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Depression and Weight Issues Have you been diagnosed with depression, are possibly on depression medication, and find it affects your weight loss efforts? Post here for support!

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Old 07-01-2011, 07:21 AM   #1
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Question Depression, counselling and privacy

Hello all,

I have never posted to this sub-forum before, but reading through all of your posts and responses, you all seem to be able to give some great advice.

So I (believe) I have been suffering depression on and off for about 6 years now. I at one point went to my doctor and told them what I needed to so that they would prescribe me something to take the edge off the problem.I was prescribed a low dose antidepressant and during the 6 months that i was on the drugs I managed to gain nearly 30pounds. I made the decision that I couldn't live with the horrible side effects of the antidepressents and as such stopped taking them. Now this all happened about 12 months ago. I was in a horrible place at that time and counselling etc was never offered/

By nature I am a rediculously private person. I don't tend to discuss even trivial problems with friends and never with family, let alone something this large. As a result I am terrified of the idea of actually seeking professional counselling, or even asking for a referral from my GP. Simply the idea of inviting someone into my business that way is ... horrifying.

So I would like to know, how have you gone about overcomming your fears to seek some professional help?

(I should probably make the point that at this stage I am not open to or interested in using antidepressant medication again, I would like to utilise other options first. I am not against antidepressants, they are an invaluble resource, but I do not believe they are right for me.)
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:25 AM   #2
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I just went to my GP and asked for a referral.

If it's something your struggle with a lot, you could ask a relative or friend to call the doctor's office and set up an appointment for a referral.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:36 AM   #3
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I can identify. I was prescribed Zoloft after the birth of my first child and gained 60 pounds. I have found something that I believe works better. Fish oil, lots of sunshine and regular exercise works better for me for depression and without the dreaded weight gain. It sounds super simple and it is--it just isn't as easy as taking a pill. You really have to make sure you are following plan or the depression seeps in again. I have problems from time to time now but nothing like before. I hope this helps.
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:39 AM   #4
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I take Citlopram for depression and have lost weight, not gained.

If you want to solve your issues you have to open up to someone and many times a stranger (the therapist) is much better than family or friends.
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Old 07-01-2011, 03:06 PM   #5
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Weight gain is easy on I think almost all antidepressants. I have spoken with really young (22) women, very active, who pack pounds taking the things.
I was on them (can't remember all the ones they gave me) off and on for over 20 years, sometimes along with therapy. After getting really down while on them, spoke with a doctor and he said NONE of them work for more than a couple of years without therapy.
Never went back on them, went through some cognitive therapy because I stumbled onto a really good therapist, and continue to "think about what I am thinking".
The drugs are good, I think, for short periods, but nothing to be depended on long term (based on my experiences of being ok, then getting severely depressed on every one of them after a time), and the weight gain is not something that helps make people feel better.

Therapists are just people, some are good, some not so much, some can help with certain aspects, and be disastrous in others. The mere fact of having someone to tell it all to on a regular basis can help, but like everything else, there is no magic solution, no quick fix that lasts forever. For me it was about breaking thought habits, I continue to do so, and believe I have actually raised my "setpoint" for moods.
Best of luck to all who struggle with these issues.
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Old 07-01-2011, 05:08 PM   #6
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I agree with the others. You might just need to take the plunge. What makes you so hesitant to be candid with medical professionals who are, presumably, legally bound to keep your information private?

Another vote for CBT here. There are self-help books available that are based on cognitive behavioral therapy that you could work out of yourself, although seeing a competent counselor or shrink would probably help you progress more quickly and more completely. And if it should turn out that depression, as such, isn't your main problem, they'll be more likely to identify that and help you get appropriate treatment. We don't always have very accurate pictures of ourselves.
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Old 07-01-2011, 05:09 PM   #7
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One piece of advice I would give is to be sure any therapist you do see if a good fit for you. If you're not comfortable, you can chose to see someone else and that's OK. You're essentially hiring them, so be sure they are doing a good job for you! I've seen several in the past 5 years and I can usually tell after 3 session or so whether the relationship will work for me. For example, one woman I saw would just sit there, straight-faced, even when I would attempt to make a joke to ease my discomfort when talking about a difficult subject. I have found that I do best with therapists who will interact with me during a session, make a comment here or there about things they've noticed or statements of empathy. I can't stand it when they just sit there and stare at me! AHHH! Overall, just remember that they've heard it all before, and they will not judge you or think you're crazy. It's OK to cry, and usually they will just ignore it if you do start to cry. And it's OK to not talk about everything in the first couple sessions. Take your time if you need to. You don't even need a referral from your doctor -- I have found the best therapists by looking through my insurance provider directory for those "In network" and cross references the names online. Some of the best therapists have websites now that allow you to learn about them, what they specialize in, and their approach to therapy. If you're not limited to your insurance then you have an even larger group to choose from. Good luck!
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Old 07-01-2011, 05:11 PM   #8
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Wow, I typed that last message too quickly and had a lot of grammar mistakes! Embarassing
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Old 07-03-2011, 07:35 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the responses guy

Theox: I lived in a very small community (<1200 people) for nearly 12 years and it came to my attention that my medical information was not being kept confidential by my GP. This occured not only people I did not know, but also with distanly related family members. In addition it managed to happen during my teenage years, which as you can imagine was difficult to deal with. I have since then found it very difficult to trust any doctor with confidential information, let alone any one else. Hope that answers your question.
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Old 07-03-2011, 04:25 PM   #10
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I have a bachelor's and masters degree in psychology, and in both was taught that antidpressants and counseling both improve depression, but not nearly as well as combining the two.

