Epilepsy/Depression

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RanMan
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 665
   Posted 12/20/2004 10:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone.
I have epilepsy and ulcerative colitis, as a result of all the meds that I take, I suffer from depression (I don't notice it but the rest of the family does). As it turns out, I'm always mad at everyone and my wife doesn't want me to spoil Christmas with my mood swings.
 
Is there any type of meds that I could take to combat the depression that won't screw up my other meds? I'm currently on dilantin, pheonobarb and Mesasol. I know that sometimes you can talk yourself out of depression but do you have any other suggestions?
 
Randy  (Ontario)
Diagnosed with epilepsy and ulcerative colitis in 1979,
Been on meds ever since.
 
275mg-dilantin/day
120mg-pheonobarb/day
3,000mg-Mesasol/day


boo~baby
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 12/20/2004 7:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Randy,

Sorry to hear you're dealing with depression on top of UC and epilepsy...that's a lot to handle. I strongly encourage you to consult with your primary physician for a referral to a psychiatrist. A good psychiatrist will be able to recommend some medications to help deal with the symptoms of depression. I'm unclear if your depression is the result of the meds you already take, or if there is an underlying cause. Either way, it goes without saying that to treat the cause of the depression would be of great benefit to you as well.

Hope this helps you to have a more peaceful Christmas. Good luck :)

boo
"Patience is a waste of time"


georgialady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 12/21/2004 1:12 AM (GMT -7)   
'''ranman''randy---wish i could give you a mircle cure for a christmas gift
all i can say is ''never never give in to those ''old mood swings''its such
a great time just to be alive especially now during christmas time--the
love of your family shows by the way you talk about them and i can tell
they love you alot---maybe the answer is randy '''think'' about them and
your pain will fade alittle for alittle while--i am not trying to be smart or
ugly just wishing alittle ''peace of mind''and a happy holiday for ''you'' and
your family..we sometime can't see the trees for the forrest--enjoy this time
we can always be a ''pain ''later..sorry hope this doesn't offend you just help
randy we all care and we all need help sometime..good luck-georgia lady
''life is what we make of it good or bad''


snohare
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 2088
   Posted 12/21/2004 7:57 PM (GMT -7)   

Ranman,

Depression tends to be seen largely as a mental illness which causes overwhelming feelings of sadness. This is not always so; in neurological terms, depression can be considered an abnormal set of emotional responses to outside events. Which means of course that with some people it makes them very irritable and snappy, rather than sad as a primary symptom. Me, I get weepy, my brother, he glowers like a thundercloud and rumbles like a volcano. Same parents, same upbringing, same faulty chemical - different feelings. Only the despair is the same. Go figure... eyes

There are various cognitive tricks you can try to "throttle back" on your temper. One is to find something that provokes tender feelings in you - the classic one would be a photo of an infant son - and use it to calm yourself down when neccessary.

IMO, anything that makes you think "Things are not all bad", helps to "zoom out" from the worm's eye emotions that are depression, and gives you an emotional distance, an intellectual perspective, to help you control yourself. yeah

Another trick I know, - and I don't know how well this one would work with the "Mr Angry" mode of depression - is to start making lists of the things you do like about life. The idea here - and I know it sounds very Pollyanna-ish, and I wouldn't blame you for thinking so, but by God it works - is to start you noticing things to be happy about, rather than things that get you all wound up. Even supposing you are just jotting down "the smell of a new car makes me feel rich", or "sex is good" or "children's laughter makes the world better", being able to recall the emotions evoked by these sensations is an emotional counterbalance to the out-of-kilter depressive feelings. (One thing that is universal in people with long-term depression is that they all have damage in a part of the brain that weighs up events emotionally, and this affects the way they think about things, particularly memories.) And when depressed there is a tendency to underrate your own assessments; but if you write these things down when you are experiencing a good emotion, it is very hard for you to deny your own experience. You are almost forced to believe in your own positive feelings.

Hopefully, the angry moments you get can be defused ahead of time by using this technique as a counterbalance to developing moods, or at least to help break the anger - guilt - anxiety - anger cycle that can develop.

