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.

@gingerw

@helenfrances Ellen, it stands for Adult Protective Services, who help to stop elder abuse.
Ginger

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Thank you.

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@tryingtogetbetter

Hi all. I have fought anxiety and depression since in 30's, now 63. My family dr is trying to wean me off xanax, which I have been on for many years, at one point 6mg day. Have GAD. He is now trying to wean me off since I have been on so much for so long. Also have med resistant major depression also fighting for years. Tried at least 20 meds. Two rounds of psychotherapy for 6 months each time and 4 shock treatments which I could not complete due to anxiety. Memory is poor, husband does everything and is disabled to to numerous back surgeries. Feel guilty about that. Also have chronic pancreatitis, IBS, fibro and scoliosis with no energy. Point being, if anyone can help, dr has changed me from daily dosage of (3) .5mg of xanax to daily dosage of (3) 5mg xanax daily. This equals to half amount of benzodiazepines I had been taking, according to chart on internet. Question being how long am I going to feel this crazy and restless? Take 300mg Wellbutrin in am and 50mg Trazadone before bed. Any insite would be appreciated and it's been a long time since I have taken a shower, no energy, losing weight. If anyone could help me to know how long this reduction in benzodiazepines is going to make me feel crazy? Don't really know how to use forums but best of luck to all of you!

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I am also tapering from a benzodiazepine… which affects mood and memory.

My new doctor wrote a taper schedule, decreasing the dose very slowly. I am on month 1 of taper.
He also prescribed another medication (to help
with anxiety of withdrawal).

The relief from seeing this doctor Is wonderful! I feel blessed that a retiring neurologist(not the original prescriber) recommended this doctor to me
For the first time I have hope.

I regret seeing the original prescriber. The risks of this medication outweighed the benefits. If I were a litigious I would start a lawsuit.

Please persevere.
1. Can you ask your doctor for a written schedule of how and when you should take your medications?
2. Do you want to get a second opinion from another doctor?

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@helenfrances
Hi Ellen,
I can only speak for California. California has 58 counties and every county has a Child Protective Services/Adult Protective Services office (CPS/APS).
They have been very helpful to me. I have filed 5 complaints with them against my cousins caregivers, my cousin is Developmentally Disabled. His caregiver stole over $2,000 by stealing his atm card and did other things.

Which benzo are you tapering off of?
Would you mind sharing your taper schedule with us?
Take care,
Jake

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@tryingtogetbetter

Hi all. I have fought anxiety and depression since in 30's, now 63. My family dr is trying to wean me off xanax, which I have been on for many years, at one point 6mg day. Have GAD. He is now trying to wean me off since I have been on so much for so long. Also have med resistant major depression also fighting for years. Tried at least 20 meds. Two rounds of psychotherapy for 6 months each time and 4 shock treatments which I could not complete due to anxiety. Memory is poor, husband does everything and is disabled to to numerous back surgeries. Feel guilty about that. Also have chronic pancreatitis, IBS, fibro and scoliosis with no energy. Point being, if anyone can help, dr has changed me from daily dosage of (3) .5mg of xanax to daily dosage of (3) 5mg xanax daily. This equals to half amount of benzodiazepines I had been taking, according to chart on internet. Question being how long am I going to feel this crazy and restless? Take 300mg Wellbutrin in am and 50mg Trazadone before bed. Any insite would be appreciated and it's been a long time since I have taken a shower, no energy, losing weight. If anyone could help me to know how long this reduction in benzodiazepines is going to make me feel crazy? Don't really know how to use forums but best of luck to all of you!

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I wish I could offer more than support. I am here any time you need to “talk” but I have always been able to keep my benzo use on an as needed basis. I could go a week without one just deep breathing or CBT during shorter panic attacks.

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@annieb0188

Hi, my name is Annie and I have anxiety and depression ans ocd and Im 43 yrs old and I might get a new job snd Im so scared if I take it My anxiety will take over ann Ill work in a school district. I take anti anxiety meds and I slso had my first panic attack and I need some advice. Im scared of everything

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@annieb0188 Any updates on the new job? Just thinking of you!

Liked by fiesty76

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@Liane1

Can anyone tell me which antidepressants have no anticholinergic effects? I am reading a lot about the possible associations between anticholinergic meds and dementia in the elderly.

