Where to look for help

Posted by joy7576 @joy7576, Wed, May 29 4:02pm

Hello! This is my first attempt to break out of my isolation. I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder five years ago. I've been hospitalized twice. I received excellent care in the hospital which aided in my recovery. Upon leaving I was placed on 20mg Trintellix. It was like a miracle drug for me. For five years I've done fairly well with only small, brief relapses. No hospitalization.
Unfortunately, the trintellix is no longer effective. I feel exhausted, unmotivated and joyless again. There are physical symptoms, as well.
My former psychopharmacologist has moved away. My gp is clueless. Where can I go for help?

20190519_143139

@joy7576 Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect; we're very glad you found us. We are not medical Dr's, nor claim to be. We can offer our support and share our experiences, perhaps offer solutions to someone's dilemma.
I'm sorry to hear you are having problems. Was the psychopharmacologist able to give you any referrals before he/she moved away? Or can you contact him/her for one now? An alternative is to contact your local medical society for some persons you can check out. Perhaps your gp has someone to refer you to? Is there a support group within convenient range for you, that may be of benefit?
Please let us know how you are doing today. We care, here at the cyber table of friends.
Ginger

REPLY

Thank you for taking the first step in reaching out to us. That was a huge step for someone with major depression. I know because I have been there. I have tried so many antidepressants and some worked for a while and then seemed to stop. It seems that this is a journey of trial and error. Do not give up as we are here to help you deal with the depression. I understand your pain. Have you tried NAMI (National Association for the Mentally I'll)? They hold meetings for those with mental illnesses where you can talk and get others input. Also Mayo Clinic research has shown that as we get older our digestive system becomes less efficient in digesting antidepressants. Thus we may need more. Has your doctor tried an increase in the dosage? Also testing for your genetic disposition for or against the antidepressants can tell you which ones will not work for you and suggest which ones work better for you. I have gone on a dosage that is about 4 times the usual dosage and that works for me. I never did the genetic testing as my insurance will not pay for it. Thus the trial and error. Please keep us informed on your journey thru the world of major depression which we are going through. I wish all the best for you as we journey together.

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Hi, @joy7576@elwooodsdad may have some input for you, as may @guener and @aliali with the vortioxetine (Trintellex) working really well for a few years, then seeming to lose it's effectiveness.

Liked by Parus, Leonard

REPLY

I think you are super brave and its cool you shared your story! I had to come out with my anxiety issues recently and found it hard but then I realized that there's one word I am proud of for doing so – honest. I was honest. I feel that being honest and being willing to feel better and enjoy your life is just something to be nothing but proud of so good for you ! I pray that you feel better and better and realize how cool it was you shared!!

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@joy7576 How are you doing today? We care here at Mayo Connect.
Ginger

REPLY

Hi, @joy7576@jakedduck1 also may have some thoughts on the vortioxetine (Trintellex) appearing to lose its effectiveness.

