Is using antidepressants to get over depression triggered by a breakup a good idea?
posted by tokaidanshi to Human Relations (20 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
THIS IS LONG, SORRY! (Not sure if these details are relevant or not, but if you jump to the last 3rd of the question you can find the actual questions I'm asking, under "so what I want to know is" )
I went through a pretty bad breakup several months ago, and it messed me up pretty good. I've had several long term relationships, but this was the most serious by far, and after the breakup I went into a pretty deep depression for the first couple of months. I'm a grad student. I needed to keep working, so I went to a therapist for the first time in my life, and this was helpful, to a point. When I started seeing my therapist, I was having a hard time getting through a day, and I couldn't really focus on or work on anything. He helped me with this, but after about 2 months of therapy, where I had been making some progress, I had 2 weekends in a row where I was essentially stuck on my couch, unable to do anything, caught up in regret about the end of my relationship. I knew this wasn't normal, so when I saw my therapist later that week I asked if it might be time to try antidepressants. He agreed to refer me to a GP for a prescription.
It took me a little over 2 weeks between that visit with the therapist and when I could get in to see my GP, and in that time, for whatever reason, I started to do a bit better. I was at least able to get my work done, and didn't have any episodes where I was so depressed I couldn't function. When I met the GP, I told her that I thought I could probably get by without a prescription for antidepressants. She told me she understood, but that if I changed my mind, to contact her and that she's write me a prescription right away. (she was going to write a prescription for celexa, which my sister is currently on and tolerating well)
It's now been about 4 or 5 weeks since I asked my therapist about antidepressants, and I haven't had any other episodes where I have been unable to function because of depression. I'm not happy though. At best, most of life is a fairly joyless exercise, I put one foot in front of the other and try to get through the day. I'd been very busy with school, which helped to take my mind of things a bit, but that's now ended for the summer, and I still miss my girlfriend a lot. We lived together, and I wake up every morning, by myself, feeling a very palpable sense of loneliness and loss.
I'm also fairly pessimistic about my chances of finding a relationship to replace this last one. I'm pretty picky, and rarely find women I'm interested in dating. I just turned 30, and feel like my chances to meet people are also dwindling. Like I said before, I had a lot invested in this relationship, and the thought of ever getting back to that point again seems kind of inconceivable, and thinking about this, which I often do, makes me sad.
I also know, that wallowing around being sad and feeling sorry for myself accomplishes nothing. Feeling sad so often is counterproductive, and it also just sucks! I am trying the other things; getting exercise, staying busy, trying to be social, etc, but it's having limited results. So, I'm considering trying out an antidepressant, in the hopes that it will help me feel a bit more positive about life, but having a hard time deciding whether or not it's actually a good idea.
So what I want to know is:
I'm essentially sad because of one thing; the end of my relationship If we were still together, I'd probably be pretty happy right now. That won't happen though, and that is making me sad, and I feel like I'll continue to be sad about this for a long time. I think I've processed a lot of the lessons that I needed to learn from this relationship, so at this point the sadness and regret don't seem to serve any purpose other than making my life fairly miserable. Is this kind of problem something people uses antidepressants to deal with? Does it work?
If I do decide to try an antidepressant, could I be setting myself up for a setback if I then decide to go off the antidepressant? I know they sometimes have side effects. I'm probably ok with doing a trial run, if I know that I can stop and not be in a deeper hole if I decide to go off the meds. I don't want to get into a situation where I'm dependent on a drug, especially if it has nasty side effects.
What else should I think about when making this decision? My therapist and gp didn't give me any strong advice on this. If I think I need it, I can get it, and if I don't then they're fine with me not using one. At this point, I don't need meds just to function, I can do that already, but I am not thriving. I'm not very happy, and I don't see this changing anytime soon.
I know you are not my doctor, therapist, etc, but if you could give me any suggestions about the pros and cons of antidepressants, or anecdotes about how they did or did not help get over the depression caused by a breakup, I'd appreciate it.