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.

@chinchuck

Hi Merry. My agoraphobia started when trying to taper off diazepam, which I was put on 10 months ago low dose. I did not have it before, I have spent most of the 10 months trying to reduce the 4 mgs diazepam I was prescribed for anxiety, and each tiny reduction has been a torture. Now at 2.3mgs and housebound.
I do try to make myself walk around the block each day, but need to have someone on the end of my phone to keep talking me through. I have tried to start CBT but it wont work due to the diazepam taper which is horrendous and leaves me in a state of fear all day. Lost 30lbs in weight and muscle loss. Such a terrible time with it.
I have been considering adding an AD to help, but as my CNS has been so sensitised I am concerned that they will be too overstimulating for me now.
I would be grateful for any input in how to help overcome the massive fear I live in, due to the diazepam taper, as I am sure once I could reduce the major anxiety I will be able to tackle the agoraphobia.
I am not sure where to go from here.

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@chinchuck Good morning! I’m so sorry for all that you are going through. Sounds really tough. May I ask, are you working closely with your doctor as you come off the Valium? Why are you coming off? Definitely ask your doctor for antidepressants— they can certainly help. They do take 2+ weeks to start working, though. Do you have a therapist that you work with? I’m 71 and have a therapist, antidepressants, and a chronic disease that affects my brain. But not as difficult as yours. I certainly wish you luck. Stay in touch to let us know how you’re doing and maybe some of the others will have suggestions.

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@chinchuck @parus
Hello again,
I agree change can be very difficult as is most anything that's really worthwhile. I have a dear friend who HAD Agoraphobia, she lives in the UK. For years she wouldn't get the mail or even open door even it was someone she knew. She wouldn't crack open door to let the paper fall in. She caused herself to be worse than a prisoner in her own home, even prisoners get recreation time outside. Yet she is married, something virtually everyone tells me is not always easy. When I look at divorce statistics, they must me right. But she overcame it and looking back, she can't understand how she allowed herself to be controlled in such a negative way by her mind. She once wrote me, although I may not be 100 percent cured yet but at least I'm in charge now. On Thanksgiving 2018 she travelled from England to New York City to see the Macy Day Parade. Quite an accomplishment. She told me ”Your my inspiration” although I felt coplimented all over the place I told her you need to set your sights higher or you'll never get out of this mess. Look at the people who drive, the most dangerous form of transportation but refuse to fly which is by far the safest type of transportation.
I know it's hard, happiness doesn't come knocking at the.front door, it can be very illusive. Happiness can also be so close we miss it all together because of what we take for granted, like breathing, walking, talking, still having my Mom and seeing her face and hearing her voice, even if it's not what I want to hear. I never thought about not having no arms or legs until I met a man without. We took him to the dog races and he was one of the happiest positive people I ever knew. Happiness really is everywhere, we just have to be willing to appreciate it. Good will always win over evil if people only give it a chance. All the natural and man made wonders pale in comparison to happines. A goal no one should ever stop seeking.
I've been on the dark side too. I've been depressed had a couple panic attacks. I suppose it was easy to fall into the depression pit since I was probably feeling sorry for myself having seizures every day, being in comas for weeks and months at a time, being unconscious more than being conscious and having a feeding tube. Compared to others I had it easy. Yet even though happiness was always within reach I wasn't willing to make the effort to accept it. Although I generally try and disway people away from Antidepressants sometimes they are a necessary evil, which I believe should only be used short term. There are so many alternative treatments available. People on Antidepressants are 15 times more likely to commit suicide. Recurrence of depression is more frequent in patients taking them. Studies show 80% of patients improving are ones given placebos. Just a very few of the reasons why I don’t recommend these drugs. So unless you're suicidal or otherwise in dire need of urgent medication, before you dose up on side-effect laden pharmaceuticals, it's worth considering some natural treatments that may help.
I'm so sorry your going through this and I know you have the ability to become a happy and vibrant person and be in total in control of your destiny. When you succeed in overcoming these issues I believe it may be the most rewarding experience of your life.
Blessings, health & happiness to you,
Jake

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@jakedduck1 We can overcome our fears at our own pace. I can recall your journey into cooking and being hesitant. 😉

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Today the anxiety turned into a panic attack. I have had an MRI and no big deal. I was getting around to go and things did not feel right- panic attack stuff. Finally called about the leads still around my vagus nerve from the vagus nerve stimulator which was removed in 2010. After consulting a radiologist they called back and said absolutely NOT!! Never should I have one!! No more panic attacks. 😊. WHEW …

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@pjss48

Thanks for your replies. I meant I didn't know what to do physically during the day, which causes more depression. I don't have a lot of support. None of my siblings live near. I have a couple friends but I don't want to bother them too much.

