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Talk to me about SSRI medication, please

(108 Posts)
Cairngorms Thu 21-Mar-13 13:40:31

I've had phases of depression for many years, but not ever taken medication. Over the past year, I've had major anxiety too associated with some very major life changes we are dealing with.

In the summer, I so desperate that I was prescribed an SSRI which I took. The side effects when I started were horrible, really horrible, my husband disapproved in general, and longer term it reduced my desire to have sex, which caused issues with my husband. I am not brilliant about remembering to take it, and during the autumn something came up where DH disagreed with me doing something because I was on medication, so I stopped taking it altogether.

I am now really unstable again - anxious, depressed, unhappy. I would like to try taking the SSRI again, BUT
- I am worried about the short-term side effects;
- I am worried about reduced libido again;
- I am worried about facing the GP who told me NOT to stop taking it.

How do I face the GP, face the DH's disapproval, find an SSRI with reduced starting side effects and also without the reduced libido effect?

Please help! I am finding this overwhelmingly hard.

fluffyanimal Thu 21-Mar-13 13:49:05

There should be no stigma attached to taking medication for depression/anxiety. These can be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain and do not need to be caused by bad things in one's life. The tendency can be to think that one should just be able to cope or to pull oneself together, but it is not as simple as that.

So if you need medication, you need medication. It can be trial and error finding the right one as we are all different. You need to go back to the GP and explain the side effects were too bad for you.

But why does your DH disapprove? Does he think you should just be able to pull yourself together? And what might come up that being on ADs would prevent you from doing, and even if they did, why is it for DH to disagree with you - isn't it up to you to make that call? And finally, surely any self-respecting DH would prefer a well partner with a reduced libido to an unwell partner with a heightened libido? hmm and even angry about your DH I'm afraid.

orangeandlemons Thu 21-Mar-13 13:52:58

Try one of the older type ad's. they don't have the same start up effects as Ssri's, and don't affect your libido as much

monkeysbignuts Thu 21-Mar-13 13:56:44

I am taking fluoxetine at the minute for postnatal depression and I have been fine starting on it. Which one were you on?
I was initially put on citalopram which made me feel dreadful.

I would go back to your gp and explain everything and maybe try something else?
Good luck

Cairngorms Thu 21-Mar-13 13:59:51

OP here: I was prescribed SERTRALINE.

Cairngorms Thu 21-Mar-13 14:03:24

orangeandlemons aren't they more addictive?

I was hoping to get something by Easter, so I can go through the two weeks start-up during the school holidays.

orangeandlemons Thu 21-Mar-13 14:05:32

No, that's tranquillisers.

I mean the tricyclics antidepressants, ones like imipramine and clomiprimene

Cairngorms Thu 21-Mar-13 14:40:29

fluffyanimal I am coming to terms with agreeing with you about the straightforward need for medication and that there should be no stigma. I'll try to explain to the GP, but I'm worried about seeing them for this again, having quit medication the last time.

DH is really unsupportive about it. He thinks I just shouldn't be stressed / depressed / anxious and that's the end of it, problem sorted. I wanted to apply for a tempting PT job, and he was throwing reasons at me that I shouldn't take the job - I'm not mentally well enough, as evidenced by the ads, amongst other things - and I was trying to remove the reasons as I really wanted to go for the job. Regular sex is very important to him. I may agree with you, but that's another issue.

Cairngorms Thu 21-Mar-13 14:57:58

Just tried to make a GP appointment, but none available till after Easter. The receptionist suggested I made an on-the-day appointment tomorrow (or other day I'm available). I could restart the tablets I was prescribed before - I have a packet in a drawer, and that was my initial plan, but I wonder whether I can find something I'll feel less ill on.

Why are SSRIs prescribed rather than tricyclics? What are their advantages?

orangeandlemons Thu 21-Mar-13 15:44:19

Tricyclics were the first ads before Ssri's. Ssri's are meant to have less side effects, however tricyclics don't have the horrid start up effects that Ssri's have.

I struggled rally badly with start up effects on Ssri's, so have taken the other sort.

monkeysbignuts Thu 21-Mar-13 17:48:54

Every med is different and will effect you differently. I would ring on the day and speak to your gp.
Citalopram is an ssri and so is prozac, I was ill on citalopram and fine on prozac x

NanaNina Thu 21-Mar-13 17:58:06

Cairngorms I can only endorse everything that Fluffyanimal says. I'm sorry to be direct but I suspect your (D)H is the bigger problem and your relationship with him could be the origins of your depression and anxiety. Sorry but I just felt so angry with him, because I know from personal experience the torment of dep/anx and the stigma that still surrounds mental illness, and to have an unsupportive partner is just so awful. You have mentioned that you may agree FA but that's another issue and maybe that issue needs sorting sooner rather than later.

I think you should make an appt with a GP asap (I assume the one you saw last time and maybe want to see again) is the one who can't fit you in till after Easter. Don't be worried about stopping the ADs - lots of people do this, and GPs are well used to that happening, but will underline the importance of staying on the meds and having reviews from time to time with the GP to talk about side effects, benefits etc.

I really don't think you should start taking the ones you have left over. ADs are not like paracetomol that you can take at any time and get relief. Brain chemistry is very complicated. Did the Sertraline give you any relief from the symptoms when you took it in the summer. I know you had bad side effects but did they diminish and did you begin to feel better? How long did you take them for? This is important to think about (putting aside your DH's disapproval). This is important to think about because IF they relieved the symptoms it does mean that they were an AD that suited you, even though problems with libido. YOu say regular sex is important to your husband but your mental health is important to you (sorry I am just so mad at him) and it's people like him that perpetuate the stigma around mental illness, to say nothing of the effect it is having on you.

It IS trial and error with ADs I'm afraid - Sertraline is an SSRI as is citalopram, and there are others that people have mentioned. There are also older meds known as tryclics (I am on one - imipramine - and there is another amatriptyline) The NICE guidelines are for GPs to prescribe citalopram (or another SSRI) like sertraline, as they are safer in overdose, as the older ones are not. I suppose research must have shown that the SSRIs were more effective than the tryclics. The frustration is finding the one to suit you as they react differently on different people.

SO please make an appt asap and tell the GP what has happened and make a list of your symptoms - as an aide memoir for you, or to just hand over to him/her if you feel unable to talk, as sometimes we just burst into tears once we are in the surgery.

The trouble is just at the time when you need some emotional strength to cope with your DH and GP visit, it is the time when you are emotionally very vulnerable, but you are important and you need to get better, especially as you have children. There are many books about depression as I'm sure you know - Amazon is crammed with them. Why not get one and put it in front of your DH - and let him see how outdated his notions of mental illness are. Better still get him to go the GP with you, though I doubt he would do that.

Sending warm wishes to you and please remember that you will get better -but only if you get the help you need and deserve from the NHS.

Lucyellensmum95 Thu 21-Mar-13 18:09:10

marks place to add my twopenneth later and also learn from others' imput. Flufflydressingown talks lots of sense.

Cairngorms Thu 21-Mar-13 18:18:47

"Did the Sertraline give you any relief from the symptoms when you took it in the summer. I know you had bad side effects but did they diminish and did you begin to feel better? How long did you take them for?"

I think Sertraline gave some relief from depression symptoms (symptoms certainly lessened, but there was other stuff going on that lessened a bit too and I suspect the symptoms would have lessened a bit anyway). The first two weeks were SO AWFUL, completely debilitating and leaving me unable to function at all, I utterly dread going through that again. Ongoing side effects were minimal, I think the no-sex thing was the most significant. I started and remained on the lowest dose.

Jollyb Thu 21-Mar-13 18:26:28

Hi I would definitely go back to your GP to discuss your concerns. It might be worth a trial of another SSRI. I'm currently on citalopram which has knocked my libido (but am also 21 weeks pregnant which probably in't helping). I have taken a different SSRI in the past, paroxetine, which didn't have this effect.

As others have said there are alternatives ie tricyclics. They are not more addictive as such but can be more dangerous if overdosed.

orangeandlemons Thu 21-Mar-13 18:35:23

Also, you can start at a low dose and buildup if the side effects were bad last time

TheSilveryPussycat Thu 21-Mar-13 18:44:54

On paraxatine which I find v v good, w few side effects (slight nausea and stomach feeling odd) which soon passed. Am on maintenance dose of 20mg which I possibly don't need now.

