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Decrease in anxiety ------> Increase in depression watch

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    I've had severe anxiety for a number of years but, after around 6 weeks on Citalopram, I have noticed a dramatic decrease in my anxiety during the past couple of weeks. This is great news, although it's probably too soon to say whether it will be a long-term change for the better or whether it's just one of my less anxious periods.

    My problem is that I now feel so depressed, which seems funny as I'm on what is basically an anti-depressant often used to treat anxiety. I get the logic behind it - my mind has been taken up for so long by the anxiety, almost every waking thought and action has been coloured by it, that when it has decreased I have found myself with little to do or think about. I'm in the habit of doing the same (boring) things each day, and because my anxiety caused agoraphobia I don't have anything I can go out and engage in, nor do I have a social circle who I can ask to do things with. So I'm stuck. I feel bored and depressed and I don't have the energy or strength to get up and DO SOMETHING. My anxiety has decreased but there is nothing in its place to keep my brain occupied apart from a feeling of emptiness.

    I have an appointment with my GP next week to discuss my medication and the dose I'm on (I don't know whether the dose needs to be increased in order to have a fuller effect on both my anxiety and depression - my doctor started me on a low dose with the intention of upping the dose if I needed it), but I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this. Or if anyone has any suggestions about easing into a new routine that will give me a sense of purpose (bearing in mind I still have a fear of going out alone and so I can't really just jump up and start going to clubs/colleges/work). I'd like to stop staring into space with a feeling of existential despair.
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    (Original post by mscaffrey)
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    It's good citalopram's helped at least! Think this is probably a fairly common problem, I really struggle with it anyway in terms of energy levels vs need to distract myself (I have ME/CFS). Not sure what to suggest really- is there a new hobby you could start or 'project' you can be working on like making youtube videos or something? There's a better word than project but you get what I mean! Just something you can be thinking about and that has an achievable end point, even when you're not actually doing it it's better to be thinking about than depression/negative thoughts. Sorry if that's no help at all, you're definitely not alone in this though is that's any consolation

    Edit: the other thing- try and get into a new routine gradually and building up, it can be hard but if you rush into trying to do stuff all at once you're liable to end up worse than in the first place in my experience. Sure you know that already but just thought it was worth saying! Hope things continue improving for you
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    It's good citalopram's helped at least! Think this is probably a fairly common problem, I really struggle with it anyway in terms of energy levels vs need to distract myself (I have ME/CFS). Not sure what to suggest really- is there a new hobby you could start or 'project' you can be working on like making youtube videos or something? There's a better word than project but you get what I mean! Just something you can be thinking about and that has an achievable end point, even when you're not actually doing it it's better to be thinking about than depression/negative thoughts. Sorry if that's no help at all, you're definitely not alone in this though is that's any consolation

    Edit: the other thing- try and get into a new routine gradually and building up, it can be hard but if you rush into trying to do stuff all at once you're liable to end up worse than in the first place in my experience. Sure you know that already but just thought it was worth saying! Hope things continue improving for you
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    Thank you for your reply I've been trying to think of something I could do that would give me a focus. I've been looking at all my unread books over the past few days - I stopped reading when my anxiety was at its worst because of concentration issues, and I've only read a handful of books over the past couple of years - I was thinking I might start setting some time aside to get through those books that I've been waiting to read. And I do have a couple of languages that I was trying to learn, which I could try and get back into.

    Like you say, I'm wary of trying to do too much. This weekend I've done quite a few tasks that I've been neglecting and it was an effort to finish off everything I needed to do today. So I'm definitely going to try and take a slow and steady approach. It does help to know I'm not the only person feeling like this.
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    (Original post by mscaffrey)
    Thank you for your reply I've been trying to think of something I could do that would give me a focus. I've been looking at all my unread books over the past few days - I stopped reading when my anxiety was at its worst because of concentration issues, and I've only read a handful of books over the past couple of years - I was thinking I might start setting some time aside to get through those books that I've been waiting to read. And I do have a couple of languages that I was trying to learn, which I could try and get back into.

