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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I manage my depression without drugs?

    I'm 21years old and I've always felt down. I have a close relationship with my family. I am successful in life and know I have a lot to be happy for, yet struggle to feel happy.

    I've been bullied through schooling, and even as an adult by the parents of my ex-boyfriend. I've had counselling as a child and adolescent but feel it hasn't been sustainable in lifting my sadness. I'm studying psychology honours at uni so have a good understanding of mental health yet seem to be at loss of what to do.

    I've been prescribed venaflaxine 75mg by my GP thinking it may be a chemical imbalance. I took one and experienced dizziness, blurred vision, suppressed appetite, shaking and severe nausea (vomiting) so stopped taking them.

    I know the symptoms are common but after researching others experiences of venaflaxine I'm nervous to take them and don't like the thought of my body being addicted to a drug. I'm at a real loss of what to do. I just want to feel a zest for life. Do you have any suggestions?
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    My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    It might help if you made contact with a clinical psychologist who has experience of using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and/or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) when working with his/her clients - both of these have helped me.

    Often matching the “right” anti-depressant to the “right” person is a matter of trial and error, both in terms of efficacy and minimal side-effects. You could discuss the option of trying another one with your GP. However, I suggest that you wait until you have seen a clinical psychologist before doing this - often “talk-therapy” like CBT or ACT is effective for people whose depression is the the mild-moderate range (with no need for medication), while anti-depressants can be indicated for people who are severely depressed.

    I also suggest that you give your clinical psychologist formal permission to discuss you with your GP - open communication between the members of a care team is important.

  • CrochetQueenKerry

    HealthShare Member

    I also want that “zest”. There is very little that interests me which also gets me down. I used to be quite keen on a variety of hobbies but not so much now. One thing I have noticed occasionally is that I might get interested in something different. I took up the ukulele. But of course nothing is guaranteed and if I am very depressed I can't seem to do anything, however simple. I have a psychologist and a psychiatrist helping me, and progress is slow. I understand about how extremely unpleasant the side effects of medication are especially when incresing the dosage. I think I am in for the long haul. I admire your tenacity and wish you all the best for a brighter future. cheers, Kerry.

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