OT: "Depression hurts"...ya, it does.

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Melissa H
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 85
   Posted 6/2/2008 9:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Friends,

So, I'm just curious about those of you that are taking a pill for depression.  I hate prescription drugs and have the mindset that I avoid them when I can.  But lately, actually for a very long time, I've been so depressed.  I am mean and then I am sad and then I just want to stay in bed all day...I'm a basketcase!  This isn't who I am usually.  My family is probably suffering the most.  Anyway, over the weekend I saw this commercial for cymbalta.  It is dark and sad and gloomy - but I thought "hey, that's my world, that's me!"  So, all of a sudden I'm wondering about prescription drugs for depression.
 
Could anyone share with me about those drugs (not necessarily cymbalta, just any) and tell me about your experiences?  Good and bad.

Thanks so much,
Mel
30 year old wifey and mom to 3 little girls, 2 dogs, and 2 ratties and working full-time outside of the home...and always ready for a nap.
Suffered with symptoms for 12 years, dx Crohn's-Colitis 11/2007. Taking Asacol, Omeprazol, Rowasa, Bentyl. Flaring off and on and trying to avoid steriods.  Taking RF Plus, Similase, Cortine, Pregnenalone, Vit B shots.  http://www.facebook.com/people/Melissa_Huffines/743171473


miguelblanco
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 6/2/2008 9:28 AM (GMT -7)   
I was on one for years called "Serzone." At a follow up appointment, my doc told me it had been "blacklisted." Meaning, it had potential for problems (in this instance, liver failure.) Gee, thanks. So he said the FDA didn't "require" him to take me off it, and that it was my choice and that we could try something else. I choose to taper off (these are very weird to come off of, -my head throbbed terribly!) While I can get pretty down too, I just plain don't trust the FDA and am getting by without. I'm not a fan of them, but I realize they can be very helpful (they were for me when I first went on them.) I am just trying to put as few things as possible in my body too.
Type I Diabetes- 28 yrs. (MiniMed Insulin Pump)
Celiac Disease- 6 yrs.
Crohn's Disease- 1+ year (Nov. '06)


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 6/2/2008 10:20 AM (GMT -7)   
I was very close to asking for pills during my severe depression but I opted for daily exercise which helped enough to combat it and not have to take pills for it...everyone is different though, I just wanted to see if I could get away with not having to take pills for it and was pleasantly surprised that exercise and even changing my diet aided with my depression...sugar seems to be a terrible thing, I think I've read a few times that it can be mood altering, since giving it up along with regular exercise I'm in a much happier place all around, I even credit exercise and diet change to my CD improval as well.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


RK
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 153
   Posted 6/2/2008 10:24 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Melissa,

Sorry to hear that you are feeling so down. Crohns is hard enough without the added depression that come with any chronic illness.

I'm also one to avoid medication if possible. However, as a psychotherapist I have seen many people who's lives have been greatly improved on meds. The trick is to the find the right one for you. The most common ones are Paxil, Zoloft or Celexa. The one you mentioned, Cymbalta, is one of the newer ones so I don't know much about it. Like all medication, there is always a chance of side effects (most common are headaches, nausea etc) but if it works for you, it may help you function better. They take a few weeks to kick in so you would have to give it a chance to work. I would suggest you speak to your doctor about your feelings first so they can determine if you are "clinically depressed" which would require meds vs. "situationally depressed" for which counselling could be helpful.

Good luck to you and I hope you start feeling better soon.


32-year-old female diagnosed with CD in 2001.
Currently taking Pentasa 4g x four times daily and probiotics.


karendee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1642
   Posted 6/2/2008 10:55 AM (GMT -7)   
I take effexor, started before I knew I had CD and I noticed I was feeling better when on it. You may want to look into it. The meds are so much better then they used to be
Karen

 ...

Karen (Karendee)

Diagnosed w/ Crohn’s Disease  March 2007 On 150mg Azathioprine (generic Imuran), Pentasa, & Entocort (take zofran for nausea now)

Diagnosed w/  Fibromyalgia May 2007 also on Soma

Also on Prilosec 2x a day for reflux.

 


jenngrl81
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 6/2/2008 2:06 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been on anti-depressants for several years. I was on Effexor XR in the past and it worked wonders but had to switch medications due to insurance reasons. I've been on Cymbalta now for about two and a half years. Some ppl say "oh, just get out and get exercise!" or "just smile more and make time to do something for yourself everyday". Depression is not something that can be cured by smiling and getting exercise. I would definitely talk to a doctor about how you're feeling. I know that being on anti-depressants is just something I need to do to feel "normal" for me.
Pentasa- 1000mg/2x 1/08; Percocet/Ultram for pain; Prilosec 40mg; Xanax-ANXIETY; Cymbalta 60mg
Probiotic
Ferrous Sulfate 325mg/daily for anemia
Azathioprine 150mg
Currently on a Low-residue diet as of 11/26

I'm so tired, when will this get better?