Libido went in 2003, mostly. I thought it was menopause to start off with. No, twas the fact I no longer respected my H it seems. Depression lifted when I filed for divorce in 2011. Took a while for full recovery following Ex's final departure. By this time was old gimmer and assumed libido gone for good. (But no, recently reawakened by someone I do respect)

Lucyellensmum95 Thu 21-Mar-13 18:45:12

The last time i took citalopram i was fine, limited side effects and yes there was a lack of labido but still had sex and when i had an orgasm (which is rare) it was out of this world and i would pass out blush It seemed to work straight away, but after a few months i needed to up my dose - from 20mg to 40mg.

This time around i have been really in a bad way and just started citalopram with diazepam. I have been suicidal this week and had to be seen by the emergency psych team. My DP, like yours, very anti - but he knows i am very poorly just now - I have decided to continue with the citalopram. The shrink did say they can take a bit longer to work the second time.

There are others - i think citalopram is the first port of call - i know it worked for me last time. DP isn't happy really as he said i wasn't "me" last time.

I am in a waiting list for counselling - you need to back the meds up with something, find the source of your issues.

Yes there might not be anything trigering just now but you need to find a way to cope - cbt might help you, it didn't work for me but i know that it works for many folk.

I think its very hard for partners, they often don't understand, which is understandable, i dont get it myself.

Tricyclics are not the drug of choice as they are more addictive than SSRIs

Lucyellensmum95 Thu 21-Mar-13 18:49:37

I really don't think you should re-start the medication without consulting your GP first - try an on the day appointment tomorrow, if you can't get one, ask for a phone consultation.

i understand your DPs reticence, but i don't like what you write about him one minute saying "why are you depressed, you have no reason to be depressed" (you don't NEED one) to using it as a reaon for you not to take on part-time work. Actually taking the job could be just what you need - it will help your self esteem and give you something to focus on. The psych that i saw yesterday agreed with me that i need to be working. He NEEDs to be more supportive.

Cairngorms Thu 21-Mar-13 18:58:42

OP here: I am really appreciating the input here, thank you. I am trying to answer a few things that come up. With respect to the job, it would have been good but there would have been some challenges too (we have A LOT of domestic / family complexity at present), I got an interview but not the job (there were people with more relevant experience and I couldn't do the hours they wanted). I don't need to work, financially, and there are very few jobs that I actually WANT to do but if I see another I'll apply again. I'm currently volunteering to get more experience.

wrt CBT, I had 7 sessions which is all I can access through the NHS. We focused on self-esteem and it was useful.

dragonflymama Thu 21-Mar-13 19:00:12

Sorry to hear you're not well. I am also disappointed to read your dp isn't being v supportive....that is surely exacberating the problem. I would suggest a gp appt ASAP to find the right meds, stick with them for as long as prescribed (coming off early is counter-productive) and seek counselling for both of you so your dp can start to understand more about mental health issues. You may also find ways to work through "dark days" together through CBT. Good luck!

Cairngorms Fri 22-Mar-13 08:18:50

I have an appointment today with the GP I saw before. I hope he isn't too cross with me. I've told DH who is .... resigned and not disagreeable, but not as supportive as I would hope. I am worried about side effects, the GP, my DH and that I won't stick with taking the medication long term again.
Wish me luck!
Someone suggested I wrote notes. I may try that.

Cairngorms Fri 22-Mar-13 12:30:42

I now have 30 days worth of fluoxtine (Prozac), and a suggestion from the doc that I don't tell DH. I'm looking at the box and wondering whether I dare take one and how ill it will make me.

NanaNina Fri 22-Mar-13 14:23:20

Hmm I'm not sure I agree with the GPs suggestion that you don't tell DH, unless he is very certain that if DH knows and is unsupportive you won't take them. Your GP will know you much more than we do of course, so that may be his reasoning. If it is then so be it and only you can know whether that is good advice or not. However you did say that DH is "resigned and not disagreeable" and he know you have a GP appt, so it seems likely he will ask yu what happened and if you say you weren't put on meds, he might take that to mean that you really do just have to "pull yourself together" and reinforce his belief that depression is not a serious illness which needs treating with meds.

However after all that ruminating you absolutely must start taking the meds. Have you been started on a low dose of Prozac and when are you meant to be taking them, as you posted at 12.30 trying to decide if you should take them?

IF you are meant to be taking them x 3 per day and you should be taking one at 12.30 then you must take it. I know how scarey it is and the one trouble with this MH thread is you do hear people talking of horrendous side effects and you might not have any of them, but even if you do it isn't going to be anything that you can't cope with - yu aren't going to be turned into a zombie or anything. I know you had really bad side effects on sertraline but you did also say that you thought they might have been lessening your symptoms (although some life stresses lessened too)

OK you might get bad side effects but they will almost certainly dimish (you said the awful side effects lasted 2 weeks) and that's not long. The side effects of the new meds might be better or worse for side effects but you need to give them chance to work, because as you probably know you feel the side effects before the benefit and some ADs raise your anxiety until they have "kicked-in" - did you tell the GP about the sex problem. If so he may be taking this into account with the meds he has prescribed.

HOWEVER you DH's "need" for regular sex is just going to have to go on the back burner until you are well again. Look CG you have taken a very important step in seeing the GP, so learn by the mistakes of the past and don't give up on them. Have you got another appt for GP to review the meds and whether they are helping.

OK call me bossy but please please take the meds NOW and post and tell us that yu have. I am around all day as am retired so willing to hold your hand so to speak.

monkeysbignuts Fri 22-Mar-13 14:43:04

I am absolutely fine on prozac. I really hope it works for you too x

Cairngorms Fri 22-Mar-13 15:03:09

NanaNina I would tell DH as I'm crap at doing things secretly anyway. He is likely to try to get me to give them up.

I have a 20mg dose, one per day. I was wondering about waiting till the school Easter holidays as I was completely debilitated (bed-ridden) on the start-up side-effects last time, and I can't be that ill and physically take the kids to school. If I wait till the holidays, I can manage in bed and DH is off work then and can be useful. Last time I found it best to take them at night and get through the nausea while in bed. If I do take them today, it'll be evening, but I would appreciate your bossiness and hand-holding.

I did tell the GP about the sex problem. I have a review app in about 4 weeks. It's not a great idea to say no to sex with DH - I know that's an issue, but it's where I'm at. I don't want to give up on the meds this time, and I would be really grateful for hand-holding and support to stick with it. Thank you.

TheSilveryPussycat Fri 22-Mar-13 15:10:25

When does the prescription say to take them? - should be on the bottle.

It is some while since I started on mine, but was told morning, and that some food helps nausea. Just remembered another side effect was initial difficulty in getting to sleep, this too passed quickly, but had an idea this was why I was supposed to take them in the morning...

lazymum99 Fri 22-Mar-13 15:27:20

Has it occurred to your DH that a depressed anxious wife is not going to be wanting sex frequently. If you suffered from bad headaches he wouldn't say don't take paracetamol just snap out of it and get on the bed. He is putting extra pressure on you which you don't need while feeling unwell.

Queenofknickers Fri 22-Mar-13 15:37:07

Firstly well done for taking that step and going back to GP. I have been on Prozac for 15 years and remember main starting symptoms were nausea but not debilitating ( much less than morning sickness) but really made worth while by the feeling two weeks later that someone had switched the colour on in a previously black and white world.

I'm glad you felt CBT helped - there is free online NHS CBT but v few people seem to know about it, even GPs. Will look up link for you and post. Remember soon you feel be feeling better thanksthanksthanksthanksthanks

orangeandlemons Fri 22-Mar-13 15:42:10

Your dh sounds very selfish to me, and I think you need to pull him up on this. I know you don't feel up to it at the moment, but where is the support for you? He needs sex, so you comply despite feeling crap. You are ill, and he tells you you don't need medication, what does he do to actually help you? Where is what you need in this? Perhaps this is the reason you feel so crap?

