Major Depressive Disorder When I read, “Suffering from Depression”, the story made me think of a lot of questions I had. I have, myself, suffered from depression. When I read about Elizabeth’s story, I could relate to her in a not so good way. Personally I don’t like reading about hopeless, loneliness, and many of the symptoms of depression, because I was once there and I don’t want to go back to that state of mind. Like I said, I had those thoughts, and I feel like I am “coming out” of depression myself and I don’t want to go back.
Reading Elizabeth’s story did not impact my own thoughts of the disease. I did not learn a whole lot of new information. I am glad that she has recovered now and the suicide attempt was only an attempt and not actually committing suicide. Life is precious to take one’s own life. There is too much to live for to let one disease take over your life. I was 20 playing baseball at Mizzou when I found out I had brain cancer and had to withdraw from school. After that I developed major depression and am currently presuming all types of therapy to help correct it. Unlike other people that feel baseball is just a game, I thought of it as my life. Every day I would either play or do some other activity to better myself. Right before I received the news that I had the tumor, I was awarded a scholarship to play baseball. For me, baseball was life. Then a tumor comes out of nowhere and takes baseball away from me. That is when the depression stepped in. Depression is a true disease that ANYONE can get. Before the tumor, I was in no way depressed. It can happen to anyone at any time.
The questions that Elizabeth’s story raised was that she was on the anti-depressant Prozac. Prozac, or Fluoxetine, is an anti-depressant that is in the SSRI class. (Selective-Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) Serotonin is a chemical that is produced naturally in the brain. The chemical serotonin is part of the body’s biological, 24 hour clock, called the Circadian Rhythm. To put it shortly, serotonin is produced to wake the body up, and its counter-partner is the chemical melatonin is produce to let the body sleep. To me, when you artificial increase the levels of serotonin in the brain, the brain would have to increase its own dose of melatonin to offset the increase in serotonin. It also seems to me that when you eventually get off Prozac, your body could go into withdraws because it is not receiving the artificial increase in serotonin. If the brain is not getting the amount of serotonin its use to, the melatonin levels in your brain would be off. I have been personally on SSRI’s before in the past. I do not like them at all because they give me constant headaches. I’m currently taking Wellbutrin, a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor.
Elizabeth was also prescribed the drug Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug that will work immediately to calm her down. Xanax is a benzodiazepine, is a short-acting, powerful drug that is primarily used for the relief of anxiety. Xanax affects the dopamine part of brain. (The feel good part) While Xanax can give a person temporary relief from their symptoms, it is highly addictive. The story did not specify if Elizabeth was given a prescription of Xanax for her to take home. If she did take some home, the story did not talk much about her use of Xanax. Usually the initial dose is good relief for patients at first. After the first few weeks of use, a patient can develop a tolerance to that specific dose and the brain craves more of it. Once a patient is on Xanax for a period of time, it is very hard to get that person off of the drug.
To me drugs are not always the answer. I believe that drugs can help a person cope with the disease, but if the patient only copes with disease and deal with the disease head on, (through the use of therapy, life style changes,…) the patient will never overcome the disease. I also feel that drugs can do a lot of good,