I am 56 and have been on an SSRI for more than 15 years. I take it for clinical depression. I have friends my age and older who take these medications and have for decades. They don't work for everyone -- treatment resistant ... but for many, they are lifesavers. It is a risk benefit ... you lose your job, your social life, and could commit suicide without them or other antidepressants -- I have been on many other types of ADs before SSRIs were even on the market. I was not helped by any of them.
MAO inhibiters, Imipramine, etc. Drugs that were common when I grew up. The SSRIs I believe showed up in the 1980s. I first saw a psychiatrist in the 1970s when I was 16. Klonopin had come out one year before I started seeing a psychiatrist. It was market strictly as an anticonvulsant. I wish I had been able to take it in 1975. Who knows how my life might have improved. IDK. My DP/DR would get better and worse. Now it is chronic.
SSRIs make a differece -- or I should say they did for me. I also have a friend with OCD -- BAD OCD. She started Zoloft whenever that came out after trying other SSRIs ... she has been on that since age 30. She will never go off of it as when she does her OCD gets TERRIBLE, and I mean TERRIBLE.
I also find it notable that I have been on an anti-cancer medication for 4 years which is known to cause depression in individuals. It is not uncommon. Certain SSRIs can help -- others interfere with the workings of the anti-cancer med. I was already on Celexa when I took Tamoxifen (the cancer med) which I was to stay on for 5 years. I was sick of the side effects and recently stopped it. Risk/benefit.
What is incredible is that I am LESS depressed OFF of the Tamoxifen. It is very subtle. After two months I feel "different" -- I have more motivation, I am less sad, and I have been suicidal a few times over the past 4 years as well. Suicidal feelings I had for the past 6 months are gone. (And I have been close to suicide 3 times in my life.)
At any rate, what is unfortunate is that an SSRI is NOT what should be used for bipolar depression. It is known (by psychiatrists who have any brains) that an SSRI can trigger serious depression or mania in someone with bipolar. If a doctor sees only depression, does not get a family history, a good history from a patient, he/she may mistakenly prescribe the SSRI and cause a mess. I consider that malpractice ... but that is another story.
True, an SSRI serves specific purposes, such as helping with anxiety/OCD and indeed with depression -- but not in ALL people.
A mood stabilizer -- originally Lithium and now many others -- Depakote, Neurontin, Lamictal are the drugs of choice for bipolar -- and there are quite a few types of bipolar -- some individuals are more depresed, others more manic, others cycle back and forth, etc. -- each case is unique. And bipolar again is NOT clinical depression.
Also, Dr. Daphne Simeon did a very long study (too long IMHO) on Prozac and DP/DR. She found no help for DP/DR. Dr. Sierra has always gone in other directions. His Klono-Combo theory and Lamictal theory has saved my life. Klonopin combined with an SSRI (Celexa ... I couldn't tolerate Prozac and a few others) and Lamictal have saved my life.
No person here will necessrily respons to ANY medication in the same way. The problem is there is no specific medication known to treat DP/DR. It is trial and error. Also, I am in DBT therapy, have a support group (depression and anxiety), and include exercise, yoga and other things which in combination help all of my symptoms. However I am not "cured."
It would seem all disorders have the ability to "go into remission" and are not necessarily cured.
One promising thing in research is that blood tests are being used to determine the best kind of anti-depressant for some people, and genetic testing can also help with figuring how to treat other psychiatric disorders.
No one has ever said that an SSRI is the proper treatment for DP/DR, but as someone else said -- it HAS helped people here on the board -- why, I have no idea.
Also, as noted by many here, no one can force ANY medication on you. If they make a misdiagnosis -- well that is inexcusable. However many medications (though imperfect) do keep people functioning, and again improve quality of life. Nothing is guaranteed re: any physical illness anymore than psychiatric illnesses which are FAR less understood.
Edited by *Dreamer*, 24 March 2015 - 07:47 PM.