Life with and after depression

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Hi all

I regularly wrote and chatted on this forum last year and found it a huge help, but haven't been on for some time - apologies if i didnt reply to any of the lovely people i'd chatted with!

Just wanted to let people know that really you can and will get through through this but please be patient! I went through all sorts of side effects with fluoxetine and sometimes it was hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I am so glad i stuck it out as i have now got my life back, the fear and anxiety are gone and i am really enjoying life to the full again, something that i couldnt even imagine 12 months ago.

I know i am not cured forever , it doesnt work like that and i continue to take a low dose as a precaution while i go through some big changes (all good ones though!). I hope hearing this will help someone to keep persuing happiness.

Everyone is different but there is hope. Persevere, talk to friends and family (hiding this will not help), be honest, most of all rest if you can and look after yourself.

I wish everyone who is suffering from depression the strength to keep going and find their happy place again, it is there just dont give up in it .

Good luck all, you'll get there.

Vix xx

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  • Posted

    Thanks Vix, it's heartening to hear your positive comments.  It's hard to be patient as I suffer from nausea and loss of appetite when going through the anxiety.  I have been on fluoxetine for 16 weeks and am still not there yet.  I have suffered horrendous side effects throughout this time.  I have periods of feeling good and then back to the nausea.  I don't want to up the dose or change meds which is what people are telling me to do.  My doctor wants me to stick with it but it is hard as after 16 weeks I would expect recovery.

    How long did it take you to get to that feeling of peace, where you can stop the inward thinking and awareness of not feeling good??

    I'd love to hear, thanks x

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    • Posted

      Hi f

      Nausea was my worst symptom, lost nearly 2 stone in 2 months (tho i was overweight but not the way to lose it!). I had 3 months on citalopram first before fluox but changed because nausea didnt improve much and struggled with extreme fatigue.

      If i remember rightly it was between 16-20 wks of fluox that things started to pick up for me and there was no miraculous good feeling just an odd day when i forgot i was ill (sounds daft but i just started to realise id had a normal day now n again).

      I eventually went up to 30mg as although feeling physically better i still felt blue. That was probably 5 months down the fluox line.

      Then i levelled off and began to live more fully again

      Everyone is different and different things work but if youve noticed improvement then do try hang in there. I found my even keel at 30mg after avoiding an increase for a long time without revisiting side effects thank god but i may have just been lucky .

      Believe you will get there, get some exercise preferably in fresh air every day (i dont do exercise but walked 30 mins each day) and get yourself up and ready to face the day as often as you can (tho sometimes blankets days are just what you need😀).

      Take care and good luck

      Vix xx

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    • Posted

      Hi Trix,

      It is so good to hear from someone who understands the nausea and loss of appetite, most people seem baffled by it.  I have only had two bouts of mental illness and the last one was four years ago after my father died.  I ended up in a psych clinic and because the anti depressant (Lexepro) I was given hadn't worked after a couple of weeks and I was still nauseous, the psychiatrist tried to give me ECT.  To cut a long story short, I declined and did eventually recover after about 8 months.  This time I lost 12 kilos but I was pretty thin before that so I looked really bad.  Have managed to put a bit back but everytime I have a bad day and eat very little I think I lose the weight again.  Anyway I'm staying off the scales now, it's just something else to worry about.

      I'm still on 20 mg prozac but like you may up it to 30mg.  So you didn't revisit the side effects, that's interesting because I worry so much about going through all the dry retching again but maybe it wouldn't happen.  I do feel better than I did so maybe I will hang in there a bit longer, fluoxetine seems to be a very slow acting drug.

      Yes I do walk every day and try to eat well but being vegetarian, the food isn't really weight producing which is what I need.

      Thanks so much for the information, you've given me some hope......

      f l

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Feline Lover

      Thought I'd just send u a little catch up email. I too didn't have side effects when I upped my dosage to 40 mg from the 20 mg but I think at the time the anxiety was so terrible that perhaps I wouldn't have noticed - I spent most of my days dry retching! Personally I am still having more good days although I have a terrible cold at the moment which is making me a bit low today-also it's the weekend so too much time for thoughts! With you, keep going, as Vix says try and get out in the sunshine when you can and take time to smell those flowers. Concentrate on the nice and the beautiful and little by little you will find more peace.

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    • Posted

      I did have anti sickness tablets at one time too but not sure they helped much. Dry crackers on waking and fiery ginger beer did tho - might be worth a try! 😀
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    • Posted

      Thanks Joanne,

      Again it is heartening to hear that someone truly understands the horrors of constantly dry retching.  That stage seems to have passed though I had a bad day last week when I dry retched a few times.  When that happens I get so down and think I'm back to square one.  I still don't have an appetite and become anxious wondering what to eat.  However I have been re reading a book which got me through last time I was sick and the book advocates acceptance of all bad feelings and always lookiing forward.  I particularly liked the book as it had a section on nausea and vomiting.  I have found that very few self help books mention that.

      I hope you are getting over your cold, I can understand it making you feel low.

      Thanks again for the encouraging comments

       

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    • Posted

      Thanks Vix,

      I love ginger beer but unfortunately it has a lot of sugar and as my blood sugar levels are high I can't really have any.  I found Ativan the best for nausea but as they're addictive I couldn't take them regularly and had to be selective about when to take them. 

