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trying to get through a depression without ADs

(17 Posts)
silveracorn Fri 12-Jun-15 14:06:43

Hi

Bit long, sorry but I'm desperate for some support and advice.

I'm pretty sure I'm dropping into another deep depression. I've been off ADS for about a year, having been on them for about six years continuously and on and off them prior to that for years.

Thing is, citalopram, which worked wonders at curing the depression, made me comatose. I slept all day and night, averaging 16-18 hours sleep every day, and put on two stone. In the past year I've lost half a stone and no longer sleep all the time (though I sleep a lot - it's a reaction to the depression.) But I can't stand the thought of going back to the fog that I had on ADs. I couldn't think straight. I walked at snail's pace.

Right now, the depression is paralysing me. I can't do anything. It's like there's a wall between me and any small thing I intend to do - even hovering the floor or reading a book, let alone big things like finishing my research project and publishing the findings.

I feel frozen and very sad, deeply anxious about life and have zero faith that I will ever regain confidence or energy.

There are some factors - in the past 12 months my dear MIL died, my mum was diagnosed with cancer, the stress made her dementia worse, my dad who has been physically and mentally nursed by my mum for 40 years now has to care for her, and he has type 1 diabetes, spinal problems and is a narcissist, so putting others first is genuinely confusing to him. DH is freelance and has very little work, so on top of the full time research I'm supposed to be doing (but don't because I'm too stressed) I also teach part time every day and take on small research projects that bring in some more money. My tutor refused to pass me for final submission for PhD, having passed years 1 and 2 without saying there were nay problems (but six months later, it's rubbish? Same project) My son was diagnosed with autism this year. My DH has Aspergers and his idea of being emotionally supportive when I'm in tears is to stand with his hands on his hips and shout 'I am supportive but you are difficult when you get like this.'

I feel very lonely. There's no one to talk to, no one to gain emotional support from. Certainly not DH. Even the uni counsellor is no help as I am a distance learner.

It would be great to try and get out of this depression without gaining another two stone or sleeping my life away. Does anyone know how? I don't dare sink much lower because my mum and dad rely on me a lot for help with hospital appointments, I can't cancel my teaching because we rely on the money. I don't know how to feel better without ADs which just drug me into a stupor.

Can anyone help?

ppeatfruit Fri 12-Jun-15 14:49:51

Firstly congratulations for beating the ADs.

Well too much (and in some cases any) wheat has been shown as affecting our mental and physical health. There's a book out called Grain Brain by a Doctor Perlmutter.

I remember an interesting telly programme about autism in which the mum said that her 3 autistic sons were soo much better without wheat in their diets.

DH and I don't eat it . We have pure rye bread (so not deprived of toast) and Kamut flour, I cook with rice flour and almond flour etc.

ppeatfruit Fri 12-Jun-15 14:53:55

I'm assuming you don't drink a lot of alcohol or smoke because both of these create depression.

momb Fri 12-Jun-15 15:35:08

OP: Have you spoken to the GP about other treatments than citalopram? Your life is so very full and if you are suffering with depression as well as coping with everything else it will be twice as hard and your depression will be exacerbated. There will be a treatment which works for you: get the GP to add you to all the lists for talking therapies and see how you go.

I'm not convinced that avoiding proven therapies and just avoiding wheat is going to make a significant difference to your mental health,

ppeatfruit Fri 12-Jun-15 15:59:01

Have you read the book I recommend momb? I think it would surprise you. It affects lots of people in many different ways. It makes dh manic and he knows it. There's too much of it around, it's addictive and all it does is make the farmers rich while making the population fat and ill, mentally and physically.

colouringinagain Fri 12-Jun-15 19:46:59

OP you sound like you've a huge amount going on and lots of tough stuff to deal with.

Sounds to me like it would be worth your going to chat with your GP. There are a number of ADs available, some are more sedating that others. If you can get on a waiting list for counselling then that would be a good idea - dealing with your dh's aspergers and ds's autism alone is very demanding, let alone with a history of depression.

ppeatfruit Fri 12-Jun-15 19:52:19

Erm the OP wants to try to kick the ADs ,I don't understand why it's fine to go around under the influence of drugs when you can just change some habits and your mindset and get on fine without giving the medics more work.

