anti depressants


Recommended Posts

Bill,

 

"Use the anti-depressants as a tool to get you some place else, not as the replacement for happiness."

 

I thought that was a great piece of insight you added, because, trust me, there is not a pill out there that will replace happiness that the stroke damage took away from all of us.

 

Susan

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Hi,

 

Unfortuneately, most of you will not like this reply. There are better treatment methods than anti depressants. According to government medical review boards, anti depressants are the most overused drugs, and nursing homes, doctors, and convelesant homes are cited for anti depressant drug abuse. My wife was a medical social worker, and counseling has a greater and more effective cure rate. THE QUESTION YOU SHOULD BE ASKING IS"wHY AM I DEPRESSED? Only counseling will help you find the answer. Because of insurance limits on counseling, Dr. usually perscribe anti depressants. It must be noted that the body adjusts to drugs, and prolonged use renders them ineffective.

I wish you all a full life.

 

Shayle

Link to post
Share on other sites

hi kathleen, i use antidepression pills myself well it is known as an anti axiety as i am very over axious so i do ned to tke them bu efore you o on any drug check ith you docor as i could be very dangerous to be on any drug i take luvox and my perscribe dose is 100milligrams, and it works really well for me i hope that this is helpful to you

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I take Cymbalta and Lamictal for the aftermath of stroke and the resulting seizure disorders, and it is driving me crazy! Does anybody experience extreme fatigue and a spacey kind of feeling on one of the two of these medicines? I'm trying to figure out which one is the culprit! Thank you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

hi susan and i do believe that you are right but i think thsat some where alomg the line without using drug and as you get better or begun to recover, you can find a happy place if you judt think nothing but happy thoughts and ifyou think of what could have happen but didn"t so i have learn to be very grateful of being here and susan i know that having a stroke took alot of what we use to have but i am very happy that there is one thing that it didn"t take away what i did have and i am so grateful that it didn"t because i still get one more kick on the can,

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Hi Kaitlyn.....

 

I also, anti depressants since day one of stroke....

 

I think it's almost SOP these days when one has a Stroke of severity...The Survivor is going to be facing major changes and challenges to their life/living...Way of life, relationships, rehabilitation itself...

 

The apparent futility coping with these can often lead to depression....I saw it happen to someone in acute rehab...It was one of the scariest things I've ever seen...

 

Several folks above gave very good advice about the time it takes for them to work, and if you are suddenly cut off...Those are important things to keep in mind...

 

BTW...mine is generic Celexa, otherwise known as Citalopram, 20mg.....I started out on Lexapro, did my homework to find a generic equivalent...Turned out Lexapro is a minorly modified Citalopram, which for me is just as effective...

 

Care...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

I have just come off my antidepresants of my own accord after being on the for 6 years at times I find it difficult but I'm determined to persovere

host ged

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was on Paxil for first few years after my stroke & it helped me big time allowing me to deal with my post stroke life. Though after few years on it I slowly decided to come off it & today able to accept newme and make lemonades out of my lemons every day. Though I used blogging & chatroom support of SN & my family was instrumental in me able to come off my antidepressant and enjoy my new life to fullest.

 

Asha

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Hello

I realize that the majority of stroke survivors are on antidepressants. They wanted to put me on them in the hospital. Luckily for me my girlfriend and family were there to tell them no. I’m naturally an up beat kind of guy so my family did not think I would need them, and I would rather deal with it by talking about it and having the natural feelings that ur support to have because dealing with things instead of taking a drug to not deal with it will not help u get over the feelings u r having but everyone is different so if this did not help I wish u luck with what ever course of treatment u chose.

-Jeff-

Link to post
Share on other sites

I take anti depressants, I took them before the stroke for I was burning my candle at both ends, I've found they have kept me level headed though out all this. I don't take very much but I have a wonderful support system to help me though. I just find that they add just enough of a balance to help me along.