    Like you say, I'm wary of trying to do too much. This weekend I've done quite a few tasks that I've been neglecting and it was an effort to finish off everything I needed to do today. So I'm definitely going to try and take a slow and steady approach. It does help to know I'm not the only person feeling like this.
    Books are a good idea and learning a language! I'm the same on concentration, the rare times I can I end up getting too into whatever I'm doing and end up making myself ill which is a bit stupid. If you can do it though then that's great!

    Yeah, exactly. Well done for doing those today good luck!


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    (Original post by mscaffrey)
    Thank you for your reply I've been trying to think of something I could do that would give me a focus. I've been looking at all my unread books over the past few days - I stopped reading when my anxiety was at its worst because of concentration issues, and I've only read a handful of books over the past couple of years - I was thinking I might start setting some time aside to get through those books that I've been waiting to read. And I do have a couple of languages that I was trying to learn, which I could try and get back into.

    Like you say, I'm wary of trying to do too much. This weekend I've done quite a few tasks that I've been neglecting and it was an effort to finish off everything I needed to do today. So I'm definitely going to try and take a slow and steady approach. It does help to know I'm not the only person feeling like this.
    i'm glad that your anxiety is getting better. please PM me if you want to compare depressions
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    (Original post by mscaffrey)
    I've had severe anxiety for a number of years but, after around 6 weeks on Citalopram, I have noticed a dramatic decrease in my anxiety during the past couple of weeks. This is great news, although it's probably too soon to say whether it will be a long-term change for the better or whether it's just one of my less anxious periods.

    My problem is that I now feel so depressed, which seems funny as I'm on what is basically an anti-depressant often used to treat anxiety. I get the logic behind it - my mind has been taken up for so long by the anxiety, almost every waking thought and action has been coloured by it, that when it has decreased I have found myself with little to do or think about. I'm in the habit of doing the same (boring) things each day, and because my anxiety caused agoraphobia I don't have anything I can go out and engage in, nor do I have a social circle who I can ask to do things with. So I'm stuck. I feel bored and depressed and I don't have the energy or strength to get up and DO SOMETHING. My anxiety has decreased but there is nothing in its place to keep my brain occupied apart from a feeling of emptiness.

    I have an appointment with my GP next week to discuss my medication and the dose I'm on (I don't know whether the dose needs to be increased in order to have a fuller effect on both my anxiety and depression - my doctor started me on a low dose with the intention of upping the dose if I needed it), but I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this. Or if anyone has any suggestions about easing into a new routine that will give me a sense of purpose (bearing in mind I still have a fear of going out alone and so I can't really just jump up and start going to clubs/colleges/work). I'd like to stop staring into space with a feeling of existential despair.
    Omg when I first went on Prozac it was mostly for anxiety because my anxiety was so bad but I had this- my depression worsened. I will find the posts on this other online forum that I posted about it.... It might help as an unedited account of how I felt back then.
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    (Original post by mscaffrey)
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    I would suggest mindfulness..and keeping a diary of possible triggers, and working out underlying causes to depression, as anxiety can be the outward impression of the inward depression. I hope the meds aren't causing too many other side effects as I found, like nightmares, and increased appetite. Maybe finding a small activity that works for distraction too. Like short walks or even listening a favourite song that won't get monotonous listening to when you feel a depressive spell brewing.


    How are you finding your health these days? Been awhile since we talked last on ME?CFS page. I agree with what you said. AS someone who felt that the despair as it were with depression of not having a routine and a set task even if it was small to get out the house or a change of scenery. Making new friends on here or FB helps too.
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    Edit: idiot, wrong thread which is exactly what I was trying not to do :lol: but will reply in the other one quiet one
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    (Original post by the bear)
    i'm glad that your anxiety is getting better. please PM me if you want to compare depressions
    I'll take you up on this, assuming you're talking about the brain depression and not the contours of my body.:dice:

    (Original post by Ethereal World)
    Omg when I first went on Prozac it was mostly for anxiety because my anxiety was so bad but I had this- my depression worsened. I will find the posts on this other online forum that I posted about it.... It might help as an unedited account of how I felt back then.
    Ah, thank you! Those would be interesting to read. :hugs:

    (Original post by Quiet _One86)
    I would suggest mindfulness..and keeping a diary of possible triggers, and working out underlying causes to depression, as anxiety can be the outward impression of the inward depression. I hope the meds aren't causing too many other side effects as I found, like nightmares, and increased appetite. Maybe finding a small activity that works for distraction too. Like short walks or even listening a favourite song that won't get monotonous listening to when you feel a depressive spell brewing.
    Thanks for your help. I'm supposed to be trying out some mindfulness but feeling depressed sometimes makes it difficult for me to have a go at it. Maybe keeping a diary alongside it would help me get started as it's something physical for me to focus on, and I could definitely see it being helpful.