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I get how you feel. I’m 59 and had to retire on disability due to anxiety. I spend my days sitting in my chair journaling and reading different things. I live with my kids. They both work from home, but I don’t want to bother them during the day. I really don’t know what to do with myself, and the anxiety is getting worse.

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@parus

Today the anxiety turned into a panic attack. I have had an MRI and no big deal. I was getting around to go and things did not feel right- panic attack stuff. Finally called about the leads still around my vagus nerve from the vagus nerve stimulator which was removed in 2010. After consulting a radiologist they called back and said absolutely NOT!! Never should I have one!! No more panic attacks. 😊. WHEW …

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It was good you checked on that, @parus.

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@jakedduck1

@chinchuck @parus
Hello again,
I agree change can be very difficult as is most anything that's really worthwhile. I have a dear friend who HAD Agoraphobia, she lives in the UK. For years she wouldn't get the mail or even open door even it was someone she knew. She wouldn't crack open door to let the paper fall in. She caused herself to be worse than a prisoner in her own home, even prisoners get recreation time outside. Yet she is married, something virtually everyone tells me is not always easy. When I look at divorce statistics, they must me right. But she overcame it and looking back, she can't understand how she allowed herself to be controlled in such a negative way by her mind. She once wrote me, although I may not be 100 percent cured yet but at least I'm in charge now. On Thanksgiving 2018 she travelled from England to New York City to see the Macy Day Parade. Quite an accomplishment. She told me ”Your my inspiration” although I felt coplimented all over the place I told her you need to set your sights higher or you'll never get out of this mess. Look at the people who drive, the most dangerous form of transportation but refuse to fly which is by far the safest type of transportation.
I know it's hard, happiness doesn't come knocking at the.front door, it can be very illusive. Happiness can also be so close we miss it all together because of what we take for granted, like breathing, walking, talking, still having my Mom and seeing her face and hearing her voice, even if it's not what I want to hear. I never thought about not having no arms or legs until I met a man without. We took him to the dog races and he was one of the happiest positive people I ever knew. Happiness really is everywhere, we just have to be willing to appreciate it. Good will always win over evil if people only give it a chance. All the natural and man made wonders pale in comparison to happines. A goal no one should ever stop seeking.
I've been on the dark side too. I've been depressed had a couple panic attacks. I suppose it was easy to fall into the depression pit since I was probably feeling sorry for myself having seizures every day, being in comas for weeks and months at a time, being unconscious more than being conscious and having a feeding tube. Compared to others I had it easy. Yet even though happiness was always within reach I wasn't willing to make the effort to accept it. Although I generally try and disway people away from Antidepressants sometimes they are a necessary evil, which I believe should only be used short term. There are so many alternative treatments available. People on Antidepressants are 15 times more likely to commit suicide. Recurrence of depression is more frequent in patients taking them. Studies show 80% of patients improving are ones given placebos. Just a very few of the reasons why I don’t recommend these drugs. So unless you're suicidal or otherwise in dire need of urgent medication, before you dose up on side-effect laden pharmaceuticals, it's worth considering some natural treatments that may help.
I'm so sorry your going through this and I know you have the ability to become a happy and vibrant person and be in total in control of your destiny. When you succeed in overcoming these issues I believe it may be the most rewarding experience of your life.
Blessings, health & happiness to you,
Jake

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Great thoughts, @jakeduck1 and a great example of your friend's ability to overcome. Thanks for sharing that.