The docs are not necessarily knowledgeable either. Maybe group therapy would be more useful.

silveracorn Fri 12-Jun-15 20:49:56

thank you all. Funnily enough I've gone off bread recently. the thought of it makes me feel ill, but I do still eat pasta and other wheat products. Wouldn't mind giving it up. No I don't smoke and don't drink much. Happy to try leaving out wheat to see if it makes a difference.
I could ask GP for other meds but they are pretty clueless. They don't seem at all knowledgeable on mental health.

LD29 Fri 12-Jun-15 22:48:14

Hi, sorry u are feeling this way. For want of a better phrase, I broke down last Halloween. I'm typically anti medication, but when saw GP I was at the point where I needed something that would work. After trying citalopram, and it not suiting, I tried sertraline. I have my life back now. It took about 4 months of going up doses but I'm back to work, with a whole different outlook. I too, had a period of prolonged stress, which caused it, and made some lifestyle changes, to include running!!! My DH couldn't believe it when I told him. I put my distress into the run and it really helped. I took the meds, for the sake of my children, and while initially it was tough, I'm glad I did. Sertraline is a very gentle ad (I'm a mental Heath practitioner- go figure- can happen to anyone!) with few side effects, so that may be an option?

NotAJammyDodger Fri 12-Jun-15 23:05:28

If I have understood the post correctly, ADs worked well for treating the depression but the side effects were intolerable?

Certainly, you could explore therapy options. I think the reason ADs have been mentioned is because they worked previously. Therefore, other classes / types of ADs may also be sucessful but may not have the same side effects? I am not sure that just 'changing habits and mindset' on its own may work for serious depression (however we all find what works best for us / each to their own).

GPs are a bit pot luck on what experience they have of the types of meds available (although some are MH additionally qualified). Perhaps Silver you could discuss what your options are medication wise or therapy with your GP again, or see a different GP in your practice? Certainly, you have a lot of stress in your life and it's entirely understandable the way you feel.

What would you have to lose by seeing your GP for a chat? The decision whether to take any meds is ultimately yours anyway.

Eitherway, I think talking to a therapist about what you have been through may help and, unless you are going private, you will need a GP referral for NHS therapy.

Best wishes flowers

ppeatfruit Sat 13-Jun-15 08:32:20

silvercorn It's brilliant that you're 'open ' to changing ,so many aren't. grin There are very good wheat substitutes now like rice pasta (which is actually nicer than wheat, not so soggy) . The health food shop is your friend. grin.

ginagslovechild Sat 13-Jun-15 08:43:52

OP i have been on sertraline for the past few months with no nasty side effects, it actually has increased my energy instead of making me tired.

I think you have alot on your plate, hope you start to feel a bit better soon, I know only too well how awful depression is

LittleBearPad Sat 13-Jun-15 08:49:04

I took citilopram and hated it. Now on sertraline and feel really back on form. I would ask the doctor about alternative meds to be honest.

hotandbothered24 Sat 13-Jun-15 09:08:17

I think good nutrition plays a role and for me high dose fish oils have helped me with depression and anxiety symptoms in the past. However currently due to lots of very stressful life events, have become very depressed and anxious and have accepted the help of AD's, Sertraline for me too. Depression is multi-factorial and sometimes doing all the right things in terms of diet,exercise mindfulness etc aren't enough

silveracorn Sat 13-Jun-15 17:22:15

Thank you all for your help and advice. I think I will go back to the GP. I might ask to try Sertraline just to give me a kick start out of it because I've been struggling for months now. (Very used to soldiering on and hiding crippling depression for months sometimes years, which is not helpful as it feels normal to feel this way until it gets so dysfunctional that I can't hide it any more.)
Will definitely try to cut down on wheat and phase it out. Bought some pumpernickel today and will try some corn or rice pasta.

ppeatfruit Sun 14-Jun-15 09:05:55

Good idea about EFAs too, if not fish oils then linseed or Evening primrose oils are good for everything.

Only 1 glass of good red wine is ok not spirits btw. Also look at your sugar intake.

Good Luck grin

elementofsurprise Sun 14-Jun-15 18:05:58

OP, regarding your DH... when you say he has very little work, is it intermittent - so sometimes it's full time - or a consistent small amount of work? I'm wondering if he could do something part time to help ease the pressure on you a bit?
Also, would it help if you gave him very clear instructions/steps as to what to do/how to act when you need support? I have found this method partially sucessful...
And do remember to be kind to yourself smile

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