Debilitating fatigue and lack of motiviation, despite making positive changes.

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For at least a couple years now, I've experienced an overwhelming decline in energy levels, mood, motivation, etc. It's affected my ability to perform my job well, and I have a hard time participating in my favorite activities because I'm so tired all the time. I made an appointment with my primary care physician to see what was going on, and was diagnosed with moderate depression. I was put on 20 mg of Citalopram, and found that the medication did very little to improve my symptoms. Tried 40 mg, and I still felt the same if not worse. I'm off medication, and I've made as many changes as possible. I force myself to work out at least 5 days a week, and have lost 34 pounds. I try to go hiking and enjoy nature at least a couple times a week. I practice drums every day and my band's new album is coming out. I eat a vegan diet, with very little processed foods and junk food, whereas before I was overeating a lot of junk food. I live in a pretty nice house with great roommates, and have a decent job.

I got my blood results from the doctor, and everything was in the target range except for Vitamin D, which was easily fixed with sunlight exposure and supplements. Got blood results a second time, and everything checks out, including Vitamin D. In other words, I'm making all the right moves and still feel drained and not like myself. What's also strange is I'll have extremely rare days were I feel decent or even good, and then the cycle starts again. Also, sleep is ALWAYS unrefreshing and I wake up feeling no different from the day before. I usually get at least 7-8 hours and it doesn't help. I feel held back and I know I'm capable of many things, if I didn't feel so crappy all the time. There are many goals I wish to accomplish, but it's much harder than it should be. I'm definitely depressed here and there, but it seems like my energy levels are the most defeating thing most of the time. Am I misdiagnosed? Is medication a proper long term solution? I need some advice, bad.

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  • Posted


    Slow down I felt breathless just reading your script. You say you like walking out in the countryside, slow down enjoy the nature smell the flowers and watch the birds and animals.

    I was like you when younger and every day was a race to get everything done after breakfast and before supper. you need to enjoy the activity and understand you have needs to slow down and consider your activities and you will get more out of each diversion.

    You sound fit, although you mention been drained. Everyone seems to be rapid self fulfilment


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  • Posted

    Yes I agree with Bob.  It sounds like you are exhausting yourself and maybe this is why you are so tired. Leave the past behind and let the future take care of itself.  Live for today and in the present.  The present is all we have so enjoy it.  Have a look at mindfulness - there is lots of info online.  x
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    • Posted

      Unfortunately that's not the issue, guys. I appreciate the reply though. I used to be very sedentary, and now I'm reasonably active. I've tried just about everything and I feel terrible. I have to plenty of time to enjoy myself and relax. Must be something else.

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  • Posted

    Ok, I have a few thoughts. You say all your blood tests were normal but working out as much as you do and being on a vegan diet does make me think that perhaps your body is depleted of vitamins and minerals - I'm thinking especially about iron and the B vitamins which come from meat. Perhaps take some good quality supplements for a few months and see how that goes.

    Also you said you go hiking - have you been checked for Lyme disease?

    It could be chronic fatigue - brought on by who knows what! And if you get pains with the fatigue it could be fibromyalgia (I have this).

    Again with the bloods - did they specifically check your thyroid levels? I have a thyroid problem and it began with me feeling slowed down, easily tired, and progressed from there.

    Also, maybe try a different anti-depressant - the citalopram perhaps just wasn't the right one for you - you might have to try a few.

    Good luck!

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    • Posted

      I really appreciate the reply, and will take it into consideration. However, the idea that vegan diet is lacking in certain vitamins (excluding B12) and also iron is false. The only thing I need to supplement is B12, which originates from bacteria in soil, not meat. Iron comes from many foods, including beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, etc. They checked my thyroid levels and they said it looks normal. I definitely am considering another antidepressant though. I scheduled another appointment for next week, so maybe we'll find some solutions.

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    • Posted

      Hi, I'm not against a vegan diet I just meant that if you are exercising a lot then your iron etc can get depleted more quickly and you may need to supplement. Iron from plant sources is not absorbed as efficiently by the body as that from meat, and also excess iron is stored in your bone marrow so that when iron levels in your blood are getting low we have a back up. It might be that your stores are depleted. I really would suggest a good quality iron supplement. And the best sources of B12 are actually eggs, milk and milk products and meat - so not sure where you got your info! Anyway, I hope you get to the bottom of what is causing your fatigue, I know how debilitating it is.

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