Last week my counsellor suggested I try anti-depressants. So I went to the GP this morning and I can start them tomorrow. I'm not sure if I like the idea of anti-depressants but I also don't like having attacks of despair so it seems worth trying them.
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Regular Contributor
Hi Allicat. It is a very hard decision to make but sometimes it is the right thing to do. I was anti-ds for about a year and it got me through a very bad patch. They just seemed to take the edge of things and allowed me to get through the day without a fit of tears. I would also recommend counselling if you aren't already having it. For me it was important to have both. good luck with it all. S
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Contributor
Hi Allicat, I have also been having counseling and will start taking anti-depressants next week. I tried everything else to pick up my mood to no avail, but hopefully this ( short term) intervention will help me enjoy the little things of life again. Good Luck. M.
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Contributor
Hi Ally, Im now on antidepressants also due to not being able to climb out of mood swings. Instead of the word "depressed"I like to replace it with "transition" because that is what is happening.....we are transitioning from a place of pain and grief to a place with less of these feelings. My renal physician, surgeon and psychiatrist have all advised me that once begun anti-depressants, even though i will feel wonderful after 6mths to complete at least 1 yr, this lessen a relapse of depression after gradual ceasing. Also, you might put on weight or lose weight....I have put on 4kgs....however it has not effected my kidney function and Im being more healthy with food and exercising more and less fighting with the family due to my mood swings, so 4kgs of weight has been a small price to pay for HAPPINESS, I am however also very active, every 2 weeks with counseling and hynotherapy, it is costly but my happiness and zest for life is priceless and I do have an understanding husband when it come to investing money in myself. Let me know how you go ally and all the best. julesx
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Contributor
I took the first anti-depressant this morning. Only half a tablet for the first four days, then a whole tablet after that. I went to work but felt very tired and couldn't concentrate so I left after only a couple of hours. I don't know if that is related to the tablet or just because I was tired and distracted after a busy weekend. I had about 3 hours sleep during the day but it didn't make me feel any better and right now my head feels fuzzy and vague. I have not eaten much today but I am not hungry. I should make some dinner but I can't be bothered. I have an appointment with my counsellor tomorrow morning and am going back to the GP in 2 weeks to check on how I'm going. A transistion is how my counsellor described it to me. As I understand it the chemicals in my brain got trampled down by all the stress etc of cancer and even now that it is mainly over they need some help getting balanced out again. This sounds reasonable but I'm not quite comfortable with it yet. I don't really like the idea of messing around with the chemicals in my brain because I don't like the idea that I am just made of a bunch of chemicals and synapses and whatever. I want there to be a magic thing that's "me" - like a soul I guess but I'm not religious so I wouldn't call it a soul. If I take drugs to make me feel different then am I still me?
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Contributor
Hi Ally, Of course you are still yourself. Antidepressants dont/wont take away your beautiful personality. As for tiredness, yes it happened to me as well. I get a lot of dizziness from my meds, so I take care when standing/sitting to quickly. Take care Jules
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Hi Jules Was your tiredness just for the first week or so while you got used to them? Or for a long time? It seems ironic that I took a drug to make me feel better but I currently feel a lot worse. Thanks for you encourgagement
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I was given 2 weeks notice at work today. . Hope these new anti-depressants work quickly.
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Wow that's really crappy news Mignon. I guess you have to look at it as an opportunity for a fresh start - but maybe that is just too irritatingly Pollyanna-ish.
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Thanks Allicat. Compared to what REaL life is all about, this job loss is just nothing. I will try to think positive tomorrow, after I have allowed myself a little "sooky" time. Cheers Mignon
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Hi Ally, I was tired for around 1 month but picked up after that. Its been 3 months and am feeling like my old self again....laughing and happy. Jules
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This morning I had an appointment with my counsellor. I told her I was feeling terrible so she sent me back to the GP to see if maybe I should have a lower dose of the anti-depressant. He said I could either tough it out or try a different drug & then he thought it would be better to try a different drug so I am now having a few days to let it pass out of my system then I have script for a new one to start on the weekend. It is posssible that I feel unwell for reasons other than the anti-depressants as I have had days like this before for no readily apparent reason. It seems a bit wimpy to give up after only 2 days but I feel quite terrible and couldn't go to work today. I need to go to work & I'm not prepared to deal with feeling ill again if I don't have to. When the counsellor suggested anti-depressants she said I would recover without them but why not just make it easier on myself over the next few months by having some help. I'm not sure if I am going to start the new drug on the weekend. Hopefully this headache will go away soon & then I can think about it a bit more clearly.