 

They might not be right for all but they work for me

Link to post
Share on other sites

FFunny, Bruce and I had this discussion this week. He prepares his own meds, under supervision, and leaves the low containers for me to reorder. He handed me the Paxil container and said "this is out, but I don't want to take it anymore." So I am torn. I waited a year to ask for one the be prescribed and Bruce was against this, but said he would give it a shot. Most of those people close to us noticed the difference about two months in and the dose was increased, still with what I would call good results: he was more open, smiled more, initiated discussions and just this week asked me to fill in the holes from the time he didn't remember. However, since last winter he has digressed: not walking, no exercise or a fight to exercise, reads less. We both know a lot of this has to do with the over=toning and we are in pursuit of the Baclofen pump, but after reading all of these posts, maybe he has the right to refuse to take it. After all, isn't that also a part of recovery? He has decided not to work physically hard on his recovery, maybe his mind is OK with this and he can handle the side effects of stroke without another drug. Always a dliemma.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

i had my stroke nearly a year ago. i took zoloft prior to the stroke. now i take gabapentin, started with 300mg 1x day then went to 3x day. tylenol. bp meds which just got changed, the other one caused my throat to tickle. cholesterol pill, water pill, potassium because of the bppill changed. i have up and down days more from the pain and lack of rest and sleep from it. finally found a dr who wrote a prescription for a mild pain pill, slept last nite for the first time since stroke. he even listens.

 

not sure about all the meds but i know i have to take them, if i didnt take zoloft not sure if i could cope.

 

dr also prescribed elavil to help with the pain along with rest of the meds, he said no side effects but read there were.

 

i am afraid of meds never took any before now except prozac, then zoloft.

 

i know i should of done different, being diabetic and bp issues, and hi cholesteral.

 

any advice on adding elavil would be appreciated, got the pills afraid to take them.

 

linda

Link to post
Share on other sites

I take them but not on a regular basis until I find myself getting frustrated about nothing. I suppose that happens to many people now and again! :Clap-Hands: :rolleyes:

 

I hope you are OK!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Linda, I am on Elavil and I am doing good on it but everyone is different, All meds have side effects, how can they not? these are foreign chemicals we are putting in our bodies. When I get new meds I check for not only side effects but also for interactions with other meds or vitamins, even certain foods. I go to drugs.com and you can check for both side effects and interactions there. All the best to you.

 

mc

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

I was put on anti-depressants earlier this month. I'm on Sertraline. It's the generic version of Zoloft. Since being on it, I have noticed a tremendous difference in my mood & attitude. My world does not feel "gray" any more. Before I went on them, I was scared to talk to my doctor about them. I had this idea that having to be on them meant admitting that something was "wrong" with me. I was also worried that the drugs would leave me in a fog. I tell you, though, I don't know why I was so worried about it. Since I've started taking them, I can't remember a day that I've felt more clear-headed than now. Before I started them, I would wake up dreading the day ahead of me & end up crying most of the day. Now, I don't.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Hannah

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm on generic zoloft too. I was before my strokes. After, the dr. doubled my dose. It's made a real difference.

 

Kaitlyn, don't be afraid that there is something "wronmg" with you post stroke. The fact of the matter is that there IS something wrong - you had a stroke! Your brain has been injured. Think of taking the antidepressants like taking muscle relaxors after an injury to a muscle. It is part of helping that injury to heal. Anitdepressants are part of helping the brain to heal.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was wondering if anyone is on anti-depressants? What is your option bout them? I am not on them but thinking bout goin on them.

Kaitlyn

I'm on Zoloft, had to switch to mornings rather than evenings because of the urges to defecate.

anti-depressants linked to heart disease-stroke

This is rather depressing since other studies suggest than anti-depressants help recovery of motor control.

http://www.mpg.de/1206132/noradrenaline_stroke?filter_order=L

Reboxetine is a drug marketed as an antidepressant for use in the treatment of clinical depression, panic disorder and ADD/ADHD, developed by Pharmacia (now Pfizer).

