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My psychiatrist asked me to do research on meds.


Well-Known Member
Hi, everyone. This past Thursday, I met with school psychiatrist and he diagnosed with having clinical depression as well as chemical imbalance. It was very constructive, productive meeting. I asked a bunch of Qs, learned a lot, and felt very relieved that I finally know I indeed have depression, that I wasn't making things up.
Before finishing up the meeting, the psychiatrist gave me HW to do research on anti-depressants and get back to him in 2 weeks. In our next meeting, we will discuss whether to go ahead with taking meds and if yes, which meds to start out with.
He told me to use google to search for all the information regarding anti-depressants. He also told me to visit NAMI.org website to retrieve more information.
I realize there are many people here who have tried anti-depressants. These Qs are for you.
1. What made you finally decide to take anti-depressants? Did you try therapy beforehand?
2. There are so many anti-depressants on the market to choose from. How do you choose which one to start from? I know you can always change if one med. doesn't work on you. But the starting point is important. How did you choose ur first anti-depressants?
3. I read and heard about the suicide risks that comes with taking anti-depressants. How high is the risk? Is it something I should heed great attention to?
Thanks in advance for any insights.
1. What made you finally decide to take anti-depressants? Did you try therapy beforehand?

The first time I was on anti depressants I didn't choose to take them and I was going to counselling at the same time. The second time I asked to be put back on them, along with counselling again

2. There are so many anti-depressants on the market to choose from. How do you choose which one to start from? I know you can always change if one med. doesn't work on you. But the starting point is important. How did you choose ur first anti-depressants?

I'm my experience you don't choose, your doctor or whoever is prescribing your meds does. Over here I think most people with moderate depression are started on fluoxetine and then moved to a different anti dep if they don't work.

3. I read and heard about the suicide risks that comes with taking anti-depressants. How high is the risk? Is it something I should heed great attention to?

I believe (someone correct me if I'm wrong) that the most at risk are teenagers on paroxetine (Paxil/Seroxat). There's nothing solid about how risky anti depressants are. If you find yourself more suicidal than usual when taking any med, got back to your doctor asap


Well-Known Member
I struggle with routine and didn't think I would do well attending regular councilling sessions, tho to be honest it was never something offered to me to begin with, I eventually sought some from the university but it didn't do too much. I hoped that the anti depressants would help break the depressive cycle so that i could then work on changing my life and my attitude, although nothing seems to have worked so far.

There are a number of factors when deciding on an anti depressant, your doc might let you have some input tho ususally you'll get what you're given. Normally you'll be started on an SSRI of some description they have a good rate of success especially for mild to moderate depression, and have relativly low side effects. if you have problems with one they'll put you on another. There are other factors tho such as if your doc has a paticular favourite, if you are at risk from any particular side effect (such as high blood pressure), if you need a "sucide proof" drug.

It isn't very common but is very very serious, you are usually most at risk during the first couple of weeks where the drug can increase your motivation without elevating your mood, this gives you the determination needed to act on a suicide plan whereas before you might've just rolled over and cried yourself back to sleep. The most important thing is that if you feel suicidal, or more suicidal you must tell your docotor immediatly!! a lot of people tend to understate their suicidal feelings because of fear that they'll get locked up somewhere, although to be honest, that really doesn't happen very often, more likely you'll have to scream and shout to even get anyone to pay attention to you.

umm sorry if that wasn't very optomistic just my experience so far. good luck tho, and remember that this place isn't a very good sample survey, large numbers of people get diagnosed with depression, take an SSRI, get better and so never end up here. We're mostly the ones that got away lol.