    I haven't had too many side effects. My dreams are definitely more vivid but I haven't had any nightmares, so that's okay. I've had a flare up of mild eczema over the past week or so, which is something I haven't experienced for a couple of years, and when I read the medication leaflet I noticed it said that one of the side-effects could be itching. I don't know whether it's the Citalopram or a coincidence but I'll mention it to my GP when I see him this week just to see what he thinks.
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    (Original post by mscaffrey)
    Thanks for your help. I'm supposed to be trying out some mindfulness but feeling depressed sometimes makes it difficult for me to have a go at it. Maybe keeping a diary alongside it would help me get started as it's something physical for me to focus on, and I could definitely see it being helpful.

    I haven't had too many side effects. My dreams are definitely more vivid but I haven't had any nightmares, so that's okay. I've had a flare up of mild eczema over the past week or so, which is something I haven't experienced for a couple of years, and when I read the medication leaflet I noticed it said that one of the side-effects could be itching. I don't know whether it's the Citalopram or a coincidence but I'll mention it to my GP when I see him this week just to see what he thinks.
    I hope that something works for you as no-one likes being ill in physical or mental form. For me its always been a juggle of both. A diary is good for me to get down how I'm feeling, doing and finding what patterns of triggers are working for me or not working for me. I am hopeful that one day that depression can be resolved without medication but if it helps someone great but I worry that they are used as a substitute to working out a cause. I find itchiness can be down to the nervous system working alongside the meds possibly. But be careful. Again with the diary, and write it all down. Don't read too much into side effects, as you could go psychological and get phantom symptoms to them. If I can help or anything let me know. I don't have PM working on here of late so here will be ok if you want to tell me what's working/not. Good luck
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    Hey. Can't believe I'm sharing this. This is when I first went on antidepressants for anxiety. It's something I wrote on a forum anonymously (not this one)

    Haven't edited the posts at all. They are a true account of how I was feeling 3 years ago.

