Hereditary depression has a cure?

Posted by lauracaballero @lauracaballero, Aug 15, 2021

Hello, i’ve been on SSRI’s for almost two years now and it doesn’t seem to have a long term effect, first i started with vortioxetine and at about 10 months it stopped working, so my dr changed me to desvanlefaxine, for certain reasons i had to use them for a longer period that was supposed to, but when he finally said that i should start lowering the dose and stop it in about three weeks the symptoms began again, basically they only seem to work while i’m on the medication. While talking with the dr the last session he said that it could be an hereditary factor or “part of one’s personality” (i dont quite remember the exact words) which makes me believe that it could not be cured? as in i might need to be on medication my whole life? he also mentioned about environment issues that may deminish it over time if they change, but im not so sure i understood correctly. My question goes about: is it possible to need medication all my life? i honestly don’t want to because i thought it was going to be a 1 year treatment tops

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Depression & Anxiety group.

@lauracaballero, welcome. Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). I'm tagging fellow members like @chicago1211 @jordanstutz1 @ottawalisa @irishgirl55 @jimhd who may be able to share their experiences about taking an SNRI, for how long and more.

Laura, needing medication for extended periods of time or life long to manage depression depends on many factors and varies from person to person. These factors can include family history, environmental factors, other long-term medical or mental health, changes in other stressors like relationships, work, sleep patterns. Here's an article that explains more:
– How Long Should You Take Antidepressants? https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/antidepressants

Laura, did you find that 3 weeks was too fast to taper of the medication? Are you also supporting your management of depression with non-medicinal therapies, like cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), yoga, exercise, talk therapy or something else?

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@colleenyoung

@lauracaballero, welcome. Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). I'm tagging fellow members like @chicago1211 @jordanstutz1 @ottawalisa @irishgirl55 @jimhd who may be able to share their experiences about taking an SNRI, for how long and more.

Laura, needing medication for extended periods of time or life long to manage depression depends on many factors and varies from person to person. These factors can include family history, environmental factors, other long-term medical or mental health, changes in other stressors like relationships, work, sleep patterns. Here's an article that explains more:
– How Long Should You Take Antidepressants? https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/antidepressants

Laura, did you find that 3 weeks was too fast to taper of the medication? Are you also supporting your management of depression with non-medicinal therapies, like cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), yoga, exercise, talk therapy or something else?

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Thank you for your response, and for linking the article, it was very informative. The effects when lowering the medication came almost immediatly, about five days after lowering it. I’ve been taking cognitive behavios therapy since before the medication (my therapist recommended seeing a psychiatrist as well), as for physical activity it remained somewhat consistent before and during the lowering of the dose. What scares me is that maybe i will have to take the medication for more years or even for life, but in research i’ve made it never says that it can be permanent

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I have been depressed for 45 years. I'm 68 years old. I have tried everything. And was told l would have to be on meds the rest of my life. Well it just about been that long.
But now l go to a Ketamine Clinic. I can tell you it is working. I on my 4th treatment and l all ready feel better. I am still taking meds. I'm not sure if l will ever come off the meds, but l don't care so long as l can get release from this terrible illness. Depressed runs on my family. I just can't go on in this hell anymore.

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Johns hopkins and several other university medical schools are studying the effects of psilocybin ayahuaska (sp?) as treatments for depression and substance abuse. They are seeing great success. I dont believe these can be legally obtained as yet.

Michael polan wrote a book called HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MIND. I just started it and it looks like a great way to learn about these options.

Best of luck

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I have a family history of depression on one side and bipolar on the other. I have been on and off nearly every SSRI and every SNRI over the years (since age 21). I have also had years of cognitive/behavioral therapy, as well as Rapid Eye Movement Desensitization therapy for several traumatic events in my life. I am now 63 and have been stable for nearly a decade. (I still have down times, but they do not last for more than a few days and are generally more in line with what non-depressed people experience in severity.)

My opinion/experience – for what it is worth.

1) While depression may have genetic components, dysfunctional families create a lot depression seen generation after generation. As long as you are able to afford it, and you are learning new ways to respond and adapt – keep going to "talk" therapy. You will know when you no longer are hearing any new suggestions on how to reframe or react to things you see and hear.

2) Medication does in fact help, but I have found that SSRI and SNRI medications "poop out" after a time. My personal experience says 2 years tops for any one of these medications, then you need to move to a different medication. Do not stop between medications if possible, just have a doctor make sure you can safely transition without interaction between the medications.

3) There are "atypical" antidepressants and perhaps you should ask about those if SSRIs (helps keep serotonin higher) and SNRIs (helps keep serotonin and norepinephrine higher) – do not work or "poop out".

