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Help me make the right decision for my life


Well-Known Member
Hi, everyone. I am about to make one of the most important decisions in my life which is whether to take anti-depressants or not. So far, for the past 1 1/2 yrs, I have been relying on therapies. Currently, I am attending individual therapy and going to start a group therapy next week. I have seen limited success with counseling but I still struggle often with depression, anxiety, panic disorder, etc.
Someone might say, "Why not just take it and see how it works?" But I am not at liberty to make hasty, instinct-based decisions because of # of factors.
1. Fear of the side-effects or getting only worse instead of better. I am fully aware of the side-effects after my research online on anti-depressants. I also read some people became suicidal after taking anti-depressants. In another case, I read people who took the meds, didn't get better at all and got worse instead. I am just not sure what % of people who take anti-depressants actually benefit from it.
2. Money. Currently the only medical insurance I have is a student insurance at my university. I will be graduating this May and after that I will be without medical insurance because my family can't afford one now. I don't know much about price of anti-depressants but I don't think it is cheap as most meds aren't these days.
3. Fear of family members finding out. None of my family members have severe form of depression like me and I know what they think of depression. They think of depression as cop-out, a sign of mental weakness, and non-serious illness. I don't know how I can convince my family that I want to take anti-depressants.
Every action comes with a consequence. I know ultimately it is my DECISION, my CALL whether to go ahead with taking anti-depressants or not. But after all I read and researched, my gut feeling is still "I don't know." And the meeting with my psychiatrist is less than a week away. The psychiatrist will help me pick out which meds to start if I opt to take it. But he will not help me decide whether I will try anti-depressants in addition to therapy or not. That call is up to me.
Can you help me make the right choice that could potentially turn around my life? Thanks in advance for any insights, advice, feedbacks.

I understand your concerns about starting on antidepressants. While research shows many things, each person reacts differently to different meds. the only way to find what truly works best for you is by trial and error. Some do become suicidal on the meds, but that comes from the fact they start to feel better and have enough energy to act on these feelings. It is not necessarily a side effect of the medication. You will never know if you can be helped if you don't try. While cost can be an inhibiting factor, can you place a price on your life? If they help, isn't it worth the cost. Some people do not need to be on meds forever. They just need to get themselves back into the correct chemical balance. remeber that sometimes we do have to get worse in order to get better. I am not a great advocate for medicating, but if that is the best way for you to feel better, then I think they are worth a try. :hug:


SF Friend
Staff Alumni
I agree with everything said by Gentlelady. She made some excellent points. I take antidepressants (sertraline aka Zoloft) and they help me a lot. But everyone's chemistry is different and everyone reacts differently to medication. I think it's worth a try. As to the problem of not having health insurance - is there any sort of assistance program in your area that will help with the cost of prescriptions? Also some pharmaceutical companies have low cost/no cost prescription assistance programs. It's worth investigating.

The other possibility, and it should be discussed with your Pdoc, is St John's Wort for mild to moderate depression. If yours is severe it may not help, but your Pdoc can help you decide that.

I'm sorry your family has such negative ideas about depression. I used to have a "significant other" who also thought that (my) depression was a weakness, not an illness. His attitude contributed to my depression and also to our breakup. (which I got over relatively quickly with the help of Zoloft)

Best of luck to you. Remember, do what's best for YOU. It's your life.

love and hugs,



The biggest loser ever to live.
I'm sorry your family has such negative ideas about depression. I used to have a "significant other" who also thought that (my) depression was a weakness, not an illness.
I don't wish to generalize, but I have noticed that asian families in particular, as from south or east asia as both Hank and I are from, they have little knowledge of depression and little sympathy for it as well. You are not supposed to get depressed, its just something that should never happen, your supposed to be perfect. Much less sympathy for it than here in western countries.

Nobody I know such as my relatives or whatever has ever had depression or suicidal thoughts or their hiding it REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY well. I know how Hank feels in this regard perfectly. I'm the only damn one suffering from depression and thoughts of suicide and so I'm a complete and total freak. :sad: :sad: :sad:
I am on Patient Assistance for both of my meds. It is relatively easy to apply and get if you are poor. It has certainly been a lifesaver for me. Your doctor should know about the programs or you can go on the manufacturer's website for the prescription.

I would give anti-depressents a chance if I were you. You obviously are not weak and seeking a cop-out as you have committed over 1.5 years to therapy. You are also very conscientious so I think you will handle the side effects just fine.

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