Depression and Anxiety at an older age

Posted by pjss48 @pjss48, Sep 14, 2018

I am a 70 year old woman who has had depression and anxiety for a long time. It got worse 3 years ago when my husband lost one of his jobs. I panicked and my anxiety increased. I was afraid to do things. like driving. I have arthritis pretty bad and foot problems. I’m a Christian and my faith has helped me. My husband was a pastor and our church closed 3 months ago. We’ve had continual stress. Sometimes I don’t know what to do with myself during the day. I’ve gotten help from several doctors, including a psychiatrist. I also have IBS. I am better. I’m taking trazadone duloxetine, remeron and xanax. Also on osteo biflex, probiotic , bentyl and celebrex. I want to get on Sam e but it may interact with one of my meds. Thanks for listening.

@woogie @mattie @tens4u5125 @lolaemma @junkartist @pjss48. And many others.

It's late, and I'm tired, and as always, I'm in pain. So, I'll just write a little, enough to start getting acquainted.

I'm turning 70 next week. My wife and I have been married for 48 years, and we have a son and a daughter. Our son and his wife have 1 daughter who started 2nd grade today. Our daughter and her husband have 2 girls, one is 3, and the other just had her first birthday.

I was in the ministry, straight out of Bible College in 1972, newlyweds with the hope for a bright future. I'll skip the details of our next 30+ years, to around 2000. I was the pastor of a church in a town of 247 residents, enjoying the work and involved in community affairs. But, in spite of my enjoyment and satisfaction with my job, I was becoming depressed, maybe in part from burn out. I couldn't put my finger on what triggered my downward spiral. I started taking antidepressants in 2003, but they didn't slow the depression down. I made several suicide attempts, and self admitted to a suicide recovery facility, which was a very nice place. The usual stay is 3 days. I stayed for 6 weeks, because I knew that I wasn't ready to rejoin the world and stay alive.

I retired at 55, because I was totally unable to function. I received Social Security disability, and we moved to a home we had bought 2 years earlier. We live in the country, and the covid19 restrictions have affected us very little. It was hard to miss church for 13 weeks, but my wife and I are happy to be home. There's so much work to be done in the yard and on the house and barn and shop that we don't really mind being home and having time to do everything. I always thought that retirement meant travel and rest. Reality turns out to be quite different.

I know about dealing with having too much stuff. We both enjoy collecting collections. We are familiar faces at the thrift stores around central Oregon, where we live.

The first psychiatrist I had diagnosed me with major depression (no surprise there), anxiety disorder, OCD and PTSD. I tried lots of antidepressants, and landed on Wellbutrin for depression and Klonopin for anxiety. I've been taking them since January of 2006, adding others along the way. In 2013, I started being treated for peripheral neuropathy. It began with numbness and tingling in my feet, and progressed to more and more pain. By now, it's 6-7 during the day and 8-9 when I sit down or lie down. Having that much pain all the time makes depression worse.

So, that's where I am today. I see a therapist weekly and have some good doctors. I take quite a few medications for one thing or another. Without morphine I don't know how I could keep going. And with a supportive wife, a faithful service dog, and a strong faith in God, I do life a day at a time.

I told you I'd try to keep it short. Sorry for not keeping my promise. I look forward to getting to know all of you.

Jim

REPLY

Hi Jim I am Kerry a new member. Retired RN. A believer like you with a history of anxiety and depression. I have pain issues as well. I am 59. I only take venlafaxine 75mg. I was successfully tapered off klonopin in January 2018. I just take naproxen and tylenol. I like my recumbent bike walks with my dog and stretching exercises. I learned that participation in churches for me is connected to codependency and trauma. I found it in medical literature as well. I got bacterial meningitis of my brain in May 2014 . I was in multi organ failure on a vent in sepsis not expected to live. I did. I visited many churches during my journey of recovery but so many members discouraged my discipline to follow my health care providers treatment plans. Pray about it first. When god wont remove a thorn- etc. I had a seizure risk from the craniotomy done to remove the abscess in my left temporal lobe. It was effort many changes but in july 2019 I was seizure free according to my neurologist even on eeg. I was tapered down from 400mg topiramate to 75 mg twice daily. It is nice to get to know you. Take care of yourself. Kerry

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@jimhd

@woogie @mattie @tens4u5125 @lolaemma @junkartist @pjss48. And many others.