Lady G
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 321
   Posted 6/2/2008 2:41 PM (GMT -7)   
I was on one called Cipralex (I think its pretty new, not many people have really heard of it) for a year or two and I felt GREAT on it, I too hate taking meds, but I needed them to help me before I crashed too badly, I found they didn't give me ANY side effects (lucky for me I guess, everyone is different though) and they definately worked...to my husband they were my 'happy pills' and I noticed a great improvement in myself until I could go off them and try to live normally.
27 year old, married. Diagnosed with Crohns at 17, suspected of having for at least a year or so before that.  Alot of Crohns in my family history.  No surgeries yet. Imuran treatment with Prednisone tapering at moment.  Possible Fistula.


Melissa H
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 85
   Posted 6/2/2008 2:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you everyone, these posts are great and very helpful. 
 
So Lady G mentioned going off of them...is this the goal with anti-depressents then?  You take them until you start feeling better and then wean off of them basically?  I was worried it was something you'd have to take forever.
 
I have an appointment with my regular doc next week for something else, I think I'll talk to her about this too.  I'm also going to start looking for a counselor. :-)
30 year old wifey and mom to 3 little girls, 2 dogs, and 2 ratties and working full-time outside of the home...and always ready for a nap.
Suffered with symptoms for 12 years, dx Crohn's-Colitis 11/2007. Taking Asacol, Omeprazol, Rowasa, Bentyl. Flaring off and on and trying to avoid steriods.  Taking RF Plus, Similase, Cortine, Pregnenalone, Vit B shots.  http://www.facebook.com/people/Melissa_Huffines/743171473


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 6/2/2008 3:18 PM (GMT -7)   

Diet and exercising helped me out of my depression..it depends on how severe ones depression is and on each person, not everyone has to run out to get RX for depression, some of us can combat it in natural ways.

:)

jenny26_1981 said...
I've been on anti-depressants for several years. I was on Effexor XR in the past and it worked wonders but had to switch medications due to insurance reasons. I've been on Cymbalta now for about two and a half years. Some ppl say "oh, just get out and get exercise!" or "just smile more and make time to do something for yourself everyday". Depression is not something that can be cured by smiling and getting exercise. I would definitely talk to a doctor about how you're feeling. I know that being on anti-depressants is just something I need to do to feel "normal" for me.


My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


Melissa H
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 85
   Posted 6/2/2008 3:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi PB - my co-workers do a walking class 3 times a week and I was doing it until I got really sick last fall and haven't really exercised since. Now that you mention it, I think I'll take that up again now that my trips to the bathroom are right around 3-5 per day (yipee) and I'm feeling a little better, at least as far as my tummy troubles go :) I figure it can't hurt anything, and if it puts me in a better mood -- all the better.
30 year old wifey and mom to 3 little girls, 2 dogs, and 2 ratties and working full-time outside of the home...and always ready for a nap.
Suffered with symptoms for 12 years, dx Crohn's-Colitis 11/2007. Taking Asacol, Omeprazol, Rowasa, Bentyl. Flaring off and on and trying to avoid steriods.  Taking RF Plus, Similase, Cortine, Pregnenalone, Vit B shots.  http://www.facebook.com/people/Melissa_Huffines/743171473


Lady G
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 321
   Posted 6/2/2008 4:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Melissa H,
I hoped not to have to take them forever yes. My doctor said once you start its best to stay on them a year at least, then she said if you are feeling you can, you can start to wean or go off of them (I didn't wean personally I kinda just stopped taking them, my bad), or stay on for as long as you need of course. I think its all personal feeling and, I'm not sure the right word for it, but if you 'feel' that you can go without its good to try and all, if not, then stay on...after about my years time I went off my anti depressants, and though I have had down times of course I haven't (yet) felt the need to go on them like I had before,I think in a way they helped me manage better....its been about a year and a half off for me. If I needed I don't think I would hesitate to go back on them, but for now, I think I have been pretty decent off of them.
27 year old, married. Diagnosed with Crohns at 17, suspected of having for at least a year or so before that.  Alot of Crohns in my family history.  No surgeries yet. Imuran treatment with Prednisone tapering at moment.  Possible Fistula.


JaSanne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 2044
   Posted 6/2/2008 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been on Cymbalta (30 mg.) for six months and it's been literally a life-saver. Depression runs in my family (my sister committed suicide), plus having to deal with this disease and the chronic pain I have put me into a deep depression. I had tried about 5 different antidepressants before this one, so it does take trial and error to find the right one.

