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  #1  
Old 02-19-2012, 06:59 PM
robert_columbia robert_columbia is offline
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If you take antidepressants when you are not clinically depressed.

Bouncing off of this thread,

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=358854

what happens with antidepressants? If I, not being clinically depressed, start taking antidepressants, what is likely to happen? Will it make me very happy, or will it just have typical antidepressant side-effects with nothing else?
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2012, 07:23 PM
Mdcastle Mdcastle is offline
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It won't make you happy. The theory is that clinical depression is a result of a lack of serotonin. The brain can only make use of a certain amount so If you have "enough" than "more than that" isn't going to have any effect.

You'd still get the side effects. Most SSRIs don't have any that are desirable, but tetracyclics and tricyclics can make people sleepy, so they're sometime prescribed for that purpose. Cymbalta also has a different on-label use, for chronic pain. So antidepressants are used a bit in people that aren't depressed, and it doesn't make them all happy happy..

Last edited by Mdcastle; 02-19-2012 at 07:24 PM..
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:46 PM
moejoe moejoe is offline
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Originally Posted by Mdcastle View Post
It won't make you happy. The theory is that clinical depression is a result of a lack of serotonin. The brain can only make use of a certain amount so If you have "enough" than "more than that" isn't going to have any effect.

You'd still get the side effects. Most SSRIs don't have any that are desirable, but tetracyclics and tricyclics can make people sleepy, so they're sometime prescribed for that purpose. Cymbalta also has a different on-label use, for chronic pain. So antidepressants are used a bit in people that aren't depressed, and it doesn't make them all happy happy..
Huh, I took Welbutrin (sp?) in an effort to stop smoking and it definitely had some effect. I've never thought of myself as depressed, but there was a strange sense of being more, I don't know, present in the world. As if everything was turned up juuust a notch, color, sound, intensity. I stopped taking it after two days because that feeling was so uncomfortable. That stuff is actually an antidepressant, isn't it?
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:03 PM
obbn obbn is offline
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Originally Posted by moejoe View Post
Huh, I took Welbutrin (sp?) in an effort to stop smoking and it definitely had some effect. I've never thought of myself as depressed, but there was a strange sense of being more, I don't know, present in the world. As if everything was turned up juuust a notch, color, sound, intensity. I stopped taking it after two days because that feeling was so uncomfortable. That stuff is actually an antidepressant, isn't it?
Ditto here. I took it when it was first being used to stop smoking. I had to stop taking it after a week or so because I was becoming very emotional. I would listen to a song on the radio and start crying! This coming from a 6'1" 230lb non-emotional man.
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  #5  
Old 02-19-2012, 08:11 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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There are different antidepressants with varying mechanisms, but taking any of them without having depression is basically going to just render you susceptible to the side effects without any benefit.

By the way, when drug makers warn about "sexual side effects", they are not talking about positive effects. So don't expect a swinging time with Paxil.

Last edited by Jackmannii; 02-19-2012 at 08:11 PM..
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  #6  
Old 02-20-2012, 09:33 AM
ExcitedIdiot ExcitedIdiot is offline
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Originally Posted by moejoe View Post
Huh, I took Welbutrin (sp?) in an effort to stop smoking and it definitely had some effect. I've never thought of myself as depressed, but there was a strange sense of being more, I don't know, present in the world. As if everything was turned up juuust a notch, color, sound, intensity. I stopped taking it after two days because that feeling was so uncomfortable. That stuff is actually an antidepressant, isn't it?
It was developed as an antidepressant, the smoking benefits were discovered during those clinical trials.
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  #7  
Old 02-20-2012, 09:49 AM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is online now
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"Antidepressant" and "antipsychotic" are clever names but they're not magic bullets for those conditions only; they're also blanket terms for a variety of drug categories. They have chemical effects in the brain which may affect other conditions too. I took an antidepressant for migraine prevention and didn't notice any other effects; I have been depressed in the past so I know what it's like to feel that emotional blunting lifting off of you when an antidepressant drug does work.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:58 AM
coremelt coremelt is offline
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Originally Posted by robert_columbia View Post
Bouncing off of this thread,