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@jakedduck1

@chinchuck @parus
Hello again,
I agree change can be very difficult as is most anything that's really worthwhile. I have a dear friend who HAD Agoraphobia, she lives in the UK. For years she wouldn't get the mail or even open door even it was someone she knew. She wouldn't crack open door to let the paper fall in. She caused herself to be worse than a prisoner in her own home, even prisoners get recreation time outside. Yet she is married, something virtually everyone tells me is not always easy. When I look at divorce statistics, they must me right. But she overcame it and looking back, she can't understand how she allowed herself to be controlled in such a negative way by her mind. She once wrote me, although I may not be 100 percent cured yet but at least I'm in charge now. On Thanksgiving 2018 she travelled from England to New York City to see the Macy Day Parade. Quite an accomplishment. She told me ”Your my inspiration” although I felt coplimented all over the place I told her you need to set your sights higher or you'll never get out of this mess. Look at the people who drive, the most dangerous form of transportation but refuse to fly which is by far the safest type of transportation.
I know it's hard, happiness doesn't come knocking at the.front door, it can be very illusive. Happiness can also be so close we miss it all together because of what we take for granted, like breathing, walking, talking, still having my Mom and seeing her face and hearing her voice, even if it's not what I want to hear. I never thought about not having no arms or legs until I met a man without. We took him to the dog races and he was one of the happiest positive people I ever knew. Happiness really is everywhere, we just have to be willing to appreciate it. Good will always win over evil if people only give it a chance. All the natural and man made wonders pale in comparison to happines. A goal no one should ever stop seeking.
I've been on the dark side too. I've been depressed had a couple panic attacks. I suppose it was easy to fall into the depression pit since I was probably feeling sorry for myself having seizures every day, being in comas for weeks and months at a time, being unconscious more than being conscious and having a feeding tube. Compared to others I had it easy. Yet even though happiness was always within reach I wasn't willing to make the effort to accept it. Although I generally try and disway people away from Antidepressants sometimes they are a necessary evil, which I believe should only be used short term. There are so many alternative treatments available. People on Antidepressants are 15 times more likely to commit suicide. Recurrence of depression is more frequent in patients taking them. Studies show 80% of patients improving are ones given placebos. Just a very few of the reasons why I don’t recommend these drugs. So unless you're suicidal or otherwise in dire need of urgent medication, before you dose up on side-effect laden pharmaceuticals, it's worth considering some natural treatments that may help.
I'm so sorry your going through this and I know you have the ability to become a happy and vibrant person and be in total in control of your destiny. When you succeed in overcoming these issues I believe it may be the most rewarding experience of your life.
Blessings, health & happiness to you,
Jake

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@jakedduck1 Beautifully said Leonard You are mentally strong Haven't seen you so don't know physical haha Seriously I enjoyed reading this Thanks

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@becsbuddy

@chinchuck Good morning! I’m so sorry for all that you are going through. Sounds really tough. May I ask, are you working closely with your doctor as you come off the Valium? Why are you coming off? Definitely ask your doctor for antidepressants— they can certainly help. They do take 2+ weeks to start working, though. Do you have a therapist that you work with? I’m 71 and have a therapist, antidepressants, and a chronic disease that affects my brain. But not as difficult as yours. I certainly wish you luck. Stay in touch to let us know how you’re doing and maybe some of the others will have suggestions.

Jump to this post

Hi. Yes I am working with my Doctor to get of the Valium. Once I knew how addictive it is and the fact that the dose at 4 mgs did not help at all, I asked to come off, but it has been a nightmare without proper instruction. I think I was told too go too fast for me, and my CNS is now so unstable I am reacting to so many things. My anxiety is terrible and I have developed really bad tinnitus. I am committed to coming of the Valium but every tiny cut is felt, and the underlying condition has not been treated. I am worried that the ssri's might be too stimulating how my system is now, so don't know what to do but I do know I need help as my weight is falling whatever I do, I guess because of the constant state of anxiety. I am not sure where to go from here as the psychiatrist has left it up to me as I am reacting to different drugs, but if I thought it would help in the end I would do my best to try a tiny dose of something and build up. I had hoped I could get off the Valium and then my body will have a chance to slowly recover as the all my extra symptoms started when I was on it and whilst tapering. I wish I had used more natural products but the Doctor did not tell me they were addictive and I was encouraged to continue taking, and quickly built up a tolerance probably due to my age. I have now been on the Valium around 9 to 10 months , most of it tapering off and though 2.3mgs seems a low dose, this is the hardest part. I really do wish there was something that would lift my mood and give me the strength and frame of mind to find myself again.

