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Anonymous
UPDATED 4/4 6PM IN RED. Long History With Depression/Anxiety, New to Group. Question about Med. Need Suggestions.
by Anonymous
March 28, 2013 at 6:17 PM

4/4 UPDATE: I WANTED TO THANK ALL YOU LADIES AGAIN, AND LET YOU KNOW THAT I SAW MY DOCTOR YESTERDAY AND SHE UP MY DOSAGE OF EFFEXOR. SHE SAID IF THAT DOES'T HELP IN A MONTH OR SO, WE CAN UP MY DOSE OF ABILIFY AS WELL. SHE DIDN'T WANT TO CHANGE BOTH AT ONE TIME, WHICH I AGREE WITH. I AM HOPING THIS HELPS. HONESTLY FINDING THIS GROUP MAKES ME FEEL A LITTLE LESS ALONE AS WELL, SO THANK YOU ALL AGAIN FOR SUCH HONEST SUPPORT.

I UPDATE: POSTED BELOW BUT DIDN'T REALIZE I AM STILL ANONYMOUS. I AM LAURA AKA NEWOLDMOMMY.

  am new to the group but not to depression/anxiety.  I am 40 years old, been married for 10 years, and we have a fantastic  3 year old little girl. I have been battling depression & anxiety since my mid 20's. I have better and worse times, but have never felt like my pre-depression state, except for once. So I have 2 questions about meds,and could really use advice, in a rough patch right now.

So over the years I have been on Zoloft, Celexa, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Paxil, Abilify, Trazadone, & valium. All help/helped for a while, then they stop. The only time I ever felt like my old self was the 1 time I was on pain med after my c/sec. I never (like 2 times a year) drink, and I have never done drugs. But when I left the hospital I was NOT on anti-depressants (went off for pregnancy), but i DID go home with a RX for 5/325 percocet. Forget physical pain,  I could live with that, but even a 1/2 of a pain pill in the am and the other 1/2 in the pm made me mentally feel "normal." Nothing I have ever been on has come close to how the small dose of pain meds made me feel. Well of course I ran out and that was that. Went back on Antidepressants/anxiety meds with the usual "less than decent feeling". I goto therapy and discussed my experience with my therapist. All I got was that is not a way to treat depression and NO I don't know of anything non-narcotic that you could try.

So, can anyone tell me:

1. Is there a depression/axiety med out there that helped you that I haven't tried?

2. Has anyone else experienced the same effect from a pain med?

I JUST want to feel like my old decently happy self. All suggestions are welcome. Thanks.

Replies

  • Anonymous
    by Anonymous - Original Poster
    March 28, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    anyone?

     

  • gonecrazi
    March 28, 2013 at 6:56 PM

     sometimes it takes a while to find the right "cocktail". Mine is Wellbutrin,Abilify,Seroquel,and Cymbalta. Every day. I have been stable and feeling good for two years. But it took eight years of hit and miss to find it. Hang in there.

  • childofGod995
    March 28, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    the only thing i can suggest with therapy is learning about mindfulness. as for the meds; you have to keep on trying them or go back to the best one you have been on and maybe up the prescription. have you ever thought of having your thyoid checked out cause that has a lot to do with depression. as for your therapist, you need to find one with a better attitude. another thing you might want to do is look up DBT free courses on line and CBT courses on line. they should be able to help you with your emotions. exercise is also good to help you out. in addition to my therapist i joined a Christ centered Mood disorder support group which helps me all the time. next week we are going to be discussing how to find our happy place. spending time with friends also helps. just keeping busy is the most important thing.Natural remedies for anxiety, stress, worry and depression include Yoga, Melatonin, St John's Wort, 5-HTP, Valerian Root, other herbs, vitamins and other remedies as in http://au.search.yahoo.com/search?p=%22natural+anxiety+remedies%22&fr=ush-ans

  • rhodaj
    by rhodaj
    rho
    March 28, 2013 at 7:22 PM

     This is a really tough one. It does most time take awhile to find the right cocktail but this is my cocktail so I may know what you are talking about.

