best LEGAL medication

Kinda a taboo thread. I know a lot of people might find that I am condoning drug use, but I’m not… in most case. I suffer from depression and ADD. MY doctor put me on celexa (anti depressant) and adderall (add medication.

The celexa actually made my depression WORSE and I was even thinking of suicide. The adderall gave me energy (sorta), but didnt really help with concentration. However, it give me a HUGE boost in euphoria and made me feel really HAPPY. But, again, didnt really help with concentration.

So, what do some of you recommend as far as a good ADD medication that will help with concentration? And whats a good anti-deppressant? I’ve heard Valium is great, but its also hard to get a prescription for.

Valium is not an anti-depressant. It’s more like alcohol in pill form.

The FDA’s dirty little secret: Black Box Warning.

IANAD, but presumably you are also consulting your actual doctor about this? The effects of any of these meds vary widely from person to person. Paxil has worked wonders for me. I am prepared to continue to take it as long as I live. For some other people it either doesn’t work at all, or has too many side effects, or even makes things worse. Sometimes doctors have to just keep trying different ones until it is right. There is no one “best” medicine for depression, or bipolar disorder, ADD, or any other mental difficulty. Heck, even for common headaches, some people react better to Tylenol, others to ibuprofen.

Is your doctor a GP or a psychiatrist? The ideal doctor for this situation, I believe, would be a specialist, a psychopharmacologist.

As said above, Valium is supposed to be an anti-anxiety remedy.

Valium is great initially, but like most things, there is a downside. Eventually, one will need more and more valium to have the same effect, and withdrawal from valium can make a person profoundly depressed. Ditto for Xanax. Speaking for myself, when I stopped drinking diet sodas, my mild depression got better. I am not saying you have a bad diet, but perhaps you could fine tune what you are eating. I do not recommend consuming alcohol (even small amounts) as that can make one depressed, when the alcohol starts to wear off. Of course, exercise is a good thing for depression. Lastly, I don’t think human beings were built to be happy all of the time. Society has led us to believe that we are suppose to be happy all of the time, and that is not realistic.

Whitney Harper, I agree with your statements about Valium and Xanax. It’s also true that alcohol is a depressant.

However, I take issue with your last two statements. Depression is NOT about needing to “be happy all of the time.” Depression is being unable to be happy about anything, ever. It’s an entirely different thing, altogether. <Airplane!> (All: It’s an entirely different thing.) </>

Seriously, real depression is not just being sad sometimes. It’s looking at a beautiful sunny day with babies and kittens playing in the grass and thinking, “I guess that’s nice. I think I should enjoy that,” and not being able to.

There is no sensible answer to the title question, even when you limit it to ADD and depression. All drugs have downsides, everyone is different, and every instance of disease is different. Deciding what is the best medicine for you, on you r situation is a very complex business. That is why we have people who study long and hard to learn how to do it (as well as anyone can). They are called doctors. TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR! If your current doctor isn’t listening, find another.

And yeah, Valium is not an antidepressant, and is pretty much like alcohol in its effects. It is like drinking alone without the pleasure you might get from actually drinking. It may help some people if they suffer from anxiety (as can alcohol, or xanax), but if you are depressed it will probably make it worse.

Mind you, when a drug is called a depressant, that does not mean that it (necessarily) makes you depressed. It is a different sense of the word.

Benzodiazepines (valium, xanax, klonopin, ativan, etc.) can help with depression in the same sense that alcohol can. If you have depression and anxiety problems, you can get a benzo for the anxiety. Or you can get a benzo if you can convince your doctor that you have anxiety trouble.

I DON’T RECOMMEND IT! Benzos have some nasty downsides: They are highly addictive and dependency forming; you can develop a tolerance rather quickly, and need more and more of it just to get the same effect; and if you decide you need to kick the shit, these drugs can produce seriously nasty withdrawal trouble, and in some people, that nasty withdrawal can take weeks or months or even years. Years ago, doctors used to prescribe Valium like they were M&M’s, but they’ve wised up and tightened up.

It seems that benzos might be helpful for short-term anxiety problems. Or for depression, if you want to use it that way, but only for short term. (Like, only two months or so, or less.) Any longer, and benzos can give you real grief. Guess how I know that. If you are having difficulty with long-term depression, look for something else.


Sure, we can all tell you about antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds that worked for us, but our brains are not your brain and our metabolisms are not your metabolism. With these drugs, more than with most others, there’s a huge variation in response and a lot more trial and error in pinning down the right medication and dosage for each individual. Which is why you need to be talking to your doctor about all of this, so that he/she can note the error and move to the next trial.

