I have all but a couple of symptoms listed under Clinical Depression. Due to my age, I'm not open to starting on an anti-depressant for help with it because of the statistics sighting possible cause of early dementia onset as an affect from the meds. I believe I do know what threw me INTO this state of being but since it is my family and my career there's not much I can do to remove the stress and causes. Hoping someone out there has some suggestions on how to deal and get my health and character back. I'm 61 and feel 91. I want to live … I want my joy back …
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Depression & Anxiety Support Group.
I too have had panic attacks where I cannot move. My depression getting under control with antidepressants has reduced my anxiety to normal levels where I can still function and think about normal everyday things.
You mentioned you believe you know what may have brought this on. Have you considered therapy to explore that possible cause and what you might do to get through it?
Thanks again for your reply. I wish you all the best in your journey to better mental health.
Hi, @maw258 – glad that you have connected with @lioness @gingerw and @johnhans. As you are comparing what you've experienced to a symptom list for clinical depression and finding that you have many of them, yet are not really wanting to start on an antidepressant due to what you read about a potential side effect being early dementia onset, I thought a few others on Connect who've mentioned clinical depression may also have some input for you, like @kamama94 @elwooodsdad @steve1960 @eburning @benny987. Some of them also may have some thoughts on the panic you have experienced.
Yes, therapy was ok. Perhaps I just wasn't fortunate enough to find THE right professionals I needed. One reason I joined this group! I had alot of things happen in a fairly short period of time; family issues, marital, illnesses, caregiving, deaths. I THOUGHT I was handling it all ok, realizing it was alot, but I've always been a strong character and strong in my faith in God. This last even happened during 2018 and ultimately ended in yet another death. I'm alone most of the time other than the weekdays while I'm at work. It's like my office and my house are my safe places and I reallyyyyy hate that part. Limits me terribly. Thank you for replying though. I'm going to reach out to my cardiologist and PCP to get their opinions; both are aware of all I've gone through and continue to go through.
@maw258 losing a loved one by death is a major stressor. It is understandable why you are having problems. I find doing something to try and deal with it helps, but time is the great healer for loss by death. It may take years to finally feel you are doing well. I certainly empathize with what you are going through. I have lost both of my parents. I will be praying for you.
@maw258. I can relate to this.
Even as a child I felt lonely and isolated. Being bright when you're quite young doesn't garner a lot of friends. My mother was ill a lot, my father traveled for a living and when he was home he was strict to the point of abusiveness. I grew up thinking I wasn't worth much.
As a mother I experienced grievous losses – our daughter died at age 26 2 weeks after I got sober. My profession was hospice nursing and I wound up doing that in my private life as well. (Years later, my youngest son, by then an adult, was killed in a wreck.)
4 months after our daughter's death 25 years ago my husband of 33 years died unexpectedly of an asymptomatic primary glioblastoma or brain cancer.
He was supposed to have taken out mortgage insurance but failed to do so and I lost our home. After a back injury at work, I lost my job and my apartment and became homeless.
Until I finally started receiving disability I had few counseling and medication options but finally was able to go through counseling (several times and I still do a kind of group therapy in a 12-step recovery program) and was given Paxil.
Later my physicians changed my medication to Zoloft which eventually stopped working and which left me with hair thinning and mild tremors.
As I also have fibromyalgia, my new primary physician wanted me to try Cymbalta, which so far has helped me manage my depression very well, not to mention helping the fibro. In fact, I'm actually a happy person now.
The downside to the Cymbalta is increased intention hand tremors and some tardive dyskinesia (automatic movements) but neither side effect substantially affects my daily life and are well worth the mood stability and resilience despite horrific diagnoses of COPD, CHF, CKD, and diabetes.
With counseling and medication, group therapy and meditation, 12-step recovery meetings and reunion with my Native American side of the family, I have gone from cradling a loaded gun in my lap to being happy and free.
What has worked for me might not work for anyone else. But life is still a hoot and I decided quite some time ago not to leave the party yet. I'm available to "talk" if you want to.
Hope you find some solutions!
