The Dark   25 comments

Have you ever watched and really listened to those TV commercials from drug companies that are trying to sell their medicine and encourage you to talk to your doctor to see if Drug X is right for you? I’m sure that you know the ones I’m talking about. The ones with the laundry list of warnings about potential side effects and dangers that make you think “I think I’d rather suffer through whatever ailment than take this drug”. Well, Brade and I watch them and make a little game about what side effects each drug is going to have. Death? Thoughts of Suicide? Heart failure? It’s sort of like medical bingo, get five right and get a prize!

Until one of them hits close to home.

It wasn’t until a couple of nights ago that we were listening to a commercial for an arthritis drug called Celebrex that something clicked. We’d seen the commercial a million times before, because it’s heavily advertised, and I’d always thought “thank god I’m not taking that medicine for my hands!”. But this is the first time that a light bulb went off in my head as the commercial played. As they started listing off the possible side effects of taking the drug, one stood out to me. Depression.

Now, I’ve always been a person who wears their heart on their sleeve. I’ve always been honest and frank about my emotions. And I do have (plenty of) emotions – both highs and lows. I mean, I’ve certainly had my moments. But for the past few months there have been a lot more lows for me, an uncharacteristic amount that have occurred for prolonged periods of time as of late. Small things that I would have previously shrugged off started to eat at me. Large things that have always been difficult to deal with seemed impossible. Challenges with running the guild and raiding became mountains to climb. Dealing with my family over the holidays had me in tears every day for two weeks leading up to Christmas. Stress at work started to overwhelm me. I simply felt incapable of handling the everyday things in my life that I had been so deft at navigating previously.

As we watched that commercial I started to wonder. I brought my recent emotional state up with Brade and asked him if he felt I’d been more emotional the past few months than normal. I mean, I’ve always had challenges with my family during the holidays – but they never kept me down and controlled me like they did this year. There have always been challenges with running a raiding guild – but they never pushed me to feel like I was incapable of holding it together. And he agreed, I’d had a lot more lows, for extended periods of time, over the last few months. And so together we started talking back through them to see if we could pinpoint the time when it all started.

After discussing it some, and looking back through my writing here on the blog, the prolonged periods of feeling like the world was throwing more at me than I could bear, lined up fairly cleanly with when I started the medication for my hands. Maybe this was a coincidence, and a giant shit storm landed on my lap about the same time I started new medication. But considering that watching NCIS last night made me burst into tears, or that Brade didn’t want me to make fudge on Monday night because I was already upset and he was worried any extra stress (like not timing the mixing of ingredients well when making candy) would have me inconsolable, I don’t know that it is coincidence and do wonder if something more is wrong.

And so, like any good geek, I went to the internet.

Because the drugs that I’d been prescribed for my hands were very similar to Celebrex I started to wonder if it was possible that depression was a potential side effect for them as well. I mean, I always read through that list that the pharmacist provides me with the “do not do this while taking this medication” warnings. I always look at the major warnings. But I rarely take the time to do more than just gloss over the small print. And so to the internet I went, in search of all of the potential side effects of the Meloxicam. And there is was, listed in the side effects:

abnormal dreaming, anxiety, appetite increased, confusion, depression, nervousness, somnolence

So naturally my next thought was “coincidence, I’m not depressed! I’m tough and strong and can handle anything”. Except as of late that’s not even close to the truth. The truth is that not only couldn’t I handle anything, I feel like everything overwhelms me. Even the smallest things seem like insurmountable hurdles that keep being placed in front of me to ensure my failure.

So off to the internet I went again.

This time to find out, exactly, what depression is and what the symptoms are. I mean, I’ve always kind of considered myself a fairly upbeat person and while I had periods of time when I was sad I’d never really considered depression as something I’ve ever had to deal with. And as I read through the symptoms it was like running through a check list of my life the past few months.