      It must be a wonderful feeling to be over all these horrors but I know after my last recovery I felt so incredibly happy just to have my life back.  Hopefully it won't be too long before I can enjoy life again.

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    • Posted

      I found sugar free ginger beer in tesco!!!!

      And yes, i felt so happy to just feel well again i think i was slightly manic for a few months but in a good way😀

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    • Posted

      Hi feline lover-just remembered a chat with my doctor which may reassure you. When I was at my worst and not eating at all he said to me to not put so much pressure on myself. If I didn't want to eat that's fine. I said to him but I'm going to waste away! And he said as long as I drink water that would sustain me. A lot of this illness is about acceptance but sometimes we put ourselves under even more pressure - I have to eat/I have to sleep/I have to get through the day. All you have to do is whatever you want to at any moment and little by little we get there! Xx
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    • Posted

      Hi Vix,

      We don't have Tesco in Australia but I'll look to see if the local supermarket has sugar free ginger beer.

      Yes I can understand that slightly manic feeling, if I have had a good day it tends to more manic because I'm just so happy to feel normal.

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    • Posted

      That is reassuring Joanne, great advice.  When I tell people I can't eat they look horrified.  I have said the same thing so often 'but I'm going to fade away'.   In fact the book I was talking about suggested that people place too much emphasis on not eating and protruding bones so it's good to hear that your doctor said the same.  Take care x
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    • Posted

      Hi Vix,

      I am now at 17 weeks of fluox and feeling nauseous today.  I foolishly cancelled a doctor's appointment yesterday because I was feeling OK.  Can you remember if you were still feeling nausous at week 17.  I have made another appointment for next week and think I'll ask the doctor about increasing my dose.  I just hope I don't have to come off this medication because it doesn't agree with me.  Last time I saw the doctor she said I could see a psychiatrist but it is expensive so I'm not so keen.  The nausea really gets me down and I so want to be well again.

      Hope you can you some advice.

      Thanks

      f l xx

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    • Posted

      Hi Joanne,

      Hope you are getting over your cold.  At what point (how many weeks, months) did you increase your dose from 20mg to 40mg?  Also how long have you been on fluoxetine for? I'm so indecisive at the moment but feel that after 17 weeks I should be feeling better than I am, although I'm not dry retching now.

      Thanks,

      f l

      Thanks for your

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    • Posted

      Hi feline lover. This time I was on the 20 mg for 3 weeks and then upped it to 40 mg. personally I feel 40 mg is a better dosage for anxiety. I had taken 20 mg for 13 years and during this time I also had a "blip" and went up to 40 mg which sorted me out! My mistake was coming off the fluoxetine altogether! That's when my problems started. I have accepted now that I need the 40 mg to keep my serotonin levels right. Cold much better, thank you. Hope that helps xx
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    • Posted

      Hi fl

      The bad days dont half knock you back when they come but as time goes by they become less frequent. I think by 17wks the nausea was a lot better though dr gave me propanalol. I also had acupuncture for the nausea and it may have been coincidence but by the end of that week the nausea had gone. Worth a try and not too expensive but you need to find a reputable experienced person for it to be effective.

      Hope it settles for you soon, if yoyve had good days its prob worth sticking it out a bit longer before considering a change but you know how best you feel.

      Hope it improves soon

      Vix x

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    • Posted

      Hi Joanne,

      How long after taking the 40mg did the nausea stop?  How long have you been taking fluoxetine this time around?

      f l x

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    • Posted

      Thanks Vix,

      I tried acupuncture last time I was suffering but I think I got a dodgy person as she put the needle into the loose skin between my thumb and finger and I had a lot of pain there for some weeks.  When I asked my doctor for something for nausea she gave me Ativan which does work but as it's addictive, I can only take one every now and again.

      Hope the pregnancy is going well.

      f l x

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    • Posted

      HI Feline Lover

      About two weeks for the nausea to go and appetite to improve, however if I have a REALLY bad anxious spell I will occasionally still dry retch but NOTHING COMPARED TO WHAT IT WAS!  I really can sympathise with you.  This time round I initially took 20 mg for 3 weeks and then upped the dose to 40 mg which I have now been on just over 4 weeks.  I don't claim to be fully recovered but, my goodness, thankfully, I'm better than I was - but I was at full breakdown stage - not eating, sleeping, barely functioning.   I go to work and try to carry on as I always have done - I feel routine is important. Some days at work are very hard and I get home feeling I've battled anxiety all day - other days I sail through.  I think I said before, alongside my prozac I am seeing a psychologist for CBT and I find just talking helps relieve some of that terrible pressure we feel in our heads sometimes.  You are having a real dilemma with upping the dose arent you? Perhaps give it another week and then decide, but don't be scared.  There are always horror stories, but, as I said before, I was absolutely fine.

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    • Posted

      Hi Joanne,

      Thanks for the reply,

      I have been having racing heart every now and again since being on fluoxetine and this morning it was really bad.  My pulse was 157 and the doctor gave me an ECG and has decided to take me off fluoxetine.  So I am gradually tapering and starting Valdoxine.  Who knows what the future holds!

      It's been nice talking to you and I hope the fluoxetine works out for you.

      All the best,

      f l xx

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    • Posted

      Good luck with the change. Its such a hard situation because a lot of symptoms of anxiety and depression are the same as the side effects of the drugs used to help it!

      Hope the valdoxine suits you xx

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