It's late, and I'm tired, and as always, I'm in pain. So, I'll just write a little, enough to start getting acquainted.

I'm turning 70 next week. My wife and I have been married for 48 years, and we have a son and a daughter. Our son and his wife have 1 daughter who started 2nd grade today. Our daughter and her husband have 2 girls, one is 3, and the other just had her first birthday.

I was in the ministry, straight out of Bible College in 1972, newlyweds with the hope for a bright future. I'll skip the details of our next 30+ years, to around 2000. I was the pastor of a church in a town of 247 residents, enjoying the work and involved in community affairs. But, in spite of my enjoyment and satisfaction with my job, I was becoming depressed, maybe in part from burn out. I couldn't put my finger on what triggered my downward spiral. I started taking antidepressants in 2003, but they didn't slow the depression down. I made several suicide attempts, and self admitted to a suicide recovery facility, which was a very nice place. The usual stay is 3 days. I stayed for 6 weeks, because I knew that I wasn't ready to rejoin the world and stay alive.

I retired at 55, because I was totally unable to function. I received Social Security disability, and we moved to a home we had bought 2 years earlier. We live in the country, and the covid19 restrictions have affected us very little. It was hard to miss church for 13 weeks, but my wife and I are happy to be home. There's so much work to be done in the yard and on the house and barn and shop that we don't really mind being home and having time to do everything. I always thought that retirement meant travel and rest. Reality turns out to be quite different.

I know about dealing with having too much stuff. We both enjoy collecting collections. We are familiar faces at the thrift stores around central Oregon, where we live.

The first psychiatrist I had diagnosed me with major depression (no surprise there), anxiety disorder, OCD and PTSD. I tried lots of antidepressants, and landed on Wellbutrin for depression and Klonopin for anxiety. I've been taking them since January of 2006, adding others along the way. In 2013, I started being treated for peripheral neuropathy. It began with numbness and tingling in my feet, and progressed to more and more pain. By now, it's 6-7 during the day and 8-9 when I sit down or lie down. Having that much pain all the time makes depression worse.

So, that's where I am today. I see a therapist weekly and have some good doctors. I take quite a few medications for one thing or another. Without morphine I don't know how I could keep going. And with a supportive wife, a faithful service dog, and a strong faith in God, I do life a day at a time.

I told you I'd try to keep it short. Sorry for not keeping my promise. I look forward to getting to know all of you.

Jim

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@jimhd I totally understand. Mental illness runs in our family. My mom took her life at age 69. I am just have depression and anxiety. Just went through a big surgery on June 9. My daughter is also depressive and has anxiety. We both were diagnosed, in San Diego with being bipolar 2. My son is bipolar 1 and is a professor, but cannot teach, we also have no contact with us. Part of it was the way he was raised, his dad was verbally abusive to him, but mostly it's the bipolar 1. They have a little girl who I haven't since she was 3 and she's going to be 9. They are in NYC and his wife is a professor at Columbia. If they visit the other grandmother we do sykpe with her, but they are not going there this summer, so no seeing Marlowe through skyping. We can't even mail anything to their house and have to mail it to the other grandma in Chicago and then she forwards it to Marlowe. It is so sad and I cry often. I also had to give up my 14 year old very healthy Papillon, because I can't take care of her because of my back surgery. I wear a brace and can't bend, twist, or lift anything too heavy. I miss her so much, I cry. Many more are ill in my family with mental illness.
I'm sorry you are so depressed. I don't want to see you take your life. I'm on Lexapro and Lamictal which has helped, but I'm just going through a tough period right now, with recovery from the back surgery.
What med are you on? You will be in my thoughts and prayers. I cry for you.