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All anti depressants are dangerous. There are no “good” antidepressants. One can become extremely dependent on an antidepressant just as they can a benzo and withdrawal can be horrendous. The sad part is antidepressants rarely work and Benzos do.

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@tryingtogetbetter

Meant dr put me on (3) 5mg diazepam daily instead of (3) .05mg xanax daily. Am I having withdrawals since benzodiazepines were upbruptly cut in half. Husband calling dr tomorrow. This kind of thing only happens on weekends when their office is closed! Husband doesn't talk to me very much so appreciate your communications! Thanks again!

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I took Xanax for several years. It helped but as time went by I kept feeling like I needed more. After switching doctors I am taking Clonazepam instead. Usually I do well with it. However with this Covid virus and stress with my sister whom I've always been close to my doctor increased me to the largest dosage he'll do. .25 mg four times daily. That didn't help enough. He's added 10mg of Buspar. It has helped but I'm not sure I can be increased any more withou feeling the side effects. I also take Effexor, Lamictal and a low dose of Geodon.

Liked by fiesty76

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@sears

All anti depressants are dangerous. There are no “good” antidepressants. One can become extremely dependent on an antidepressant just as they can a benzo and withdrawal can be horrendous. The sad part is antidepressants rarely work and Benzos do.

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@sears

While there are possible negative side effects of antidepressants, they only affect a limited number of people. I've been taking Wellbutrin for more than 14 years , and though it started to lose its effectiveness a few years ago and my psychiatrist added Mirtazapine, I've never felt addicted. Certainly, my body and brain need medication, but that doesn't mean I'm addicted or I've built up tolerance. Even if I AM addicted, if it's achieving the desired effect, being labeled is irrelevant. It just means that I'll probably take a particular medication for the rest of my life in order to maintain mental stability or keep my chronic pain at a bearable level. Though the meds I take might be dangerous for some people, they haven't been for me.

If antidepressants rarely work, I'm just glad that I don't fall into that group. As far as benzodiazepines go, they have potential risks that are at least as dangerous as antidepressants. I've been taking clonazepam for nearly 15 years at 1mg daily with the option of taking a second if needed. I can't take Ativan because it pushes my heart rate up to 180bpm, which is very uncomfortable. I don't know if it's lessening my anxiety, but my wife wants me to keep taking it because it has stopped my acting out my dreams – kicking, punching, bicycle riding, etc. She sleeps better because of that.

When I was doing the 6 week trial of antidepressants, I experienced a few negative side effects from a few of them, but none of them affected my depression, until I found Wellbutrin. Only one made me suicidal at 5 weeks for one week, exactly as the warnings said. That's the only thing that could have been labeled as dangerous. To say that ALL antidepressants are dangerous isn't true. And Wellbutrin is a good antidepressant for me.

Withdrawal can be very rough, especially from benzodiazepines, which is why tapering very, very slowly is so important. And withdrawal is another thing that can be unique to every person.

Doing the 6 week trial in search of an effective antidepressant could carry more risk for seniors than for younger people, something that can be said about most medications. It's something that can be frustrating because it means that doctors are hesitant about prescribing medications that we seniors have a legitimate need for to control pain, depression, and a long list of other ailments.

This is my own personal experience, not the protocols of Mayo. (My disclaimer)

Jim

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@sears Antidepressants are only one part of treating depression. Ideally depression treatment should also include non-medical therapies and lifestyle changes as well. For some people non-medical and lifestyle changes are not enough. Antidepressants can be extremely helpful medications in the treatment of depression for many people.

Liked by lioness, fiesty76

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@jamsie

Oh my goodness thank you so much. If I did one good thing today I am overjoyed. I am waiting to get a call yet from some mental health counselors, and hopefully that might come after the Labor Day weekend. If not, I will pursue it. I have been journaling off and on, and surprisingly, writing both the good and bad things that are going on, do help me. It is surprising to go back and read them, and sometimes I can't believe how I was feeling at that time. I would love to keep in touch, it does help to know we are not alone, right?

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How are you doing, Jamsie?
I hope you have received a call from the counselor.
You are not alone.