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=358854

what happens with antidepressants? If I, not being clinically depressed, start taking antidepressants, what is likely to happen? Will it make me very happy, or will it just have typical antidepressant side-effects with nothing else?
Please note the medical opposite of depressed is not "happy", it's manic... or "hypomanic".... and that is a very very different thing from being happy.
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2012, 10:29 AM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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Please note the medical opposite of depressed is not "happy", it's manic... or "hypomanic".... and that is a very very different thing from being happy.
Good point. Although could make a nitpick about "opposite."
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  #10  
Old 02-20-2012, 01:47 PM
Mdcastle Mdcastle is offline
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Yeah. And antidepressants can introduce mania in someone who's actually bipolar, but was misdiagnosed as major depressive and given antidepressents instead of mood stabilizers.
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  #11  
Old 02-21-2012, 11:15 PM
Nametag Nametag is offline
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Originally Posted by Mdcastle View Post
It won't make you happy. The theory is that clinical depression is a result of a lack of serotonin. The brain can only make use of a certain amount so If you have "enough" than "more than that" isn't going to have any effect.

You'd still get the side effects. Most SSRIs don't have any that are desirable, but tetracyclics and tricyclics can make people sleepy, so they're sometime prescribed for that purpose. Cymbalta also has a different on-label use, for chronic pain. So antidepressants are used a bit in people that aren't depressed, and it doesn't make them all happy happy..
Rubbish. SSRIs flood the 5-HT receptors in everybody who takes them, and this has a predictable, though varied, set of effects. Some people will experience a tolerable mood shift (usually positive, from what I've heard), and a few experience significant negative effects (usually a loss of emotional control -- mania or hypomania, anger, anxiety, or extreme reactivity on all fronts). For the relatively large number of clinically depressed patients who don't have a genetic "serotonin deficiency," the reaction to increased serotonin is still pretty positive, but not as "just what the doctor ordered" as for those who do. It's still using a hammer to drive in a screw, but it's what we have.
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  #12  
Old 02-21-2012, 11:35 PM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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I once took 5-HTP when I was stressed at work - I was responsible for delivering a huge government contract without enough staff - but not depressed. One of my underlings took it regularly and she recommended it to me. It's available OTC in health shops in the UK.

Fuck me sideways. It should be illegal. I went completely off my rocker. From another thread:
Quote:
[I] started tripping out in meetings, jumping around in my chair, feeling like I was upside-down on Planet Zog, not able to speak because I was so spaced out. The worst thing was they were my meetings - I was the boss!

