Depression: What medication can I try after so many years?

Posted by miray67 @miray67, Wed, Apr 22 12:21pm

I have fought depression and anxiety since I was about seven years old when I had panic attacks. Without revealing my age what can you take when you have tried all the older medicines? It’s been with me for MANY years. Not the panic attacks but long spells of depression and anxiety to the point I am ver shaky most of the time. I’m sure there newer medications than the ones doctors want me to try again. I am now on Paxil again after trying it back in 1995. Seems it does everything except what it’s supposed to do. My present doctor refuses to change it but has reduced the dosage again to 25mg from 37.5. I hate to keep changing doctors and trying over and over. Being confined for so long hasn’t helped, of course. I am in good health for my age, still drive a little and do most everything for my self with weak need and chronic pain.

Agree that this staying at home time really affects my depression and anxiety to the point of crying more and less able to cope with even the slightest change. I am so sensitive to medications that am told that I am "medication resistant", but I did want to suggest a homeopathic option I have tried and seems to be of help. It's called Rescue Pastilles (lozenges) made by Bach and can be found at Swanson's a vitamins/supplements website. It also comes in liquid form. I pray that we get to some sort of "normal" again soon and safely.

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Hi @miray67, I encourage you to also join in this discussion:
– Depression and Anxiety at an older age https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/depression-and-anxiety-at-an-older-age/

You ask some great questions about what medications to try after having treated anxiety and depression from childhood to senior years. You said you've taken many. Do you return to medications that worked in the past? Are there better, newer ones to try? How do you work with your doctor instead of changing docs? I'd like to invite a few members who have faced these questions too, like @jimhd @pjss48 @wandasophia @stsopoci @parus and others.

@marjou and @miray67 have either of you considered genetic testing to see what drugs are more likely to work for you?

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I too have had depression/anxiety for years. I gave up on medications as they were doing far more harm than good. I no longer see a psychiatrist and had been seeing a therapist and realized the things the therapist was saying had become redundant. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) was the most helpful for me as my depression is cognitive. The mind is a powerful tool for both positive and negative thinking. In some cases medications can be helpful. I hear a lot of chatter about genetic testing which may be helpful in some cases.
There was also mention made of the Bach Flower approach. Since it does contain alcohol it does make sense it would be calming.
Yes, this covid-19 pandemic is hard for all. Likely there are those that have become more depressed due to the situation. It can also ramp up anxiety. I have ceased phone/emails with those who are glued to the news and the internet. These folks are destroying their health with feasting on these things.
Being knowledgeable is a good thing until it consumes to the point of fear. This is self defeating. My input.
Hoping all of us can be encouraging to friends/family or anyone in our lives and try to steer away from the morbidity that does exist.
Why I have remained here with the connect community.

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There is a company called Genesight Testing. They can send you a cheek swab which you twirl against your cheek and send back to them. They can then test that swab and based on your genetic makeup can predict which psychotropic meds, pain meds and one other class of drugs which escapes me at the moment, your body can metabolize. They can also tell how fast you will metabolize a given drug.

They will send you a list of drugs your body can metabolize along with a list of drugs that you may not metabolize properly or maybe metabolize too quickly or too slowly. This can eliminate the bouncing from drug to drug that doesn't work.

You can look on the web for Genesight.com. They can give you a list of doctors in your ZIP code who do this testing. Even if your doctor isn't registered with genesight you can have another doctor do the test, explain the results to you, and then you can have that report made part of your medical record and you can share it with your doctor.

Any doctor can register with Genesight. It's free it takes about 15 minutes on the telephone. Many doctors are too busy to do this and not all doctors believe that they need help prescribing for their patients.

Both I and my adult son I've had Genesight testing done and have found it to be very useful as we both live with depression. We're both doing well now because we both have the right drugs. I know that Mayo is offering a similar test at this time. This is new for them. Both my test and my son's test were covered by insurance and I think I was on Medicare at the time mine was done. If you are insurance doesn't cover it they have a sliding fee scale and it's not prohibitively expensive.

