I need a pick-me-up

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 12/14/2006 10:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello to all,
I've been battling depression for over half my life.  I've been taking anti-depressants on and off since I was 18, and am currently taking a healthy dose of Welbutrin XL.  I was doing fairly well for a long time, meaning that I was comfortable with the level of depression that I was feeling.  One thing that I think helped me out quite a bit was that I was a caffeine junky.  As long as I maintained the proper level of caffeine, I was pretty outgoing, quick to laugh, and fun to be around. 
All that changed this last July when I was diagnosed with an intestinal disease that precludes me from caffeinated beverages, as well as alcohol, sugarry foods, and fatty foods.  All of my crutches got swept away with one diagnosis.  I am now back to being a pretty quiet guy who rarely smiles, and I don't seem to have the same sense of humor that I had.  This was brought to my attention today when I had a sit-down with my supervisor at work.  I work at a small place, and have only been there for three months.  At this job, personality means more than hard-work, dedication, or even experience.  Apparently I'm a very difficult person for people to understand, mainly because I'm fairly expressionless, and they don't know how to take me.  While I feel that I've been putting in the effort to be more outgoing, accepting, and sociable, they apparently haven't noticed it.
All of this leads me to my question:  Aside from amphetamines or other illicit drugs, anybody have any idea for something that would give me a kick in the butt like caffeine used to?  I'm going to see a psych soon to see about switching my meds, because apparently the ones I'm taking aren't doing the trick anymore.  Anyone take something that makes them more energetic, outgoing, or at least less surly?  I miss being good humored and I think my co-workers would appreciate a change.
There is a lot more to my situation, but I don't want to get to detailed and bore people to death.  Thanks in advance for any advice or pointers.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 12/15/2006 7:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi ya beartooth, I havent got to mention to you that I like your screen name...it's cute tongue

I can so relate to a lot of what you have written here.  Anyhow, I take Effexor Xr and my doctor put me on this medication as I have MS and it has been known to help people who have problems with chronic pain and also to boost energy levels.  Which he was right as it does give me a little boost of energy and I do feel more outgoing in the year I have been taking it.  If that isn’t for you then I am sure that your doc can recommend something appropriate for you. 

Also, I was thinking that there are many kinds of tea that have natural caffeine in them that perhaps would be safe for you?  Maybe you can check into this?  When I was diagnosed with MS 6 yrs ago I was told to quit the caffeine and watch my diet which I did.  Then last year I got sick with an autonomic disorder that is much like Parkinson’s but it drops my blood pressure to severe levels.  Now my cardiologist says to drink as much caffeine as I can to help with blood pressure.  So it is always one extreme to the other.  But I don’t know much about non caffeinated things but I am sure someone will come along to post some suggestions for you.  Let us know how it goes...take care.

Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 1372
   Posted 12/15/2006 3:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Have you had your thyroid checked? Hypothyroidism can cause an energy loss as well as depression. I have crohn's disease and IBS so I can related to the gut problems. Not fun. Fatigue is just a part of the illness. I would definately talk to your psych about it.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 12/15/2006 8:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the suggestions. I haven't tried tea, but since coffee, soda, and those new energy drinks all cause some distress, I suspect that tea would too. I'll give it a whirl though. I miss my morning pick-me-up (coffee!). I haven't had my thyroid checked in a while, but in the past I had regular thyroid activity. I don't particularly feel fatigued, but apparently there is a noticable difference in my attitude between the mornings and afternoons. According to her, I am so much better in the mornings, and I fade in the afternoons. I haven't noticed it, but sometimes it takes an outside source to point stuff out. I'll try out some teas, and when I get an appt with a psych, I'll bring up this stuff.

Els - Thanks for screen name compliment. The Beartooth Mtns are one of my favorite places to be, and I thought it was an appropriate name for me. I've spent most of the last 4 summers climbing mtns in 'em. I guess you could call them my happy place.
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