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How Do You Communicate The Origin Of Your Moods?

mood new diagnosis depression anxiety new doctors medication zoloft

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#1 AnnieJoy

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Posted 10 June 2013 - 01:20 PM

I, just a few days ago, visited my Sleep Doctor and he asked me a couple questions, smiled and said "I'm 85% sure you have Narcolepsy." I was ecstatic, which might sound awful, but after the months I've been enduring--all of this fatigue, ANY definitive answer gave me chills. I had been to several diagnostic clinics with teams of confused doctors trying to diagnose me with depression. 
No matter what I told them, they would not believe that I was down BECAUSE I was tired. I felt so helpless sitting in those rooms, not being heard. When my sleep doc told me that I had just given him the best description of cataplexy he had heard in fifteen years I felt that perhaps this would be the solution I had been waiting on. 
It only felt better when he told me that my Generalized Anxiety Disorder was something that comes with Narcolepsy in many people. 

The anxiety has closed me in for weeks before, but the medication I tried for anxiety (zoloft) just about killed me. It threw me into a deep depression and I got off of it as soon as I realized what it did. Right after I got off of it I began to feel the symptoms of Narcolepsy. Though my doc said  medications don't usually turn on the N switch, when reading many posts said that Depression or trauma could set it off. 

I was wondering if any one else experienced this during their first diagnosis? 

Also, how do you communicate with people the way the tiredness affects mood. It seems that people either hear "Anxiety" or "sleep disorder" not realizing that they so often go together (or Depression). 

I am hesitant to try drugs for N considering my horrible reaction to zoloft. In fact I've been doing my best to stay away from inorganics at all. From my medication to my food.

 

 



#2 DeathRabbit

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 10:41 AM

 

I, just a few days ago, visited my Sleep Doctor and he asked me a couple questions, smiled and said "I'm 85% sure you have Narcolepsy." I was ecstatic, which might sound awful, but after the months I've been enduring--all of this fatigue, ANY definitive answer gave me chills. I had been to several diagnostic clinics with teams of confused doctors trying to diagnose me with depression. 
No matter what I told them, they would not believe that I was down BECAUSE I was tired. I felt so helpless sitting in those rooms, not being heard. When my sleep doc told me that I had just given him the best description of cataplexy he had heard in fifteen years I felt that perhaps this would be the solution I had been waiting on. 
It only felt better when he told me that my Generalized Anxiety Disorder was something that comes with Narcolepsy in many people. 

The anxiety has closed me in for weeks before, but the medication I tried for anxiety (zoloft) just about killed me. It threw me into a deep depression and I got off of it as soon as I realized what it did. Right after I got off of it I began to feel the symptoms of Narcolepsy. Though my doc said  medications don't usually turn on the N switch, when reading many posts said that Depression or trauma could set it off. 

I was wondering if any one else experienced this during their first diagnosis? 

Also, how do you communicate with people the way the tiredness affects mood. It seems that people either hear "Anxiety" or "sleep disorder" not realizing that they so often go together (or Depression). 

I am hesitant to try drugs for N considering my horrible reaction to zoloft. In fact I've been doing my best to stay away from inorganics at all. From my medication to my food.

 

Some people have bad reactions to SSRIs. I am one of them. I was on Paxil/Paroxetine, and while it helped with my N and depression/anxiety, I was on it too long, and it had some bad mojo that built up. I think that those SSRIs are billed as a lifelong treatment when they should only be used to get you over a rough patch until you can sort stuff out or get thee to a therapist, etc. I encourage you to keep an open mind to treatments, however. I've not found any magic bullet medication, nor do I really ever expect to. But some have given me relief, even if it's only fleeting. But strictly speaking, many medications are organic. Organic=/=naturally occuring. I have used many natural substances (herbally derived 5-htp, valerian root, l-carnitine)  in conjunction with my prescription meds, so two-pronged approach! And yeah. the mood swings that come with N suck. I've always struggled with anxiety/depression, but beforehand, it always had a root cause. Now I can freak out or get really sad for no reason at all.



#3 AnnieJoy

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 03:48 PM

Yeah, I don't want to go through the zoloft phase again, if they give me an SSRI... I don't plan on filling the prescription.  I take St. Johns and 5HTP fairly often. I don't notice much from the latter, but the St. Johns helps curb the aftermath of the panic attacks. 

 

Have you found any stimulants that helped you out for the daytime--I'm thinking I would curb some of the anxiety if I was AWAKE(ish)?



#4 DeathRabbit

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 04:05 PM

Hey, by chance did you take the 5-htp and Zoloft concurrently? Because if you did, there's a  slight chance your depression was caused by mild case of serotonin syndrome. http://en.wikipedia....otonin_syndrome

 

 

As far as stimulants, one of the users here had luck with L-Carnitine tablets, but I didn't really notice any effect other than perhaps slightly more neuromuscular response in the gym. Not enough to justify the 15 dollar a bottle cost though.