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Contributor
Hi there These tablets are great for helping you, the doctor wouldnt prescribe them to you if they were to harm you. My advice is to take them at nightime before going to bed, this is what i was told by my doctor as you are then getting most of the bad side effects of the tablet while you are sleeping mine were making me extremely tired and nauseas, so i do that and they dont worry me, only when i forget to take them!! Goodluck dont be too hard on yourself and try to think of this as your new life, no one has to know you are on them if you are a little embarrassed, only my husband knows about mine, i am a much nicer person mother and wife with these tablets helping me through this awful cancer process I hope you find things get a little better. Goodluck
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So, this morning I started a different anti-depressant. The pharmacist suggested taking it in the morning as it could cause wakefulness. On the other hand if I find it causes drowsiness I can switch to taking it at night. She said it would take 3 or 4 weeks for me to feel any effect. So, I guess we'll just wait and see what happens. In 3 or 4 weeks it will be Christmas and I am having 2 weeks off after Christmas which I am hoping will help me feel more relaxed.
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Super Contributor
I don't think a counsellor would suggest anti-depressants without good reason. Hopefully ,they will make you feel better .That would be good.
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Contributor
Today is day 7 on anti-depressants and I feel a lot better. I have slept better this week and feel quite cheerful just now. They're not supposed to have an effect for at least two weeks so maybe it just placebo effect making me feel better. If it is it doesn't matter as long as I feel better. I felt a little queasy during the week and had trobule eating breakfast but I think that is settling down.
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Contributor
Hi Allicat. I too started anti-depressant just over 2 weeks ago, and the same feelings i.e I felt very nauseous and started to lighten my mood almost straight away. i also thought it must be a placebo effect, but my GP explained that part of the anti-depressant medication works quickly to treat the anxiety ( this is why I felt better so quickly) but the anti-depressant part takes longer ( 4-5 weeks). Hope that helps. good Luck. Mignon
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Contributor
That's interesting Mignon, my GP didn't say anything about that. I'm probably on a different drug so maybe it's different. How are you feeling now? Has the nausea passed? I'm glad it has helped your mood. I had a follow-up visit with my GP on Saturday and told him everything was going fine, which I thought it was. I felt a little vague and tired but I felt like that beforehand too. But, I feel a lot worse now. Yesterday at work I was nearly falling asleep so I stayed home today and slept most of the day. Right now, I still feel exhausted and my head feels like it is stuffed with cotton wool. It is hard to tell if this is from the anti-depressant or if I am just over-tired from being too busy. At the moment I want to stop the anti-depressant because I feel terrible and I don't like the thought that I am doing this to myself by taking a drug which is supposed to make things easier not harder. But, I am going to try to hang on a couple more weeks at least and see how it goes.
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Dear Allicat, My advice to you would be to stick with the pills if you can. i have never had success with anti-depressants before due to the side effects BUT this one is working. It is nearly a month now and I am DEFINITELY feeling less sad and coping better. However, because I lost my job 3 weeks ago, I am also having a nice rest, so maybe it is both. maybe you are overtired also. Can you take some leave from work while the pills settle . I feel happier and more able to cope with the whole Christmas/New Year thing now. I am taking Zoloft, others I tried previously were too hard to tolerate, and I am taking a child's dose to start. Hope you have a Happy Christmas. Love Mignon
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Hi Allicat, just skimmed through all the posts. I never thought there would be this kind of struggle beyond cancer. I know it's quite an old entry, but just wanted to ask How are you these days?
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Contributor
Anyone battling weight gain with anti-depressants?
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Hi Camel, First, there is the adjusting to having cancer, and then later (hopefully) there is the adjusting to no longer having cancer. My counsellor explained to me that during the "trauma" of having cancer your mind and body get used to being in a heightened state dealing with lots of stress and andrenalin etc. So, then when the treatment and trauma is over it takes a while to get your mind/body back down into the normal state again. This is what the anti-depressants are hopefully helping me with. At the moment I am feeling ok. I was getting attacks of despair and while I am still getting some they are not nearly as often or as severe. Went back to work yesterday after 2 weeks holiday after Christmas so that was a bit of a shock to the system. I still feel a bit tired but I think it's only a normal level of tiredness due to not sleeping very well. Jules - I don't think I have put on weight since starting the anti-depressants. I had already gained a couple of kilos probably due to side effects from my other medications. Have you gained some weight? Allicat
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Hi Allicat, Yes I have put on 6kgs.......geez you explained that very well and I guess it's better to be "right in the mind" and heavier than slim and depressed.....however I believe it is transition from cancer and fear to enjoying life......Im looking forward to coming off them later in the year. Julesx
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