Evening my friend.
i would personally say to you that if you feel you need something and are going to follow your doctors advice - I would go on them. If you look at me - I am 6 feet tall, large in the body as years of training show (thick in head!), I eat well, have a good job, have a great and loving wife, an adoreable son, great and fast car, nice house - I have it all - and yet- despite all this - I suffer with depression.
I am 34 now - I have had it I believe since I was 18 when was hit by Meningitis. It has led me to depths so low that you can test for these levels - you would have to drill for them. I just had days when I was down, real down and no amount of coaxing could do anything at all. Even whilst married, I have suffered and it took until a blistering row with my wife last year before I recognised i have a problem.
I was on prozac for 6 months, I got better, started to slide so went from 20mg a day to Effexor on 85 mg a day and am a lot lot better.
At the end of the day, all depression is in real terms I believe is an imbalance in a chemical in the brain. The drug helps. They are NOT a cure for depression and I stress this. They just make bad things or things people say bounce of you a bit easier. The glass is not half empty - its half full. If someone passes a comment that is insulting, instead of being devastated - its - well so what...
I have found a few things now help me to cope - time to myself, talking to others and trusted friends, excersise, and also trying to meditate in bed. Concentrating on relaxing has been great for me and then getting enough sleep to feel as though I can cope with the day. I have changed my lifestyle a bit as well - thats helped a lot - little differences help - getting hair done (in my case what the hell can you do with very little hair), change of clothes, new perfume, get a massage - thats an order - change in little things = change inside
Sure - I still have off days / hours / minutes but these are becoming more and more less.
You mention about getting panic attacks - nasty little sods are they not? I suffered with these from the menigitis and I hated them - sometimes I still have one. A panic attack is not going to kill you - the heart is not going to stop - get a paper bag and when you start to feel the attack- hold the end and breathe into it, watch it expand, then inhale and watch it deflate - repeat this. Its a concentration thing - it helps- believe me. Just do it away from people - otherwise folk tend to think you are sniffing something.
Have being there where you are - still am on some days - however- you ever want a natter - I can pm my phone no to you and or I will call you and have a yak. (talk - not the animal). Sometimes it helps even if people are faceless on the internet. We do however, give a damn for you on TCS.
You hang in there - you will get through it - trust me and I apologise for the length of this.
Kev = on a mission to make people feel better about themselve and smile a bit more and who finally told one of his work mates that the new Viagra tablets I have been taking are working. When she asked me if they were helping with my sex life - I said no. However - they had stopped me rolling out of bed a few times.