Author Topic: Antidepressant therapy for grief  (Read 2454 times)

Adams Brokenhearted Mama

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Antidepressant therapy for grief
« on: June 19, 2015, 07:06:24 PM »
I've been on antidepressant therapy for years now. Am I really depressed or just terribly sad. I don't think the pills are working as well as I would like. I have to speak to my prescriber and find out if there truly is anything out there that can help a broken heart.
My daughter is incarcerated again so re-living Adam's issues with her is very frightening.
Craig is seriously depressed and has health issues.
Things are not in that mellow place where I thought I would be at this age.
XO Love to all my sisters & brothers-in-grief XO
Wishing you all peaceful moments, signs from your Angels & many blessings

Terry

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    • “Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” –Vicki Harrison
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Re: Antidepressant therapy for grief
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2015, 07:43:29 PM »

Paula....I read so many articles on prolonged, complicated and what the DSM refers to as "normal" grief and how the sadness of grief can become a depressive disorder and it confuses me and to the extent that afterwards I have to replace my jaw back onto my face and pick up the piles of hair on the floor, as some of these famous experts on grief still insist that after a few months if one is still feeling really sad and traumatized, then they must move that person into a new category of major depressive disorder or generalized depression.

I can tell them that it took me a very long time to believe, myself that I could rejoin life again after losing my only surviving child. It takes far longer an amount of time than a couple of months.

I'm sorry to read that Kait is incarcerated again. Of course this would bring back every emotion that you've struggled with regarding your precious Adam. I don't know how it couldn't, honestly.

Regarding *my* broken heart, I had to purposefully search for a reason. I had to work hard at keeping a balance as steady going wasn't very steady for quite a few years. But, we're all different, of course and our reasons for being here are also different.

I'm also sorry to learn of Craig's continuing health problems. I wish there was something I could do. Just know you are always in my thoughts.

Much love, many hugs. :love9:

Adams Brokenhearted Mama

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Re: Antidepressant therapy for grief
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2015, 08:04:45 AM »
I just got off the phone with the psychiatrist. He said that the deep, prolonged grief and the continuous crisis that I experience in my personal life has decreased my serotonin levels and that is why antidepressants are prescribed. I was finally on a combo that worked and I felt good & somewhat "normal" again .... however, one of them ultimately gave me neurological physical side effects and had to be stopped and luckily so did the side effects. In some people they can be permanent. So there is a new med on the market that is close to the one that worked so well with me so I am going into his office on Mon. to pick up samples. Hopefully it will work. The real headbanger for me now is my daughter's situation because the government is way to eager to be punitive vs understanding her disabilities and putting together a realistic treatment plan.
I feel myself starting to well up with tears as I write this so I am signing off for now.....
Thanks Terry
XO
XO Love to all my sisters & brothers-in-grief XO
Wishing you all peaceful moments, signs from your Angels & many blessings

Terry

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Re: Antidepressant therapy for grief
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2015, 11:48:36 AM »
I'm sorry you're feeling so much stress again, Paula. I recently had an MRI of my brain due to alarming symptoms that I've been experiencing. It seems that on top of everything else, and there's a lot of *everything's* going on, I have what's known as Grief Brain. Grief does change the chemicals in our brains and prevents us from reacting normally to situations where one who is not diagnosed as such would behave. There are now many articles relating to this disorder. This particular one I am linking to refers to the brain of one who has buried a child and was written by Tom Gray. This is a good article but only one of many being published on the subject. The changes in our brains and the diseases caused by grief are finally being recognized and given the attention that warrants actual diagnosis and treatment options.

http://psychcentral.com/lib/your-health-and-grief/

Sending my love.


MyLou

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Re: Antidepressant therapy for grief
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2015, 02:31:16 PM »
Terry,

As you know I come from Spouse Loss.  What is grief brain?  I guess we all have it ?  I am on medicine for anxiety especially in the beginning when I loss Lou.  I still get anxiety but not like I did.