After being on it for a few days, it was like the sun rose for the first time in a very long time. I felt normal. That's the best thing about it. I don't feel drugged; it doesn't make me sleepy or euphoric, just normal. It's like the calm after a storm.

Unfortunately our new insurance won't pay for it, so I tried to wean off it and had some pretty severe withdrawal symptoms when I finally stopped. The worst was "adrenaline jolts" to my heart every few minutes. I went back on and tapered more slowly, but as I got down to about a third of a capsule, my depression got very severe again, so Iwent back to 30 mg.

I've decided my sanity is worth something.

I used to tough it out concerning depression, but I don't have it in me anymore, and it makes no sense to torture myself when there is help available. It had become life-threatening in my case.

Hope this helps.

Joy
48 yr. old. Ileocolitis.  CD since early teens, misdx'd until age 36.  Hemicolectomy-left side in 2001.  Disease returned in 2003. Arthritis, episcleritis, chronic pain due to surgeries (nerve damage, adhesions) and disease.  Recently dx'd scoliosis.  History of endometriosis.


jenngrl81
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 6/2/2008 4:45 PM (GMT -7)   
As for me, personally, "going off" the anti-dep. isn't an option. My doc explains depression as a disease, such as type 1 diabetes, which needs medicine to stay in check. My body is not producing enough serotonin and needs to be supplemented with a drug. Once I got past 'having' to take a med because my body wasn't producing enough of something, I felt better about. Doesn't mean I won't try at some point to see if I can go off of it, but during a flare probably isn't the best idea. Now, all those darn Crohn's meds.....grrr...


Pentasa- 1000mg/2x 1/08; Percocet/Ultram for pain; Prilosec 40mg; Xanax-ANXIETY; Cymbalta 60mg
Probiotic
Ferrous Sulfate 325mg/daily for anemia
Azathioprine 150mg
Currently on a Low-residue diet as of 11/26

I'm so tired, when will this get better?


Mormor Vicky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 684
   Posted 6/3/2008 12:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I tried the exercise route.  I found out I had CD during a resection surgery.  Two months later I had a terrible reaction to 6-MP and ended up in the hospital for 11 days in isolation with bone-marrow suppression.  At that time they discovered that I got steroid-induced diabetes.  So in a matter of 2.5 months I found out I had a incurable, awful bowel disease, major surgery, diabetes, 2 hospitalization, potent meds, and two teenagers at home.  Enough to make anybody stressed and depressed.
 
I started exercising and changed my diet to lose weight.  Walking 40 minutes everyday and going to the YMCA every other day for  up to 2 hours.  But I wasn't losing hardly any weight. 11 lbs in 6 months. I'd wake up in the middle of the night, weigh myself and then cry. 
 
When I discussed this with my PCP, along with other issues like joint pain, she put me on cymbalta because "depression hurts".  I notice almost immediately my joint pain was so much better.  And I'm not nearly as stressed.  I really like the way I feel so much better even though the stress of Crohn's and diabetes was getting me motivated to do all that work and exercising. 
Vicky / 48 years old
DX'd with Crohn's during a resection August 2006
DX'd with Steriod induced Diabetes November 2006
Considered in Clinical remission but have minor signs of disease activity
 
Daughter (27) also has Crohn's since she was 12.
 
Currently on 4000mg of Pentasa only for Crohn's
No longer able to take 6-MP because of Bone-Marrow Suppression
Cymbalta, Metformin, Lipitor


Jason D in MN
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 6/3/2008 4:18 PM (GMT -7)   
In the end it's all a personal judgment call. But, by the sounds of it your depression is at a point where getting some sort of help is a very good idea. The help might be CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), medication, a combination of the two (which is the best bet for overcoming it), or just regular exercise with an exercise buddy who'll goad you into exercising. Regardless, go get some sort of help.

As for my situation. I've had Crohn's for going on 25 years, and three years ago started on antidepressants. Basically I was a basket case like you, only crying all the time, for three days solid before I got in to see a doctor. While exercise definately helps some, Crohn's, IBS, asthma, migranes and a demanding job make it terribly difficult to get the requisite exercise into my schedule... Oh and bursitis makes it darn near impossible to do more than hobble about some days... Thankfully not too often though... Regardless though I try.

I do currently need the anti-depressants to remain level headed enough to be functional and relatively happy. I don't need high doses, but if I don't have any for a long enough time I find myself utterly listless and incapable of doing more than feeding the dogs, letting them out and sitting at my desk -- at work -- unable to think of a single work related thing all day long... In this state I sometimes forget to shower before going to work. ADHD sometimes causes me to forget to take all meds long enough to get into this state. (Crohn's, ADHD, Asthma, and Antidepressant meds...)