    Lamictal,celexa,topamax,klonapin.

    This is why I think I understand what you are talking about. Topamax came out on the market as a migrane med. Which is for pain. I started feeling somewhat better after that was added to my mixture.

  • rhodaj
    by rhodaj
    rho
    March 28, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    I'm sorry I forgot to welcome you to the group.

    Welcome to the group. I am Rho. 

  • ashleighmama
    March 28, 2013 at 11:52 PM
    Hi, Im Ashleigh, .Im 41. At 16 I was diagnosed with major depression. I take a cocktail of meds too and it seems the good benefits always wear off eventually. Im gonna go out on a limb here and be honest, I LOVE the way pain pills, especially percocet, make me feel, unfortunately its just the narcotic high, and like any other drug, the effectiveness will also wear off. Ive used a couple kinds of drugs and alcohol in the past and it DID make me feel better, but only for a while. Dont give up mama, Im here for you anytime :-)
  • Anonymous
    by Anonymous - Original Poster
    March 29, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Thank you ladies for being so open an honest, especially to a new member. I appreciate all the suggestions, and I am seeing my psych & therapist on Wed, so I am going to ask to make some new changes to my meds. There area  a few mentioned in the above posts that I have heard of but never tried. Maybe I will ask about them, like the serequel and the klonapin. If anyone ever needs me, I am on most days in the afternoons, and would be happy to just chat with anyone having "one of those days." i really appreciate all the feedback and the warm welcome.

  • lancet98
    March 29, 2013 at 11:06 AM

     

    A doctor is really the best one to answer these questions, but my SO is still asleep so I'll give it a swag, LOL.


     

    Quoting Anonymous:

    I  am new to the group but not to depression/anxiety.  I am 40 years old, been married for 10 years, and we have a fantastic  3 year old little girl. I have been battling depression & anxiety since my mid 20's. I have better and worse times, but have never felt like my pre-depression state, except for once. So I have 2 questions about meds,and could really use advice, in a rough patch right now.

    So over the years I have been on Zoloft, Celexa, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Paxil, Abilify, Trazadone, & valium. All help/helped for a while, then they stop.

    In general, medications like zoloft take a long time to have their full effect, and in many cases, to have any effect at all.   They don't do a doggone thing unless you take the right amount, every single day.  

    I'm going to suggest you consider that early   responses you get to medications in the same class as zoloft, are probably placebo effect, and that is why the 'drug stops working for me'.   Placebo effect usually ends in a couple months.   On the other hand it can take many months for any antidepressant to have an effect on your mood. 

    You actually may be a non responder to some medications.   That is one possibility.  The other possibility is that you are a slow responder, and the 'it helps and then it doesn't' is actually placebo effect that ends.

    There are other possibilities of course.  

    For one thing, in many cases, people don't 'feel' anything when their medications are helping.   Part of that is the nature of new medications.   They work in a smoother way, aren't as sedating as old medications, and simply don't go 'bang'.   The action is smoother and takes more time.   Smoother more gradual changes are very difficult to 'feel'.

    Of course....our brains just aren't good at detecting these things in the first place.   Instead it may seem to us that 'others are complaining about me less' or that the world has become a brighter place with fewer famines, wars and disasters.   The boss may seem nicer or 'my luck has changed'.   It isn't always like a 'big bang' and it isn't always easy to detect improvements.   You may find that people seem to be treating you differently, that things are just 'going better'.

    And...there is that little guy back in the back of the room who raises his hand and says, 'It's not all about medication', and he's RIGHT.   Medication is a tool to correct biochemical problems, and after many years, depression and anxiety are almost a 'habit'.   The medication ALLOWS you to make changes, it doesn't make all the changes for you, it just corrects some of the things keeping you from meeting your goals and making those changes.   Taming negative thoughts, doing things you were afraid to do for years....these are ALSO a big part of recovery.   In other words there is a lot of hard work involved in getting better.

    The only time I ever felt like my old self was the 1 time I was on pain med after my c/sec. I never (like 2 times a year) drink, and I have never done drugs.

