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Author Topic: Have You Slipped Into A Gradual Depression Once On Meds?  (Read 5581 times)

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Offline gregoryagogo

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Have You Slipped Into A Gradual Depression Once On Meds?
« on: March 21, 2009, 08:47:13 PM »
I'm on Norivr Truvada, Reyataz combo, and slowly I feel more and more depressed... So depressed, that I'm going to ask the doctor to take me off the regimen and take a "medication break" until my stats are such that I need meds again.    :-[

I don't feel that it's the HIV "doin' it", but more the meds. 

Has anyone else experienced this? 

-Gregory


-Gregory

Offline Dwayn20

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Re: Have You Slipped Into A Gradual Depression Once On Meds?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2009, 10:26:11 PM »
In twenty years I have been on different meds yes some of them will cause what you describe also different people have different reactions.Also have you been to any specialist for the depression. I had got so bad I was starting to feel crippled then they put me on Cymbalta I feel so much better.Started two years ago now I can function better.I hope this helps!!!Dwayn20 (Scooter)

Offline maddalfred

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Re: Have You Slipped Into A Gradual Depression Once On Meds?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2009, 11:04:08 PM »
I'm on Norivr Truvada, Reyataz combo, and slowly I feel more and more depressed... So depressed, that I'm going to ask the doctor to take me off the regimen and take a "medication break" until my stats are such that I need meds again.    :-[

I don't feel that it's the HIV "doin' it", but more the meds. 

Has anyone else experienced this? 

-Gregory





Gregory,

I recently had to switch from Atripla to a combo of Truvada and Lexiva in order to get relief from an ever increasing depression both my ID doc and I decided was exacerbated by the Sustiva component in Atripla. I "hung in there"with Atripla for the first nine months after having tested POZ last May, but the nightmares and diarrhea persisted long past the point that others have reported and my depression, which I have struggled with for years got to a point that I was a blubbering mess almost every day, usually after I got home from work.

I am still depressed, but I had discontinued the Citilapram roughly 18 days prior to switching from the Atripla and I can honestly say I have not had the "black hole " depression so far since. Only two blubbering spells as opposed to every day. We, my ID doc and me, decided that maybe I could try NO anti depressants for a while and just rely on once weekly counseling sessions and once weekly group meetings to see if my depression will lift to a point that I can live with.

Whatever choice you make, just be sure both you and your ID doc are in agreement  and understand the reasoning behind the decision. Just my two cents.

Rex
<img src=http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj56/maddalfred1959/Me.jpg>

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Have You Slipped Into A Gradual Depression Once On Meds?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2009, 11:07:19 PM »
AFAIK there's only one med linked specifically to depression and that's Sustiva.  Anything else is probably situational about simply having HIV, and by that I don't mean that HIV (the virus) is causing it but just the fact that you deal daily with a serious medical condition.

5-10% of the general population has depression.  It's seen as high as 60% in people infected with HIV.  I highly encourage you NOT to halt your medication, but instead do two things: confer with your HIV specialist about your depression and ask that he test your testosterone levels.  HIV can cause low testosterone levels and that, in turn, can cause depression.  Once you rule that out then ask to be referred to a psychologist for screening and/or anti-depressants, but be sure if going on anti-depressants to couple that with one-on-one therapy sessions as that might help you not to have to stay on anti-depressants long term.

read more here:

http://www.aidsinfonet.org/fact_sheets/view/558

ps: and yes, Gregory, I went through all of this a decade ago and it did indeed start with low testosterone. 
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline gregoryagogo

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Re: Have You Slipped Into A Gradual Depression Once On Meds?
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2009, 11:24:07 PM »

Whatever choice you make, just be sure both you and your ID doc are in agreement  and understand the reasoning behind the decision. Just my two cents.

Rex

My Doctor and I have disagreed before, and he supported me.  Back when they wanted to put people on meds right away, he of coarse wanted me to go on the meds.  I waited.  Then things changed and it was protocol to wait and see what the numbers are...  so, in that case, he ended up being wrong for me.  That's OK.  It's a relationship and I don't expect things to be "perfect". 

I'll bump my idea off of him, and go from there.
-Gregory

Offline gregoryagogo

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Re: Have You Slipped Into A Gradual Depression Once On Meds?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2009, 11:42:52 PM »
AFAIK there's only one med linked specifically to depression and that's Sustiva.  Anything else is probably situational about simply having HIV, and by that I don't mean that HIV (the virus) is causing it but just the fact that you deal daily with a serious medical condition.

ps: and yes, Gregory, I went through all of this a decade ago and it did indeed start with low testosterone. 