Symptoms of depression can include:

  • Agitation, restlessness, and irritability (Yup, I’ve felt this)
  • Dramatic change in appetite, often with weight gain or loss (eating anything not nailed down and putting on 15 pounds in the past 3 months? You bet!)
  • Very difficult to concentrate
  • Fatigue and lack of energy (Wanting to just “veg” and not deal with things? Did you SEE how much TV I’ve watched lately?)
  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness (You’ve read my blog these last months, right?)
  • Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and guilt (Just trust me on this one. Ask Brade if you don’t want to.)
  • Becoming withdrawn or isolated (Check.)
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed (I think this one has been…obvious.)
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Trouble sleeping or excessive sleeping (And here I thought it was because Brade kept the bedroom like a sauna every night!)

Depression can appear as anger and discouragement, rather than feelings of sadness.

The more I read, the more it seemed like this was truly something that I should be considering and something very real that I could be dealing with. I talked with Brade again about it some more, and he told me “talk to your doctor” – which I’m pretty sure in Brade talk was “I agree, let’s get it fixed and get you back”. And, honestly, I felt a little bit relieved. That maybe this emotional roller coaster ride I’ve been on – that I thought was a direct result of Heroic Rag and Guild stress weighing me down and bleeding into my life – may actually be something more real and much more serious.

I saw my Rhuemetologist on Monday, before I’d had this revelation. During the visit she prescribed me new medication, which was a change of treatment as the Meloxicam was assisting with some symptoms but not alleivating all of them. We picked up the new medication and the first thing I did was pull out the small print and specifically look at all of the side effects. Sure enough, there it was in the new medication as well:

Nervous System: anxiety, asthenia, confusion, depression, dream abnormalities, drowsiness, insomnia, malaise, nervousness, paresthesia, somnolence, tremors, vertigo

Now, the information that I read about depression indicated that a chemical change in the brain is one of the things that is a leading cause. So, assuming that the prior medication was, in fact, causing depression, does not mean that the new medication will react with my body the same way. And I am hopeful that is true, but uncertain as it is a similar medication treating a similar malady. However, I am also going to see how I feel over the next month on the new medication, and if there is no change, or I still feel so overwhelmed that I can’t deal with even the smallest things, I will absolutely be talking to my doctor and exploring if I am experiencing one of the side effects of the medication.

I’ve never really felt this way before, or even considered that I may be suffering from depression. Sure I’ve had off days…but what do you do when you feel off for months? And to be honest, I’m not really sure where to go from here. I do know that talking to my doctor is a good place to start, but I also think that waiting to see if the change in medication has an impact is also important. I guess what I need advice on is what to do in the interim. How do I deal with the almost constant lows? How do I get my feet back under me? How do I even know if this is truly what is wrong and I’m not just having some sort of mid-life crisis deal and should start looking at sports cars?

I’d love to hear thoughts from people who have experienced and lived through depression, or helped a loved one struggling, but I also know that it’s a deeply personal subject – so please do not hesitate to email me rather than comment if you’d like to give me your thoughts and feedback, and know that it will be held in the deepest confidence. For now, I’m just going to start the new medicine and try to take things one day at a time, placing one foot in front of the other to see where it takes me. I’m a little bit uncertain and a lot scared, but hopeful that just maybe I’ve stumbled onto something that’s been troubling me for the past few months.

Posted January 12, 2012 by Beruthiel in Deep Thoughts, Personal

25 responses to “The Dark

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  1. Hey Beru,

    Depression is inherent in my personality types. Also, my profession is known for having massive amounts of it’s practitioners living their whole career in a mild depression. I’ve had family members deal with it, and I saw it while I worked in the hospital (specialty hospital).

    All that to say: Hell yes, bring it up with your doctor!

    If s/he doesn’t take your concern seriously (in your opinion), then get a second opinion. If s/he has a problem with you seeking a second opinion, then they don’t deserve to be your doctor. This crap is real, and has some really bad affects upon you, your family (aka those you love), friends and work.

    This is your life. It’s one of the most precious things that you have. (i.e. I think my children’s lives are more precious than mine.) So please, take every step you can take to find out if you are suffering from medication based depression.