Oh my Lord. kamama94. Reading your post made me gasp and I literally felt tears well up just reading your experiences. Much of what you describe is so similar to my own life. I've never suffered depression though I HAVE been depressed for short periods of times brought on by life circumstances. This time is different. You mentioned fibro. To ME, fibromyalgia is a new term the medical world developed when someone is in pain in all different areas of their bodies with no known diagnosis'. So it's name is fibro. I researched where it too comes along that list of clinical depression symptoms. I eat Advil most days for some area of pain and use CBD oil for internal inflammation control as well. I'm fairly desperate it sounds. I've reached out through my cardiologist and my PCP inquiring about Wellbutrin and/or Cymbalt both extended release. I have taken 0.5mg Xanax 3 x daily for more years than I even know. I just figure I will be on them forever so not concerned with going through withdrawals coming off of it although I'd be too afraid to TRY I would wonder if I could get by without Xanax if I started an SSRI. I took Prozac one time for about 3-5mo back in 2002 and although I did SUPER on it and it controlled my anxiety too so I didn't use Xanax but, I GAINED 30+LBS during that time as well, however it was during the time my Mother got sick too. Anyway. Just finding this online support group has already helped me more than any therapy session I went to. I think I am ready to at least attempt an RX and just see how it works for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your recap is heartbreaking and makes my recap seem so much less. I am so sorry for all you've endured.
@maw258, how kind of you to say such nice things. I confess, there are a few sore places in my "heart" I still cannot touch very often or very long but I also have learned to find great joy in many things – a green blade of grass, a bird's wing, a great-grandson's smile, the love of family and friends, the ceremonies of my people. . . the list is endless.
I also want to tell you I tried Wellbutrin when I decided to quit smoking (again! second time around) and experienced a couple of very mild seizures so stopped taking it. I got headaches on Prozac. Others may not experience ANY such side effects, though.
You might want to check with your pharmacist about continuing Xanax but gradually tapering off while starting Wellbutrin or Cymbalta. I have found that pharmacists, when they're not swamped, are wonderful sources of drug information.
To me, fibromyalgia is a "real" illness. Neuromuscular connections really can get scrambled, especially after an injury, even a minor one. The pain and the burning and the deadening fatigue are real. Stretching, meditation, acupuncture, trigger point release, dietary changes – all have helped me cope with mine.
I can relate to the weight gain as well. Steroids for COPD and type two diabetes pack a hefty one-two punch, therefore, I am hefty! And can't lose easily.
And let me say that pain is pain. The exact nature of our griefs and losses may be different for each of us but each person's are as important to him or to her as anybody else's pain. You have had and are having a difficult time. What you're going through or what I'm going through need not be compared.
Finally, I would like to share that the most non-pharmaceutical help I ever received was through a co-dependent recovery program. I am not saying anyone else is co-dependent but I certainly was and still am somewhat but getting better every day. It helped me learn to cope with my own feelings when people did something I didn't like – like die. (No, I'm not joking. How dare they?)
It speaks well of you that you have reached out and are ready to take some action. I send you blessings and wishes for healing.
@maw258 Start slow with your meds. And remember that it may take a while the see the final positive results. Document your journey, that is, keep track of how you feel, and you might find that writing out your thoughts and feelings will help tremendously! Also, remember we are here for you. We care.
@maw258 , I think that it's a great idea to reach out to your physician(s) to get opinions on your concerns, but ultimately the decision will be up to you. I was not aware of the possible association between onset dementia and anti-depressants, and it's something that I will read up on for myself. My quality of life is so improved by taking medication that I'm also going to ask my psychiatrist about this next time I see her. As an aside, and really coming back to your original post, I also use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to cope with my depression and anxiety symptoms that still occur, by directing my thoughts, realizing when I'm making mental leaps or errors, I find that it helps me a lot to cope with my problems. I also have my "safe" place of work, when I'm busy and my mind is not so prone to take me where I don't want to go, and I wish that it wasn't that way; leaving me to find some other coping skills to expand my experiences feeling happy.
Very well-said! Cognitive Behavioral Therapy works!