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Solo Act
@soloact

Posts: 63
Joined: Aug 16, 2017

What's safe to take for depression?

Posted by @soloact, Sep 28, 2017

I’ve struggled with depression since my teens, ranging from chronic low-grade (dysthymia) to suicidal “major” or “clinical” depression, for which I was hospitalized. Add a few heart conditions and possible ischemic stroke to that and then have to move where I know no one and don’t fit in the conservative culture, and then not being able to take SSRI antidepressants because of my bradycardia — well, it’s rather grim. I function fine most of the time, but I can hardly stand to be inside my own head some days, and I alienate a lot of people because of my “negativity.” I was actually asked to leave a church-sponsored women’s “support” group because, as the leader put it, “You’re so depressed that it makes me weary.” Really. She said that!

I’ve seen a psychologist who was of no help at all in telling me what I could take, only what I couldn’t take, which I knew already. I did go back on Prozac briefly last year, out of desperation, but it lowered my heart rate noticeably and steadily. So that was that after about 10 days.

I’m pretty good at all the cognitive behavioral therapy stuff on my own: Change your mind, I call it (“What to Say When You Talk to Yourself” was a life-changing book for me). I’m not interested nor can I afford to go into talk therapy. Been there, done that.

So is there anything new I don’t know about that is safe for people with arrhythmias and heart failure to take, perchance?

REPLY

I know exactly what you mean about the SSRI’s. I suffer with anxiety and have tried to get along without meds but it’s too difficult. After much reading and talking with a PharmD we came up with Sertraline(Zoloft). It seems to be the least likely to present much risk. I’d advise talking it over with a PharmD and let them help you decide. Good luck.

Liked by Solo Act

@@hi there. i have and still are there with you. have experienced the same and some of which i am not sure would be allowed to say here. have been suffering my entire life. frightened now even more as i have made it ti age 80. my ailments have come to placing me into a depression i have never had this severe. have always talked to myself, and kept myself TREMENDOUSLY BUSY, BUSY, BUSY. after retiring i have been and still are volunteering. THERE IS ALWAYS ANOTHER PERSON WHO NEEDS MUCH MORE HELP THAN US. i find helping them is a tremendous lift for me (as short a time as it might be), there is always the memory of doing the good. i suppose i will continue to suffer until my time comes but i will always be looking for the next time i can help others which in turn helps myself. perhaps it is called hope. with love and caring for you. (ptsd, anemia, diabetes, rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis, copd, restless leg, sleep apnea, hypothyroidisim, hbp, heart failure, bi-polar and a few others. KEEP DOING THE GOOD. it really does help you and the world. peach

Glad you’ve found such a positive way to cope. I do a lot of volunteer work, too, and have lifelong. Today: Fundraiser for rescue dogs.

Hi @soloact,

I’m sorry you’re having to go through this, and so glad that you’ve reached out to the Connect community. I’m tagging Mentors @jimhd and @hopeful33250; Teresa has initiated some truly wonderful, motivating discussions in the Mental Health group, and Jim has shared his journey with depression on Connect.

Here’s a Mayo Clinic article which I’d encourage you to read: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/treatment-resistant-depression/art-20044324?pg=1 and also invite you to to take part in this discussion: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/comment/66691/bookmark/?ajax_hook=action&_wpnonce=fad62fc57e.

@soloact, as you must well know, depression isn’t an easy fight. Everyone’s journey is different, but I also believe that everyone has a path towards healing; the most important thing is to keep looking for it.

@kanaazpereira

Hi @soloact,

I’m sorry you’re having to go through this, and so glad that you’ve reached out to the Connect community. I’m tagging Mentors @jimhd and @hopeful33250; Teresa has initiated some truly wonderful, motivating discussions in the Mental Health group, and Jim has shared his journey with depression on Connect.

Here’s a Mayo Clinic article which I’d encourage you to read: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/treatment-resistant-depression/art-20044324?pg=1 and also invite you to to take part in this discussion: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/comment/66691/bookmark/?ajax_hook=action&_wpnonce=fad62fc57e.

