|Re: Feeling Useless
Mar 17, 1999
Hello Dr. Shernoff:
I felt compelled to write a short note after reading the letter of "Feeling Useless". He complains of a "constant confusion feeling in my head..I take a b-12 injection once a week, and 50mg of zoloft a day, but I still feel the same, down & out, with no purpose or use." Your advice to him was perfect, and your concern rang out loud and clear.
I am not familiar with (nor have I experienced them myself) the side effects of drug therapies for people with HIV or AIDS. However, seven years ago I was prescribed Zoloft for depression by a psychiatrist who basically spoke to me for 45 minutes, handed me the prescription, then "monitored" me every six weeks or so.
Although I told him, almost in the same words as "Feeling Useless" described his feelings, that I felt more depressed, and dead and confused, he kept me on the drugs. I insisted that I needed to discuss unresolved issues that had been plaguing me for years, but the doctor angrily insisted upon the drugs. Finally, I chose to stop taking Zoloft when I found myself walking out in front of cars or falling down stairs all the time. I then sought out some REAL THERAPY. I have never had to take meds for depression since.
I'm feeling very, very concerned for "Feeling Useless", and which I could be there to help him find the right therapist and a compassionate general practitioner. I know how difficult it is to facilitate this search on your own, especially if you're suffering from depression.
| Response from Mr. Shernoff
Thanks so much for writing. You are so correct that when a person is feeling depressed, needing to confront an insensitve doctor or search out a new one or a therapist can be daunting. I hope that the man who sent the original letter reads your response and gets some support and hope from it. Agian thanks.
Michael Shernoff, MSW
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