Then during lunch I just had to get outside - and ended up walking around the city aimlessly in a state of high agitation until I came to my senses and found myself going up and down an escalator in a shopping mall, flapping my hands and laughing to myself. Crazy shit! Never ever again.
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  #13  
Old 02-22-2012, 08:08 AM
Poysyn Poysyn is offline
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I was given low-level anti-depressant to try and control my migraines. It didn't work and I went off. I seem to recall some minor side effects.
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  #14  
Old 02-22-2012, 08:11 AM
coremelt coremelt is offline
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Originally Posted by jjimm View Post
Fuck me sideways. It should be illegal. I went completely off my rocker. From another thread:
Just because you had a bad reaction doesn't mean it should be illegal. I've taken 5-HTP many times in the UK, it can help with mild mood disorders and has other legitimate uses.
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  #15  
Old 02-22-2012, 08:13 AM
jjimm jjimm is offline
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Just because you had a bad reaction doesn't mean it should be illegal.
Hyperbole hyperbole. However given the strength of my reaction, and assuming that it may affect others in that way, I do think it should be controlled somehow.
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  #16  
Old 10-15-2012, 10:03 PM
Mitchconner Mitchconner is offline
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I was given Paxil for depression, when it turned out to be a symptom of generalized anxiety disorder(gad). I felt great all the time just didn't really care about anything else, including my career. Turns out showing up for work really was important and it took me 3 years to figure that out, so I quit taking it. 9 months later I've recovered from taking Paxil, but my anxiety is back. I was prescribed the anti psychotic seroquel in low levels for sleep recently.Started at 50mgs, and got up to 200mgs a night near the end. I was told it would be safer than taking benzo's turns out that wasn't true either. With benzo's (klonopin, which I used for years) if I didn't need it I didn't take them, so I thought I could do the same with seroquel. Went to sleep one night without it and pretty much woke up 5 days latter sicker than I've ever been in my life. Now I'm over the withdrawals from Seroquel, I'm going back to klonopin for now, seriously considering moving to a state that will allow me to use medical marijuana. It doesn't have death listed as a side effect, or as a withdrawal symptom.
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  #17  
Old 10-16-2012, 03:47 AM
Seanette Seanette is offline
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Originally Posted by coremelt View Post
Just because you had a bad reaction doesn't mean it should be illegal. I've taken 5-HTP many times in the UK, it can help with mild mood disorders and has other legitimate uses.
It's available in the US, too. I've tried it, didn't notice any significant effect one way or another. I have better results with tyrosine.
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  #18  
Old 10-16-2012, 01:47 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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Depression is not a serotonin-deficiency disease. That was a strong hypothesis that has not, in fact, been supported by the evidence.

Cite

For depression patients and nonpatients alike, serotonin reuptake inhibitors do what their name suggests; and then the brain gradually compensates (if you keep taking it) by releasing less serotonin or reducing the density of receptors for serotonin.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:06 PM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is online now
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When I was (involuntarily and falsely) locked up because someone stated I was suicidal with no evidence whatsoever, I was forced to take an antidepressant. A half hour later, I was offered a sedative because I was bouncing off the walls.

Hey, you forced me to take an upper, then you want me to take a downer? You trying to get me hooked or something?
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  #20  
Old 10-16-2012, 05:37 PM
Tamex Tamex is offline
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Originally Posted by Poysyn View Post
I was given low-level anti-depressant to try and control my migraines. It didn't work and I went off. I seem to recall some minor side effects.
I was given that as well. The major side effect I remember was constipation.
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  #21  
Old 10-16-2012, 06:33 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
When I was (involuntarily and falsely) locked up because someone stated I was suicidal with no evidence whatsoever, I was forced to take an antidepressant. A half hour later, I was offered a sedative because I was bouncing off the walls.

Hey, you forced me to take an upper, then you want me to take a downer? You trying to get me hooked or something?
Something sounds a little off in your presentation of the events. An antidepressant regimen won't do squat therapeutically for at least two weeks. You may have been offered a sedative (which I would not characterize as a downer), but more probably an anti-anxiety medication, which is effective in short order, and which may have sedative effects, particularly when first administered. If you were indeed bouncing off the walls, it was not from any antidepressant, and the subsequent medicine would have been on the money.
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  #22  
Old 10-16-2012, 09:04 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is offline
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Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
Depression is not a serotonin-deficiency disease. That was a strong hypothesis that has not, in fact, been supported by the evidence.

Cite

For depression patients and nonpatients alike, serotonin reuptake inhibitors do what their name suggests; and then the brain gradually compensates (if you keep taking it) by releasing less serotonin or reducing the density of receptors for serotonin.
I'd like to see a cite better than some random website. scientology.org will say that only they can fix it, but it's more likely they're wrong, and not credible. Also, someone with a PhD is not in the business to prescribe medication; you need an MD in most places, and would be a psychiatrist not a psychologist.

The fact is, it's not serotonin for everybody which is why they make SNRIs and NRIs to adjust norepinephrine levels. Also, SSRIs increase serotonin through reuptake inhibition, but other antidepressants may agonize serotonin through other means.