    Background information

    After reading all of these comments and people sharing wisdom through their experiences, I thought it would be a good time to start something up which hopefully in the future will help others if I come out the other side!
    I am 22, and am in the middle of university- I’ve completed 2 years and now I am currently on a placement year and working in an office every day. I have a boyfriend, but he lives 4 hours away and I see him once a month.
    I have struggled with anxiety for over a year, but probably been well on the way for longer than that. The past year especially has been a rollercoaster and I have been convinced that I do not need medication to get better and that the solution can come from within, especially with regular exercise.
    However, I was fighting a losing battle ultimately, and the anxiety manifests in an unsettling fashion when it strikes; I feel out of body, so dizzy and like I am running on autopilot. I think this is what they call the ‘brain fog’ but I literally cannot concentrate on anything, I don’t feel particularly hungry or tired. Numerous times, I thought it was perhaps because I hadn’t eaten or drank enough, but after overdoing both I still didn’t feel any improvement. When it strikes at work I can barely even write an e-mail. And then it becomes a battle of just ticking hours away, sending a text to my Mum to get some reassurance (‘you can do it!’). I am constantly aware of how I’m feeling, from the moment I wake up to when I go to bed. Am I going to feel weird or spaced out today etc etc? It has been worse in the past with feelings like I am going to literally pass out, and I spent a couple of weeks unable to go outside about a year ago. Since then it has been more temperamental and I find I can still go about most things but just with this constant feeling of unease and uncertainty that tampers with my ability to enjoy anything. I have long been convinced that this must be something physical, and had numerous blood tests which surprise, surprise are all completely normal and average. I’m always disappointed when it appears I am physically ok, It would be somewhat easier if I had a physical problem.
    Recently however, on the GAD7 test I scored 21/21, which is when I realised and succumbed to the fact that I needed some help, that even though I’ve been strong for a year, I’m not really getting anywhere. That, coupled with panic attacks whilst driving, which has basically confined me to only local familiar driving for the timebeing, I realised I wanted to stop this before it got worse i.e what if it starts taking away lots of other things in my life and I continue to lose those components that make me independent. I am in a nomadic and uncertain phase of my life at university/on placement and my anxieties stem from many things which may or may not come out over the forthcoming posts.
    As a result of all of this, and actually after a long chat (1hr) with a counsellor, I decided to try some medication. Talking to a counsellor made me feel as though my problems and anxieties had been listened to and so his solution felt ‘right’. (I have been prescribed/suggested meds in the past after 5 minute consultation with a GP I didn’t know). So I agreed to give it a go and I am taking 20mg of Fluoxetine/Prozac daily.
    I too am scared of taking any medication (I don’t even like to take paracetamol etc) so this was a huge step for me. I’m now nearly 3 weeks in, not feeling much better, but not feeling much worse, still on the rollercoaster, but hoping that when it kicks in it will all be worth it, and like others have said.. I will know when it is starting to come into effect.
    Sometimes, general life and overthinking gets to us all. I haven’t had one big traumatic experience in my life to date, but lots of things from my teenage years right through to now have just built and built like a layered effect and I think my brain just couldn’t deal with itself and this is where I have found myself. Fingers crossed the only way is up from now.
    There’s the background, look forward to hearing responses and sharing wisdom over my journey on Prozac.


    Reflections after a month


    Just thought I would share my recent month of experience on Prozac. A couple hours of taking my first pill I actually felt kind of great, not sure if this was some placebo but I felt on a high for the whole of the evening (after taking it at 4pm). I started to then take my pills first thing in the morning (just after breakfast at about 8.30am) The first week was so tough; I had awful moments waking up in the night feeling like I was going to pass out, sweating a lot, having crazy vivid dreams and feeling terrible in the morning. I am taking it for anxiety and I felt like it had got worse, but not only that, I felt way more down and unenthusiastic then I had before (my problems were largely anxiety, and I didn’t have any problems with my mood or depression). But I actually felt so depressed, couldn’t be bothered to exercise or really do anything. Not sure if any of you can relate to this, but when I feel like that I sometimes go 5 or 6 days without showering, and days without brushing my teeth and I wear no make-up and put little effort into my appearance. I was also exhausted, to the point where I thought I would fall asleep at work (I have been working every day still-don’t ask me how!) and I often went out to my car at lunch to grab 30 minutes rest. I was absolutely exhausted in the mornings and just felt like a zombie all day. I took one Friday afternoon as holiday from work and literally slept all afternoon row. I also did barely any exercise over this 4 week period (I am used to running doing some light weight training most days. I couldn’t even be bothered to do my floor exercises which I normally do religiously in the comfort of my bedroom. After nearly getting to the 4 week mark and seeing no improvement, coupled with the almost debilitating tiredness and lack of enthusiasm for anything, especially my cleanliness and appearance, I decided to start taking the pills at night. This was about 5 days ago now, and ever since I have felt a dramatic improvement, I have a lot more energy and feel way more positive. My thinking also seems clearer and I have gone whole days without thinking about how I feel- you can probably relate to the feeling of being self-aware for every waking minute with questions like ‘how do I feel’ ‘why do I feel like this’ ‘am I going to feel like this forever’ and questioning everything you do. And over the weekend I got to the end of the day and was like, those questions haven’t been whirling round in my head, I’ve just been living and doing and going about life. It feels like it’s starting to work. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve got through the hard 1-4 week period, and after reading a lot of testimonials online, it is clear that you have to be patient with meds, or whether taking it at night has helped me. But if I could offer any advice to anyone out there struggling with the early days of meds, if they are exhausting you, do take them at night. In the beginning, taking them late may cause some vivid dreams but they settle down and having daily energy back is priceless! Furthermore, if you are in the early stages (anything up to 8 weeks) do be patient. When I was at my worst after 2/3 weeks I wondered if I would ever get to this point and be able to write about it and having come through the other side. I know I am still in the early days of my journey and I’m definitely not getting ahead of myself. But just feeling this positivity is spurring me on and I’m so glad I stuck with them, and I think us anxious lot are just a bit tired and these pills give us a chance to give our minds a break and move forward with a more rational mindset. PM me if you want to chat about anything and my experience.