Queenofknickers Fri 22-Mar-13 15:52:00

Free online CBT at and Both have great reviews and are now being used by most NHS areas in UK.

Ps if you want some bossy handholding ill be on here every day as I'm on bed rest for weeks.... thanks

NanaNina Fri 22-Mar-13 16:51:58

Hi CG - we...ll you could wait till the Easter holidays I suppose which is 1 week away - is your DH a teacher so will be around in term time. How old are your children btw?I think 20 mg is a very low dose and you might not feel a great deal better but I'm glad you have a review booked.

However you could start them tonight. Does it say when you have to take them or "just 1 per day" on the box. If so I would definitely take 1 before bedtime. Don't read the list of side effects (although you have probably already done that!) drug companies have to cover themselves by providing an a comprehensive list of side effects.

I think whether you start them tonight or in the Easter holiday is to some extent dependent upon the age of your children and if they are pre schoolers it may well be best to wait for the Easter holiday, but if they are old enough to get to and from school themselves, then you could start now.

Whenever you start the main thing is you must find the emotional strength from somewhere to stand up to your DH and not give in to him trying to make you stop. Yes he is a selfish sod and all the things people are saying, but he is as he is and you aren't going to change him anytime soon. The thing to concentrate on is YOU.

SO we have option 1 - take 1st one tonight before bed
OPtion 2 - wait till Easter holiday.

And a firm pledge that you are NOT going to STOP taking them this time. Yes?

I am more than happy to hold your hand and be a little directive (sounds better than bossy) and you also have that offer from QueenofKnickers, so between us we should be able to keep you afloat. Have you any RL support.
I am going to Ireland to see family over the Easter holiday (away for 5 days) otherwise I am here.

SO have a think about the 2 options and come back and let us know, and a bit more info about the ages and stages of your children. How did DH react when you had to take to your bed for 2 weeks last time you started them. He must have some good points - presumably he cared for the children.

Over and out at 4.50
Will check again in an hour or so. NNx

orangeandlemons Fri 22-Mar-13 17:07:36

I have taken 4 different Ssri's, only one made me feel sick. So there's no saying that you will feel sick with prozac

Cairngorms Fri 22-Mar-13 17:49:28

Easter holidays start on Friday; DH is not a teacher, but has the two weeks booked off anyway. My children are primary school age, need support with getting to / from their two schools, and one has complex SN. It is easier in many ways for me to care for them at home in the holidays than deal with schools.

DH was sort-of supportive last time (he took a few days off work) and also cross, but I also had a major physical infection and he considered all my unwellness to be due to physical health rather than mental health. Last time my parents, PILs and a random classmate's mum cared for me and the children. (I KNOW that the physical infection quite probably made me feel worse and some of the side effects may have been the infection or drugs I was taking for that, but that doesn't stop me feeling anxious about taking them again.)

I took them for three months last time, and quit mainly due to wanting his approval to apply for a job. I know he's a selfish sod, but as NanaNina says, I'm not going to change that immediately. He's trying hard, but we are under enormous stress for other reasons. I intend to keep going for longer this time.

The instructions just say "once a day", not when. I went for around 7pm last time, kids bedtime. I'm ... still not sure whether tonight's the night or next Thursday.

I have a few hand-holders in RL, though most are not local to me. So many, many thanks to all of you, especially NN and QoK for your offers of support.

orangeandlemons Fri 22-Mar-13 18:36:51

Can you cut them in half and start on a low dose? I never had any side effects with Prozac. Tonnes with all the others though

KobayashiMaru Fri 22-Mar-13 18:40:24

I always find side effects are reduced a lot when I take right before bed, its like you sleep through it.
You really need to take them for at least 6 months, and don't stop suddenly, its bad for you.

TheSilveryPussycat Fri 22-Mar-13 18:41:27

Please don't cut them in half. 20 mg is a v low dose. It's my maintenance dose of paroxatine, and was effective when I was suffering from depression.

KobayashiMaru Fri 22-Mar-13 18:51:19

20mg is standard for prozac, different drugs have very different doses, you can't compare them.

NanaNina Fri 22-Mar-13 19:05:12

Thanks for more info CG and NO don't cut them in half, because you are probably on a very low dose anyway and it's important to follow GPs advice. You may need the meds to be increased later, but they usually start you off on a low dose.

Glad to hear you have some RL support.

It's your call when you start, and there are pros and cons I know. However I think you should make a decision about that asap, as the ruminating about when will I think increase your anxiety, as depression and anxiety usually go hand in hand.

Have you told your DH yet and if so what was his response (just to get a measure of how much emotional strength you are going to need to stick to your meds) I know that emotional strength is very very low when depressed but you will have to find some from your "reserve tank." It's difficult when we don't know the dynamics of your r/ship with DH, but just wondering how his disapproval manifests itself. Does he say his piece and that's it or is it more prolonged.

Incidentally how are you feeling at the present time in terms of symptoms. Depression I think is different for everyone and I sometimes think we all have our own unique experience of the torment of this illness.

I have intermittent depression following a severe episode 2 years ago, and haven't made a full recovery so have periods of time when I am totally crap and can't function and others when I'm fine. I have no warning or trigger so I don't feel in control of my life really.

SO - does dh know and next time you post tell us when you are taking the meds, tonight or next Friday night.

Sending warm wishes your way.

NanaNina Fri 22-Mar-13 19:17:14

Lucyellensmum you posted that tryclic ADs are more addictive than SSRIs and this isn't the case. None of the ADs are addictive (which means you clamour for more and more - like an addiction for heroin or smoking or alcohol etc) It is true that you can become dependent upon ADs which is different because you don't need more and more (ok your dose gets increased but that is overseen by medics and is to hopefully provide you with greater benefits)

Having said that I think the dependency on ADs is manifested when trying to come off them and you get withdrawal symptoms, which is why it is so important to come off them gradually. To be honest I don't think many GPs know much about mental health and even less about reducing ADs. I tried 3 times to come off the tryclic I was on for 14 years and each time i tried I had withdrawal symptoms and GPs just told me to go back on them and not "mess about" with the dose anymore. None of them mentioned withdrawal symptoms, they just said the depression had returned because the dose was being reduced.

I finally saw a psychologist who knew how to get me off them safely - it took 10 months and I was free of ADs for the first time for 14 years...........BUT 4 months later I had a 2nd severe episode of depression (and again inpatient on psych ward for 3 months) the consensus was that I had relapsed due to stopping the ADs after so many years. I wish a thousand times I had never come off them - I had no side effects (only an occasional dry mouth) and held down a responsible job for all those years, and now here I am with intermittent severe depression.

Sorry I am telling you stuff you may not not want to know but it might be helpful to you CG to know my back story.

Lucyellensmum95 Fri 22-Mar-13 19:48:03

Ah, ok Nana - to be fair, i suppose that was an assumption on my part. I do wonder if ADs are chosen depending on what the pharma companies are trying to sell at the time. I have only taken citalopram and recently diazepam (2mg is it worth it???) I too wonder if i just need to be on ADs permanently, however my DP is very anti - not becaue of the labido thing but just becaue i lose my spark. Id sooner lose my spark than throw myself under a train though.

Cairngorms Fri 22-Mar-13 19:50:00

I was pretty much psyched up to take them tonight, when DH asked about them. He said, rather crossly, that he was being supportive, and could I take them next week when it's holidays (I'd start Thursday evening). If he's happier with that, I'll run with that too.

Symptoms: It's the anxiety that's killing me at the moment, I think. I'm trembling pretty much all the time, can't think about anything other than all the things that could go wrong, and am finding it almost impossible to do my usual chores (the cooking / laundry etc) or my hobbies/exercise (because my brain gets stuck on the things I'm fretting about) or think (brain full of cotton wool and fog) or be organised. I'm not eating properly (which for me is a VERY worrying sign) and earlier this month had problems sleeping, but that's got better (sleep disrupted by children, but not by myself).

evansthebread Fri 22-Mar-13 20:01:01

My nephew played holy hell with my BIL for being on ADs. As a result he stopped taking them suddenly and became very ill.

No one knows how truly bad it can feel to suffer with depression unless they've been there. A holier-than-thou attitude from others is downright harmful. I should know as until I was attacked and suffered with PTSD which triggered anxiety and depression, I belonged to the "pull yourself together" brigade, too.