Of course it doesn't guarantee results but it can save you from taking a drug that your body cannot metabolize. It can also help with regard to dosing because if you metabolize are drug much slower that the average patient, you could end up with too large a dose or on the other hand if you metabolize a drug much more quickly than the average person, you might have to take the drug more often for it to be effective. I hope this is useful information.

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@colleenyoung

Hi @miray67, I encourage you to also join in this discussion:
– Depression and Anxiety at an older age https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/depression-and-anxiety-at-an-older-age/

You ask some great questions about what medications to try after having treated anxiety and depression from childhood to senior years. You said you've taken many. Do you return to medications that worked in the past? Are there better, newer ones to try? How do you work with your doctor instead of changing docs? I'd like to invite a few members who have faced these questions too, like @jimhd @pjss48 @wandasophia @stsopoci @parus and others.

@marjou and @miray67 have either of you considered genetic testing to see what drugs are more likely to work for you?

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Am checking into genetic testing, cost, if covered by Medicare with my doctor.

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My Doc wasn't registered so I got a name from the Genesight website.

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@miray67

I think that nearly all of us have dealt with or are dealing with the medication mystery. Before finding the antidepressant that was helpful to me I tried half a dozen others. Trying them means taking them for 6 weeks each, which is a really long, drawn out process. During the months of trial and error I was becoming increasingly depressed and suicidal. I'm just thankful to have found a medication that reduces my depression.

After ten years or so I was feeling like the antidepressant (Wellbutrin) was becoming less effective, so I met with the psychiatrist who manages my brain meds, and he got me started on a second medication that increases the effectiveness of the Wellbutrin. There are several medications that are used to enhance the effect of antidepressants. The one I'm taking is Mirtazapine.

The other piece of my treatment is weekly therapy. Parus mentioned CBT, cognitive behavior therapy, which is a very effective treatment for major depression.

I don't look to my primary care physician for help with my mental health meds, and I don't think he'd want that responsibility. I see a psychiatric nurse practitioner who's very good at his job and is a caring person.

We here at Mayo Connect only share the things that we've found helpful. We aren't medical professionals, so we don't tell each other what we should do or take. Are you being treated by a psychiatrist? If not, that's the person who could give you the answers you need. I'm 69, and on Medicare, so I don't have to get a referral from my doctor to see a specialist, such as a psychiatrist or neurologist or whoever is best trained to treat me. I just call and make an appointment on my own.

I hope that you'll find the conversations here useful. We know what long term depression and anxiety are like. We understand what you're going through and we're here to offer our support.

Jim

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Avoiding this process of trial and error is why I used GeneSight testing. Google it.

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I, too, suffered from depression/anxiety for decades until God led me to the right Dr. for me, a NeuroPsychiatrist, she correctly diagnosed my problem (Bipolar) and prescribed the correct med for me (Lithium, had to be brand name of Lithobid). I'm very sensitive to meds! She stuck with me and worked with me–that's very important in your doctor. The only other thing which I sense you are doing, is to never quit taking a med unless you talk to your Dr. first. I know from my exp. that God will see you through this–Pray and I will pray, too. I've been been taking my med and symptom free 33 years! Bless you!

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I think I have almost used every antidepressant out there. I have found Lexapro to be the one to help me. I also take Klonipin 1 mg during the day and 2 at night to help me sleep. Also take Lamictal which is a mood elevator. It's used for seizures too. I hope this helps some of you guys out there. This virus has not helped. I had to give up my dog because I couldn't take care of her. That's been the most depressing thing for me. I'm going to be having a fusion surgery down my low back from T-10 to my pelvis. It's a big surgery, but I have done everything I can do to now have to have it. I have an excellent surgeon at Mayo so I'm very confident all will go well. They did do a test that showed the surgery will work. Take care all of you. I know it's not easy. I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2, but since I moved back to Iowa I'm dx depression with anxiety. My son is Bipolar 1. It has traveled all through my family. May Peace be with all of you. Bless all who suffer for Jesus knows.