    Good, because those things can keep antidepressants and other medications that improve mental health, from working.

    But when I left the hospital I was NOT on anti-depressants (went off for pregnancy), but i DID go home with a RX for 5/325 percocet. Forget physical pain,  I could live with that, but even a 1/2 of a pain pill in the am and the other 1/2 in the pm made me mentally feel "normal."

    Hm.    You may have some type of chronic pain that is contributing to your depression, or your depression might even be a part of fibromyalgia.

    The other possibility is that pain medication simply cools down your nerves.   Pain medication literally 'closes' nerves.   It stops them from being as permeable to pain messages, but it doesn't stop there- it affects the nerve cell's ability to receive ANY type of message.   In other words, pain meds do a whole lot of things, where, say an anti-anxiety drug, only reduces SOME types of messages.    Pain meds are like a sledgehammer that shuts down all messages into cells.   In the process, they might also shut down some excess messages that are related to your anxiety, say.

    You can't take pain meds for depression or anxiety.   That's not in the picture.   No legit doc will tolerate that. 

    BUT...it is an interesting piece of information.   And I think it means that the medications you have taken so far haven't been used optimally.   Perhaps you only took your meds on days you felt really bad, or perhaps the dose or combination of meds wasn't quite right.  Perhaps you need a helper drug to help the antidepressant.

    Curiously, I don't see you listing any anti-anxiety drugs (anxiolytics).   When anxiety is really bad even an antidepressant that also treats anxiety, won't always treat it fully.   For that reason some people take a drug specifically to combat that anxiety.

    I see you did at some point take abilify.

    If that was given to you for depression and/or anxiety, it suggests that at least one of your doctors MAY have felt you had some really stubborn depression symptoms that weren't responding fully to just an antidepressant.   Abilify is a 'helper drug' for depression.  

    But abilify is also used for bipolar disorder, for psychotic disorders, and for mania- I don't know if any of your doctors thought you may have any of those disorders or not.   Abilify will normalize neurotransmitters in many different conditions, in other words - including depression.

    Nothing I have ever been on has come close to how the small dose of pain meds made me feel. Well of course I ran out and that was that. Went back on Antidepressants/anxiety meds with the usual "less than decent feeling". I goto therapy and discussed my experience with my therapist. All I got was that is not a way to treat depression and NO I don't know of anything non-narcotic that you could try.

    I agree, it is not the way to treat depression and anxiety and any decent doctor or therapist will usually respond to such suggestions with 'No, NO, and HELL NO!'  

     But it does indicate that there is going to be a medication(s) that are going to help you.   It's just that pain meds are like taking a sledgehammer and hitting all the nerve cells in your brain with it, and they are also very often addictive.   If not addictive, they can often cause dependency (craving without true addiction).

    Too...you have to recognize that that belief you have that you felt 'so much different and better' on pain medication may actually be a biochemical tendency to addiction, and not true relief of symptoms at all.  

    Quite often, when people FEEL that 'only pain meds really made me feel ok', they are usually actually saying, 'I've got a tendency to addiction and I've got to combat it'.

    So, can anyone tell me:

    1. Is there a depression/axiety med out there that helped you that I haven't tried?

    Of course.   Dose, consistency of taking the medication, or lack of a 'helper' drug may have been behind the failure to improve.   Sometimes, a nervous system has to 'learn' a medication and the next time you take it your nervous system will now 'know' how to respond to it.

    It's also possible that you simply didn't push yourself hard enough, or that you had unrealistic expectations of how much the medication would do for you.

    But it is peculiar, as I don't see any specific anti-anxiety med in your list.   Buspirone has fallen out of favor because it takes a long time to take effect (more than a few weeks), but it used to be an old reliable for anxiety that didn't improve with other medications.  

    It's also possible that some of the medications you took, aggravated your anxiety.   That's unusual but it is possible.   Sometimes treating both depression and axiety requires a lot of fine tuning.  

    Someone must have thought abilify would help your medications work.   I mean assuming they didn't suspect bipolar or weren't trying to treat some atypical depression symptoms like psychotic symptoms.