Without a doubt I would not be here without chemical help. You'd need a painkiller if you broke a bone, so if you can take a pill that helps with what's inside, why not take it. I know it's not ideal, especially over the long term, but please don't suffer when you don't need to.

Maybe you could try to explain that to DH?

As for the sex issue, many sexual health clinics have a counsellor. I believe they primarily help people who have found out they have HIV, but I was rec'd an absolutely wonderful lady after attending the family planning session at the local "clap clinic".

I'm nearly 50, have spoken to a private counsellor weekly for 4 years and had many CBT sessions from my local MH team. None of them have been as wonderful as the sexual health counsellor. She recognised that I have issues stemming back to my childhood and has drawn me out more in half a dozen sessions and helped me deal with the problems I've been having with my sex life than 15 years of "normal" counselling has.

I would highly recommend you pay a visit to your FPA or sex health clinic to see if you could have some sessions to help you deal with your libido problems. I hope you can open your husband's eyes to the potential damage he may be causing with his attitude, too.

Good luck.

orangeandlemons Fri 22-Mar-13 20:03:03

I only meant start them on a low dose to minimise side effects. After a week or so put them up to a full dose. I have had to do this with Ssri's to start them off. The full dose at once is too much for me.

Lucyellensmum95 Fri 22-Mar-13 20:03:59

Please take the tablets, they will take a few weeks to work and you really want to be side effect free by the time you have the holidays to deal with. I guess your DH is frustrated that he can't help you, but it doesn't matter how supportive he is, you are ill - unless he is a doctor or a drug he can't help you. Would he tell you not to take your insulin until next week if you were diabetic? of course he wouldn't - I am quite happy to talk to him by pm if he wants a perspective. Your anxiety sound severe and the drugs will help you - it is madness not to take them. Your DH can still help, he can still support you, in fact it is vital that he does so, but he cannot be your knight in shining armour and make this go away, he needs to drop the arrogance and accept medical help.

evansthebread Fri 22-Mar-13 20:09:54

PS Yeah, the anxiety has been pretty bad for me, too. It was there before I started taking Prozac, though, but I coped. I think it's just a case of you can be strong until a certain point and then - BANG -either the depression or anxiety will kick in.

I was given benzos to help with the anxiety (the only things that did). They also helped with sleep issues and we all know that a lack of sleep makes everything worse! I've had them withdrawn, though (and given hypnotics instead - equally as addictive so why not just leave me on stuff that actually worked!).

If you can tell yourself that the anxiety is a side effect that will dissipate as time goes on and you settle on ADs, I think that might help you. I lost weight and appetite with anxiety, too - previously unknown as depression had always made me eat fast, unhealthy food that sort of comforted me (I remember stuffing a half-defrosted pasty into my mouth whilst tears ran down my face. I wasn't hungry, I just needed "something").

Again, good luck.

Cairngorms Fri 22-Mar-13 20:35:35

I want the ADs to deal with the anxiety, not that the anxiety is a side effect of the ADs. I cannot, really cannot, become MORE anxious. I can cope with depression. I cannot cope with the ongoing anxiety.

Lucyellensmum95 Fri 22-Mar-13 20:43:48

I have been given diazepam alongside the citalopram to counter the side effects. To be honest though i can't say that they increase my anxiety and i didnt have any extra meds last time, just the citalopram. I found they made me agitated rather than anxious, so i find that my feet get fidgety etc. I was prescribed them for anxiety alone the first time.

Also, get some bach's rescue remedy, this really helped me and i had forgotten about it, am going to buy some tomorrow. Its herbal drops and perfectly ok to take with SSRIs, however do NOT take St Johns wort as this interacts with SSRIs and increases the affects and you mustn't take them together.

TheSilveryPussycat Fri 22-Mar-13 21:21:03

I agree that you should start taking them as soon as possible. You have been advised so to do by your GP, who you consulted about your mental health. Even if we are depressed, it is up to us to manage our own mental health, albeit with the support of others.

NanaNina Fri 22-Mar-13 21:49:01

Lucyellensmum the NICE guidelines are for GPs to prescribe citalopram or another SSRI. I don't think it's to do with money (unusually) as I think ADs are relatively cheap. SSRIs are thought to have fewer side effects and are not fatal in overdose so I think that's the reason they are prescribed. I was "written up" for diazepam too (2mg) x 3 per day, by the conslt psych when in hospital. Like you I don't know if they are any use. I take them on bad days, and I think the one I take at night helps me to sleep. 2mg is a very low dose.

Some years ago there was a big huhaa about GPs dishing out major tranqs (diazepam - trade name Valium) mainly to women and the tranqs made them less anxious but I think that is evidence of addiction in that they craved more and more, and GPs were just doubling and trebling doses and women were becoming "zombies" - the GPs had to stop prescribing major tranqs and some patients sued the NHS for "stolen years" when they were like zombies.

I am wondering if you are fully recovered as you have lost your spark, and it may be that your meds need "tweaking" - but I quite agree , loss of spark (whatever that means) is better than loss of you!

NanaNina Fri 22-Mar-13 22:34:36

CG it sounds like you have decided to go with your DH's preference, that you start next Thursday, so that's not that long away. Did you tell the GP about the anxiety. ADs are meant to cope with depression and anxiety, but if you told the GP he may have prescribed Prozac as they may have more of a sedative effect.

Re you present anxiety. I'm not too good on this as depression has always been far worse for me than anxiety but I do experience it in maybe a lesser form. I take the diazepam 2mg but I'm not sure it does any good. It's probably unlikely your GP would prescribe diazepam because of all the problems that I wrote about in the last post. Mine was prescribed by a psychiatrist.

I think you should try some breathing exercises for your anxiety. Lie on the bed and put your hands on your top tummy and breathe in through your nose to a count of 7 and then breathe slowly out to a count of ll. Feel your tummy rise and fall as you breathe. It doesn't matter about the numbers, just do what feels right for you. It just might help a bit.

What you are doing is catastrophising in thinking of all the things that can go wrong, and this has taken you over, which is very understandable. I don't know if you've ever heard of CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) but it might just help a bit. The theory is quite basic and acknowledges that when we are anxious we have ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) that pop up, and then your thoughts spiral down and down until your ANTS have taken over which is what is I think what is happening with you at the moment. The thing is you have to try to replace your negative thoughts with more balanced ones. My CPN (community psychiatric nurse) introduced me to this therapy and said that when my ANTs were getting out of control I had to write them down - all of them and then write a more balanced view of the ANTs. When you have written the ANTs you have to ask yourself "is this accurate" and it is usually NO and is it helpful and again the answer is NO. SO you are then meant to try to keep the more balanced thoughts in your head. MUCH easier said than done I know. I always found this CBT helpful when I am ok but not somuch when I am having crap days.

Sorry CG you can google CBT and get the info - much better than what I have been telling you. You need to cut yourself some slack and you can't expect to follow your usual chores washing/cooking etc and not exercising etc - you are ill - mentally ill. YOu wouldn't be expecting to carry on your usual routine if you had pneumonia would you.

Am feeling really sorry that you are having to cope with this awful anxiety but you will cope - the human mind and body are programmed to make us cope - you will feel shite but you will still be here tomorrow and the next day and keep going..........Am happy to hold your hand through the weekend and next week. I am going to Ireland on Sat next week though I shall be anxious next week as I always am before we go to Ireland in case I get a bout of bad days, as I cry a lot, very loud and long and worry like hell, as I am paranoid about anyone seeing me in a state, only my DP and close friends. SO I will be doing deep breathing..........

All for now Love NNx

Cairngorms Sat 23-Mar-13 08:50:55

I am too tired at the moment to add much now, but I wanted to say thank you so much and that I will be back.
I am definitely catastrophising - mostly focused on regret about a recent decision where I feel we made the wrong choice. I have done quite a but of CBT focused on a number of areas, but not explicitly this sort of anxiety / regret. As I said in the OP, we've had a lot of life changes / stresses / decisions this year.
The usual chores still need to happen, though I am cutting corners where possible.