Liked by Leonard

REPLY
@kla1960

Hi Jim I am Kerry a new member. Retired RN. A believer like you with a history of anxiety and depression. I have pain issues as well. I am 59. I only take venlafaxine 75mg. I was successfully tapered off klonopin in January 2018. I just take naproxen and tylenol. I like my recumbent bike walks with my dog and stretching exercises. I learned that participation in churches for me is connected to codependency and trauma. I found it in medical literature as well. I got bacterial meningitis of my brain in May 2014 . I was in multi organ failure on a vent in sepsis not expected to live. I did. I visited many churches during my journey of recovery but so many members discouraged my discipline to follow my health care providers treatment plans. Pray about it first. When god wont remove a thorn- etc. I had a seizure risk from the craniotomy done to remove the abscess in my left temporal lobe. It was effort many changes but in july 2019 I was seizure free according to my neurologist even on eeg. I was tapered down from 400mg topiramate to 75 mg twice daily. It is nice to get to know you. Take care of yourself. Kerry

Jump to this post

@kla1960
I’m just curious if you had any problems coming off Klonopin?
“I was seizure free according to my neurologist even on eeg.”
Your neurologist can’t guarantee you’ll never have another seizure and just because your EEG was normal only means during the time of your EEG you didn’t have any abnormal seizure activity.
I certainly hope you never do have another seizure and I wish you the very best.
Depression and anxiety are seizure triggers so I hope those are well-controlled,
Jake

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Hi Jake. My biggest issue during the klonopin taper was my knowledge that it could potentially cause a seizure. It was a scary and empowering journey. I had a prior eeg showing encephalopathy from the AEDs I was on. I am a retired RN and an advocate for myself. Once it was done my cognition improved. That was January 2018. September 2018 my topiramate taper began. Over 4 months I went from 400mg daily to 75mg twice daily. That is now the only AED I am on.

Liked by Leonard

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@kla1960

Hi Jake. My biggest issue during the klonopin taper was my knowledge that it could potentially cause a seizure. It was a scary and empowering journey. I had a prior eeg showing encephalopathy from the AEDs I was on. I am a retired RN and an advocate for myself. Once it was done my cognition improved. That was January 2018. September 2018 my topiramate taper began. Over 4 months I went from 400mg daily to 75mg twice daily. That is now the only AED I am on.

Jump to this post

@kla1960
Well I hope your Nero was right and you never have another seizure. It’s great to know your infection got cleared up and your abscess removed however my concern is when they did the Temporal lobe surgery whose to say no damage occurred, no scar tissue will form that may interfere in the brains electrical conduction etc. Regardless of your Neurologists opinion I communicated with people who had progressed to intractable Epilepsy and a man who died. I just don’t understand how your doctor can be so convinced. Doctors aren’t clairvoyant or Gods.I have a question regarding Topamax. As a medical professional I was curious if you ever heard the term dope-a-max in place of Topamax. It’s fairly common terminology in the Epilepsy world.
Blessings,
Jake

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@lilypaws

@jimhd I totally understand. Mental illness runs in our family. My mom took her life at age 69. I am just have depression and anxiety. Just went through a big surgery on June 9. My daughter is also depressive and has anxiety. We both were diagnosed, in San Diego with being bipolar 2. My son is bipolar 1 and is a professor, but cannot teach, we also have no contact with us. Part of it was the way he was raised, his dad was verbally abusive to him, but mostly it's the bipolar 1. They have a little girl who I haven't since she was 3 and she's going to be 9. They are in NYC and his wife is a professor at Columbia. If they visit the other grandmother we do sykpe with her, but they are not going there this summer, so no seeing Marlowe through skyping. We can't even mail anything to their house and have to mail it to the other grandma in Chicago and then she forwards it to Marlowe. It is so sad and I cry often. I also had to give up my 14 year old very healthy Papillon, because I can't take care of her because of my back surgery. I wear a brace and can't bend, twist, or lift anything too heavy. I miss her so much, I cry. Many more are ill in my family with mental illness.
I'm sorry you are so depressed. I don't want to see you take your life. I'm on Lexapro and Lamictal which has helped, but I'm just going through a tough period right now, with recovery from the back surgery.
What med are you on? You will be in my thoughts and prayers. I cry for you.

Jump to this post

@lilypaws @kla1960 I wrote most of a response this morning, but I lost it somehow, and by now I don't remember what I wrote. I've done that many times, but I've never figured out what I did or how I can retrieve it.

I need to pause here and review what I wrote yesterday and your response. Be right back – if I don't mess up again.

I can understand your reluctance to find a good church. It sounds like the theology of some people is out of balance. So many people have no clue what to say to a hurting person. I made a list of 30+ things NOT to say, many of which have been said to me. I feel fortunate to have found a good church with a great staff, where I don't hear that kind of nonsense. We had been going to a different church for 9 years, started going there because I knew the pastor years earlier. Unfortunately, his preaching became increasingly negative, so we talked with him about it, and it was better – for a month. We stuck it out for a year, because my wife didn't want to leave behind friends, and she was a board member and led worship. Because of my poor mental health, I had to find another church. I couldn't take being spiritually attacked every Sunday.

