I've been clinically depressed for years and I can't get out of this funk.

Patient

Q: I've been clinically depressed for years and I can't get out of this funk. A couple years ago I turned to meth to self medicate. I was happi then. All my mood swings stopped and family even thought I was happi. Eventually it became to expensive and I stopped. That was 3 years ago. Ever since then my depression has come back and antidepressants don't work. Should I ask doctor about stimulant s as an answer? If so how do I approach it? I don't want to seem like I'm just trying to get high but if I can't figure this out i don't know how I can keep going.

Doctor

A:   Hello,
Thanks for using "Ask The Doctor" for posting your query.
The symptoms that you have mentioned suggest that you could be having a depression. The mood swings that you are describing are occurring due to imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. The neurotransmitters like serotonine, nor-epinephrine, and dopamine. This condition can be corrected with the help of medicines such as fluoxetine, mirtazapine or venlafaxine. These medicines start showing improvement in 2-3 weeks and the illness requires a treatment of 6-8 months. During this period, try to do regular exercise and eat healthy food and try inculcating some hobby. If you averse to medicines, then cognitive behavioural therapy can help you in the treatment of depression. This is a specialized counselling technique mastered by clinical psychologists and is almost as effective as medicine.
Stimulants will only help you if you have an attention deficit disorder along with the depression. Otherwise it will have an abuse potential. You may discuss your in -attention issues and failure to keep up with the deadlines and general forgetfulness and make a comment that it has persisted all through. But make sure you do this only if its true.
You may meet your doctor and get these medicines prescribed, or you can request for a psychologist consult.
Do meet your doctor.
Hope this helps,
Wish you a good health.

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