Thank you for the journaling idea. You have inspired me to return to logging in to my daily journal. That will help in reporting to my doctor who I see next week.

I am blessed to have found this doctor who gave me a well defined program for titrating off of Clonazapam.
He is not only an M.D. but has a doctorate in psychology. He is young and compassionate.

Stay the course. If I can do this after taking Clon for
many years, YOU will do the same.
You are in my prayers.
Please say one for me.
H.Frances

Liked by fiesty76

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@jakedduck1

@helenfrances
Hi Ellen,
I can only speak for California. California has 58 counties and every county has a Child Protective Services/Adult Protective Services office (CPS/APS).
They have been very helpful to me. I have filed 5 complaints with them against my cousins caregivers, my cousin is Developmentally Disabled. His caregiver stole over $2,000 by stealing his atm card and did other things.

Which benzo are you tapering off of?
Would you mind sharing your taper schedule with us?
Take care,
Jake

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Jake, the taper is from Clonazapam.
I hesitate to put my individualized schedule on line for these reasons:
You may need a different schedule than mine, depending on amount and length of time you have taken this med.
Your age is another variable that would be considered.
The physician I see is a neurologist and psychiatrist.
He is wonderfully compassionate and intelligent.

I suggest interviewing a doctor or two.
Ask your regular physician for names?

Let us know how you are doing.
I am praying that you find a perfect doctor match !🤩

Helen

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@helenfrances
Hello,
I took Klonopin for seizures which wasn’t effective and successful symptom free taper off of it many years ago.
I asked you about your taper schedule only because doctors often decrease the dose faster than many patients can tolerate and many end up having withdrawl symptoms.
Have you been suffering any unpleasant withdrawl symptoms?
Jake

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Hello everyone, I am new to the group and very happy to have found it. My father lives with anxiety and depression and is 76 years old. He had a late onset of these disorders and if he had symptoms earlier in his life we were all oblivious of it, I do remember him being extremely withdrawn, distrustful of people in general and very negative. I am finding out through my mom what he is taking in terms of medications but whatever it is it is not working and he is at an all time low at the moment quarentining at home. Thank you for reading, I don't really have anyone to talk to about his problem.

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@dmho

Hello everyone, I am new to the group and very happy to have found it. My father lives with anxiety and depression and is 76 years old. He had a late onset of these disorders and if he had symptoms earlier in his life we were all oblivious of it, I do remember him being extremely withdrawn, distrustful of people in general and very negative. I am finding out through my mom what he is taking in terms of medications but whatever it is it is not working and he is at an all time low at the moment quarentining at home. Thank you for reading, I don't really have anyone to talk to about his problem.

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@dmho. If I could go back at least 10 years I would but trust psychiatrists so blindly and really pay attention to the possible side effects especially the news anti depressants that I believe were really created for different purposes. My depressing and anxiety was not being helped by tried and true antidepressants so we moved to bipolar, anti seizure, and antipsychotics leaving me with seizures, tardive dyskinesia, and snake like movements of my tongue at night. I finally found a doc willing to try benzos and voila, my anxiety is still there but I can go without a panic attack for days sometimes. These are just my opinions but permanent hand shaking and loss of limb control is no joke. We are here for you if you need us. Use us to call BS on a doc if something doesn’t seem just right. Your dad is a precious person you will never have another. Give him the best years of his life. He’s earned it!

Liked by sears

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@dmho

Hello everyone, I am new to the group and very happy to have found it. My father lives with anxiety and depression and is 76 years old. He had a late onset of these disorders and if he had symptoms earlier in his life we were all oblivious of it, I do remember him being extremely withdrawn, distrustful of people in general and very negative. I am finding out through my mom what he is taking in terms of medications but whatever it is it is not working and he is at an all time low at the moment quarentining at home. Thank you for reading, I don't really have anyone to talk to about his problem.

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@dmho, Welcome to this forum and thank you for reaching out for help for your dad. Just wondering if your mom or you could call your dad's doc and explain how his symptoms are worsening? Quarantining is tough and changes routines for all of us who are isolating more. Would he be willing to have a phone conf. with his doc if suggested? Do you have permission to give and get information about him with his doc? Hope you'll continue to post here because there are many who understand and are willing to support you and your family during this troubling time.

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