Having HIV alone does not get me depressed... I've had it since '95.  I've long since dealt with having it!!  Most of that time I was not on meds at all! Maybe the disease itself may be weighing me down, I don't know.  I do all the right things, and my energy level and mood is just in the toilet!  They told me my Testosterone was high... but maybe it's changed.  I'll ask my doc. 
-Gregory

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Have You Slipped Into A Gradual Depression Once On Meds?
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2009, 12:20:17 AM »
Is it possible that after putting off HIV meds for so long that now that you had to go on them you're internalizing this as some weakness and that's what is depressing you?  Why not go the psychiatry route before resorting to just willynilly halting your medication?  That just doesn't make much sense to me, but hey it's your life not mine.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline gregoryagogo

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Re: Have You Slipped Into A Gradual Depression Once On Meds?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2009, 01:15:06 AM »
Why not go the psychiatry route before resorting to just willynilly halting your medication? 

Nothing "willynilly" here!  I've totally exhausted the psychiatry route!!
-Gregory

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Have You Slipped Into A Gradual Depression Once On Meds?
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2009, 01:39:43 AM »
You didn't mention consulting a psychiatrist with your current, new depression in your opening post.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline gregoryagogo

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Re: Have You Slipped Into A Gradual Depression Once On Meds?
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2009, 10:38:16 AM »
I didn't because my question was specific...

I wanted to know if anyone else has felt a gradual onset of depression when taking their HIV meds, and felt that it was their meds.


Psychiatry seems to miss the mark in my situation.  I have had issues with mood before even HIV came along.  But I can tell the difference between "that" and this very low feeling I have now.  It feels very physical.   Because of this low energy feeling, all my "crap" seems to bombard my thoughts more.  I feel even more emotional than ever--and that's emotional!

Through all my psychiatric situations before, what always never made sense to me is putting all "yourself" out there only for the psychiatrist to say,  "Well, Mr. May, we need to up your dose"...
-Gregory

Offline maddalfred

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Re: Have You Slipped Into A Gradual Depression Once On Meds?
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2009, 12:08:36 PM »
I didn't because my question was specific...

I wanted to know if anyone else has felt a gradual onset of depression when taking their HIV meds, and felt that it was their meds.


Psychiatry seems to miss the mark in my situation.  I have had issues with mood before even HIV came along.  But I can tell the difference between "that" and this very low feeling I have now.  It feels very physical.   Because of this low energy feeling, all my "crap" seems to bombard my thoughts more.  I feel even more emotional than ever--and that's emotional!

Through all my psychiatric situations before, what always never made sense to me is putting all "yourself" out there only for the psychiatrist to say,  "Well, Mr. May, we need to up your dose"...

Now I feel as though my response may have been less than on the mark with regard to your question. As I beleive I said, I have a long history of depression, been prescribed and taken various meds over the years to "help combat it", usually with a result that was worse than the disease.

However, when I started on Atripla (sustiva component) last June, I noticed an almost overnight heavy increase of the depression I felt before, sometimes looking longingly at those bottles of pills that I knew could end the whole situation if I decided that was what I needed to do.

I knew this overpowering depression had a direct link to the Sustiva, simply because it did not abate the whole time I took it, even though I was prescribed an anti-depressant at the time. It only got worse. Since I quit the anti-depressant and switched to the Truvada/Lexiva combo, I have noticed a major relief from the crushing depression as well as finally getting back a a more normal circadian sleep rhythm this past week and a half. The nightmares and accompanying diarrhea have abated as well.

Most psychiatrist I have seen throughout my years ( and there have been plenty) seemed to turn out to be the kind that need therapy THEMSELVES.

I do hope things get better for you regardless of what you finally decide to do.

Best of luck!

Rex
<img src=http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj56/maddalfred1959/Me.jpg>

Offline madbrain

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Re: Have You Slipped Into A Gradual Depression Once On Meds?
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2009, 03:42:14 PM »
Hi,

I didn't because my question was specific...

I wanted to know if anyone else has felt a gradual onset of depression when taking their HIV meds, and felt that it was their meds.


Psychiatry seems to miss the mark in my situation.  I have had issues with mood before even HIV came along.  But I can tell the difference between "that" and this very low feeling I have now.  It feels very physical.   Because of this low energy feeling, all my "crap" seems to bombard my thoughts more.  I feel even more emotional than ever--and that's emotional!

Through all my psychiatric situations before, what always never made sense to me is putting all "yourself" out there only for the psychiatrist to say,  "Well, Mr. May, we need to up your dose"...

I have also struggled with depression for a long time, long before I had HIV - I have bipolar disorder.
I am only poz about 2.5 years and not on HAART yet, but I have had experienced periods low energy, in the first year after my diagnosis. At that time, my HIV doc tried to tell me it was psychological, but like you, I really thought it was physical. I had random, very sudden huge drops in energy that required me to basically lie down for a few hours. I would have these 2-3 times a week.
I know this isn't quite like what you have described, but I will tell you what worked for me to resolve it. I had some antibiotic prophylactic treatment (shots) for some possible exposure to an STD (syphilis), even though I tested negative for it. Soon after, I felt much better - I didn't have another "fainting" episode the next week. The week after, I started a pretty heavy supplement regimen. I have only had this fainting-like weakeness happen once since then, and it wasn't as severe.
Personally, I am pretty confident it was the HIV causing it. It couldn't have been the HAART since I have never been on it.