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@joy7576
Hello,
First I’m sorry this is so long, sometimes I just can’t shut up.
I suppose my first question is why are you depressed? Sometimes people know other times they don’t.
There are many things you can do to help yourself.
The things that will help the most will probably be the most difficult to accomplish.
I remember getting a letter from a friend of mine in England. She also had severe Epilepsy. She had a seizure and seriously injured her eyes. I was reading the letter to my mom and I started to cry. Although the letter was sad I couldn’t understand why I was crying. Later I watched a movie and started to cry again. I couldn’t figure this out, I have always been in control of my emotions. I went to the doctor and she said I was depressed. Go figure, I disagreed but she was insistent and gave reasons why she felt her diagnosis was correct and I eventually accepted her Cymbalta prescription (not something I normally do) and took it for about a month or so then I got mad and decided this depression was of my own doing and I wasn’t going to live like this any longer. I got angry for allowing myself to get into such a situation. A delivery man brought me a package and we talked. His son was depressed and he told his son he had a choice. He could either be happy or sad. It’s your choice. I decided I wanted to be happy and I threw out my Cymbalta. My Dad was paralyzed from the neck down and I helped took care of him. One friend hung himself another one died of Status Epilepticus (A Seizure complication) another friend died of SUDEP (another seizure complication) she was 17 years old, my then 17 year old girlfriend was in a traffic accident, she went off a cliff and died, my brother was in a horrible accident and I cared for him for a few months and on and on. Tragedies happen, people die, hardships occur, job loses, I had over 13,000 seizures virtually everyday for 44 years, my parents called many times to the hospital when I was in comas from Status being told I wouldn’t survive the night etc etc etc. Bad things happen and will continue to happen but we don’t have a choice but to cope with them. My mom just recently fell and broke her shoulder and and was in rehab for 6 weeks but was discharged without being able to use the bathroom or walk. I am taking care of her. I don’t know what I will have to face in the future but something will probably happen. (Ok so maybe we can’t get rid of all negativity, lol) I stopped doing my regular chores, visiting and calling friends and became withdrawn. I didn’t like the person I had become and I put a stop to it. I went back to the gym which I loath but it did help. I called my friend and asked if she wanted to go to lunch, she did and is very analytical and I put into play everything she suggested and the crying, the feeling sorry for myself stopped and I was happy and enjoying life again. Yes it was hard and it didn’t happen overnight.
I found helping others helped me most. I did volunteer work. I ran a learn to swim program at the YMCA, billed on a hospital, helped in a homeless shelter billed at a Therapy company and worked in the Career Criminal Apprehension Program and Crime Analysis at the Police Dept. Doing for others takes you mind off yourself.
Also get into a routine, visit friends, exercise preferably with a friend, go to the movie, concert, ballet, opera whatever you enjoy. Laughing has definite benefits. You may as well laugh as cry.
Live and eat healthy, I don’t claim to enjoy this but do it because it helps, ok so my doctor ordered me to do it. She called the gym and nutritionist to make sure I was going. Get a hobby listen to music, some hear are talented artists, writers. Go out with friends.
Pets sometimes help
Get plenty of sleep
Appears you may be married, like to dance?
Get plenty of sunshine, there are also light boxes that help some people.
Do you like golf, tennis or other sports?
Remember, the glass is half full not half empty. Get rid of negative thinking (at least try) and try to reduce stress. Look at everything that goes right instead of concentrating on what goes wrong.
You can overcome this but it will require a commitment on your part and may not be quick or easy.
Don’t assume you must have pharmaceuticals to feel and function better. Antidepressants cure nothing. Actually in studies it’s been shown that people on these meds are more likely to relapse and commit suicide. In many studies the people who improved were the ones taking placebos.
One of my favorite sayings is “You get out of life what your willing to put into it” That statement is very true.
I await hearing good news from you.
Good luck,
Jake

REPLY

You have been given some good advice, and some to which I take exception. First, if possible, try to locate your psychopharmacologist to get an opinion and a referral. Short of that, find psychiatric help. General practitioners have varying degrees of interest and expertise in treating depression. I have tried multiple medication protocols over the last 30 years, and have supplemented that with counseling. My experience with Trintellix was the polar opposite of yours, and I was prescribed a drug which has been used for a long time, Prozac. I am doing better with it. I have dysthymia, so I function with a constant low level of depression interspersed with a major episode from time to time. It’s a management problem. It is a brain chemistry problem. I do not believe solely upon positive thinking, mind over matter, glasses half full, exercise, etc. Clinical depression cannot be willed away, at least in my experience. I would be pleased to not be medically maintained, but there is no reason not to, other than the promoted stigma against mental issues. The brain is an integral and necessary part of your being. If any other part of your body needs attention, you find someone to address it. Do not go this alone under any circumstances. Local or state medical societies are a resource, and if all else fails, even a suicide help line should be positioned to offer some direction. Prayers for success.