Queenofknickers Sat 23-Mar-13 12:56:00

Just to say thinking of you xxx

I have diazepam too but again from a psychiatrist. A weekend out of hours GP might give you a limited supply to take until you start your ADs if desperate.

Breathing exercises from Nana are excellent idea also tips on

Talk to yourself kindly, in terms of regrets I have found it helpful to repeat "I did the best I could at the time"

If you get chance then I can't recommend enough anything by Dr Claire Weeks - especially her audiobook - I will see if I can dig out my copy and summarise her guide to dealing with anxiety.

Much love to you x

NanaNina Sat 23-Mar-13 13:44:27

Me too thinking of you CG and glad to hear you are cutting corners. Something tells me you might be a perfectionist, when everything has to be done and done well......sorry if I'm wrong - I'm not a mind reader!

Don't worry about posting or not - just do what feels right - we will still be here for you x

Cairngorms Sat 23-Mar-13 19:37:20

Thank you so much for ongoing good wishes. I've had a pleasant, lazy day, have eaten, slept ok-ish and am feeling more relaxed than for a long time. Just having the meds in the drawer is calming, as an action in the right direction. I'm anxious about side-effects and will wait till the holidays. I am really hung up on the decision I'm regretting, and that's the focus of a lot of my anxiety and depression. I shall look out those Claire Weeks books, the breathing exercises and try the CBT for the ANTS - that is a very good reminder!
I treasure the goodwill of people out there. x

NanaNina Sun 24-Mar-13 00:22:19

Oh sooo glad things are easing a little for you CG but there will probably be fluctuations - it's the nature of the beast. Another thing that you could look into is mindfulness with is at it's most basic about "staying in the moment" not thinking of the past or future. I have a friend who swears by it for depression, and she has suffered a fair bit over the years. She is also learning meditation and is finding that really beneficial. You can google mindfulness and get lots of info and I know there are courses that you can attend, and an internet programme. I keep thinking I should look into this but when I'm feeling crap I haven't the motivation and when I'm okI don't think about it!

In a way I think it's good that you know the origin of your depression and anxiety, though you did say in your OP that you had bouts of depression and anxiety over the years but had not taken meds. Do you think it might help to discuss this issue that is beating down on you so badly, with a therapist. As I'm sure you know there are no magic bullets (if only) but it just might help you. ADs can alleviate symptoms but can't of course deal with the underlying cause of the depression.

I think the GP can refer you to a CBT therapist and you usually get 6 sessions on the NHS but there is often a waiting list. As you probably know CBT is about the "here and now" and that may be just what you need. However if CBT is not the right therapy for you, the GP might be able to refer you to a therapist on the NHS who has different orientations other than CBT. I had 20 sessions with a psycho-dynamic therapist on the NHS but I think that was because I had been an inpatient. Worth asking though.

Don't know if you can afford to go private - they are usually around £50 per hour dependent on where you live. IF you think this is for you, make sure you look on the BACP (British Assoc of Counsellors & Therapists) website as they are all registered therapists and counsellors.

Ah well 15 mins past midnight so better be thinking about bed. I'm a bit of an owl and hate the mornings.

Finally have you tried writing things down that are swirling around your head - I have always found it useful to get things out of my head and onto paper and I keep a journal and record (and score) every day and it makes me feel a bit more in control, and it's very useful to look back and see how I coped with the bad days. This may not feel right for you, as we are all different, but it might be worth a try.

This is really finally, the more I think about it the more I think maybe therapy is the way forward as you know what is at the route of your illness and many of us don't. Whatever this thing is that you regret so much needs to see the light of day and even by bringing it into the open with someone you trust and with whom you feel safe, will reduce the power it has over you at present, and is dragging you down into depression. Have a think about it CG sorry I have gone on so long.

Take care and sending good wishes x

Cairngorms Sun 24-Mar-13 09:13:10

NN I've just finished a seven week set of CBT sessions on the NHS, focussing on self-esteem (based on my negative 'core beleifs'), which was really helpful. It was towards the end of these sessions that I made the poor decision, and so I didn't explore it with the therapist. I don't think I have access to more NHS therapy and I'm not sure we can pay for private therapy.
While I know what I'm fretting / ruminating / anxious about, I think I'm displacing a lot of anxiety (we have a log going on, and have had a horrible year) onto one thing, and it's the thing that's taking my focus rather than an actual problem.

I have had quite a bunch of therapy through the years, and have benefitted from it. I think you are right that I should address this specific issue, either with a therapist or using the techniques myself. I am (irrationally?) afraid if I do so that I will feel worse about it.

I just want to feel happy and stable. I'm not sure I've ever managed that, but the techniques from CBT a few years ago and the self-esteem stuff more recently have helped me think that it might be possible.

You are right - I naturally have perfectionist tendencies - but I've overcome that after a year in which we barely managed to keep out heads above water. I suspect there are areas where I am being perfectionist and don't recognise it, but not much of our day to day life.

I have years (20+) of depression, and know I'm not through it completely yet, though it has been worse.
Thank you so much for your support, and my best wishes to you. Xx

Cairngorms Sun 24-Mar-13 09:16:57

I also wanted to add, I'm still concerned about libido reduction, which I see another thread here focussing on. DH might be in the wrong, but regular sex is a really big deal for him, and he will become quite grouchy otherwise.

Cairngorms Sun 24-Mar-13 11:48:21

It's being a bad day, emotionally / mentally, and I'm not sure how to deal with that. I am full of regret and anxiety.

Cairngorms Sun 24-Mar-13 12:50:47

I've been back through this thread, and am trying to summarise the advice I've been given.

Get and take SSRI meds (fluffyanimal and others) but possibly try a different SSRI (various).
(orangesandlemons suggested a tricyclic, due to reduced start-up side effects and reduced libido impact, but ?? suggested they have greater dependancy impact and possibly greater long-term side effects).

DH should be kind and put up with the reduced sex-drive (fluffyanimal and others). I could try a FPA or sexual health clinic to see if there's availability for a sexual health councillor (*evansthebread*) which is a really interesting and hopefully useful idea.

Counselling (Lucyellensmama95, NanaNina and others).
- I should apply the CBT techniques I've been taught to deal with the ANTS.
- I've exhausted the NHS CBT offering, but should consider private counselling (find via BACP).
- QueenofKnickers suggested a couple of free online CBT websites, thank you.
- NanaNina recommended breathing exercises to deal with anxiety / panic, and mindfulness, QoK recommended and an audiobook by Dr Claire Weeks, and elsewhere I've been suggested hypnotherapy book / CD.
- NanaNina recommended writing things down.

I think that summarises all your advice. There's a lot of ideas here, and I need to work out what's right for me, what's possible and what to do.

Most of all, I'm stunned by all the kindness and care, it's an honour - thank you all!

Lucyellensmum95 Sun 24-Mar-13 14:05:04

A thought re the labido - i am finding a reduced ability to orgasm (sorry TMI) on citalopram, and maybe reduced sensation but i can't say the desire is less. I think there is nothing worse than anxiety actually to reduce labido so for me i don't really notice a difference. I do think that regular sex is important for BOTH partners though, why do you say that it is an issue for DH and not you? I find that im grumpier when we haven't had sex - DP, i dont know but it did make a comment to me about "oh thats our sex life out the window again" when i went back on the medication - i shut him up with "what do you want, me dead or horny?"

NanaNina Sun 24-Mar-13 15:00:33

Hello CG the sentence that stood out for me in your recent post was "while I know what I'm fretting/ruminating/anxious about I think I am displacing a lot of anxiety (we have a lot going on and have had a horrible year) onto one thing and it's the thing that is taking my focus, rather than an actual problem."

I keep re-reading this sentence but can't really fathom what you mean. Would you be able to explain a little more.

There is certainly nothing wrong with your organisational skills or concentration, as you have summarised all the advice you have been given.

When you say you have had depression for 20 yrs + and when people say this I am always puzzled - do you mean on and off for 20 years, episodes of depression, or low lying chronic depression. I think you said you'd never taken ADs - is that right.

Sorry you are having a crap day, but I really think you nust talk to someone about this "thing" that seems to be at the front of your mind all the time and maybe your depression is due to a culmination of bad things happening, but you have for some reason displaced everything on to this one thing. AH is that what you meant by your sentence that puzzled me.