    Z

  2. Beru! This sounds like you may have hit upon a huge explanation to your recent woes. I could definitely see your medication being the catalyst that would turn guild difficulties – tough as they might be – into struggles that, for the first time, seemed unresolvable / impossible to handle. I hope this is the case, now that you’ve realized it and have (hopefully) gotten new medication that won’t have that same effect! :D Not just so you can enjoy playing and raiding, of course, but because depression is such a terrible thing, and it would be so great if you could leave it behind! You will have to let us know, we have our fingers crossed for you. :)

    PS: Because I am silly, I see “dream abnormalities” and the first thought that ran through my head was “that might be AWESOME.” Hahaha. >_>

  3. My advice: Call your prescribing doctor, and call your GP. Don’t wait. In fact, if you aren’t raiding tonight, go wander over and have a heart to heart with your pharmacist. (Did you know that most pharmacists have a PharmD these days? very educated, those people.) If you have an adverse drug reaction to one med in a class of meds, it is very likely you will have the same reaction to all of them.

    Err… ummm… word of warning though. Most anti-depressants have depressed sexual appetite as a side effect. It ummmm.. is a big pain.

    I have periodic bouts of depression. Its a common side effect of the meds I take for MS bouts, plus its a common effect of MS. The absolute hardest step isn’t acknowledging that I am depressed, it is actually taking the first step to fix it. So I say… go now while the fire is lit. Don’t wait.

    There’s no strength in suffering. Get your mix of pills fixed.

  4. Sent you an email.

    Hope changing the meds makes you feel better.

  5. I’m hesitant to be a first time poster on something so personal (I don’t talk much – sue me :) ), but I would like to second everyone that says to talk to your GP/Pharmacists NOW.

    Have you ever had a technical problem… done all the troubleshooting yourself – only to call the helpdesk with all that useful information to have them make you do all those steps ALL OVER AGAIN?. Now imagine how it would feel if you were made to go through that process where your health/wellbeing is concerned.

    You can still do all the research, double check facts on your own, but talk to an expert now.

    I hope you feel better soon!

  6. I have more advice on dealing with depressive symptoms than will comfortably fit in a comment. (So I’ll send you an e-mail instead ^^)

    However, you definitely should talk to your GP/specialist/pharmacist about your symptoms because there’s nothing wrong with having depression, whether as a part of a mood disorder, or due to circumstances, or medication. Also, many medications for specific symptoms are in the same “class” and often have the same side effects. Have your GP/specialist/pharmacist check on that, as well as providing information on the prevalence of cases with the side-effect that you’re experiencing.

    Although you *are* changing medications (and you personally suspect that it’s related to medication) you might also consider keeping a journal to make sure your symptoms are improving as opposed to “winging it” before you go back to the Dr. again.

  7. Know that you are not alone missy, and there are plenty of people that support and care for you. I wish you the best and many hugs! /bear hug
    ~Ave

  8. Wow, a powerful discovery. I really have no first hand knowledge on how to deal with depression but I must emphasize to take it very seriously. I know of people who have committed suicide who had families and great lives with everything to live for.

    Depression is powerful, it will make you do thing you’d never dream of doing.

  9. For my trigeminal neuralgia, a lot of the drugs they have tried me on are also used for many psychiatric and seizure disorders. The problem with this, is it’s an “off label” use, for a physical/neurological problem- not the main reason why MOST people go on those drugs (or what the drugs were originally created for). I also have pretty crippling social and generalized anxiety; which for a long time wasn’t being treated because there were some days that I couldn’t force myself to even leave my house- at the detriment of my health because I’d miss doctor’s appointments and being able to see family etc.

    If people in my immediate family aren’t sick with phsyical issues (or have passed away from said issues) they seem to be plagued with psychiatric issues or substance abuse issues lol. You know about what’s gone on with my Dad, but what you might not know is that my Mom has MS- and was diagnosed with it just before I was born. It flared up again really bad when my Dad started getting sick, and then last year my Mom actually had a heart attack so she’s got that going on too. My Uncle on my Mom’s side died when I was 7 (he was 30 something I believe) from a massive heart attack after years of heart problems (same thing my Grandfather on my Mom’s side passed away from before I was 6 months old.) My Aunt on my Mom’s side has severe manic depressive bi-polar disorder and had tried to commit suicide three times to the point that my first memory of her is visiting her in the psychiatric ward of the hospital while she was going through electro shock therapy. She also has Fibromyalgia and another nerve type disorder. My grandmother on my Mom’s side passed away from liver and colon cancer when I was 13. My Dad’s Dad died when he was 5, I don’t know how as he’s never talked about it. My Dad’s Mom passed away a month after my other Grandma did to lung cancer, but the primary CoD was massive pulmonary embolisms. My Dad’s brother passed away when I was 8 or 9, (I can’t really remember when) from a brain hemorrage and massive seizure. My remaining family members on my Dad’s side are functioning/non functioning alcoholics. Talk about your family history, it’s always interesting when I have to see a new Doctor and they’re like “do you have any family members that have had health or mental health problems?” lol.