    That to me suggests that other 'helper' drugs might be what I would ask about next, if I were in your spot.   Sometimes really severe depression responds if it is treated with mood disorder medications like lithium, for example.  

    More stubborn depression and anxiety aren't usually caused by what causes other "garden-variety"(more common) depressions.  

    Garden variety depression happens because the nerve cells in your brain aren't quite transmitting messages from nerve to nerve correctly.   Everything is working fairly normally, nothing is actually totally pooped out or stopped, but there is this little glitch that not all the messages get from nerve to nerve quickly or reliably.

    But sometimes neurotransmitters actually 'poop out' and need more than the usual amount of help to get going again.

    2. Has anyone else experienced the same effect from a pain med?

    I would venture to say that a great many people have experienced relief of symptoms like depression and anxiety from pain meds...unfortunately!!!  

    It just CANNOT be the solution.   It's like a sledgehammer affecting ALL brain messaging, it can cause addiction, and it can cause a person to be impaired when driving or even just making decisions.

    I am 60 and over the years, not a small number of people I have worked with or been friends with, have gotten addicted to pain medications.   You'll think you can just 'take a small amount' and you'll think you can 'control it', but let me tell you something, that class of medication is a frikkin curse on humanity.  And it rather often starts as an innocent effort to deal with anxiety, depression or chronic pain.

    It is not even always  the best way to treat chronic pain.   For example, tiny amounts of neurontin make 'angry' nerves 'cool down' just enough to keep them from being 'mad' all the time.  

    Otherwise, with a chronic pain situation, like say, arthritis, like I have, the nerve cells get 'mad' because they're constantly getting pain messages, and they start to over-react to the pain messages, basically because they're exhausted(and as one neurologist told me, 'they're just utterly pissed off, constantly'). 

     I had to figure out how to deal with this for 20 or 30 years, not just a few months.   I could have gotten addicted to painkillers, but instead I chose this route.  Miniscule amounts of neurontin = a tenth or less of a normal dose, just very, very slightly cool down the nerves so they aren't going nuts all the time.   They aren't getting 'sledge hammered' any more and they get a chance to normalize.

    I JUST want to feel like my old decently happy self. All suggestions are welcome. Thanks.

    Well like usual I wrote out every single thing I could possibly think of, that might help, LOL.

    I urge you to be patient and persistent, and to continue looking for antidepressant, mood and anxiety medications that will help you.  With today's health care system - a new doctor every year or two, changes in insurance policies and highly managed care, this can be a pretty frustrating business.   I urge you to keep at it.

    But don't just stop there.   Take a look at your exercise schedule, and make sure you have AT LEAST an hour of exercise every single day.   It doesn't have to be anything fancy or expensive or intense.   Walking is VERY good.   Pick some beautiful places to walk, and consider meeting up with a group to walk to help motivate you.

    Takea look at what you eat.   Green leafy vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and low fat meals can make a huge difference in your overall health and even affect your mood by improving energy levels, smoothing out insulin spikes, and providing protein and vitamins and minerals our nervous systems need.

    Finally, meaningful activities.   A person has to feel that they are needed and useful, and with depression and anxiety, they need to remind themselves that they are NOT weak victims of an ailment, but persistently, determinedly, finding ways to manage those symptoms instead of those symptoms managing them!  

    AND making the world a better place, not just by barely getting through each day, but by doing more.   It's very important to get out of the house, get moving and help someone else- it doesn't matter what you do as long as it means something to you - it might be caring for dogs at a shelter or visiting a nursing home, cleaning up a river bank with a group of volunteers or joining a town council.   Make your world a bigger world - open up your arms and embrace the world, your community, and reach out to others.  

    Even little kids can come along and it can be worked into your daily activities.   Make sure you find ways every single day to remind yourself that you are far more than a list of symptoms and medical worries.   Don't you let it manage you.  

    In a way, depression and anxiety are like a seductive, charming, tantalizing temptation that draws you in and THEN gives you the bad news.   Depression can really lull you into a sense of helplessness, make you feel like a victim.   You have to keep that idea in mind that you are not going to just live with it, but that you are going to kick it in the balls and spit in its face, every single day.  

