• Don't know if I'm depressed or it anxiety?

    Asked by Keith59 on Friday, August 29, 2014

    Don't know if I'm depressed or it anxiety?

    Three weeks ago my oncologist out of no where wrote a script for antidepressants and handed it to me. I never ask for it or even hinted about depression. I haven't got it filled yet. The last three days I'm on the verge of tears for no reason. Maybe he seen something? Should I get it filled?

    25 Answers from the Community

    25 answers
    • banditwalker's Avatar
      banditwalker

      I don't see where it would hurt to get it filled. Maybe just having it around would be enough to keep away the anxiety. I hope you have someone to talk with when you feel the need. Getting things off your chest can help with the feelings of burden. Hope you're feeling better soon.

      about 5 years ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar
      Lynne-I-Am

      Yes Keith59 , the verge of tears or uncontrollable crying are apparently signs of depression.I didn't recognize this till my physician told me he thought I needed an antidepressant .I am not much for taking pills but my husband thought I needed help also.I have been on a mild anti depressant now for eleven months and it has really helped me.Many people with cancer are on some kind of antidepressant.Plan on discussing the continued use of the medication at my regular doctor's visit in Sept.Some people need more assistance emotionally than others and should take advantage of what is available.Think of the medicine as another weapon in your fight against this xxxx disease.Take care,wishing you better days ahead.

      about 5 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Your oncologist is probably very astute about the signs of emotional distress in his patients; I think he gave you the prescription not because he "sees something" dire in your tests but because he's a good doctor who realizes people are not just their skin disease, or breast disease, etc., but full human beings with feelings. Many cancer treatment centers (maybe all of them?) inquire about their patients' emotions as well as other symptoms of ill health. I guess you know all this, so apology for saying the obvious. Btw, my antidepressant, Lexapro, is both an anti-d and an anti-anxiety drug. And it usually takes a few weeks to begin to work. Best to you - Carol

      about 5 years ago
    • melanomamama's Avatar
      melanomamama

      Clinical depression is hard to tell from situational depression, but clinical depression usually lasts longer and is difficult to pull yourself out of without the help of antidepressants. Depression and anxiety often go hand in hand.

      The main symptom of depression isn't always sadness. It is listlessness. Depression saps your vitality. There is an excellent video by the author of the best book on depression that I would recommend. He is a man who has fought serious depression for years, and then he studied it and wrote a book about it. You'll be able to tell pretty much right away if what he says resonates with you.

      He is Andrew Solomon, and he gives a marvelous TED talk on depression at http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_solomon_depression_the_secret_we_share?language=en

      Andrew Solomon is the author of The Noonday Demon, An Atlas of Depression. He is an excellent writer, and he explores all aspects of depression, from interviewing many of its sufferers, to studying how different cultures have treated depressed people historically.

      Clinical depression is dangerous if left untreated, because it can lead to suicide and other self-destructive behavior.

      For my depression which came on after two brain surgeries, I was first prescribed Prozac, but it made me too sleepy, and that listlessness was part of my depression, so I got switched to Welbutrin. They also prescribed a mild boost - a low daily dosage of Adderal which is a low dose amphetamine. I have also seen a psychologist for counseling who specializes in oncology. I had a neuropsychological evaluation to rule out brain damage from the surgeries.

      Constance Emerson Crooker

      about 5 years ago
    • daca1964's Avatar
      daca1964

      I took them through treatment it helped. I crashed three times during treatment not a pretty site. It help with your mind racing from treatment plus they gave me advane (spelling) that help with sleep. They know what they are doing. It takes up to 7 days to get into the system and to get off them. Good Luck.

      about 5 years ago
    • AmyJo's Avatar
      AmyJo

      We all need a little help going through this. I'm on Lexapro daily and Xanax as needed. I get really bad panic attacks so the Xanax helps with that.
      He probably either saw something, or just wanted you to have it if you needed it. Carol is right, some of them can take a week or so to get into your system. When I was first put on Lexapro it made me sort of sickish feeling, my doctor told me to try to stick it out that it would go away, and it did.
      I would get it filled. At least it would be there if you felt you needed it.
      (((hugs)))

      about 5 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      Technically there's a difference between anxiety and depression. Fill the script, and you will have it on hand.