    You’ve hit the nail on the head with the myriad of symptoms and effects that can happen when you take these drugs for neurological issues and you either A) Don’t have the primary issues that the drug was created/originally intended for or B)If you do, it’s not the right drug for you or your body is just sensitive to it and C)Some of these drugs are just nasty and have awful side effects, period.

    When I was put on drugs like Celebrex (I’ve been on a total of 4 now, and actually cannot take any of the medications offered for off label use because they make my social anxiety etc so much worse and didn’t seem to help the nerve pain at all) I had most if not ALL of the bad symptoms and they seemed to bombard me slowly until it was so crippling mentally that even when I did sleep I had HORRIBLE dreams. Turns out the Dr said they were night terrors or something, I’d wake up in a cold sweat in tears from the disturbingly graphic dreams I’d been having, when I first woke up from them I couldn’t even tell they were dreams sometimes which was extra scary. I also had some awful physical symptoms like not being able to keep food/water down, migraines, tremors etc.

    I’ve been on: Gabapentin (brand names Fanatrex, Gabarone, Gralise, Neurontin, Nupentin)- after reading up on this drug and being on upwards of 1800mg a day and getting no relief but having all the problems that can come with that high of a dose I asked my Dr to swap my meds. Gabapentin was originally developed for the treatment of epilepsy, and is also used to relieve some neuropathic pain/ailments. Gabapentin seems to be the modern day snake-water/miracle cure if you will, and they will throw it at people for so many different conditions with no solid clinical studies on how it works for it’s off label uses and the long term side effects that can happen from off label use.

    I’ve also been on Duloxetine (From Wikipedia): Duloxetine (sold under the brand names Cymbalta, Ariclaim, Xeristar, Yentreve, Duzela) is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) manufactured and marketed by Eli Lilly. It is effective for major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). It can also relieve the symptoms of painful peripheral neuropathy, particularly diabetic neuropathy, and it is used to control the symptoms of fibromyalgia. It did not work for me, and had some of the worst side effects for me, personally. I was taken off of it too quickly and ended up with SSRI discontinuation issues which are not fun at all. Another joy of taking a primarily psychiatric medication for neurological pain.

    The next drug they had me on was Carbamazepine (again from Wikipedia): Carbamazepine (CBZ) is an anticonvulsant and mood-stabilizing drug used primarily in the treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder, as well as trigeminal neuralgia. It is also used off-label for a variety of indications, including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia, phantom limb syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, paroxysmal extreme pain disorder, neuromyotonia, intermittent explosive disorder, borderline personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Again I had more side effects and no pain relief, even when paired with my opiates.

    And finally, Sodium Valproate. Sodium valproate (INN) or valproate sodium (USAN) is the sodium salt of valproic acid and is an anticonvulsant used in the treatment of epilepsy, anorexia nervosa, panic attack, anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, migraine and bipolar disorder, as well as other psychiatric conditions requiring the administration of a mood stabilizer. Sodium valproate can be used to control acute episodes of mania and acute stress reaction. Side effects can include tiredness, tremors, nausea, vomiting and sedation. The intravenous formulations are used when oral administration is not possible. In pregnancy, valproate has the highest risk of birth defects of any of the commonly-used antiepilepsy drugs. However, some epilepsy can only be controlled by valproate, and seizures also pose grave risk to mother and child. Some of the common adverse effects include: tiredness, tremor, sedation and gastrointestinal disturbances. In addition, about 10% of the users experience reversible hair loss. I felt even sicker on this drug than I had during any treatment for the other stuff I have going on. I was only on this drug for about three weeks which was plenty long enough for me.