#5 AnnieJoy

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 11:11 PM

I wish it was that easy to explain, but no, I did not take 5-HTP at the same time--recognizing that would be a risk. Hmmm, L-Carnitine. I've been banned from caffeine from my doctors until later notice, so I am looking for something they might approve. I'll check that out!



#6 lkl

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 06:44 AM

Hey, by chance did you take the 5-htp and Zoloft concurrently? Because if you did, there's a  slight chance your depression was caused by mild case of serotonin syndrome. http://en.wikipedia....otonin_syndrome

St John's Wort can also increase the risk of serotonin. It works similarly to SSRIs.



#7 AnnieJoy

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 06:54 PM

Started all of that 4 months after being on the SSRI



#8 SleepyResearcher

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 07:44 AM

SSRI's are the worst thing in the world for me, I will never take them again.  What happens for me is after a few weeks when they are supposed to be "working" I start to have rebound cataplexy sooner and sooner after taking the last dose (I last took these drugs ~10 years ago and don't intend on going back.

 

Here is the thing about depression and anxiety, they are descriptions not explanations.  And really, they are *BEEP*ty descriptions.  The reason that all of us are either depressed or anxious probably has more to do with our current environment and the demands we are under.  If for whatever reason you find yourself stuck at home all day, you're going to be depressed that you're not functioning at a high level.  If you're able to get out and fight the good fight and be a part of the world, you're going to be a anxious as it is often adaptive to get yourself through social situations in which you might otherwise just say "*BEEP* it".  I think the key thing to remember with the mental health side of things, is that no Dr. can understand what "mood swings" are like when you feel like you've been awake for 5 days.  I better explanation is just that you're over tired and it is stressful.

 

Emotions, or moods, do not cause behavior.  They are motivational states, i.e. you're motivated to run away from something or avoid danger with anxiety, and with depression, you're not motivated to escape an environment that you find unpleasant, either because you physically or mentally cannot (such as being tired and in a group of excited happy folks), or you no longer can imagine another situation which would be any different, so you become somewhat learned helpless (I know I have felt this way at times, although I try my best to snap myself out of it, usually directly back into anxiety).

 

When you have a condition that no one understands, you have to learn to push yourself as hard as you can, right up until the point when you can honestly say you did your best and then you have to be sure to give yourself credit for working hard.



#9 corey91386

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 07:54 PM

Annie,

 

Your story sounds a lot like what I have been through. I am currently 26, and dealing with some major Narcolepsy/Anxiety/Depression issues. To give you a brief history I literally woke up from a nap 3 years ago feeling very out of it, almost like depersonalization. I felt like this for 3 months, until I got into a Psychiatrist. There was not sleepy/tiredness. Up unit this point I was very active obtained a Master's degree, on my way to greatness in my opinion. My psychiatrist said that I was dealing with Anxiety/Depression. I was given Zoloft just like you. Made me go nuts, and made me so agitated that i could have peeled my skin off. Still not tired ness. Following the zoloft, I was switched to Citalopram, Lexapro, and then finally Pristiq. The pristiq balanced me out where I began to take part in the world again, or atleast feel semi there. Then came the tiredness/fatigue(no sleep attacks). My psych said the tiredness was abnormal and sent me to a sleep doc. Hence came a diagnosis of Narcolepsy. I did not believe it and went to a second sleep doctor at the Cleveland Clinic...Another diagnosis of Narcolepsy. Saw a 3rd dr. that was closer to my house, and he ran his own tests and said the lab techs scored me as hitting rem in all 5 naps. He didn't think the tests were as clear as they could be, so he diagnosed me with Idiopathic Hypersomnia. I also had the Gene testing done and I do not possess the gene. I always thought the SSRI/SNRI's were causing me my problems. The doctors state otherwise. The year following me feeling like this I had some major stressor's that may have caused me some issues (father died, marriage,had surgery, found out wife was pregnant). Who knows? All  I can say is that is has been a roller coaster ride ever since. 

 

Hang in there. The more I have learned about Narcolepsy, every case is different. When you lack sleep, your symptoms are going to correlate with anxiety and depression. When we are sleep deprived, it is perfectly acceptable to be an asshole and have mood swings. No body understands, and no one will unless they have been through it. People only sympathize with what they can see and understand. 

 

Sorry for the long story.

