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Cece Croker
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/2/2008 2:52 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm on my 4th month of interferon treatment and am having some bad depression.  I feel so bad for my 15 year old son because he takes the brunt of it.  I have him seeing a therapist now because I overheard him on the phone to his friend talking about suicide.  He seems to be doing better, he sees his therapist once a week.  I'm feeling so alone and just recently moved.  Does anyone know if a hepatitis group therepy would be a good idea and any suggestions?

CaryF
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 4/2/2008 3:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Cece,

Welcome! I did Pegasys twice and my depression was severe, I cried for weeks at a time. Are you on anti-depressants? If not, seek help immediately. Expect to be very depressed the entire treatment - its a side effect that can be managed. It will help your son enormously if you can manage your own depression. I was on Lexapro & Wellbutrin the entire time and throttled up the dose to very high levels to get through treatment. I could not have done it without these anti-depressants.

Group therapy was great for me but it was not Hep C therapy. There are few Hep C active groups, mostly they are located in big cities. If you live in one call your local Unversity hospital and find one. The group I went to was a Jewish Women's support group for the chronically/terminally ill. The group leader was a Rabbi. It was the best therapy I've ever had (I was not religious before that & the faith based nature of the group was wonderful for me). It was every Wednesday & free! If you can't find a Hep C group there may be other good groups for you to consider.

Good luck & Don't give up!! You can't clear if you don't finish - keep your eyes on the prize - you're almost half way there!

Best, Cary

Cece Croker
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/2/2008 3:43 PM (GMT -7)   
This is my second time trying too.  Did the second time work for you?  I'm on prozac 40 mg a day.  I've been having some really bad crying episodes.  I cryed for 4 days.  I cryed while I was driving, grocery shopping watching tv, I'm better off at the moment, but I am so out of breath and so sick all of the time.  Luckily I am working from home right now.  The first time I did this treatment, I was on a clinical trial and kept my regular job.  I don't know how I did it, of course I had to go off of treatment a few times and that's probably why my desease came back.

Pink Grandma
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 4/2/2008 7:12 PM (GMT -7)   
I just want to welcome you to HealingWell CeCe. So sorry that you're having such a terrible time with treatment. sad But at least Cary is here to give you any moral support and ideas. :-) We have others that have been through it also and I am sure you will get some other's suggestions as well.

Take care........thoughts and prayers..........
Pink Grandma
Forum moderator-Hepatitis

When the going gets tough....the tough get going! Don't always know where I going but I get there anyways.


frustrated_n_wv
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 469
   Posted 4/3/2008 3:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Cece Croker

Hi and Welcome to the forum. I am sorry that you are having such a hard time with the treatments. I do not believe that 40mgs of prozac is a sufficient therapuetic dose to combat the type of depression you are describing. Also prozac may not be the most affective anti-depressant for this specific chemical problem. Please check with your doctor and either have them refer you to a reputable psychiatriat or give you names of mental health providers and/or clinics in your area. You didn't say how long you have been taking the prozac, but most of the anti-depressants out there take 21-28 days to reach a true therapuetic level in your system. As Cary said, hep C and hepatitis support groups are normally located in larger citiesm however there are many smaller places have groups for depression both support and therapuetic. You should be able to call the community mental health center in your area and see if they have any groups for depression. Also you ciykd contact your state board of couselor examiners, psychologist, or social workers and get names in your area that have expertise in depression. Where I live one of the local public hospitals also run several groups on depression so you may be able to get some information from the ones in your area. Hope these suggetions help and good luck.

Lucy

CaryF
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 4/3/2008 10:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear Cece,

Get onto your Dr. to get your anti-depressants changed or dose upped. I was on both Lexapro & Welbutrin before I got any relief from depression - taking them together was to cover more depression SSRIs - if that makes medical sense. I was on 60MG Lexapro daily at one point. This is considered quite a high dose. I've now weaned back to 10MG.

Do everything you can to manage your side effects during this process. I was worthless if I wasn't rested. Are you taking sleeping pills? Anything for anxiety/panic attacks? I also took Procrit & Neopogen.

Join a group - any group - ensure you have as much support as possible. I found going to a more generic illness group that wasn't focused on Hep C to be more helpful than a Hep C group. It helped me realise that even on my worst days there were others out there struggling just as much and in some cases had it worse off. It got me out of my self - even if I cried the whole hour. I wouldn't go to a depression group as your depression is situational - I'd go to a group that is for the chronically ill. Many hospitals have cancer groups that allow in folks with other illness. And as I said - there are faith based groups that can be excellent. Whatever your faith - you will be welcome. Just ensure the focus is on illness and not a revival session.
I am always concernced that someone will try to convert me.