Do you have anyone in RL in whom you can confide? Best choice is a therapist though as it needs to be someone outside of your situation - I think there might be some voluntary charities like Relate and Cruise that just ask for a small financial contribution. Not sure but you could google.

Still here for you and yes MN has ot me through many a dark hour I can tell you - I think the milk of human kindness flows free on the MH threads! x

Cairngorms Sun 24-Mar-13 15:14:56

Hi NanaNina
We have had a year with a lot of major changes and decisions, some of which are not yet resolved and some of which are not in our control. There is amongst all these things ONE decision that is standing out to me as the one that is causing me a lot of worry. I don't think it's the most significant and either option (let's call them outcomes A and B) is fine, though one outcome might be better than the other (don't know which though!). A month ago we solidified this decision as A (having previously tried out option B), and since then it has been causing me a lot of distress. I don't know whether I'm really distressed at that specific decision, or overwhelmed with all the changes and dumping all those feelings onto that one decision.

I have struggled with organisation and concentration for most of the past six or more months, but now I've slept for three days, and am much, much clearer than I have been for months, hence I could write the summary post. The feeling of relief when I can think compared to the muddle headed overwhelmed feeling is huge. I feel that had I been rested and clear when we finalised the worrying decision I'd have seen some other issues and made the other choice.

I've had low level depression since a teenager, with worse phases (I've been prescribed ADs four times before but not taken them till last summer, and had several sets of CBT and other therapy) and better phases where things have been reasonably ok.

Lucyellensmum95 If I don't want to have sex (while on ADs) I don't miss it, but DH does, which is why it's a problem for him. His grumpiness is then a problem for me.

Thank you for that milk of human kindness!

Cairngorms Sun 24-Mar-13 16:21:28

Unrelated: Peeled myself out of bed to begin to sort through a pile of their clutter my parents have passed on to me. 50 mins and you can't really tell I even started, though half of it is now in piles and some of it in a bin bag. I'm calling it an achievement.

Cairngorms Mon 25-Mar-13 12:28:36

Have taken it (DH said he wouldn't travel this week, and I need to concentrate on getting well).
Am worried about side effects.
Am sad.

Lucyellensmum95 Mon 25-Mar-13 12:44:10

This is good news - can you keep busy? I am two weeks in now and I am starting to feel better, more like i can manage the world. I have noticed a bit of difficulty acheiving orgasm but i only have an orgasm when i do it myself anyway blush don't tell my dp that though! wink I still feel like having sex because i find i need the intimacy. Sometimes i have sex with DP even if i don't feel especially horny, this sort of sex tends to be over quickly anyway, and not altogether unpleasant, i enjoy it but just don't get off - if that makes sense. As for other side effects, the only time i have felt anything really was when combining with diazepam and then i felt very disconnected from things. I didn't like that. I was worried if i was doing the right thing, so was my DP - i now realise I have so done the right thing by taking the pills. They don't work miracles, my life is still a crock of shit just now - but i now am STARTING to feel like I can make the changes i need. I didn't get any of the light headed sicky feeing i got last time so that was good, saying that, that only lasted a few days.

Do keep posting, we are all here to help.

Good that your DH has taken week to be at home - Im looking forward to the holidays and you will be side effect free by then, so you can enjoy them too xx

Queenofknickers Mon 25-Mar-13 13:05:14

That is good news - and sounds like DP might be being more supportive? X

NanaNina Mon 25-Mar-13 17:40:31

Hi CG these options A and B you say either would be fine - yes? But you don't know which is the better option, but you have tried Option B and presumably that wasn't right, so you are now with Option A but that is worrying you - have I got that right now? It's horrible to have things hanging over you about which you have no control - very anxiety making.

I'm assuming that some of these changes are things that are quite high up on the list of "life Crises" - a bereavement, divorce, moving house, financial problems, redundancy, new job etc etc. It just sounds like you have had a really tough time and it still isn't all sorted and that is the root of this depression. Can I ask why you never took ADs before?

Oh YES amost forgot, well done for starting on the meds. Don't expect much to happen initially - they can take 2/3 weeks to "kick in" and I think you said you have a review appt booked.

Ah, you're last sentence "I am sad" touched me. Are you sad as in being depressed, or because you are taking meds, or just sad at all the shite you are going through, or maybe you're sad because you're sad!

Cairngorms Mon 25-Mar-13 18:21:47

We tried Option B, I thought Option A would be better, we went for Option A and now I regret that. It's a biggie.

We have several (not quite all) on the list of "Life Crises", together with some long-term stressful issues. Yes, we've had a really tough time - even tougher than we usually deal with. No, it's not all sorted, and somethings - like the Options A / B above - have ended up different to how I would choose if I could have a do-over.

I've always felt that ADs are not the solution for me - typically depression for me has been unfocused (for no clear reason) and I've used various therapy, exercise, and time to get through it. This time we have so many changes and decisions, and no time to get things right. I know it'll take a while for the ADs to kick in, but I've had about 6 weeks of being confused and upset, and I felt I needed to lift out of it in order to move on.

"I am sad" for all the reasons you gave. I'm not as "grey" as I have been when previously depressed, but I am completely torn apart by this faulty decision and exhausted by the rest of our circumstances.

Thank you for talking me through this all.

Yes, DH is being much more supportive. I'm agonising over the decision with him saying how stupid I am, and he's saying "no - you're not being stupid - you're being ill and we need to help you get better." smile

Cairngorms Mon 25-Mar-13 18:32:59

Actually, mostly I am sad with regret at the option A/B situation. sad

NanaNina Tue 26-Mar-13 01:31:19

Do you want to talk about these options - not prying at all but just wondered. Happy for you to PM me if you like and will not take offence at all if you want to keep these things off MN. I don't usually write posts like this, but I'm getting confused with the A/B and just thought it might help. I'm sure anyone else on the thread would be happy for you to PM them.

Cairngorms Tue 26-Mar-13 07:55:18

Disrupted night's sleep and feeling nauseous.
I might PM you later, NN, it's a done thing now and I have to settle down with the choice we made. Thank you for hand-holding. My CBT therapist was suggesting ADs to reduce the emotional affect of all the challenges we are dealing with. I avoided an avoided, but this latest decision has tipped me over the edge.

Queenofknickers Tue 26-Mar-13 12:25:57

Hi Cairngorms
Just popping in to offer a virtual hug xx

It's interesting what you said about not wanting to take ADs before because there didn't feel like there was an actual reason - I'd say two things, firstly depression is an illness that convinces us not to take help ( it's sneaky like that!), secondly lots of people need ADs because their brain chemistry not because of an event.

It's great that you can identify your feelings, even if they are painful ones, you sound like you have really good self-awareness.

Glad DP being more supportive - you are doing really, really well and I hope some part of you can feel that
Big hugs xxxx

NanaNina Tue 26-Mar-13 13:00:58

Hi CG - the nausea is probably a side effect of the meds, or it can be because of anxiety. Sleep problems are also a sympton of depression. Hope you are still taking the meds. You can't hope for any kind of benefit yet,it's way too early. Thing is the ADs hopefully will cope with the symptoms of depression so that you can maybe get some help with the underlying stuff. However I know you have had lots of therapy before but do you think there is any point in going down that route again. I think the big difference this time is that you are taking ADs and are going to continue taking them, and if they are not helping, another AD might help. I hope you will stay on this track.

I totally agree that depression is a sneaky even deceitful illnesses, and convinces us that nothing can help. In my case (and I think this is very common in depressive illness) I felt ashamed and guilty when the symptoms began and convinced that there should be something I should do to be able to get better. We don't feel like this with a physical illness. I think depression makes us think all sorts of things about ourselves that aren't true e.g. that people will be better off without us (when we are really crap - I have felt that so many times)

Re the chemical imbalance in the brain, I think this is a chicken and egg situation, because medics and psychologists are divided about this. Does an event trigger the chemical imbalance or is it the other way round? I have struggled to understand this but I don't think there is a definite answer.

All I am sure about is the depression and anxiety (in their severe form) are a torment, a total torment.