 

 

 

 

 

 



#10 Livi

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 09:42 PM

Hey all, What you've been talking about really hits home. The trigger for my narcolepsy was Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I had no idea that anything was wrong with me physically, because sleep was my only escape from my emotional pain. I wasn't able to concentrate on real life or on what was happening in my body. My mind was always dissociated, repeating the trauma over and over. My psych diagnosed me with the PTSD, anxiety and depression, and also Borderline Personality Disorder because of my severe mood swings. Prozac helped alot for depression (Paxil, Zoloft, and Celexa were horrible) but it gave me nighttime insomnia which i now know made my daytime EDS worse. He sent me for a sleep study when I told him I fell asleep while driving. I went but didn't think there was anything wrong with my sleep even though I couldn't stop sleeping or function at all in life. I didn't care enough to do any research on sleep disorders. All I knew was that I couldn't wait to be able to go someplace where I could take naps all day. So I went and slept and went home and never gave it another thought until my follow-up appt a couple month later when i was sure they'd say everything was fine. But they told me I had narcolepsy and handed me a pamphlet. I was in shock.. All i could say was, "what?". Of course I had heard about it before, briefly in a college class, but thats about it. I had no idea my life would change. It's why I can't really understand the people who are excited to get their diagnosis or who are frustrated not to be diagnosed with it. I know that everybody wants their pain to be validated but it is insulting to me. Anyway, my point was that N affects my emotions and relationships in a hugely negative way. I've also noticed that when I get really stressed or really emotional, my EDS gets so strong that I can't function and have to leave work to sleep. Does this happen to anybody else, becoming incapacitated by EDS from prolonged strong emotions?

#11 ironhands

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Posted 27 August 2013 - 09:27 AM

every doctor for the past 15 years takes one look at me and says "depression".  No matter what I go for.  They never saw it as a symptom, but as the cause.

 

I dont' want another SSRI or NRI, been there, bad scene.  My mood is "fine", for the most part, so long as I avoid sitautions likely to trigger something.

 

N came as such a surprise, but like the OP said, it was a relief.



#12 Chemist

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 11:48 PM

Yeah, I don't want to go through the zoloft phase again, if they give me an SSRI... I don't plan on filling the prescription.  I take St. Johns and 5HTP fairly often. I don't notice much from the latter, but the St. Johns helps curb the aftermath of the panic attacks. 

 

Have you found any stimulants that helped you out for the daytime--I'm thinking I would curb some of the anxiety if I was AWAKE(ish)?

 

Stimulants are an excellent first choice for treatment of excessive daytime sleepiness. Unlike SSRIs, NRIs, etc. you don't have to be on them for 2 weeks before getting the medicinal effects. You take them, they do their job for a few hours, then they're out of your system. Ritalin has a shorter half-life than Adderall, and has less potential for addiction, so if you're a person who worries about being on medication you might want to start with Ritalin, then move to Adderall, then to Provigil/Nuvigil, Xyrem, then adjunct therapy with an SSRI, NRI, etc. if necessary.

 

As someone who studies pharmaceuticals I'm kind of amazed the way physicians prescribe medications. Physicians are often very hesitant to prescribe stimulants, yet they'll hand out prescriptions for SSRIs at the slightest hint of anxiety or depression in a patient. The fact of the matter is SSRIs, NRIs, and similar medications cause significantly more side effects, especially when discontinuing medication, than do stimulants. It's likely due to the negative stigma placed on stimulants as being heavily abused and highly addicting substances and the sheer pevasiveness of SSRIs. It's an unfortunate situation.

 

If you want to try stimulants and you're having issues with increased physical symptoms of anxiety (racing heart, palpitations, etc.) then have your blood pressure checked to make sure it isn't too high and also ask for a beta blocker. I take them alongside stimulants all the time. They do an excellent job of completely blocking the physical symptoms of anxiety. When you don't have the physical symptoms of anxiety fueling that feedback loop, it halts the vicious cycle of escalating anxiety and allows you to relax.

 

Also, if 5-HTP isn't doing much for you then consider discontinuing it. The problem with 5-HTP is that it is largely converted to serotonin in the body rather than in the brain and can lead to gastrointestinal upset and potentially thicken heart valves as serotonin acts as a growth factor in the heart. It's not a big issue in most people, but if you're not getting any benefit from it anyway, it's best to discontinue it.



#13 drago

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 01:25 AM

No matter what I told them, they would not believe that I was down BECAUSE I was tired. I felt so helpless sitting in those rooms, not being heard...Also, how do you communicate with people the way the tiredness affects mood. It seems that people either hear "Anxiety" or "sleep disorder" not realizing that they so often go together (or Depression). 

I am hesitant to try drugs for N considering my horrible reaction to zoloft. In fact I've been doing my best to stay away from inorganics at all. From my medication to my food.

 

I relate to the "not being heard" thing, a LOT.

 

As far as moods go, I don't bother communicating with people about how tiredness affects mood. I use specific vocabulary terms, like 'drained' or 'low-energy' to sort of circumvent the issue...

 

I would recommend trying some medication for N, even if you're hesitant, because it is likely at least one of them will help you. I had problems with Provigil (never tried Nuvigil for the same reason) but Adderall worked for me.

 

drago







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