And yes, your body adapts to serotonin. This is why withdrawal to meds happens if you go cold turkey instead of weaning off. It doesn't mean that antidepressants aren't a viable long term solution, often in conjunction with psychotherapy.
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  #23  
Old 10-16-2012, 10:08 PM
Dana Scully Dana Scully is offline
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Originally Posted by Mdcastle View Post
It won't make you happy. The theory is that clinical depression is a result of a lack of serotonin. The brain can only make use of a certain amount so If you have "enough" than "more than that" isn't going to have any effect.

You'd still get the side effects. Most SSRIs don't have any that are desirable, but tetracyclics and tricyclics can make people sleepy, so they're sometime prescribed for that purpose. Cymbalta also has a different on-label use, for chronic pain. So antidepressants are used a bit in people that aren't depressed, and it doesn't make them all happy happy..
I take more than one anti-depressant and wish I didn't have to (but I do). The side effects can be nasty and take some getting used to. And when you want to stop taking them, you have to wean yourself off very, very gradually or you'll get some really nasty side effects from that too.

I can't imagine why anyone would want to take this stuff if they don't have to.
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  #24  
Old 10-16-2012, 10:11 PM
Dana Scully Dana Scully is offline
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I was given that as well. The major side effect I remember was constipation.
Yep, those things can bind you up tighter than a drum. A lot of people have to take a stool softener or else their inner plumbing will turn to concrete.
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  #25  
Old 10-16-2012, 10:14 PM
Dana Scully Dana Scully is offline
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>>i] started tripping out in meetings, jumping around in my chair, feeling like I was upside-down on Planet Zog, not able to speak because I was so spaced out. The worst thing was they were my meetings - I was the boss!

Then during lunch I just had to get outside - and ended up walking around the city aimlessly in a state of high agitation until I came to my senses and found myself going up and down an escalator in a shopping mall, flapping my hands and laughing to myself. Crazy shit! Never ever again. <<

You're Tom Cruise, aren't you?
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  #26  
Old 10-17-2012, 01:49 AM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
I'd like to see a cite better than some random website. scientology.org will say that only they can fix it, but it's more likely they're wrong, and not credible. Also, someone with a PhD is not in the business to prescribe medication; you need an MD in most places, and would be a psychiatrist not a psychologist.

The fact is, it's not serotonin for everybody which is why they make SNRIs and NRIs to adjust norepinephrine levels. Also, SSRIs increase serotonin through reuptake inhibition, but other antidepressants may agonize serotonin through other means.

And yes, your body adapts to serotonin. This is why withdrawal to meds happens if you go cold turkey instead of weaning off. It doesn't mean that antidepressants aren't a viable long term solution, often in conjunction with psychotherapy.
Read Robert Whitaker's Anatomy of an Epidemic. The link I provided above is a concurring opinion written by someone citing Whitaker's investigative research. I do not believe that person (Betty Phillips) is affiliated with scientology. I know for damn sure that Whitaker isn't.

Antidepressants are not a good long range solution for a great many people for whom they mostly seem to foster a dependency on the mental health system with very little in the way of positive tradeoff.
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  #27  
Old 10-17-2012, 11:50 AM
skdo23 skdo23 is offline
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I have been on a combination of 2-3 various antidepressants at any given time over the past 15 years. While, unlike the OP's question, I AM clinically depressed, there have been numerous times where it was discovered that my blood levels for at least one of the medications I was on at the time was higher than recommended due to things such as weight loss, being on a new med, dehydration, etc., which I suppose could be analogous. When this happened I would notice things such as fatigue, dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, hypertension, weight gain (due to increased hunger), but I was never excessively happy or nonchalant, or anything else that would be considered the "opposite" of my depression symptoms.

Last edited by skdo23; 10-17-2012 at 11:52 AM..
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