REPLY
@jakedduck1

@joy7576
Hello,
First I’m sorry this is so long, sometimes I just can’t shut up.
I suppose my first question is why are you depressed? Sometimes people know other times they don’t.
There are many things you can do to help yourself.
The things that will help the most will probably be the most difficult to accomplish.
I remember getting a letter from a friend of mine in England. She also had severe Epilepsy. She had a seizure and seriously injured her eyes. I was reading the letter to my mom and I started to cry. Although the letter was sad I couldn’t understand why I was crying. Later I watched a movie and started to cry again. I couldn’t figure this out, I have always been in control of my emotions. I went to the doctor and she said I was depressed. Go figure, I disagreed but she was insistent and gave reasons why she felt her diagnosis was correct and I eventually accepted her Cymbalta prescription (not something I normally do) and took it for about a month or so then I got mad and decided this depression was of my own doing and I wasn’t going to live like this any longer. I got angry for allowing myself to get into such a situation. A delivery man brought me a package and we talked. His son was depressed and he told his son he had a choice. He could either be happy or sad. It’s your choice. I decided I wanted to be happy and I threw out my Cymbalta. My Dad was paralyzed from the neck down and I helped took care of him. One friend hung himself another one died of Status Epilepticus (A Seizure complication) another friend died of SUDEP (another seizure complication) she was 17 years old, my then 17 year old girlfriend was in a traffic accident, she went off a cliff and died, my brother was in a horrible accident and I cared for him for a few months and on and on. Tragedies happen, people die, hardships occur, job loses, I had over 13,000 seizures virtually everyday for 44 years, my parents called many times to the hospital when I was in comas from Status being told I wouldn’t survive the night etc etc etc. Bad things happen and will continue to happen but we don’t have a choice but to cope with them. My mom just recently fell and broke her shoulder and and was in rehab for 6 weeks but was discharged without being able to use the bathroom or walk. I am taking care of her. I don’t know what I will have to face in the future but something will probably happen. (Ok so maybe we can’t get rid of all negativity, lol) I stopped doing my regular chores, visiting and calling friends and became withdrawn. I didn’t like the person I had become and I put a stop to it. I went back to the gym which I loath but it did help. I called my friend and asked if she wanted to go to lunch, she did and is very analytical and I put into play everything she suggested and the crying, the feeling sorry for myself stopped and I was happy and enjoying life again. Yes it was hard and it didn’t happen overnight.
I found helping others helped me most. I did volunteer work. I ran a learn to swim program at the YMCA, billed on a hospital, helped in a homeless shelter billed at a Therapy company and worked in the Career Criminal Apprehension Program and Crime Analysis at the Police Dept. Doing for others takes you mind off yourself.
Also get into a routine, visit friends, exercise preferably with a friend, go to the movie, concert, ballet, opera whatever you enjoy. Laughing has definite benefits. You may as well laugh as cry.
Live and eat healthy, I don’t claim to enjoy this but do it because it helps, ok so my doctor ordered me to do it. She called the gym and nutritionist to make sure I was going. Get a hobby listen to music, some hear are talented artists, writers. Go out with friends.
Pets sometimes help
Get plenty of sleep
Appears you may be married, like to dance?
Get plenty of sunshine, there are also light boxes that help some people.
Do you like golf, tennis or other sports?
Remember, the glass is half full not half empty. Get rid of negative thinking (at least try) and try to reduce stress. Look at everything that goes right instead of concentrating on what goes wrong.
You can overcome this but it will require a commitment on your part and may not be quick or easy.
Don’t assume you must have pharmaceuticals to feel and function better. Antidepressants cure nothing. Actually in studies it’s been shown that people on these meds are more likely to relapse and commit suicide. In many studies the people who improved were the ones taking placebos.
One of my favorite sayings is “You get out of life what your willing to put into it” That statement is very true.
I await hearing good news from you.
Good luck,
Jake

