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To be terrified of antidepressants (Long)

(22 Posts)
Tombliblues Tue 03-Jan-17 01:30:22

Have namechanged, although regular reader more than poster, taking no chances!

I have come to the conclusion that I might have mild depression, perhaps a side order of anxiety to spice it all up too. I have no joy or zest for anything, everything that comes out my mouth seems to be negative. I'm frequently angry, and pissed off at minor things. I try to think about things I enjoy doing, or what I might have a passion for, and am stumped.
My mind feels blurry much of the time, my memory is getting steadily worse, I can't seem to think straight but can't switch my mind off either. I can't get my shit together around the house and just think 'fuck it' to all the mind-numbing same chores I do day in day out. I was previously super-organised and quite an on-to-it person. Am 40.
I'm constantly tired, I usually sleep a full night from 11ish to 7 (I know, lucky me, right?!) and still start dragging down by 3pm, falling asleep if I sit down. I usually nap after tea for an hour while DP sorts DD for bed, then I can get on with the evening chores with a bit more energy.
I've also spent the last 2 years shedding the excess baby weight, so am reasonably fit, I jog 2-3 times a week (I also wanted to see if this would lift mood as I had read, but inconclusive - I feel worse if I don't run though) and swim 5km a week. If I pick up a cold or illness, which is rare, I usually shake it quite quickly, so I can't be that 'run down'. initially I thought that if I could maintain this amount of exercise regularly, I couldn't be depressed either, because I should be sitting on the couch catatonic or something.
Mood's worse around AF, like really REALLY angry, and I just try and avoid everyone and everything when I know this is coming up. Not practical I know.

My resolution for 2017 is to get myself to the GP in the next month or two and I have a inkling that I might end up on AD's, but I am very worried about these drugs from things I have read/heard, such as side effects/finding the right AD as I understand this can be a bit trial and error/being stuck on them for life/being able to come off them. I also intend to ask for general bloods to rule out thyroid issues (in the family) and anaemia, and am open to the possibility this could be something other than depression, but realistically . . . I think it is
My motivation is that I don't want DD to grow up with this poor excuse for a mother thinking this is normal behaviour. Its not. I recognise this. I am so scared I am damaging her and her childhood irreparably just by being me, she shouldn't be seeing me crying my eyes out for no reason, she shouldn't be dealing with me screaming at her

For context, and so as not to dripfeed, I have been SAHP for nearly 4 years to Miss 3.5, my DP is generally quite helpful around the house on weekends to pick up with what I can't do in the week, great with DD and supportive of me having time out on my own. I wouldn't say our relationship is amazing, I feel quite disconnected and we don't often even chat (DD gets in our faces when we do) but I couldn't say if this is part of 'us' or results of my frame of mind. I haven't really talked to him about this, as I just don't know where to start, and I feel he would not be emotionally removed from the situation so as to be supportive enough. If that makes sense. I'm rubbish at making friends and am quite isolated since we moved here 2 years ago, although I have made the effort to join local things and be involved with preschooler things. Initially when she was born I forced myself to join playgroups and events as I didn't want to be that isolated SAHM, but seemed to have ended up there anyway. I can't see why anyone would want to spend much time with such a debbie downer anyway so unsurprising result I guess. I did try to talk to a friend a few months back when I was feeling low, and she pretty much said I was bringing her down so she had to leave. I still attend one of the playgroups but don't really enjoy it, although I know I really should get out and talk to people more, all the child-talking drives me nuts after a while, we're constantly being interrupted or having to intervene with the children, and I feel too thick in the mind to contribute to anything more 'thinky'.
I read here about people not actually being depressed but just lonely, and questioned if this was the case for me. I don't know for sure, but I do know I've usually been quite happy with my own company, but now I don't even feel 'happy' there. I recognise that things have been spiralling down for some years now but I always had an excuse (multiple miscarriages, failed fertility treatments, sleep deprivation, etc etc) now its like 'there's no excuse'. On paper, life's pretty good.
We have no family nearby, so are reliant on friends travelling to babysit for us, but saying that, we rarely go out as the current single wage just doesn't stretch that far. I have a temporary work contract starting in the new year, which is also why I am a bit hesitant to start a course of mood altering drugs, but also keen too, as customer service will be part of the role and right now, I don't think I will be too hot at that.

I know I've written more about me than the AD worries, but don't want to dripfeed. Dunno what I'm asking really, more just your AD thoughts and pointers? I know there's counselling/CBT, but really can't afford it on current income, and likely not with 2nd p/t wage - we just about scrape by. (I'm not in the UK). If GP refers for free sessions, I will take them! Please be kind, I know this is AIBU but figured I might get more traffic in here.

