Anti depressants.

Hi ladies,

I was wondering how many of you have taken anti depressants through this ordeal?

I spoke to my sis , mum has stayed with her since her first doxil infusion, she is still feeling really tired and flu like. Catherine said she was very upset Saturday night, I am going to suggest anti depressants but I know she will shun the idea, she is one of the old school and I thinks she thinks you only take them if you are a raving lunatic !!! ( stiff upper lip and all that!!!)
I am going to explain that people without the stress of cancer take these things and there is nothing wrong in doing so , if it makes her feel a bit happier.

Thanks Liz. X

Comments

  • Mum2bellaandwilliam
    Mum2bellaandwilliam Member Posts: 412
    Another thing if you are on
    Another thing if you are on antidepressants, did if make you feel less tired ? I have read depression make you lethargic, I guess. I am kind of hoping they might make feel better as well as happier.

    Liz.
  • pstur1
    pstur1 Member Posts: 37

    Another thing if you are on
    Another thing if you are on antidepressants, did if make you feel less tired ? I have read depression make you lethargic, I guess. I am kind of hoping they might make feel better as well as happier.

    Liz.

    Hello Liz
    I have been on CSN for a couple of years now but never really read the discussion boards much until recently. Your post actually gives me an opportunity to share from my experience and hopefully I can offer some support on this matter.

    We all struggle with depression from time to time. Depression, true depression is not as simple as say being upset because the dishwasher broke and the mailman forgot your mail that day. Depression is usually a real chemical issue that often requires medication. I have been on anti-depressants before and I am on them now. The reason I am on them now is because I need them. It was also explained to me that our treatment can affect our chemicals in such a way that it is not just a want but a real need. One of my oncologists prescribed anti-depressants before I even started chemo the first time. I never questioned it, I just assumed he thought I would need them. It never occurred to me that the chemo might in fact bring about a real need for them but it can and does.

    There is absolutely no cause for shame in needing chemical and/or emotional support to see us through our treatment and survival. It is about quality of life and if depressed that quality is diminished, period. While I understand the "old school" thought of only the super needy take anti-depressants and seek therapy....it is not true. That is just simply not true.

    I am about as happy, confident, and productive in life as anyone can be and yet I need this support from time to time because I do suffer from chemical imbalances that cause a depression. Other than this stupid cancer, there is NOTHING wrong in my life and yet I sense a void in my life, a angst that I can't put my finger on but I know or rather knew something just wasn't right and by George, anti-depressants and counseling was the ticket once again. To be back on the happy side of life is a great place to be and probably would not have happened had I not taken the drugs.

    As you probably understand fully, we all react to medication and treatments differently. The side effects of anti-depressants are both unique to the specific drug and based on the individual taking them. While one might work for one person it may have unwanted effects for another so a different drug may be needed. Sometimes it take a couple of changes and/or upgrade in dosage to get it right but it does work.

    I cannot support taking anti-depressant enough for someone in need. There are not strong enough words to share that could convey how strongly I feel about people seeking counseling and medication should they need it. In some cases, by choosing not to take the drugs or seek counseling is tantamount to choosing to remain on the Titanic and refusing to help yourself....doesn't make much sense when you have a life vest and boat right in front of you does it?

    I usually know I am depressed when there is nothing wrong with the world but I see it as crashing around me. Those of us that are dealing with life altering issues such as cancer GET DEPRESSED! We can curl up in a corner and waste away or we can pull up our big kid pants, take what meds are needed, and march on. There are the two choices and the only two choices we have.

    Please do encourage your loved one to consider anti-depressants as well as counseling. It makes all the difference in the world sometimes.

    I hope I have helped out in some way.

    Kelley
  • NCEllen
    NCEllen Member Posts: 115

    Another thing if you are on
    Another thing if you are on antidepressants, did if make you feel less tired ? I have read depression make you lethargic, I guess. I am kind of hoping they might make feel better as well as happier.

    Liz.