    Currently I am taking Cloneazepam (aka Klonopin), and while it was primarily prescribed for my anxiety, it actually helps a bit with the trigeminal neuralgia which is a nice thing after all the drugs I’ve been on and have failed me. I’m on a plethora of other drugs for the other physical issues I have going on but that in itself could be a book-like read lol. If you look deeper into all of the afformentioned drugs, there are a lot of people who have been on them long term and there are some pretty scary stories. That being said- not everyone has the same problems on the drug(s) so until you try them for yourself, you won’t know. But knowledge is power and I definitely recommend thoroughly researching any drug you find your Dr putting you on- and once you have a concrete diagnosis for your hands, get on the message boards for whatever it is and listen to the people that have been through hell and back until they found a drug that worked for them so that you can hopefully have a less hellish experience.

    I’m not a Dr, but given that I’ve been on similar drugs and experienced what you have- I’d probably you say you’ve made a fairly significant self diagnosis and should talk to your doctor or even Pharmacist asap as it can take awhile after not taking the drugs to get back to what it the “norm” for you mentally (and physically if you’re having physical issues from the drug i.e sleep disruptions, tremors etc). If your doctor does not take you seriously or tries to brush you off, definitely get a second or third or fourth opinion. If you ever want to talk, I’m here- I hope you find something that works for your hands and doesn’t make you have all the awful side effects quickly!

  10. I echo Feature in hesitating to comment for the first time on something so personal, but I’ve been where you are and wanted to give you a pat on the back for being honest with yourself that you might be struggling with this. Understanding that what you’re feeling might be a side effect of medication is a great step forward, and I would also say… yeah, check with your doctor or pharmacist right away. Don’t suffer any longer than you have to.

    As for dealing day-to-day before you get it straightened out… there were a couple of helpful strategies that I used. One was to try (and it was HARD) to get a little bit of exercise every day, even on the days when I could barely pull myself out of bed. Usually it was nothing more than a walk around the block, but it helped with the guilty feelings of “my god, I have done NOTHING today”. And yeah, it’s hard. Because when you’re depressed, there are days when you can’t do anything and then you feel worse. The journaling idea is good, especially if you’re finding that in addition to all the physical symptoms, you’re just struggling with dark and negative thoughts. I was too inconsistent with it to really have it do me any good, but when I DID sit down to write, it helped. This is kind of silly, but something else that worked for me was to try to spend at least a little time everyday outside in the sun. Will be more difficult for you because, well, it’s winter. BUT I found that the extra vitamin D was an encouraging thing for me.

    The number one piece of advice that I can offer is to be radically more forgiving of yourself than you have ever been before, and it was a struggle for me, as someone who is naturally extremely hard on herself. Do not beat yourself up for the days when you cannot get the laundry folded and put away. It will only make it worse. Be gentle with yourself – your body is going through a rough spell, and giving yourself a guilt trip is only going to make it worse.

    Good luck, Beru. We’re all cheering for you! I am looking forward to the post you’ll be writing when you can say, “Guys, I’m through the Dark and things are looking so far up I’ve got a crick in my neck.”

  11. It’s very unlikely that meloxicam would be causing depression. That family of drugs, NSAIDs, (which includes Advil) doesn’t usually have any psychological effects (and I double checked meloxicam in the CPS, depression is listed in a looooong list, but isn’t listed on the adverse effects that happened in 2% or more of the persons in the trials). The fine print on medication monographs have to be taken with a grain of salt: drug companies don’t want to be sued, so they’ll list EVERY side effect that may possibly be related to the medication, even if it happened to, like, one person in China 20 years ago.

    But if you are worried that meloxicam is causing depression, then switching is a great idea. There are a lot of medication options for pain. There’s no point in staying on one that worries you. Pain medication should always improve your quality of life, not take away from it.