Anyway, I'm in a better place now, both mentally and spiritually. A positive worship environment, a (mostly) patient and supportive wife, a service dog who always keeps me in sight when I'm working in the yard, and 13 therapists in the past 14 years.

Medications – Wellbutrin and Mirtazapine for depression, Klonopin (aka Clonazepam) for anxiety, for neuropathy pain I have a spinal cord stimulator, and take morphine sulfate contin and Imipramine, for arthritis I take Meloxicam and Tylenol, for reflux there's Omeprazole, plus various vitamins and allergy meds. When my back really hurts from overdoing whatever, I have Percocet and Orphenadrine (muscle relaxer). I have back pain because my ladder dumped me, 12' up, painting my house. Compression fractures at T12 and L2. And after a couple of days in the hospital I found out that I also had broken my arm.

My best therapy is working in my yard. It's pretty much a full time job from April to October. We have 10 acres, with most of it in pasture, which we lease to our neighbors for their cows and horses. In exchange they deal with the irrigation and are improving the pasture. They're good Christian people who watch out for us. When we bought this place, we rented it to a local veterinarian who did absolutely nothing to the yard, so I started from scratch. I think I've created a monster. Now I'm trying to find ways to make it lower maintenance. Having underground sprinklers would be a huge help.

I've done it again, haven't I. It's time for sleep. I'll check in tomorrow.

Jim

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@jakedduck1

@kla1960
Well I hope your Nero was right and you never have another seizure. It’s great to know your infection got cleared up and your abscess removed however my concern is when they did the Temporal lobe surgery whose to say no damage occurred, no scar tissue will form that may interfere in the brains electrical conduction etc. Regardless of your Neurologists opinion I communicated with people who had progressed to intractable Epilepsy and a man who died. I just don’t understand how your doctor can be so convinced. Doctors aren’t clairvoyant or Gods.I have a question regarding Topamax. As a medical professional I was curious if you ever heard the term dope-a-max in place of Topamax. It’s fairly common terminology in the Epilepsy world.
Blessings,
Jake

Jump to this post

I enjoy getting to know you Jake. You are right. I know what you know. I have a mini plate and screws in my skull from the craniotomy. I read my OR report. Part of my skull was removed. My neuro said I could have scar tissue etc. I have never had a seizure involving loss of consciousness etc. Absolutely the 400mg of topomax was too much. As the taper was going on and after its completion my cognition judgement reasoning etc improved again. I also experienced neuroplasticity in the summer and fall of 2014 . The craniotomy was done may 2014. I did my best to cooperate with this process- eat healthier exercise etc. Yes I can have another seizure. Especially in this time of sars cov 2. I see my neuro yearly and she said no more eegs

Liked by Leonard

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@kla1960

Hi Jake. My biggest issue during the klonopin taper was my knowledge that it could potentially cause a seizure. It was a scary and empowering journey. I had a prior eeg showing encephalopathy from the AEDs I was on. I am a retired RN and an advocate for myself. Once it was done my cognition improved. That was January 2018. September 2018 my topiramate taper began. Over 4 months I went from 400mg daily to 75mg twice daily. That is now the only AED I am on.

Jump to this post

@kia1960 Yes Kia, going off of Klonopin without tappering can cause a seizure. My daughter, I think it was Klonopin, but I know it was an anti-anxiety med. She was taken off of it cold turkey and she had a seizure. She had all kinds of tests but all came out ok. So it had to be going off the med to fast. But, if you taper you will be ok.

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I suffer from anxiety and depression as well. I have taken the medications you have spoken of to no avail. I mam currently taking Lorazepam, Buproprion, Venlafaxine and Mirtazapine. . The Lorazepam is like Xanax and Mirtazapine is like Trazodone, for sleep. I have been on this regiment for approximately 8 months. I went through a phase of fainting spells when getting up to fast and a fullness or tightness on left side of chest. I was physically checked out to be medically fit, so anxiety issue there. I currently sleep well and feel normal until about 1 pm. The anxiety comes back at that time every day and after taking two Lorazepam it dissipates. I have a psych appt this week to discuss increased anxiety after 1 pm. I wish there was one pill which took care of everything, however until then will continue the current regiment. I hope this serves of some help to you and stay the course.

