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Other Actors on Anti Depressants?

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jimmy_oh_jimmy
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Other Actors on Anti Depressants?#1
Posted: 11/20/09 at 12:34pm
Hi,

For other working/training actors out there who are on antidepressants.....is it just me, or do you feel completely emotionally inhibited in studio, or is there a way to work around this? I never cry lol or feel many extremes...I blame zoloft.
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Phyllis Rogers Stone
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re: Other Actors on Anti Depressants?#2
Posted: 11/20/09 at 12:41pm
Maybe the problem is your dosage. I've taken zoloft for years and never felt like it affected me in performance.
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re: Other Actors on Anti Depressants?#2
Posted: 11/20/09 at 12:47pm
I've often felt the same way, which is a lot of the reason why sometimes I prefer to just accept the "mountains". Know what I mean?
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
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re: Other Actors on Anti Depressants?#3
Posted: 11/20/09 at 12:56pm
haha....details? "Mountains?"
basically, I don't feel. but not feeling w/ Mr. zoloft is nice in life, just not in scene study/stage
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Phyllis Rogers Stone
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re: Other Actors on Anti Depressants?#4
Posted: 11/20/09 at 12:58pm
I still think you should talk to your doctor. If the drugs you are taking are interfering with normal emotions (you should still feel depression on anti-depressants if there's an actual reason to be depressed, etc) then you have a problem.

What's your dosage, if you don't mind me asking?
Updated On: 11/20/09 at 12:58 PM
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re: Other Actors on Anti Depressants?#5
Posted: 11/20/09 at 1:33pm
I found, (being a visual artist and not a performing one) that antidepressants raised the bottoms on the lows but at the same time lowered the ceilings on the highs. I opted out of them because I found them inhibiting my work and creative processes.
I am not recommending anyone stop taking their meds, just relaying my personal experience.
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re: Other Actors on Anti Depressants?#6
Posted: 11/20/09 at 1:50pm
I opted for anti-anxiety meds, specifically Buspar for now. My depression was directly related to anxiety, so eliminating some of the symptoms of anxiety greatly contributed to eliminating much of the depression. Buspar does give me about ten minutes of a dizzy rush, coupled with a sudden flush and sweats, about 45 minutes after taking it each morning, but after that, I feel quite normal. But I only take half the recommended dosage. I have naturally low blood pressure and I'm not sure how much more my body could safely handle.
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re: Other Actors on Anti Depressants?#7
Posted: 11/20/09 at 5:02pm
I have been on Prozac on and off for fifteen years, and it has never affected my work as an actor. If anything, it has helped me remain (relatively) emotionally stable both in demanding roles and with dealing with the blows of the business (not to mention real life). I have also tried Zoloft, Paxil, and Cymbalta, and Prozac gets my vote. But everyone is different. You may have to try out different kinds of SSRI's to find your best match. They are all slightly different from each other even though they all work similarly.
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re: Other Actors on Anti Depressants?#8
Posted: 11/20/09 at 5:15pm
haha....details? "Mountains?"

He's referencing the song in next to normal, I Miss the Mountains, where Diana sings of missing the mountains and the emotional "highs and lows" she felt that her current medication precludes her from doing.
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re: Other Actors on Anti Depressants?#9
Posted: 11/20/09 at 5:23pm
Again, talk to your doctor.
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re: Other Actors on Anti Depressants?#10
Posted: 11/20/09 at 5:24pm
I have been on anti-depression and anti- anxiety medication for over 20 years. In my opinion, nothing is as bad as clinical depression. I agree with SNAFU's feelings that the medication raises the level of the lows and at the same time lowers the ceiling of the highs. I am not a performing artist, but I am able to cope with life's demands now and the lowering of the highs is the price I have to pay. My psychiatrist and I have worked long and hard to find the right combination of meds. Changes in specific meds have been made over the years. The first anti-depressent I took was Prozac; it worked for a few years and then just stopped being effective. Consulting with a doctor is essential.
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re: Other Actors on Anti Depressants?#11
Posted: 11/20/09 at 5:26pm
Broadway message boards are the new doctors.
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re: Other Actors on Anti Depressants?#12
Posted: 11/20/09 at 5:52pm
Is the "high high" "low low" stuff relative only to manic-depression? In the time I've on zoloft I've never felt like I was missing out on any highs that I used to have.
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re: Other Actors on Anti Depressants?#13
Posted: 11/20/09 at 7:33pm
"Again, talk to your doctor."

100% agreed.

If their was 1 anti-depressant there would not be so many other types of depression management tablets out there, it takes time and trial and error to find the correct medication, like it did with me.

Updated On: 11/20/09 at 07:33 PM
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re: Other Actors on Anti Depressants?#14
Posted: 11/20/09 at 7:33pm
Phyllis Rogers Stone: I would say that you are lucky to have held on to your highs while taking anti-depressants. I am not manic-depressive. Clinical depression runs in our family; my father had it and so did my brother. I feel fortunate in currently being able to cope and to enjoy things in life. I am looking forward to my semi-annual trip to NYC next month when I will attend two concerts as well as FINIAN'S RAINBOW. Such activities would not be possible for me if I was fighting a bout of depression.

As far as the higher lows and the lower highs, I can relate to that by describing my participation in an all day choral workshop. For 32 years I had sung with NYC's St. Cecilia Chorus, a good large amateur chorus which gives concerts with professional orchestras at Carnegie Hall. In the workshop, we read through several major choral works which I loved. Still, I didn't get the musical high that I used to get until the final part of the day when we sang the Dona Nobis Pacem of the Bach Mass in B Minor. Singing that gave me chills of excitement, partly because it was the ending of the day and partly because of the extreme beauty of the music. I miss such highs, but as I said in a prior post, it is worth it to not have the depression.
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re: Other Actors on Anti Depressants?#15
Posted: 11/20/09 at 11:53pm
Gypsy, that's really interesting, and from what I gather, that's more common than I realized. I guess I never really thought about it. I don't recall extreme highs before I went on meds, but I remember the extreme lows. Then again, I didn't start seeing a shrink and going on meds until I was in 30s, and I do remember my teens and twenties being a blur of tumultuousness, so who really knows at this point? For me, it was a rather long slide into a really low place coupled with lifelong anxiety that had started to become crippling. By the time I started getting treated, I was just relieved to not feel the way I had been. It had been so long since I felt "normal." I was lucky, medication-wise. I didn't have to try a lot of ones before I found something that worked. We've had to tinker with the dosage a few times and I occasionally take a benzo if the anxiety gets really bad, but once I started on zoloft it was pretty smooth sailing.

This thread certainly proves the point (that's been made already) that no one thing works for everyone. At any rate, I think the point we can all agree on is it doesn't have to be an either/or thing for the OP. Perhaps he needs a different drug. Perhaps he'd be better off not being medication and just seeing a shrink. Perhaps he needs shock treatments. Maybe he needs to try a different acting technique. :)

On a side note, Carrie Fisher's book totally made me want to get shock treatment.

<3nyuStellaAdler, I wish you the best. I hope you're able to come to a solution to your problem.
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re: Other Actors on Anti Depressants?#16
Posted: 11/21/09 at 1:17am
Thank you!
Its only 25mg. The bottoms have certainly been lifted from the lows. It's is strange-first question my scene study teacher asked us all at nyu freshman year was to tell her in private if we were "on anything"....I felt that was an invasion of privacy, but it made me wonder if medicated artists are 'an issue?' She just framed it strangely. w/e! thank you for the advice re: Other Actors on Anti Depressants?
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re: Other Actors on Anti Depressants?#17
Posted: 11/21/09 at 1:28am
Bizarre.