I’ve been depressed since my 20s (am in my mid-60s now). A year ago I took a nosedive and became anxious as well as much more deeply depressed. Everything scares me – even something as mundane as taking my car through the car wash. I used to read and listen to music all the time. Now I haven’t read or listened to anything in a year. I’ve been in outpatient groups and on a number of medicines – the latest group is buspar, anafranil, Seroquel, klonopin, lamictal and Viibryd (I’m weaning off that). Every once in a while – say, once a week – I feel OK, the way I used to when I was moderately depressed. The rest of the time is just unbearable. What’s next? Transcranial magnetic stimulation? ECT? Thank you for listening.
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Hello @barnowl53 …… after I read your posting, I had to reply. I can empathize with you, I’ve been seeing a psychiatrist/psychopharmacologist for 22 years. I have tried around 20 different meds and combinations. They start out working, then peter out, now I’m on trintellix. So far, so good. Please don’t give up! You are a worthwhile human being! There are others like you. You are definitely not alone!
Hello @barnowl53, @karen00! I am a volunteer mentor on Connect and wanted to mention something I have recently done with my psychiatrist. I had a DNA/gene analysis from a few cheek swab cells. I don't fully understand the results, but they helped my psych get me on the medicine that I should respond to better than other antipsychotics. I have chronic pancreatitis and besides pancreatic insufficiency, I primarily suffer debilitating pain and only opiates even take the edge off. I have been on synthetic morphine – extended-release and breakthrough – for over a dozen years now. I had generalized anxiety disorder and after a few years of the pain and opioids was dx'ed with severe depressive disorder. I have been through extremely dark periods and more moderate periods. I have never gotten any great degree of relief from the many antipsychotics I have tried, but armed with the information from the gene analysis, I am now on Nuvigil and Prestiq, along with Remeron for sleep. We also learned that I have a MHTFR mutation which causes one to not produce an enzyme needed for serotonin production/absorption. For that, I take an over the counter supplement called L-Methylfolate. The body should convert folic acid or folate into this substance and that enhances my body's use of serotonin. One other thing revealed was that I am a very fast metabolizer of medicines which means I need higher doses to be therapeutic. The past 4-5 months have been very difficult physically and would have typically put me in a downward spiral to deep depression, but so far, it has not. I am getting a bit frustrated with the situation, but not terribly depressed.
I wish you relief from this horrible disease,
Hi Gary, thanks so much for the info! I am going to talk to my dr about DNA testing at the next appointment. Appreciate it!
@barnowl53 @karen00 I too am a Volunteer Mentor, and I concur with gman's recommendation to have a DNA test to check for the most effective antidepressant/antipsychotic medications for you. I will be requesting this test at my next doctor's appointment. Thank you @gman007 for the additional information about the L-Methylfolate supplement. I will talk with my doctor about it. I'm hoping for a healthier and happier life as we all age.
Definitely check with your insurance to see if the DNA testing is covered. I had it done a month ago and just received my EOB from my insurance yesterday. I was flabbergasted at how much the test cost-$14,000! Yes you read it correctly $14,000. I don’t have my results back but will get them next week. For that amount of money they better be good!
I saw that you’re on Remeron, I’m currently taking it too. Have you had any issues with weight gain? I’ve gained about 15-20 pounds.
I do not know where you live but for anyone who can access CAMH (Canadian Association for Mental Health) in Toronto, Canada, they are doing a huge study on genetic testing at no cost to the person taking the test . If you google Impact Study at CAMH Toronto you will find the details. They plan to do 20,000 people ( ithink they have done over 6,000 so far). I do not know if they will do people from outside Canada.
Thanks for sharing that with me. I’ve already had my DNA testing done. Fortunately my psychiatrist told me that I’d
Only be responsible for what my insurance company would pay. I was shocked when I saw how expensive the test was.
To the various posts and questions; The total bill for what my Psych had done for me was about $300 if my insurance had not picked it up and she advised me not to pay them anything as she had never had a patient have to pay. I don't know that what I had was a full blown DNA test/gene map, but it was appropriate for our needs. As for Remeron, I don't think it led to weight gain. My weight fluctuates greatly as a result of inflammation, bloat, a balky digestive system, etc…Ten pound swings over 2-3 days in either direction are pretty common and when I average scale readings over a couple of weeks, I am down about 30# over the past year, but I have been taking the remeron for much longer. Most of my loss is attributable to severe nausea over the past 5 months.
Peace to all,