Shingles and depression

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Why am i getting depressed with shingles so tired always phoning doctor's for reassurance also living on own husband in care home just feeling and emotional and physical wreck anyone else felt like this.

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    I've been sick for months from shingles, so yes, I feel like I can relate. I think it just sucks the life out of you sometimes, I don't really know.

    I'm sorry you're feeling this way. I have no advice but I get it.

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    Dear Susan,

    I am so sorry you are suffering so much after having an attack of shingles. Herpes Zoster-Shingles is not just a simple case of a rash with some pain. This virus lays dormant on your sensory nerves, waiting until your immune system is weakened, and you are stressed to multiply and attack with a vengeance. It circulates throughout your body. You didn't mention your age, location of the rash, or other medical problems. Many individuals experience exhaustion, fatigue, and depression after an episode of Herpes Zoster-Shingles. If you also have Post Herpetic Neuropathy PHN, the incidence of exhaustion, fatigue, and depression increases. You did not mention how long after the episode of shingles this is, but as you are going through a huge amount of stress with your husband in home care, have you considered talking to your physician for a counselor, ie psychologist or clinical social worker, and possibly an antidepressant? If you are having PHN, a SNRI antidepressant would help decrease the pain and elevate the mood. Cymbalta and Venlafaxine are both used for PHN symptoms. I take Venlafaxine, which has been extremely beneficial to me for the acute pain of recurring episodes of Herpes Zoster-Shingles and PHN. Frankly, an antidepressant may be indicated even when you don't have any pain. You don't sound as if you are functioning well and are miserable. Antidepressants can be Lifesavers. I also have taken Venlafaxine for antidepressant reasons since 1994. It has worked wonders for me. Please let me know what you think.

    I am a retired Nurse Practitioner.

    Best Regards

    Merry Juliana

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    • Edited

      Thank u for reply i am 72 the rash was on left hand side of head face and eye i am under the eye specialist been twice and they say all ok going again in four weeks. shingles started five weeks ago and was put on aciclavir straight and eye drops. i do have anxiety and depression also controlled over active thyroid disease which is controlled with carbimazole. I take fluoxotine20mg one every other day have asked specialist if i can go back on one every day. My doctor has done bloods today to see if anything shows up including vitamin deficiencys so feel everyone helping .do feel the depression has a lot to do with fatigue and shingles has made everything worse another worry.thank goodness for my dog he does make me go out and talk to people i also visit husband three times a week but everything is an effort hopefully dont i sound sorry for myself!!

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    • Edited

      Dear Susan,

      I believe our fur families help so much in alleviating our anxiety and depression. My twin's dog and my cats have helped so much throughout the decades.

      Please, you don't sound sorry for yourself. You are asking for help, and we are here to help you get through this!

      Do you feel fluoxotone has helped your depression? The reason I am asking is many clinicians will prescribe an antidepressant, and just leave it at that. The art of medicine is finding the correct medication or combination of medications for the patient, based on their symptoms, side effects, and medical history. The fact that you are still depressed tells me it isn't working for you. You may need to titrate up on the dosage carefully, and wait. If you don't feel better in 2-3 weeks, then you might need to switch to another class of drugs, ie SNRIs.

      I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder in 1994 and after trials with Paxil, Zoloft, Norepinephrine, and Wellbutrin, I was placed on Venlafaxine with excellent results.

      Each drug reacts differently in each person.

      Best Regards,

      Merry Juliana

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