Antidepressants - what do you think?

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Hi I have been unwell for over 2 years, with symptoms that could well be ME and my GP told me in December that she thought it could be.

Although I have been quite unwell for over 2 years with 24/7 flu like symptoms plus other symptoms, things have got massively worse since I had Campylobacter in November. It is true to say that as the 2 years have passed I have become more and more anxious and stressed. I am now extremely anxious and stressed and do not know whether the deteriation in my condition is due to the anxiety or in fact visa versa - the extreme anxiety is due to the deteriation. 

I hate the thought of anti -depressants and have always found anxiety meds, sleeping pills etc knock me out completely. Although I have recently started taking St Johns Wort with no adverse effects.

What are peoples thoughts on these meds. I am finding it hard to think possitive thoughts as my condition is always on my mind as the symptoms are  severe and 24/7 at the moment, I wondered if it was worth taking anti-depressants to help.

Regards Rob

 

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  • Posted

    My doctor said that sometimes antidepressants work with CFS even if you are not depressed.  So, I tried them for a month or so and they made no difference for me.

    I don't know the cause of your anxiety, but it's not surprising for CFS/ME to be a cause of it.  (Some medics separate the conditions others do not)

    Extreme fatigue was my biggest problem.  I had to retire early.  The forced inactivity resulted in much boredom.  I found some new hobbies to keep me sane.  Knitting was the best (unexpected) 

    I put on weight too, and found out drinking water instead of anything else helped with that

    It is hard to keep positive.  Don't take friends for granted, smile and laugh with them.  Good friends do not mind if you have to lay on their floor as sitting is too difficult.

    Ive heard that younger folk (in twenties and thirties) can get better after a few years, where a virus was a trigger.  I can't find any firm stars on that.

    You could try the antidepressants and see what happens.

     

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  • Posted

    Hi Rob,

    I've been unwell for a couple of years, and in June last year I started taking Sertraline (zoloft)... I was skepticle at first as I knew that what I had was not psychologically based. However, the limited energy that I find myself with was being wasted on moods (anxiety, depression- caused by ME/CFS) in which I found increadibly hard to keep in check...

    After a couple of weeks I stopped having the episodes of tearfulness, saving myself much needed energy and thus not having a "crash".

    At the time, I strongly opposed to taking the anti-depressants, but in hind site it has saved me alot of trouble. Currently I can still have my moments, but it is no where near what I was experiencing.

    I'm glad that it has helped, and it gave me the much needed break to focus on my ME/CFS rather than my emotions.

    It can very be very difficult to try and differentiate between what is the cause and effect, but if you are struggling at the moment it may well be worth trying something.

    Hope this helps, Makeely smile 

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  • Posted

    Anti depressants can work a bit like marijuana in my case - I feel awesome and happy but in reality I am too fatigued to brush my teeth.

    Stuff like that just masks your symptoms and I personally wouldn't go down that route.

    I am personally depressed, but it's my fatigue which causes this - I know this is true as I have had remission a lot of times in the past and as soon as my fatigue goes, my depression goes too.

    However if you do decide to take antidepressants, keep it as natural as possible, 5htp would be the only anti-depressant I would take because it just simulates what your body feels naturally.

    But again I wouldn't go down this route, there's never a good without a bad. Sure your depression might subside but finding the route cause will become almost impossible.

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  • Posted

    My GP used them on me and if nothing else they help lift your mood to give you a more positive outlook. If one type makes you sleepy don't give up, return to your GP and they will try another one as they are not all the same and you will probably find that you can tolerate one and not another. 

    I also use a SAD light in the winter, got it on now!

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  • Posted

    Hi Robert you do sound poorly, are you by any chance double jointed! Or were you? The reason I ask is there is a condition called Elher Danlos which while sounding dreadful is actually quite common. If you feel so down it might be due to this. In some it might not show in your joints, it might be why your tummy problems are so bad. I think you need to ask your GP to test you for Caeliac and Chron's too and a general blood count at the same time. Often ME is the first symptom that shows your body is out of balance. You had 2 systems the fight and flight & the rest and digest. If they get out of balance you feel unwell. So whatever is causing this anxiety needs to be sorted. If you feel poorly the name is Myalgic Encephalitis which means your central computer your brain is out of balance. Your brain is a mass of chemicals and it needs to be rebalanced like the wheels of a car. Your GP will NOT think this odd, it is now a recognised problem. Good luck and be brave go and see your GP🍀
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  • Posted