Jump to this post

@jakedduck1 While there are certainly alid thoughts in your post, I do feel that there are times when a person needs to have a chemical intervention to help balance the brain. That's been proven. That doesn't mean that each person needs to remain on some type of a medical intervention the rest of their life but sometimes they do. That's not saying one person on no medication is better than another person who does need medication and finds the one that works best for them. That's what makes every person so unique, in my humble opinion. I'm glad that you have been able to find your way without the use of medications. At the current time I am not on anything, but in the past I have taken Celexa for periods of time while my brain rebalanced itself. For me, that's what worked. I can only describe my experiences. I am not ashamed to take medications when needed; rather, I am proud to say that I recognized the need to get help and do whatever it takes because I value myself enough to reach out and try to get balanced.
Ginger

REPLY
@gingerw

@jakedduck1 While there are certainly alid thoughts in your post, I do feel that there are times when a person needs to have a chemical intervention to help balance the brain. That's been proven. That doesn't mean that each person needs to remain on some type of a medical intervention the rest of their life but sometimes they do. That's not saying one person on no medication is better than another person who does need medication and finds the one that works best for them. That's what makes every person so unique, in my humble opinion. I'm glad that you have been able to find your way without the use of medications. At the current time I am not on anything, but in the past I have taken Celexa for periods of time while my brain rebalanced itself. For me, that's what worked. I can only describe my experiences. I am not ashamed to take medications when needed; rather, I am proud to say that I recognized the need to get help and do whatever it takes because I value myself enough to reach out and try to get balanced.
Ginger

Jump to this post

So very true, @gingerw, thank you for your thoughts regarding meds for mental health

Brain chemistry is much like the chemistry of other parts of the body. It would be dangerous to tell an epileptic not to take meds for seizures or equally dangerous to tell a diabetic not to take insulin. These are meds that help balance out what the body is not producing and alleviate symptoms.

It is a well-known fact, that brain chemistry is altered by certain life experiences (especially those of trauma) that cause stress. Mental health meds tend to add to what has been depleted. For some reason, however, there is still a stigma regarding mental health meds.

Isn't that strange?

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@hopeful33250 Very true there are a lot of medical problems that require Dr,s professional opinion especially mental problems the brain is one thing you don't want to guess on leave it to the professional.I have a lot of stress from my fracture in 05 still it's hard to get stress out from a injury and chemicals .All those street drugs have ruined our young people and those who seek it even marijuana starts to fry the brain.Getting of my soapbox now.

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@gingerw

@jakedduck1 While there are certainly alid thoughts in your post, I do feel that there are times when a person needs to have a chemical intervention to help balance the brain. That's been proven. That doesn't mean that each person needs to remain on some type of a medical intervention the rest of their life but sometimes they do. That's not saying one person on no medication is better than another person who does need medication and finds the one that works best for them. That's what makes every person so unique, in my humble opinion. I'm glad that you have been able to find your way without the use of medications. At the current time I am not on anything, but in the past I have taken Celexa for periods of time while my brain rebalanced itself. For me, that's what worked. I can only describe my experiences. I am not ashamed to take medications when needed; rather, I am proud to say that I recognized the need to get help and do whatever it takes because I value myself enough to reach out and try to get balanced.
Ginger

Jump to this post

Hi all. I come from a family of depressives . I did not know the meaning until my 30’s. My feeling is that I can handle being depressed by being active ( hard making that first move) and reading/ critter time, In my late 50’s, I realized I needed to do something . My mom was on meds for migraines / depression and my dad for Anginia, pain, etc. Both had their own nmedience cabinet full of meds. I did not want to go meds. I have been in research studies doing them and they helped me make the decision. And I am better for it. I still have bad days because life is hard with medical issues but I am better for it because of meds..

