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Ryan LCSW, Mental Health
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 872
Experience:  Individual and Family Therapist
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I watched a segment on 60 minutes about anti depressents

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I watched a segment on 60 minutes about anti depressents being ineffective for mild to moderate depression. What do you think.
Hey there,

Anti-depressant are really meant for people who have chemical imbalances that cause them to be depressed. Unfortunately they are extremely over-prescribed for all types of depression, which is why they are ineffective for a lot of people. Most people who have mild to moderate depression are depressed because something has happened in their life to cause them to be depressed. In those cases, an anti-depressant is not going to solve the problem, because the depression is due to a real world problem and not due to a chemical imbalance. Many times an anti-depressant can help someone with real world problems cope more effectively, however the underlying problem is not going to go away until it is dealt with properly.

Xanax is prescribed to treat anxiety, and it not typically used as an anti-depressant. GAD can be a symptom of anxiety, which is likely why your doctor prescribed Xanax for you. Many people respond well to that. However if you are not depressed and the Xanax works for your anxiety, it doesn't seem to make sense to be taking anti-depressants. That would certainly be something to consult with your doctor about. Xanax can be habit forming so there are some concerns about long term usage. As with any of these medications, it is always advisable to work on the underlying issues through counseling, so that you are not always dependent on medication to manage the symptoms.

I hope that I've been able to answer your question and certainly wish you the best. If I can be of any more help just let me know.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
My doc also prescribed Buspar. There is so much out there about if it works for anxiety or not. He said there were few side effects and not habit forming. However, I have read where it can cause Tardive Dyskinesia (awful!) - I know the drug has been around for awhile - is there any real concern about TD happening and does it work for anxiety?
Dyskinesia is sometimes reported as one of the severe rare side effects of Buspar. All of these medications have some potentially frightening side effects that only effect a small portion of the population, so there are certainly risks to weigh when you decide to take them in the first place. I've attached a link to a website that will give you detailed information on the side effects of Buspar that you can get to by clicking here.

Buspar itself has been around for a while and people generally respond pretty well to it for anxiety. The unfortunate things about all of these types of medication is that everyone responds to them differently, and everyone experiences different side effects. In general, it's considered to be well tested, safe, and effective medication for anxiety treatment, but of course individual experience vary.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I have been taking 15mg 2xdaily for three weeks. I don't notice any side effects, but I also have to take the Zanax. How high can he increase the dosage?

Thanks for your help.

It's good to hear that you haven't been experiencing any side effects. With both of those medications there is plenty of room to increase the dosage, but it's different depending on how much of each that you're taking, not to mention medical history, body weight etc. People who take Buspar alone generally can take a maximum of up to 60mgs per day.

I'm glad I've been able to help. If I've been able to answer your questions up to this point I'd appreciate it if you would click the 'accept' button. Best of luck with everything and take care.

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