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21 Nov 2005

Depression Question
Dear Doc

I am on Efexor 75 probably for the rest of my life (40 now). I had Post Traumatic Stress following a childhood with an emotionally abusive father who then committed suicide. I am over it now having had counselling, but prone to depression/anxiety. Do anti-depressants damage the brain or have any long-term dangerous side-effects?

Is there a depression support group in Cape Town where you can go and chat to other people who suffer from it but have an otherwise normal life, in other words are not suicidal. I am a professional person with a life most people would aspire to, but suffer from this condition and would like to join a support group to chat about it.

Thanks and regards
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear DQ, I'm certain that you didn't have Post-Traumatic Stress, as there is no such condition, and any doc who makes that diagnosis is exposing their ignorance. YOu may have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, and if so, I'm sorry because I know it is unpleasant.
I know of no evidence at all that Effexor helps PTSD, though it can help depression with anxiety ; SSRI antidepressants have more evidence of value in PTSD. There is no good evidence that any of the current antidepressants damage the brain at all, and dangerous side-effects from long-term use have not been identified.
Check with the Lifeline number an call your local branch to check on whether there are support groups near you.
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