    l also started with increasing tiredness about 2yr ago, stamina to do any prolonged jobs l,d managed before, then noticed the distances l walked or time spent shopping were getting less, arriving home shattered, same for jobs in home, my night time sleep restless but falling asleep as if drugged when sitting back on sofa. Some days were okish, some very bad, l guess l also kidded myself on ok days. Then started with stomach probs, aches and pain neck shoulders arms, cramps, spasms, memory got worse, often vague with it. My anxiety was fact that l knew it hadnt reached bottom level and deterioration continued, and with restrictions on lifestyle, frustration, boredom, stir crazy, practical jobs neglected, Recall telling gps l,m in decline, and l,m not a drama queen, or attention seeker, so knew it wasnt phycalogical. l was offered fluox, or amitrip and they used to help with sleep along with nerve end calmers for pain

    but even they dont guarantee a good night sleep now. l think  they probably can help a bit, providing low dose, not hangover doseage.We maybe all respond differently, reading Lewis,s trials, l didnt try that, but thought try red bull, weird as l seemed to become energised in speech for a bit, but my body was still knackered. Also agree, for me and most l think in the fatigue, they way it feels, how if affects, can be depressing, energy is a great buzz, even on reasonable days your mood can lift, bad days it can sink, so l too with increased energy would improve a lot,

    l think thats natural, even people without debilitating conditions having short term weakness fatigue, or even going without sleep days would feel down. But trying to be posative and motivating to do new pastimes using minimul energy, art, or crafts,  like seidman is of worth, and Lewis, oh well, thats another idea borne of desperation out the window, l,d probably just sleep even more.  l,d say low dose worth a try, good luck

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  • Posted

    Antidepressants do have their place. Tricyclic antipressants like doxepin can actually improve many ME/CFS systems in certain cases. Doxepin certainly greatly reduced my symptoms in the first 2 or so years. I wasn't even taking it for depression; rather, as an immunomodulator. You need to be very careful, though, when starting to take an antidepressnt. The idea is to start very slowly and gradually ramp up dosage. Typically, people with ME/CFS are ultra-sensitive to antidepressants and can't take normal doses. For instance, I would open a 10 mg capsule, pour out most of the powder, and only leave a little inside, during my initial doses. I have found a very powerful non-drug tool that is especially good for anxiety, but also for depression: meditation. The "Palouse Mindfulness" program is offered free online. It's a six-week secular course sponsored by the University of Massachusetts medical center.
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    • Posted

      It really depends upon each patient and their symptoms. There is no one fits all sizes anti depressant or anti anxiety drug. I am speaking only from my personal experience as I have EDS and I'm 68 years old. The only anti anxiety drug that has ever worked for me will shock and may not be allowed by the moderator. As I say it's my experience only, I have used it at times of stress only, I never found it addictive Diazepam. For patients who have bladder problems associated with EDS Duloxetine. A mild sleeping drug for occasional use is Melatonin. Others are Gabepntine and Pregabalin. I am saying this with a caution, as really only your GP and the patient can decide upon the correct drug and strength.  
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    • Posted

      Hi Jackie

      Thank you so much for telling me about the Palouse Mindfulness program. After taking a good look at it yesterday, I  decided to start it today, and it seems very well put together. A friend had recommended  meditation to me but I was very sceptical. 

      The introduction explains everything in great detail and there has been lots of positive scientific research.

      Thanks once again.

      Rob

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    • Posted

      The person who put that program together is Jon Kabat-Zinn. He's very well respected in the field of meditation here in the U.S. People often think meditation is some weird religious thing, but it's not. Here in the U.S. it's gone very mainstrream. It's even used in many schools to calm kids down.
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  • Posted

    Thanks to everyone for there reply's. I am still not sure what to do, so for the moment will try to hang on. If I do end up taking them, I will start with a very low dose. In the meantime I am going to give meditation a try as recommended by Jackie.

    Thanks Again 

    Rob

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  • Posted

    I've said it before but I will say it again , before you go down the antidepressant and ME/ CFS route tell your GP you would like a trial of thyroid hormone ! No matter your blood tests are normal renowned for being  unreliable . Symptoms much the same . 
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    • Posted

      Thanks for that Sylvia, although I am not that sure my GP would prescribe it without positive blood test. I get the feeling they already think I am Neurotic!
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