Half the problem with what I call "creeping depression" is when the feelings sneak up on you so quietly that not only your mood changes, but also your style of thinking and therefore your attitudes. In other words, the tail starts to wag the dog rather than the other way around. The trick there is to get your head round the fact that you are not feeling this way due to events, you are feeling as you do because your brain chemistry is screwing up. Confused ? Hurt ? Angry ? In despair ? Life doesn't make sense ? That's because depression doesn't make sense, any more than lumbago is your back making sense. If you have UC, it may be that you are depressed simply because your gut is malfunctioning (it shares neurotransmitters with the brain). 

Some anti-depressants - notably the SSRIs like Prozac and Seroxat - can provoke mood swings, particularly towards anger; if you're on one of them and that's what it's doing to you, my sincere suggestion is, do your absolute utmost to get yourself on some other medication as a matter of urgency. Things won't get better, and they may get hellishly worse.   nono I'm sufficiently certain of this that I'm not worrying about legal action here. Much... 

Having said that, one of those drugs made me very angry, the other cured my problems and fixed my life. It's very much luck, and I for one am glad the drugs companies buried the adverse drugs trials data in order to get them to market, for all that I'm sorry for the unlucky patients.

And I certainly would never stop taking any drug without taking medical advice, as stopping suddenly can have drastic effects. yeah

I know that I have read posts on Healingwell forums about the different drugs and also about cognitive therapy, but unfortunately I cannot remember where, I lurk so much - have you tried the Search facility ? For that matter, have you ever tried a full spectrum light, in case you have Seasonal Affective Disorder ?

Hope this helps Ranman. But if worst comes to worst, remember - it's not just good times, it's also the hard times, when we have to learn to cope with harsh reality, that binds families together.

Merry Xmas, and all the best for 2005.


RanMan
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 665
   Posted 12/21/2004 10:47 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey snohare and georgialady,

The more I think about it, MOST of my depression is from my bipolar 18 yr old son, causes total embarassment. I'm afraid that everyone is going to label him as a bad kid or "wher are the parents" when he gets in trouble.

Randy 


Diagnosed with epilepsy and ulcerative colitis in 1979,
Been on meds ever since.
 
275mg-dilantin/day
120mg-pheonobarb/day
3,000mg-Mesasol/day


snohare
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 2088
   Posted 12/22/2004 6:03 PM (GMT -7)   

Ah Ranman, now I understand - what you have isn't depression, it's "just" STRESS ! yeah And it's getting you right on everyone's Achilles heel - what you care about.

Strikes me that you might be getting a touch of what is known as "learned helplessness". This is probably better known as a "no-win" situation. As you may have already discovered, it's devastating psychologically - rats exposed to it go truly mental ! And it's one of the premier forms of mental torture used in brainwashing etc.

Again, the only defense you have - other than decent medication and/or therapy for your son - is to be able to stand back. Which is an absolutely alien response to any concerned parent, particularly when harangued by angry "I don't give a darn, get it sorted" neighbours and relatives who are still comforted by the joys of the bliss that is ignorance on this matter. eyes

The one thing I have always found to work for me when things get tough - but maybe that's just because I'm so analytical - is thinking in terms of what processes are going on, rather than in terms of blame; it helps men in particular, because it helps you focus on what kinds of intervention/ help are possible. Blame is emotional dynamite; analysis is cold water on a fire. But of course half the problem with bi-polar is that the ups deter any desire to be rational.

As far as the "bad kid" label is concerned, hopefully (reasonable) people are not going to be too quick to apply that to anyone who is basically caring and good-hearted, not as long as drugs don't rear their ugly head. Most folk still understand the concept of wild teenagers who will settle down in time, or somebody who has a troubled soul; there's tolerance for that. Anything hard like cocaine of course is a car stuck on the railroad; and sympathy tends to be the first casualty.

I wish someone could give you a magic cure, but I doubt there is one. Have you tried looking through the old posts here and on other forums, looking for information on cognitive therapy techniques ?


georgialady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 12/23/2004 4:46 PM (GMT -7)   
'''randy''god bless you honey---your son should have ''no''labels''we all carry
a cross of one way or the other--your sons one cannot be blamed on ''you''
or him---just hang in there and know people care and the ones that don't
really '''do not''count...never feel ashamed------just love him and try to cope
i know that's hard when you feel bad yourself but you will be rewarded in the
end by ''peace of mind''that you did all you could do--still wish i could give you
a christmas miracle---anyway--i wish you and your son ''happy holidays'''we
do care----georgia lady
''life is what we make of it good or bad''

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