What are Anti-Depressants Like?

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GDen
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Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 11/9/2009 10:50 PM (GMT -7)   
It seems more than a few people here are on anti-depressants and, never having been on them, I'm curious what they're like and how effective they are. I don't think I'm depressed, but during my current months-long flare I have wallowed occasionally in self-pity, fatigue, helplessness, anger, frustration, etc. I'm just wondering if they'll help my mood, take my mind off CD, make me more productive, and other good stuff. Also:

- Are they something my gastro can prescribe?

- Which ones/brands are usually prescribed?

- Any downsides/side-effects?

Thanks!

LMills
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 11/9/2009 10:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Consider anti-anxiety medication as well.
I'm against anti-depression medication personally (not as a whole) because too many people get it when too few actually need that to restore a chemical imbalance. Doctors are a bit too quick to prescribe them.
I would at least look for alternatives first...

My friend has been taking them for about 5 years now. He says he feels fake, that he doesn't feel any happier but just neutral, and has tried to kill himself twice since we've been together.
:/ Just an example.

They can help you or they can really hurt you.
Diagnosed with Crohn's in May of 2008.
Currently taking: Prednisone, pentasa, omeprazole, and humira. Using probiotics and a multivitamin.
bonniegriffith.blogspot.com/
Learning how to live again.
"He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 11/10/2009 7:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Crohns can really get a person down, especially when they have hard times getting the disease under control or finding the right meds. Don't feel bad if you need a little help, many of us have been where you are. I use Xanax which is an anxiety med. I use it when I start getting anxious. It has been a godsend to me. Tried Zoloft at one point, but it upset my stomach. I am happy with the Xanax as I only use it as needed. I take it 1-3 times a month. Hope that helps.

Hugs
Gail*Nanners*
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Crohn's Disease for over 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
It's scary when you start making the same noises As your coffee maker.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

not creative
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 466
   Posted 11/10/2009 9:04 AM (GMT -7)   

Anti-depressants are the reason I get up in the morning. I have classic depression, which is a chemical imbalance in my brain that has been present since birth and been obvious since my childhood. I began taking pills for it when I was about 19, but have been in and out therapy my whole life (beginning when I was very young- like 6 or7). I have been on many of them, but right now I take Zoloft and use Ativan as necessary for anxiety that is usually Crohn’s related.

 

They make me feel whole again and allow me to carry on through the day because they fill a hole… close a gap. There is nothing wrong with going to therapy and finding you need them. Some people only need them for a short time, and some need them forever. Your gastro can prescribe them, but I would suggest you go see a psychiatrist and get a little therapy just because it’s helpful and may reveal you don’t need meds at all. It’s best to talk to a professional!


Laurenne, 25 Graduate from University of California, Davis. BA-Anthropology
Dx'd w/ IBS and CD in 2002. Three abscesses that are now fistulas.
On: 6MP, 20mg Prednisone, Zoloft, Cimzia (working so well, I'm on Miralax too!)
Tried: LDN- Did nothing good, Remicade- allergic, Humira- no reaction


Carnival Huckster
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 159
   Posted 11/10/2009 9:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey thanks for reminding me ... I almost forgot to list in my signature that I am taking Prozac (40mg per day) and REALLY like it. It agrees with me and really keeps my mood elevated.

+ 34 year old male
+ Moderate-to-severe Crohn's Disease DX in 1997
+ Currently taking 9mg entocort
+ SCD for past 10 years
+ 4,000 mg MSM, Calcium, Vitamin D, and Multivitamin
+ Section in lower jejunum is badly strictured (5mm wide opening continues for 10cm!) but otherwise no other problems
+ No surgeries so far


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 11/10/2009 10:16 AM (GMT -7)   
CH I used Prozac successfully about 15 years ago. It seemed at the time to agree very well with my Crohns. I second that seeing a therapist is really helpful.
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Crohn's Disease for over 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
It's scary when you start making the same noises As your coffee maker.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

vitaka
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 887
   Posted 11/10/2009 11:50 AM (GMT -7)   
I have dealt with depression for half my life, but have always been resistant to taking meds until this year. I started taking trazadone in April after a really bad spell when the depression, fatigue, etc. was starting to have a significant negative impact on my daily life. I consider it an "antidepressant lite." It also serves as a sleeping aid, so I take it immediately before bed. Within a month of starting to take it, I saw a marked improvement in my mood. Of course, that could also be because I had just started a new relationship and was in the honeymoon stage, but I think the traz helped somewhat. As with most drugs, you often need to try out a number of them before you find the one that works for you. In my case, I started taking Celexa before I was put on the trazadone. After a week of taking it, I had some sort of allergic reaction and ended up in the hospital after having a severe panic attack.

