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28 Nov 2005

Depression and Sleep Therapy
I was recently diagnosed with Unipolar/Severe Depression.
My shrink has tried cymbalta and alzam but they seem to make me very agressive. With my last visit he suggested to admit me to hospital and give me 2 injections per day as well as having my thyroid etc tested. I've phoned him later and the way his medical sister explained, I've come to the understanding that it's sleep therapy. Does it work and what are the side effects? I had him promise me not to do electro shock therapy or any other funny stuff. I won't be admitted to a mental fascility, but to Krugersdorp Private Hospital.
Answer 457 views

01 Jan 0001

I am most bothered by what you are describing, Bibi. I know of absolutely NO recognized and proper treatment for depression that involves 2 injections a day, nor any reason for someone to need to be admitted to hospital simply to have 2 injections a day ( a visiting nurse can give them at home, easily, or you can pop into the doctors office --- if there are any you need. To properly treat a first episode of severe depression, I qwouldn't start with Cymbalta, a most expensive drug with no overwlhelming advantage over other cheaper and very effective treatments.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER go into any hospital or accept ANY form of Sleep Therapy --- it is dangerous and worthless quackery, condemned by every responsible psychiatric authoritiy and actually banned in some countries. I am ashamed to hear that any doctor in SA would still offer such blatantly quack and worthless ( but highly profitable !) treatment today, or that any priovate hospital would tolerate the provision of such quackery in their wards. Do NOT have it. If any doctor recommended such trash treatment to me or anyone in my family or among my friends, I would report them to the Health professions Council for unprofessional conduct. No competent, properly trained doctor should EVER offer Sleep Therapy. There is NO evidence in existence for it having reliable or particular benefits, and too much evidence of its dangers.
For pete's sake, treating depression is easy, and works fine in almost every case with some CBT oriented counselling and one or other of several modern more modestly priced antidepressants.
Unless you have other signs of thyroid disease, there is little point in testing your thyroid function, and that can and should be done as an outpatient.
I would rarely interfere with another doctor's recommendations, except when they are improper and risky, as in any recommendation of Sleep Therapy, which is a mark of a doctor practising terribly old-fashioned and dodgy medicine. IN such a case, I would recommend that you stop seeing that psychiatrist, tellling him that you have heard far too much about the dangers of Sleep Therapy to ever acept it, and that you will be getting a second opinion on the treatment of your depression. Then leave him and see any other, good, local psychiatrist for a full re-assessment and a discussion of proper treatment of your depression. Do NOT ever, consent to having sleep therapy.
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