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@chinchuck
Good afternoon,
A Psychologist could probably help you as you continue your taper, if your feeling every cut you may want to cut your taper amount even more. May I ask how much you decrease your dose by?
Do you know the cause of your anxiety? This is important to know. You need to learn and acknowledge what is off in your life so you know what to fix. You mention losing weight. Do you ever miss meals? It’s important to eat regularly and not now and then to properly maintain your blood sugar. Low blood sugar alters mood.
You mention “I really do wish there was something that would lift my mood,” you May want to try some of these,
First, if you eat or drink things with caffeine in them you should stop, provided you believe in the Serotonin theory. Caffeine depletes Serotonin. If you use caffeine for a boost or energy you may want to replace it with L-Tryptophine (I think that is spelled right) 500-1,000mg
Also, some Serotonin rich foods are wild Salmon, eggs, cheese, poultry, dates, cottage cheese, nuts and seeds and beef. I believe it’s found in all protein containing foods.

1. 5-HTP 50-300 mg up to three times/day — start at 50mg in the morning. Converts directly into serotonin. If you are taking too much, you will feel sleepy or have runny stools. Also usually helps with anxiety, although sometimes it can paradoxically cause anxiety. Must use with great caution if you're taking an anti-depressant.

2. St. John's Wort 300mg three times/day. If you don't feel better within a week, slowly increase your dose to a max of 600mg three times/day. May decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills.
WARNING, DONT TAKE IF USING ANTIDEPRESSANTS OR ANTICONVULSANTS, Make sure your doctor is aware of any supplements you take.

3. SAMe 200mg on an empty stomach twice/day. Increase your dose every two weeks to a maximum dose of 600mg twice daily. This can be a very effective antidepressant, but it can also be expensive. Side effects at higher doses include GI upset, nausea, agitation, and insomnia.

4. L-Theanine 100-600mg daily. Reduce if you feel sleepy. Found in green tea.

5. Fish oil (DHA/EPA) 1-3 g/day with food. Make sure it's good quality.

Best of luck to you.
Jake

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Well, let me put my two cents in regarding agoraphobia. Fear, chronic fear, is crippling. Those of us who have experienced some of the worst possible trauma certainly have an understanding of this.
If we want to get out of the house, walk to the mailbox, or go shopping in the mall, we must reach down and take hold of that fear. We must stand up to it and tell it our boundaries, just like we are talking to a real person. We must correct our negative self talk, and replace it with positive affirmations.
We must speak them to ourselves and to others so frequently we could do it in our sleep. It will be second nature, eventually. Yes, there will be memories of past depression. Dark days will always try to reclaim us. But every single day, we must think the truth and speak the truth. We are valuable. We have a right to be here. We have gifts. We are able. We are capable. We can love. And we can live.
Read all you can about agoraphobia. Know that you can, indeed, get past this. One step at a time. Does any of this make sense? I hope so.
Mamacita

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@parus

@jakedduck1 We can overcome our fears at our own pace. I can recall your journey into cooking and being hesitant. 😉

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@parus
I’m still hesitant but that’s because I loathe cooking I just loathe it. Hard to understand why I use to love it although I felt better back then. Glad I don’t like it or I’d be eating nothing but the 5 food groups, cakes, candy, cookies, pies and pastry.
Jake

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@parus

Today the anxiety turned into a panic attack. I have had an MRI and no big deal. I was getting around to go and things did not feel right- panic attack stuff. Finally called about the leads still around my vagus nerve from the vagus nerve stimulator which was removed in 2010. After consulting a radiologist they called back and said absolutely NOT!! Never should I have one!! No more panic attacks. 😊. WHEW …

Jump to this post

@parus
Have you ever considered having the coil removed? Did you get it to treat depression or seizures and did it ever help?
Jake

Liked by Parus

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Hi, I am a 70 year old male, I have been struggling with OCD, Depression, and anxiety off and on for many years. The tough thing with my issues is that OCD and Depression seem to be like kissing cousins. they seem to have an effect on each other. I have seen quite a few CBT therapists as well as Psychiatrists. The meds I have been include Prozac, cymbalta, Zoloft, Paxil, and Xanax. I also suffer from various fears as well. It seems as I get older, these issues have become more intense at times.I would be curious if anyone has suffered from these 3 issues for a long time, and if anyone has found success from any specific treatment they have had Take Care.

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@jakedduck1

@parus
I’m still hesitant but that’s because I loathe cooking I just loathe it. Hard to understand why I use to love it although I felt better back then. Glad I don’t like it or I’d be eating nothing but the 5 food groups, cakes, candy, cookies, pies and pastry.
Jake

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@jakedduck1 to fatening

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