@soloact, as you must well know, depression isn’t an easy fight. Everyone’s journey is different, but I also believe that everyone has a path towards healing; the most important thing is to keep looking for it.

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THANKS for all the good leads. I’m doing OK. I’ve dealt with depression for decades, so I’ve developed good ways to cope. I’m just always some degree of sad and having to move where I don’t feel “home” is making it harder. Not to mention the health problems! But I’m hanging in. I just want to do better than that.

@kanaazpereira

Hi @soloact,

I’m sorry you’re having to go through this, and so glad that you’ve reached out to the Connect community. I’m tagging Mentors @jimhd and @hopeful33250; Teresa has initiated some truly wonderful, motivating discussions in the Mental Health group, and Jim has shared his journey with depression on Connect.

Here’s a Mayo Clinic article which I’d encourage you to read: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/treatment-resistant-depression/art-20044324?pg=1 and also invite you to to take part in this discussion: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/comment/66691/bookmark/?ajax_hook=action&_wpnonce=fad62fc57e.

@soloact, as you must well know, depression isn’t an easy fight. Everyone’s journey is different, but I also believe that everyone has a path towards healing; the most important thing is to keep looking for it.

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@soloact

Welcome, SA. You’re very pretty in your photo. I bet that a lot of the people around you have no idea what’s going on inside you. Most people around me probably don’t have a clue, either. My poor wife does, though, having lived with the depressed me for the past 15+ years. Before that, even I didn’t know what was going on inside me.

I went through the very long process of searching for the right antidepressant that helped me climb up out of a pit of despair, and landed on Bupropion. I take Clonazepam for anxiety, and a nice added benefit of it is that I don’t act out my dreams, as in kicking my wife. That’s the one med that she doesn’t complain about, or want me to stop. Of course, other meds are for sleep apnea, peripheral neuropathy, arthritis, shoulder pain, SVT, allergies, reflux, anemia, OAB, plus all the vitamins. Sometimes it’s a challenge to juggle them all.

I’m a retired pastor, and I was always very healthy, so taking all these pills is quite a change. I retired at 55 at the firm recommendation of my doctors. I was attempting suicide, and chose to go to a secure recovery facility, where I stayed for 6 weeks the first time. They introduced me to coping skills, and I learned a lot about mental illness. I had already done the process of elimination with antidepressants, but after I got out, I met weekly with a psychiatrist to figure out a broader diagnosis of my illness. I found out that I had OCD, PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, and Depressive Bipolar. Oh yeah, suicidal ideation, too. I had no idea I was that bad. I just figured that I was pretty normal. I found out that not everyone feels the way I did.

I also started seeing a therapist. I’ve lost count of how many I’ve had. I live in central Oregon, near a small town, and therapists only stay for a year or so, and move on to $reener pastures. I went without one for 18 months, until the new man moved here in March of this year. I was very depressed and becoming suicidal by the time he came. After the first session, I told him that he had saved my life. I tell him almost every week how much I appreciate him.

I guess you can tell what I’d have to say about meds and therapists. The combination of the two is the most effective treatment for depression and other mental health issues. Every study confirms that. How long ago did you talk with a therapist or psychologist or counselor? How long ago did you try to find a medication that would treat your depression without interacting with heart medication? I take Diltiazem for supra ventricular tachycardia. I went through the same process of trial and error to find a medication that would help my peripheral neuropathy pain. That’s another whole story.

I told the therapist last week that I’m really tired of being depressed. It certainly wears a person down, as you know. I also volunteer as part of my therapy. Many of us have discovered how helpful that can be.

I’ve rambled on long enough. It’s time for our couples devotions, so I leave you with the encouragement of knowing that there are many, many good people here who will enjoy having conversation with you. We each have something to contribute, and we all have things to learn.

Jim

Hello @soloact

I admire the proactive approach you have taken to a major problem in your life and I’m so glad that you found Mayo Connect! There are many people here who have discussed lifelong depression problems and coping strategies that they have found useful. I appreciate your adding to those strategies. You might consider taking a look at some of the discussions that have been ongoing here at Mayo Connect such as:

Happiness a One Week Journey, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/happiness-a-one-week-journey/
Managing Life Long Mental Health as a Senior, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/just-found-this-site-and-want-to-introduce-myself/ and
Long-Term Depression, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/long-term-depression/.