Do you have help at home with cleaning, shopping, cooking? Get it. My synagogue provided help for me with all these things & more - rides to Dr. appts & group. My Rabbi even came to my house when I was ready to give up. She will always be remembered in my morning gratitude prayers. You must be willing to reach out & ask for help - it is out there.

I also worked from home the 2nd time as I was able. I did a much higher dose called Infergen (every day rather than weekly). I believe if there is a chance we must take it. You are, well done!

I regret to inform I did not clear - the virus was back in 2 weeks after completion of treatment. I do not have regrets - I am a 1a, we rarely clear. I am now managing with diet and lifetstyle - waiting for the next generation of viable drugs to appear. You may be one of the lucky few
who does - but you must stay on the treatment on full dose to have a chance. You do not need a psychiatrist - you do need a good Hepatologist or GI who is experienced with Hep C and treatment. I'm assuming you have one overseeing your treatment? Your body is filled with very strong toxic chemicals, of course you will have extreme side effects - try to embrace this as a chance to heal yourself rather than allow the depression or fear to overwhelm you. Group helped me a lot with this.

Best to you. I'd address the depression and getting more support ASAP.

One question: Are you clear now? How often is your PCR tested?
One suggestion: eliminate protein from your diet - if not already.
I used Dr. Sandra's Cabot's Liver Cleanse diet & still do. Diet is vital to your success with liver disease & drink enormous amounts of water.

Cary

Cece Croker
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/3/2008 2:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Cary,
 
Thanks for all the great info.  I just left a message for my Dr. to see if she can consider switching my anti deppressants.  I had contacted her when I went through that last episode of depression but by the time I was able to get an appointment, I felt a little better, I still think I should switch to something elso though.  I also take an injection of Procrit one a week for my low platelets.  I am taking Ambian cr for sleeping at night.  
 
I will investigate the groups in my area.  A chronically ill group does sound like a better idea than a hep c group.  The idea of focusing on Hep C sounds depressing to me.
 
I have my aunt who just moved in with us last year.  She is helpful but she wants to move into a retirement home in June.  It is going to be difficult without her help with the rent.  I understand her wanting to be around people her own age though.  My 15 year old son stresses her out some.  Still I wish she would stay through the rest of my treatment.
 
I have 1A too so I know my chances are limited, but I wanted to give the treatment one more try while I'm still healthy enough to go through it anyway.  I just had my second blood work done to see what my virus is at.  At my first blood test after starting treatment my virus was still at 30,000.  It was in the millions before so it had gone down a lot, but it was not clear.  I'm waiting to see what my next test says, my doctor is supposed to call me tomorrow morning with it.
 
I will try to embrace this chance like you suggested, thank you for helping me to look at my treatment in that sense.  Your right, I have been full of fear and depression.   I'll check out that diet you mentioned too.  I have a pretty bad diet and eat pretty much anything available when my appetite lets me.  I just ate a tuna fish and bell pepper sandwich which was good.  Tuna is probably full of protein..  
 
 
 
 

CaryF
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 4/3/2008 4:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Cece,

Please ask (tell) your aunt to stay until you finish treatment - you need her. As you already know there is also a recovery time after treatment where you will experience interferon withdrawls and more - and still be on the treatment rollarcoaster - no matter the outcome.

I found a chronically ill group far better than a Hep C group - the Hep C group was a "woe is me" space for me - not an uplifting experience. In my illness group I did attend and participate in several funerals, gave me a better appreciation of other's needs and space. I also really appreciated the fact that my group was all women. I remain very close to the "survivors". It was a wonderful life changing experience for me.

Yes, please embrace this "chance" with zeal! Insist on help with your depression ASAP - it will drown you otherwise. Gather as much support as you can. Now is the time to advocate for yourself!

Demand all the help available from your medical team. I might also suggest some Xanax or Valium. Push, pull, kick or drag - get across that finish line!

I started at 60M and was clear at 6 months. You should be clear or very close by now to have a chance.

I applaud your courage and tenacity. Very few folks have an understanding of the difficulty of this treatment. I've been told its chemotherapy x 10 by people who've done both. For me it was a 48 weeks acid trip.

Love, Cary

CaryF
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 4/4/2008 7:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Cece,

Also ensure you get your thyroid checked. Treatment killed my thyroid 1st time around & hypothyroid can cause depression.

I am taking synthroid for life.

Cary
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