Always

Lisa
"Soulmates Forever"

I miss you every second of everyday My Love

I know I will see you again

Terry

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Re: Antidepressant therapy for grief
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2015, 08:55:55 PM »

Hi Lis,

I'm sorry for the confusion and the removal of my response to you. It was very detailed and after I modified it down to where it would help to clear up any misconceptions regarding my previous post on Grief Brain, I ended up with, "Hi Lis"... :icon_mrgreen: so I just removed the salutation!
Basically, people diagnosed with depression may have abnormal levels of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These levels change when a life altering event takes place and specifically, a death of one close to us. Doctors prescribe medication but I'm reading lately that repeated blood work, around every 3 to 4 months is not being performed. These chemicals can change rapidly and cause undesirable effects on our behavior.

I mentioned it in a previous post as I just had my third MRI of the brain. The first was one year before Jeff died and after my car accident; the second was one year after Jeff died and the third was on June 4th of this year. Of course they compare the MRI's. Some of the changes in my brain are due to normal aging and not a big deal. Other changes are scar tissue from my accident which has worsened, but again, not a big deal. After a consultation with my neurologist it was explained that the pleasure and the fight or flight cross sections of my brain were *lazy.* The reason I have to work very hard at self-motivating. I do not take any medication so that is not even a factor.
What originally brought me to a visit with my neurologist was two things; one was my vision which has been getting progressively worse and the other was concern for my motivation levels.

My homework, in a way is to laugh more and however I choose to do that is OK. This will increase certain chemicals in my brain as will more exercise. And, both will make me feel good!! Also, music that I love and first thing in the morning it should start playing. Music from the happiest times in my life. Well, that's an easy one as I listen to music everyday and I wake up to it.


This is an excerpt taken from: Physical Stress of Grieving
By Elizabeth Harper Neeld, Ph.D.

Grieving is hard work and takes a huge toll on our bodies. When we are responding to a loss, the part of our brain where responses are integrated increases the production of CRH, a hormone that produces anxiety-like symptoms. Emergency-mobilizing chemicals are released. As our stress increases, the chemical levels increase; and our central nervous system becomes highly stimulated. Our breathing may become defective. Biological rhythms of sleeping and eating are disturbed. Our digestion, metabolism, circulation and respiration change. Our ability to concentrate and pay attention decreases.   
____________________________________________________________________________

To conclude, grieving the death of a loved one can cause us to become very sick. I don't know of one Mom who hasn't said, "If I knew then what I know now then I would have taken better care of myself."

I agree. I love my life and want to live it to the fullest. Sure, the pain can be overwhelming at times, especially around dates but I've learned that I can *put my grief away* and take it back out again. I have the power to do that. It takes practice (and it's not perfect) and a strong will to survive.

You're right, Lis that we all have grief brain. You're managing your anxiety but what's even more important is you know where it's coming from.

Without getting more in depth regarding the chemicals in our brain, I hope that helped a little to understand that our brain, which is our body's mother board controls it all. And, when one chemical is over working by being released too quickly and another is not being produced quickly enough....then we can be in for a crash.

Especially now, living one beautiful moment at a time!

Hugs, Lisa gal!
:love4:

Adams Brokenhearted Mama

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Re: Antidepressant therapy for grief
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2015, 05:31:59 AM »
My psychiatrist lowered one med and added another one. It seems to be working, thankfully! Getting meds that work for you and continually adjusting them as needed is a long & complicated process. Need to stick with it to get good results.
XO Love to all my sisters & brothers-in-grief XO
Wishing you all peaceful moments, signs from your Angels & many blessings

Terry

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Re: Antidepressant therapy for grief
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2015, 10:14:08 AM »

Paula,

I'm glad to learn that this new combo is working better for you. One day at a time, right?

Hugs
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Adams Brokenhearted Mama

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Re: Antidepressant therapy for grief
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2015, 11:21:43 AM »
For me to survive, it comes down to one moment at a time.
XO Love to all my sisters & brothers-in-grief XO
Wishing you all peaceful moments, signs from your Angels & many blessings

Terry

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Re: Antidepressant therapy for grief
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2015, 11:34:02 AM »
I hear you!