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Depressive episodes


peggy
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I am not sure if this is the right place for this...

 

I have not been able to find some personal experiences that are similar to mine and i want to move forward with a plan in place...

 

Prior to being prescribed Effexor, I had experienced 5 prior depressive episodes - 3 postpartum and 2 'out of the blue'. Each one lasted a little longer than the one before and were a little more intense, culminating with the one that resulted in me accepting antidepressants as the dark place that I was in was just too awful to endure for another day. Episodes were about 3 years apart and lasted between 6-8 months. They were quite damaging to my family, as you can imagine - mum withdrawing for 8 months every 3 years. Now that i have been on effexor and plan to come off through much slower weaning what is the general consensus out there to treat these depressive episodes if/should they recur? I am hoping that my therapy and lifestyle changes may mean that I am not as vulnerable as before, but in all honesty I can't (and never have been able) to pinpoint a cause. They were so swift to arrive - one day it wasn't there and the next day it was. Once triggered it would go on for the aforementioned 6 - 8 months.

 

I don't want to pre empt failure, but i guess i want to be armed with a plan - is short term treatment for depressive episodes helpful?

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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I've not had clinical depression but have had depressive symptoms due to anxiety and medication side effects. When I was depressed it was very difficult to get anything done. I didn't eat well, keep up with chores, keep on top of teeth brushing even.

 

During my w/d I've also had some depressive moments, though anxiety presents far more problems for me. I've learned to do things as best I can even when feeling depressed. For instance I eat a lot better, even ncluding my episodes of sweets indulgence. I make broths and stocks and try to eat simply. I concentrate on leans meats, fish, vegetables and eggs. I also have felt better walking daily and spending time outside.

 

It is tougher for many to get outside in February but if your climate allows it I definitely recommend getting some sun daily.

 

Also, I've been trying to find more people for support and keep up, as best I can, with chores and things.

 

I actually have a pretty ambitious daily routine I've not yet been well enough to implement but I've done a lot better being regular with a few basic things.

 

Of course, the challenge is doing them when I really really don't want to. It helps me to get in a routine and do a little bit everyday bc if I tried to exercise 3 times a week I'd probably never exercise at all. But I know I can find 20-30 minutes a day to take a gentle walk.

 

Alex

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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peggy, I know this is going to sound odd but many of us are affected by real dietary deficiencies. One is omega-3 fatty acids, which you can help with fish oil supplements.

 

Another is low vitamin B12. Some people have trouble absorbing this, and it gets worse as you get older.

 

We often don't have enough magnesium in our diets. This is a mineral that's important for healthy bone growth and for nervous system functioning. It tends to be calming.

 

More and more evidence is coming out that low vitamin D3 is very common. Supplements should be in the D3 (cholecalciferol) form for effective absorption.

 

Low levels of any of these, which may not show up on ordinary blood tests, can cause quite serious mental and emotional symptoms.

 

People sometimes report dramatic improvements when they've started supplementation or made changes in their diets to better suit their symptoms.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Thanks Alto and Alex...

the vitamin deficiencies sound interesting - i have been taking 3 omega 3 oil capsules at breakfast and dinner with a vitamin E as well for a few years now. One of my depressive episodes i had a course of B12 injections - they did boost my energy, but that was all. Over the course of the episodes i did A LOT of different things to try and get relief - acupuncture, chinese herbal medicine, homeopathy, hypnotherapy, vitamin therapy, chiropractic, colonics... and on and on, with the only result a depleted bank balance. The only constant in it all was the unrelenting ruminating thoughts, the depressed mood, weight loss, poor sleep, and crippling anxiety. Wound around all of it was the fear of getting worse!!! It culminated one night with being terrified i was actually developing schizophrenia...

 

And for these months i would go from a high functioning middle manager, running meetings, a large department and big budget to worrying if i would be even ABLE to go to work the next day. Committing myself to any social function was impossible. The magically the cloud would lift, pretty much the same as it descended and i would be fine again - until the next time. I have a very big 'stima' attached to the fact that i have been given a diagnosis on recurrent major depressive disorder. Maybe i will never have another episode - it has been a relief to discover the setbacks i have had since being on effexor have been due to withdrawal..