I've been in counseling, and I find it extremely helpful, but I was never afraid of it (or I wouldn't have gone into the field myself), and I am not a private person. I've always worn my heart on my sleeve. If I think it, I probably say it (which can be very awkward and inconvenient at times).

I understand if you don't want to experiment, but I thought you should know that not all antidepressants have the same effects.

Meridia (a weight loss medication that was originally meant to be an antidepressant) usually causes appetite loss, but it can cause appetite increases so even though it's a weight loss medication, weight gain is listed as one of the possible side effects. On Meridia, I did lose some weight, but the most dramatic side effect wasn't appetite loss, it was a dramatic (and hubby said "scary") sex-drive increase along with mood swings (to the point that my husband begged me to stop taking it).

I'm now on amitriptyline and cyclobenzaprine, which I take at bedtime (more for sleep than for depression, even though both can be used to treat depression).

Antidepressants (just like depression itself) can cause either increases or decreases in appetite (and therefore weight), sleep, and sex-drive. Most cause some change, but the change can be unpredictable. Some people have to try several before they find one that has the most desireable effects and the fewest undesireable ones. (For example, I was looking for an antidepressant that decreased my appetite, helped me get better sleep, and didn't decrease or dramatically increase my sex-drive. I ended up on one that did all of that except for the sex drive part. My antidepressant really knocked down my sex drive and enjoyment of sex, but when the cyclobenzaprine was added it brought back my sex drive and ability to enjoy it, luckily without increasing my appetite or causing insomnia).

There are also some dietary supplement products you might find helpful (St. John's Wort, SAM-e, fish oil, Vitamin D). Although these should be treated as medicines (especially if you're on other meds talk to your doctor or pharmacist before using).

I found that Vitamin D and fish oil helped my mood far more than the actual antidepressant I was taking (or maybe they just boosted the effects of the antidepressant. Since I've been taking it for sleep rather than depression, I wasn't on a very high dose).

Still you might find that Vitamin D and fish oil produce an antidepressant effect without the side effects of antidressant meds. But if your depression is killing your appetite, reversing the depression can increase it - there are still possible interactions.

I don't have any good advice for overcoming your shyness and fears about counseling, except that I think if you try counseling, you very well may like it (maybe it would help to know that the counselor will have heard much worse than what you have to say, and he or she can't tell anyone about you or
(s)he would lose their job and their license. Your secrets are safe.

My sister was extremely shy, and counseling (after a traumatic event) really helped her tremendously. Anti-anxiety meds helped her come out of her shell - and she was able to discontinue the medications because she'd gained enough confidence that she didn't need them anymore.
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Old 07-03-2011, 05:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alwaysbeenbig View Post
Thanks for all the responses guy

Theox: I lived in a very small community (<1200 people) for nearly 12 years and it came to my attention that my medical information was not being kept confidential by my GP. This occured not only people I did not know, but also with distanly related family members. In addition it managed to happen during my teenage years, which as you can imagine was difficult to deal with. I have since then found it very difficult to trust any doctor with confidential information, let alone any one else. Hope that answers your question.

It may not help much (because people CAN always choose to break the law) but privacy laws are now so strict that most professionals are extremely careful. In the past, violation of privacy was an ethical violation not a legal one. At worst doctors and other health professionals faced losing their license, and even then only if it was a very chronic and severe problem and the victim(s) reported him or her and made a huge stink and pressed the issue (refused to go away and be quiet). The first offense was usually less than a slap on the wrist, and only if it became a chronic problem would the professional's license be revoked.

Now in most cases, they can lose their license or go to jail, whether or not it's the first offense or whether or not the victim(s) do anything more than report the violation. Even if the professional manages to keep his or her license and stay out of jail, the damage to his or her reputation is much greater than it was in the past, because people are more conscious and protective of their privacy rights.


Today there are far fewer professionals who don't take privacy matters very seriously (because they don't want to risk their reputation, their livlihood, or their freedom). Even when I was in college and graduate school (in the late 80's and early 90's) we were taught to hold privacy sacrosanct and were told how much more of an issue it was then then only a few years before. And it's gotten far more strict since I got my psych degrees.

Your information is much safer today than it was even ten years ago.
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:16 PM   #12
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i have tried both antidepressents and conselling i found councelling very helpful especially with what i had been through and everything was kept confidential i would highly recommened it as it does help and if you cant talk to family and friends about your problem then this is the best way forward to get it off your chest xx
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