REPLY
@elwooodsdad

You have been given some good advice, and some to which I take exception. First, if possible, try to locate your psychopharmacologist to get an opinion and a referral. Short of that, find psychiatric help. General practitioners have varying degrees of interest and expertise in treating depression. I have tried multiple medication protocols over the last 30 years, and have supplemented that with counseling. My experience with Trintellix was the polar opposite of yours, and I was prescribed a drug which has been used for a long time, Prozac. I am doing better with it. I have dysthymia, so I function with a constant low level of depression interspersed with a major episode from time to time. It’s a management problem. It is a brain chemistry problem. I do not believe solely upon positive thinking, mind over matter, glasses half full, exercise, etc. Clinical depression cannot be willed away, at least in my experience. I would be pleased to not be medically maintained, but there is no reason not to, other than the promoted stigma against mental issues. The brain is an integral and necessary part of your being. If any other part of your body needs attention, you find someone to address it. Do not go this alone under any circumstances. Local or state medical societies are a resource, and if all else fails, even a suicide help line should be positioned to offer some direction. Prayers for success.

Jump to this post

@elwooodsdad
Here is an article from Web MD and there are many more citing the benefits of positive thinking.
I hope everyone understands I never said it was a cure all or the only treatment. Treating depression in my opinion often needs to be multi-faceted. I agree medication is sometimes needed but also feel it is prescribed way to often. Many of the patients taking Antidepressants don’t meet the clinical criteria for depression.

What Is Positive Thinking?

Positive thinking, or an optimistic attitude, is the practice of focusing on the good in any given situation. It can have a big impact on your physical and mental health.
That doesn’t mean you ignore reality or make light of problems. It simply means you approach the good and the bad in life with the expectation that things will go well.
The Benefits of Positive Thinking
Many studies have looked at the role of optimism and positive thinking in mental and physical health. It’s not always clear which comes first: the mindset or these benefits. But there is no downside to staying upbeat.
Some physical benefits may include:

• Longer life span
• Lower chance of having a heart attack
• Better physical health
• Greater resistance to illness such as the common cold
• Lower blood pressure
• Better stress management
• Better pain tolerance
The mental benefits may include:

• More creativity
• Greater problem-solving skill
• Clearer thinking
• Better mood
• Better coping skills
• Less depression
When people in one study were exposed to the flu and common cold, those with a positive outlook were less likely to get sick and reported fewer symptoms.

During another study, women who were more optimistic were less likely to die from cancer, heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, and infection.
And in a study of people over the age of 50, those who had more positive thoughts about aging lived longer. They also had less stress-related inflammation, which shows one possible link between their thoughts and health.
People with a positive outlook may be more likely to live a healthy lifestyle since they have a more hopeful view of the future. But researchers took that into account, and the results still held.

What Pessimists Should Know.
That all sounds great, right? But what if you’re naturally more pessimistic, meaning that you tend to expect the worst? No worries. It may help to see this positive thinking as a skill you can learn and benefit from, rather than a personality trait you either have or you don’t.
There’s research on this, too. In one experiment, adults who meditated daily on positive thoughts started feeling more upbeat emotions each day.
Other studies have shown that positive thinking helps people manage illness and eases depression, regardless of whether they are naturally optimistic or pessimistic.

First, Nix the Negative
Before you put positive thinking into practice, look for any negative thoughts that may be running through your mind. These include:
A bad filter. Do you overlook the good things about a situation and get wrapped up in the negatives? For example, you enjoy a fun dinner out with friends, but the restaurant gets your bill wrong at the end of the night. You leave feeling annoyed and frustrated, forgetting about the good time you had.
Taking the blame. Do you tend to take on the blame for something bad or disappointing that happens? For example, a friend declines an invitation from you, so you assume it’s because she doesn’t want to spend time with you.

Predicting disaster. This means you have one setback and then expect the worst to happen. For example, your car won’t start in the morning, so you think the rest of your day is destined to be doomed.
Black-and-white thinking. Do you see things as either good or bad, with no middle ground? In this mindset, if things aren’t perfect, they’re automatically bad.