I'm not discarding the possibility that your HAART is indeed causing side effects, but I think you need to consider that it's something else, such as HIV itself. Getting you off HAART may very well not be the answer, and may get you worse if your guess is wrong. Many treatment interruptions have not had good outcome in studies. If you really are convinced that's it, have your ID doc switch you to another regimen that you are not resistant to, not take you off HAART altogether. Just avoid any combo with sustiva in it, since that's known to have mental side effects in many people.

Another thing that I want to mention regarding psychiatry - I have found that here in California, the role of psychiatrists was almost strictly for prescribing meds. They will not do very much little listening about your story except to evaluate to what level you are suicidal, etc. and to pick the right med or right dose.

The people that will listen are psychologists / counselors / therapist . Mine is an LCSW (licensed clinical social worker). If you don't have a therapist, I would highly recommend one. You didn't mention that.

I wish it was the same person doing both like it was when I lived back in France, but it seems it's 2 separate roles here.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Have You Slipped Into A Gradual Depression Once On Meds?
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2009, 04:19:50 PM »
I've had a prescribing psychiatrist also do hour long therapy sessions, but it's a rarity to find one that will do this though most admit that it's a better scenario for the patient.  It's something about insurance billing stuff.  The one private person I found willing to do this was my first shrink in NYC, and he did it because he was treating mainly people with HIV and knew this would work best as an overall scenario.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline gregoryagogo

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Re: Have You Slipped Into A Gradual Depression Once On Meds?
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2009, 08:49:36 PM »

I knew this overpowering depression had a direct link to the Sustiva,

Rex

I was on Sustiva before, and when I was on that I noticed the same gradual mental weight fall upon me!  This is kind of the same, but a slower onset. 
-Gregory

Offline gregoryagogo

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Re: Have You Slipped Into A Gradual Depression Once On Meds?
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2009, 09:06:06 PM »
...I have found that here in California, the role of psychiatrists was almost strictly for prescribing meds. They will not do very much little listening about your story except to evaluate to what level you are suicidal, etc. and to pick the right med or right dose.

The people that will listen are psychologists / counselors / therapist . Mine is an LCSW (licensed clinical social worker). If you don't have a therapist, I would highly recommend one. You didn't mention that.

I tend to wear out my counselors etc...  Once again, I'm in a weird spot with my current guy, and I don't feel like progress is being made.  I'm in a cognitive therapy class now, but when you feel like shit, then it's really hard to consciously try to "be better" by trying excersises and home work etc...

With meds, I feel depressed, plus with an added chemical/mental strain added... not comfortable. 

Blah blah blah....  I'm really done hashing this out here.  Thanks guys for your beautiful support and experience!!

All the usual statements apply... "Tomorrow is another freakin' day, etc..."  I'm sure in the end everything will end up the way it's s'posed to...
-Gregory

Offline decayingsinner

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Re: Have You Slipped Into A Gradual Depression Once On Meds?
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2009, 11:37:56 PM »
Gregory- by the way, love that name.  Before my diagnosis and pretty much all of my life I have been on anti-depressants. I've struggled with depression all my life. Sometimes in my head I wonder if it's what will kill me, but I love and value life too much.  I went on Sustiva last year and noticed a slight dip in my depression. Just went through a lull. nothing more.  Now I would say it's just on a day to day basis and a lot of it has always and still deals with my personality. I tend to isolate myself and enjoy my own company, but get depressed on it because I've isolated myself. if that makes any sense.  The meds have done wonders and overall, I am happy and thankful and living my life.

Offline antibody

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Re: Have You Slipped Into A Gradual Depression Once On Meds?
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2009, 08:28:45 PM »
 i had depression and my Doctor swore it would be low testosterone. It was. Added testosterone and feel much better. I had the sustiva depression when i was taking atripla. It was pretty bad. I switched to boosted reyataz and truvada and feel like it's bowl of cherries. I still have a bit of under lying depression based on being HIV+. I dunno I just don't think it's the combo that you're taking
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Offline Dwayn20

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Re: Have You Slipped Into A Gradual Depression Once On Meds?
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2009, 09:36:54 PM »
Asked my doctor about the testosterone test and think it was over looked will call her Monday because with taking 120mg of Cymbalta and Zanex0.05mg and still have my crying moments trying to deal the HIV meds just amplify the problems.
Scooter


i had depression and my Doctor swore it would be low testosterone. It was. Added testosterone and feel much better. I had the sustiva depression when i was taking atripla. It was pretty bad. I switched to boosted reyataz and truvada and feel like it's bowl of cherries. I still have a bit of under lying depression based on being HIV+. I dunno I just don't think it's the combo that you're taking

 


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