    I shied away from using
    I shied away from using anything that would 'help' me with my moods, but my doc asked me just to try some Zoloft. I tried it (off & on) for about 4 weeks and went back for a follow-up appt. I told her I didn't think it was helping since I kind of feel like I should be able to control mental emotions if I just worked at it. After all I wasn't suicidal, I didn't want to hurt anyone- I stayed busy enough and didn't sleep all of the time. She suggested I give it one more try- this time use the Zoloft every day, not just now and then and give it some time. Well, she was right. I can't put my finger on what it really does, but I know that I usually have good days (except those days following chemo)and I don't mind taking it. It doesn't make me tired or over active. I am the same old me. I do take an Ativan at night because I was waking up with too many negative thoughts racing through my head. So now I get a good nights sleep.
    At 58, I'm not going to worry about Rx's anymore as long as it doesn't get out of control...like taking more than I need pain pills for aches, or anti-nausea meds etc..)Geez, and I thought my mom was out of touch just because she took a vallium every once in a while! Ahhh- gone are the 60's- I'm legal now ;)
  • jbeans888
    jbeans888 Member Posts: 313
    Anti Depressents
    Even though I have been taking them for 4 weeks I feel that it does help. My doctor also said that since I had a full hysterectomy it helps with hot flashes. I take sertraline which is generic Zoloft. I say its worth it
  • MK_4Dani
    MK_4Dani Member Posts: 314
    Lexapro
    I starting taking Lexapro during chemo because I could not quiet my mind. My thoughts where all over the place and could not sleep. Lexapro is for anxiety/depression. It has really helped me. I tried to stop taking them after chemo but found my anxiety became debilitating and my blood pressure rose to abnormal levels. I still take them (10mg daily) and have Xanax on hand for extreme situations. Perhaps your mom will be more willing to consider help if it is for anxiety.
    Good Luck,
    Mary
  • Mum2bellaandwilliam
    Mum2bellaandwilliam Member Posts: 412
    MK_4Dani said:

    Lexapro
    I starting taking Lexapro during chemo because I could not quiet my mind. My thoughts where all over the place and could not sleep. Lexapro is for anxiety/depression. It has really helped me. I tried to stop taking them after chemo but found my anxiety became debilitating and my blood pressure rose to abnormal levels. I still take them (10mg daily) and have Xanax on hand for extreme situations. Perhaps your mom will be more willing to consider help if it is for anxiety.
    Good Luck,
    Mary

    Thankyou , everybody for
    Thankyou , everybody for your comments , mum has now got some anti depressants , hooe they make her feel a little better, she is so sad because she feels so unwell all the time, she asked me what was the point of all this yesterday , I am very worried about her, she can't give up the fight yet :(
  • Tina Brown
    Tina Brown Member Posts: 1,036 Member
    Hi Liz
    I absolutely agree that anti-depressants are a god send. I am on them - (not just for my cancer but an accumulation of things that happened to me before I was diagnosed)However, I was finding it hard to cope so my GP incresed the dose. One of my girlfriends and my sister are both on them and all they do is take away the anxiety and fear. It is a gradual process and after 2-3 weeks you somehow feel calmer and less anxious. Initially they make you tired and I used to say "I feel wiped out" in the afternoon and always had to take a nap.

    The ones I am one are called Citalapram and they are the mostly commonly used anti-depressant. You will probably start off on 20 mg as this is the lowest dose.

    It is no stigma as they are there to help when times are bad and having cancer can be classed as BAD. Just a thought if you are finding things tough ask your Gp about having them for yourself. That is why I went on them in the first place. I was nursing my mum at the end of her life with cancer and it was a while after she died that the grieve hit me and I couldn't function at work.

    I wish you well and your mum, love Tina x
  • Mwee
    Mwee Member Posts: 1,338
    prozac
    After 13 months straight of chemo, I cried all over my GYN/ONC's shoulder and he put me on prozac. I could have had it anytime, but I resisted. It's now been 6 weeks since I started and I do feel better. I think my lows are less low and I feel like I bounce back from them quicker.
    ((((HUGS))))) Maria