When you notice a negative thought, try to stop it and shift your focus to the positive. Think rationally about the situation. If it helps you to let go, you can give yourself and those around you grace. (You can still hold them accountable for their actions.)
Your negative thoughts won’t go away overnight. But with practice, you can train yourself to have a more positive outlook. Remember, you aren’t overlooking the facts. You’re just including those that are good.

How to Practice Positive Thinking
Once you have a handle on negative thinking, it’s time to play up the positive. Try these ways to do that:
Smile more. In a study, people who smiled (or even fake-smiled) while doing a stressful task felt more positive afterward than those who wore a neutral expression. You’ll benefit more if the smile is genuine, though. So look for humor and spend time with people or things that make you laugh.

Reframe your situation. When something bad happens that’s out of your control, instead of getting upset, try to appreciate the good parts of the situation. For example, instead of stressing about a traffic jam, recall how convenient it is to have a car. Use the time that you’re stuck behind the wheel to listen to music or a program you enjoy.
Keep a gratitude journal. This may sound cheesy, but when you sit down each day or week to write down the things you’re thankful for, you’re forced to pay attention to the good in your life. A study found that people who kept gratitude journals felt more thankful, positive, and optimistic about the future. They also slept better.

Picture your best possible future. Think in detail about a bright vision for your future — career, relationships, health, hobbies — and write it down. When you imagine your life going well, research suggests, you’ll be happier in the present.

Focus on your strengths. Each day for a week, think about one of your personal strengths, like kindness, organization, discipline, or creativity. Write down how you plan to use that strength in new ways that day. Then, act on it. People in a study who did that boosted their happiness and lowered their symptoms of depression at the end of the week. Six months later, those benefits were still going strong.
With practice, you can add more positive thoughts to your life and enjoy the benefits that come with optimism.

WebMD Medical Reference
Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD on January 16, 2018

Jake

Liked by lioness

REPLY
@bookysue

Hi all. I come from a family of depressives . I did not know the meaning until my 30’s. My feeling is that I can handle being depressed by being active ( hard making that first move) and reading/ critter time, In my late 50’s, I realized I needed to do something . My mom was on meds for migraines / depression and my dad for Anginia, pain, etc. Both had their own nmedience cabinet full of meds. I did not want to go meds. I have been in research studies doing them and they helped me make the decision. And I am better for it. I still have bad days because life is hard with medical issues but I am better for it because of meds..

Jump to this post

@bookysue
I’m just curious about your thoughts of depression being a learned trait in families with depressed parents siblings etc.
Jake

REPLY
@gingerw

@jakedduck1 While there are certainly alid thoughts in your post, I do feel that there are times when a person needs to have a chemical intervention to help balance the brain. That's been proven. That doesn't mean that each person needs to remain on some type of a medical intervention the rest of their life but sometimes they do. That's not saying one person on no medication is better than another person who does need medication and finds the one that works best for them. That's what makes every person so unique, in my humble opinion. I'm glad that you have been able to find your way without the use of medications. At the current time I am not on anything, but in the past I have taken Celexa for periods of time while my brain rebalanced itself. For me, that's what worked. I can only describe my experiences. I am not ashamed to take medications when needed; rather, I am proud to say that I recognized the need to get help and do whatever it takes because I value myself enough to reach out and try to get balanced.
Ginger

Jump to this post

@gingerw @hopeful33250
You mention “chemical intervention to help balance the brain. That’s been proven.” I assume your talking about a brain imbalance.
It’s my understanding that that there is no reliable way to test brain chemicals. Even if there were it’s believed those chemicals are constantly changing. So if true I wonder how reliable the tests would be. There is a scientist in LA who is supposedly getting close to a way of measuring those chemicals. I hope she’s successful. But currently as far as I am aware the brain chemical issue is nothing more than a theory. Please enlighten me.
Take care,
Jake

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