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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Cognitive behavioral therapy is good for those kinds of thoughts you can't turn off and cause anxiety. Have you tried that?

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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yes, kind of - my therapist seems to think that not buying into the thoughts is a better strategy for me - he says i am too cognitive.

 

lately i have been trying to just 'notice' them and not get carried away by them - not easy though

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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Noticing the thoughts and then immediately doing some meditative deep breathing can be very effective.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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I get the sense that you are categorizing these depressive episodes as something seperate from yourself. This is exactly what psychiatry does.

 

Do you really think they are out of the blue - or do you think something caused it that you are just shutting out or ignoring?

 

Just as Alto stated, mindful meditation is the key here.

Withdrew cold turkey from six medications: Celexa, Zyprexa, Depakote, Ativan, Ambien and Phentermine in 2002. It has been 10 years since I told polypharmacy to take a hike and have joined this forum to let others know that success is possible and to hopefully save people from experiencing the suffering that I did under psychiatric "care".

 

MY STORY

 

"TENSION is when we try to be who we think we should be, RELAXATION is when we are who we really are."

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I get the sense that you are categorizing these depressive episodes as something seperate from yourself. This is exactly what psychiatry does.

 

Do you really think they are out of the blue - or do you think something caused it that you are just shutting out or ignoring?

 

Just as Alto stated, mindful meditation is the key here.

 

I honestly don't know. One of the episodes i had a fair amount of stress going on before it, but 'thought' i was handling it well. Two of them literally appear to have come out of the blue - it is very possible (and probably probable) that there were indicators before i reached the threshold of recognition. Once the recognition starts i head downwards in a very quick slide. My thoughts centre around how 'bad' will it get, what if i end up like those people who are depressed for ever where no treatment works...

 

I agree mindful meditation is crucial..

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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peggy, it sounds like you compound these episodes by worrying about how bad it will get. Then it gets worse!

 

From experience, you know it comes and goes. That's the answer to "How bad will it get?"

 

Try not to add to worries with worry about worrying.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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peggy, it sounds like you compound these episodes by worrying about how bad it will get. Then it gets worse!

 

From experience, you know it comes and goes. That's the answer to "How bad will it get?"

 

Try not to add to worries with worry about worrying.

 

where is that 'like' button!!

Started in 2000 - On 150mg most of the time, (but up to 225mg at highest dose for 6 months in the beginning)
Reduced off easily first time - but got depressed (not too much anxiety) 6 months later
Back on effexor for another 9 months.
Reduced off again with no immediate w/d - suddenly got depressed and anxious ++ again 3 or 4 months later.
Back on effexor - this time for 3 years
Reduced off over a month - 6 weeks later terrible anxiety - back on.
Rinse and repeat 4 more times - each time the period before the anxiety comes back got shorter and shorter
Jan - July 2012 75mg down to 37.5mg;, 8/3/12 - 35mg. 8/25/12 - 32mg. 9/11- 28mg, 10/2 - 25mg, 10/29 - 22mg, 11/19 - 19.8mg; 12/11 - 17m,
1/1- 15.5mg; 1/22 -14mg, 2/7 14.9mg, 2/18 - 17.8mg - crashed big time: back to 75mg where i sat for 2 years....

4th  March 2015 - 67.5mg;   31st March - 60mg;  24th April - 53mg; 13th May - 48mg; 26th May - 45mg;  9th June - 41mg; 1 July- 37.5mg; 20 July - 34mg; 11 August - 31mg; 1st Sept - 28mg;  1st Dec - 25.8mg;  28th Dec - 23.2mg; 23rd Jan-21.9mg; Feb 7th- 21mg; March 1st - 20.1mg, March 30th - 18mg

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peggy, it sounds like you compound these episodes by worrying about how bad it will get. Then it gets worse!

 

From experience, you know it comes and goes. That's the answer to "How bad will it get?"

 

Try not to add to worries with worry about worrying.

 

Hear, hear!!

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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