    One thing to think about is that you’ve been through hell in the past year. Pain issues and undiagnosed illness are a HUGE stress. I’m a new grad, but I’ve seen a lot of pain patients and I’ve yet to meet one who doesn’t face depression or other mood disorders. Then add the wear and tear of leading your guild, and your job which I imagine must be stressful, and then regular life… Eventually your brain says “I need a break! I’m shutting down!”

    You’re a strong person, but even strong people get sick sometimes. Definitely talk to your doctor. If you can’t find a medication that allows you to be both pain and depression free, there are options to help you feel more like yourself.

    *hugs* If you want to talk, hit me up on gmail anytime.

  12. My partner had a similar experience with the Pill last year. Took us ages to make the connection but after a few mini breakdowns (over essentially nothing) she decided to speak to her GP, was taken off that particular pill and has been as right as rain since. My understanding is that certain chemical compounds react with certain people differently, hence the thousand and one potential side effects on the side of the bottle. Definately talk to your GP ASAP – we couldnt’ believe how much of a difference it made to our lives.

    Hope things begin to look up for you soon,

    Rob.

  13. Talk to your doctor sooner, not later. As Ophelie said, it’s unlikely that your medication was the sole triggering reason you might be depressed, if it’s related at all. Depression can come up suddenly without any apparent cause, it’s very misunderstood. Even your initial thought is revealing – depression isn’t a thing that happens because people aren’t “tough and strong”. I think it reveals you to still be tough and strong that you’re confronting this possibility head on even though you’re having a really hard time lately. I’m sure you know that, but I want to remind you to know it in your heart. It’s not your fault!

    I know whenever I get treatment I am always sad I didn’t do it sooner. (I naturally procrastinate much more than you.) The treatment, no matter how many side affects or annoying doctor visits* you have to go through is better than living life through a cloud that’s stealing your willpower and strength.

    I hope you feel better soon! It’s not right to have things suddenly get so difficult to deal with. We’re here for you every step of the way <3

    * It would be really neat if you could have Doctor visits, instead. Treatments for depression may include medication, talk therapy, stress management techniques, and time traveling with David Tennant. Yes please.

  14. I took a bunch of medicines for my fibromyalgia over the years, and all of these nervous-system-affecting-drugs had concrete brain side effects in my view. Some were depression-treating medicines, which actually had a chance of increasing your depression, go figure! Some were NSAIDs which made me so agitated, depressed and anxious, even with the low low chance of it happening, as Ophelie said. I took Celebrex, and I had some of those same side effects. I took Cymbalta, which was the worst anti-depression/pain-management medicine in the world for me. Although it super-helped my pain management, it put me in a fog for the months I was on it, hardly able to function in high school and sports and family life. I am currently on Lyrica, which is similar to Celebrex, and it is a lot more mild, but I’m still considering that I’m not as normal as I want to be. I don’t know if Lyrica can help what you have, but it was one of the mildest as far as psychological side effects, although it did have some dizziness, sleepiness and a few other small side effects.

    It’s up to you to decide if you get enough benefit out of these medicines to be worth the side effects. Quality of life is very important, but you have to choose for yourself what aspects of quality you want to focus on. I know that is something I struggle with as I take medicine.

    Sorry for the list of my medicine history, haha, I just kind of let it all out there. Anyways, the point is: depression and mood change is extremely possible from these types of drugs. I have experienced it multiple times, in varying degrees. Try the other medicine if you like, or even another you find and research for yourself (and then suggest to your doctor; I’ve done this before), but remember that the old medicine can continue to affect you for weeks afterwards, whether on a new medicine or completely drug-free.

    Take care of yourself, your sanity, and your wonderful Brade. Those are very important.

    *hugs* Best of luck madam tree!

    • Ooo I really need to correct something here. (I can’t help myself, my tingly pharmacist senses go wild when I see a medication problem.) Celebrex and Lyrica have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Celebrex is an NSAID, but with less GI risks in most populations. (I could go into detail why, but I’m sure no one cares.) Like other NSAIDs, it targets inflammation and non-nerve pain. It does very little for nerve pain. Lyrica is related to gabapentin, a drug that acts on nerves. It’s not “milder” than gabapentin, but since everybody is built differently, some people will prefer one over the other. Lyrica has some advantages too in that you don’t have to take it as often, and you don’t have to go through a huge dose scaling system to find the right dose. Lyrica works on nerve pain, and wouldn’t do much for pain caused by inflammation.