In these discussions you will meet some incredibly strong people, who like yourself, have dealt with depression, anxiety and other thought disorders in a proactive way.

As far as a medication that will be safe for you and your other health problems, perhaps a really good psychiatrist would be helpful to you in finding a med that would assist you in your depression and also not affect your other health problems.

As far as cognitive behavior therapy, a book by Dr. David Burns is quite good, The Feeling Good Handbook. It might be similar to the book you mentioned, but offers writing exercises that you might find helpful.

Keep connected with us on Mayo Connect – I’m glad that you joined us!

Teresa

@kanaazpereira

Hi @soloact,

I’m sorry you’re having to go through this, and so glad that you’ve reached out to the Connect community. I’m tagging Mentors @jimhd and @hopeful33250; Teresa has initiated some truly wonderful, motivating discussions in the Mental Health group, and Jim has shared his journey with depression on Connect.

Here’s a Mayo Clinic article which I’d encourage you to read: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/treatment-resistant-depression/art-20044324?pg=1 and also invite you to to take part in this discussion: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/comment/66691/bookmark/?ajax_hook=action&_wpnonce=fad62fc57e.

@soloact, as you must well know, depression isn’t an easy fight. Everyone’s journey is different, but I also believe that everyone has a path towards healing; the most important thing is to keep looking for it.

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Thanks for replying, Jim.

Funny thing my lisinopril actually helped me.

@tiredofbeingsick

Funny thing my lisinopril actually helped me.

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@tiredofbeingsick

We appreciate your update, this is good to hear! I also take an ACE inhibitor (not Lisinopril, but another one) for heart valve problems and it really relaxes me. Here is a “user-friendly” article about how this type of medicine works, https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/medicine-ace-inhibitors#1. Mayo Clinic’s website also discusses the types of disorders that it can help, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/ace-inhibitors/ART-20047480

If I may ask, in what way did it help you? More energy, more relaxed, etc.?

Teresa

@tiredofbeingsick

Funny thing my lisinopril actually helped me.

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It helped keep the hyper emotional side effects of the other meds in check. Ive actually been on the entresto for about a month now. Everything seems to be good so far.

@tiredofbeingsick

That is really good. One thing I’ve learned is that when you heart is not functioning at it’s best, it does create a sense of uneasiness which has a physical basis.

Teresa

UPDATE: I’m trying the generic of Cymbalta, which is an SSNRI rather than the more common SSRI. The problem is that some SSRIs can cause bradycardia. I took Prozac off and on for decades, and I now have bradycardia. I tried it again last year, and my heart rate slowed steadily and noticeably. That seems to be happening with Cymbalta, too. Resting rate is now around 47, and it’s been down to 41 while sleeping. That’s a few to several beats lower than normal even for me. I’m trying to make it through two weeks to see if my body adapts.

Hi @soloact,
Thank you so much for the update. I’m so glad you mentioned Duloxetine (generic of Cymbalta). I take Duloxetine as well, although I have tachycardia, and it has been discussed in various conversations throughout Connect by a number of members, like @quazar @sandytoes14 @kdubois @jimhd @kathyv @lauriedr @jenapower @janie56 to name a few.

Liked by Solo Act

@soloact

UPDATE: I’m trying the generic of Cymbalta, which is an SSNRI rather than the more common SSRI. The problem is that some SSRIs can cause bradycardia. I took Prozac off and on for decades, and I now have bradycardia. I tried it again last year, and my heart rate slowed steadily and noticeably. That seems to be happening with Cymbalta, too. Resting rate is now around 47, and it’s been down to 41 while sleeping. That’s a few to several beats lower than normal even for me. I’m trying to make it through two weeks to see if my body adapts.

Jump to this post

Hi, @soloact – it’s good to hear you’re doing okay so far with Cymbalta. I just stopped taking it because it wasn’t helping me with the pain, which is what it was prescribed for. I have SVT, and take Diltiazen, and haven’t had a tachycardic event since starting Diltiazen. I hope it works for you.

Jim

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