My understanding of mental health recovery came from experience with the standard treatments: psychotherapy and medication. Until the 1990s, I worked exclusively with psychiatrists for both. In that setting, I can’t recall anyone talking to me about recovery or what I wanted to get out of treatment. The assumption was that I would be in […]
A depression diagnosis usually marks a turning point in your experience of the illness. Up to that point, you may have downplayed the seriousness of mood problems, or you may have been less aware of feelings and focused instead on pain or insomnia or some other physical symptom.
When things get so bad that you can’t lead the life you’re used to, then you know you need help but may still have no idea what the cause is. So you head for the doctor’s office – whether it’s your primary care physician or a psychiatrist – and hope they’ll be able to tell you what’s wrong and do something about it.
By phasing out lamotrigine, known more widely by the trade name Lamictal, and other antidepressants, I have recently ended 18 years of uninterrupted medication use to treat depression. It’s been a rough ride with 20 different psychotropic drugs. I had a few good periods with their help, but for the most part the results have […]
After about 18 years of non-stop, mostly ineffective antidepressant treatment, I’ve brought this long experiment to an end. I had been wearing Emsam patches for the past six years, but I’ve been fairly sure for some time that they had stopped working. It seems I was right. Getting off the drug has made no difference […]
Information about depression and mood disorders is fairly easy to come by online, but it’s not always up-to-date, accurate or detailed enough to be helpful. I’ve been reviewing many of the major mental health websites to figure out which are the most helpful for understanding the illness and deciding what to do about it. I’ve […]
If you’re depressed, you will get a prescription for an antidepressant, sooner or later. In fact, medication is likely to be the first treatment you receive, perhaps the only one. Most people are fine with that. They want to feel better fast, and medication seems like the best route. Primary care physicians and psychiatrists prescribe […]