I kind of know how you feel. I have a family history of depression and weird cognitive issues, and I had a lot of anxiety that really got worse with the lyme. I had sort of a weird episode a few years ago where my brain shrank and my anxiety went through the roof and I got horribly sick. I definitely had some brain damage. Not sure what really caused it, but I'm sure lyme and company had something to do with it. Also. the treatment I was on was not helping or making me worse.
I was put on Xprexa for I'm not sure what and some other stuff, and I started to get horribly depressed. I was on it for maybe four or five months and the depression lasted about two months after I stopped it. I had only gotten depressed about twice before that, and it only lasted for a couple weeks.
Also just my slow brain was depressing. I couldn't even follow a recipe. I know exactly that "detached" feeling. How long have you been off meds? Maybe it is still withdrawals. It took me a long time to get rid of that weird feeling. I know once you are on depression medications it can be really hard to get off. I know someone who got really sick when they tried to get off. My advice would be since you are off meds and not really sick, you should stay off of them, and do something to treat the lyme disease. Going on a good diet and doing things to help heal your brain helps too. Everyone is different and that is just my personal experience.
I think adrenal fatigue was definitely an issue for me as well.
What I'm trying to say is that there is hope. I was able to stay off any drugs, and strangely also my anxiety seems to have disappeared. Aside from that one weird episode I don't think I have depression. I have a friend who has depression and I have a lot of the same symptoms (irritability, extreme tiredness, fatigue, joint pain). But I don't feel depressed. I think lyme just has the same symptoms. The only way I got to feeling any better was by treating the lyme. And my cognitive function is almost back to normal. Regardless of what anyone says I think the brain does heal-it just takes a while.
I think hobbies definitely are good for healing the brain (if you have the time).
And finally it might be best to avoid physiologists and neurologists unless you can find someone who is really helpful. It can be helpful if they take a MRI or something so you can actually see the problem in your brain. I would look anyone up before hand on the internet to see what they do, and what other peoples experiences have been. It all depends on how sick you are, but some doctors just aren't worth the money and the extra stress.
To help with depression/exhaustion you could take eleuthero (siberian ginseng) or licorice, but they can make your blood pressure go high and disrupt your sleep sometimes. Cat's claw and andrographis and teasel have helped with my mood. Andrographis can possibly cause an allergic reaction, but if you aren't allergic it can really help with lyme symptoms. I hope all this is helpful.
I hope you feel better!
Thanks so much Notime. Great post and I appreciate you sharing your experience with me.
My psych at the time stopped the Effexor I believe in August of 2016. So been off just about
15 months. I was also taking VERY strong pain medicine at the time. From about
spring 2012, to June of this year. ALOT has happened in the last couple of years that could have influenced my cognitive decline. I'm sure like others, my history is very very involved and complicated. I was drugged every which way but up. So hard to know exactly.
I have heard it can take a long time with effexor. First off, I know now that I was tapered wayyyy to quickly. I had no idea I had lyme, well, I did at certain times over the years with all the chronic pain I had going on but was always told I didn't have it. I think she had me tapered off within a couple of weeks if I'm remembering correctly. Again, no idea at the time that it was way too fast. She told me that Pristique is a very similar drug and that if I started as I got off the effexor, I would be ok.
I do remember getting sick and thinking well, this is just withdrawals. If my memory serves me ( And it doesn't much lately!) I know by the end of October I was off effexor and on Pristique. I remember telling my sister at the time, that something is very wrong with my brain. I told her that it felt completely "fried". And it did. Still does for the most part but in a different way I think. Everything was always explained away.
I stopped the pristique I think because it just seemed to make that feeling worse. During this time period is when my brain fog became more constant and intense and I was noticing more and more memory loss. I started feeling and acting like a zombie then. Spending days just staring out at the ceiling or listening to tv with my eyes closed because they hurt so much. The year prior , I sold my car in order to pay for health insurance because I knew something was wrong and saw every single doc around, for mental and physical issues. But mainly had to stop driving because my eyes and neck always hurt too much. Now this year I had to stop because of the constant brain fog and disorientation.
Then there was prozac, cymbalta, savella, all which made my brain symptoms worse and worse. Then, thats when I gave up on them all together. Then earlier this year was 2 weeks of Prednisone that really pushed me over the edge, then realizd over the summer I had been sleeping next to a moldy air conditioner for close to a year. I'm sure all of these things are a part of what I'm dealing with now.
I do feel I have brain damage. I could be wrong and hope to god that I am. I just know that October 2016 was really the last time I felt anything like myself at all. And I was dealing with absolute crippling pain that kept me in dark rooms for days. But on "good" days, I still kept up my appearance, took photos of myself, did some things that I always had in interest in and enjoyed.
As of earlier this year, that all went away. Now, I'm not sure who I am. Just a constant numbness and my brain is so so slow I can't really do much with it. I probably couldn't follow recipes now either. I can't even handle grocery shopping without assistance. I used to bake. Always loved to bake. That was one of my hobbies. Now, I couldn't even fathom doing it. The last time I even mentioned wanting to was in that fall of 2016. I don't think I could by that point, but motivation was at least there.
Thanks again for your advice. Maybe what I said here will help complete the picture a little more. I am comforted by the fact that you said your cognition and brain function came back. I do agree that the brain can heal itself. Yesterday I tried playing some brain games. Even a couple years ago they were so easy for me, I had to stop because I kept getting so frustrated with myself. I'm lucky a family member took me in because I don't think I could have taken care of myself at all in my current state. Though I am dying to be independent again so very badly.