Cairngorms Tue 26-Mar-13 13:45:02

QoK thank you for popping by.
depression is an illness that convinces us not to take help ( it's sneaky like that!)
This is suck a good thought, thank you. I am utterly unconvinced that I can ever feel better and sure that I have ruined everything for ever. I am also sure that nothing can help and that I should be better without help. I also still feel that I don't know what to do about it. Onwards ....

NN thank you - the sleeplessness is an ongoing symptom, the nausea is a side-effect. I'm also eating very little at the moment, am very lethargic / finding it hard to do anything, and have ongoing trembles (symptoms - though maybe I'm just cold?). I'm trying to listen to people who say "keep taking the ADs" even though I really don't want to.
I did send you a PM, but I can't see it in my sent folder. Did you get it? I've not PMed on MN for a long, long time and may have messed it up.

I don't mind so much being tormented for my own sake, but I mind messing up my children's lives with my dodgy decision-making processes (<- catastrophising, I trust).

I shall be back when I've made myself take my tablet for today, and had some food ...

thank you xx

Cairngorms Tue 26-Mar-13 14:25:48

OK: have had 2nd day tablet (I don't want to be taking them), a hot lunch and lemon and ginger tea. Those of you lined up to be bossy / directive / arse-kicking for me, I've done it today (Tuesday).
I'm also in the crash part of not actually getting much else done. What would be considered essential and is it ok if I spend most of the time the kids are at school in bed reading? DH called and I told him I was shaking / shivering and he pointed out it is sub-zero and I can put the heating on. It hadn't even occurred to me! Heating now on. xx

Cairngorms Tue 26-Mar-13 14:27:53

And my very best wishes and thank you to sharing to Lucyellensmum too. I hope things are continuing to feel better and better for you xx

TheSilveryPussycat Tue 26-Mar-13 14:43:40

Cairngorms course it's alright to do minimum and read in bed - even sleep in bed. See vicar's thread with 'Andes' in the title.

NanaNina Tue 26-Mar-13 14:45:45

Glad you have taken the AD CG well you know why you don't want to take them - is it connected to the issue of feeling you should be able to do something to make yourself better, without taking ADs. If so this is just another sneaky message Mr D & A is telling you. He has to be a man!! OR is it because of your DH's attitude (which seems to be softening) or just a combination of these or other things.

I think it's really important that you understand and accept that this illness is deceitfull or sneaky and tells you stuff that is not true. I think that alone is very scarey. For me when I get the bad days it feels like I am a stranger in my own body and how scarey is that for god's sake. I go around wailing "This is not whom I am"

It is absolutely ok to spend th day in bed reading when the kids are at school or doing whatever else feels comforting. Bed is a good place for me - somehow I don't feel so much pain. I get under a fluffy mohair blanket so it's not like I'm *in bed but resting on the bed. A very wise woman psychiatrist told me when I had my first breakdown "don't do anything that is an ordeal" and I reckon she was on the money.

Glad you are feeling warmer.

I am going to meet my DGD from school soon and will be over with my son and dil and kids till later - back about 9 so will check in then.

Just remembered you said you were convinced you would never get better - that is also a very common symptom. 4 out of 5 people make a full recovery from depression in 4 - 6 months.

NO I didn't get a PM. What a shame. You just click on "message poster" on my name and a box will appear and you put my name in - besure to spellit right and then write your message -hope it wasn't a long one that you have lost. Hang on just going to check if what I have told you is right.

NanaNina Tue 26-Mar-13 14:51:09

No it's easier than that - click on message poster at the end of the blue line on one of my posts and a box will appear with both of our names and there is a box for "subject" and a box underneath to write your message. Only do the PM if that's what feels right, I'm not pressing you into it and as I said I would not normally say this, but I just somehow had an intuition that this might be what you needed to do and not necessarily to me.

I was a social worker and manager for 30 years for a LA though in Children's services and nothing to do with Adult services and mental health, although a lot children who were at risk of abuse or neglect had parents who were mentally ill, or had learning difficulties. I retired in 2009.

Cairngorms Tue 26-Mar-13 14:56:43

I've just done that TWICE and it's still disappearing.
I'll try by typing your name into the box...
Thank you for your support. I prioritise my energies into supporting the kids, and have family and DH who are also looking out for them. I can see how easy it is without close family to spiral into struggling to care for one's children.

Cairngorms Tue 26-Mar-13 15:06:58

SUCCESS with the pm smile

Cairngorms Tue 26-Mar-13 16:00:27

Oh, and a little about me: early 40s, married SAHM with three primary age children. I miss my old profession (for which I trained for a long time), but can't work due to SN / SEN of one of our children. DH works away a lot. Complex move this year, with some good and some poor decisions made. Feeling awful about the poor decisions. Overwhelmed.

NanaNina Wed 27-Mar-13 01:13:26

Have responded to your PM CG - what was your old profession?

Cairngorms Wed 27-Mar-13 09:27:04

Hi, me again, didn't sleep well last night and feeling nauseous (like morning sickness as someone said, no worse yet- it comes and goes). I've been taking the tablets at lunchtime. Still eaten by regret for a decision and stress at life in general. Still overwhelmed and sad. Cold and shaky, but have kept the heating on today. Finding it hard to get anything done (eating, washing up, shower ... ). What on earth has happened to my get-up-and-go? I don't feel like ME. sad

NanaNina Wed 27-Mar-13 12:53:34

Hello you! You know yourself that the nausea is a side effect of the meds - why not try taking them at bedtime and see if that helps with the nausea, which will be temporary. You don't feel like YOU because you are ill - you have a depressive illness and that's why you are feeling so bad. The shakiness could well be anxiety (which I'm sure you know is the medical name for fear) and you "can't get anything done" because when moderate/severe depression hits us we just want to withdraw from the world and stay under the duvet. There are so many MNs saying the same sorts of things and now you are on the other thread as well, you will see that you are not alone and will get good advice, and support.

I can't remember who said it but a poster on the other thread said "just do 1 thing" and that shows how others are feeling just as you are now. I have rad of mums with kids who get the kids to school and fly back under the duvet or lie on the sofa with a blanket over them. It's what depression does to us - it really is and only people who have experienced it can understand the torment.

Reading your PM I am totally amazed that you are still standing up, with all the life stresses that you are enduring. You have to try amongst all the awfulness of depression to hold on to the fact that you will get better but the best chance you have is to take the MEDS!!

Queenofknickers Wed 27-Mar-13 12:54:18

This will pass, I promise. Keep warm, do only what doesn't take energy from you ( like Nana I was once given that advice by a wise psychiatrist), talk kindly to yourself. A good book called The Joy of Burnout talks about "do only what needs doing for today, nothing more"

Regret is such a heavy burden to carry, especially alone. I know you said you had used all your NHS sessions but private sessions might not be impossible. Lots and lots of people who are training in counselling, CBT and psychotherapy are glad to see people for free, low price or whatever you can afford (most people go into the profession to help not get rich and have a sliding scale of charges) Also they only allow people far on in their training to do it, so basically as good as qualified. Is there a college near you - might be worth asking if they have any students looking for placements. If you are anywhere near where I live (Sussex/Kent) PM me as I know a lot of these people.
Love and warmth to you thanksthanksthanks

Cairngorms Wed 27-Mar-13 13:34:21

I know the nausea is a side-effect that will pass, and so far it's nothing like as bad as last time (possibly because I am eating a bit better than last time).
I am grateful to feel that I am reporting to people here: I have showered, had a large pot of vegetable daal, and taken today's tablet.
Next: cup of tea and washing up - I make my boys porridge for breakfast every day smile.

NN Reading your PM I am totally amazed that you are still standing up, with all the life stresses that you are enduring. A number of people have said similar one the past few months, and that helps me feel less incompetent for the fact that I'm not coping at the moment. I really, really appreciate hearing that sentiment, and extend it to be a compliment on how I do cope, much of the time. Thank you.

QoK that is such a good idea, and I might be able to find money for some private sessions - not sure whether CBT or something more like psychotherapy is the right move at the moment. I'm not near you, but thanks for the offer. "Find a therapist / counsellor" is something I should do, but each little step is overwhelming so it may take a while. I have a hideous back-log of things that really do need to be done, even if I drop every single thing that is non-essential. My last CBT therapist was brilliant, and I've seen a psychologist before that who was very, very insightful and helpful - asked great questions.

