I have witnessed people with catatonia and those that were psychotic "snap out" with 1-2 treaments. Also those that had battled with depression all of their adult lives find immediate relief with one treatment. Please consider ECT if you have had problems with meds and are feeling like you have no options, its nothing like what the media has potrayed. Please never give up on life, it gets better!!!
HOPE

AOL

#75 Jan 29, 2007
I have never been depressed in my life ,never had anxiety,however I do feel for those that have depression. I was put on effexors due to migrains. I have been on them for over 5 years now . and went through all the doseages which did not help my headaches, I started having side effects very early in the treatment but did not realize what was wrong with me neither did the doctors or test know anything.then I made the conection and so just resently I tried to go off of effexors and became so suicidal that I did not understand theses feelings I was having, and why I was crying as if my husband or daughter had just died ,like I said I had never been depressed.I am still weaning off of them , and have all those horrible withdrawl symptoms that most are complaing of. a month ago I seen a knife laying on the sink next to me and I wanted to ram it in my chest and end it all.I am better today and have only cried once today. After reading many post I believe this drug should only be used for ones that are depression cases , it is a very strong drug. Be carefull all, and to all that has had possitive results , I hope that it continues to help ease your pain, I feel for you
gcg747

United States

#76 Jan 30, 2007
Dear John B and Hope,
You are feeling suicidal because you are going off your drugs. It's that simple. You're in withdrawal. You need to talk to a doctor and get put on a replacement drug or tranquilizer or something. Sure, you're trying to get away from your meds, so going back to a new med does not appeal to you. But the fact of it is, you're in withdrawal, which is exceedingly tough to handle. There is nothing wrong with taking another medicine that will almost immediately soothe your fears and confusion. Don't you want to feel better? Of course. So, go get some relief. Quit stewing and use that energy to call your family doctor, a clinic, a psychiatrist, a therapist, anyone who understands medication and can get help to you FAST. If you have to, call 9-1-1. Tell them you're suicidal, cry your tears, reveal everything to them. Let it rip. They'll put you in the hospital and give you something to calm you down. If you're not calmed immediately, tell them that, scream, yell, and do not give up until you get your relief. You are NOT supposed to feel the way you're feeling, people.
Hope

AOL

#77 Jan 31, 2007
gcg747 Thanks for your concerns and Info.yesterday I had to up my doseage,B/C I became very ill,confused, I could hardly move ,the brain zaps and nuesea ,fatigue, blurred vision ,flu like symtoms ,etc. became unbarable so that I would lay in silence and try not to move while I cried,My dr.put me on another med (wellbutrin ) to help me get off this drug ,Plus I take enderal for tremors , which I believe is a side effect of effexors. I have had many failed attemps,but I am hoping this time it will work , when my symtoms become unbearable ,I will eat a few of the beads in the capsule at a time, I wait a while to see if I can manage the withdrawl symptoms, If not I'll eat a few more. B/C when I was not in my right state of mind, when I thought of killing my self, but it was hard to rationalize this ,so at that that time , I didn't want help ,I really wanted to die,Thank god I pulled through it with out any mishaps and Thank god for my Husband who is keeping a watchful eye on me. I realize that some or many may need this drug , but is not for me, It very addicting for many of us. I worry what would happen to everyone If they had to go cold turkey , if wyeth just up and quit making this drug and the likes.
jeffery smith

United States

#78 Feb 1, 2007
After the second day of taking paxil, at 25mg...i locked myelf in the bathroom and almost killed myself...the feeling of suicide was the worst that i ever felt..Luckly, my wife was home and she helped me get through this feeling. I stop taking them , right there and then..and within two days, i was fine again...i mean, i was still depressed but no more suicide thoughts...i dont recommend this drug to anyone...but then again, it works miracles for one of my friends...so go figure. Also a drug that is almost impossible to get off of is effextor...spelling might be wrong. It works good for depression, but you will be almost likely to be hooked on this drug for life....is it worth it?
Deborah S

