In my short lifetime, I’ve already experienced several medications. Medications work differently for everybody, so my psychiatrist and I pretty much kept experimenting with medications until I found a combination that pretty much worked (which I’m still on, so I guess that’s a good sign.) Starting any new medication can be scary, especially with psychiatric drugs, which influence the brain and thus the mind. Luckily, I have an aunt who suffers from major depression as well as chronic fatigue, and she’s been on nearly every med out there, so I was able to discuss with her what effects the drugs had on her as a sort of heads-up for the kinds of side effects I could have to face.
I tried several antidepressants before settling on Zoloft, which has worked well for me, I think. It’s always kind of hard for me to tell what’s working and what isn’t because my moods tend to come in cycles, and so sometimes I think I assume it’s the medicine when really it’s just me. But I can honestly say that since taking Zoloft, my lows have not reached the extremes that I was hitting before I started the med. In addition to my antidepressant, I take an atypical antipsychotic, Abilify, which also happens to be a mood stabilizer. It works well; since starting it my mood swings have not been as violent, and my paranoid thoughts have pretty much subsided. The downside to Abilify is that it makes me terribly, constantly hungry, and I’ve actually gained weight as a result. So, my doctor tried switching me to a different antipsychotic, Saphris, which is a new drug that has only been on the market for two years. It was interesting in that it came in the form of dissolving tablets, which you place under your tongue, and then a few minutes later your tongue goes numb. (I later read that Saphris comes in the form that it does so that patients under observation cannot hide their pills under their tongues and not take them.) But under the new med, my mood swings were coming back fiercely, and it didn’t help moderate my hunger as hoped, so my doctor put me back on Abilify and that, in combination with Zoloft, is where I am at today.
I guess the point I’m trying to get across is that medications have different effects on everybody, and it may take a while to find the right combination. So, if you feel that your meds aren’t helping you, don’t give up hope. Talk to your doctor. He might be able to help.
And if not, there are numerous other therapies available.