Anyone know of a good psych med for depression/ anxiety?
One that typically does not cause weight gain? One that has strong anti anxiety effects?
I've studied mental illness's for many years. I don't need advice on therapy, exercise etc. Simply want opinions on meds. Anything else doesn't pertain to my question.
- Anonymous9 years ago
Try therapy & self-help. Antidepressants are no better than placebo in most patients (google Kirsch antidepressants and Ioannidis antidepressants – both mainstream researchers). 60 Minutes recently did a story on Irving Kirsch and the antidepressant controversy . If you don't know much about the placebo effect, please read up on it. Placebo effect works on real illnesses. The idea that antidepressants may be working entirely thru placebo effect is NO insult to the real suffering of depressed people. It was discovered when a nurse injected a wounded soldier with saline because she ran out of morphine, and she lied and said it was morphine, and he got tremendous pain relief. Antidepressants usually cause sexual dysfunction, so most won't stay on them long term, but then some people get severe withdrawal symptoms.
Generic Practical Depression tips (PRINT THEM OUT):
The library has self-help books on depression.
Many meds cause or worsen depression, including birth control, blood pressure, pain, acne, antipsychotic, anxiety (benzos) or sleeping medications, alcohol, illicit drugs and MANY others.
Hypothyroidism mimics depression . Too little sleep, or sleep disorders like sleep apnea, or interrupted sleep (crying baby, barking dog) can cause depression.
If depression is worse in winter, use a light box (10,000 Lux (light intensity) at about 20” - about $300 online, you don't need full spectrum, Sunray is a good brand). I have extra windows, painted the walls peach & yellow & have a skylight. There's a link to a cheaper lightbox & more info at psycheducation.org. Also you can try 1000 to 2000 IU of Vitamin D in winter. It may work, or may be placebo treatment.
Try meditation like progressive muscle relaxation or guided imagery. See The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne. Free 15 minute guided imagery at healthjourneys.com and many free meditations at youtube.
Go out with friends, & if you don't have any, join a club e.g. hobby club, bowling league & MAKE yourself go. “Isolating” makes depression worse!
Exercise 1/2 hour a day, & anytime you feel depressed or anxious. LOTS OF RESEARCH SUPPORTS THIS as the most effective depression treatment of all.
Insomnia?: Go to bed & get up the same time each day, even weekends. Don't use your bedroom to watch TV, read or use the computer. Don't do stuff that revs you up before bed, like exercising & using the computer. Light from computer screens & TV wakes you up. Blue light is the worst offender – dim the lights and use an old-fashioned incandescent bulb the last hour. Make the bedroom very dark, even cover up the clock. Mask disturbing sounds with a fan or try soundsleeping.com or youtube, etc. Avoid caffeine after noon.
Put colorful, happy things around the house. Do nice things for yourself. Make a list of things that make you happy, like: bread fresh from the oven, the crisp sound of a saltine cracker breaking, fresh sheets on the bed, touching frost on the windowpane, etc. Read that list when you are down. Use comforting scents. I like vanilla & cloves.
Work on time management if you are overwhelmed. Cut back on other responsibilities so you can spend more time with friends & family. Ask for help with chores.
Spend more time with your pet, if you have one.
DON'T listen to sad music! Listen to upbeat stuff- same with movies & novels.
DISTRACT yourself. Read a novel, watch a comedy, go out with friends, play cards or a video game, whatever keeps your mind busy.
Volunteer. Helping others makes you feel better about yourself & you make a difference, too. If you are religious, your religion may help keep you involved in the community.
Put a half-smile on your face. Changing your expression is proven to help change mood.
Try free computerized cognitive behavioral therapy at moodgym.anu.edu.au. Also, if you have an abuse history, it is likely to be a major cause of your depression.