United States

#79 Feb 8, 2007
I took 10 mg. of lexapro and became suicidal and had impulsive thoughts of hurting others. I am a caring person and I would never have such thoughts. This medication was given to me by a psychiatrist so that I could get off of klonopin. Nothing is working because the klonopin has built up a tolerance. It is the klonopin that is causing the depression. Please never give up. I am very suicidal right now and with God's strength He will provide you with what you need. It feels like all of the doctors don't understand but we have to press on. Bless you!
ccgirl

Boulder, CO

#80 Feb 9, 2007
Hi,
I have been on celexa for about 6 months but started to feel hopeless and depressed again. I had episodes of crying for no reason and I was really having a hard time "holding it together". I was just prescribed Lexapro and I have been decreasing the dosage of Celexa so I can start it this weekend. I am afraid to start for many of the reasons described here and from other sites I have seen.

First, weight gain. What can people tell me about that? I don't see many comments about it here but I saw it everywhere on other sites.

Second, the dosage. This is the first time I have seen that 10mg of Lexapro is like 100mg of Celexa! That is a huge difference from what I was on! Can that be true?

I would love some feedback....
Earl

Cary, IL

#81 Feb 9, 2007
ccgirl wrote:
Hi,
I have been on celexa for about 6 months but started to feel hopeless and depressed again. I had episodes of crying for no reason and I was really having a hard time "holding it together". I was just prescribed Lexapro and I have been decreasing the dosage of Celexa so I can start it this weekend. I am afraid to start for many of the reasons described here and from other sites I have seen.
First, weight gain. What can people tell me about that? I don't see many comments about it here but I saw it everywhere on other sites.
Second, the dosage. This is the first time I have seen that 10mg of Lexapro is like 100mg of Celexa! That is a huge difference from what I was on! Can that be true?
I would love some feedback....
It makes no sense to me that you would be switched from Celexa (citalopram) to Lexapro (escitalopram), or why you have to taper down before you switch. They are pretty much the same medication except that Lexapro is more potent. I would assume that your side effects from Lexapro will be the same, if not worse, than they were with Celexa. I know there are people out there who have positive results from antidepressants, but I am not one of them. After two years of unbearable side effects (weight gain included), and being switched from one drug to another, I went through six months of hell trying to get off of Paxil. This hell included 10 days of mania followed by 3 months of daily, unrenlenting thoughts of suicide. For me, being drug free and talking with a therapist every week is a far better option. I do not believe that there is a magic pill that cures depression.
If you ever need info on your medication, try www.rxlist.com .
Hope this helps.
Worried and Devastated

Owego, NY

#82 Feb 10, 2007
My spouse just up and left our life. I’ve been forced into bankruptcy, we’re losing the house, the car everything. I just found out that he never refilled his Lexapro prescription at the end of October. Can the withdrawal from this drug create such radical and drastic changes in feelings? He told me he loved me (adored me, actually) almost every day, right up to mid December, then just left, saying his feelings had just “stopped”… Can it be a result of his not taking the drug? He was on it since summer of 2003.

Should I confront him with what I know? What could his reaction be? I assume he is through the "withdrawal" stage, yet he continues in his course of action (moving out, etc). Could his actions Now seem reasonable to him because he still believes the "reasons" he gave for his about-face?

I'm serious, everyone ... It was "I am the luckiest person alive to have you"..."I love you and adore you with all my heart, my sweet wife"..."Ever since I met you my life has seemed on the right path."..."I love you so much. I can't wait to see you." These expressions, and flowers and cards and almost daily text messages were constant throughout our marriage until November (and even a bit through then). Then,"I don't want to be in a commitment anymore. I've already made my decision. No discussion. I'm already gone."

I don't know where else to turn ... and I need some advice, please.
holden

Alliston, Canada

#83 Feb 10, 2007
Thank you so much for your in depth answer. Although, i still see a therapist it does not seem to be helping me. I am on meds 40 mg of celexa and i see my therapist weekly. Even with all of this i still have suicidal and disturbing thoughts. Lately i have been thinking about my friend who committed suicide last year. I feel guilty that although i knew of her suicidal thoughts and did nothing about it. She was also on meds and saw a therapist. She was only 34, and she took her life, meds and the therapy did not help her at all. Sometimes people are just a lost cause even with all types of intervention they still choose the path less taken. I want to believe that i will manage with meds and therapy but i keep wondering if i will end up like my friend.

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