Anyone have experience taking SSRIs? What's the first week or so like, did it help long term, and any withdrawal issues?

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    Not personally, but two girls I know. First week is still the init phase where your doctor has to find out the correct dosage and whether you can tolerate the exact medicament in question.

    SSRI don't flood your brain with serotonine - they only slow down the decomposition. Means, the level will go up once your body produces it. This takes time because it is producing too little anyway. Give it one or two months.

    If you have severe depression, please stay under very close medical observation, possibly stationary. The danger is that the motivation to do something returns before you are better - which is where people commit suicide.

    Additional light therapy has very good success, so I can recommend that from what my girl buddies have told me.

    Once you are stable and things are good, phasing out begins where you slowly reduce the dosage. That can take a year or even two.
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    Long term effects: positive in these two cases. Being motivated to DO something got them more drive in their lives, which in turn led to some success, which in turn boosted self-confidence and happiness.

    That kicked off self amplifying dynamics, and both are quite fine today.

    However, the undesired side effects were also nasty, partly. One girl didn't tolerate one medicament and had to change to another.
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    @Fast-Nop Thanks for the detailed reply! I've got 30mg daily for two months and that's basically it. My issues are actually mild, so I'm concerned it could make things worse. Although perhaps I'm complacent and it's worse than I think it is. Also a bit worried about becoming reliant on it.
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    @nate 30 mg is considerable, but not extreme. Btw, I'd suggest to avoid alcohol and also weed.

    If you withdraw SSRI the hard way, issues are to be expected, yes. Mainly falling back into depression states. That's why you need to phase it out slowly.

    SSRI is definitely no short term cure, but a mid term project. I assume your doctor has actually verified your serotonine level via lab tests and confirmed that it is too low?

    SSRIs work only if the depression is caused physically by low serotonine level, not otherwise. Burnout cannot be treated. I remember your story with HR and shit, so you have taken quite some stress recently, which can also contribute.

    Oh and just for the record, though it's obvious: I'm not a doctor. :-)
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    @Fast-Nop The max in the UK is 40mg I believe, so I was a bit surprised.

    Nope, no lab tests - I didn't even know you could get those for this kind of thing.

    The leaflet with the meds does say no alcohol, but I preferred the NHS website which said alcohol was fine 😂

    I'm pretty conflicted. I was told to try it as a test to rule it out, which made sense, but the more I think about it...
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    SSRI and alcohol is not as dangerous as other antidepressiva and alcohol. You could carefully test it. As long as you don't drink until coma like Norwegians. ;-)

    I'm wondering how the doctor can prescribe a low serotonine treatment without having checked seorotine and things. After all, the issue could also be psychic - which is just as real as physical.

    If it isn't too personal for DR, is it about sad, down mood or more in direction of emptiness and feeling nothing?
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    @Fast-Nop I do like a drink! I'll try to be careful :P

    I do have some of those symptoms very mildly. I can be a little down and a little empty, but I have for many years and I feel I handle it well. I'm not taking it for that.

    I do have a very specific anxiety issue around certain things (that I try to avoid, and so are infrequent at the moment) and supposedly this might help with that.
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    @nate ok, don't know about that constellation. I had something MAYBE comparable, altitude phobia. I dealt with that by doing a tandem parachute jump with an experienced instructor. Jumping out of a plane in some kilometers altitude. Worked pretty well. ^^
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    @Fast-Nop Nice! I'm glad to say I don't have that phobia, but also have no intention of doing a parachute jump 😂 I have done "direct action" for years to combat this. It's certainly possible, just extremely uncomfortable. I'd expect a parachute jump to be pretty uncomfortable, but not what I'm talking about
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    I'd applause @fast-nop for this very detailled, kind and good answer.

    @nate get well
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    I've tried a couple for long enough to know if they worked. They might have a little bit? But I got some of the fairly common sexual side effects and I was not okay with it. I never got enough benefit from it to justify that so I quit and found my own ways out of depression. Probably not the best ones but they eventually worked.
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    @Fast-Nop I also got SSRI's without the doctor checking my levels.

    First 4 weeks where pretty though for me. I was so tired I was constant yawning. And had zero motivation to do anything. Spend most of those 4 weeks on the couch irritated with myself because I could not get any work done. And napping a lot.

    But now after 2 months I do feel better. Not 100% yet but my stress levels also increased since I got so little work done. And I'm a freelancer with deadlines that I need to make to pay the bills.

    But at the moment I would say they are definitely helping.
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    Personally, I never found one that worked for me, I was always so much worse off oh them.

    I’m not a medical professional, but I’d recommend reading this book: http://amzn.eu/daFL3y8

    It *really* helped me when I was at my lowest, and it really does make sense. We’re all too quick to pathologise depression, when it’s largely our brain’s way of telling us something’s wrong with our lives.

    There’s also a lot of interesting stuff in there about clinical trials done on SSRIs and how there’s very little evidence they work, or even that the serotonin mechanisms we’re told are the cause of depression are even at fault.

    These days I find weed, people I love and an LSD-induced zen-like spirituality really help me.

    I still have rough patches, but it’s nowhere near what it used to be.

    Hope everything is ok x
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    Thanks to everyone for sharing!
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