 

http://www.emaxhealth.com/1020/antidepressants-linked-heart-disease-stroke

Antidepressants thicken the arteries, linking use to heart disease and stroke

The findings come from Emory University researchers who conducted a study of twins to find the possible link between antidepressant use and heart attack and stroke.

Scientists study twins because they have the same genes, making it easier to sort out other contributing health risk factors such as smoking, diet and other lifestyle contributors. For the current study, the authors noted antidepressants may increase the risk of cardiovascular events, independent of depression that can also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Carotid artery thickness increased with antidepressant use

For the study, the scientists measured thickness of the lining, or intima, in the carotid arteries that supply blood flow to the brain, using ultrasound. Measuring intima-media thickness is a reliable way to

Normally, intima-media thickness (IMT) progresses at the rate of 10 microns per year. According to first author Amit Shah, MD, a cardiology fellow at Emory University School of Medicine, "In our study, users of antidepressants see an average 40 micron increase in IMT, so their carotid arteries are in effect four years older."

Among 59 sets of twins, with one taking antidepressants, the researchers saw more thickening of the carotid arteries in those taking SSRI's like fluoxetine (60 percent of those taking antidepressants) and those who took other types.

Dr. Shah says, "I think we have to keep an open mind about the effects of antidepressants on neurochemicals like serotonin in places outside the brain, such as the vasculature. The body often compensates over time for drugs' immediate effects.

Antidepressants have a clinical benefit that has been established, so nobody taking these medications should stop based only on these results. This isn't the kind of study where we can know cause and effect, let alone mechanism, and we need to see whether this holds up in other population groups."

The study found a link between antidepressants and risk of heart attack and stroke and will be presented Tuesday, April 5 at the American College of Cardiology meeting in New Orleans.

The reason for the link between heart attack and stroke and antidepressant use may be from serotonin changes, but the researchers say the action of the hormone on the blood vessels is complex. Serotonin can either relax or narrow the blood vessels, depending on whether they are healthy or damaged.

 

So which one should we care about more? Recovery or another stroke or heart attack? I hope my doctor has better insight into this especially since so many stroke patients need to be on anti-depressants.

So talk to your doctor.

Dean

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was wondering if anyone is on anti-depressants? What is your option bout them? I am not on them but thinking bout goin on them.

Kaitlyn

I'm on Zoloft, had to switch to mornings rather than evenings because of the urges to defecate.

anti-depressants linked to heart disease-stroke

This is rather depressing since other studies suggest than anti-depressants help recovery of motor control.

http://www.mpg.de/1206132/noradrenaline_stroke?filter_order=L

Reboxetine is a drug marketed as an antidepressant for use in the treatment of clinical depression, panic disorder and ADD/ADHD, developed by Pharmacia (now Pfizer).

 

http://www.emaxhealth.com/1020/antidepressants-linked-heart-disease-stroke

Antidepressants thicken the arteries, linking use to heart disease and stroke

The findings come from Emory University researchers who conducted a study of twins to find the possible link between antidepressant use and heart attack and stroke.

Scientists study twins because they have the same genes, making it easier to sort out other contributing health risk factors such as smoking, diet and other lifestyle contributors. For the current study, the authors noted antidepressants may increase the risk of cardiovascular events, independent of depression that can also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Carotid artery thickness increased with antidepressant use

For the study, the scientists measured thickness of the lining, or intima, in the carotid arteries that supply blood flow to the brain, using ultrasound. Measuring intima-media thickness is a reliable way to

Normally, intima-media thickness (IMT) progresses at the rate of 10 microns per year. According to first author Amit Shah, MD, a cardiology fellow at Emory University School of Medicine, "In our study, users of antidepressants see an average 40 micron increase in IMT, so their carotid arteries are in effect four years older."

Among 59 sets of twins, with one taking antidepressants, the researchers saw more thickening of the carotid arteries in those taking SSRI's like fluoxetine (60 percent of those taking antidepressants) and those who took other types.

