Anti Depressants and therapy

    • Anonymous
      April 6, 2010 at 10:20 pm

      I am on medication, but I just dont think its strong enough. Ive tried so many different ones and nothing works. I swear, I am immune to pills.
      Anyway, I am not one to go to therapy and pour my heart out. I keep things bottled up. Ever since GBS, Ive been so angry and sad and moody. It feels like I should seek help, but I dont know if im comfortable with that. Its been 2 years since I got it (for the 2nd time, 1st time 20 yrs earlier) and I think about it
      It rules me. I was in the hospital for 3 months totally paralyzed, had a trach. I still have such vivid memories of every single feeling I had in that hospital laying there for 3 months. I hate this
      Im sorry for rambling

    • April 6, 2010 at 10:43 pm

      I am so sorry you are having a hard time!! Sometimes I think that gbs/cidp is just as hard emotionally, sometimes harder! Do you still have pain? I am sure you did the cymbalta thing. Lately two other names have come up on the site. A member by the name elmo has been taking elavil I think. Search his name for posts to make sure. Someone else recently mentioned savella, maybe if you tyupe that word into the search it will lead you to that member. I responded to your private message, give me a call if you want to talk. You were always so kind to me with your words when I needed them, I would be honored to help you!

    • Anonymous
      April 6, 2010 at 11:43 pm

      Hi Carolyn: GBS is a traumatic experience. With trauma it is not unusual to remember repeatedly what one went through. You are, like many of us, probably suffering from PTSD. There are many kinds of therapies-not all talking ones. Some deal with physical trauma by doing body work usually designed to work the trauma out of the body. If you are not comfortable with talking therapy you might consider body work of this kind which can be very helpful. Peter Levine, founder of one of the best of this kind of therapy, has a book called [I]Waking the Tiger[I][/I][/I] and Arny Mindell has book called Dream Body which also is quite good. Some massage therapists also help with working through physical trauma. I am five years out now and found myself obsessing for years about the day GBS started for me until I did some body work on it and now rarely think about the past. Jeff

    • Anonymous
      April 7, 2010 at 1:13 pm


      I had a “mild” case and I am still depressed, angry, etc. 5 months post. I cry daily. It is a traumatic life change. I see you have 2 kids, the same age as mine, so you understand how hard it is to cope with this and take care of your family.

      However, I have found that I try to focus on getting through one day at a time and focus on the fact that my family needs me. I tried Cymbalta, had a bad reaction, and have tried 2 therapists (one told me to read a book for distractions, the other whispered and I couldn’t hear her! lol) so I fired them both. I know that an antidepressant might help, but I am very sensitive to meds. I don’t have a lot of advice for you since I am having a hard time too, and I struggle daily. Just focus on your family, and also think about how far you have come from the beginning. Coming on here for support also helps! Hang in there…I did try acupuncture once and it quieted the mind. You might want to try that.

    • Anonymous
      April 7, 2010 at 11:53 pm

      Carolyn –

      I spent all day today in bed. I was so tired, I just couldn’t even stay awake for the news, which is very important to me since our son was sent to Afghanstan on Monday with the Marines. I can’t figure out if I was tired or depressed. We went to my Mom’s for Easter – were there 4 days – and during that time I didn’t get my 2 naps a day every day. She also has a much bigger house than I, so I had to walk (in the walker) farther everywhere. I never had thought about that before, but I guess it tired me out. Then I got car sick coming home. It was a long weekend being around normal people and trying to be normal like them. I did go to church in my wheelchair, but after the service had to chat with everyone. They hadn’t seen me since I got sick, so I talked to lots of people. Didn’t realize how exhausting that could be either. So I am home, and hubby went off to work, and I stayed in bed all day. Can’t figure it out – am I depressed or really tired? Caroly, I hope you start feeling better, both emotionally and physically. We are on a much longer road than I ever imagined, and we all need each other – thank goodness for this forum.

    • Anonymous
      April 8, 2010 at 11:04 am

      One other thing, I strongly believe that the neurotransmitters are out of whack and the hormones (for women) and this contributes to a lot of the depression/anxiety issues. One doctor told me that, and I have noticed that with myself there have been big changes. Sure, it is situational depression, related to the trauma of it all, but it is a physical thing as well.

      I found an article on automimmune diseases and it said the following:

      Emotional liability: Someone may cry more easily, be more anxious and fearful. This is caused by the illness and is not a psychological reaction!

      Depression: As with the emotional symptoms, the hypothalamus is involved. This is not clinical depression, but literally has a physical cause that is sometimes experienced as a deep depression right in the heart.