I have been on an atypical antidepressant for nearly 10 years now. It is a dopamine agonist (helps keep dopamine higher), rather than addressing serotonin or norepinephrine. I am taking bupropion (also known by the trade name Wellbutrin). It is off patent now, and very affordable. I take one 12 hour tablet in the AM, rather than the 24 hour type because the medication made it hard to sleep in the 24 hour form.

I also find that daily exercise (particularly in the AM) helps me increase endorphins (serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine). It can be something as simple as taking a 20 minute walk before getting ready for work. Perhaps it also helps me sort my thoughts and feelings that are processed while sleeping? At least I start my day more centered, and it is harder for those who disturb one's happiness to impact my day…

Lastly, sometimes it is hard not to give up, but there is always tomorrow. When you are really down and cannot find anything or anyone that can help – my suggestion is to take a nap (resets my brain) or go to bed early if possible (looks different in the morning)…

Hoping this is helpful to anyone suffering from the terrible disorder of depression!

REPLY
@tahbsoweight

I have a family history of depression on one side and bipolar on the other. I have been on and off nearly every SSRI and every SNRI over the years (since age 21). I have also had years of cognitive/behavioral therapy, as well as Rapid Eye Movement Desensitization therapy for several traumatic events in my life. I am now 63 and have been stable for nearly a decade. (I still have down times, but they do not last for more than a few days and are generally more in line with what non-depressed people experience in severity.)

My opinion/experience – for what it is worth.

1) While depression may have genetic components, dysfunctional families create a lot depression seen generation after generation. As long as you are able to afford it, and you are learning new ways to respond and adapt – keep going to "talk" therapy. You will know when you no longer are hearing any new suggestions on how to reframe or react to things you see and hear.

2) Medication does in fact help, but I have found that SSRI and SNRI medications "poop out" after a time. My personal experience says 2 years tops for any one of these medications, then you need to move to a different medication. Do not stop between medications if possible, just have a doctor make sure you can safely transition without interaction between the medications.

3) There are "atypical" antidepressants and perhaps you should ask about those if SSRIs (helps keep serotonin higher) and SNRIs (helps keep serotonin and norepinephrine higher) – do not work or "poop out".

I have been on an atypical antidepressant for nearly 10 years now. It is a dopamine agonist (helps keep dopamine higher), rather than addressing serotonin or norepinephrine. I am taking bupropion (also known by the trade name Wellbutrin). It is off patent now, and very affordable. I take one 12 hour tablet in the AM, rather than the 24 hour type because the medication made it hard to sleep in the 24 hour form.

I also find that daily exercise (particularly in the AM) helps me increase endorphins (serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine). It can be something as simple as taking a 20 minute walk before getting ready for work. Perhaps it also helps me sort my thoughts and feelings that are processed while sleeping? At least I start my day more centered, and it is harder for those who disturb one's happiness to impact my day…

Lastly, sometimes it is hard not to give up, but there is always tomorrow. When you are really down and cannot find anything or anyone that can help – my suggestion is to take a nap (resets my brain) or go to bed early if possible (looks different in the morning)…

Hoping this is helpful to anyone suffering from the terrible disorder of depression!

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These are all really helpful suggestions! Congratulations on your personal challenge and remaining stable for over 10 years. Your information will be very encouraging for anyone else suffering this debilitating disorder.

My daughter has worked with REMD therapy for her depression brought on by anxiety. It has been a godsend for her with helping to overcoming the worst of her symptoms. It’s an ongoing war but the little battles are getting easier

By the way, welcome to Mayo Connect. I just noticed you signed on a few weeks ago and this is your first reply. Thank you so much for sharing your personal journey. This is the goal of our forum, where members “Connect” with each other to help find answers or offer hope and encouragement. We never know who will be taking away some little nugget of hope from what we share.

Were you searching for anything in particular that brought you to Connect?

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Help with a new diagnosis. Acute Congestive Heart Failure and Degenerative Disc disease.

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@loribmt

These are all really helpful suggestions! Congratulations on your personal challenge and remaining stable for over 10 years. Your information will be very encouraging for anyone else suffering this debilitating disorder.

My daughter has worked with REMD therapy for her depression brought on by anxiety. It has been a godsend for her with helping to overcoming the worst of her symptoms. It’s an ongoing war but the little battles are getting easier

By the way, welcome to Mayo Connect. I just noticed you signed on a few weeks ago and this is your first reply. Thank you so much for sharing your personal journey. This is the goal of our forum, where members “Connect” with each other to help find answers or offer hope and encouragement. We never know who will be taking away some little nugget of hope from what we share.

Were you searching for anything in particular that brought you to Connect?