     

  • Anonymous
    by Anonymous - Original Poster
    March 29, 2013 at 3:06 PM

    Thank you SO much for taking the time to offer so much good advice and information.What i have been diagnosed with (i will assume it is accurate for now) is Major Depressive Disorder and Severe Anxiety (especially when forced to be in large rooms full of people, like big family diners). And I did forget to list one med that I believe you mentioned for the anxiety.

    Right now I am taking (and I am EXTREMELY faithful in taking my meds, same time, every single day) 1. 150mg of Effexor Er, 2. Abilify 2mg, 3. Buspar 2x a day, don't remember exact dose and not home right now, Trazadone 100mg, and Lorazapam 1mg at night. I have been on this regimine along with therapy 2x a month for a little over 6 months now.

    Changes that I cannot seem to overcome that were once not only easy but enjoyabe....(I mean I can do them now when forced, but everyone, including me, knows I am freaking out and feel like a caged animal) include things like being in a room with a lot of people (more than 4 or 5), lots of noise and hustle bustle from crowds, being "in charge" of a project or plans (I used to teach school in NYC and take hundreds of teenagers on field trips in manhattan, now I can't plan for 8 tickets to the circus for our family & my daughter's bday party with only 4 other children and their parents just about drove me very dangerous thoughts of how I could hurt myself just to escape the scene, wishing I could stay in bed for days and be left alone, wanting to hide, not ever wanting to talk on the phone to anyone....it is painful just to speak to my husband on the phone....in person no problem, but have a phone issue. Wanting to get away, anywhere on a vacation....now that is something I LOVE to do and don't get to do because of our finances. But the idea of escaping "real life" pulls on my daily. Leaving the house alone. I want to be left alone but at home. My husband will say, go out, shop, enjoy the day, and i think 'are you crazy?" I don't want to leave the house.

    The catalysts that brought on most of these problems for me go back to 9/11. My 1st husband died in the tower while I was in lockdown with my students (3 of which lost parents that day), and then 3 months later my father (whom I love WAY more than my mom...it was just always that way, not that I don't love my mom) died very suddenly of heart failure on Easter Sunday. My dad and I have the same bday, March 1st, and Easter the year he died 2002 was on March 31st, the same date it falls on this year. So March is always an impossible month for me, and this year makes it worse. The FAMILY wants Easter diner. I want to lay in bed all day and nobody does or will admit to "getting my feeling". I am just supposed to "suck it up and move on"

    So those are my meds and those are the major issues I have, add in racing thoughts, and a mind that I can't get to shut off ever...."there is a line in a 3 doors down songs that says "and I can't get myself to go away" That is how I feel. I want tHIS me to go away.

    Animals bring me joy....we have 20 acres of land and we have dogs, cats, goats, chickens, peacocks...etc. They bring me peace and make me happy. However my oldest and 1st dog just passed away this month at 14 years old, so that is making this a bad month too. Reading books brings me joy, but focusing like I used to is hard now either from depression or meds or both. Cooking/baking, especially with my daughter now makes me happy. So I try those things as often as I can.

    So this is basically my course of therapy and meds. If anyone has further suggestions, please offer them up.

    DOES ANYONE FIND THAT SEROQUEL AND/OR KLONAPIN HELP OR THINK THEY MIGHT HELP ME? AND WOULD IT BE IN ADDITION OR REPLACE ONEOF MY OTHER MEDS.

    It also doesn't help that my husband thinks I have a wonderful life and have no reason to be unhapppy. I try to tell him, I agree. Our life is good. It is not personal. But I can't make it go away. it also doesn't help when my mom tells me that my dad would not be happy to see me this way. Again, can't help it, wish I could.

  • matreshka
    March 29, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    I do find that seroquel helps me, but it is a weight gaining med. the xr version is not as fattening.  I am taking a very low dose of that (200mg) along with geodon which is similar to seroquel. I did take klonopin, it really messed with my memory and made me very tired. Because I went back into full blown panic attacks after stopping klonopin my doc put me on valium. its long lasting I dont have to take as much of that as i did klonopin. (klonopin and valium are addictive).