    • Anonymous
      April 9, 2010 at 2:03 am

      Newsweek magazine did a 6 page article on antidepressants in February.It said that more scientists are now concluding that antidepressants “are basically expensive Tic Tacs.” Three quarters of the benefit from them seems to be a placebo effect. Britain even stopped recommending them as a first-line treatment for mild or moderate depression. What is sad is that “the worse side effects a patient experiences, the more effective the drug seems to be….the thinking being..if this drug is strong enough to make me vomit, then it must be strong enough to lift depression. That is a crazy placebo effect!!
      But the true drug effect is “nonexistent to negligible.” unless you have Severe depression.
      I had a wonderful therapist in Tampa who was helping me get through my mom’s death and stayed with me through the GBS in PA…phone sessions. I could not have made it without him.(All of my friends/relatives deserted me when I got GBS.) He had known Oliver Sachs’ son when he had GBS.. I am blessed.
      IF I can help another Carolyn with what he told me, let me know.

    • Anonymous
      April 9, 2010 at 8:16 pm

      Some years ago I ended up in Intensive Care Unit attached to every machine there was with tubes down my nose for even longer time. I was informed I’d be in there for ONE YEAR with the tube down my nose recovery from many many surgeries. One nurse told me it would take me quite some time to get over it and don’t be surprised if I broke down later as that would be a normal response.She was the only one who even mentioned how I would be affected by this trauma-the only person”’
      Well-I came home much sooner but the whole affair was daunting. It’s still very real to me after years.

      GBS/CIDP cause severe fatigue and we forget how much it does. Of course out bodies send out signals that we may see as depression when it’s utter exhaustion and some depression. We over-do when doing every day errands/chores, having company or visiting as we don’t get the very needed quiet time/naps/relaxation from noise/stimulation/people/pets/outings.Take the needed time to rest and don’t feel you have to offer any excuse.

      Jessicah-very well told.
      I myself do not believe anti-depressants work and am seeing more clinical info saying as much.Talking to either a trained therapist/minister/good friend does help and so does keeping a journal.

      Finding something special to do as a hobby helps too.
      The knitting rage is really a reason for ladies to gather and chat. What better “therapy” is that?? If able try to garden-just a little. Watch it grow.

    • Anonymous
      April 10, 2010 at 2:51 am

      This is a really important question–how to deal with all the anger and sadness and trauma of this sudden and dramatic change in life associated with illness. I do not think that there is a best “answer” as to what to do, because each person is so different in how they approach life, in their support systems, and in what they have experienced. It does seem to me that it is important to address somehow the anger and sadness so that one feels it, acknowledges the changes in life, and finds some way to move forward. In my own journey in this, I realize that I am so very angry to not be as I was and to be able to do what I used to do, that it also in some areas of life “rules me” too. But more importantly, it seems, I was/am stuck in the past because the only way to move forward is to accept that life as it was will not be any more and I have to make a new and different path in life. It takes time to come to accept this much change in life. “Talk” therapies, body therapies, counseling or talking with accepting friends all have as one part of them first acknowledging and “feeling” what has changed. Journaling or doing something like gardening or knitting (that is active but limited in time) seems to be a good way to have a dedicated time to think about and acknowledge a problem, but not have it take over your life. Because gardening has an output, it feels productive and it is not focusing on the problem–it just is a time that some energy can be put into a problem as you do something else. To me this makes a difference–because it helps keep emotions from feeling overwhelming and also helps to keep people from feeling so stuck in anger. I hope this makes sense. The anger to me almost feels like it is under so much pressure as to be in a pressure cooker and at risk of exploding rather than venting. Doing something like journaling or gardening or knitting can be a defined time to take out and look at and feel and think about what is in that pressure cooker without it taking over one’s life so that some of that terrible pressure of anger and disappointment is vented. I love to garden but have not been able to do it, but it is healing and I hope to do more this year as I am stronger. It feels healing to do what was “normal” before and one can release a lot of anger in moving dirt around!!! Plus, one gets to see beauty despite a lot of dirt, mud, and manure!!!

      Second thought. It takes a huge amount of energy to act “normal” when one is not–not only in physical energy, but also in emotional energy. It has seemed to me in this journey that the exhaustion of trying so hard every day is linked to the feeling of depression. There is a definition of depression as anger turned inward, but it also seems in living this that there is a true physical basis for depression–that the exhaustion is through all of life–in body and spirit. As the fatigue gets better, the weighing down of the spirit does too.

      Third thought. It is important that nothing negative should “rule you”–should take over your life. If it feels like this illness rules one’s life, he/she needs to turn and look at that and find a way that this is not so–that what is defining the significance of your life is a positive thing–be it family or work or church or friends or whatever is important to you in a positive and life-fulfilling way. There are many ways to get the focus back on living forward and off living backward in the past in anger and sadness. One just has to find one that works for you and that allows the venting and acknowleding needed as well as the focus on how to live life from now forward–with these new constraints.

      Just my thoughts through this journey. WithHope