You are correct, and now that I have reread my post, I realize I was incorrect, (but not about the valium/xanax, which you agree with me on that). I think folks that cannot enjoy a sunny day etc., as you commented, may have Anhedonia. It is a Greek word which means “feeling no joy”. There are many articles about it on-line. I believe Anhedonia is a major sign of depression.

Benzos were awesome for my brother in law who had terminal cancer. Who cares about addiction and withdrawl when you’ll go off it by dying? (He got huge bottles of the Oxi’s as well - they really don’t seem to worry too much about addiction problems - for us - the quantity of narcotics he had was an issue when he passed - one thing that the hospitals would do better with is a post death family visit by a nurse to the family member not in deep mourning - for him, it was me, the less involved sister in law - to relieve you of tens of thousands of dollars in street value. (And review survivor options, like therapy).

As to the OP, do work with your doctor. Citalopram has worked great for me, but doesn’t work for others. Paxil worked fine for me. I didn’t do well with Xanax, wasn’t even worth taking. It can take several weeks on each prescription to discover whether it works with your body chemistry or not - and if after several weeks it isn’t working, call your doctor and try something else.

I’d recommend X, but that’s illegal. So, personally I take Zoloft for rage attacks, self loathing and ritalin to be able to read books and watch movies.

Best legal over-the-counter medication, or prescription medication?

The best ADD med I’ve been on is Strattera, which I’m taking right now. In the past I have been on Ritalin and I think Adderall.

The good news: Strattera helps me concentrate and focus, and is not supposed to raise my blood pressure like Ritalin. It also does not aggravate anxiety. (I am one of those people who is so anxious that I will scream if you suddenly tap me on the shoulder or say my name.)

The bad news: I seem to tire out a little more often on Strattera. Since I’m not working right now, it’s not too big a deal - I just take a nap. If I was working, I would have to find a way to “power through” the day. Maybe caffeine, exercise, being really self-motivated would help.

If you and your doctor agree on Strattera, make sure it’s covered under your insurance. Strattera is over $200/mo without insurance.

Good luck!

For bipolar with primary symptoms being depression related, my doctor put me on lamictal which has been practically a miracle for me. It’s a mood stabilizer rather than an anti-depressant (to avoid being pushed into mania) but has worked wonders for my mental state.

Right now I am uninsured as i have yet to receive company insurance, so the whole “trial and error” thing could get really expensive as i would be paying for each visit and each prescription out of pocket.

As far as valium goes, what exactly is is? I took some once when i went to get a tooth filled and I felt really GOOD. I loved it, but can easily see how a person can get addicted.

Trial and error really is all there is. Some medications will be a wonder drug for one person but do nothing for another person, and make it worse for yet another person. There really is no answer to your ‘best medication’ question. The most anyone can tell you is what worked for them. Like the medication I’m on, it’s been amazing for me, but in some people has a a side effect of a serious rash that can result in hospitalization or death. (which is why it has about the slowest titration schedule of any of the mood drugs)

Valium is a benzodiazpine, as mentioned above. It is a sedative, good for anxiety.
In the 10mg dosage, it also serves as a baseline for comparing other benzos, and, sometimes, opiates.
I have been on benzos since 2001 and opiates since 2005.

My bedtime dosage reads like a suicide’s autopsy report - 3 different drugs, all acting as CNS depressants.

Luckily, I have high tolerance for such drugs.

My advice: use benzos as a last resort. They are still the standard for sleepers, but non-benzos are coming (Lunesta is here, but not covered by insurance, and still under patent protection, so $3-4/day.)

My doctor put me on Lamictal for its anti-seizure properties. I didn’t realize I had been depressed until my spouse started telling me how much better of a spouse I was being!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay on it because I developed a rash, which they say is a precursor to Very Bad Things happening. My doctor tells me there isn’t any other “mood stabilizer” out there, so we’ve been trying to find an anti-depressant that works for me.


In addition to this, you won’t likely find a doctor who will prescribe Valium or another benzo to someone who walks in with “I want Valium” - its addictive, is easily abused, and has a street value. For that reason, to be on those medications requires either ongoing monitoring (i.e. lots of doctors appointments if you are uninsured), or a long term trust relationship with your doctor (which anyone asking these questions here instead of asking his doctor probably doesn’t have). Not a great choice for the uninsured.