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Author Topic: Fear of meds long term damage  (Read 188 times)

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Offline hannah22

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Fear of meds long term damage
« on: June 16, 2014, 12:42:14 PM »
I have been on anti-depressants  for about 15 years.  I have been on Lexapro for the last 7 years.  I also had great success while on Prozac.  I thought I was doing so well on Prozac that I tampered off about 8 years ago.  I had panic attacks, racing thoughts, and what I call OCD scary thoughts.  I tried living like that for about six months.  Then I started Lexapro and I tried  to taper off again and everything came back.  My point is that I am great on meds!!  I feel great!  The only problem is that I am tired and gain weight easily.  When I am on them I sleep well, have very few bad thoughts, never sick, and I can enjoy life.  Does anyone else worry about long term damage of taking these meds?  It is in my thoughts sometimes.  My doctor told me that taking anti-depressants will take years off my life.....I did not ask him why.....does anyone have any insight? 
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Re: Fear of meds long term damage
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2014, 02:05:38 PM »
Hello Hannah...  Welcome to Anxiety Zone!  My name is Chuck, and I am one of the Global Moderators here on the site.

You are now a member of our community, where you will find support and advice from other members in similar situations.   It's always nice to find someone else who understands, and to know you're not alone.

We have sections in the forum that address specific concerns, so feel free to post or start a new topic in the section that best fits your situation.  Feel free to explore the rest of the forum.  You may find the other topics helpful, and you may be able to offer advice or support to someone else.

We also have a chat room for members over the age of 18.  Once you have made three meaningful posts, you will be allowed access to the chat room.

Hannah, you and I have a very similar history with an anxiety disorder, and the use of anti-depressant therapy.  For myself, I have already made the decision that my anxiety disorder is a chronic, lifelong condition, and so I plan on being on an anti-depressant the rest of my life.  I am on Celexa (Citalopram), which is a sister drug to the Lexapro that you are on.

I am not certain why your doctor would tell you that being on anti-depressants would take years off your life, because as far as I know, there is no truth in that statement.  In one respect, anti-depressants can help you as they actually "thin the blood", which prevents clots from forming, thus helping to prevent stokes and heart attacks from occurring.

Really, I think a lot of it is just statistical information as when you think about it, many individuals with severe, chronic depressive and/or anxiety disorders, whether they are on anti-depressants or not, may have a shorter life span.  And I ask myself, would I rather live to 75 and have a good life, or life to 85 with daily anxiety.  I'll take the 75, thank-you.

Again, welcome to Anxiety Zone, Hannah.  The very best to you!...  Chuck :grinning-smiley-003:
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Offline Never-Quit

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Re: Fear of meds long term damage
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2014, 03:52:30 PM »
Hi Hannah,

Since I had to deal with psychiatric medications since they came out, I can't count how many ignorant doctors I have encountered over the last 30 years, warning me about the "How bad these medications can be to your liver, brain, etc...etc...". 

When I would ask them for studies or some long-term patients that they knew of,  they would brush me off. 

Interesting, that many of these doctors are now DEAD (probably from drinking or smoking...) :laugh3:

Psychiatric medications (especially today's medications and SSRI) when used properly under a doctor's care are now among the safest medications on the market - People who use medication responsibly should not have any real concerns, and of course, you should a battery of blood test every 6 months or yearly to monitor Liver and other major function just to confirm, also know as annual checkups with your doctor.

I guess, It is like anything else, if you are take it responsibly and under a doctor's care - and you get some annual check ups - take advantage of these wonderful medications that can give you a high quality of life.   :yes:

I been on Prozac, and other antidepressants for over 20 years, and Benzodiazepines for over 20 years with no long term issues, Of course my doctor is a little concerned with my cholesterol - and to cut back on eating Pizza!!  :winking0008:

By all means, stay on your medications if they are improving the "Quality of your Life!"   :grinning-smiley-003:
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Re: Fear of meds long term damage
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2014, 06:20:26 PM »
Does anyone else worry about long term damage of taking these meds?

I've been taking antidepressants pretty much constantly for nearly 28 years and so far they haven't done me any harm despite being on doses well above the recommended maximum. Like you I do really well when on them but soon crashed and burnt on the 3 occasions I stopped for a while. 

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My doctor told me that taking anti-depressants will take years off my life.

Just the opposite. Anxiety, depression, stress are humanities biggest killers as they often lead to the major deadly ills such as heart disease and cancer. Antidepressants can actually reduce the odds of heart attacks and ischemic stroke, and there is some evidence that they reduce the incidence of some cancers. As long as you take care with weight, eat right, get regular exercise, which is great for anxiety and depression too btw, there is no reason why you shouldn't make it to a 100. I'm planning too.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline hannah22

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Re: Fear of meds long term damage
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2014, 08:53:48 PM »
Thanks everyone!  I have seen a lot of people talking about short term use but not long term use! These responses have helped a lot!!   :happy0151:Thanks!! 
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Offline 2sungo

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Re: Fear of meds long term damage
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2014, 10:27:28 PM »
I think there are some meds (atypical antipsychotics spring to mind, not sure why they are so popular these days) that might have some bad metabolic effects on long term users, and the same could be true with some antidepressants.  However most of them including the SSRIs in particular may have some benefits as Ian mentioned, and should not cause harm if one's health is being monitored and you are not the one in a million who has some weird bad reaction to it.  The one thing that can be bad on most ads is weight gain, if that can be controlled (and it can) then there should not be adverse healt consequences for most of them.
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Offline Anxious Brit

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Re: Fear of meds long term damage
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2014, 12:26:29 AM »
Hi,

I am new here but I agree with the comments above use medication to get yourself into a better place that will keep you feeling positive. A positive mental attitude will keep you leading a longer better life.

Take care x
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