Now: brew :D

Cairngorms Wed 27-Mar-13 15:05:24

Eaten daal, toast and Nutella and a cup of tea. Emailed my sister. Taken the tablet. Listened to a CD. Need to wash up.
I really hope it'll pass as I am so fed up with feeling so crummy and overwhelmed with exhaustion and useless and sad. Need to listen to people saying to take care of myself and be kind and gentle.
Thank you x

Cairngorms Thu 28-Mar-13 07:34:42

Thursday: I am so very tired and have no energy, and I really don't feel that I can do the things I need to do today. It's my busiest day for a while, and I am overwhelmed with exhaustion.
Is taking the ADs making me feel so tired? I don't think I was this lethargic before. I need to keep taking them, don't I?

Queenofknickers Thu 28-Mar-13 10:31:38

You must, must keep taking them. It is far more likely to be anxiety and depression making you tired and lethargic - they are exhausting illness. Is there anything you can cancel/not do today? Imagine what arrangements you'd make if you'd broken your leg for example. Remember - "perfect"just has to feck off for now smile

Cairngorms Thu 28-Mar-13 11:53:15

'Perfect' fecked off a long, long time ago :D
I already ditch everything I possibly can.
I've got the children to school, and persuaded my mother to accompany me to a school event to stop me being quite so panicky / lonely about it.
I've had a little toast and spread - gone right off my food.
I should be doing the washing up.
Then a friend is fixing me lunch: I wonder how honest I can be, she knows I'm seriously down, but I hate to be a moaning whinger and I possibly am at the moment.

NanaNina Thu 28-Mar-13 13:40:58

YES YES and YES again CG you do have to keep taking the meds and as QofK says it is more likely to the depression that is making you so tired, and the fact that you have 3 children all of primary school age and a host of other things you are trying to do whilst having a very nasty illness.

Sounds like you've organised your day pretty well. I notice you mention quite a lot that you have gone off eating. I don't really think this is anything to worry about, as this is another symptom of depression and in severe cases some people stop drinking as well, which of course is a huge worry. Maybe it's more you just can't be bothered to get anything and need someone to prepare food for you. When my first severe depression was building up I could only eat 1 banana a day and 1 slice of toast.

Hmm not sure how honest you can be with a friend (but she's probably with you now) but I think if you feel you can trust your friend it would be ok to tell her how you are feeling. I think the other person's response inthe first few minutes of such a conversation are important. I am lucky enough to have 3 close women friends who all know my whole back story and have seen me in awful states. With others who I am friendly with they ask how I am and I ususally just say "oh up and down" but sometimes I say something abouthaving had a crap time and they say things like "Do you think it was because you had that bad cold" NO! or "Oh you need some sun to brighten you up" NO - mind we all need some sun at the moment. Worst of all is when you drop something out to someone you don't know that well and they say "Oh I was depressed a few weeks ago" and then go on to describe how they felt and it was just they felt fed up.......grrrrrrrr there should be another name for clinical depression.

OK CG am going to respond to your PM now

NanaNina Thu 28-Mar-13 13:42:24

Sorry to be so bossy, but to stop taking the meds now would be like wondering if you should try and break a few bits of the plaster cast around your leg when you fractured it in a fall.

NanaNina Thu 28-Mar-13 13:42:38

off not of

Cairngorms Thu 28-Mar-13 14:54:30

I appreciate the bossy; makes me feel worthwhile and cared for.
Taken the meds - I WILL stick with them. I was obviously depressed to my friend - I can't even pretend anymore - she was great.
I worry about the not-eating. Usually when I'm depressed, I overeat (in common with a lot of people, I guess). Last time I was significantly depressed, I had several weeks eating pretty much nothing. Maybe half a biscuit or one mushroom in a day. It worries me when I can't face food. I am working hard to make sure I eat a reasonable amount of healthy food, and I'm pretty sure I'm doing so, but I cannot eat at breakfast time, and I am making sure I have food around that I find very tempting. My friend was concerned about how little lunch I ate, but I did eat some.
I still need to wash up, then collect the children from school.

NanaNina Thu 28-Mar-13 20:39:49

Oooh glad I can be bossy!! I have remembered that I used to hate the feeling of not being hungry and had forgotten all about that. I think you are absolutely on the right track, little and often, and tempting little snacks of healthy food. Sounds a good plan.

So gad your friend was understanding.

I am going to Ireland to see my son, dil and grandchildren for Easter so will not be around for a week but will be thinking of you. Love NNx

TheSilveryPussycat Thu 28-Mar-13 23:28:27

...and I have just got back from Ireland smile I notice you make your DC porridge - do you eat some yourself <stern look>? <rereads posts, sees you don't) There is lovely Irish porridge oats available - I had some only the other day, and you can now get them in England. And strangely if I make myself eat one spoonful of porridge, I find I feel like eating more of it, even if I didn't think I could eat anything.

Another one glad you're sticking to the meds brew

Cairngorms Fri 29-Mar-13 08:35:26

Friday morning: another problem with one of the children came up last night, which adds to the list of concerns and regrets. TheSilveryPussycat I'm not sure I could possibly face porridge - the mornings are my most tricky time for eating.

I am pleased that I'm sticking with the meds, and hope they help me feel better soon. I am exhausted and very anxious. So exhausted that I find it very hard to do anything. I had a busy day yesterday plus the added worries, and I think that's making it hard for me to be active today, but there's stuff I need to do. The instructions to be gentle with myself are really helpful. I hope I can find help from family today, or I will really struggle.

NN hope you have a lovely trip to Ireland visiting your family.
Thank you all on this thread for your support. I really, really do appreciate it.

Queenofknickers Fri 29-Mar-13 16:50:37

Hello Cairngorms how are you doing this afternoon? I struggle with eating too so I sympathise. Sometimes a banana can make me feel bit better. You are doing SO well and every day is a step closer to feeling better.
Sending you big hugs smile

Cairngorms Fri 29-Mar-13 17:21:52

Thank you so much for asking.
I did the stuff I needed to, and more. It took a very long time to get going this morning, and I asked a family member to come and help with the chores, but I've got everything done and am feeling more optimistic.
Haven't showered yet, but I'm pretty sure I'll be able to.
And I've eaten OK (all after midday, but plenty).
Hugs to you too. How are you doing? smile

NanaNina Fri 29-Mar-13 19:06:42

Last minute post here cairns (sounds moe friendly than*CG*) so glad that you are feeling more optimistic. It's awful when you feel crap in the morning and the day is looming over you isn't it. Mornings are always worse for me and on bad days I quite often improve as the day goes by. Glad you're eating too.
A cautious Happy Easter to you and just think this time next year you will be looking back and thinking how you are back to your old self ............well you will be better before then but you know what I mean.
BUT before I go - yet another reminder - Take Meds every day!!!

Queenofknickers Sat 30-Mar-13 22:41:22

Hello just popping in to ask how you're doing and to offer to be bossy about meds if you need me to!
Big hugs x

Cairngorms Sun 31-Mar-13 10:09:35

Hi - I'm doing OK-ish ... very, very tired. We've gone away for a few days holiday, and it's nice to be away. Though no time to write much.
I'm sticking with the meds, though I do feel very ambiguous about them.

Queenofknickers Sun 31-Mar-13 20:43:55

Glad you still taking the meds - it is the right thing to do and very soon you will be feeling better. Hope you're having a nice break - don't forget to be taking care of yourself though. Big hugs winewine

Cairngorms Fri 05-Apr-13 15:34:55

Just calling back in to say I'm still around occasionally, feeling a lot better in my head but still overwhelmed / swamped by life circumstances. Not sure how to make the life-situation better.

Thank you all for the support and hand-holding.

TheSilveryPussycat Fri 05-Apr-13 16:32:31

Glad to hear your head feels better Cairngorms. I would say tackle only one thing at a time - we are so desperate to be free in one bound but it doesn't work like that.

Sounds like your days away did you good smile

Cairngorms Sun 07-Apr-13 09:59:29

I hate regrets. Rumination and pain is eating me up. I don't know how to get away from it. So very sad.

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