On the down-side SSRIs have wreaked havoc on my libido, which cost me a relationship with an Oncologist from the Mayo Clinic. Of all the people I mistakenly assumed she'd be able to use her medical training to better understand my concerns... But alas her physical needs took priority in the end...*sigh*

But given the choice between no libido and enjoying pretty much all other aspects of life, or crying all the time and enjoying no aspects of life, I'll take where I'm at over the alternative. With that said I'm still working at trying to get to a point of not needing the meds... Being on 6MP and having my liver functions come back abnormal if on more than meds for Crohn's and migraines thwarts the notion of using Viagra.

If it's any consolation, I hear my case, while not unheard of, is unusual in two regards. 1) The low doses needed to maintain a good mental balance, and 2) most other people who have an acute incident of depression -- like mine -- find withdrawal of managable after a year sometimes two.

However from message boards I hear the withdrawal can be unsettling ... as the body adjusts to producing more serotonin some of the symptoms of depression can recurr for a week or two... sometimes upward of a month... although those folk usually admit to quitting "cold turkey" because of other side effects they didn't like... which is always a dumb idea with SSRIs as that's the mental equivalent to stopping prednisone with no taper down... terribly stupid at moderate doses... fatal at really high doses...

As for meds and doese: I'm on Zoloft and Wellbutrin (generic equivalents) 50mg Sertraline (Zoloft) and 150 mg Bupropion (Wellbutrin). On too high of a dose of Zoloft (100-150mg/day) I am remarkably happy, completely uncreative, and could care less if I actually get any work done. As a Software Engineer, creativity , and self motivation are a must. On Wellbutrin alone I'm very motivated, but Generalized Aniexty gets exacerbated (I've got Major Depression with comorbid GAD) My psychiatrist suggested trying to go back on Zoloft at a lower dose, and that did the trick.

Lesson learned?

#1. Meds will likely help, especially if you keep in touch with your doctor and are 100% honest about how it's going, the good and the bad.

#2. It takes time to get the combination and dosing right for you! Everyones response to SSRIs is different. You may need to try a few different medications in order to find the one (or combination) that works for you. So don't give up after trying only one medication.

Marie-Claire
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 6/3/2008 6:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I've been on Celexa 40mg. daily for about 4 years. Tried to wean off, but had a relapse of "gloom and doom and crying all the time..." so I have resigned myself to taking it as long as I need it. What I have noticed as far as the physical symptoms that come with depression is this": I used to get 2-3 migraines a week...debilitating ones, where I would have to go to the ER for demerol injections. I suffered with these most of my teens and adult life... I haven't had more that maybe 2 migraines in the last 4 years , so if only for that reason, I'd be willing to stay on an antidepressant the rest of my life to avoid those terrible headaches.
I also suffer from anxiety disorder, PTSD, so am on clonazepam for panic attacks and to help me sleep.
Depression , and anxiety make life so difficult , when it is already challenging with CD and or chronic illness. I say, do whatever it takes to put some joy back into your life. An antidepressant may help you get motivated and energetic enough to start exercising and then you may be able to wean off the antidepressant? even if you can't wean off it.....so many people today need the extra help.... I for one, am thanful that these meds are available. Its a matter of finding the right one for you. Paxil for example didn't work for me....but someone recommended Celexa and it worked wonders. My oldest daughter is also on Celexa but only 20mg a day.
Good luck dear one....let us know how you are doing.
Mary
51 yr.old retired RN,Crohn's D for last35 yrs..severe esophagitis, migraines,strictures,urethral stricture,depression,probable MS.,RLS, arthritis
 
 


songstress
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 393
   Posted 6/3/2008 7:01 PM (GMT -7)   
well Ive had my string of depression drugs. Ive taken Wellbutrin both types---Cymbalta, and I think Celexa--HATED IT--made me a zombie.

They all work pretty well. I liked Cymbalta the best but the beginning stages of taking the drug--like the first 2-3wks while it gets in ur system is horrible---headaches and nausea but after--its awesome! Never felt better.

Ive heard from my mom whose been on her own fair share that Effexor, Zoloft and Paxil are really good too!

Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength

Diagnosed with severe Crohn's colitis in May 2005--spread to ileum and small intestine as of April 2008. Have taken Imuran, Remicade, TPN, Colozal, Entocort, Flagyl, PamineForte, Cipro, Dicyclomine, Prednisone, Asacol, Prevacid, and the list goes on. Currently on Remicade every 8wks, 40mg Pred, Pentasa.

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