CBT & E&R Prevention
Advice for Friends/Partners
Depression and BDD
2. What is Depression anyhow, and what class
of medications can help?
3. How does one develop a chemical imbalance?
4. Pros and Cons of Medications
5. Other Drug-free Serotonin Boosters
6. Final thoughts and information
7. Most often prescribed drugs for BDD
Personal Experiences with Medications
people turn to medications as a solution to BDD. One of the most
difficult aspects of BDD to overcome is the severe depression that
is often associated with it. The problem with this depression is
that it is often not the type that lasts for several weeks to months,
but instead, the kind that lasts for years or decades.
is Depression anyhow, and what class of medications can help?
is not completely understood at this time, but researchers are fairly
certain that depression involves an imbalance of neurotransmitters
in your brain, with the neurotransmitter Serotonin playing the key
role. The medications prescribed to BDD patients are called Selective
Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, or SSRI's. As you might guess,
these antidepressants selectively affect Serotonin, and cause fewer
side effects than medications that would affect several different
types of neurotransmitters.
does one develop a chemical imbalance?
may wonder how you developed a chemical imbalance in the first place.
Well, there are several theories on this. Some researchers say that
a chemical imbalance can be inherited. Others say that it can be
caused by severe psychological stress, physical illnesses or conditions,
or medications. I once read a book that stated that living in an
abusive or controlling environment as a child could actually create
a chemical imbalance of serotonin levels in the brain as well.
and Cons of Medications
are several pros and cons that must be considered when deciding
whether you should start taking medication or not. First, I'd like
to point out, antidepressants are usually prescribed for 6 months
to a year, helping people get over normal bouts of depression. Many
people who are depressed have experienced a concrete situation that
has caused their depression, and over time, they will eventually
get over it. Medication allows them to control the symptoms of their
depression while they are recovering.
People afflicted with BDD tend to have depression for years. It
is usually not a viable option to take medication for the time length
that BDDers need it, as it's both expensive and can even cause damage
down the road. To top things off, most people with BDD taking SSRI's
have found that medication helped for several months, at most, and
then they had to increase dosage or change medications just to continue
Several people also become plagued with horrible side effects. And
there is no sure way to find which medications will work for you.
It's a long, tedious process of trial and error, finding which medication
will have rewarding effects, and which will bring more problems
than it's worth. Many times, you'll have to take a medication just
to battle the horrible side effects of another! To top everything
off, medications can never cure depression or BDD. They can
help to control or mask the symptoms. Additionally, most people
with BDD who take medication, and then stop taking it, end up regaining
all their symptoms of BDD again! You have to questions yourself
whether it is healthier to listen to your body, and make a change
for the better and deal with your problems. I believe that medication
is a great option if you need help now and see no other way out.
But eventually, if you ever want to truly get over your depression
and BDD, and not just hide it, you'll need to do it the right way-through
plain hard work.
Drug-free Serotonin Boosters
might also mention, it seems that medications are not the only way
to influence the brain's Serotonin levels. Playing with animals
and doing other uplifting things seems to do the trick as well!
Thoughts and Information
it's always recommended, if you decide to take medications, to use
them as an addition to therapy instead
of a replacement for it. If you do decide to use medications, please
discuss this with a doctor or psychiatrist. They should be able
to help you make decisions about which medication is right for you.
often prescribed drugs for BDD (please click on
the links for more information on useage and side effects associated
with the medications):
Experience with Medications
took Prozac for several months. It takes some time for it to start
working, but once it does, you will feel quite good. I remember
being more talkative and more excited about things-it was as if
I was on a heavy dose of caffeine! As for my BDD, I continued to
feel ugly, but I really didn't care about the fact that I felt unattractive!
After a few months, the effects of Prozac wore off completely, so
my doctor increased the dosage. The increase didn't help my BDD
or depression at all, but instead, brought about annoying side effects,
most notably, insomnia. To battle these side effects, Desyrel was
added to the mix, which I didn't handle well at all. This caused
me to slur my speech, become forgetful, and have horrible hand eye
coordination. I started developing strange tics, too. We lowered
the dose of Desyrel and put me on Sonata and Restoril sleeping pills
instead. The Sonata made me develop a bout of hypersomnia, and the
latter would allow me to sleep, but for exactly three hours. After
those three hours were up, I'd be wide awake again! I also tried
Paxil and Zoloft, but the side effects continued, so I went off
medications altogether. After about 13 weeks or so, most of the
side effects subsided, and I've been doing better off medications
than on them. The biggest change in my depression came from lifestyle
changes rather than taking medications.
hope to make this page interactive, allowing people to rate medications,
and write posts with personal experiences with the different drugs.
We'll notify you on the updates page once this feature is implemented!