Dr. Shah says, "I think we have to keep an open mind about the effects of antidepressants on neurochemicals like serotonin in places outside the brain, such as the vasculature. The body often compensates over time for drugs' immediate effects.

Antidepressants have a clinical benefit that has been established, so nobody taking these medications should stop based only on these results. This isn't the kind of study where we can know cause and effect, let alone mechanism, and we need to see whether this holds up in other population groups."

The study found a link between antidepressants and risk of heart attack and stroke and will be presented Tuesday, April 5 at the American College of Cardiology meeting in New Orleans.

The reason for the link between heart attack and stroke and antidepressant use may be from serotonin changes, but the researchers say the action of the hormone on the blood vessels is complex. Serotonin can either relax or narrow the blood vessels, depending on whether they are healthy or damaged.

 

So which one should we care about more? Recovery or another stroke or heart attack? I hope my doctor has better insight into this especially since so many stroke patients need to be on anti-depressants.

So talk to your doctor.

Dean

Carotid artery thickness increased with antidepressant use

For the study, the scientists measured thickness of the lining, or intima, in the carotid arteries that supply blood flow to the brain, using ultrasound. Measuring intima-media thickness is a reliable way to

Normally, intima-media thickness (IMT) progresses at the rate of 10 microns per year. According to first author Amit Shah, MD, a cardiology fellow at Emory University School of Medicine, "In our study, users of antidepressants see an average 40 micron increase in IMT, so their carotid arteries are in effect four years older."

 

This bothers me since Larry's carotid arteries are already blocked. One is 100% blocked. I E-Mailed the doc about this before but no response. I know he said the last time we saw him that he wanted to take him off the anti-depressants in the near future. I'm thinking the near future is now. Thanks for the info.

 

Julie

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
  • 5 months later...

Call your pharmacist and ask for the insert on both medications. Take your time and read through them. If you have questions, call the pharmacist or go on-line. Best to educate yourself anyway. Good luck, Debbie

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had a completely different experience with anti-depressants and I would like to tell you about it. I am a caregiver and I have been doing this for 33 years. My first wife was diagnosed with Huntington's disease at the early age of 27. I took care of her for 9 years until she had deteriorated to a point beyond my ability to safely care for her. She died in a nursing home after living with this disease for 16 years. My second wife has always been suffering from a number of illnesses for the past 28 years, and now, a stroke. So I would like to say that I am no stranger to sadness and depression.

 

Speaking from a caregivers point of view, depression is a normal part of my life. If fact, one might say that if the caregiver is not depressed that it would be unnatural. It is also normal to seek out help for being depressed. We speak with our doctors about it and our doctors refer us to the psychiatrist. The psychiatrist then prescribes some sort of drug, usually the SSRI psychotropic chemical group. This drug may or may not treat your depression and it may or may not have side effects. This is a choice that we must make.

 

From my own experience I have found that in most cases, including my own, that these drugs work. However, for me, my depression returned within six months. So, I took the drug again and it worked again, but my depression returned again after a short time. Thus, the doctor became more aggressive with the drug treatment using different strengths and combinations of drugs. These treatments failed again and again, but began to produce strange and almost horrific side effects such as seizures, catatonic episodes, suicidal attempts, anger, and bipolar like symptoms. I realized too late that the overuse of these chemicals had produced a chemical change in my brain that would terrorize me for the next fifteen years. The more that I complained about side effects, the more they altered the drug regimen.

 

I began to suspect that the drugs had damaged me in some way when I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Also, by this time, I had suffered several hospitalizations and at one time nearly died in the ICU when my liver, kidneys, and other organs began to fail. I began to question the validity and wisdom of the psychotropic drug treatments that I had been taking all these long years. I decided to stop taking them and see what results would occur. The question that I endeavored to explore was whether I was truly mentally ill or truly suffering from side effects from the drugs; was the cure better or worse than the disease?