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    (Original post by Ethereal World)
    Hey. Can't believe I'm sharing this. This is when I first went on antidepressants for anxiety. It's something I wrote on a forum anonymously (not this one)

    Haven't edited the posts at all. They are a true account of how I was feeling 3 years ago.
    Thank you for sharing! It's really helpful to read. I managed to forget my pill one night and so ended up taking it the next morning and for about a week I was taking them in the morning or close to lunchtime and now I'm wondering whether that's what triggered my worsened depression/lethargy during the day. I've got them back to the night now so hopefully that will make a difference. Like you I was noticing a change in looking after myself - everything felt like I was crawling uphill just to start it.
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    (Original post by mscaffrey)
    Thank you for sharing! It's really helpful to read. I managed to forget my pill one night and so ended up taking it the next morning and for about a week I was taking them in the morning or close to lunchtime and now I'm wondering whether that's what triggered my worsened depression/lethargy during the day. I've got them back to the night now so hopefully that will make a difference. Like you I was noticing a change in looking after myself - everything felt like I was crawling uphill just to start it.
    I've never publicly shared the stuff about looking after myself cause I feel like it's gross. But there ya go it's not like I've killed someone, I shouldn't be ashamed. Good luck and keep going- you'll get there.

    Have you noticed yourself feeling more numb?
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    (Original post by Quiet _One86)
    I hope that something works for you as no-one likes being ill in physical or mental form. For me its always been a juggle of both. A diary is good for me to get down how I'm feeling, doing and finding what patterns of triggers are working for me or not working for me. I am hopeful that one day that depression can be resolved without medication but if it helps someone great but I worry that they are used as a substitute to working out a cause. I find itchiness can be down to the nervous system working alongside the meds possibly. But be careful. Again with the diary, and write it all down. Don't read too much into side effects, as you could go psychological and get phantom symptoms to them. If I can help or anything let me know. I don't have PM working on here of late so here will be ok if you want to tell me what's working/not. Good luck
    My anxiety started after a bad virus, which left me with dizziness and severe fatigue (so bad that I couldn't get off my bed/couch sometimes without feeling close to collapse). I feel as though my anxiety was a direct response to the dizziness (a sensation I'm still afraid of now - when I go even the slightest bit dizzy I feel panicked because it reminds me of how I felt at my worst). But obviously after years of having anxiety I've become sensitive to all kinds of worry and so that's what I feel the need to deal with now. The medication has given my brain a break from the constant worry so I'm hoping that if I can find a way to work through the depression I'll be able to get back to my life. I am eager to work on the underlying causes, though, because obviously I don't want to withdraw from them at a later date only to find that my issues are still there.

    Thank you
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    (Original post by Ethereal World)
    I've never publicly shared the stuff about looking after myself cause I feel like it's gross. But there ya go it's not like I've killed someone, I shouldn't be ashamed. Good luck and keep going- you'll get there.

    Have you noticed yourself feeling more numb?
    I think it's something we need to share because it's the hidden away nature of it that makes people feel gross when really they're just normal.

    I'd describe the feeling as empty. It's like I've had so many exaggerated feelings for several years that now there's a hole where they were. But I am noticing myself responding less to stressful situations - the other day I was going for a bus with my mum and we had to wait forever for about 3 different sets of traffic lights to change and she was saying that we were going to miss it and I was like 'just chill out, mum, if we miss it it's not the end of the world' and she looked at me like :confused: because I'm usually the one freaking out about everything/nothing. So I guess the empty/numb feeling is better than the highly sensitive way I was. I'm hoping I'll find a way to fill up my life again that will give me access to normal human emotions rather than the catastrophic ones I was dealing with.
 
 
 
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