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@lilypaws

I think I have almost used every antidepressant out there. I have found Lexapro to be the one to help me. I also take Klonipin 1 mg during the day and 2 at night to help me sleep. Also take Lamictal which is a mood elevator. It's used for seizures too. I hope this helps some of you guys out there. This virus has not helped. I had to give up my dog because I couldn't take care of her. That's been the most depressing thing for me. I'm going to be having a fusion surgery down my low back from T-10 to my pelvis. It's a big surgery, but I have done everything I can do to now have to have it. I have an excellent surgeon at Mayo so I'm very confident all will go well. They did do a test that showed the surgery will work. Take care all of you. I know it's not easy. I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2, but since I moved back to Iowa I'm dx depression with anxiety. My son is Bipolar 1. It has traveled all through my family. May Peace be with all of you. Bless all who suffer for Jesus knows.

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I will be praying for you and your family. Genetic history was a really big discovery in tracking down my mental health causes. I will pray for your surgery and complete success. I had transplant surgery on cervical disk C-6 13 years ago; still doing great!

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@wsh66

There is a company called Genesight Testing. They can send you a cheek swab which you twirl against your cheek and send back to them. They can then test that swab and based on your genetic makeup can predict which psychotropic meds, pain meds and one other class of drugs which escapes me at the moment, your body can metabolize. They can also tell how fast you will metabolize a given drug.

They will send you a list of drugs your body can metabolize along with a list of drugs that you may not metabolize properly or maybe metabolize too quickly or too slowly. This can eliminate the bouncing from drug to drug that doesn't work.

You can look on the web for Genesight.com. They can give you a list of doctors in your ZIP code who do this testing. Even if your doctor isn't registered with genesight you can have another doctor do the test, explain the results to you, and then you can have that report made part of your medical record and you can share it with your doctor.

Any doctor can register with Genesight. It's free it takes about 15 minutes on the telephone. Many doctors are too busy to do this and not all doctors believe that they need help prescribing for their patients.

Both I and my adult son I've had Genesight testing done and have found it to be very useful as we both live with depression. We're both doing well now because we both have the right drugs. I know that Mayo is offering a similar test at this time. This is new for them. Both my test and my son's test were covered by insurance and I think I was on Medicare at the time mine was done. If you are insurance doesn't cover it they have a sliding fee scale and it's not prohibitively expensive.

Of course it doesn't guarantee results but it can save you from taking a drug that your body cannot metabolize. It can also help with regard to dosing because if you metabolize are drug much slower that the average patient, you could end up with too large a dose or on the other hand if you metabolize a drug much more quickly than the average person, you might have to take the drug more often for it to be effective. I hope this is useful information.

Jump to this post

Hi Stephen this is Jeanie @ lilypaws. I had never heard of Genesight testing. Maybe it would help my son who is Bipolar 1. We have no contact with him, but I get information from his wife;s mother. So I will e-mail her and mention it. She should get the message to him.

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My prayers go out for you. Hang in there.

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@lilypaws

Hi Stephen this is Jeanie @ lilypaws. I had never heard of Genesight testing. Maybe it would help my son who is Bipolar 1. We have no contact with him, but I get information from his wife;s mother. So I will e-mail her and mention it. She should get the message to him.

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At the very least it will let him take a drug which his body can metabolize, (digest). Better results, less side effects. Love and Blessings

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@marjou

Agree that this staying at home time really affects my depression and anxiety to the point of crying more and less able to cope with even the slightest change. I am so sensitive to medications that am told that I am "medication resistant", but I did want to suggest a homeopathic option I have tried and seems to be of help. It's called Rescue Pastilles (lozenges) made by Bach and can be found at Swanson's a vitamins/supplements website. It also comes in liquid form. I pray that we get to some sort of "normal" again soon and safely.

Jump to this post

@marjou i agree with you in this epidemic situation i am facing more depression and anxiety while staying at home, but i am feeling better by using CBD for my anxiety. It helps alot to improve my mental illness and making me stabilize in this situation. If you would like to try some cbd you can get a better deals on cbd oils at CouponX cbd category

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