    From your first post, I was going to mention to talk to your doc about buspar. You mentioned pain pills helping. they make you feel good because the work on the opiate receptors. buspar is not addictive, not an opiate but my doc told me that it does hit those receptors as well. I am by no means a doc or scientist so please talk with your doc.

    Quoting Anonymous:

    Thank you SO much for taking the time to offer so much good advice and information.What i have been diagnosed with (i will assume it is accurate for now) is Major Depressive Disorder and Severe Anxiety (especially when forced to be in large rooms full of people, like big family diners). And I did forget to list one med that I believe you mentioned for the anxiety.

    Right now I am taking (and I am EXTREMELY faithful in taking my meds, same time, every single day) 1. 150mg of Effexor Er, 2. Abilify 2mg, 3. Buspar 2x a day, don't remember exact dose and not home right now, Trazadone 100mg, and Lorazapam 1mg at night. I have been on this regimine along with therapy 2x a month for a little over 6 months now.

    Changes that I cannot seem to overcome that were once not only easy but enjoyabe....(I mean I can do them now when forced, but everyone, including me, knows I am freaking out and feel like a caged animal) include things like being in a room with a lot of people (more than 4 or 5), lots of noise and hustle bustle from crowds, being "in charge" of a project or plans (I used to teach school in NYC and take hundreds of teenagers on field trips in manhattan, now I can't plan for 8 tickets to the circus for our family & my daughter's bday party with only 4 other children and their parents just about drove me very dangerous thoughts of how I could hurt myself just to escape the scene, wishing I could stay in bed for days and be left alone, wanting to hide, not ever wanting to talk on the phone to anyone....it is painful just to speak to my husband on the phone....in person no problem, but have a phone issue. Wanting to get away, anywhere on a vacation....now that is something I LOVE to do and don't get to do because of our finances. But the idea of escaping "real life" pulls on my daily. Leaving the house alone. I want to be left alone but at home. My husband will say, go out, shop, enjoy the day, and i think 'are you crazy?" I don't want to leave the house.

    The catalysts that brought on most of these problems for me go back to 9/11. My 1st husband died in the tower while I was in lockdown with my students (3 of which lost parents that day), and then 3 months later my father (whom I love WAY more than my mom...it was just always that way, not that I don't love my mom) died very suddenly of heart failure on Easter Sunday. My dad and I have the same bday, March 1st, and Easter the year he died 2002 was on March 31st, the same date it falls on this year. So March is always an impossible month for me, and this year makes it worse. The FAMILY wants Easter diner. I want to lay in bed all day and nobody does or will admit to "getting my feeling". I am just supposed to "suck it up and move on"

    So those are my meds and those are the major issues I have, add in racing thoughts, and a mind that I can't get to shut off ever...."there is a line in a 3 doors down songs that says "and I can't get myself to go away" That is how I feel. I want tHIS me to go away.

    Animals bring me joy....we have 20 acres of land and we have dogs, cats, goats, chickens, peacocks...etc. They bring me peace and make me happy. However my oldest and 1st dog just passed away this month at 14 years old, so that is making this a bad month too. Reading books brings me joy, but focusing like I used to is hard now either from depression or meds or both. Cooking/baking, especially with my daughter now makes me happy. So I try those things as often as I can.

    So this is basically my course of therapy and meds. If anyone has further suggestions, please offer them up.

    DOES ANYONE FIND THAT SEROQUEL AND/OR KLONAPIN HELP OR THINK THEY MIGHT HELP ME? AND WOULD IT BE IN ADDITION OR REPLACE ONEOF MY OTHER MEDS.

    It also doesn't help that my husband thinks I have a wonderful life and have no reason to be unhapppy. I try to tell him, I agree. Our life is good. It is not personal. But I can't make it go away. it also doesn't help when my mom tells me that my dad would not be happy to see me this way. Again, can't help it, wish I could.


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