|| I just recently found out that my girlfriend has an eating disorder and she went to go and get help for it. That is the good part. Now the doctors are linking the problem to depression. So now they want to put her on depression pills and I am not very up-beat or you could look at it as supportive of depression pills. I know someone that has been put on them; and instead of helping him, he became addicted to the pills because every time something depressed him, he would take a pill as a crutch so he is now addicted to them. I am very afraid that my girlfriend will also become addicted to the pills. I have not yet talked to my girlfriend’s mom about the subject but I plan to soon. What else can I do? Is there another way to work on the problem without the pills? What should I do?
- Caring for a friend with mental disorders is very difficult. I commend you for sticking with her and helping her though treatment of her eating disorder and depression.
- Eating disorders often have dual diagnosed with other mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, mood disorders and alcohol or drug abuse. Psychologists do not know often which comes first the eating disorder or in this case your girl friends depression. They treat all diagnosis simultaneously while paying attention to symptoms and mood.
- Perhaps your friend was on the wrong dosage of antidepressant medication. Some times a side effect of these medications is addiction. Your girlfriends psychiatrist will observe her closely for signs of addiction and changes in mood. Often the dosage needs to be increased or decreased or changed all together until they find the right fit.
- Some people do need to take anti depressants for a short time in order to control symptoms and improve mood. Talking to a psychologist also is part of treatment for mental disorders. Psychologist help clients learn new coping skills in order to function in every day lives. She should also be following up with a dietitian for nutrition and following a meal plan created by the dietitian.
- If she is still in treatment you can go to a meeting with her (they often have support groups for friends and family) or ask if you can come to an appointment with her therapist or dietitian.
- If you did talk to your girlfriends parents what advise did they give you? If you have not yet talked to them what questions and thoughts do you have for them?
- What questions do you have about anti depressants? Who can you talk to and or where can you go to learn more about them?
- What can you apply from your knowledge of mental health disorders to help support her? What support groups can you join in your community or online to help support her and be an advocate for mental health?
- What other activities, research would you like to do to learn more about these issues to help support your girlfriend and friend?