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anti depressants

kennyt's picture
kennyt
Posts: 110
Joined: Jun 2013

anybody use antidepressents to help take the edge off the st.4 dx if so whats best? I may need a little help

johnnybegood's picture
johnnybegood
Posts: 1122
Joined: Oct 2008

yes i used to take ativan back in 2008 when i thought i was cured in 2010 i weaned myself off of them then when i was dx stage 4 in 2011 with liver and lung mets i went to a different onc and i now am on xanax could not make it without the help of drugs.they really take the edge off for me and help me sleep at night.good luck...Godbless...johnnybegood

kennyt's picture
kennyt
Posts: 110
Joined: Jun 2013

I have been taking some xanax .5mg do you mind me asking what dosage you take? thanks

johnnybegood's picture
johnnybegood
Posts: 1122
Joined: Oct 2008

take .5mg of xanax i guess thats  the normal dosage....godbless...johnnybegood

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 856
Joined: Jun 2013

You have to distinguish between depression and anxiety.

If you have no motivation to do your every day tasks, hard to get out of bed, every little thing feels like a huge burden, you are emotional and feel like crying sometimes. You have depression and you need anti-depression medication.

If you can do all your daily tasks, but constantly tense, nervous, worried, antsy, you have chronic anxiety and you need long term everyday anti-anxiety medication like Buspar.

If your anxiety just hits you hard once in a while, you have acute anxiety or panic and you need medication only when you have the episode. Xanax, Ativan is good. Of course you have to discuss this with your doctor or better a psychiatrist. 

I hope this makes sense and helps,

Laz

kennyt's picture
kennyt
Posts: 110
Joined: Jun 2013

is what I would usually say but with this st 4 dx and the whole dying early thing has maybe got me a little depressed. I actually went out rock climbing with my friends and felt pretty good I feel physically good but this cancer thing is a mindf#%$

LivinginNH's picture
LivinginNH
Posts: 1307
Joined: Apr 2010

Hi,

You could also ask your doctor about Zoloft - it helps BOTH depression and anxiety - a package deal!  ;)

Note that if you are prescribed Ativan, have someone stay with you for a few hours after taking it just in case you have a reaction. My Rick had severe hallucinations after taking only one pill. 

Cynthia

kennyt's picture
kennyt
Posts: 110
Joined: Jun 2013

is what I would usually say but with this st 4 dx and the whole dying early thing has maybe got me a little depressed. I actually went out rock climbing with my friends and felt pretty good I feel physically good but this cancer thing is a mindf#%$

jen2012
Posts: 1208
Joined: Aug 2012

The beginning is really hard...but seriously I'm not sure how anyone with this diagnosis can not be depressed. After my husbands diagnosis last year I cried every single day...probably for 2 months...maybe 3. Slowly we started to live again and having a toddler in the house helped. He keeps us laughing ..and hopping! I keep holding out hope for a cure though I still get that anxious feeling every so often. Actually today at the mall I cant even remember what triggered it but I got really sad and anxious. I worry about raising the little guy alone.

My husband tried ativan but said it gave him crazy dreams. He is very faithful and copes by keeping that faith close. He also stays very busy..working and volunteering. He just doesn't think about cancer unless he needs to...appts etc.
Definitely worth talking to someone that can help you sort things out.

Good luck.

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 856
Joined: Jun 2013

Getting a news like this is hard and having bad feelings about it is normal. In any other situation like financial, relationship break up, career I would say wait and give it time. But when you have cancer you have to keep going, get to the appointments, consults, make hard decisions and being in the right mindset is essential, because your life depends on it literally. 

It is a fine line how much you let cancer take over your life, because one way being open and natural about it will give you some comfort, but if you spend too much time dwelling on it you may neglect the rest of your life. And after all that is the part we are fighting to improve and maintain.

