Interferons and Depression

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Counting My Blessings
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 8/24/2006 4:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I am so bummed out lately - does anyone else have depression since being on interferons?  Wow, this really kicked me in the bum!  I really have always had a very positive outlook on life in general.  Even when I was diagnosed with MS, I said "well, this is the hand I've been dealt so now I'll play it out".  Well, that just isn't the case lately.
 
I started Interferon injections (Avonex) in November of last year and in the last couple of months, I've just truly been so bummed out.  I hang on to guilt and little stuff really hurts my feeling deeply to the point of crying a lot.  I can't even handle when my 3 year old daughter makes me feel bad anymore and she knows how to play her mommy!  It's gotten to the point that my kids get away with murder because I don't want them to be mad at me and heaven forbid anyone be upset with me because I cry for days and just feel sad all of the time.
 
I made an appointment with the neuro and he perscribed Zoloft and gave me a starter pack but I'm already on Concerta for fatigue so that worries me a little.
 
I guess I'm just looking for any advice on how to deal with just feeling sad all of the time.  I use to have a pretty good support network but lately I just feel like I can't burden anyone (husband, family) with that stuff.  Maybe I should join a support group?
 
Any advice would be great.  Thanks.

uppitycats
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 8/24/2006 5:24 PM (GMT -7)   

Depression caused by taking interferons (and in many other instances) is NOT a matter of "feeling blue", or something over which you have control.

It is a *chemical imbalance in your brain* and correctable..or at least treatable, by medications for it.  You need to tell your doctor. Maybe there are reasons why you can't take an antidepressant and Concerta -- your doctor would know, and be able to adjust and "tweak" the medications so that you can find something that will both help you sleep and also deal with the depression.

And it may be that the interferon drugs (Avonex, Betaseron, Rebif) aren't something you can take, and you'd need to try Copaxone (which does not have depression as a side effect).

At any rate, it's not your fault, it's clearly connected to your starting Avonex, and you need to talk with your doctor about it.

 


...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....


got better things to do
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 176
   Posted 8/24/2006 6:27 PM (GMT -7)   
counting my blessings,
I to have noticed a major depressoin with the use of avonex.I was on copaxone and did not have the depression I have now.I do have to say that there are many things in my life right now that could be contributing to the depression. I have never been a depressed kinda person always happy and joking.Since avonex and some major stressors in my life,depression is taking me over. Before avonex stress never got me down like it is right now!
Just when I was getting used to yesterday......Along came today.
 
             
~~LIFE~~


Counting My Blessings
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 8/24/2006 6:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Uppity and Life.

Life, I feel like I can relate to what you said. There are some stressors going on for me but normally I am the kind of person that just takes stuff in stride and really I don't get depressed about anything......until now. If you don't mind my asking, why did you switch from Copaxone to Avonex? If Copaxone doesn't have the depression side effects, I considered switching to that so I'm just curious why you switched away from it.

I'm only on my third pill of Zoloft tonight which is the starter pack and the first week is 25mgs, then it bumps to 50mgs so I'm hopeful that it will kick in and tack away this incessant crying that I do. Jeez, my hubby is about done with my sad stuff and when we got married I wasn't like this so it isn't like he signed up for it so that's part of why I just don't feel like I can talk to him about it. Frankly, I think it annoys him that I'm just not the fun happy person that I was when we got married - part of the stressors. Yada yada.

my5cats
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 67
   Posted 8/24/2006 7:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh boo hoo to your husband! "For better or for worse" was undoubtedly a vow he took, so here it is..."worse" and it is all part of the package. I too started Avonex last November and started Wellbutrin a couple of months ago because I felt the same way as you do now. It really does help. Kepp your chin up and just worry about how you feel. I'm not trying to be insensitive, but remember that he loves you and he will be fine as soon as you feel better. Prayers and hope to you for feeling better soon!

Counting My Blessings
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 8/24/2006 7:05 PM (GMT -7)   
LOL my5cats! I guess I needed to hear that!

got better things to do
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 176
   Posted 8/24/2006 7:14 PM (GMT -7)   
count,
I have had episodes of optic neuritis and not regaining my vision, the neurologist thought that avonex would be best for me. So I thought what the heck I could give it a try.I just had a visit with my neuro on monday and I ask him to switch me back to copaxone and he thought it was not a good idea.I have to say that if the cymbalta does not work I will insist on being put back on copaxone.I cannot live my life like this, I am hurting my friend and my family by being in such a depressed state. I do understand what you are saying about feeling bad for your hubby, as for my hubby he just wants the ole me back!!!
Just when I was getting used to yesterday......Along came today.
 
             
~~LIFE~~


shellypoo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 896
   Posted 8/24/2006 7:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Ladies...we need to remember that depression is a symptom of MS and we do have MS.  My neuro told me when I was diagnosed that I need to be aware of depression and my friends and family need to keep an eye on me and alert me when I seem depressed.
 
Yes, interferons can contribute to depression but so can situations we face in life and the MS itself.  I have had my share of severe depression and so far it has lessened on it's own.  I cannot take most anti-depressants becasue they make me terribly ill but if I get to the point of needing one I will address it with my neuro.
 
Just be aware and if you are on an interferon and are very depressed, let your neuro know.  (Even if you're not on an interferon you need to let your neuro know.)
 
We all need our friends and family for support and we need someone to confide in and someone to be there for us when we are down.
Michelle ><>
 
"Life shouldn't be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving
safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather, to skid in
broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly
shouting...."Wow! What a ride! Thank You Lord!!!"
 
 
 
 


Counting My Blessings
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 53
   Posted 8/25/2006 4:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Life - I haven't ever had to deal with optical problems related to MS. I'm sure that is frustrating for you! I'll keep hoping for you that the cymbalta kicks in and lifts you back up a little. Hopefully we will both be back on in a month or so with good news that we are back to the fun-loving gals we use to be!

Michelle, so true, so true. My neuro said that there is no way of knowing why the depression came on and I guess that part isn't important so I shouldn't put it off on the interferon. I'm not going to switch from the Avonex since that may not even be what caused it in the first place. I just want to feel like I'm the person I was 6 months ago. I am hopeful that the Zoloft will kick in and lift me back up a little cuz this really does stink. I try to fake it with the kids and am thankful that they are only 3 and 5 because the still buy it that mommy's eyes are red because she has alergies. Thanks for the posts
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