Kateallison16 Tue 03-Jan-17 01:35:25

AD are not to be feared. They will help keep you level headed and there will be a time you are very glad you have them. Not everyone gets side effects and even if you do chances are they would take be serious.
That rain cloud that hovers over you will dissappear. You will think clearly and things won't feel so muddled in your head.

It could be the best thing you do this year.

Kateallison16 Tue 03-Jan-17 01:37:38

I know the initial appointment with GPS can be off putting and you have doubts... ironically that's probably the depression. Just push through and go. Nobody will judge you. Good luck op.

twattymctwatterson Tue 03-Jan-17 02:09:54

AD's saved my life absolutely no doubt. You might feel a bit weird with them for a couple of weeks- typically a bit spaced out, dry mouth, jittery or more anxious - but in general the symptoms are mild and you might not get any at all. I've been taking them since July and feel a lot better. If you feel you've been spiralling for a while I'd also ask about CBT but be prepared to wait cake stick in there OP and be kind to yourself

DailyFail1 Tue 03-Jan-17 02:17:50

There are different types of AD. I took a mild one and it didn't really impact my life other than lift me out of my usually really dark moods. They aren't even permanent - I was only on them for 8 months before GP said I didn't need them any more & we arranged a withdrawal plan. You need to see a doctor asap.

Imaginosity Tue 03-Jan-17 02:26:24

I felt exactly like you a few months ago with some of the same worries. I'm on anti-D's now and it's great to finally feel 'normal'. I no longer worry excessively or wake up in the morning with a feeling of dread. The best thing is that I enjoy the simple little things in life that I used to see other people enjoying - like going out for a cup of coffee. I used to always feel on edge - when I breathed in I had a feeling of tense panic. I was more irritable before with my children. I'm not 100% perfect happy all the time now - that wouldn't be normal - but I feel I'm operating off the same basis as everyone else is now.

I was worried that by taking them I was taking the easy way out and not addressing why I was anxious by doing something like cog arrive behavioural therapy. For me though the medication alone has got rid of the anxiety but other people might need another approach like couselling.

I think it would be a shame if you didn't give them a chance. I don't share your worry about going on anti-d's. I think many of these medications have been around long enough and used by a lot of people and shown to be beneficial when needed. I don't know if I'll be on these for life but it doesn't bother me one bit if I am as I would prefer to live my life this way that the old way.

AverageJosephine Tue 03-Jan-17 02:29:51

This is a very important and useful thread. Would love to hear more people's experiences good and bad. I think my DH needs some help with his depression but am terrified to (gently) force him in the direction of the GP and ultimately ADs as I'm afraid of the side affects. So these stories help give me a bit more confidence.

dovesong Tue 03-Jan-17 02:34:40

I thank god every day that I went on ADs. I personally haven't experienced many side effects - bit dozy for the first two days but that was it. It feels like a miracle, like I've got myself back. I hope things improve for you soon, OP - but don't be scared of the ADs.

DeleteOrDecay Tue 03-Jan-17 02:39:22

Op you sound almost exactly like me with the symptoms you describe. One of my New Years resolutions is to also get myself to the GP but I find the prospect utterly terrifying and I keep putting it off although I'm not sure how much longer I can keep doing that for as I have gotten worse over the past few months it seemssad

You mentioned being on AD's for life, well firstly: that may not be the case. Secondly m: even if you are on them 'for life' there's no shame in that. Lots of illnesses require lifetime medication, and it's a million times better than having to muddle through the rest of your life with an untreated mental illness.

I hope you manage to get the help you need op. I have read that AD's can take up to a month to take effect, and sometimes you don't always find the right ones first time round but once you do they can be life changing. Best of luckflowers

SparkyStar84 Tue 03-Jan-17 02:57:49

I think you're being really hard on yourself, one thing that can affect our moods is expectations, especially if they're not met.

You do sound like you're some what isolated, one would hope, when you start your new job you get chance to socialise more and in customer services speak to a variety of people, which should hopefully, boost your confidence and self esteem a bit.

You'd be surprised how many people share your feelings, some get help, others dont. The first step as someone might have mentioned, is a questionnaire about how you feel, how motivated you are getting daily basics done, if you've thought about self harm etc.

Depending on your score the Dr's have many treatments at hand. They usually like to offer CBT but that comes with a waiting list. They may or may not suggest anti depressants. Maybe something like amitriptyline to make sure you get a restful sleep.

I should add a common thing I hear with anti depressants is the person doesn't feel like themselves and feels numb / disassociated if that makes sense. So it is worth really considering if you want to take them or not, as hopefully the new job will help.