Laz

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2263
Joined: Oct 2011

primarily for nausea and sleep, but it definitely helps with anxiety as well.  I can't imagine anyone with cancer, really whatever the stage, not feeling pretty dang anxious at times.  I take 2 mg a day, usually .5 in the morning so I can eat without feeling too sick, and then the rest before bed.  I started out at .5, but that was about 3 years ago, so I've had to increase the dose.  One of the perils of these kinds of drugs, of course, but if it makes life more liveable, I'm willing to deal with that aspect.

The other things that have helped me with anxiety are walking, talking to someone who specializes in cancer therapy (my clinic has a great social worker I can talk to), watching funny TV and  movies, reading a good book, and taking short trips when possible (difficult to do during tx, I know).  And being part of our online family helps too!  

Hugs and strength~AA

db8ne1's picture
db8ne1
Posts: 92
Joined: Feb 2013

I started experiencing severe panic/anxiety attacks a few years back.  I was convinced it was due to hormone issues due to peri-menopause.  Doc tried to get me on Celexa (generic: citralopam).  It took me 9 months to be convinced - during which time I was miserable the whole time.  Could barely function at work, felt like I was having a heart attack most days.  I finally gave in and took daily generic Celexa.  Much to my chagrin - it worked.  I also took Xanax (generic alprazolam) for break-out attacks.  Please note, I had nothing to be anxious or panicked about...it was all chemical imbalances.

Fast forward to April 2013.  Preparing to go into the hospital for removal of colorectal cancer, I started weaning myself off of the Celexa. I never wanted to take it long term.  I think I took it for about 1 Year).  Didn't receive any in the hospital and haven't used it since. (My uterus was also removed during surgery). I also have not had one panic/aniety attack since I stopped taking it.  SO - I'm convinced my attacks were a result of the cancer as well as my female hormones. Now that both my tumor and uterus are gone - I'm panic and anxiety free (even though I have more things to actually be panicked and worried about now with my health...go figure).

I do take the Xanax for intermittant restlessness - usually on the days following my FOLFOX infusion.  That's because the steroids make me jumpy - even though I only get half the normal dose of steroids as a pre-med.   I had them cut the dosage in half before I even got my 1st round! 

That said, if you are having issues functioning and are suffering from depression - STOP SUFFERING.  Medication CAN help.  (Trust me - I am always hesitant to take drugs - but am learning that I need to sometimes for my benefit).  Please speak with your doctor and get the relief that you need. 

Jenni

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 783
Joined: May 2012

I used Ativan which is an anti anxiety as well as an anti nauseua so it was great during chemo.  I'd pop a pill before each treatment and if I had bad anxiety that day which came and went day to day then I'd take one.  Antidrpressants are a whole different category.  That's for when you feel like you can't get out of bed in the morning or can't get through the day, day after day.  You have to take those consistently in order for them to work.  Anti anxieties are not necessarily daily.  They're great when you're just going through a time where you feel like your body is on pins and needles all day from stress.

Goldie1's picture
Goldie1
Posts: 251
Joined: Sep 2011

was prescribed Zoloft about 3 months after his diagnosis.  He jokes that he should have started taking it way before finding out he had cancer.  It really has worked wonders for him.  

Take care,

Ellen

Ruffy7
Posts: 126
Joined: Sep 2011

I tried a few different kinds before settling on Celexa - mine also is anxiety that started after my dx and subsequent menopause 2 years ago.  I'm on 40mg a day and, even though I still can feel anxious, it is much better than it was - I don't "fixate" on things as much.  Kind of scared to get off it because I don't want to go back to how it was but I may try it at some point...  I liked zoloft but after 1-2 months started getting abdominal pains and diahrea so was switched to Viibrid (very pricey and had really bizarre dreams on it).  The celexa is the better one for me so far.  BTW, my rheumatologist wants to switch me to Cymbalta (to help with inflammatory arthritis) along with methroterxate (sp?).  Any one know anything on these drugs?  I understand the methr. is a cancer drug that also works for some other conditions at a lower dose.  Just asking.  thanks

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