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Ask DrFee Your Own Question

DrFee
DrFee, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 437
Experience:  I help people overcome anxiety and enjoy life again.
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Hello, My psychotherapist has today decided I should try

This answer was rated:

Hello,
My psychotherapist has today decided I should try anti-depresant medication for depression and anxiety. What should I know before doing them and what side effects can be expected?

DrFee :

Hello! Please remember that my response is for information only, we are not establishing a therapeutic relationship.

DrFee :

The side effects vary from person to person, so it's hard to predict what it will be like for you.

DrFee :

I'd suggest that you see a Psychiatrist rather than a family doctor, though, because Psychiatrist specialize in prescribing these types of medications.

DrFee :

One thing to expect, you may not notice a difference for up to 4-6 weeks.

Customer:

My phsycotherapist suggested lexipro? Think i am spelling it wrong

Customer:

I have made great strides, but the depression comes back. So this might aid getting over that hurdle

DrFee :

Nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, some dizziness, sexual side effects are common. Lexapro ---you were close!

DrFee :

Yes, the medication can be so helpful for taking care of that problem. You should also be patient and stay on it for whatever the Psychiatrist thinks --year, two, or so

DrFee :

Many side effects are just annoying and go away, but if they are severe, you can call the doctor right away.

DrFee :

If you know that you are sensitive to medication, you could ask the doctor to start at an extremely low dose --you can even go to a compounding pharmacy to get the meds in liquid form in order to start at a very low dose.

Customer:

will this also help with anxiety? I am planning on cleaning up my diet and prepping this week to wake up ealier in the morning to workout before morning which should help with it as well.

DrFee :

Some antidepressants really help with anxiety --Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil are the three that are FDA approved for treating panic disorder.

Customer:

will they help with social anxiety/ thinking too much? and fear such as learning to drive?

Customer:

and yes I will leave a bonus lol

DrFee :

Some help a lot with obsessive thinking. Yes, some really help with anxiety. Did it ask you to leave a bonus already?

DrFee :

That's one reason that it's important to see a Psychiatrist, they have far more experience (in terms of numbers of patients) and can pick a medication based on what they've seen in larger numbers of people.

DrFee :

Whereas a family doctor has to be on top of so many things at one time.....

Customer:

unfortunately no real phsychatrist near me and the phsyco therapist has been helping, just get bogged down after a week or so of being on track.

DrFee :

Are you in a real rural area? Because it's worth driving some distance. You don't see the Psychiatrist every week...a couple times in a short time frame, then about every 3 months.

Customer:

think i will try this then if no real results go to one. and I dont drive :)

DrFee :

That makes it tough --- are you working on that with your therapist?

Customer:

slowly, trying to get stable so i can get more confidence

Customer:

main goal right now is to get stable and social skills

DrFee :

That makes sense.

DrFee :

Well, I'd encourage you persevere with any side effects, but if they are severe, call the doctor asap. It could really make the difference that you need!!

Customer:

will do. Just ready to get back to having a life!

DrFee :

I bet! And you can --it sounds like you are doing everything you can to be able to get back to life!

DrFee :

Is there anything else I can answer for you?

Customer:

last question, can i also use st johns wart? also kava kava i was told can help any advice?

DrFee :

In my experience, they help some people and not others. I'd get approval from a pharmacist, because some ingredients in those remedies can interact with the antidepressant. While I'm a big advocate for "whatever works," in an individual, they make me nervous because they are not regulated by the FDA. They can differ from brand to brand, and I wonder if they even differ within the same brand (different batches).

DrFee :

If the antidepressant works, then I'm not sure adding to it by using an herbal remedy is necessary or useful. If you wanted to try them first, I guess that would be OK

Customer:

Ok ty for your advice and have a good night!

DrFee and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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