So for those of you with autoimmune illness and mood/anxiety issues, how do your doctors manage your care? How’s it been for you?
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It may sound silly, but basic…good doctors who understand both of your issues as well as which medicines can be taken together safely.
About 14 or so years ago, my plate was too heavy for me to carry, I had relationship issues, a son caught up in drugs, took a fair amount of meds for other chronic issues, PLUS my only grandchildren lived in Prague~~ I was put on Cymbalta and it has worked well for me along with a great therapist. I'm 82 now, closer to 83, and three years ago lost sight in one eye and was diagnosed with GCA, and autoimmune disease affecting the cerebral arteries and possibly other ones as well.
At that time, I was started on Prednisone and within a few months, a weekly injection of a biologic was added. I wasn't being at all sarcastic or a smart …mouth…the best doctors possible are the key. I feel no conflict between those meds plus seizure meds, asthma inhalers, heart meds …it is a buffet.
Here is the story behind my strong conviction….
As a teenager, I started having seizures. In 1985, after not having a seizure in 11 years, I went to a neurologist who appeared well-educated and asked if he could run some tests and see if my meds could be reduced. The tests looked great and he told me of a new med that came out and he would try me on that.(I won't mention the name because I don't want to give the drug a bad rap). With every reaction I had he gave me more and more and more. It turned out I was having a reaction to that 'new' med. One day my pharmacist asked me when my last seizure was and then suggested I go to Mayo Clinic because he had no other patient on 24 of these per day….and by now, I was getting confused and shaky, very shaky. I delayed and when I went in for my refill the next month, he asked if I had called Mayo. He told me he could lose his job but I'd been a regular customer for years. I called The Mayo Clinic in Rochester and made an appointment. I had serious anemia, a drug-induced Lupus, and my IQ was in the 70s. I'd worked as a junior exec in a Fortune 500 company for four years and ultimately retired from there.
The Mayo Clinic saved my life and gave me a six-month regimen to reduce to five pills a day, a maintenance dosage. Long story, I know…but to make my point…Nothing is as important as a really competent doctor, and if he/she isn't, switch or get a second opinion. If you can, go to Mayo. My best…stay with the support group. The uncertainty of autoimmune is really helped by support. You are never alone, ever. 💞
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What are biologic injections? I keep seeing that word "biologic" a lot on here. Thank you. Hugs…
Hi covid stinks,
(Yes, it really, really does stink! I want to use all my bad words here…)
I also have an autoimmune disease, depression and anxiety.
I think the mental health issues derive directly from the difficulties coming from the autoimmune disease.
My rheumatologist treats the AI with medications, and she also prescribed Cymbalta, which seems to be the same route that Grammy 82's doctor took. Grammy 82 is 100% correct about getting a competent doctor! And a good therapist!
Even competent doctors can be stumped by autoimmune diseases. If your symptoms, like mine, don't fit clearly into one of the many categories, then you just have to trust the doctors, keep good records of your symptoms (so that the doctor can know what's going on), and do some research of your own.
Getting a good therapist can take some trying. I got really, really lucky! My current therapist also has a chronic disease and so understands a lot about my anxiety and depression issues. And she has good cognitive behavior therapy tactics to help with the issues.
I think (I'm not sure) that "biologics" is the term used to describe medications that have been developed through human cell research. The ones I know about are Humira and Remicade, which both worked great for me for a few years. I'm pretty sure that the "biologics" have to be given through intravenous infusion or through a self-injected pen. There may be some newer ones that are pills; again, I'm not sure. The biologics that I have been on are very powerful medications with some pretty significant, possible side effects (increased risk of certain cancers).
It took me a few years to decide to take these powerful medications, but I finally reached a point where the disease was so bad that the risk of the medication was worth it for me. The risk-benefit analysis is your decision, with the guidance of your doctor.
Sorry for "a book" in reply! Good luck and keep us posted!
I'll do my best since all of my experience and knowledge is a by-product of my body…no medical education, only hands-on.
A biologic medication is made from living cells, like some vaccines. That is it in a nutshell, but it has many variations. It is powerful. It has side effects..what doesn't? It can result in very positive outcomes. I have Giant Cell Arteritis and take prednisone and, Actemra, tocilizumab. In various TV advertisements for meds like Humira, another biologic med, most of the chemical names of these drugs end with a –umab or aub. Mine comes in an Acupen or like an EpiPen; I press it against my thigh or abdomen once a week. Doesn't hurt.
Each serves a different purpose~~Actemra, acts as what they call a 'steroid sparer,' and enables people like me to take fewer steroids. When I first used it in 2019, it had only been approved a few years before.
I was initially put on 125mg of prednisone. I'd lost sight in my left eye, and they wanted to quiet the disease and save my right eye..they did. After a few months, I went to 80mg and Actemra weekly and now 3mg.
The potential side effects were worth the risk, and I never experienced any. My rheumatologist plans to keep me on the Actemra; he says it is the 'workhorse' in keeping the inflammation quiet.
I sure gave you a long answer… I hope it made sense..💞
Thank you, it explains it wonderfully. Hugs….
Hi @annewoodmayo for me the biologic was as day to night. Using other options was not a 100 % answer to my autoinmune condition. I use ilaris (canakinumab) and the issue was solved and the best Part is the fatigue and mental issues. Fit me The biologic work the whole complexity of my condition (still disease). The physical and the mental/emotional. It feels as not beign on medication. Since Using it I dont have the usual issues from steroids or metroxetate that in my case affected other organs such as the liver. I ve been 3 years symptoms remission bc of ilaris. Just have to ask my reumathologist in case I need to take a medication or surgery, to know interactions and protocol. Never experienced any secondary effect
@juliess I have still disease together with depression and anxiety (GAD). Ive been treated just for still disease the autoinmune condition, bc the reumatologist usted a biologic and it worked for the still and the depression and amxiety too. I have a psychiatrist too but I get better with the biologic for the depression and anxiety than with antidepressants. In case I wouldnt be on the biologic, I for sure go forward with the treatment plan of my psychiatrist. Usually reumatologist and psychiatrist work together for better results in autoinmune conditions such as mine
Thanks Lorena! That’s great to know.
There is also illness/medically induced PTSD – very real; one be found on web, by Veronica Meade; easy read, could provide perspective. Knowledge is power.
There is the old adage "mind over matter" – the matter is the complicated life we each have to live, much known and more unknown. To relieve ourselves of the trauma burden of being misunderstood is critical to being able to intelligently navigate the necessary but often flawed medical "system". Trauma therapy is specific – made all the difference for me. (This time it was THEM, not me). My need for logic was satisfied – i know what is and is not my responsibility, when to cut some slack, and when to "back at ya". on both sides. Also saw a genius idea on the 'net – a woman created her own "Illness Resume" starting as far back as she could remember, adding going forward in order. She takes it wherever she goes; she can articulate her truth, leaving nothing to chance, and consistency in her telling. If she is misrepresented, corrections can be made. I hope everyone finds a primary and therapist like mine, working together, with us – they do exist!
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