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Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  19 years conducting therapy; book author; newspaper columnist; former co-host of radio show
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I have been diagnosed with depression by a GP a few months

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I have been diagnosed with depression by a GP a few months ago. I am on 20mg of Fluoxetine a day and I don't feel much difference. I feel a have been misdiagnosed. What can I do?
Hi Magdaline:

Well, a few things come to mind. First, if you do not feel depressed, I would imagine it is time to come off of the Prozac (fluoxetine), right? But at 20mg for several months, it is not recommended that you just quit cold turkey. Rather, let your doc know that you would like to wean, and have him/her supervise the tapering. There are a number of obnoxious side-effects if you come off too fast.

Second, something must have been going on back then to make the doc think that you were depressed. If that issue has cleared up, then taper from the Prozac and be done with it. If that issue has not resolved itself, let's move into my third thought.

Third, enlisting the aid of a therapist can help you on all fronts. S/he can assess what is going on with you, and will have more knowledge than a GP in these matters. Further, s/he can act as a go-between and discuss the treatment with the GP on your behalf. Finally, s/he can help you with strategies to either reduce the symptoms of what you were experiencing prior to the Prozac, or warding it off in the future.

Frankly, I am disappointed that a GP would start you on an anti-depressant without recommending talk therapy. The research has consistently shown that meds plus talk therapy is the single most effective treatment strategy - and furthermore, a therapist can monitor you far more closely (and take more time for a complete evaulation) than a GP.

Anyway, that's my two cents!

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