      We don't have anxiety, we're super vigilant, according,to a counselor, that takes a toll on our bodies, anything that brings relief to us, can be welcome . I'm not a crier or drama queen. I mostly get cranky.

      You have a good doctor that cares for you Some of us don't have that luxury. You can talk to us anytime.

      Take care Hugs hugs.

      about 5 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar
      BuckeyeShelby

      There is no shame in some chemical assistance. I had an rx for Atavin. Didn't take a lot during treatment, but it helped when my Mom got really ill, finally passing away 8 months later.

      about 5 years ago
    • schweetieangel's Avatar
      schweetieangel

      I agree with the others i would get it filled to have on hand, your doctor is very observant and maybe did sense something that you aren't aware of it or didn't realize is there yet. They deal with tons of people and are trained to observe these kinds of symptoms before they become to bad. Hugs to you.. hope your days get better. And give yourself permission to cry sometimes.. its helps.

      about 5 years ago
    • cam32505's Avatar
      cam32505

      You can't just take anti-depressants on the day you feel you need them. They take a couple of weeks to get into your system. Please take them and write back and let us know how they're working for you.

      about 5 years ago
    • daca1964's Avatar
      daca1964

      I'm on prozac it does take a while to get into your system. I meant to also say make sure whatever treatment your on they know the dose your on it does affect the treatment. I was on too high of a dose and that is why I crashed and they figured out it was the dose and lowered it and I was okay.

      about 5 years ago
    • AmyJo's Avatar
      AmyJo

      It depends on the drug. Things like Lexapro and Prozac, yes, they have to build up in your system, but Ativan, Xanax, Valium, those are for immediate relief. They do not need a build up.
      Keith, check with your doctor about dosing.

      about 5 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      AmyJo, Xanax and Valium are addictive. Antidepressants aren't, if I'm not mistaken.

      about 5 years ago
    • daca1964's Avatar
      daca1964

      Correct antidepressants aren't addictive the others are.

      about 5 years ago
    • Keith59's Avatar
      Keith59

      Thanks for all the responses everyone...you guys are awesome. I decided it get the script for Citalopram fill yesterday. My wife and daughters said they see a change in me also. Gonna give them a try and see. Blessings to all.

      about 5 years ago
    • AmyJo's Avatar
      AmyJo

      I didn't realize we were talking about something being addictive...............??

      about 5 years ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      I meant that it's better to not use addictive drugs if non-addictive drugs can be used, especially for potentially long-term use.

      about 5 years ago
    • melanomamama's Avatar
      melanomamama

      Keith,

      I checked Citalopram on the Mayo Clinic's reliable website at http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/citalopram-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20062980

      They list drugs that shouldn't be taken with Citalopram, and they list all possible side effects.

      They say that it might have to be taken for a month before its benefits show.

      I was amused that one of the listed side effects is "clinging to false beliefs that cannot be changed by fact." Silly me, I always thought that was the human condition!

      At Providence Cancer Center they provide counseling (free) along with the diagnosis of depression. Setting a depressed cancer patient adrift without anchor is not the usual approach. Depression is a whole new diagnosis with lots of potentially serious implications. It's not just a matter of getting the blues over coping with cancer. When I say "serious implications" I mean it. I have a sweet 23 year old niece whose severe depression has driven her to cut and burn herself. She's hospitalized on a psych ward right now for intentionally pouring boiling water over her forearm, which will probably be scarred for life.

      If you haven't already done so, please do yourself a favor and watch the TED talk on depression at http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_solomon_depression_the_secret_we_share?language=en

      We care about you. You need not muddle through this. There's plenty of good information available on depression and you deserve the best. You have one obvious quality that mitigates against depression and that should work well for you. You care about others. In the deepest depths of depression, people care for nobody, including themselves.

      about 5 years ago
    • meyati's Avatar
      meyati

      Anything can be addictive. there is physical dependence often caused by one or more glands reducing their out producing less. Coffee and tobacco does this. Then there is the psychological dependence, Basically, if I don't take it, this will hurt of will return.

      I had something wrong with and I had great pain in my bones. The Navy supplied it for about. 4 years then the AF did. I took it everyday, for about 3 years. I woke up one morning and said-I don't need it any more. I'd ask for it when I had a broken arm, etc, Then in the 1990s, I was told that nobody prescribed i because is was so highly addictive.

