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[I]Is there anyone that can say they have used one of these meds, same brand, successfully for many years?[/I] I am recently off benzos and considering SSRI therapy to get functional. But I cannot think of a story i have read of someone that used one of these meds for a long time with no problems. It is either that the med never worked or made them worse, did work but quit working eventually, or claims that it works but these have been on it fairly short term. And of course there are the withdrawal horror stories, tapering agony, etc. that gives me second thoughts. Thanks for any replies. :)
I've only been on an SSRI for about 6 months, but I know two people who have been on them 5+ years and are doing well still. The reason you don't hear many good stories is not that many people who have felt good on an SSRI for 10 years will come on the internet and post about it ;)

Jeff
[QUOTE=jeffster]I've only been on an SSRI for about 6 months, but I know two people who have been on them 5+ years and are doing well still. The reason you don't hear many good stories is not that many people who have felt good on an SSRI for 10 years will come on the internet and post about it ;)

Jeff[/QUOTE]

Good point.
The long term effects of SSRI's is not measurable as those of us taking them are literally the lab rats who will determine that. SSRI's are a farily new class of drugs, being introduced in the early 1980's - so studies are not yet even at the 25 year mark. Newer SSRI's such as Celexa were introduced in 1998 and Lexapro in 2002 - thus the long term effects of these medications is an ongoing mystery.

I can tell you that I took Prozac for 5 years. I kept having my dose increased to keep up with the adjustments my body made to receiving it. I switched away at a whopping 40mg of Prozac. I have been taking Lexapro since its approval by the FDA. I am experiencing horrible physical problems with no apparent cause other than my medication. I take 20mg per my psychiatrist but have just read that studies show no noticeable improvements from taking the advised 10mg to the increased 20mg - other than making the liver and kidneys work overtime on filtering this substance from the body.

SSRI's are brain altering drugs. If that sounds scary it is only because it should. Science has no clue as to the effects of changing the bodies chemical messengers on a long term basis. Large doses in rats has caused brain damage and death. The liver is held responsible for carting this drug around for almost 90% of the dosage. Who knows what long term effects on the liver and kidney will be discovered.

The limbic system is complicated and intertwined. Though selective serotonin drugs are said to have minimal effects on dopamine and other neurotransmitters, this has not been proven conclusively on a long term basis to see how the body will compensate for such changes. Dopamine in high doses causes schitzophrenia and in low doses causes Parkinson's. Messing around with such chemical properties of the human brain seems a little dangerous if you ask me.

I am not an opponent of SSRI's, as I truly believe that originally Prozac changed my life for the better; however, though they are not chemically addictive, they are in fact the proverbial "quick fix." If any of you ever tried dropping acid in your younger years - recall how the first time was the best and it could never be recreated? SSRI's seem to be the same - they work at first and then they fizzle out. Doctors then try different ones on you or increase in the dosage - but the chances that we will ever recreate that initial wonderful feeling does not happen.

I believe because a lot of it is psychological. Drugs cannot help us cope with underlying issues that we face. Drugs cannot make us have more confidence or deal with past pain. Drugs cannot teach us new ways of thinking that would be beneficial to our well being - they only give us the release of chemicals that makes us feel good and that itself only seems to be short lived.

Endorphins do the same thing - and can be released through exercise and sex. Serotonin can be increased through healthy diet, exercise and pleasant thoughts.

In essence - through my trials and tribulations of almost a decade of SSRI's, I believe that the irony is that we already have these chemicals available in our own bodies and just need to figure out how to release them without a prescription. It is safer and certainly more cost effective. We need to learn how to find our own happiness and good health through the "long fix" - diet, exercise, healthy thinking and healthy relationships with others as well as ourselves.

Remember the old adage, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Or better yet in the case of SSRI's, "Nothing is ever free." We may end up paying a rather high price for our lack of initiation and always grabbing the "quick fix."

Please do not take this as anything more than a personal opionion. Discuss thoroughly with your doctor your concerns about taking SSRI's, and most importantly be honest and forthright about any and all symptoms you are having while on the medication. Do your own intensive research before commiting to any medication. Consider therapy in addition or in instead of SSRI's.

Best wishes to everyone.





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