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Do any of you take antidepressants?
Posted: Monday, August 19, 2019 10:21 PM
Joined: 4/6/2019
Posts: 30

Does it help?

I am completely numb and desensitized. The other day I was talking to my husband on the phone about our 9 y/o son, and he says, "That's the older one, right?" It took my breath away, but I can't even cry anymore. I don't have any interest in my favorite things anymore. I just literally stare at the ceiling now or read thru this board when everyone finally goes to sleep at night. When other people talk to me, I can't focus. My only thought is about this situation, and I fear this will be my new life for many years to come. I hate "living" like this. 

I need to snap out of it. I have little people to raise. Is this normal? Is this how all of you are living? If you made a choice to get on an antidepressant, did it help you feel at all similar to your "old self"??? Seriously considering it but wondering if it's even worth it, considering circumstances won't change. Just taking a pulse, I guess. 

Posted: Monday, August 19, 2019 10:55 PM
Joined: 1/1/2015
Posts: 31

I decided earlier today I’m going to need antidepressants, too. I plan to ask my doctor at my next visit. Stress kills and if we’re feeling it, we need to address it. The disease and resulting behavior is unnerving!1Stressedlady, I’m sorry your husband, you, and your young children are in this boat. Do you have family nearby to help you?
Posted: Monday, August 19, 2019 11:43 PM
Joined: 8/22/2017
Posts: 386

To stressed lady -- I have taken anti-depressants for 30+ years, but I have to say my dosage was upped in the last several years (five years since diagnosis).  Anti-depressants are life savers for many chronic depressives like myself.  I first became depressed at 10 or 11, when my wonderful grandmother died in a car crash -- not treated until my mid 30's when I became a member of Prozac nation.  I don't know where I would be in life without these drugs, and I am sure that they can help people who are not born biological depressives like myself, but who are depressed because of an incredibly difficult situation, like having young children and an early onset husband with ALZ.  You are in a terrible place because of this disease, and no matter how basically sane and balanced you have always been in normal times, you should avail yourself of any help available.  I would definitely recommend trying the SSRI's (post-Prozac anti-depressants).  

 Your situation is so much more difficult than those of us with older spouses and grown up offspring. You need all the strength you can find -- my heart goes out to you and to your children. 

Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 5:30 AM
Joined: 4/6/2014
Posts: 375

I take Sertaline everyday day. to help me get over the bumps in the road. I have had no side effects and they are a generic so price is cheap


Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 6:52 AM
Joined: 3/15/2018
Posts: 296

OMG YES! I wouldn’t be able to function if I didn’t! Add to that I see a counselor every two weeks. You MUST take care of yourself or you will be worthless for your kids and DH. Does it make you your “normal” self? I can say that for me it helps me think more clearly and allows me to function as I should. But it will not take away the grief and the pain of this situation. That’s why you need to see someone regularly to help you cope. Believe me, I’m a professional counselor myself, and I still need the support. We all do. This disease truly “takes a village.”
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 7:29 AM
Joined: 4/12/2019
Posts: 142

Started my first antidepressant when Prozac became available.  It was as if a light was switched on in my brain!

I was seeing a psychiatrist at the time and she said 'you're not depressed, but you're anxious, so maybe Prozac will help you'.  And it did.

I've been on various antidepressants and almost always in therapy since then, 1988.  So 31 years.

Regards, ElaineD

Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 8:30 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 2754

Anyone not taking them probably should. There is no shame it felling and getting better.  

We all need help sometimes to get by. 

Keep It 100
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 10:12 AM
Joined: 2/26/2017
Posts: 514

Your handle says it all. The struggle is real, and having such young ones to look after only adds to the pain, the losses (of future experiences, etc.). The YOAD experience is unique in that it not only affects our well-being (patient and carer), but it cuts careers short, adds enormous financial strain on the survivors (by losing years of earnings) and deprives children of parental experiences. I thought it was bad that my husband's youngest was in middle school when we started; I cannot imagine having children even younger.... 

I believe that much of the stigma with using drug interventions for depression and anxiety are a thing of the past...perhaps not(??). But if it is the best course of action for putting your self back on a positive track, I would think it is worth exploring, with proper input from a professional. However, that said, with full disclosure I should state that I do not personally take any drugs. There are simple breathing and meditative techniques that work for me (I get stressed, but I never stay that way and chill out rather quickly...I get angry, but never stay mad for very long) and I have made some adjustments that have allowed me to start getting a full night's sleep again, which has been critical for me. 

Rescue mom
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 1:15 PM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 1340

Lol kind of when I read your title. I’m trying to think of anyone who does *not* take antidepressants, or at least tried them. Different people have different results, and sometimes one type works better than another type. There’s a lot of trial and error involved. 

My doc was running through choices with me, and told me “you *should* be depressed” with DH with AD. It actually turned out I more needed anti-anxiety meds, but that’s another story.

Just don’t be afraid to try them if your doc agrees.

Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 2:54 PM
Joined: 1/12/2018
Posts: 149

I had been taking 20 mg Prozac for hot flashes for several years prior to DX and it worked beautiful for them. After DH was DX, I was so stressed out, like you, I had trouble concentrating. After discussing the stress level with my doctor, she suggested that we double the dosage of Prozac. It has helps me to be less angry all the time. I do feel calmer. I am glad I spoke to her about my stress. It has helped me.
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 6:31 PM
Joined: 5/12/2016
Posts: 61

I've had a lifelong problem with depression. Probably rooted in the death of my mother and father's subsequent 20 year effort to commit suicide by alcohol poisoning (he succeeded).  So I've been on and off Wellbutrin for decades.  Last year I went to see my PCP with the specific request for a prescription.  I feel no stigma and in fact I've recommended my children to get them if needed.  I wish I could use sleeping pills (OTC) at will but I'm hesitant to use them more than once a week or so.  There have been indications that the OTC sleep aids are tied to an increase in dementia, so I have very few good nights.
Posted: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 6:38 PM
Joined: 7/12/2017
Posts: 1391

Just be ready for side affects on the body, like the kidneys.  Not saying don't take meds if you need to, but there are trade offs.  And if you start, make sure you know how, if you want, to wean off the right way.  Just heard an amazing program on NPR about this.  The hostess herself had been on prozac for years and it was really good.

Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 6:22 AM
Joined: 4/6/2019
Posts: 30

Bless all of you for your kind and gentle words. I am sorry to hear about the incredibly sad things you've gone through as well. I think this is what I needed to hear. I talked to a good friend about this last night as well and definitely feel more that meds and therapy will be instrumental in getting me through this darkness into some sort of light. I keep hearing great things about Prozac, so thank you to those of you who confirmed it's made a difference for you too.

People always suggest I should sort of dump off my soon to be ex. I struggle with that so much. I am incredibly compassionate by nature and it goes against every fiber of my being. At this point, my kids aren't asking to talk to him and vice versa, so I think I'll let all of them take the lead on communication and visits. As far as his safety, I can't rest until I know he's placed and safe. I think that will be a turning point for me to be able to get out from that huge dark cloud that weighs on me as I wait for him to be foreclosed and evicted with nowhere to go. 

Again, thank you for a push in the right direction. I will call the doctor as soon as they open today and keep you posted. Hugs.

Keep It 100
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 8:25 AM
Joined: 2/26/2017
Posts: 514

You may be stressed and in need of some additional help to manage your way through this difficult time, but you reveal yourself to have a very good head and a wonderfully in-tact moral compass. Even though your kids and husband have an estrangement, you are modeling behavior to your children that is being watched and absorbed. As they grow older and mature and gain a fuller understanding of everything you are going through they will appreciate that compassion and admire and respect you for it.
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 7:10 PM
Joined: 10/21/2016
Posts: 2526

In my local support group, about 75% of the caregivers have eventually turned to antidepressants and only one did not benefit.
Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2019 10:37 PM
Joined: 4/25/2019
Posts: 47

Hi, so sorry you are in pain. I am motivated to write because, like McCott, I have a definite biological major depression since 13 y o and would be dead without antidepressants (not exaggerating - went off them when pregnant & breast feeding 'for the baby', & developed postnatal depression so severely I won't elaborate.) I am now classified as treatment resistant on double dose meds since sole caring for both mother (2012- 2016, dec), now father 2014- terminal) & now also 64 yo Hb with EOAD I'm just not coping with at all. Meds still do (just) keep my head above water, so really want to say please discuss with  your doctor and don't believe the nay-sayers without individualised medical advice (there are definitive symptoms for biological depression most likely to require medication, short or long term). I am also a retired GP, so have prescribed (judiciously, not for simple short term reactive depression) all classes of antidepressnts, always with incorporated counselling as co-therapy, for many hundreds of people with great success. (Won't be giving medical advice here, just stating to validate the authenticity of my position). FWIW, both our sons also inherited biological depression in their teens & responded well to meds, but relapse if they try to cease. Mother & bother both bipolar, father major depression like me. Bottom line: it's real, and in extreme & ongoing stressful situations like ours, even reactive depression can readily tip over into major depression, with neurotransmitters pushed by stress into imbalance. I'm on & off this site about same time as you cos not coping, spill over, recede, come back like sea waves - but thank you for your post motivating me to contribute, in case it helps. Very best wishes, Coralie  (((  ))).

Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 2:03 PM
Joined: 6/14/2014
Posts: 2

Thank you for bringing up the anti-depressant message today.  

I went and increased my Sertraline dosage as of this minute.  I had not been taking my full dosage as I always wanted to have "something more" when things were getting more difficult.  Well, I think my current state warrants more.  

 Due to difficulties in getting off an anti-depressant in the past I was trying to keep to a very low dose.  But trying to cope with my current life hell with dh's Alzheimers state and my multiple sclerosis, it's time to up the dosage.

I feel compassion with you people who still have young children at home who should be high priority.                                                                                                                                   Reading this forum always reminds me of the many varieties of difficulties that people face..




Posted: Thursday, August 22, 2019 4:35 PM
Joined: 7/12/2017
Posts: 1391

I remember years ago I had a friend who was always knitting.  Her mom had ALZ.  I asked how she was doing and she said prozac...
Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 11:47 AM
Joined: 5/7/2018
Posts: 354

YES!!! I had a major depression after a hysterectomy due to being given an overdose of replacement hormones. I cried all the time and wanted to kill myself, which was totally out of character. I went on one and never looked back. This was 2001. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2004. The antidepressants helped me cope. Now that my DH has AZ, I KNOW that the drugs help me be more patient. If I was not on them ,I would be ruminating and crying all the time. You will be able to manage your life and your children much better. So, please give them a try. Remember that they take about a month to work and not all of them work for every person. I was first give Paxil. and I paced and climbed the walls on it. However, other people do well on that one. I now take Lexapro and have for several years.