      Then I had a non-addictive med. I was addicted to that. Since it was non-addictive they let me take it for years and .years.

      This med sounds pretty good. It certainly beats eating a turkey every day to get rid or control the depression..

      Good luck, Keep in touch with this. We like to meet new friends. again HUG-HUG

      about 5 years ago
    • KLC's Avatar
      KLC

      I'm not a proponent of prescription drugs, however, I think you should do what you need to get through this. Cancer is probably one of the most challenging life obstacles that we will face. It's certainly not just a physical "ailment". Many times people going through cancer treatment actually have a physical reason for their depression. With chemo, iron gets depleted. . .when iron is low it affects the bodies natural production of serotonin - which plays a direct role on mood. Sugar affects serotonin levels also. Here is a link that you may find helpful

      http://healthimpactnews.com/2011/eat-to-boost-your-mood-serotonin-is-a-neurotransmitter-that-is-associated-with-mood-regulation/

      Sending you a hug Keith !

      about 5 years ago
    • Keith59's Avatar
      Keith59

      Just want to say thanks to everyone for you encouragement ....advice...and love. I am doing well......! Blessings to all.

      about 5 years ago
    • banditwalker's Avatar
      banditwalker

      This just happened to be on my Yahoo News this morning. Quite interesting, several facts on here I had not thought of.

      http://www.techtimes.com/articles/14486/20140830/cancer-patients-often-battle-depression-without-any-professional-help.htm

      about 5 years ago
    • Ouch_Ouch_Ouch's Avatar
      Ouch_Ouch_Ouch

      cam32505 is correct. Antidepressants will not work if taken only periodically. In order to be effective at increasing cells in your hippocampus, providing you with more available serotonin, and thereby decreasing depression, they must be taken as prescribed for a number of weeks. As the weeks go by, you will begin to feel better. If not, you may need either a dose adjustment or a med change. If you are depressed, your appetite will be even worse than it already is; you won't want to move as much as you should; your demeanor will be more difficult for family and friends to deal with. This all negatively effects healing. Cancer and chemotherapy effect the brain ("chemo brain") as it is. Don't let depression batter it even farther.

      Anxiety is a different animal. The meds mentioned above that are specifically meant for it CAN be taken periodically, as needed, when one's level of anxiety climbs. If you feel any anxiety, perhaps the doctor can prescribe an anti-anxiety med as well. For example, I have a HUGE pass-out-on-the-floor needle phobia, so I take Xanax prior to lab work or medi-port accessing. [Other anti-anxiety meds mentioned above are: Ativan and Valium (there are others). When used and taken appropriately in the doses meant to treat anxiety when needed, they are not "addictive" or, more accurately, do not cause dependency.]

      Someone mentioned panic attacks, an extreme anxiety condition marked by a sudden onset of intense fear. One feels like they are literally going to die when in a panic attack, like their heart will burst, and frequently end up in the ER with chest pain and difficulty breathing. Panic attacks can lead to agoraphobia in an attempt to avoid the situations that bring on the panic. Benzodiazepines are used to treat this disorder.

      Addiction, the compulsion to take a drug in spite of obviously dangerous consequences to the point of risking death or committing crimes to continue, is the wrong term to associate with these very helpful medications. People do not become addicted to them. Anti-depressants can cause a physical dependence, though. After on them for a while, abruptly stopping can cause serotonin levels to drop too quickly. Gradually stopping the med is very important and much more comfortable; periodically lowering the dose or increasing the time between doses provides a smooth transmission. People worried about "addiction" probably don't take appropriate pain medications, either. This is too bad as pain, like depression, is a huge stressor that negatively effects one's immune system and healing.

      [If your depression becomes long-term, or has already been long-term even before your diagnosis, you should add therapy to your regimen. It truly helps.]

      All the best!

      about 5 years ago
    • Ouch_Ouch_Ouch's Avatar
      Ouch_Ouch_Ouch

      "periodically lowering the dose or increasing the time between doses provides a smooth transmission. "

      Ooops! Make that "a smooth TRANSITION". Sorry!

      about 5 years ago
    • kage's Avatar
      kage

      That was one of the discussions we had before I even started my treatments. It was an option on my part of course, but my doctor often gave anti-depressants to his patients on treatment. I was already on them though.

      about 5 years ago

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