The only side effects I have experienced on trazadone were dizziness and nausea shortly after taking the pills, which has faded over time, and occasional dry mouth.

I also would agree with the others regarding therapy. On a previous occasion when things were really bad, I saw a therapist for about six months, and I think she was very helpful in the beginning. That said, I eventually reached a plateau where she could no longer help me, but I was already past the worst of it at that point.
29f, PhD student, originally diagnosed with Crohn's in 2/06
10/09: Prometheus test shows results consistent with UC
10/12/09: beginning treatment for inflammatory arthritis
Currently taking: 7.5mg methotrexate weekly (pills), 2g Pentasa, tapering from 20mg prednisone, 150mg Trazadone, multivitamin, vitamin D, magnesium, probiotics, folic acid


Poppa T
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 11/10/2009 12:16 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had Crohnes since 83 and up until yesterday at my dr's office,did not associate Cd with depression,i know some of ya probably saying "what a dummy",i do resemble that remark however.i have been on and off steroids for years,and recently was removed from Cortef,suddenly ,i may add,no wean off whatsoever,just "dont take any more",well,i tell you ,never again.I became anxious,rude,snappy at the family,unbearable in a nutshell.the straw that broke the perverbial camels back was when i would " shudder " at the thought of my grandkids coming over.I love them dearly,but started saying  "oh no " are they coming over again.My dr,told me that it was a result of being "pulled " off of the steroid Cortef.I have been started on Ativan on a "as needed" basis for a couple of weeks or until the Wellbutrin kicks in.If this med combo Helps me on the road to enjoying company and family again,then i say "bartender,make it a double.
 
It has been quite awhile since i have been on here,i recently had my second resection in
11 years,starting to feel my old self now.also it great to still read the posts and see some of the folks that helped me when i started on here back in 03-04.
 
Happy Thanksgiving to all
 
john

Carnival Huckster
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 159
   Posted 11/10/2009 12:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I had a very bad reaction to steroids at some point and had to be put on Prozac, I belive, as a result of my reaction to the prednisone. (I'm sure that doesn't sound familiar to anyone: more meds to counter the side effects of your existing meds!) I had bad, bad, bad, BAD psych stuff happening for several years following the prednisone incident, but the prozac (or perhaps just the passage of time) have completely vanquised those problems. Now I'm trying to figure out how to get rid of this awful, pointless, stupid Crohn's disease...

+ 34 year old male
+ Moderate-to-severe Crohn's Disease DX in 1997
+ Currently taking 9mg entocort and 40mg prozac
+ SCD for past 10 years
+ 4,000 mg MSM, Calcium, Vitamin D, and Multivitamin
+ Section in lower jejunum is badly strictured (5mm wide opening continues for 10cm!) but otherwise no other problems
+ No surgeries so far


sooper
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 815
   Posted 11/10/2009 1:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Well... I have been on a lot of different ones, some worked better than others. But I do find they help a lot with my depression and anxiety. They are allllll different and will effect everyone different. The best I can think to say is read up some common side effects online in a google search.

Overall im a pill pusher, especally with anyone deal with a crhonic illness. It has helped me greatly and I feel it is not the easy way out, it is a good thing to look into if depression or anxiety are interfearing with your life.

Good luck
im a professional... on an amateur level !


MAG102886
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 674
   Posted 11/10/2009 4:32 PM (GMT -7)   
- Are they something my gastro can prescribe?
I dont know, my PCP prescribed my anti-depressants.

- Which ones/brands are usually prescribed?
I was given Wellbutrin

- Any downsides/side-effects?
I'm not depressed but I'm indifferent about everything, kinda like an "I dont give a crap" attitude about everything.

Dianogsed with Crohns: At 16 years old. 22 years old now.
Surgeries:2 Bowel Resections, Gallbladder Removed, 3 Abscess Cleanings
Current Meds: Cimzia, Methorexate, Vitamin B12 (injections), Nexium.
Next Surgery: Sept 4, 2009 to Take Down Abdominal Fistula!!  (On hold until current flare is under control, boo!)
 