 

My doctors were furious with my decision. They said that I would find myself instituted in a mental hospital within one year. They claimed that refusal to take the medications was proof that I was, in fact, mentally ill based of the assertion that mentally ill people will refuse their medication due to being mentally ill. I argued to no avail that this was a circular argument. Nevertheless, I discontinued the drugs and fired my doctors.

 

The results were astonishing. The Parkinson's symptoms disappeared along with all other symptoms of mental illness and side effects. I felt better than I had felt in many long years. I have since hired new doctors that can support the results of my decision to beware of these sometimes useful, but also dangerous medications.

 

In conclusion, from my own experience and from my opinion only, to be a caregiver is to live with the sadness from the injury that our loved ones have suffered. I would say that sadness is often confused with clinical depression. In my opinion, to be saddened by the events and consequences of brain injury to our loved ones is normal and would be better dealt with by psychology and therapy in private and in group settings such as group therapy or caregiver support groups. It is clear, to me anyway, that the medical profession is not prepared for nor does it understand the needs and problems faced by caregivers. It is also clear to me that drug therapy for depression can be dangerous and that these medications should not be taken without great reflection and research on the side effects because the medical profession does not truly understand how these drugs work at all, and that is a fact.

 

If you feel the need to get treatment for depression, by all means, seek it out. Please be aware that there is no medicine to cure what is normal and natural to being a caregiver. We must be strong not only for our loved ones, but for ourselves as well. Through great adversity comes a great strength of character; and through a great strength of character comes great endurance.

 

James (Ya'akov) 5:11 We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. (NASB)

 

Michael

 

P.S. I hope this has been useful to someone facing the above described decision.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting this Michael. You said it well. Unfortunately, most doctors do not seem to have time for their patients. This is unless you have a doc who is in one of these new "boutique medicine practices" where you can reach them 24/7. You pay dearly for this! I had two internist change over to this type of practice. I agree medication can be good but the trouble is that doctors do not seem to bother to follow up with what they prescribe. It's up to us to educate ourselves. We are our own best doctor after all. I know I cannot take any meds that will change my mood as I have to do all the driving plus make sure my spouse is given good care 24/7. I hope as you stated through adversity comes great endurance. Either that are I will lose my mind. LOL

 

Julie

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 6 months later...

Dave: welcome. Just off the top: a lot of this is normal residual from the stroke. Bruce also suffered a clot from his carotid. We are just three years in. So the arm-leg weakness and spasms are dealt with PT, OT and antispasm medication. That said, however, those are minor next to some of the other issues.

 

What you don't tell us is your last MRI and CT and how they compared to the previous ones. And if you have had a recent Carotid Ultrasound. I do agree with you that it really leans to TIAs, but they can and often are pre-cursors to stroke, so a complete work up is necessary. There may be no change at all in your MRI with a TIA, but if they are happening this often, I would think something would show up.

 

I would also suggest a home blood pressure machine. I am old school, like the pump up manual ones with a stethoscope. But a well-maintained automatic one would be fine for home use. I would take BP and palp you pulse upon wakening every morning. I mean really "feel" your pulse as well as count it. Machines can't do that. Is it strong, steady, are there skips, runs of slower or faster and do count for the whole minute, no short cuts. I would note the time of the "episodes" and take BP and pulse again as soon as you can, maybe someone in the home could do it while it is happening. And when you "recover" do it again. Keep a good log.

 

You say your GP is very good and you trust him/her. Please take a minute to review all the medications you take against your medical record with him/her. I do not know how it works in Great Britain, but hopefully all your medications are dispensed through the same pharmacy, so interactions are double checked by the pharmacist.

 

While your depression is surely an issue, it is really no wonder that you are not getting relief. Living in fear, every day, is a nightmare. And any progress you make is so short lived do to the "episodes."

 

Dean and Jaime hopefully will chime in here. Both have expertise in a lot of these areas. Please do keep us up to day. Debbie, caregiver to Bruce, stroke March 2009

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.