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@douglasebaker

I suffer from anxiety and depression as well. I have taken the medications you have spoken of to no avail. I mam currently taking Lorazepam, Buproprion, Venlafaxine and Mirtazapine. . The Lorazepam is like Xanax and Mirtazapine is like Trazodone, for sleep. I have been on this regiment for approximately 8 months. I went through a phase of fainting spells when getting up to fast and a fullness or tightness on left side of chest. I was physically checked out to be medically fit, so anxiety issue there. I currently sleep well and feel normal until about 1 pm. The anxiety comes back at that time every day and after taking two Lorazepam it dissipates. I have a psych appt this week to discuss increased anxiety after 1 pm. I wish there was one pill which took care of everything, however until then will continue the current regiment. I hope this serves of some help to you and stay the course.

Jump to this post

@douglasebaker I take Bupropion 450mg in the morning. It's the only antidepressant that has worked for me since 2006. A couple of years ago I told my psychiatrist that I was gradually becoming more depressed, so he prescribed Mirtazapine as an add-on. So far they're doing the trick. I take Klonopin, 1mg at bedtime, with the option of taking a second one if needed. I take other meds for other reasons, mostly chronic pain control, but I have to be vigilant about interactions.

I just scrolled up through the posts and see that I already said all of this and more. Oh well. Chalk it up to my seniority. Some people say that we should just quit psychotropics and think healthy, spiritual thoughts. I don't have any problem with knowing that I'll most likely take some antidepressants the rest of my life. That's way better than the mess I'd be in without them. The truth is that I would have committed suicide. So, I'm grateful for medications that keep me functioning.

Jim

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Good morning. You and I have much in common. I am 76, a widow and dealing with a small farm solo. Lifetime anxiety and depression BUT with meds and learning to accept my illness, life has gotten better….most days. When I get to a day when I feel joyless, ache all over and wonder what the point is, then feel immense guilt over that, I do this: go to YouTube and search out my favorite music videos (for me it goes from La Boheme to Queen) and just take in the sound and action until I am motivated to move out of my chair; choose three things to do ( like feed the dogs, brush my teeth and take my meds); then pick three more things, starting with a thing I resist doing (like cleaning out the rabbit room). After a while, I hit on something that captures my attention and I stick with it, leading to a feeling of accomplishment. Know this, though – these are short term fixes. We will have our anxiety and aches from now on. When they get too much for me, I just surrender to them. Not defeat, surrender. As a Christian, you know the difference between these two words. Bless you and may you keep on "keeping on."

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@douglasebaker Good for you. You are one who are taking care of yourself. I had a big surgery on June 9th a 9 hour fusion. I was doing fine with my depression and anxiety. I am not suppose to bend, twist, or pick up things to heavy. If my husband sees me that I might bend a little he yells at me. Now I am having depression and anxiety. It's bad enough to have to wear the brace, which really isn't that bad, but I don't feel like I am bending like he shows me. I have working on not bending, but it's really hard. I have soft bones and could pull out a screw or break a rod.. So maybe he needs to get on me. Otherwise, he has been so good to me by helping me out. I'm on Lexapro and Klonopin and Ambiem if I can't sleep, but I mainly use melatonin and 1 or 2 Klonoping.

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Having a bar in my upper back for 50 years (scoliosis), I too am forbidden bending. But sometimes…. so when my lower back gets really bad I rest, use the head pad and knit. The S-curve has now replicated itself in my lower back, so this is a daily problem and with a small farm to run solo, a challenge. I use a "grabber" to get stuff off the floor, hire out bending chores, and take ibuprofen AND Tylenol at night (OK'd by doc). Ambien was not a good fit for me. I got up and sleep-walked to the freezer and woke up with a melted quart of vanilla ice cream on my belly. Good luck and keep in touch.

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I'm 61 and very bored and lonely. Depression and OCD all my life. Never really fit in anywhere. My siblings won't contact me! I'm Catholic and Mass and my faith keep me going. But the parish knows I'm mentally ill and don't call me either. Stigma is terrible! Hope my reward is in Heaven. Maria.

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