When Ssris Stop Working

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brat17

MyPTSD Pro
A couple years ago I read on this site a psychiatrist outside the US that stated that anti depressants actually is like chemical brain damage and that it was all about big pharm-that the jest of it.

Recently there are many articles, including Physocolgy Today that states about the same. Those that stay on SSRI's for a period cannot get off of them and they stop working basically.

After being on SSRI for several years, I find it much less effective. I am unwilling to add more drugs to them. Have others read about this and if so, what are your opinions. Mine have stopped working and someone is always wanting to tweak sleep, anxiety, wake, and anti depressant meds. I think I have better judgement yrs ago when I was able to ahndle on my own. I want off this roller coaster but there is no quality of life. Welcome other s opinions.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
In general, I think SSRIs are hit and miss, mostly miss - and very few of them are intended for long-term use.

If you think you're no longer getting benefits from yours, the best way to find out is to take the steps to come off it.

You should be able to notice whether or not you miss it. And if you don't, then you can get clean of it and either try something else, or go without, and have a few things as PRN (as-needed) options.
 

brat17

MyPTSD Pro
The thing is, new research seems to be showing that once you have been on ssri for a long period, damage is done to the chemicals in your brain. Therefore, you become dependent on them for life to maintain low levels of depression. I will try to state my interpretation in simplist form. In studies of people who were not depressed at all, given ssri for long periods, they were depressed when the drug was removed. So they are saying that taking these drugs cause our bodies to quite making chemicals that we need for pleasure. So for the person who suffers mild depression and takes for long periods, they no longer work. In recent years they are adding other drugs such as Abilify. Commercials stating "Is your anti depressant no longer working, you may need to add Abilify" then showing pleasure again. These drugs such as Abilify that are added to current anti depressant are relatively new (past few yrs). Leads me to think that there is truth in this. Articles are saying that damage to brain is irreversible.

I did not have ptsd when started taking. I took once for short period during extreme financial stress. Another time when my grandaughter died of SIDS. Then during divorce and in grad school, I was tearful. Collegues told me it was grief not depression, but I wanted to function at highest and went of SSRI. That ws 13 yrs ago. Seems there was always a crisis when I considered going off. (Sister had cancer, nephew murdered, teens acting crazy with drama etc). So I stayed on them. Then I had a head injury and life changed so I didnt thing it would be good to go off them then. As things settled at time, I attempted but life gets really dark.

Personally I do think they do chemical damage over time, but wonder if others have strong opinions same or different ? The pharm companies have the money to lobby for these drugs and they do own research to get FDA approval. I know the labels use to advise for short therm use only, but drs have ignored that since the beginning. No dr has ever suggested getting off of them to me anyway. If what media is reporting, I see big problems for many. I sure dont want to add another medication. I have recently gone off ssri and time will tell, but already feel even more flat than I did on them, and I was flat on the ssri.
 
M

Marian82

Hi there!

Too bad that you are stuck in the medication trap as well!

I've been put on benzo's and antidepressants for PTSD. As a withdrawal symptom my PTSD got much much worse, I became severely depressed and psychotic - is was not like that before meds. I was forced to use antipsychotics and right now I can't do without drugs anymore. I believe my brain was permanently damaged and I have been made sick by the drugs. On the drugs I am very flat and unemotional - all love and happiness gone. Off the drugs I can't function. Please be careful with these drugs... they are much more harmful than they make you believe. Adding Abilify (=antipsychotic) to an antidepressant seems like a horrible idea... antipsychotics turned me into an emotionless zombi.

I've been reading quite a bit on the brain damage psychiatric meds do and I believe you are right. SSRI's (and other psychiatric drugs) damage the brain and can cause severe withdrawal symptoms and long term problems. Doctors and pharmaceutical companies hide those facts.

I have not encountered evidence that states whether the damage is permanent or not though (although in me it was). But there are also people who come of the drugs and lead happy and fulfilling lives! The website beyondmeds was a hopeful and inspiring website to me! People like Peter Breggin or Robert Withaker have been writing a lot about this... also a guide to coming off meds safely. They say people should always try and come off slowly, because staying on the drugs will cause more and more damage...

I wish you lots of strenght! People do come off those drugs and after bad withdrawals continue to lead happy lives! Good luck with coming off..
 

joeylittle

Administrator
Substances subverting our own organic chemistry is a pretty-well researched phenomenon in general, definitely. Anything you take that is meant to augment naturally (biologically) occurring components of the body will, over time, teach your body to stop producing the substance on its own.

I think the jury is out on whether or not that switch can be reversed, once it's been thrown.

But it's a viable hypothesis to say that it might not reverse, depending on age, gender, overall health, etc.

That's my understanding of what you are talking about, @brat17.

Many people do go onto these drugs without successfully planning to come off of them within the 2-ish year window that they were intended for. These people are unwitting test subjects for the longer-term effects of the drug, and that sucks, too.

Sigh. So much money to be made in the pharma industry.

It's personally why I tend to feel better about older drugs. There's just more data. Even when they come up with a new use for it, and its remarketed as 'new', if a drug has been around for 10+ years you can know an awful lot more about what it does over time.

(That's just a sidebar, sorry for the threadjack)
 
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