      Being agitated or uncomfortable on Celebrex when it’s used for fibromyalgia is probably more due to that drug not being ideal for the condition than anything else. Lyrica makes far more sense in fibro.

  15. See your doctor as soon as you possibly can. As people have pointed out, it’s unlikely that it is that particular medicine causing this, at least not as a single pinpoint cause, but that’s largely irrelevant. The important thing is that you have realized that you are suffering from depression, and now you can do something about it. Do it, and do it now.

    Your approach should not be “My medication is making me depressed.” It should be “I am depressed, this might be the reason, but if it isn’t, I want to get better anyway.”
    Reading your post, it looks like you have grabbed hold of the medication as a potential cause because it’s a really simple explanation, with a really simple cure – stop the medication and you feel better immediately. It’s very likely that it’s not that simple, and that getting over it will take time and a lot of effort.

    Everyone is here to support you. Go get better.

  16. Beru, I love your honesty and the fact that you share these types of things most people would not share. I hope you realize how much it truly helps people to see they are not the only ones who suffer these things and that there are wonderful people like you who share their struggles. It really does make a world of difference.

  17. I agree with everyone else here. Talk to your doctor/prescriber about this and tell them you’re concerned. I have really weird reactions to medication, reactions that my doctor is like “WTF Karegina, you should not being having withdrawal symptoms from this mediation, NO ONE gets them!” Every single person is different and what works for X person might not work for you.

    My depression isn’t a personal thing to me. It’s something that I end up wearing on my sleeve where everyone can see it. I have been ‘depressed’ since I was 12 years old. At first, you just struggle to live through it. But eventually, I ended up developing some coping mechanisms. I don’t think they were particularly healthy but hell, I was 12 years old! As I got old, I ended up in therapy. And I would get ‘better’ and then I’d get ‘worse’. When I got the birth control shot, I went manic. (I don’t get good manic, I get angry/raving manic.) I became a raving bitch. My body couldn’t handle the hormones. Eventually, when the hormones faded, I fell into a deep depression and ended up quitting my job and laying in bed all day.

    My doctor started putting me anti-depressants. And I’d get better for a bit, then crash, then get better, and then crash. This happened a lot.

    Now, when I’m depressed, I spend a lot of time in bed, or watching tv, or reading books. I know that what I NEED is the exact opposite of what I WANT. I want to sit and mope and be miserable. I don’t want to raid, I don’t want to talk to anyone. However, I have an amazing husband who pulls me around and forces me to interact with other people. I’m sure he gets sick and tired of being my rock but he hasn’t said anything. Brade seems to be the same way. He loves you and will support you with whatever you need to do. And honestly, that’s a huge HUGE bonus.

    Depression sucks but it sucks worse when you think you’re all alone. You have Brade and I have J. And because of them, things end up better. Not as bleak.

    /hug

    You will get better. That is the one thing I have learned. Depression doesn’t last forever. And by the Earthmother, sometimes that is the only thing that I can cling too.

  18. I started to type and then realized … I have a lot to say. So, email headed your way. No need to maintain confidentiality, share it around if you’d like.

  19. My wife is one of the bravest people I know and she has blogged openly about depression and diabetes for quite some time. (http://betizuka.com)

    This is great news for you, it means that you are on the road to recover (specially if it was just a chemical imbalance.)

    The first step is always finding out that you are suffering from it, and being able to accept it. There is a huge stigma about it and somehow people associated with weakness or not being able to get over. I was kind of like that until I myself found depression.

    Mine was caused more by an environment change than anything going on with my chemistry. I was in a such a high stress situation that I started to find it very difficult to concentrate… something that a computer programmer has to be able to do.

    I eventually removed myself from the situation but also had some help getting my chemistry back in balance. I understood that like any other organ that has a deficiency, you treat your brain. It helped a lot, but I was yet not an expert in the subject, I still I am not.