Things with DP sound rough, this is probably adding to the way you feel. As adults you should be able to talk about this kind of thing. Hopefully with the aim of rectifying any issues. Couples counselling might help, so in an external place you discuss with each other concerns, how you're made to feel, how you want things to work, but more effort is needed so you're not solely parents.

You could do date night at home, phones out of reach, nice meal, wine, a joint favourite CD. Then after watching a movie you both choose, or a TV programme, again still no phones. Having time just cuddled up on the sofa.

In the warmer weather you could aim for more trips out. The best thing we have, the countryside is totally free. Or a day at a beach on ash my day, children only needing a bucket and spade. You yourself know of any mutual interests, so talk about those. Or if you struggle in that area, look up something DP likes and talk about it, he'll most likely be happy you made the effort.

Open communication is key, the better your communication is, the closer you'll hopefully bond.

I'm fairly new here so don't know if you can DM. But feel free to if you can, I think having someone who will listen will be a big weight off your shoulders.

Wishing you all the best.

Tombliblues Tue 07-Feb-17 07:44:37

I kept meaning to come back to this thread and not do a 'disappearing OP' thing, because I wanted to say thank you properly to everyone who responded. I felt really supported here.

I went and sorted out appointment with the GP - had to find a new one as my last one left a year ago; that's how often I go to the GP! - and my new GP was lovely and seemed to 'get it'. She suggested moderate to severe depression, which sounded a lot more than I expected (although the online questionnaires for depression and anxiety I did after posting here also indicated similar).
She prescribed my citalopram, started on 10mg for a week and now up to 20mg. To be honest I don't feel much different mood-wise. I definitely felt something with the first week - insomniac, very wired, clenchy jaw, dry mouth, weird thoughts, but now, I don't know if its actually doing anything. I'm more anxious than I was before, play groups and being around other people is freaking me out a bit, but I reckon I can mask it for a bit, if it comes right. I had another crying jag 3 days ago, and generally just feel flat and joyless still. Yay. Exercise has become that much harder too and my thoughts feel weird, like I can't quite catch the tail of what I was thinking about. Hard to explain properly.
I have a horrible feeling that I don't actually have anything chemically wrong, but have just grown into a Victor Meldrew legacy. If AD's don't touch it . . . then what?
I know these things can take a few weeks to fully take effect, and I saw the GP last week (2 weeks into the AD's) who has given me another 6 weeks prescription then I will see her again. She did mention the counselling that is attached to that particular GP surgery, but given my current juggling act with new job, I think it will just be a scheduling nightmare. I don't actually know what sitting and talking will do about anything, I'm not much of a talker anyway, but express better with writing, as you can tell from this woffle, so I do that to let thoughts out.

Anyway, thats where things are at. Thank you all so much for the encouragement to get my arse moving, I really appreciated all of the replies here, sorry I haven't responded to anyone individually

user1471462115 Tue 07-Feb-17 08:10:48

I would also suggest a multi vit or get Vitamin D, the symptoms of deficiency are similar.....

And are you eating enough ? As mild starvation causes anxiety and depression. You should never eat less than you need for activity plus BMR minus 600 kcal .

Use myfitnesspal to work this out. You MUST eat your exercise calories

Kleinzeit Tue 07-Feb-17 08:47:41

I read the top of this thread and my first thought was that yes you sounded pretty depressed. My second thought was that you would probably benefit from some talk therapy with or without drugs. And I still think that. The thing is that you are aware of some underlying reasons to feel depressed. Talk therapy would help you understand and manage those feelings so they don't trigger the depression.

So if you can find a way, do try to put a high priority on going to counselling or therapy. Can your husband help with the juggling? You are ill, you have been diagnosed with quite bad depression. Medication and therapy do work better together than either one alone. flowers

Mari50 Tue 07-Feb-17 09:37:07

You sound very like me, I have dysthymia, which is low grade chronic depression.
Please try antidepressants, they do make a huge difference. I felt much better on them, my mood was lighter, I wasn't angry, I didn't snap quickly etc etc. Unfortunately I did get side effects which hav meant I had to stop but if I could've taken sertraline for the rest of my life I would have (the other ad's I've tried either don't work or give me the same intolerable side effects but I think I'm the exception )

boolifooli Tue 07-Feb-17 09:48:05

Nothing to fear. You would start on a low dose and most people achieve the needed benefit on that. I've never felt spaced out on them. I have anxiety ishoos and they really help. The times I have had a bad stretch and been depressed they have helped too, again, by alleviating the anxiety which is always at the route of my depressive episodes. They're no more to fear than aspirin imho.

boolifooli Tue 07-Feb-17 09:49:51

Oops sorry op. Didn't rtft.

