Originally Posted by Disco King
Depression medication has done almost nothing for me.
No side-effects or dependency, so that's good. But also pretty much none of what they are supposed to do, either. I dunno. The shrink had me try a whole bunch before throwing his hands up and going, "I don't have a fucking clue." The counseling side hasn't been much better. Somebody letting me vent for an hour does nothing to actually change my life. Sometimes I think mental health is a meme.
I don't even know how to go about finding stats for remission for mental health problems, or if "remission" is even the correct term. Like, a lot of physical diseases, we measure success by the person either no longer being afflicted with the disease, or being able to manage it in a way that lowers the disease's impact on their life. Have dermatitis? Here's a treatment. We'll know it's a success once you stop having dermatitis. Have a chronic illness like diabetes? Here's insulin. Sure, you'll have to stick a needle in your arm every day, but we'll know it's a success if your blood sugar levels are regulated and you stop collapsing on the floor every day.
Depression? Uh, well, you're in the danger zone if you want to kill yourself. Maybe success is just making life tolerable enough that you live your natural life span instead of killing yourself, even if you were miserable the entire time and held out on the promise that "things will get better." You survived. The guy dangling from his ceiling fan didn't. Or maybe success means actually feeling normal one day. I don't fucking know.
This is definitely a good point.
I guess there's just a lot of ways to look at it. I don't think forcing someone to just feel OK enough to not kill themselves is a real success. But it's also kind of a necessary step (for some people) on the way to feel better than that. I guess some people just have some kind of pure chemical problem and it's like a light switch, but SSRIs won't fix anyone's problems if they are more than that. They will help symptoms for many people, but that's really just the starting point IMO. I do know some people who were on higher doses, went through a lot of therapy, and try to get off meds and just can't. They can get really, really low, but if they go off they get symptoms again. Is that some sort of dependence in that their brain has changed to need the drug, or is that just showing the medicine is doing what it's supposed to do? It's impossible to say.