    My wife suffers from clinical depression and has been taken medication for years. It sucks a lot some day, but with patience, love and great communication (which you seem to have with your significant other) we have dealt with it. Every day things get better and even though the winter can still be difficult, we have been trying out a sun lamp and it helps.

    Getting your chemistry in order will do wonders, but it also has to come with a improved thought process. If you are feeling worthless, share that… I am sure there are plenty of people that will make you see how untrue that thought is. I know I personally enjoy what you write, and from being a blogger for so long feel empathy and a connection with others through their words. Your post have had very positive effects on my life as well, I have even shared some of them with my wife.

    I wish you the best on your journey and I am glad that you are brave enough to share this! It can help others :) just hope you hear them when they tell you how much it helps.

  20. I’ve been depressed for a long, long, long time but I let it go untreated for close to 20 years.

    Two years ago, before my son was born, I really spiraled into the worst depression I’ve known.

    After he was born, I had to make a choice between doing something about it or just loosing everything.

    I’ve been on anti-depressants for a year, anti-anxiety for a few months, and in therapy for about six months. Life is a lot better.

    I hate knowing that I’m chemically dependent, possibly for the reset of my life, but I had to realize that maybe my chemistry was off, and it took this solution to make me feel like a human being again.

    I had a huge issue with accepting the fact that I needed medication. Now, I can’t imagine living the way I did before, with the fear, depression, anxiety and anger.

    Good luck!

  21. I just wanted to give my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to everyone who replied here or sent me an email. It truly means so much to me, and I appreciate all of the advice and feedback more than words can say.

    Thank you so much.

    ~Beru

  22. Everyone here has said everything I would have said also. I also struggle with depression, after a series of very traumatic experiences, I’ve resigned myself to accepting that it’s something that will always be part of me. I’m not going to say that I know exactly how you feel, because it’s different for everyone, but either way, it can be very debilitating. You have all the support you need when and if you need someone to lean on, you have Brade and the rest of the WoW community here =)

    Please take care of yourself, Beru.

  23. I was reading this a bit, i agree, i see those commercials all the time, and you do wonder, why do you take them, until you realize what you see and live in. While i do agree the holidays can be a depressing time for most people, if not stressful, that story touched me a bit, as aperson studying psychology myself, id have to agree with a lot of your points, i am just grateful, your last blog made me wonder why you were feeling this way, i just am happy to hear things are going better overall. I love reading your blogs, beru, very uplifting and encouraging, even in the dark times.

  24. Definitely talk to your doctor. Even if the medication is not the cause of this depression, it may have been sort of a trigger — which means that even if you change meds, the underlying issues may still be present. The human brain is enormously complicated and still poorly understood; we don’t know why the realignment of hormones post-birth triggers suicidal depression in some women and goes completely unnoticed by others. The process of medicating for depression often involves throwing one drug after another at the problem to see what sticks — because for many of these drugs, they don’t actually know WHY they work.

    I’ve been struggling with depression since I was 12, but it wasn’t diagnosed until I was 25 — and even then, it took me a while to come to grips with it. I’ve felt what I think is normal for about eight months out of the last ten years — while I was pregnant with my youngest AND on Paxil (which now they don’t recommend, but we didn’t know that then). It was amazing. But after he was born my hormones changed and I’ve been trying to get back to that state since. It’s not been fun. But one of the curiously freeing things about accepting my diagnosis is that even when it’s out of control, even when it feels really terrible I know what it is. I can take a step back and remind myself that it will get better. I’m not stupid, I’m not a horrible person, I’m not worthless or a failure — I have a common sickness, like asthma or diabetes, and I take medicine for it like any chronic condition. I can’t help that the chemicals in my brain are imbalanced — I just have to work around it, and with it. And while I work hard at it every day, sometimes it’s okay to go to bed early and try again tomorrow.

    Everyone is different. Not all depression is created equal; yours may subside entirely once you change meds, or it may be something you need to deal with for a long time. You may need medication or you may not. But few people can deal with these issues alone. Talk to your doctor, talk to Brade, talk to your friends. It will get better, and I hope the path is easy for you. But you’ve got lots of support even if it’s not. :-)

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