Staff Alumni
No offence, but this is a bit weird! :dry: I have NEVER heard of a psychiatrist asking someone to research meds... they use their medical knowledge to decide which anti-depressant is best for you dependent on the history you have given. I don't think anyone decides to start taking anti-d's... the same way you wouldn't decide to take antibiotics if you had flu! The point about clinical depression is that it presupposes a chemical imbalance (hence the clinical part), and that's why you go onto meds to stabilise the imbalance. I'm not doubting that he's asked you to do this, but I don't think much of him tbh!!
As to the tablets causing suicidality... some do and this is something that your pdoc should be cognisant of when prescribing. But if they have this side effect it is generally short lived and only a real danger to adolescents (under 18's). However, if you had any increase in such feelings/thoughts you should inform your pdoc straight away.
I agree shygirl. The psych. may tell you of the different meds available and there side effects. They may ask which you are willing to try, but I have never heard of one that tells you to research on your own and come back to say which med you will use. Are you sure there is not a miscommunication here hank? Maybe that is what was said rather than having you choose and decide based on research. Sometimes they even try a specific combination of meds. How are you supposed to know any of that? Even with research on the net, you are not qualified to make those types of decisions. Somethings seems a bit off here to me. Be careful. I am glad you did seek help though. :hug:


The biggest loser ever to live.
Yes, I also am a bit concerned, I've never heard of any psychiatrist asking their patient to go out and research anti-depressants. This is quite unusual and interesting. Glad to see that your safe and okay and your out seeking help. Best of luck to you.

I'd like to say myself that I have taken Lexapro and now Effexor and have not suffered any side effects from either at all. Though the Lexapro dose was extremely light at 10 mg and Effexor has varied for me where I started out at 20 I think and am up to 100 mg. Effexor has been quite effective for me but also when I forget to take it, I suddenly find myself getting irritable and depressed, its a bad move to forget taking it for a few days. Please don't forget to take yours constantly or you may find yourself getting depressed and very low very quickly.

These medications have certainly not harmed me a single bit, they have either had effect or have not but nothing bad has come from me taking them.

I myself have really only heard of teenagers having more of a risk of suicide and depression from taking anti-depressants but I bet I'm wrong, its just all of the stories I've heard of the sort have been with teens taking these medications.
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Well-Known Member
Thanks everyone for insights. First of all, I know he is certified psychiatrist employed by my university. Second of all, he clearly said he can't really pick specific one out of all the anti-depressants out there because you never really know which med will work on me. And he said that after learning about all my conditions and asking me Qs. He said we will just have to try and see. For example, try one med and if it doesn't work, move on to next ones.
What I don't know at this point is whether the decision to pick which med is up to me or the psychiatrist. He didn't make that point clear to me. Maybe he asked me to do research on anti-depressants to expand my understanding on meds so he can hear my opinion on which med I find the most appealing. I guess I will find out what he really meant by this research thing in 2 weeks.
In the meantime, I have one more Q for you guys. Do you guys know any website that lists the pros & cons of all the anti-depressants out there?
Thanks in advance for any insights.


Staff Alumni
I have a great document on my desktop...understanding anti-depressants, but I can't upload it (cos I'm too dim) and you've disabled emails. :( Sorry!
The desicion to pick which med is up to your psychiatrist. That's partly what they go through years of training for.

The only reason I can think for him asking you to do this research is so that you're aware of the possible dangers of anti-depressants, so you can't sue him if you get worse. But that's just my opinion and I'm cynical


Well-Known Member
Thanks everyone for insights and concerns. Shygirl, I read the report about depression and it was very insightful and educational. Thanks a lot.
New update. I went to a counseling yesterday. During the counseling, my therapist informed me that she looked at my file to see why the psychiatrist asked me to research on meds. I guess she was wondering about the same thing u guys were wondering. She told me that the psychiatrist asked me to research on anti-depressants so I can be aware of all the side-effects, how the meds work, what types of meds are out there and etc. She made it clear that the psychiatrist will help me with which meds to start once I decide taking meds is the way to go. So there was miscommunication because I misunderstood his intentions. But I feel better now knowing he will help me pick out which meds to take.
I will keep researching on anti-depressants to get more insights before the meeting with him which is less than a week away. Thanks everyone for ur warm, caring concerns.


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