Dagger
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 11/10/2009 5:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Antidepressants have many side-effects, some are minor and some are major. If you and your doc choose to go that route, learn all you can about the med so that you know what to look for. Everyone reacts differently to these drugs so what works well for one person may be horrendous to you. A lot of people stop taking them because they can't handle the side effects and you may have to try quite a few before you find one that helps and doesn't make you feel worse.

You'd have to ask your gastro if he/she prescribes them. I'd be surprised if he did because many require a lot of monitoring when you first start them. You'd probably be better off going directly to your PCP.

You may feel a big difference when you take them but they usually start working slowly.

One of my docs insisted that I try antidepressants to help with my chronic pain. I finally gave in and found out that they make me suicidally depressed. I was never depressed until I took antidepressants, fortunately, the depression went away after I stopped the meds.

GDen
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 703
   Posted 11/10/2009 6:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks everybody for the replies!

I have heard that while on anti-depressants, feelings feel "fake" or "muted".

I'm leery about going to a psychiatrist because I've heard many times that they're trigger-happy with writing prescriptions. Many have recommended psychologists instead. One of my family members went to see a psychiatrist after a death in the family and left with several scripts!

gumby44
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4095
   Posted 11/10/2009 6:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi GDen,
I have not taken antidepressants (yet) myself, so I can't speak from personal experience, but I am a social worker in private practice and I I have worked with hundreds of clients over the years who have taken meds. I believe that when our bodies are under physical or emotional stress, our chemical make-up is affected..our seratonin gets depleted, etc. and depression often occurs. Many studies seem to indicate that it is almost impossible to have chronic pain without some depression symptoms. Medication can help to take the edge off the intense symptoms, so you can function a little better. Medication CANNOT help you grieve all of the losses associated with chronic illness, or help you with coping skills. Psychotherapy can be very helpful to help you process your feelings and find new ways to adapt and cope with life. Exercise is also helpful with stress, and this forum, and talking to supportive friends and family is also helpful.
If you are feeling suicidal, or can't function with daily activities due to overwhelming depression, then I believe that you should definitely not hesitate to try medication. There are different classes of antidepressants, and they have different side effects and work on different chemicals in your brain. The SSRIs ( Paxil, Prozac, Celexa, Lexapro, and Zoloft) are similar to each other and tend to have the least amount of side effects, but can upset your digestive tract. If you decide to try medication, you do not necessarily need a psychiatrist. If your GI is comfortable with it s/he can prescribe it, and so can your family doctor. Psychiatrists are great if you are having difficulty finding a medication that works for you, or if you have other pre-existing mental health conditions. There is a fair amount of research that seems to indicate that antidepressants help with the pain part of chronic pain, not just the depression. I hope this helps. Good luck
50 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's in small intestine and terminal ileum Sept-Oct. 2007. Also have IBS, and had Salmonella Dec. '07
currently taking Pentasa- 4 500mg pills per day, Metamucil and colace for constipation, probiotics


Jen77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2688
   Posted 11/10/2009 9:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been on an anti-depressant for about a year now. All my health problems really got to me over the years. I felt depressed, anxiety to the max, and finally realized I needed a little help to cope with it all. It helped more then I can ever say. I'm just sorry I didn't go speak to my doctor sooner about it. I always felt like I should have been strong enough to deal with it on my own, and that anything else was showing how weak I was. But my health problems are nothing minor, and I think with a chronic illness it's pretty common to have these issues.

Not to say it's all perfect. I still have anxiety and stress about my health. But I can manage it better now. I don't have any side effects from my anti-depressant. But I know that varies from person to person. My primary doctor is the one who prescribes it. He also started me on an anti-anxiety med while my anti-depressant was kicking in.


~Jennifer
 
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06, and Health Anxiety/OCD 12/08 Taking Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL, and Celexa.


Trigirl
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 768
   Posted 11/10/2009 10:06 PM (GMT -7)   
I went off anti-depressants for a while and then after ileostomy surgery I have gone back on them. Pristique is a new derviative of Effexor and seems to be helping. I hate being on it but when your body is really messed up it's a necessary evil. I second all the advice above. Each has to try their own way. My Familly Dr. prescribed my meds for that.

Good luck.
This heights by great men reached and kept, were not obtained by sudden flight, but they while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.
H.W. Longfellow
Thyroid cancer removed 1988
Stomach problems finally figured out 2001 Crohn's/Colitus
Tried every drug without much success
Colon/rectal cancer removed Aug 2009
Trying

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