boolifooli Tue 07-Feb-17 09:52:28

Hmm. I wonder how long they like you to try an ad before switching. I think Victor Meldrew could have done with seeing his GP ;)

Mari50 Tue 07-Feb-17 09:56:15

I found citalopram took longer to kick in when I took it and I definitely needed the 20mg rather than 10mg. If you don't notice a lot of difference don't be afraid to speak to your gp. I felt best on sertraline, citalopram was a reasonable second but I got nothing from fluoxetine so there are differences. Good luck

SpackenDeDoich Tue 07-Feb-17 09:57:10

I hope getting all that out was a release. You are describing me a couple of years ago. I was eventually diagnosed as peri menopausal.
I did and am taking 60mg of fluoxietine daily. Some days are still a struggle but I have no doubt I would be dead without my medication.
If you had a broken leg you wouldn't refuse to wear a cast. Same thing.

DJBaggySmalls Tue 07-Feb-17 09:59:05

YANBU to be worried about taking them. Do it anyway. I had to try 3 different types and several doses before I got the right one.
They wont make things worse. Once you get the right one, you wont believe how much they help.

Tombliblues Thu 09-Feb-17 09:06:38

I eat plenty, thanks :-) a bit too well. Heaps of veges, fruit, grains, fats etc, and try to not eat too much sugary stuff (my total weakness) but don't beat myself up too much when I do. I did mfp a year ago when I did a weight loss challenge and it was really eye-opening. I've tried to maintain the food balance stuff, but I don't track my eating, nor weigh myself regularly, as I don't want to get all obsessive about it. So I just focus on exercise/fitness levels.
I've had a berocca today too, although have got a bit slack at taking multi vits again. Am taking iron tablets as stores are chronically low. I looked up the vit d stuff but don't feel that resonates - I do get out in sun and not-sun, and eat HEAPS of eggs, milk etc.

DH is already helping with the juggling as he's cut his hours to look after DD and do pick ups etc while I work. Its currently very very close to the bone. The only way I see I could do counselling would be if they offered evenings on select evenings (as he also has things he does on weeknights) which would mean I lose my exercise/me-time, which I am very hesitant to do. It sounds ridiculous I know, but there are two evenings a week where I go and do an activity that just takes me away from everything going on, and I seriously think that doing this activity has helped me through the last few years.
My work role is likely to become more mobile and I should be able to work at home and be flexi around my hours once I get up and running properly, and get set up at home with remote working so maybe down the line I would potentially come back to counselling and juggle it around that. Right now I am preferring to be out the house away from all the chores and things that aren't getting done.
I was reading threads on here about counselling recently, and how they don't actually offer much advice or anything, other than just listening . . . that's really not appealing to me! I don't feel like I particularly need to voice the shitty thoughts and feelings I have, maybe thats 'wrong'; I can write them out, without censoring too, if its the 'getting it all out' thats important.
My GP also seemed to agree I didn't really need the counselling right now as she felt I had really good insight into what was going on, and that I am doing "all the right things" already.
I dunno. Part of me very much would like to shift my thinking and perspective, this has been an ongoing 'aim' for years - I don't think anyone nodding along and going mmhmmmn is going to do that for me!! - the other part is sort of in survival mode, now thinking 'get the pills, feel better, stop dropping all the balls THEN focus on the long term'.
I do feel quite spaced out though, there are things I need to REALLY overtax my brain to think through, and its scary how slow I am at thinking. Maybe its the pills, maybe not. Its been 2 weeks on the 20mg, so I reckon if I feel much the same in 3 weeks time, I will ask to try something else.

I did wonder about perimenopause, amongst a few other things. If we go by when my mum hit menopause, I still have about 5-6 years. Periods are very regular, no hot flushes. I talked to some menopausal friends a few months back and after that I didn't feel I was perimenopausal! I'm prepared for menopause to get really shit though (or is that just my negative thinking?!)

Its simultaneously reassuring and concerning how many people have been through this/can relate.
Thanks for your replies and support above.

yellowfrog Thu 09-Feb-17 10:26:00

Antidepressants can take a few weeks to work, so don't worry AT ALL if you don't feel better straight away. I would give it 6 to 8 weeks and see how you feel then. It might also be worth asking the GP for a blood text just to check you're not deficient in vitamins (B and D spring to mind). I wouldn't bother with multivitamins if you are eating a good diet, but I would make sure you are getting lots of Vitamin-rich foods - nuts, seeds, dark green leafy veg, marmite etc. If citalopram doesn't work you can aks the GP to switch you onto a different one. I find sertraline fab - not a side effect in sight for me smile

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