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Distinguished member
Oct 12, 2016
Lost a loved one
Having a difficult day. More progression and the grief that goes with every loss is hard to deal with. I know I m depressed but I m still handling everything. My pals depends on me and I want to be strong for him, and be the caregiver he deserves. I m frightened and overwhelmed, it is all so wrong that anyone has to go through what he is going through. How will I hold up. I don’t know.

Thanks for letting me vent here.
ARCG - if you are not on meds yourself, please consider it. Many here are on Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro etc. I myself was on Celexa for a while, off for a few years and now on Zoloft. They are wonderful in helping you deal with the situation. Nothing to be embarrassed about. This life is very difficult.

So sorry this is so hard! Are you taking an antidepressant? I started Zoloft while caring for Cliff. It helped a lot. It doesn't take away the nightmare but did help me deal with it. Hugs!
Thanks, yes, I m on lexipro and think it has helped up to this point. I m on the maximum effective dose. Tried another one before and it made me feel much worse. So I m nervous about changing again.
You've been dealing with this longer that I have and I can't image how you feel. Just know that you can vent here always and you'll get unlimited hugs.
Yes vent and have your needed dose of hugs
Concerning antidepressants I am on Effexor and it helps me. I guess quite a number of pals and cals are on them
Hugs from across the ocean
May I ask, how do these antidepressants make you all feel? I was once on tricyclic antidepressants for nerve pain, and it made me feel like there was a film of fog on everything. I felt like an automaton. They worked on the pain though. Hard to come off them. Took months of titrating down. Another time, maybe 20 years ago, I was on some that made me feel very dead inside. I actually had one moment on them where I felt so black, so consumed by a wall of blackness, (a feeling that I'd never had when I was *just* depressed) that if I had the means, I would have killed myself. That was the antidepressant from 20 years ago. I came off them, and had this crazy moment of utter clarity, and never had depression again. My GP is recommending them for me now due to my recent bereavement and recurrent periods of exhaustion. I feel like my reaction to caregiving is understandable. I'm sad. It feels hard and sad. But I'm really reluctant. Everyone is saying they're good and helpful. I'm really nervous. ARCG, I'm sorry you're going through this
I hate to sound like a worn out record, but have you tried Remeron? None of the SSRIs helped me. GPs usually don't prescribe Remeron, they stick to SSRIs or, if you are in a lot of physical pain, might try tricyclic.

Remeron can actually give you more energy at higher doses but it has a very calming effect at lower doses.

If you are still depressed being on a SSRI, maybe counseling and a visit to a psychiatrist for a med check are in order.
Well I was on another that gave me that foggy feeling you are mentioning so I got off it (not easy). Now this one suits me because I regained mental energy and I feel myself again. The doc says it might make me despondent but I don’t mind taking it for a long time. What we are going through IS hard and sad and we need all the energy we can find.
I hope you feel better soon
The first one I was on gave me that dark hopeless feeling, so I switched to lexapro. Now I think I probably need something else. My dd is taking Prozac and she says it helps so maybe I will as dr. about that and some of the others you mentioned. I have fought some depression all my life but was able to manage it with diet and exercise, forcing myself to stay physically active, till it passed. Now it never passes. thanks for the kind words and advice, I appreciate it. No one understands what this is like
Kathy, follow your own instincts and experience. ADs are not right for everyone and they are not a necessity for CALS. They help some people and the category has a large share of voice.

Neither I nor my husband ever took one, for example.

If you opt out for the time being, you can always try one later on. But no one should take a CNS drug just because it's the done thing.

I won't advise against antidepressants but I'm glad that some mentioned side effects and risks. It's not candy.
Also it's completely normal to feel depressed when dealing with loss on this scale. Antidepressants are a welcome crutch for situations where there simply is no solution.

Maybe there are some small factors in a caregiver's life that can be improved. Anyone who helps with the normal day to day can be a huge relief. If people are coming to visit they could bring the shopping along. It's work to organize such stuff, too, but can bring an hour here and there to be used for exercise or fun stuff. Everyone could vacuum your house, only you can deal with your grief.
Tricyclics are passé— less effective than the newer ones and with more side effects, especially anticholinergic (dry mouth, urinary retention, hypotension).

The most comprehensive approach to managing depression would be counseling plus medication. Some people do fine with one or the other.
Just to clarify if anyone is confused, since we frequently have PALS using trazodone and other TCAs, typically they are using them in low doses for sleep and secondarily get the benefit of drying secretions. So they are not using them at the dosages that they would be used for depression, a use for which they indeed are considered passé because the risk/benefit ratio for the higher doses is not there.

In that context, it is worth considering for both CALS and PALS that poor sleep can result in a muddled state that seems like/can magnify depression as well as pain, and a low-dose TCA is a potentially viable alternative to popping Ambien and similar drugs (that can foster dependence and next-day sedation) every night.

Of course, if sleep is an issue, there are other approaches to try ahead of drugs -- from a low voltage heated mattress pad (can use under the mattress or overlay if liquids are an issue), to meditation. But for CALS there are never enough hours in the day or night, and being moderately coherent is important to taking care of your PALS.
Sleep isn’t really an issue for some reason, although it was in the past few years. Sometimes I wake up in a panic but have learned to repeat some prayers I learned as a child over and over and I usually fall back asleep. That’s why I think my exhaustion is depression. More than one cup of coffee in the morning makes me very anxious,
I saw a therapist for a while, but she was very perky and not a good fit for me right now. When I would express my feelings she suggested I rephrase them using more ‘positive’ words. Yikes. Came away feeling guilty about being sad.
I know I am lucky to have compassionate friends and family. but they can’t manage all the work and details and that responsibility and stress is always there. My medication doesn’t make me foggy, fortunately.
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