Jump to this post

Thank you… I was looking for help with post hysterectomy and oophorectomy weight gain. My weight was reasonable and stable until that surgery – which was years ago. Ever since, it has been a battle that I am slowly losing – ie continuing weight gain. After that surgery, it seems that I rarely feel satiety when eating – which makes it hard to end a meal, and hunger returns very quickly..,.

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A word of caution when taking SSRI's — While I was on them I had very strong urges of suicide. I acted on those urges three times. It wasn't until I was put on something other than SSRI's that the suicide issues disappeared. It was an awful time of my life.

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@willing

I have been depressed for 45 years. I'm 68 years old. I have tried everything. And was told l would have to be on meds the rest of my life. Well it just about been that long.
But now l go to a Ketamine Clinic. I can tell you it is working. I on my 4th treatment and l all ready feel better. I am still taking meds. I'm not sure if l will ever come off the meds, but l don't care so long as l can get release from this terrible illness. Depressed runs on my family. I just can't go on in this hell anymore.

Jump to this post

I’m with you, I’m 45, started with bipolar in 9th grade. I’ve been on almost everything (meds, ketamine, ECT) and nothing works. I prayed for healing and deliverance but I’d sure settle for anything that worked even if I had to take it the rest of my life.

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@tahbsoweight

Thank you… I was looking for help with post hysterectomy and oophorectomy weight gain. My weight was reasonable and stable until that surgery – which was years ago. Ever since, it has been a battle that I am slowly losing – ie continuing weight gain. After that surgery, it seems that I rarely feel satiety when eating – which makes it hard to end a meal, and hunger returns very quickly..,.

Jump to this post

Ohh those surgeries are a major hormone disruption for sure! It seems so many of us gain weight after menopause and yours was brought on prematurely with the loss of your uterus and ovaries. It’s a constant battle isn’t it?
I see from your last reply that you’re 63. I’m 67 and experience the same lack of satiety with eating! Sadly, it’s another one of those little indignities foisted on us with our “coming of age”…the signal that lets us know when we’re full malfunctions.
The only thing I’ve found that works so I don’t overeat is to actually portion out food on my plate and don’t allow myself to reach for seconds. With only my husband and I eating together, it’s easier to just push away from the table and get busy to stash the dishes and such. Changing focus helps me forget that I don’t feel full. I finish afterwards with a small fix of chocolate.
If I sit at the table, I’m likely to keep ‘dibba-dabbing’ at whatever’s in front of me until I’m ready to burst. Then about 15 minutes later, my food-alert alarm goes off in my gut alerting me that it’s NOT Thanksgiving you fool and I feel like a stuffed turkey for hours.

Pushing away from the table along with avoiding extra carbs really helped me lose 10 pounds a couple years ago. I didn’t stop carbs altogether. Just ate one slice of bread made into a half sandwich for lunch, tossed maybe 5 potato chips, half an apple and a pickle on my plate. Once I got a roll and actually saw a pound less on the scales, it motivated me to keep going. I ate smaller meals and had little healthy snacks of protein during the day. Also I upped my water intake. That helped me feel full. Modifying my behaviors really made the difference.

But, let me tell you from experience having a few extra pounds as we age is not a bad thing! It gives us a safe reserve in the possibility of a severe or catastrophic illness. I only wanted to lose 10 pounds and was a happy camper. Clothes felt better and I felt better about myself. But a few months later I was diagnosed with leukemia and had a stem cell transplant. 2 years ago, I lost 40! It was an awkward challenge to gain back 20 pounds. Those extra pounds on my bones really saved me!

You exercise and walk daily. That’s has an impact with burning the calories and supporting your great mental attitude.
How’s your overall health? Do you have any hobbies or activities which can help distract you from food?
Were you able to find weight loss conversations to help with your goal? Have you looked into the Intermittent Fasting group?
Here’s a link to the discussions. Many members are finding this beneficial to weight loss and over all health.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/lchf-living-intermittent-fasting/

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@willing

I have been depressed for 45 years. I'm 68 years old. I have tried everything. And was told l would have to be on meds the rest of my life. Well it just about been that long.
But now l go to a Ketamine Clinic. I can tell you it is working. I on my 4th treatment and l all ready feel better. I am still taking meds. I'm not sure if l will ever come off the meds, but l don't care so long as l can get release from this terrible illness. Depressed runs on my family. I just can't go on in this hell anymore.

Jump to this post

Wow! I’m glad you responded well to the Ketamine. I (also depressed) have tried just about everything in the book. According to a DNA test I had done, won’t respond to the usual SSRI’s or NSRI’s, so I did 2 or 3 Ketamine treatments. I didn’t really like it & it didn’t help me. I hoped it’d be much more.

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